Why Kevin Bacon's Friday The 13th Role Still Horrifies Him To This Day
Kevin Bacon got his cinematic start being paddled to the tune of "thank you, sir, may I have another" in National Lampoon's comedy classic Animal House, but the genre a lot of his fans know him best for is horror.
Lately, Bacon's more recent horror oeuvre is getting a lot of attention. People are streaming 2016's The Darkness on Netflix so much, in fact, that the film started creeping into the service's Top Ten list. Bacon's latest horror offering, You Should Have Left, released recently to VOD and is already generating a lot of buzz, too. Point is, horror is nothing new to Bacon. Whether he's fighting graboids in Tremors, courting death in Flatliners, or turning psychotically invisible in Hollow Man, Bacon's been in the business of scaring people for decades.
However, it's Bacon's earliest — and perhaps most famous horror role — that still provides an ongoing and unusual fear to this very day.
Reliving Friday the 13th one photo at a time
While the 1970s may have been the birthplace of the American slasher — with both Leatherface and Michael Myers making their debuts in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween respectively — slashers discovered their true '80s excess with another franchise: Friday the 13th, featuring one doomed camp counselor named Jack Burrell, played by Bacon.
Before Jason Voorhees was a hockey-mask-wearing murderer, Camp Crystal Lake's counselors were terrorized by Jason's mother, Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer). And in 1980's Friday the 13th, Bacon found himself on the wrong end of an arrowhead.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bacon recounted the moment of Jack's death: "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."
Although there was a lot of work that went into creating the effect in one take — including what Bacon refers to as a "torturous position" — it's actually something else about this scene that freaks Bacon out: the autograph hounds who love asking him to sign photos of Jack's bloodied, freshly dead body.
"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," admitted Bacon. "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 doesn't sound like very much fun having to sign a picture of yourself with an arrow through your throat as you gasp your last breath of air. But on the other hand, at least the most popular photo of Bacon for autograph hounds isn't one of him getting spanked.