Behind The Scenes: Claudette's Offscreen Death

The updates to the opening scene of Friday the 13th 1980 have been discussed over time with an original opening with the couple of Barry and Claudette being changed due to weather conditions as well as Claudette's death itself never fully being realized. Off-screen deaths are usually the bane of all horror fan's existense as people want to see everything that happens within a movie and not left to wonder what happened.

Actress Debra S. Hayes' (Claudette) death was originally conceived to have her neck slit open at the hands of Mrs. Voorhees. Test photos of the death scene were taken, but sadly, the death itself was never captured on film, or was it? To this day, fans have been told that Debra was never filmed in her makeup, but it would be something to see some footage!

Below are some of those test photos that were taken on set way back in 1979. The death would have been impactful if shown in its entirety and would have set an even more grisly tone for the rest of the movie!


  1. This is my most frustrating topic. I have been told and read a couple of different things. First off, when I first met Tom Savini back in 1999 or 2000, the only thing I ever wanted to ask him was about this death. So I printed a picture of the first shot here and asked him. He said, "We filmed it, but I have no idea where it is or what happened to it." Then in one of the Friday books it has him quoting that they didn't film it. Then I read in an article I believe, or maybe in one of Savini's books, that Savini wasn't on set yet, and they slid the knife along her neck and it didn't look real so they scrapped it. So, I'd love to know which it is. Savini answered my original question right to me, so I'm more inclined to believe that since it was first hand. Great topic and one that has bothered me for years!

  2. I have to agree with MrsV. This has been a sore spot for me as well, just because if the footageis out there, why not fess up and say so? Interesting that you mention, MrsV, that Savini tols you himself it was filmed. See, that's what I am talking about. It must be out there, just like the footage of the alternate Part 3 ending!

  3. Hey Joshua! Exactly! I found it interesting to read a quote from Savini saying it WASN'T filmed years after he said it was. And including the two photos posted here, there are 1 or 2 other different ones. I mean how many test shots would they take? There are 3 dream scenes for me. LOL! 1 is Claudette's death, 1 is Sandra and Jeff's full kill and 3 is the ending of part 3 you mentioned. Is that too much to ask for? Hehe...

  4. I believe they filmed this sequence. Is the footage still out there? Maybe not, but what a find for the fans if it does indeed exist!

  5. This has bugged me for years! "Crystal Lake Memories" SEEMS to indicate that the scene was never filmed, while David Grove's book "Camp Blood" SEEMS to indicate that it was filmed. Now that a 3rd photo (from a different angle) has surfaced, I think that this was indeed a scene & not just publicity stills. Also, Sean Cunningham told Fangoria magazine back in 1980 that " we shot an AWFUL LOT of the effects scenes that we ended up not using". Of course he completely contradicts this in Bracke's book by saying "there's nothing we shot that didn't end up on screen". So who knows? Maybe one day....


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