Friday the 13th, Camp Crystal Lake #1: Mother’s Day – Eric Morse

No one comes out here. Ever.

So, here we are again at Camp Crystal Lake for another fun game of Who’s Going to Survive This Massacre? The first of five Friday the 13th young adult novels, we appear to begin our killing spree somewhere after Jason Goes to Hell in the Voorhees-verse timeline, with our mate Jason safely tucked away in Hell, a great place for slasher movie villains to hang out, have a barbecue and plan their next outing.

After all, there was safety in numbers.

Our victims contestants in this Mother’s Day special are:

  • Carly – good girl, tragic background, overprotective mother, token virgin.
  • Suzanne – friend of Carly, hippie tie dye meditative type, one half of Kyleandsuzanne (one word).
  • Kyle – drives a dented Volkswagon van, hippie tie dye meditative type, other half of Kyleandsuzanne (one word).
  • Billy Boone – known for wild parties and drinking, older brother of Kelly, bad boy with a motorbike.
  • Kelly Boone – captain of the varsity basketball team, Carly’s friend since she joined the team, younger sister of token bad boy.
  • Monique – transfer student from Paris, has a talent for making guys drool, token tease / is she or isn’t she going to sleep with every guy she meets?
  • Paul Sexton – winner of the Most Appropriate Surname award, brings a different girl back to the dorm at Brown each night, tanned, athletic, no one could ever love him as much as he loves himself. The girls love him almost as much though, as evidenced by the following quote:

He was so handsome, it was hard to look at him directly. It was as if he were this bright light and you had to shield your eyes.

  • Albert – loveable nerd who appears to live his life in the friend zone, Paul’s unfortunate roommate who’s designated to the couch whenever Paul is entertaining the ladies (so always), token fat kid who is bullied for his weight (I seriously have no idea why this kid is at this weekend away when he could have been enjoying some quality alone time while he packed his stuff and changed dorm rooms).

Our contestants are so white they may glow in the dark (well, except maybe Paul who probably does glow in the dark, but from his tan instead) and they’re all hormone laden heterosexuals. So where’s the diversity? My thoughts are that everyone from the LGBTQIA community and those who don’t glow in the dark, along with every other human who doesn’t fit our stereotypical cast, were all too smart to apply to be contestants in this blood bath.

“The only time you’re safe – really safe – is when you’re dead.”

So who has a chance of surviving?

  • Carly – As the token virgin she should be a shoo-in, except she did drink some beer which lowers her chances significantly.
  • Suzanne – As one half of Kyleandsuzanne (one word) she has sex with Kyle so she’s a goner.
  • Kyle – As the other half of Kyleandsuzanne (one word) he has sex with Suzanne so he’s also toast.
  • Billy Boone – Bad Boy. Enough said. Start digging his grave now.
  • Kelly Boone – She’s at home sick so doesn’t venture anywhere near Camp Crystal Lake … until the second book which I haven’t read yet. As she appears to play the lead in the second book I guess we’ll assume she will survive this one.
  • Monique – Considering how much of a tease she is, how much she whinges and how readily the guys fall into a drooling mess at her feet, we can be fairly confident she won’t make it. However, as she’s of the ‘is she or isn’t she going to sleep with every guy she meets’ variety, there is the question of whether she’ll be having sex or not when she meets her maker.
  • Paul Sexton – Sorry, buddy. You’ve had too much sex and love yourself too much to have a hope of surviving this game.
  • Albert – If anyone other than the main character is going to survive, my bet’s on nerdy, loveable, overweight, friend zoned Albert. He’s adorable. The only thing standing in his way of survival is his ability to whinge.

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t an enemy hiding behind every tree.”

Unfortunately Jason doesn’t even get a cameo in this book but his hockey mask and its supposed power (which comes from who knows where) plays a starring role, complete with thick white worms crawling out of the eyeholes when we first see it. Our psycho killer is a hunter who makes the poor decision to hunt when it’s not hunting season (hasn’t he ever seen Bugs Bunny?) and ends up finding a soggy cardboard box that contains the head of Mrs Voorhees, who proceeds to direct him and he does as he’s told. Would you dare say “no” to Mrs Voorhees’ animated head, especially when Friday the 13th is two days before Mother’s Day?

This turned out to be one of those guilty pleasure books for me. As a young adult book from the 90’s there was kissing (but not enough to be nauseating), sex (but off the page) and violence (but not drawn out and graphic like a Saw movie). It reminded me of maybe a step up from a young adult trashy romance novel combined with what I remember of the Point Horror books I used to devour (and probably should reread as I bought a whole pile of them while doing some nostalgic op shopping a few years ago).

They had done nothing wrong, nothing to deserve this brutal horror.

That is, except for applying to be a contestant in a slasher novel. I did have a few disappointing moments while reading in addition to Jason’s no show.

  • It failed Horror 101 by having a character say, “Be right back” and then returning alive.
  • After the initial slaughter I had to wait around 100 pages for more bloodshed.
  • I can’t imagine Jason ever wanting to use a gun to kill people but our hunter does.
  • My biggest disappointment was a scene that could have easily been mistaken for having taken place in Psycho-world rather than the Voorhees-verse. I’m not specifically calling it plagiarism but if you’ve got a grown man talking to the corpse of his mother it can’t bring to mind anything other than the Bates family.

This book was never going to be a literary masterpiece but it was a lot of fun and I look forward to reading the rest of the young adult series. When I started reading I thought I’d aim to read the second book on the next Friday the 13th but because of the guilty pleasure I felt with this short, kinda trashy read (I mean that with no disrespect), I want to keep reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Billy Boone and his friends set out on a camping expedition to Crystal Lake, unaware that Jason’s mother continues her quest for revenge and that a hunter is stalking the teenagers at the camp.

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