Friday the 13th: Kevin Bacon hates one thing about his role. As far as horror films go, one of the most well-known and instantly recognizable franchises has got to be that of Friday the 13th, mostly thanks to its hockey mask-wearing killer, Jason Vorhees.
In some ways, the renowned horror film series is both a blessing and a curse to horror fans. While it provided a lengthy list of films that often got creative in the manner by which Jason did his killing, the outright ridiculousness of a killer who just wouldn’t die helped build an unfair public perception of what horror films were and are. Only in recent years do we see horror being regarded as a legitimate genre, thanks to the runaway success of films like Get Out, Midsommar, and The Invisible Man. In addition to this, horror is all too often not given its fair dues for kickstarting the careers of a wide variety of current Hollywood stars. One such star is Kevin Bacon, who took on one of his first film roles ever with 1980’s first installment in what would go on to become the Friday the 13th franchise.
And although Bacon isn’t ungrateful for a role that went on to play a big part in elevating his career, the 61-year-old actor does have one relatively minor beef with his role as Jack in Friday the 13th. Oddly enough, Bacon’s frustration doesn’t come from low pay or long hours spent working on the film. It doesn’t even come from having to work with anyone he found disagreeable. Instead, Bacon’s sole complaint about his role has to do with what fans continue to ask him to sign. In an interview with EW, Bacon explained the issue behind his association with Friday the 13th:
What I remember was that, I have sex with the girl, and then smoke a joint, which means in horror language that they’re dead. I’m lying there, and the hand comes out from underneath the bed and pins my head down, and then an arrow comes shooting out from the back, underneath the cot, through my neck and out through the front. So, they built a fake neck and chest and then it was my face. I was on my knees kind of underneath the bed with my head tilted back and this fake neck and chest. I got under the bed, and they lit it, and they applied the makeup. I mean, it was a really long time in a tortuous kind of position.
They also said, “Just know we only have one of these necks.” So, there really was no take two. There was an effects person underneath the bed that was supposed to pump the blood once the arrow went through. I’m acting — you know, I don’t know how you act, like, getting stuck with an arrow, but I just was, whatever, doing what I could — and the hose broke on the blood pump. So, that person I believe grabbed it and started blowing it with their mouth, since it was only one take. As a result, the blood has a weird kind of trajectory.
I’m always horrified by the fact that, when it comes to autograph hounds, that’s probably the number one picture that I’m asked to sign. Me, with blood coming out of my mouth and an arrow through my neck. You know, I’m a pretty easygoing guy. After a while, it just gets to you. You’re like, really, do I have to sign another picture of me dead?
On the one hand, it does sound like an annoying situation for Bacon to still be in after all these years. But of course, the other side to it is that it’s downright amazing that 40 years after taking a role that he freely admits was done to pay his rent, Bacon’s performance is still being acknowledged. This is especially true when one considers all the other characters who met their demise in Friday the 13th films over the years.
Today Bacon’s career is a highlight reel of some of the most memorable horror/thrillers of the past few decades. Without taking part in the budget blood bath that was Friday the 13th, it’s arguable that his career could have taken an entirely different trajectory. Unfortunately, despite fans now knowing the truth about Bacon’s frustration over being asked to sign photos of his Friday the 13th demise, the practice is still probably no more likely to stop. Such is the life of a celebrity.
Next: Friday The 13th Theory: Every Sequel After Part Five Is In Tommy’s Mind