A Salute To David Bowie: His Unusual Ties To The Friday The 13th Franchise

The Friday The 13th franchise is far reaching in its place in pop culture and there are a number of people who have become inadvertently a part of the series of films without really having any real involvement themselves. That is the case with the late singer and actor David Bowie. It was announced last night that Bowie died from a an 18 month battle with cancer and for those of us old enough to have grown up in the 1970's and 1980's, he undoubtedly helped shape our lives in one way or another. His place had already been etched in music history in the early 1980's, but his acting turns gave him equal popularity in such films as the severely underrated comedy Into The Night (1985) and the Fantasy film Labyrinth (1986). However, it is the trivia of David's ties to Friday The 13th which is quite interesting and funny at the same time.

It is more common knowledge now than even just ten years ago, but the production crew of the earlier Friday the 13th films began using alias titles for each production, and as a running joke, they would use titles of David Bowie songs to substitute for the Friday The 13th name. It started with Friday The 13th Part 3 using Crystal Japan and on Friday The 13th: A New Beginning they used Repetition.

Producer FRANK MANCUSO, JR. (From Crystal Lake Memories):
We started creating fake titles for the Friday movies around Part 3. Most of the time they were old David Bowie song titles—just innocuous enough that the unions would leave you alone. Because a union was far less likely to go out and try to bust a movie called “Crystal Japan” than they were Friday the 13th Part 3. They knew that the train went back to Paramount and they knew the Friday the 13th films were successful, so they would come at you much harder. As for “Repetition,” I just thought it was a funny joke.

It didn't stop there as Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part 6 would use another Bowie song title, Aladdin Sane, to hide from the wrath of the unions.

Director TOM MCLOUGHLIN Part 6 (From Crystal Lake Memories):
Even today, out of all of the films that I have done in my career, when people ask me which one I had the most fun on, I say Jason Lives. To escape the prying eyes of the unions, we shot it under the title “Aladdin Sane,” and we really were young and crazy.

Even Jason Takes Manhattan used one of David's titles to escape the attention of adoring fans in Canada for which the production went with the alias Ashes To Ashes. By this point, however, journalists were wise to the ways of producers of the franchise as the L.A. Times even ran a small piece questioning if Ashes To Ashes was indeed Friday The 13th Part 8. Of course, Frank Mancuso Jr.'s office shot it down.

Producer RANDOLPH CHEVELDAVE Part 8 (From Crystal Lake Memories):
There were so many titles being bandied about, and a few that were even real possible subtitles. For a long time it was “Ashes to Ashes.” Then it was called “Burial at Sea,” “Terror in Times Square” and even “The Mystery of Sour Gum Lake.” I still don’t know what that was supposed to mean!

Although David Bowie was never involved with any of the productions of films in the Friday The 13th franchise, his small ties to the series of films will always be be remembered, and his place in pop culture and how he touched so many lives will never be forgotten!
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