Prince Charles Cinema Friday The 13th Marathon Review

This past Friday The 13th, The Prince Charles Cinema in London, England hosted an epic marathon of the Paramount 8, which is the first eight Friday The 13th films in the franchise. Most of the films were screened in their original 35MM film glory and fan Dave Hastings attended the event and has written up a spectacular review of the entire night's festivities as well as provided us with images from within the screening.

Read Dave's account of the night below as well as check out the images from the historic showing at one of the coolest theaters in the world!

A Proper Bucket List Request Ticked Off 
By Dave Hastings

So, there we were, in Leicester Square, in the middle of London, the great capitol of the UK, and it was also a Friday. However, unlike any other average Friday afternoons, with people dashing home after work to party for the weekend, it was the 13th, that superstitious of all days shrouded in the realm of getting stuck with bad luck!

However there was no such bad luck at all for myself and friends, both old and new, who had met in London to spend the night at the Prince Charles Cinema, who had announced back in January that they were to screen a huge marathon of the first eight Friday The 13th films (the Paramount lot Ed’). I remember first seeing this advertisement on their website and being immediately excited! I mean, this was completely unknown in the UK. Through my American friends on Facebook, I have always heard of special one off screenings of some of our favourite ‘old school’ franchises around that country during the year and being very jealous, so the fact that something like this was happening in the UK…at long last…was just something I couldn’t pass up and was a dream come true for any fan. I mean, this was the ultimate chance to celebrate some of our favourite Friday films on the big screen! Surrounded by hundreds of other fans equally eager to see this happen!

We all settled into our seats at around 6.00pm, and the atmosphere was electric, people were laughing, excited, there was a huge buzz in the air. We also had (twitter) @horrorholic76 dressed up as Jason (of the Freddy vs Jason variation), which thrilled people more, and meant fans were having pictures taken with him, and such. Just before 6.30pm the owners of the cinema arrived on stage just to welcome us all and to encourage us to have as much fun as possible. Then it happened! The infamous Paramount logo appeared and the words, ‘Camp Crystal Lake, 1957’ appeared on screen. This was going to be a very welcoming long night indeed! What I’ll do is try and highlight each film and details from each!

Friday The 13th: 18.30pm
I very welcoming start, with fans whooping the air when Crazy Ralph appeared, which consisted of a round of applause every time the words “you’re all doomed” was uttered! A truly wonderful response! As well as this, his natural bike riding abilities also caught us in giggles too! Its amazing also just how long you realise Alice is making that coffee towards the end, literary 2 minutes of the film is following her around as one is being made! Incredible! The print itself seemed to be perhaps a Blu Ray projection, as the image was crisp and sharp! Detail was amazing, and you actually end up noticing stuff you’d missed (which is a shock to any hardcore fan!). With the climax coming, people were clamouring for Mrs Voorhees, and the whole place erupted in a standing ovation when she lost her head (and her hairy hands appeared to boot!).

During a brief interlude at the finish, the staff came back on stage and had asked during the screening via twitter what would be the best comment for us all shout out in a photo opportunity of us all in the theatre, to which the nominated answer had been “F**K Remakes”, which we all roared with delight as the picture was taken! Then the theatre fell silent again…

Friday The 13th Pt2: 20.27pm
People regained their seats quickly as the film began. The noticeable first item was the print, which seemed to be an original 35mm one, as scratches were evident. Now to anyone else, this may have been a problem, but for us all, it was a wonderful sight, to view Part 2 in an original manner. Again throughout, good ole’ Crazy Ralph received rounds of applause, and Jason got his first ever “booooo” from us all when he took the legendary doomsayer out! A friend of mine (Scarecrow from the Hellbound web), also noted how much this film is superior over the original in terms of how much more energy the cast in this part have. Interesting point. Muffin also got a round of applause too! The minx!

Friday The 13th Part 3: 22:00pm
Presented in 2D rather than 3D, the third chapter opened to a rather humorous display of us all in the audience clapping and getting all funky over Manfredini’s hip theme and score. By no means was this an act of mockery I assure you all by the way, just a gentle and celebratory way of appreciation by us fans. The 2D element also provided laughs, as everyone was pretending to duck at the effects, and react in gasps and shocks to faux 3D (a notable instance was the ever continuing yo-yo!). As Scarecrow has commented on since Never has so much physical sarcasm been manifested’. As well as this, and since the audience were still in mourning over Ralph, everyone began to highlight the next few foreshadowers of doom. Abel, in this instance got applause. The bikers were cheered on for their trendy acts of rebellion, and the first shot of Jason with the hockey mask brought the house down, encouraged on by cheers and high fives! A magical moment! The print again, was also an original, and with some scratches was thus met, with enthusiasm and glee by all! A credit to the cinema for going the extra mile to do this!

Friday The 13th The Final Chapter: 23:45pm
As the witching hour was approaching, it was only natural that the Final Chapter was to begin, which picks up straight after part 3, at night, perhaps around the same time as we were starting to view it, some of us mused. Both Corey Feldmen and Crispin Glover had cheers of encouragement as their names burst on screen during the opening credits! Bonnie Hellman as the hitchhiker brought about the laughs with her “F**K You!” response to “hey hunny you got a sister! Ruff Ruff!!” A very endeared moment to the fans it seems! Jason’s actions were continually (as with the other films), being cheered on as the death count became higher and higher! At this point, its probably only fair to mention how us, as an audience were feeling, since we were pretty much now 7 hours into this marathon, and were only at the half way point. Red Bull cans were doing well, with nearly everything downing some around us, as well as us doing the same, and drinking water! Even though people were getting tired, everyone was committed to making it through! This was such a unique event, and no matter what, we were going to see it through! The print again was an original, seemingly more in common with a hi-end VHS image this time.

Friday The 13th Part 5: 01.26am
The one film from the whole night that got the most laughs! Most notably from Ethel (“You big dildo!” got a roaring response of laughter!), who became one of the marathons most memorable highlights throughout the remainder of the night! “Hey Baby”, also started a succession of amateurish singing imitators in the audience throughout the remainder of the film at the most inappropriate moments, yet with precise comical timing for maximum effect. Roy’s “You talking to me Sheriff” also gave people the giggles with its random delivery. The kills all got people in a twist and Reggie also had his fair share of fans! A great thrill ride with everyone.

Friday The 13th Part 6: 03:08am
After a dash to the loo (c’mon, it had been nearly 9 hours at this point!), Jason Lives arrived, and its dark gothic imagery lashed with joyous amounts of black comedy came at the right moment for us all, almost like an injection, as if we had all been jolted back to life by that electricity like Jason. Everyone enjoyed this entry, with us all singing along with Alice Cooper! Martin the graveyard keeper, also helped us all with our continued mourning for Ralph! His presence kept us all happy. The audience got a real buzz out of this entry, and the Cort/camper van sex scenes seemed to be a real highlight for some at the back who were admiring the show! The print again, this time seemed like another 35mm, was also welcomed happily.

Friday The 13th Part 7: 04.45am
At this point we were all gasping for that last bit of red bull out of our cans, and splashing our faces with water, as the tiredness was starting to kick in! However, the audience were all still determined to see this through, and this was made ever more evident by the huge cheer Kane Hodder’s name got on the opening credits! As well as this, the sleeping bag death got the biggest cheers of the whole night, while Doctor Crews was continually booed and told to go back to Weekend At Bernie’s comically! Another audience favourite, the film glossed along with so much admiration from the theatre, and everyone was in a buzz over it. This time I believe a DVD copy may have been used, but nevertheless, was a big hit with all.

Friday The 13th Part 8: 06:23am
At this point, I’m sure a new day was starting to gear up and the city was coming to life again, however, since I’d not seen any of the outside world since 6pm the night before, I had not considered it, strangely. And with this, we all sat down for the final hurdle….the film we knew would allow us all to leave after with our geekiness intact and dignified still. With Jason coming back to life, everyone watched in awe (while some in the audience had nodded off a little, unable to prevent sleep any longer bless), as the Lazarus came and sank, and junkies along with the 1980s equivalent of Chav’s were knocked or scared off by Mr Voorhees.

As the NY sequences occurred and the toxic waste came to take Jason away into the night, we all sat there in silence almost. The end of an era. Even though we were all knackered, our eyes bloodshot and limited body movements mimicking those of a zombie apocalypse, we’d done it! There was a sense of accomplishment and fans all shook hands, and chatted, albeit a bit more subdued than earlier in the night. But it was amazing. All fans, from different locations around the UK, had come together to celebrate these films, films with which we had all grown up on, and which have spawned constant debate/discussion and passion.
We staggered out around 8.10am, and while the sunlight burned through our retinas (im sure one person started turning to dust!), everyone was in a good mood. It was actually quite sad to see everyone go their separate ways (although all to the same destination…BED). But the whole night had been wonderful, throughout each interval, we’d all met new friends as well as hung out with present ones, chatted, exchanged facebook/twitter names, so that we could all keep in touch! Grindhouse trailers had also been played throughout each interval which kept up the energy and provided many laughs.

The Morning After
It must have been such a surprising image to outsiders, as horror fans are usually seen as weird, unsociable types, whereas this presentation couldn’t have been further from that. This event, which was made only possible by the Prince Charles Cinema and its wonderful staff (PS- thank you for letting me charge my mobile up too behind the bar!), was not only a chance to watch our favourite films on the big screen! But a chance to come together and make new friends, discuss, celebrate and endorse the horror community as a truly remarkable arena.

For me, personally, it was a dream come true! A proper bucket list request ticked off, and a night I seriously will not forget ever! Thank you Prince Charles Cinema and its staff, and hello to all the awesome people there I met! Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

The Prince Charles Cinema is located in Leicester Square, London. Further details can be found on their website at

Dave Hastings

The Staff Of The PCC

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