Tag Archives: N.J.

Jason Lives! Celebrating “Friday the 13th” in Its Hometown

What does Friday the 13th mean to you?

For many people I’m sure it represents some superstitious beliefs about the number 13, bad luck and ominous happenings on this day that can possibly occur three times a year.

For many people who are fans of a certain movie genre, it is a cause to celebrate one of the most successful horror movie franchises in history, “Friday the 13th,” and all of its sequels and recent reboot.

I just attended a “Friday the 13th” showing of the original 1980 movie in the town where much of the movie was filmed.

Blairstown, N.J., is the home of the Main Street and diner where many of the beginning scenes were filmed.

The nearby infamous Camp Crystal Lake where the story takes place is actually an active Boy Scout camp Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco that occasionally during times when no camping is taking place will hold tours for the movie’s fans.

They even have a display of memorabilia from the original filming on site.

Every year, Roy’s Hall, which was also known as the Historic Blairstown Theatre, screens the original film that gave birth to this franchise.

Roy's Hall

I finally was able to go this year and it was a great fun-filled experience.

Jason was in the lobby wearing his iconic hockey mask and wielding a bloody machete — perfect for a photo op.

Jason and Rich

He didn’t utter a word but was agreeable enough to pose but stay in character.

If you check out the Blairstown News Facebook page, it chronicles Jason’s tour through town and the diner “entertaining” and giving the local folks some scares and laughs on his way to the movie screening.

My daughter and her friend joined me, as they both love to watch horror movies.

They had seen the movie on video, but I had to laugh when they both jumped during a couple of jump scares, especially when Jason comes out of the lake and grabs Alice in the canoe. (Oops! Should I have prefaced that with a “Spoiler Alert”?)


This is so the power and delight of watching a movie in the dark on a big screen that being at home on TV can never compare to.

It was a packed house and the start of the movie was met with cheers and applause.

Each name in the opening credits was shouted out with hoots and hollers.

Every killing was met with shouts and clapping –- a real hardcore slasher movie crowd.

When the character Annie first appeared on screen, the crowd went wild, as she was walking down Main Street in Blairstown and then right by the theater that we were all sitting in.

More cheers and claps as she goes into the Blairstown Diner, where she asks for directions to the camp and gets a ride from a local truck driver and is dropped off at the Moravian Cemetery in nearby Hope, N.J.

More cheers.

It was a great time had by all. I’m looking forward to next year and hanging with Jason.

Until then: Chi chi chi ah ah ah…

Jason Mask

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Misadventures at Great Adventure

As a kid growing up in the Bronx, amusement park rides were a foreign concept.

The tram or the skyline ride at the Bronx Zoo or maybe the carousel at Central Park were the rides I was most familiar with.

Later, I was introduced to Rye Playland in Westchester County, N.Y. For me at the time, it was a wide-eyed wonderland of rides, attractions and carnival games.

The park, operated by the county, was relatively small and tame compared to its bigger competitors — the biggest of which for New Yorkers was Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J.

I recall well GA advertising on television to lure city residents to make the roughly three-hour trip.

The big attraction at the time was its animal safari, in which you drove through a large enclosed route and wild animals would come right up to your car, and in some cases, sit on it. (The attraction, by the way, has been completely revamped.)

I’ve gone to this amusement park several times, mostly with OK experiences but the height of my misadventures at Great Adventure came in 2002. I was with my mother and sons, then 9 and 4.

We were driving through the safari, having a fine old time. The animals were close and fun to watch.

At the very end of the attraction, you had a choice to take a detour that would go around a section filled with baboons and lead you to the exit, or you could drive through the crowd of baboons.

Why the detour?

Because these cute adorable creatures could strip your car faster than a NASCAR pit crew. The open area they occupied was littered with car parts – hubcaps, windshield wipers, mirrors, etc.

They were nimble, intelligent and curious. And oh, yeah: strong.

Naturally, I was undeterred by all the warning signs about proceeding. My car then was a 10-year-old Ford Escort station wagon.

As the result of someone who had hit my parked car, one of my headlights and signal lamps was loose.

It was still operable but it was not installed correctly because, me being a guy, I had just hot-glued-gunned the piece into place and called it a day.

You can guess the rest.

Sure enough, the baboons swarmed my car. And at first it was cute.

But then one of them yanked that headlight out and held it like a trophy.

My kids’ laughing turned to stark terror crying because they feared what the baboons might do to the rest of the car. It was not quite as terrifying as the baboon scene from “The Omen” but close.

I was laughing because the outcome was so predictable and inevitable.

Best of all was my mother who took a photo of a baboon sucking on the light bulb it had plucked from the headlight.

When she sent me the photo, it included this modern-art-like caption in her handwriting on the back: “Baboon with car light bulb.”