It's Friday the 13th! That's an important day for those who enjoy spooky things. So now seems like a great time to look back at the original Friday the 13th movie, which spawned one of the most enduring and iconic horror franchises in history. However, one of the stars of the movie, Betsy Palmer, thought that the movie was going to be a bomb. So why'd she take on the role? Because she wanted a new car.
Betsy Palmer is a hugely important figure in the Friday the 13th franchise, as she plays Jason's mom, Pamela Voorhees, in the first movie. Who, as horror fans know, is the actual killer in that original outing. The movie went on to become a massive success, but Palmer, who was a well-regarded actress at the time, was sure no one was going to see it. Here's what she had to say about it.
"I had a Mercedes, which I had for a number of years, and it broke down on the Connecticut turnpike. So I said to myself, 'I need a new car, universe.' And I went out to go shopping for a car, and I found a little Scirocco. And I thought, 'Oh. That's what I want. I want a cool little car like this. So the phone rang and my agent said, 'How would you like to do a movie?' and I said, 'Great. That will pay for the car that I want to buy.' And he said, 'Well, now there's just one other thing I have to tell you. It's a horror film.' And I said, 'Oh no.' So the script came and I read it and said, 'What a piece of [shit]. No one is ever going to see this. It will come. And it will go. And I will have my Scirocco.'"
Jason Voorhees is what comes to mind when one thinks of Friday the 13th, but the fully formed version of Jason, hockey mask and all, didn't come to be until the third movie. So the massively successful franchise that we all know now really is built on the back of Betsy Palmer's killing spree. And she did it for a car.
Despite her feelings, the movie was a box office hit. Friday the 13th was made for less than $1 million and grossed more than $6 million on its opening weekend alone. 11 movie sequels later, the franchise is still something that fans cling tightly to. She couldn't have been more wrong.
There have been plans for an unlucky 13th movie in the Friday the 13th franchise, but the movie can't seem to get going. Recently, the movie was taken completely off of the studio's release schedule, so we won't have a new Jason Voorhees adventure to look forward to anytime soon. For now, you can revisit this clip of Betsy Palmer talking about Friday the 13th, courtesy of the fortheloveofjason YouTube channel, for yourself below.