Death Count: All of the Deaths in the Friday the 13th Film Series, Illustrated

For the previous entries, go here.

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Esteemed horror blogger Stacie Ponder has published a book featuring stick-figure illustrations of every single murder scene in the Friday the 13th franchise. Ponder’s Final Girl blog features some of the most entertaining horror criticism available online, and was a valuable resource when I was doing my own “research” on the slasher genre. Her blend of humor and insight is intact on the pages of Death Count.

Each chapter is devoted to a specific Friday the 13th film, with an intro summarizing the basic plot and characters (however loosely those terms might apply). As such, Death Count serves as a handy Cliffs Notes guide to the entire series. The graphic deaths are played for laughs, as it’s hard not to chuckle at stick figure renditions of the endless stabbings, slashings, and gougings. I read the whole book in one sitting, and since it’s been a few years since I watched all the films, I was surprised to learn how many head crushings occurred. Thanks to this book, I have a new appreciation for the word “defenestrate,” which means “to throw (someone) out of a window.”

Despite the gross humor, Ponder also empathizes with the victims. The book strives to include every character, no matter how insignificant, and efforts were made to track down each of their names. This has the effect of humanizing the fictional victims, a theme that runs through the author’s work (see her response to the great Arbogast on Film entitled The One I Might Have Saved). Illustrations depicting the few characters who managed to survive the franchise are included as a bonus.

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That wraps up this handy holiday guide to non-fiction horror. Maybe you, or someone you love, will find one of these tomes wrapped up under the Krampus tree. I’m off to hunt down some of the regional creepers, made-for-TV terrors, and musty paperback abominations that managed to slip through my clutches over the years. Hail, Santa!

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