Horror Month – June 2015
First up, we have an interview with horror legend & star of Friday the 13th (also featured in Friday the 13th Part II)….Adrienne King! Much more to come!
“Mrs. Voorhees really slammed my head into the sand! It was a fight to the death on the beach! NO holds barred! Both of us were pretty battered & bruised after that long night”
The experiences range from joyous & fun ; the strip monopoly scene was a bloody blast to shoot.. to absolute chaos & insanity: the snake scene; we all improvised that scene; it was hysterical! & then when Sean Cunningham, our fearless leader & director, actually killed the snake! OMG!! Just horrible!!! The intensity grew as we shot the movie; most of the scenes were shot in the correct sequence! My “Machete Ballet”: Extremely intense! On a scale of 1 to 10… I’d give it a “13”!!!
One of my favourite memories was while the crew was setting up a shot for the camp counsellors playing around on the beach… I remember sketching them from up in the lifeguard’s chair looking down on Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby & Mark Nelson doing push-ups on the sand; “pumping up for the next scene”. Everyone was so happy to be there. We were all young New York actors chompin’ at the bit to be working at our craft. It was our first week at camp right after Labor Day Weekend & I was revelling in the excitement of having been chosen from hundreds & hundreds of actresses who’d auditioned for Alice all Summer long.
Finally, here I was as Alice feeling the warmth & sunshine & joy as I looked down on the cast & crew knowing in my heart that I was part of something quite extraordinary. It was one of those freeze-frame moments: I remember it like it was yesterday.
Your one of the original final girls in horror – how did you find the strenuous fight scenes in the films final scenes?
It was every bit the real combat that you see & feel while watching those final scenes. Betsy Palmer (Mrs. Voorhees) was as tough as they come & she didn’t hold anything back! She taught me very quickly to give it everything I had & NEVER EVER hold back!!
As soon as that sun set until it rose again the next morning: Betsy Palmer & I got down and dirty as directed by Sean Cunningham. Mrs. Voorhees really slammed my head into the sand! It was a fight to the death on the beach! NO holds barred! Both of us were pretty battered & bruised after that long night!
Sean Cunningham had written the entire scene down on 2 pages of steno note paper… my actions and Betsy’s & Tom Savini’s, too, for that iconic “machete ballet” as I referred to the extensive choreography that Sean mapped out for us: the way he wanted it shot by the cameras.. all the close-ups and angles.
So, after surviving that brutal all-nighter on the beach: Sean tosses his notes into the garbage can! I screamed “NO!” at him & grabbed them out! I guess that I wanted to make sure I had something tangible to prove/remind me of everything we’d just gone through… just in case this scene (or movie, for that matter) didn’t make it through post production! As an artist I felt, at least, I would create a bloody brilliant collage from the notes & continuity Polaroids I’d gathered from the set after the scenes were filmed. Remember, at this stage we were just a little independent movie that almost ran out of money before it was finished shooting the movie at camp!
Now, that’s pretty amusing, isn’t it? But, it’s all true! Thank goodness, I did!
Who knew that Sean Cunningham’s hand-written notes from that night would be such a valued piece of Friday the 13th cinema history. His coffee stains and all! And it has “13” points; a total fluke! I know you have yours, Lewis & can really see what a piece of film history this truly is… especially after all these 35 years!
I’m so pleased to be able share those notes having created the limited edition Friday the 13th Poster for the fans with Sean’s original 13 director’s notes! He encouraged me to do this as I originally created only 2: one for him & one for me;) Sean was so thrilled that he hung it up immediately! It’s the only piece of Friday the 13th art that Sean has hanging in his office or home. My “happy campers” are so thankful & tell me they like to freeze frame through the machete scene with the Director’s Notes Poster in hand; seeing the film a bit differently…. through the director’s eyes.
*limited edition poster on www.adrienneking.com
Alice Hardy is definitely a heroine and a clear match against Mrs Voorhees (legend Betsy Palmer). How would you describe your character?
Alice is quiet, introspective & artistic… she’s human. Alice is a fighter but not a warrior until the situation calls for it. Then she discovers the strength within herself to become that Survivor! She’s able to harness her fears & get her focus… not brilliantly, mind you, but she manages to pull herself together and become that warrior when pushed to the edge! Alice realizes that she wants to live! Desperately! Her survival instincts kick in & she finds that deep inner strength that gets her through the night. I believe this is why so many people relate to Alice. We never know what we’re capable of until tested.
Are you still in touch with anyone from the film?
Absolutely! I’ve appeared with Sean Cunningham, Ari Lehman, Tom Savini, Harry Manfredini, Robbie Morgan at conventions in the U.S. this past year celebrating our Friday the 13th’s 35th Anniversary! I really miss Betsy Palmer at these shows as she retired a couple of years ago. We had become good friends after reconnecting in 2004 at our first horror convention.
It’s always a party when the cast & crew get together. We have so much fun reminiscing especially when interacting with all our fans/campers during Q&A’s & panels. Friday the 13th has the most dedicated fan bases in the World! I think we should all celebrate our 35th Anniversary in the UK, too!
How did it feel being killed off at the beginning of Friday the 13th Part II (as a fan I was so angry that they killed your character?
I had a stalker before there were stalking laws. Scary times indeed. It all started within a few weeks of my Friday the 13th movie opening. I go into some detail on my website. www.adrienneking.com
No one talked about such things back then & the authorities were of very little assistance… Needless to say I became preoccupied with day-to-day living & surviving… in my real world.
So when the next script for F13 Part 2 was in the works I opted for an “open-ended” scenario. I like to think that Alice had a horrible nightmare within a terrible dream besides Alice never would’ve been caught dead in that ugly green outfit. I prefer to believe she’s still alive in the deep woods painting beautiful canvases & drinking fine Crystal Lake Wine.
The stalking experience was prolonged & nasty but that was a long time ago.
I am much stronger for the experience. It was the reason I put my on-camera career on the back burner & focused full-time on voice-overs & looping.
The wonder of it all is that I’m a survivor in real life just like my character Alice was in Friday the 13th. I think that’s why I have such a supportive die-hard global 3 generational fan-base. My screen life crosses over into my real life.
We’re all survivors in some way, aren’t we? We can all relate to having to get by & survive in this world, especially as things seem to be getting much tougher everywhere.
As far as the filming in Part 2 goes; it was done in one tortuously long night which just so happened to be the last night of shooting for the entire film! It was just before a Holiday weekend so the crew wanted to go home desperately. One of my least favourite memories has to be when the props-man forgot to check the “retractable” ice-pick before the scene and needless to say: it did not retract: “OW!!!”
When filming the original Friday did you or any of the cast/crew expect it to become one of the biggest horror franchises ever?
Never in a gazillion years!
Are you a fan of horror films yourself?
I am indeed! I love the roller-coaster ride of a good horror flick! I remember enjoying old monster movies & Chiller theatre on Saturday mornings growing up in New York! I got really freaked out by The Exorcist though! Fortunately for me I was invited into Tom Savini’s special effects studio on set at the camp while filming Friday the 13th! He is a bloody genius! To watch Tom & actually see the way he created his special effects transformed any fears I might have had into pure appreciation for his artistry! I was able to see how the “scares” were conjured up & devised. Pre-CGI days!
If you could play any role from any movie which would it be any why?
I’m hoping that role is still out there awaiting me.
My newest role is in business: the creator & purveyor of Crystal Lake Wines which has been going strong for 5 years; without one penny in advertising or marketing: strictly wonderful word-of-mouth & FaceBook.
I combined forces with Valley View Winery in Southern Oregon where my husband & I “retired” ten years ago. Of course, we’ve never been busier! www.crystallakewines.com
I have my own Crystal Lake Wine corner at the Winery where my paintings are displayed along with Friday the 13th signed bottles of Survivor’s Syrah, Cabin A Sauvignon, Midnight Merlot just to mention a few!!
My painting of “Alice in Canoe” (the original oil resides in a private art collection in London} is featured on the labels. So my Crystal Lake Wine business & my full-time art career keep me very busy … however~~ I’m always looking out for a bloody brilliant role in an upcoming movie. You never know what may pop up!
What is your favourite film of all time?
I love the WIZARD of OZ ; fantasy & a little horror with a happy ending.. ahhh~~~
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Always!! So keep checking in with my website www.adrienneking.com!! I’m very excited about the possibility of a F13th showing in London this Fall with Stuart Morriss & the Misty Moon Film Society with a display of my paintings & sculptures.
Final question – who is more scary Jason or Mrs Voorhees ..
Why Mrs. Voorhees, of course, Lewis!
Jason & I went swimming together.. in the lake and “he’s still out there…”
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