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SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man! SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man! SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man! SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man! SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man! SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man! SHIT, man! I mean... REALLY, man!
Saturday the 14th (1981)
AKA: Samstag der 14. - Eine irre Hollenparty! (1981) - German Title
AKA: Sabado 14 (1981) - Spain
AKA: Miercoles 14 (1981) - PANAMA!
AKA: Lauantai 14. paiva (1981) - Finland
AKA: Samstag, der 14. (1981) - Alternate German title
(Release Date: October 30, 1981)


The Silly-Ness Monsters!

J.C. Mašek III... 

The Monster Mash critic!
J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!!!

Judging from a title like Saturday the 14th, one would understandably expect some sort of a farcical spoof of the Friday the 13th franchise with any number of hockey mask jokes and Splatter parodies to beat Scream and Scary Movie franchises combined.

So prevalent is this assumption that some synopses (obviously written by those who haven't seen the film itself) confirm this very invalid fact in their assertion that this film is "Mostly" a spoof of the Jason movies.

It's not.

Look at the date.

It was just before Halloween of 1981, not quite a year and a half after the first Friday the 13th flick and less than half-a-year since Mr. Voorhees' first actual romp through Crystal Lake and somewhere around 10 months before the famous Slasher ever donned the now-famous hockey mask. That other series was barely a fledgeling itself when Saturday the 14th was made, so they wouldn't have had much spoof material to work with even if they had wanted to parody that silly series so soon anyway.

Instead, Saturday the 14th is a series of super-silly little jokes, sight gags and corny moments wrapped around an admittedly interesting and nifty plot that, unfortunately, never quite gets to where it needs to go. Saturday the 14th is a farce, all right, that primarily spoofs pastiches of classic horror movie staples, primarily inspired by the Universal Horror Classics... but changed just enough to keep the bigger companies from suing the ass out of New World Pictures! Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and The Gill Man are all parodied, along with an entire silly rogues gallery of somewhat original characters to round out (and, perhaps, overstuff) the intensely silly plot. Along the ride we also get spoofs of (or, at least, references to) Jaws, The Birds, Rosemary's Baby, The Twilight Zone and a few other more obsucre (or, perhaps, obscured) films and shows here and there!

Said intensely silly plot kicks off when a wealthy old man dies, thus opening the door for Count Waldemar (an obvious "Dracula" pastiche as played by an already-bald Jeffrey Tambor) and his sexy wife Yolanda (Nancy Lee Andrews, Ringo's ex-girlfriend in real life) to move on in and get the prized possession they have been waiting for ever since movable type was still considered a really neat and innovative thing. We're talking about a big, honkin' Book of Evil that releases the bug-eyed monsters, lizard men, orange spiders and all kinds of other scary monsters and super creeps to keep you running, running scared. The problem is that the old dude already left the house with the book in it to his goofy nephew John (Richard Benjamin).

It isn't long before John moves his family onto the house in Eerie on Elm Street (still 3 years before Freddy). Once his sharp-as-a-tack son Billy (Kevin Brando) finds the book, their happy home starts resembling something closer to a Haunted House. John's lovely 20 year old daughter Debbie (Kari Michaelsen) is visited in the bathtub by some kind of weird-ass fish man and John's wife Mary (Paula Prentiss) starts to act in strange, new, scary-ass ways to the point that the family is forced to call in an exterminator named Van Helsing (Severn Darden).

The truth about Saturday the 14th is that it can be quite endearing and fun to watch in a lot of ways. It's easy to like this silly little movie, sure, because it's mostly harmless and rather gleeful and playful in its corniness.

On the other hand, it's hard not to think that this film could and should have been a hell of a lot funnier than it is and much more than simply "cute". Director Howard R. Cohen milks every bit of silliness he can out of every frame that his screenplay (from a story by Jeff Begun) could possibly allow for. More often than not the silly monster costumes and low-budget special effects are played for laughs that only occasionally come. Logic barely plays into this farce, even and especially when the story takes on bizarre and unlikely turns.

And that's the worst crime of this film. It's just not at all consistent. Each character from the family to the monsters to the strangers who happen by change like the wind any time the plot shifts underneath them. Some characters aren't consistent from one camera angle to another, let alone a different scene. Then again, with Benjamin's snickering delivery and Tambor's over-the-top clowning for the camera, Saturday the 14th has the distinct feel of a film whose director is just daring nitpickers to goof on it. This is a farce, we're repeatedly reminded, and any and all "bad moments" are intentional... it's just not fair to criticize this movie.

Well, that's not really true at all. Saturday the 14th is intentionally funny, corny, silly and ridiculous through and through. It revels in this and it's very hard not to revel in the silliness WITH Saturday the 14th, provided you're in the right mood. However, intention is not always (or even usually) a good excuse when a film is this deeply flawed, which is why Saturday the 14th gets Two Stars out of Five. The thing is, though, for all the problems with this film, it's very, very hard not to like it for some merit or other. Saturday the 14th may be one of the most incredibly ridiculous films you'll ever see, but perhaps Saturday the 14th will also be the most ridiculous film you'll ever fall in (uncomfortable) love with. The acting is silly (Return of the Killer Tomatoes almost seems "played straight" by comparison), but it's not bad! The script is so silly that even when it is bad you want to stay tuned and the plot had a lot of potential to be better than it was. As it is, Saturday the 14th deserves its place as a cult movie... but never quite attains the rank of "classic". So until this and its super-silly follow-up flick Saturday the 14th Strikes Back get remade by anybody but Michael Fucking Bay, I'll see YOU in the next reel, monster fans!

I reviewed all the Jason Flicks and you thought the tradition had ended?
Bite your tongue...
Or let me do that for you!
This is what we call "Improvising", so click HERE for more reviews and get MORE OF THAT!

Saturday the 14th (1981)
reviewed by J.C. Mašek III
Who is solely responsible for this ridiculously silly website
And for the fact that the last time he opened up THE BOOK OF EVIL,
He was glad he bought it on Kindle...
So he could just power it down any time he wanted.
Got something to say? Write it!
You can't spell Saturday the 14th... without TURD!
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