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Updated: Jun 1, 2023

This independent slasher film which was produced and directed by Sean S. Cunningham, written by Victor Miller, and starred Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, and Kevin Bacon. Its plot follows a group of teenage camp counselors who are murdered one by one by an unknown killer while attempting to re-open the abandoned summer camp, Camp Crystal Lake.

Due to the success of John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), director Cunningham put out an advertisement to sell the film in Variety in early 1979, while Miller was still drafting the screenplay. After casting the film in New York City, filming took place in New Jersey in the summer of 1979, on an estimated budget of $550,000. A bidding war ensued over the finished film, ending with Paramount Pictures acquiring the film for domestic distribution, while Warner Bros. Pictures secured international distribution rights.

The film was released on May 9, 1980 and was a major box office success, grossing $59.8 million worldwide, making it the first independent film of its kind to secure distribution in the U.S. by a major studio. Reviews from critics were divided, with some praising the film's cinematography, score, and performances, while numerous others derided it for its depiction of graphic violence (no surprise there lets be honest). Friday the 13th is the first installment of what would set the precedence to lead to a long series of sequels, including a crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street, and a (surprise, surprise) 2009 reboot.




We have done two visits to No-Be-Bo-Sco (Camp Crystal Lake) but the only way to get inside the grounds is to book a tour. So, when we were contacted via their waiting list to say we could get tickets we were very excited to finally get the chance to pay this iconic location a visit. Alas, our experience with the tour was a little disappointing to say the least. It was very rushed so you had hardly any time to take in the surroundings, or any photo's for that matter, hence why we have so little and many came out blurred (also being a night tour made outside shots difficult). At our first location stop we also got left behind as the guide decided to move on without telling us or even doing a head count within the party! Despite this, please do not let our bad experience put you off though, it is worth checking out this once in a lifetime experience. We would suggest waiting for any special offers to arise, which is what we did. If we had payed full price for the rushed experience then that would have sucked x2! And if you do go on a tour and feel that you are being rushed or have any issues then just let it be known to your guide and the tour operator, as we did.



Our first visit to No-Be-B0-Sco was just a quick drive-by photo in front of the campground sign at the roadside entrance back in July 7, 2019.



The driveway to the camp was used for the chase scene, where Annie jumps from the Jeep and then runs panic stricken into the woods, only to be met with her demise at the hands of Pamela Voorhees.


All photo's below are from our official flashlight tour of the camp and were taken on October 24, 2020.



This is where we encounter our first death scene in the film, where the two frisky camp counselors head off for some alone time but are met with a vengeful Pamela Voorhees's. The storage shed is just that and is filled with all sorts of items jumbled up, so it is just like it was in the movie.



When we first got to the campground the dining hall was our first iconic location we encountered. This was where we also had to sign our disclaimers and we also got ourselves a goodie bag of various Friday the 13th souvenirs. One being a thermal flask that we then could fill up with hot chocolate or coffee to take around with us on our tour.





The cabin that Alice and Steve Christy were repairing, and attaching the gutter too, was the old Trading Post. Unfortunately it no longer exists but was located in this area. A wooden fence now serves as a reminder of it's location, but proceeds from the Friday the 13th tours are helping fund to build a new one eventually.



One of the most disturbing and upsetting scenes of the whole film has to be when Alice discovers a snake in her cabin. After calling her friends to assist her with the creature, Bill runs into the cabin carrying a machete shortly followed by the others who then all attempt to flush out the snake that has crawled under a bed. When it finally emerges Bill then hacks it to pieces and it is shown writhing and dying in agony. While many may have thought that this was Tom Savini's excellent special effects, in actuality it was killed for real on screen!

Originally this scene wasn't in the script, but Savini came up with the idea after he discovered a snake in his own cabin, and because of this spontaneous idea, the scene was largely improvised. The snake (which was a harmless bull snake) was accompanied by an animal handler who was unaware of the snake's intended fate. Details are unclear about the handler's involvement, but by many accounts, he was incredibly upset by the snake's death and had to be held back by crew members after it happened. Some even say he can be heard crying off-camera following the snake's death, as he was inconsolable. In the documentary Crystal Lake Memories, the death is confirmed by Jeannine Taylor, who expressed regret over the killing a live animal, even though she did not deliver the fatal blow.



A makeshift kitchen was constructed in the corner of the cabin where shelves and a sink were added.

The pantry in which Crazy Ralph emerges from was constructed for the scene. In reality the door is an exit/entrance to the cabin. Crazy Ralph was originally called Ralphie Ratboy in an earlier draft of the script.

Tom Savini comes crashing through the window in a wig. That's right, Savini stunt doubled for Brenda and the shot in which her dead body is thrown through the window.

The glass in this window was painted to get better lighting effects within the cabin.





It would not be a slasher film without a shower scene!

The bathroom stalls within the shower house were actually fake. The production team built a partition to give the illusion of a line of stalls opposite the sinks. The partition was still here to see on our visit.



The generator shed where Bill's body was found pinned to the door with several arrows. During the scene his eye twitches continually because the eye effect that Tom Savini applied was actually burning Harry Crosby's eye and causing him excruciating pain.

The KEEP OUT sign can still be seen on the side of the building.




1972 JEEP CJ-5

After a bit of research we believe the jeep used in the movie was a 1972 CJ-5. The same vehicle was used for Steve Christy AND Pamela Voorhees. They switched plates to indicate that two separate vehicles were onscreen. Also, when Steve was seen driving the jeep the soft top was practically always down, whilst when Mrs. Voorhees was driving it was always up. What's more fascinating and pretty damn cool is that the plate used for Pamela was 973-LKM, which sounds pretty close to el-ki-um... I'll Kill 'Em.

During our tour we got the chance to see a replica of the jeep featured in the film, which has also been signed by some of the cast and crew on the rear tailgate.


The goodies we received as part of the tour, and a few additional purchases we made ourselves.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019 - NOV 13, 2020

Blairstown Diner opened it's doors back in 1949. The original lit up DINER letters as seen in the movie were removed at some point but you can see them on display at the Blairstown Museum, located at 26 Main St. The interior has been remodeled a little but is still recognizable from the film. We never had the chance to eat here on our first visit back in 2019, but of course, we had to come here to eat the morning after our flashlight tour of Crystal Lake. The food and service was very good and we were so happy to see that they had some personalized diner Friday the 13th t-shirts and hoodies for sale. And yes, we did purchase hoodies before leaving, I mean, it would have been rude not too.

On our first visit to Blairstown in 2019 there were no DINER letters on the building, but on our return a year later some have been added above the front door.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019

At the beginning of the film we see Annie walking through Blairstown. Starting out West down Main St. and crossing a bridge over Blair Creek. The bridge today looks totally different after work was done on it sometime in 2012.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019

Next, she passes the Water Works and Old Mill, walking under it's archways. This building has been there since 1889, but at the time of filming it was the town library.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019

Movie magic brings Annie back to Main St. but this time walking East instead and past Blairstown Theater (also known as Roy's Hall). Over the years the theater has put on special screenings of Friday the 13th, bringing people into the town from far and wide.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019

The illusion of Annie's walk being longer than it actually was continues with the shot cut to her walking East, in the opposite direction, back up Main St. where she then enters a luncheonette. Not only was this building not a luncheonette, the interior shot was done elsewhere (see further below). The building is now Blairstown Museum (at the time of our visit). Unfortunately when we were here it was not open so we did not have the chance to see some of the Friday the 13th memorabilia they have on display.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019

As mentioned above, this is where more movie magic was used as this store is six and a half miles South of Main St., Blairstown where Annie was seen walking along and entering the luncheonette. This store has been here since at least the 1930's. At the time of our visit it was Hope Junction Antiques. It would have been rude not to look around whilst we were there, and yes, they had some Friday the 13th trinkets for sale.



DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 6/7, 2019

The entrance to Hope Moravian Cemetery can be seen when Annie gets dropped off by Enos and continues the rest of her journey to Camp Crystal Lake. The cemetery dates back to the 1700's, with the oldest gravestone dated 1768.


We plan to grab more Friday the 13th locations from some of the other films in the series in the future and will most probably revisit Blairstown again in the near future to check out the museum. For even more photo's that we took of the locations featured above, check them out via our Facebook page.