This past weekend was my third this year spent recovering from vaccinations. The shingles jabs were worse, but this time it was a double-duty flu shot and bivalent Covid vaccine. That’s as good an excuse as any for admitting to watching Friday the 13th, Part II. In general I’m not a fan of sequels, but I’d read quite a bit about this one and I was curious because I hadn’t realized before watching the first installment years ago that Jason wasn’t the original killer. I’m also not a fan of slashers, and I know that many people who dislike horror think all horror consists of such movies. (It doesn’t.) But still, Jason is a household name as a movie monster and I was having trouble concentrating with all those vaccines swirling around inside.
Utterly predictable, there are still a few jump startles that’ll catch a first viewing off-guard. All I really knew about the film was Jason and Camp Crystal Lake and that generally teens get killed for having sex. As many critics report, this kind of horror tends to have a “conservative” outlook—“sin” is brutally punished and the girl who refrains tends to be the last survivor. That much you know just from doing your homework. So as Jason hunts down the teens and dispatches them, along with a police officer and a crazy guy, you almost get bored. There was one scene, however, that had unrecognized biblical roots. Interestingly, I haven’t found anyone pointing that out. When Jeff and Sandra go upstairs for sex, Jason takes a spear and thrusts them through, right in the act.
Analysts trace this scene to the movie Bay of Blood (which I’ve not seen), but in fact the inspiration comes from the Good Book. In a genocidal mood in Numbers 25, Yahweh tells the Israelites to kill the Midianites among them. Zimri is seen taking Cozbi into his tent, and Phinehas the priest grabs a javelin, rushes into Zimri’s tent and skewers the two of them in the act. That scene stuck with my young mind as I read through the Bible, which is probably why it immediately came to mind while watching Part II. Others may well have noticed this connection, but with the vaccine-induced lethargy I didn’t have the energy to go thumbing through my library to find it. Besides, when I read things about movies I haven’t seen, they don’t often stay with me (which is one reason I give thorough descriptions of movies when I analyze them in my books). This particular horror over, I know I don’t have to worry about the flu this year.