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By JASON COMERFORD

Ah, Friday the 13th. Of all the 1980s horror franchises, the misadventures of goalie-masked mama’s boy Jason Voorhees remain arguably the most durable, with nine sequels, a spin-off with a fellow horror icon (2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason), and a 2009 remake hitting screens in the wake of the 1980 original, not to mention a short-lived TV series (Friday the 13th: The Series) and any number of novels, comics and assorted tie-ins to go with it. Friday the 13th requires little introduction to most audiences, horror enthusiasts or not; under the stewardship of co-creator Sean S. Cunningham and Paramount producer Frank Mancuso Jr., the series has become one of the most resilient in all of modern cinema.

By 1984, though, the series had taxed the energies of its core creative and production personnel, and despite steady box-office returns on the series’ typically low budgets, the decision was made to kill Jason once and for all. Series composer Harry Manfredini, a classically-trained musician who’d received his doctorate from Columbia University, took the opportunity to close the book on his inimitable “ki-ki-ma-ma” scoring and ran with it full force. Talking to Peter Bracke for the voluminous oral history of the series, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, Manfredini related:

The Final Chapter was the most fun I’ve ever had making a movie. We had a ball. It was just a riot. Craziness. There were four or five guys editing and we were trying to cut music in the house in Malibu. All the music was newly recorded. There were elements that were similar, but nothing that was just lifted and put in. It got to the point where the editors and I would be working with Frank Jr. behind us, looking over our shoulders. It was also such a panic because they were up against the MPAA, who would only screen one reel at a time. It was insane.

Scored for a small ensemble of musicians (the score for the original was recorded in a basement in New Jersey!), much of Manfredini’s music for both Friday the 13th: Part III (comin’ at ya in 3-D) and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter were actually carefully stitched together from the scores from the first two films; Manfredini’s newly-recorded material was limited to the opening and closing reels, but constituted the majority of the score (about 30 of the score’s 52 total minutes).The film’s extended climax gave Manfredini the chance to serve up a continuous musical setpiece nearly eleven minutes in length (“La Muerte de Jason”), which nimbly accompanied every jump scare, hammer blow and scream with dextrous aplomb. For the big finale, in which Jason meets his maker courtesy of a machete to the head delivered by Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman), Manfredini added eerie, wavering electronic tonalities and deeper, bassier woodwinds atop his usual array of slashing strings and shrill brass, of course foregoing any compositional resolution for the film’s predictably open ending.

Jason wasn’t dead, of course -- there were five more sequels to go, including part 6, Jason Lives, arguably the series’ high point -- and his legacy endured. Paramount’s continuing lack of interest in cultivating the fan culture that surrounded the series meant that Harry Manfredini’s original scores went unreleased for years; the music was highly sought-after by film music enthusiasts for years, until La-La-Land’s comprehensive limited-edition box set release of the first six scores (derived mostly from the films’ optical music stems) ended the long wait.

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The Moments in Question:

Click [here] to listen to a sample
of “La Muerte De Jason,” composed
by Harry Manfredini.

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... Harry Manfredini

Installment Prize:

A prize will be awarded at the
end of each week through
random drawing from the pool
of participants contributing
comments - GRAND PRIZE
DRAWING on Saturday, Nov. 3
GRAND PRIZE WINNER

What do you think?

Click here to submit a comment
for this installment.


Awesome Websites!

Harry Manfredini official website

Crystal Lake Memories (Amazon)

F13th Manfredini Box (Tarantula)

Friday the 13th score (La-La Land)

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See you in 2013

Jason Comerford Bio
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READER COMMENTS:

Howlin' Wolf
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The GRAND PRIZE drawing will be held on Saturday, November 3! You have through midnight EST on Friday, November 2 to enter the drawing for the FRIDAY THE 13TH Boxset of Harry Manfredini scores produced by La-La Land Records and SOLD OUT! - submit your comments for this entry NOW! All participants in entries 1 through 12 are automatically entered.

Update: Harry Manfredini has very graciously agreed to autograph the FRIDAY THE 13TH Boxset to the winner.

If you have not responded as a prize winner, give us a shout! We have several prize winners for Week 1 and individual prize winners for Weeks 2, 3, and 4. Visit the links for the prizes below to see if you are a winner.

Week 1 Prizes and Winners

Week 2 Prize options and Winner

Week 3 Prize options and Winner

Week 4 Prize options and Winner

Grand Prize Winner

     
Jonathan
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN everybody. That's the best way to end this great series. Friday the 13th is awesome. I love Manfredini's scores. Heck, yes, that sample of "La Muerte De Jason" gave me a chill!
     
Dino
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  Best to finish with such a great score ...and to have the big prize autographed ...pricesless. I still have it ringing in my head from the first note and the first kill from the film.

You all out did yourselves this year bringing such great music and terrifying memories. I hope you guys have a great day ...and Happy Halloween!

BRAVO!

     
Scott H.
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  Great series, excellent lineup, espcially GHOST STORY, which has really grown on me over the years. I just wish I could play more of the samples... oh well.

Hope you'll be back next year. Happy Halloween!
     
Pooter
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  Wow, those 13 Chlls were over so quick! I'll miss them cropping up. It's been like a little reminders of gems on my ipod that I haven't listened to in a while.

As for Friday the 13th, its probably the only movie score I can think of that I can replicate with sounds from my mouth and it seems fairly accurate. Great choice and amazing sounding set to win.

Fingers crossed!
     
Rusty
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  The 80's. The decade I became a fan of horror movies and movie scores in general. I still remember seeing Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter movie poster at one of the local theaters and thinking I hadn't even seen the other movies in the series. 1984 was a good year with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in April and A Nightmare on Elm Street in November. From first seeing an article in a neighbor's Fangoria magazine about the first Phantasm movie in 1979, to being able to see older horror movies rerun on TV like The Exorcist & The Omen and finally newer ones on the big screen, I've been hooked ...on the movies and their music. Box sets of horror movie series (movies & scores/soundtracks) is one of the best ways to show due respect to each series in the genre. We horror fans have had great horror movie scores released in the past and I for one am looking forward to seeing/hearing what's released in the future!
     
S. Dawg
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  Good choice for Halloween even if it is a Wednesday...! I wouldn't say the FT13 franchise is my favourite although I am fond of the TV series. That's a prize and a half you're offering.
     
Jeff
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  I can't believe it took this long for Harry's wonderful music to see the light of day. I own many crappy bootlegs that preceeded this release.

Thanks to all at 13 Chills for providing me (us) with some great music that I would have never discovered otherwise.

Perhaps, in April, when it is halfway to Halloween or the next Friday the 13th, 13 Chills can make an appearance.

Otherwise, see ya next year!
     
Howlin' Wolf
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  Congratulations to the GRAND PRIZE Winner - Pooter! A special thanks to all of the participants in 13 Chills! We hope you will be back next year for more chills.
     
Dino
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  congrats to pooter, as i show my fangs... it's a great prize and another great year... really i think you spelled dino wrong... kidding!

thanks again!

dino
     
Josh
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  Congratulations, Pooter!!!
     

Jeff
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  Congrats Pooter! Now you can sing along with your CD set. wink gif