Written by / 6/01/2015 / No comments / , , , ,

BALLET OF THE MACHETE: 'FRIDAY THE 13TH' STAR ADRIENNE KING

Adrienne King Interview
“That’s the moment in the whole movie,” the first FRIDAY THE 13TH sole survivor, Adrienne King, shared in a 2010 Cult Film Freak interview about Betsy Palmer’s classic performance as Jason’s mother, the killer to get the horror franchise rolling. “When she goes from that normal person, standing in the doorway… Right then is when everything in Alice’s, or my demeanor, goes from Thank You God to Oh Shit! And she gave that to me,” Adrienne recalled of Betsy, who passed away on May 29th, 2015. “That was her. That was all total reaction to what she was giving me.”

Adrienne King & Betsy Palmer
And Betsy Palmer gave horror fanatics all something in that legendary scrap between Adrienne King’s Alice Hardy verses the mother of Jason Voorhees, who is even mentioned during that spooky phone call in SCREAM – an integral moment in pop culture trivia as Betsy, who appeared in many films before and after, was the raging catapult of an immense slasher franchise that spawned a handful of sequels, a remake, and countless imitations.

And here Adrienne King goes blow by blow on the famous scene with Betsy Palmer in Sean S. Cunningham’s 1980 horror classic, FRIDAY THE 13TH…

Go Ahead, Make My Day
What did you feel as you prepared for the final scene with Jason’s mother?

That she was going to beat the shit out of me… And that… We knew this going in… Sean wrote down these notes and we basically, it was like… It was choreographed, almost like… I call it “The Ballet of the Machete.” Because we walked through it many, many, many times while it was still getting dark…

We didn’t get the Fever Pitch going until probably about 2 a.m. when we revved up to those scenes and then… She, once we started shooting… It was just no holding back, and everything you see in there, that face going into the sand – she was pounding me!

Move back, Oar Else!
And when that oar broke… That oar broke in half… That was a total, again, without being scripted, it just happened and I saw that, I guess, at that moment, just to go with it… And it worked… It worked really well…

She was lucky she didn’t get impaled with it, you know… Because that was, basically, even though we had the choreography, again… Sean was all about following his actors with the camera, not the actor’s staging for the camera…

Bullied at the Beach
When we got tied-in for the close-up of the beheading, then obviously that’s when Tom Savini stepped in and put the fake head on his shoulders and all that. But, up until then it was going at it for real… And that’s, you know, I don’t think people really do that anymore.

You know, Betsy, I used to always say… It was like; I compare it to playing tennis with a better player… She was consummate in her craft and she gave me everything she had, and she pulled my game up all the way, you know?

And we watched it together for the first time… A couple of years ago in Chicago… They had an old… at the old Music Box Theater… They had renovated the beautiful theater in Chicago…

They had a midnight screening and then, Betsy and I were just blown away... Because we’d never watched it together. And we sat in the back of the theater with a writer friend of ours… And the whole audience was packed and there were still screams, and they still jumped and it was just... It was a cool thing. And Betsy tapped me on the leg, and she said, “Honey, it still holds up.”
Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer in the original FRIDAY THE 13TH
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