Occasionally I will be bringing special features such as this one in addition to the reviews on the site.
Today I bring you some chatter about certain songs featured throughout my favorite slasher series, the incomparable Friday The 13th.
Now keep in mind these aren’t reviews, and this list is not entirely comprehensive, just a big horror fan talking about some great tunes from his favorite slasher series.
We will start with one of the most unfairly maligned entries in the series, Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning. The featured song from this entry is by a new wave band called Pseudo Echo, entitled His Eyes. In the film it is featured when Violet is doing some crazy 80s dancing as Jason/Roy Burns comes and helps her meet the business end of his machete. As for the song itself, it is pure and utter 80s. But despite this, it is still catchy as all hell and gets regular playback on my phone. And truthfully, it is a rather beloved song by most of the Friday fandom.
Next up we have a bevy of songs from possibly the greatest film in the series, Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. By this point in the series it was understood that Jason was more of a pop culture icon than a scary masked murderer, and the soundtrack certainly reflected that. Legendary shock rock icon Alice Cooper was brought on and contributed no less than three songs to the soundtrack. The obvious highlight being the epically awesome He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask). The song was essentially the theme to the film, and had an incredible music video where Jason comes out of the film, only to be revealed to be Mr. Cooper himself. The song (and the others that he contributed to the film) are from his 80s hair metal phase, so while some Cooper purists may not entirely dig the sound I am personally a huge fan and have been since I first heard the song at the age of 12.
Also contributed to the film is Teenage Frankenstein. Its another fun 80s rock song, but unfortunately isn’t quite as catchy as He’s Back. The same can be said for Hard Rock Summer, the third and final song Cooper put forth on the album. This is by no means a reflection saying the songs are bad, just neither are quite as catchy as the films theme song.
Before we move onto the next film to be highlighted in the series, there is one more song to discuss from Jason Lives. Animal by the short lived 80s hair metal band, Felony is well known amongst Friday fans as the infamous song that Cort and Nikki have playing while they bump uglies in the back of the RV. The song is your generic 80s trash, but is still worth a visit for any die hard Jason fan.
Next we move onto the absolute worst film in the series bar none, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. It still boggles my mind to this day that there are starch defenders of this film. I myself am a huge Jason fan, to the point that I have the cover art from Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter inked on my right arm. But this one….oh boy. There is almost no redeeming qualities to this film. In all honesty, the only decent parts are seeing Jason in Times Square, the rooftop boxing scene between Julius and our hockey masked anti-hero, and of course, the opening scene featuring the song we are next going to speak about. Rumor has it that originally the plan was to have a song by Robert Plant playing over the opening sequence, but when going through the lawyers and licencing, the price to use one was exorbitant, requiring another tune to be used. What they settled on was a song entitled The Darkest Side Of The Night by the almost unknown band Metropolis. The song is once again, like almost all of the songs highlighted in this article, very 80s. But it also has a different ambience than any other song used in the Friday series, and is definitely one of the few highlights of the wretched eighth entry in the Crystal Lake saga.
I know that I have certainly not covered all of the songs used over the series, and we never even scratched the surface of Harry Manfredini‘s scores, let alone the scores contributed by Fred Mollin for Part 7 & 8. But this is just a taste of what the series had to offer musically, and perhaps in the future we will revisit the music in the series. Besides, who doesn’t want to talk about the awesome disco theme from Friday The 13th Part 3-D?
I leave you with a video of The Darkest Side Of The Night since it is sadly as not well known as it should be.