The Pamela Deceased Date Debate

Maybe not as much of a debate back in 1984, when The Final Chapter was first released in theaters, but that headstone shot in the film that clearly shows the date of Pamela Voorhees’ demise as 1979, has got fans talking thoughout the years. As decades past, the fans have wondered what is the correct date that Mrs. Voorhees was beheaded?

The first Friday the 13th film opened on May 9th, 1980 and the subsequent scene after the opening deaths of the counselors has Annie walking through town with the titles saying Friday June 13, Present Day. Present Day would normally lead people to believe that the events unfolding in front of them would be present day, 1980. However, it is conceivable that Present Day was actually when the film was originally created in 1979.

This difference in dates has always thrown a wrench into people’s timeline of events for the franchise, but each fan has their own justification for why they have Pamela’s deseased date what they think it is. A lot of people are aware that consistency in the franchise has not always been strong, but for a series of films that has spanned eight movies in ten years and twelve in thirty years, filmmakers have done the best they can to try and keep things together.

The questions here is, what really is the correct date that Mrs. Voorhees died and what was the original intention by the filmmakers for Present Day?

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jasonsfury

26 Responses to “ The Pamela Deceased Date Debate ”

  1. It’s simple, the events “happened” in 1979 and the movie was re-telling them in the summer of 1980.

  2. I say, “The Present”=Close enough.

    Final Chapter removed any debate. 1979, that’s it. When a fact is stated like that in a film series, I consider it hard canon.

    It’s not like if I watch the movie today and read, “the present” and think they mean 6/29. It’s “back then”, then the Final Chapter stated it outright. That is more than good enough for me.

  3. Hard question to answer!!! I think I would have to go with the 1980 argument. My reasoning is similar to yours. The movie says present day and the present year was 1980 so The Final Chapter headstone is incorrect. It’s these little mistakes from the series that makes for some fun arguments because their is no right or wrong answer. Enjoy dissecting this topic.

  4. The headstone in TFC was always one of the those ”ugh?” moments for me. Its just standing there alone on the side of the road, at least if it was in a cemetary or something would make more sense. I dont really see there being a problem with the date 1979 or 1980 almost the same thing or could of been a typo. Does anybody know how old Jason is in the reboot? Because if he was a boy in 1958 and the event take place in 2009 then Jason would actually be quite old.Is it just me or is he like pushing 60?

  5. @ Kevin Murnane

    Thats exactly what I was thinkin.

  6. What if she’s not dead at all? What if the killer of part 1 was just some deranged woman who took to young Jason as her own? That’s not too far-fetched and would turn the series on its head. What if Jason’s real mother was not much of one at all and Jason looked to this woman as his mother figure? It would still set him off for the killings that follow if he had this relationship with the woman.

  7. I go by the tombstone in FC.

  8. I think they’re both wrong. 1979 was a tombstone typo. It was 1975. Part 5 takes place in July 1985 according to Tommy’s medical records as seen onscreen. Real life tombstones will often have totally wrong dates. In real life, June 13, 1975 was a Friday the 13th. There was none in 1979. There is no other data in the series that contradicts this and “present day” could mean anything.

    I think Elias ordered the tombstone in 1979 for his dead wife (or ex wife) and scribbled the dates so that the “5″ looked like a “9″ and was misinterpreted by the stone cutter.

    Also, in order to make the Paramount series take place in the 1980’s (from part 2 up until the opening scene of part 7)which would be consistent with the music, hairstyles, etc., you have to push part 1 back to the mid 70’s in order to account for Tommy and Tina Shepard growing up.

    I have a full chronology reflecting all this at http://jasonlivessince1980.blogspot.com

  9. See, that’s what I mean. There are different ways to view the date. Jason, I like your timeline, as I has mentioned a while back. It is a different take on the events.

    Everyone makes ver valid points and it is fun to see what the date really could be.

  10. The headstone is messed up. If you go by 1979 then the killings take place on a Wednesday. If you go by 1980 then the killings take place on Jason’s Birthday, Friday the 13th of June.

  11. I like to go with 1979 because that’s the “present” day/present year it was filmed. It seems accurate because the films are unto themselves like documentation of events that transpired as they happened in real time, not historically.

    Take the film “Top Gun” for example. At the beginning it says, “Indian Ocean, Present Day”… present for 1986, of course, when the film was released. Or rather, part of 1985 when it was actually being filmed? I think it’s simply a melding of the time period, give or take a year.

  12. I am going to say it is 1980 when the present day is, and that is when she was really beheaded not 1979 when the film was actually created that has no bearing on the film what so ever it is the timeline of the story and not the film being constructed. Annie walking through town when the subtitle ” present day” appears on the screen it is 1980 ( when the film was actually released to theaters) I also never understood why Pamela Voorhees’s headstone is not in a cemetary, did someone find her body? could not have considering DNA testing was not around and dental records take weeks to do and she was decapitated so no head because I am sure Jason kept it so how could they have buried Mrs. Voorhees? I had always wondered who the hell buried her in the first place? and what was the significance of showing the headstone anyway? we all knew she was dead so what was the point of showing the headstone?

  13. jedijunkie, to answer your last bit of questions…

    Being that Alice was the sole survivor, and Pamela introduced herself as Mrs. Voorhees, I would say that Alice told the authorities that it was Mrs. Voorhees who killed them and I’m assuming that it could of well been the mysterious Elias Voorhees that made the indentification of the body.

    Just my theory anyways…

  14. The Events of the original film take place on July 13th, 1979, a Friday.

    Cunningham’s movie was released on May 9th, 1980. The events portrayed in the narrative take place in early summer, which means either that “present day” refers to the previous summer (07.13.79) or a month in the future (06.13.80). While obviously more by happenstance than purpose, the first film does not cement the events in a specific year, choosing instead to use a more flexible “present day” title. It’s entirely up to the viewer to decide, but I feel that July 13th, 1979 is a more reasonable answer.

    A further piece of evidence. The film clearly shows a full moon during the climatic chase sequence. In July 1979, the moon’s cycle turned to a full face on July 9th, five days beforehand. While it’s doubtful that the moon would have been as full as it appears on screen, it probably would have still been very visible in the night sky. Not so for June of 1980, where the closest full moon peaked on the 28th.

  15. I think it was the film makers not thinking things through. They didn’t realize that the movie was going to be released in 1980 and not 1979 and cause this kind of confusion

    Also, at the time i’m sure they didn’t think the film series will be as big as it is now and as scrutinized as it is by loyal fans.

    And if you really wanna be picky about the dates, a sequel that takes place the day after the previous movie won’t still be on a friday the 13th rendering the title useless, right?

    Just my .02, doesn’t bother me as much as other details in the series.

  16. Lorne,

    the film says June 13th (part 1) not July 13th. Which was not a Friday in 1979 :)

  17. Maybe it was written in Post-Prod in 79. That’s not even an issue. My biggest issue is why Part2 3 and 4 take place over a couple days and Jason looks different. Especially when 2 and 3 had the same director….but that’s another topic!

  18. I always figured that maybe the events in part 1 took place in 1979. It says present day, but theres no year. I also noticed You dont see a grave for Elias (Jasons Father). So it proves Hes still alive and well. If You took every mistake and blooper from the FT13th franchise, You could probably write a book. Like for instance, and I know this is off subject, but at the end of part 6 where Tommy and Jason are battleing in the boat, Camp Crystal Lake surrounds the lake. But in part 7, You dont see the camp. Only Tinas house,and the house next door. And then in the beginning of part 8 You see the camp again. Something I was thinking about last night.

  19. My guess is that the movie takes place in 1979 and was released in 1980, but is showing the events from the year before, if that makes any sense. Also, the movie was released in May of 1980, which means it couldn’t possibly be June of that year, so it was obvious that it was the year before, 1979.

  20. To TheRealCorey: That’s how i pretty much look at it the same way too!

  21. I am certain that in the beginning of the remake, “1980″ is the year shown on the screen during the flashback kill of Mrs. Voorhees. That is two movies (Final Chapter and the remake) that reflect 1980 as the year she was killed. Cunningham was directly involved in both films, so I would go with 1980.

  22. Specifically, the remake says “June 13th, 1980″. It does not state it was a Friday. Perhaps, the suggestion is that Jason’s return happens on a Friday the 13th as obviously it wouldn’t fall on a Friday every year.

  23. Sorry, his birthday wouldn’t fall on a Friday every year.

  24. Again, sorry for the stupidity. I didn’t mean to reference Final Chapter, I meant the “present day” tag on the first film.

  25. One thing that should also be clear is that the gravestone in TFC was the first and for a long time only time and place in the franchise where a first name was even mentioned for any Mrs Voorhees.

    For as long as no first name had ever been mentioned at all in any subsequent sequel, we didn’t have to assume at all, that Pamela Voorhees was even identical with Mrs Voorhees in the first movie.

    I never used to. I pictured Mrs Voorhees as being called Jessica, and assumed that Pamela was her sister or sister in law and looked forward to an installment dealing with what it was that had happened in 1979 when this Pamela had died.

    This was the absolutely most logical assumption to ed, since it was so obvious that “Friday, June 13, Present day” for a movie released in 1980 when June 13 WAS a Friday, must mean Friday, June 13, 1980.

    In Jason goes to hell, Robert Campbell mentions the names Elias and Pamela Voorhees, but this was still fully possible to regard as an error by him, reading from a family tree of the Voorhees family, if Pamela was Elias’ sister her name would be beside his name.

    By the premiere of the reboot last year I introduced my timeline, as well as the timeline of the reboot and possible future sequels to it, on the Swedish site I run. I even mentioned it to Mark Swift who thought it was a very good explanation, but by then Mrs Voorhees had been specifically called Pamela in the credits in the reboot, and during the same year the “The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited” trilogy was released on the new DVD’s where the name is mentioned over and over again. So I was too late.

    But I like Lorne Dixon’s ideas about July 1979 and everything about the moon! Never even thought about July 13 being a Friday in 1979.

    The 1975 and grave stone typo seem more far fetched to me, but it DOES give a great timeline and even ties in to that bodytag in JGTH, so that IS pretty awesome, I say…

  26. It should say:

    This was the absolutely most logical assumption to ME.

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