Production Crew Challenge: Friday Directors

Well, now we get to a vote that can go a lot of different ways. So many movies and stories within the franchise that were told and each director made their movie their own. Which of these directors would you like to direct the ultimate Friday the 13th movie?

cunningham3Sean Cunningham – Friday the 13th (1980)
Working with Victor Miller, he wanted to play off the success of Halloween to create a financially viable movie to pay for other projects that were in the works. He inadvertantly spearheaded what would come to be known as the slasher genre and introduce the world to the iconic Mrs. and Jason Voorhees. His first person POV was key in creating the ominous lurking presence and tension that could be felt on the screen.





steveminer3Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2 and 3)
Serving as an Associate Producer on the original Friday the 13th, Steve saw first hand the magic of the what the series’ beginnings had to offer. Part 2 was his first acting gig and really took many things from what Sean Cunningham had employed in the original. Many of his POV shots mirrored that of the first movie as well as many key shots during the climactic chase scene of Ginny. Part 3 was a daunting task for the director as multiple shots were needed to get the perfect 3D effect.



joezitoJoseph Zito (The Final Chapter)
Joseph Zito had come off the successful movie the Prowler where he also worked with Tom Savini for the special effects. Zito was sold on directing this movie with the notion of killing off Jason and Savini also salivated at the chance. What Zito did was take all of the good filmmaking parts of the first three movies; camera work, lighting, editing, character development, gory kills and created the ultimate Friday the 13th.





steinmann_headDanny Steinman (A New Beginning)
Starting in porn movies, much like Sean Cunningham, Steinman was hot off of Savage Streets, a controversial film with grit, something that Frank Mancuso wanted for the newest installment in the franchise. Although there were a number of snafoos in the editing department, A New Beginning maintained a sleazy, gritty feal that sadly was not seen again in the franchise until perhaps the reboot from 2024.




mcloughlin_headTom McLoughlin ( Jason Lives)
Tom came abord knowing that with the sixth film in the franchise that somehing different had to be done. He decided to take the movie to a more gothic toned film, harkening back to the old Universal monster movies and complete his version of Friday the 13th with a little humor to boot.




johncarlJohn Carl Buechler (The New Blood)
John wanted his Freddy vs Jason movie. His extensive background in special effects had prepared him to make such a picture. However, Paramount and New Line could never come to agreement on rights and Buechler decided he still wanted a worthy nemesis for Jason. So, telekenetic Tina was brought into the fold. That was the fun and original part. Everything else about the movie looks and feels like a carbon copy of The Final Chapter. Even a pick up shot that was needed after the editing process began used the infamous rainy tent shot from The Final Chapter.




hedden_headRob Hedden (Jason Takes Manhattan)
Rob had directed some episodes of the cult hit Friday the 13th: The Series. Once the opportunity for an eigth Friday the 13th movie showed itself, Hedden decided to take Jason out of his elements to spice up the dragging franchise. Utilizing most of the crew he worked with on the tv series and even using Fred Mollin to score the music, Jason Takes Manhattan does indeed have the look of an extended tv series production. However, it is possibly the cleanest looking movie in terms of film and audio quality of the movies up to that point.



marcusAdam Marcus (Jason Goes To Hell)
Fresh out of film school and eager to tackle a new project, Adam took an opportunity he had with his relationship with Sean Cunningham to create a newer vision of Jason Voorhees. Once New Line Cinema owned the rights to the franchise everything was set into motion and Marcus would embark on telling a story that completely departed from the formula that made Friday the 13th so famous. The result was almost an origin story of sorts with the best special effects of the franchise and the most drawn out character development as well.





ronnyheadRonny Yu (Freddy vs Jason)
Yu had a lot of success with Bride of Chucky as his visuals gave new life to a dead and buried franchise. So, when New Line decided to inject new life into two of it’s biggest franchise’s they went after Ronny to direct their big ticket item. Yu had a vision for Jason within the movie that did not match what Kane Hodder brough to the table as Jason Voorhees and the filmmaker went in a different direction for one of his title characters. Although Ronny’s visuals are awesome, his version of Jason fell short of fan’s expectations.




isaacJim Issacs (Jason X)
Jim had worked with Sean Cunninham before on the ill fated The Horror Show. Putting together a valiant effort to save that picture, Sean offered him the chance to take Jason into yet another different direction. Todd Farmer’s script for the movie was very ambitious, but the movie suffered from budget contraints and the movement in upper management at NewLine. After re-edits, sitting on the shelf for just about two years, and the movie leaking onto the Internet the movie suffered at the box office. The movie was entertainingm but uneven pacing and not being able to fully realize the original script pulled the movie down.




marcusnispelMarcus Nispel (Friday the 13th 2024)
New Line Cinema was absorbed into Warner Bros. and Platinum Dunes was in the business of making remakes of classic horror films. With the right script Jason Voorhees could be reborn for a new generation. Marcus Nispel has worked previously with Dunes on the Texas Chainsaw remake from 2024 and so Dunes felt comfortable with giving him the reigns of their new franchise. What followed was a good start to a new franchise that lacked some of the first person POV shots that made the original movies so famous, but gave an edge to Jason Voorheees that had not been seen for more than two decades.

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53 Responses to “ Production Crew Challenge: Friday Directors ”

  1. I am really torn between Steve Miner (Parts 2 and 3)and Joseph Zito (The Final Chapter)! They both had the most exciting Friday the 13th movies out of the entire series. Wow, this is a very, very, very tough decision to choose between the two, but I will have to say my vote is for STEVE MINER!

  2. Hard decision between Joseph Zito and Tom McLoughlin, but i’m goin’ with Zito.

  3. Joseph Zito FTW

  4. I don´t know if choose Sean Cunningham or Steve Miner…

    My vote goes to Cunningham!

    Regards from Spain!!!!!

  5. That is hard but i am going with STEVE MINER

  6. Mine is between zito and mcloughlin. But since part 6 is my favorite Tom Mcloughlin it is!

  7. I want to agree with John F., but I think I will go with Joe even though 3 is my favorite. I think Joe just put so much thought and care into it and really “finished off” the series right. How about that opening dolly shot from TFC!

  8. steve miner all the way…with joe zito a close second

  9. Steve Miner i loved the feel on his entries

  10. This is a real tough one as i liked all of em but am torn between Steve Miner and Joseph Zito. Miner had Baghead jason and the introduction of the hockey mask, and Zito had Ted White and Corey Feldman. I am gonna have to go with ZITO on this one.

  11. Tom McLoughlin

  12. Im going Miner. 2 and 3 are still my all time favs and to have a consistent director makes it all that better.

  13. John F I totally agree. Parts 2-4 were by far the best and most frightening of the series. The mood and lighting are just right and the kill scenes always scare the crap out of me. Too bad there isn’t a tie position. After all, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez both get directing credits for Sin City, why not Steve Miner and Joseph Zito?
    Hmmmm… I have to go with Joseph Zito on this one.

  14. Im with you all on Miner Vs Zito, 3 vs 4, but i think ill have to go Steve Miner, for directing two films, and setting the tone for Zito.

  15. Zito

  16. Steve Miner fired Warrington Gillette. Screw him. My vote is for Joseph Zito.

  17. This one is hard because I actually had to sit and weigh the pros and cons for the first three directors (Cunningham, Miner and Zito). These directors were responsible for my favorite Fridays. That being said I feel I must go with Sean S. Cunningham. He set the tone for the future movies, he established the template for the sequels to follow (sex + drugs = death), he established his characters and made you care about them and finally he gave us fans slasher gore and creative kill scenes (All thanks to the masterstroke of getting the great Tom Savini to do the effects, Genius!!!).

  18. I think Joseph Zito made the best one, but he hasn’t done anything since then that was any good. Steve Miner however, did Halloween H20, which was a really excellent entry in the Halloween series, so yeah, Steve Miner.

  19. Joseph did my favourite (and it seams a lot of other people’s) Friday entry; the Final Chapter. Damn, that is one hell of a slasher movie.

    I want to vote for him;

    …but my vote goes to Steve Miner.

    Joseph’s my second vote though.

  20. I vote for Zito.

  21. Does the Walmart mans vote count here?

  22. “Does the Walmart mans vote count here?”


  23. Steve Miner….his friday 2 & 3 kicked ass!!!! although his Halloween H20 sucked and so did his Day of the Dead…..OLD STEVE MINER!!!! lol

  24. Wow thats a tough one. Alot of good directors there. The best 3 directors are Cunningham, Miner, and Zito. But since I can only pick one, Im going to go with Sean Cunningham. He started the whole thing, and opened the door for many sequals. And of course inspired the remake. You got to pay respect to the man, He made that movie on a very low budget..and had the king of FX Tom Savini.

  25. Tom McLoughlin for sure. Part 6 is tied with Part 4 as my favorite in the series. Joseph Zito is a close second, but I just loved everything about Part 6. It had humor and it was scary. After reading some interviews with Tom, he really seemed like a Director that knew what he wanted to do and did it well. He was even held back some by the studios.

    Steve Miner is a horrible director. Case in point, the remake to Day of the Dead.

  26. Going to go with Steve Miner because part 3 is my favorite entry in the series.

  27. steve miner

  28. Steve Miner, hands down! He managed to give pt. 2 the same feel, while giving it a slightly faster and more aggressive pace. And Part 3, was just my flat out favorite. It also had the scariest Jason of them all. Miner really knows what it takes to make a good F13 film!

  29. Steve Miner

  30. Gotta go Zito!

    But my close second was “Steinman”!!

    .. Yeah HIM! Cause if you took that movie and recut it with a different head at the end it would have gotten no complaints. Hell I bet it would have been praised having the great kills it had.

    You know deep inside you love five ;)


  31. Joseph Zito gets my vote as director

  32. I’m going Steve Miner. Zito did a bang-up job on part IV, but Miner did II & III which seals the deal for me.

  33. I know he isnt going to win….but I am going with Sean Cunningham…..without him, this question, this website, the above mentioned directors(some of them anyway),these movies and millions upon millions of people would have never related the name Jason to a serial killer.

  34. Steve Miner

  35. Steve Miner

  36. zito

  37. Joseph Zito Hands down love Part 4

  38. No love for John Carl Buechler? He always seemed to be the director that went to bat for the fans against the MPAA. So my vote would be between Joseph Zito or Buechler.

  39. Oh no there is love for him! John Carl Gets my vote. His attention to detail was amazing and i thought he did a really great job at creating atmosphere (or atleast keeping the same atmosphere as Zito created. So my vote is for John Carl!!!!

  40. Vinnie D, we’re suppose to pick which director we like what they did on F13th. Not what they have done with other movies lately. Sure Miner suck recently with that crappy Day of the Dead remake, but you can’t deny he done a great job with F13th 2 & 3.

    I like Miner, but I think I’m going with Zito on this. His film was very brutal & quite the darkest film in the franchise IMHO.

  41. Joseph Zito. Enough said.

  42. this is a hard choice. Of course there are only a few in mind, but from there lies the problem for me. Hedden is definately out because he ruined what could have been a good “Pt. 8″, Yu also out b/c he seemed to like Freddy more. With that, I’d either choose Sean Cunningham, Joe Zito, or McLoughlin since Sean birthed the idea, Zito tried to finish it in an exellent way, and Tom brought JV back in a mean and undestructable way. How about just having ALL 3 on it together?

  43. Gotta go with Steve Miner for this one. Part Two and Three are my two favorite entries in the series….not to mention I’m a big fan of the moive “House” :D

  44. JJ,

    I am a changed man on account of being banned from the website for most December. I want to contribute to this challenge because I have a lot of passion and interest in the creative direction that this series takes from film to film. Joseph Zito did an excellent job on The Final Chapter imo and I just had to put that point out there. I hope jasonsfury counts my vote.

  45. Tom Mcloughlin. my favorite film

  46. I have thought about it some more today and I have to say Joe Zito. I watched Final Chapter earlier (for the millionth time), and had to decide. Joe Zito-final answer!

  47. Torn between Tom McLoughlin and Joe Zito. I think Jason Lives was a better social commentary, and probably a better movie, but Part 4 is the only film in the franchise that still creeps me out after 20 years and probably 200 viewings. Give it up for Joe! I didn’t read the whole list, did anyone actually vote for Rob Hedden?

  48. “did anyone actually vote for Rob Hedden?”

    Not yet. C’mon, someone out there knows they want to vote him. ;)

  49. This is tough, going to have to go with Joseph Zito.

  50. I will throw in my vote. I will have to go with Tom McLoughlin. The movie just looks beautiful. Not to take anything away from the likes of Sean, Steve and Joe Zito as they set the benchmark, but I just think that when you watch Jason Lives, it looks like a bigger production, with really cool angles.

    I do like the opening crane shots in the tracking in on the Diner in Part 3 and in the showing of the aftermath in the beginning of Part 4. However, Jason Lives has always been an overall more appealing movie to watch.

  51. Man I hate Ronnie Yu. I’d like to pound that guy. I haven’t forgot Pearl Harbor either! In my opinion, J v F was the second round of that attack!

    Anyway, Marcus is fine with me. Miner is fine with me. Cunningham is ok with me, except I hate to think he’d sell his soul for a movie deal (I would too after deepstar 6). But in all fairness, I do love Sean.

  52. Steve Miner 1st…

    Tom McLoughlin is very close 2nd.

  53. Me quedo con Zito, pelicula muy bien hecha, las muertes espectaculares, inclusive la muerte de Jason fue sensacional.
    En segundo lugar lo pongo a McLoughlin, el de dio un giro a la saga, primero haciendolo resucitar en el cementario, grandes efectos y posteriormente a partir de la 6ta. parte le hizo a Jason inmortal.

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