The Flesh Eating Blog

Friday the 13th: The Consequences of Pre-Marital Sex
June 23, 2008, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , , ,


Sex and Friday the 13th has been discussed many times throughout the years, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the subject as well.

friday the 13th

It’s no secret that sex sells. These days, sex is exploited in each and every market imaginable, most notably, in the entertainment industry. But this somewhat newfound cash crop doesn’t come without conflicting arguments. Social standards may have changed with the times, but not everybody shares the same views. Many religious groups and ethical activists have boycotted plenty of films to prove just that. And of all the genres that become blacklisted as “obscene,” the horror genre is undoubtedly the most heavily criticized. Unfortunately however, many of these activists’ views are narrowed by apertures of negative stigmas and unfair generalizations. They tend to be too distracted by their convictions to look beyond the palpable overtones, see the true message that horror filmmakers are trying to tell us and to realize that some of the very films that they condemn actually support the beliefs that they so nobly stand by. For example, Friday the 13th, the story of a small group of horny teenage camp counselors being slaughtered one by one, is too often overlooked as one of the largest, and most influential anti-pre-marital sex campaigns of the 1980’s.

When one watches Friday the 13th, it is easy to forget who the real victim is amidst all of the chaos. The sad truth is that Jason Voorhees tragically drowned due to negligence caused by pre-marital sexual activities of the camp counselors who were responsible for him. Though we later find out that he miraculously survived, the result was an extreme case of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a term derived from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water, and “cephalus” meaning head. Sometimes known simply as “water in the brain,” people with this condition have an abnormal accumulation of  fluid inside the brain causing severe pressure inside the skull, enlargement of the head, and mental disability ( Therefore, lending some explanation to Jason’s future slayings, and giving us insight into the origin of his eventual homicidal behavior.

Ever since the emergence of sexually transmitted diseases, recreational sex has become a cautionary practice. As a result, many parents have used STDs as a tool to keep their children sexually abstinent in order to protect them, as well as to further impose the widely-accepted belief of saving sex for marriage. But director Sean S. Cunningham gave kids a new excuse to remain chaste. He took sexually transmitted diseases, and gave them a physical incarnation. He created something we could visualize as an enforcer of sexual abstinence, and he wastes no time by showing us this within the first few minutes of his film. In one particular scene, two unnamed counselors stray away from their peers and find a secluded cabin in which to fornicate. As the audience, we can see that they are extremely secretive about their actions, and at first glance one might think that they only seek privacy, as sex has been socially accepted as a private activity. But once an unseen assailant suddenly appears to the two young lovers, it quickly becomes apparent, due to their apologetic reaction, that they were more concerned with being reprimanded for their actions than being exposed in their most natural of states. Thus sending a subtle message of morality to the audience, revealing that they knew what they were doing was wrong, yet did it anyways. And like many sexually transmitted diseases, the end result can be fatal. Therefore these kids received their just deserts and paid the ultimate price, not only with their own lives, but with the life of the young Jason Voorhees, who supposedly drowned in Crystal Lake due to the fact that the only two people that could hear his cries for help were too busy being intimate to notice.

Hell hath no fury like a revenge seeking sociopathic mother such as Pamela Voorhees. While she may be the notorious slayer of adulterated teens, what people don’t realize is that Mrs. Voorhees is the cinematic representation of all the maternal figures of America. She has that warm, affectionate presence about her that makes seem harmless.  Both Annie and Alice, while oblivious to Mrs. Voorhees’s ulterior motives at the time, even felt a sense of safety and security when they first saw her. She has that soft, soothing voice that sings children to sleep. She carries with her a sense of trustworthiness and, most importantly, like all mothers, she is literally willing to do anything for her son’s well-being, even if it means murder.  And inside every soccer and PTA mom, every ethical activist on the picket lines, every outraged and overprotective mother, is a dormant Mrs. Voorhees just waiting to be unleashed. Like a volatile and unpredictable time bomb seconds away from a Hiroshima sized explosion, all these angry mothers in the world need in order to self-detonate is one little mishap to send them over the edge. Mix that with a subject as taboo as pre-marital sex, irrationality, a strict code of ethics, and the death of child due to the act of pre-marital sex, you have all the ingredients needed for a full-scale massacre, as well as a justifiable, and intimidating reason to remain sexually abstinent.

Today’s youth is more open about their sexuality than ever. While Friday the 13th as a film has easily withstood the test of time, remaining on of the most iconic films to date, its influence on our culture has slowly lost its impact over the years. Perhaps we’ve become jaded by the increasing amount of sex and violence both in films, and reality. Or maybe we’ve become a society more defined by self-accomplishment than moral standards. But whatever the reasons, the fact remains that its message of morality regarding sex will always exist. While some might disagree, there’s no escaping the fact that sex can just as easily destroy a life as it can create one.



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