'Crystal Lake' returns — on wine bottle
Star of 'Friday the 13th' unveils it in Applegate tonight
The original Final Girl pulled a mauled and blood-caked hockey mask from an old box Thursday and proudly displayed it in Valley View Winery's otherwise cheery tasting room.
Scrawled across the relic is the signature of every actor who donned the iconic mask in the "Friday the 13th" film series.
Adrienne King, the star of the first cult classic, placed the mask beside her artwork, which features eerie snapshots of her character just before a young Jason Voorhees tears out of Crystal Lake and drags her under the surface during the film's final sequence.
"You'd think I'd have this mask under protective glass," she said while pointing out the names of the various actors who portrayed the maniacal killer over the years. "God, these guys are great."
After 11 sequels — give or take a remake or two — and countless television and comic book tie-ins, you'd think there was nothing new to add to the "Friday the 13th" mythos.
Yet, the horror of Crystal Lake has returned once again — on a bottle of high-end wine.
"This combines all my passions," King said. "My acting, my artwork and wine."
King is promoting Crystal Lake wine, named after the spot where Jason slaughtered armies of sex-obsessed teenagers for three decades.
Valley View Winery will host a showing of the original "Friday the 13th" tonight — which just so happens to be Friday the 13th — to celebrate the new vintage and the 30th anniversary of the film's release. A showing of the slasher classic will accompany a fan meet-and-greet with King. The proceeds will benefit Applegate Valley Fire District 9.
King played Alice in the first film, the heroine who uses her wits and toughness to turn the tables on Mrs. Voorhees, who picks off Crystal Lake campers in retribution for her son's death at the lake years before.
King dealt the final blow to Mrs. Voorhees with a machete, which became one of horror's most celebrated beheadings. The coup de grace was preceded by a knock-down, drag-out brawl between King and actress Betsy Palmer.
"I just remember us going at it," King said. "She was really driving my head in the sand at one point. That wasn't fake blood in the end, it was real."
The 1980 film was shot on a chump-change budget and went on to become one of the most profitable movies in history.
At the time the crew, which included a young Kevin Bacon, had no clue they were creating film archetypes still relevant today.
"We didn't have the terms 'slasher film' and 'Final Girl' back then," King said. "We were creating something new."
King appeared briefly in the sequel and then shied away from acting for decades after a terrifying brush with a stalker in the 1980s. She recently starred in a sci-fi/horror film "Walking Distance" which won praise at the Dallas International Film Festival.
"I thought I was retired, but the fans resurrected me from the dead," she said.
Recently, she has popped up at horror conventions across the country. She found Alice is very much in demand with three generations of "Friday the 13th" fans.
"I get poignant letters from fans who say Alice helped them deal with tragic things in their lives," King said. "At conventions they sometimes will talk to me at length about how the character helped them conquer their fear."
King credit's Alice's everyday girl looks and demeanor for her popularity.
"She wasn't the sexy one, she wasn't the pretty one," King said. "Those characters died, but it was Alice who found a way to survive. She's a little off-center and I think a lot of people see themselves in her."
King and her husband escaped Los Angeles for the Rogue Valley in July 2005. At the time King wanted to focus on her artwork, but eventually took a job in Valley View Winery's tasting room.
She lives in the Applegate close to fellow cult film hero Bruce Campbell.
"I love going to the conventions, but I find it hard to leave the Rogue Valley," she said. "We love it here."
Crystal Lake wine sells for $20 a bottle and includes a personalized autograph with each bottle.
Valley View Winery co-owner Michael Wisnovsky said the business has been besieged by calls from fans around the world.
"These are people who normally wouldn't know about our wine," Wisnovsky said. "We have had people call back to ask for additional bottles because they are surprised that it's actually good wine."
Spooky Empire's Ultimate Horror Weekend, which is Florida's largest horror convention, had adopted Crystal Lake wine as it's official vintage during its October event.
"The wine is only going to get more popular," King said. "Just like these movies."