Kevin Bacon Reveals What Horrifies Him Most About Starring in Friday the 13th

frday the 13th kevin bacon 1980
(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Like many actors, Kevin Bacon's first big break came by starring in a horror movie and, like many other actors, he never survived the events of that big break, having met his gruesome demise in the original Friday the 13th, with the actor recently detailing how unsettling it is to have fans spend the past 40 years asking him to sign photos of his character's violent death. Bacon still has admiration for the genre and his contributions to it, but having to regularly be confronted with an image of himself with an arrow through his neck, covered in blood, has left the actor horrified.

"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," Bacon shared with Entertainment Weekly. "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?"

That film was one of the many slashers that was fast-tracked into production following the success of Halloween in 1978, with Bacon only getting involved because he was desperate for the job.

"Some of the movies that I've been in were very specifically by choice. Friday the 13th, that’s just because I needed to pay the rent, really," the actor joked. "It ended up exploding. I don’t know how many they made."

The actor went on to recall what the process was like of crafting such a compelling death scene.

"Tom Savini, I guess that’s probably the movie that put him on the map," Bacon confessed. "What I remember was that, I have sex with the girl, and then smoke a joint, which means in horror language that they're dead. 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. So, they built a fake neck and chest and then it was my face. I was on my knees kind of underneath the bed with my head tilted back and this fake neck and chest. I got under the bed, and they lit it, and they applied the makeup. I mean, it was a really long time in a tortuous kind of position."

He added, "They also said, "Just know we only have one of these necks." So, there really was no take two. There was an effects person underneath the bed that was supposed to pump the blood once the arrow went through. I’m acting — you know, I don’t know how you act, like, getting stuck with an arrow, but I just was, whatever, doing what I could — and the hose broke on the blood pump. So, that person I believe grabbed it and started blowing it with their mouth, since it was only one take. As a result, the blood has a weird kind of trajectory."

To say the film was a success would be a bit of an understatement, as the '80s saw a total of eight Friday the 13th movies land in theaters, cementing the hockey mask-wearing Jason Voorhees as one of the most famous figures in the horror genre. The last film to hit theaters was a remake back in 2009, with a rights dispute between the original writer and director stagnating the franchise indefinitely.

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