For the first time ever, every single film of the Friday the 13th series is available together in a set. Warner Bros has released an impressive 10 disc set spanning twelve films. Where they could have just pumped these films out cheaply and easy, they’ve actually taken some care. Not only is every film fully remastered in HD and looking as sharp as they ever have, almost every bit of bonus content is ported over from previous releases. I think all they missed was a commentary or two. But, if you cared much about it, you’ve probably already listened to it and how often do you go back and listen to a commentary again? This box set is a massive undertaking, so we’ll get to praises and flubs that come along with it. For however long it takes you to read this, I’m about to take you on a journey through this entire set in one reading. I’m not gonna slum it and just do a summary of the set as a whole. No, I’m taking you film by film, disc by disc. I’m covering it all. Bookmark my review; it may take you more than a sitting to read. And for those who do embark on the entire journey with me, you have my biggest thanks in advance.
I’m a pretty big fan of this series. Friday the 13th was my gateway drug into the world of horror. It unlocked a whole new world the day I broke my parents’ barrier on not letting me watch stuff like this. Also, I had that damned NES video adaptation that was hard as hell and creeped me out if I played it late at night. The horror movies were always the most attractive titles to me at the video store. They always had cool cardboard stand ups, boxes and sequels sequels sequels. I wanted to know all about these elongated narratives. I didn’t know about “cashing in” and such as a kid. I thought this was the story as always intended. And I consider myself lucky having been able to watch these series with those innocent eyes.
I broke the ground when I first caught them on TV. If anyone remembers USA Up All Night (with Rhonda Shear or Gilbert Gottfried) used to marathon them over a weekend. I remember catching it when it was all leading up to the television premiere of Jason Takes Manhattan. I taped them all. They used to show all of them except The Final Chapter and Jason Lives (no idea why these two weren’t on at the time, I chalked it up to the boobs or gore being to excessive and difficult to hide back then). Even if it was on TV, I used to get all tensed up during the final girl chase sequences and jump whenever Jason popped up. Watching slasher movies was an adrenaline rush and experience I just couldn’t get enough of. And it all started with the Friday the 13th movies.
I’ve owned all these things multiple times since the days of VHS. And I’ll continue to dip on them every time there’s a new format. There’s a joy I continue to have with these and always enjoy showing uninitiated youngster them for the first time. These films hold a little bit more meaning than their surface value to me as well as I tell people that my film passion and knowledge was raised by Jason, Freddy and Michael. Through those series and films I learned a lot about production, people, effects and studios. And now finally all films by those three icons are on Blu-ray! And this excites me. Jason, you were last, but I think you made out best of all.
In advance, I’m going to let you know my film scores are going to be different than normal. Since this is a release rooted in deep fandom, I’m going to score the films relative to the series. So, the scores here aren’t reflective of Friday The 13th Part 2 in comparison to 2001: A Space Odyssey here, its in terms of it as a slasher and to the series of Friday the 13th.
Let’s get to this Blu-ray…but first, as I promised Brian…HERE’S THE UNBOXING! Apologies for the shitty iPhone selfies to start this
Here, I must say farewell to my old faithful, From Crystal Lake To Manhattan DVD set!
Frustratingly, you’re going to need to hang on to this one still (I’ll get into that later)
And here you are, you beautiful gorgeous Blu-ray tin, you!
The set comes with a mini version of Crystal Lake Memories featuring excerpts about each film. Also included are a pair of 3D glasses, a Camp Crystal Lake merit badge patch and a band to keep it all together. As we go through the pages of the book, I’ll stop and review each movie/disc we break down. Here we go!
Friday The 13th Uncut (1980)
21 years following the brutal slaying of two camp counselors, Steve Christie is reopening Camp Crystal Lake. It’s a summer camp that has been dubbed “Camp Blood” due to those murders and bad happenstances like the water being poisoned. The townsfolk are uneasy about it, but Christie is pushing ahead anyway. The week before camp is to open, the counselors come to help set up and train before the children arrive. The “death curse” lives up to its name as one by one, the counselors are unassumingly and savagely murdered. And the person behind the grizzly events plaguing the camp for years will finally be revealed.
If Halloween was the film that provided the blueprint for the slasher film, Friday the 13th is the one that helped it to explode. Sean Cunningham intended to knock off John Carpenter’s masterpiece as cheaply as possible to make the fastest buck he could. Little did he know is he would set a trend and open the gates for many to follow. While this knock off is nowhere near the craft of Halloween, the majority of the knockoffs were no Friday the 13th. And to its credit, the film is its own thing as well. Through its cheapness it was forced to become inventive, developing what would become state of the art gore effects and atmospheric settings. And all of it came because they were being cheap and had to be inventive.
The film takes Halloween’s slasher blueprint and infuses it into an Agatha Christie (is Steve a homage?) Ten Little Indians murder mystery. Unfortunately, the film’s whodunit winds up being one of the greatest cheats in film history, but I don’t think it takes much away from the enjoyment of the climax. Retroactively, Friday the 13th’s final reveal is an unintended shocker for the eye of the first time viewer. Pop culture has made it well known that Jason Voorhees is the killer in the series. However, and for me, when I first watched the original, it came as a shock that when the hand/POV’s owner was that of Jason’s mother! So, really, though not intended, the end is kind of a twist.
Tom Savini’s gore and makeup featured in the film is quite good and I think most of it still holds up. Unfortunately, in this set is the unrated cut of the film. The only difference is an additional angle shown during Kevin Bacon’s death. The angle stinks as its very revealing at how the impressive arrow through the neck effect is done. It looks super fake. The rest of the deaths and effects prove to still be just as fun. I still like the color of the blood they use.
The original Friday The 13th isn’t the best of the series. This formula would end up being done, to varying degrees, better by others. However, it still lands as one of the high marks of the series. Some of it may be a little campier and silly to us nowadays, but it still has its charm and still works. At the right impressionable age, this film could still manage to pull of the nail-biting suspense and fear we, too once had watching it in our youth.
This is the same transfer as the 2009 release. If you’ve not seen that, then you’re in for a real treat. The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoding takes something you’ve seen over and over for many years and makes it feel fresh again. It makes Friday the 13th feel like you’ve never seen it before. The colors are more bold than they ever been. The image is sharper and crisper. Crazy Ralph’s stubble is ever-present on his face as his lugs around on his Huffy warning of the Camp Blood’s death curse. Patterns on clothing are now actually visible. The only downside to this clarity is that this is the unrated cut which, as I mentioned before, features an extra angle on Kevin Bacon’s death that makes its look totally fake.
The campfire sing-a-longs ring fine in this English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track. At times this track is quite impressive. But at some points it’s just kind of standard. There are some great moments where the score kicks in with a loud bump to try and jostle you in your seat. The ambient sounds also are a pretty loud and discernable in this mix as well. They are almost at times a little too loud. The best news of all is that Manfredini’s iconic score has never sounded so good and commanding.
Additional Audio Tracks: English Mono Dolby Digital, French Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono Dolby Digital
All of these extras have been ported over from previous DVD & Blu-ray iterations of the film. They also all feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Commentary By Director Sean S. Cunningham With Cast And Crew – This commentary features all the players put together from separate interviews/commentary recordings. It flows really well and stays interesting.
- Friday The 13th Reunion (SD, 16:45) – A video from a panel from a Friday the 13th reunion event in 2008 featuring Betsy Palmer, Tom Savini, Adrienne King, Ari Lehman, Harry Manfredini and Victor Miller.
- Fresh Cuts: New Tales From Friday The 13th (SD, 14:07) – A little mini doc with interviews featuring Ari Lehman, Harry Manfredini, Victor Miller, Robbi Morgan and Tom Savini. Some repeated info from the reunion panel occurs.
- The Man Behind The Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham (SD, 8:56) – Director Sean Cunningham reflects on the original and how he’s more interested in looking toward the future with his life and projects than sitting pat on Friday the 13th. He also gives a little tour of his production office and some of his home. Cunningham’s son also talks a little about working with his dad.
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 1 (SD, 7:31) – A short, that looks like a fan film, depicting a couple hearing an intruder in their house late one evening.
- The Friday The 13th Chronicles (SD, 20:34) – This is the first part of the multipart documentary from the From Crystal Lake To Manhattan box set that spans the course of the entire Paramount run of the series.
- Secrets Galore Behind The Gore (SD, 9:32) – Another port from the aforementioned box set, that has Sean Cunningham and Tom Savini telling about coming up with and executing the effects for the original film.
- Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:54)
Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)
It’s been 5 years since the brutal murders at Camp Crystal Lake. The sole survivor of that night, Alice, was murdered 2 months later. This leads legend to build that Jason Voorhees, the boy who seemingly “drowned” in the lake, has returned and seeks vengeance for his mother’s death. With the old camp condemned, a new summer camp is about to open on the other side of the lake. One fateful night, the counselor slaying begin again. Is this Pamela Voorhees copycat Jason? Or is it someone else?
Friday the 13th Part 2 takes the formula set in the first film and improves upon it. Jason’s first outing is a better directed, acted and looking film than his mother’s first. The only thing it’s missing is Tom Savini (he opted to do The Burning instead). Steve Miner takes the director’s chair this time around, and you just get the sense he was able to correct the mistakes of the previous film and had a better grasp of what to do.
Just as Pamela Voorhees being the killer in the first one may have come as a surprise to some, Jason’s appearance may do the same in this flick. Nope, he doesn’t have the hockey mask yet. And he’s not quite what we expect from him. He wears a burlap save with one eye hole meant as a tribute to the killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Beneath the mask and apparel-wise, Jason definitely has been given the mutated mountain man type approach. He could have easily fit in with the monsters of The Hills Have Eyes. I don’t know how many films the “bag head” Jason could have worked for, but it is really damn effective in this film.
One of the other big takeaways from Part 2 is that it has the best final girl of the entire series. Amy Steel as Ginny Field goes against stereotype big time in this one. She’s not the virgin. She’s not the goody two shoes of the group either. Over the course of the movie, Ginny has sex with the head camp counselor, she drinks, she’s shows up late to camp and makes a distraction of herself. And through all this, it grounds her a bit and make us like her more. She’s also not dumb. And her intelligence isn’t just spurned on us at the necessary moments. It’s actually well crafted throughout the film. While, yes, it’s a sequel with the same basic premise as the original, Friday the 13th Part 2 indeed has a much better script. It all builds to have one of the most intense, nail biter final chases in the entire series.
I think for many years, this one may not have been highly thought of, but its certain built its reputation over the years. In all honestly, this one might have been put to the wayside just for the fact that Jason wasn’t wearing the hockey mask. Slasher fans can have the silliest reasons as to why they don’t like something as much as another. The next film will prove quite the opposite of that statement too. It’s funny. But, Friday the 13th Part 2 builds upon the mythology and improves upon the formula in the first movie.
Jason’s first outing proves just as impressive as his mother’s. Again, this is the same transfer issued in 2009. And that’s not an issue as that one was a quite good look for the 1:78.1 frame. For this 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoding, the colors are still nice and striking. This one’s noticeable difference is just a tad thicker layer of grain that plays to its advantage. Gravel and wood paneling look far more distinct on this than any other release. If anything that this release does better, it may just be the night time scenes. But that may be more due to being a little bit cleaner and better funded production than its predecessor.
Sack ‘em up for the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. It’s a decent enough track to get the job done, but doesn’t seem to feature a lot of the flare the first movie did. The score meshes with the rest of the audio in the mix as well. It’s still loud and very featured, but there’s just something a bit cleaner about the first one’s 5.1 track. This one is quite good will leave you satisfied. When it comes down to it, its got really all you need to make it work. Just crank it up, but whatever you do, stay away from the window!
Additional Audio Tracks: English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono
All of the extras are ported over from previous releases. They are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Inside “Crystal Lake Memories” (11:15) – The owner of Dark Delicacies interviews author Peter Bracke about how he came up with, gathered and wrote the book Crystal Lake Memories. They also discuss the genesis of the series and its success over the years with a focus of discussing things cut from Part 2.
- Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions (6:50) – ScareFest convention heads and Friday the 13th vets discuss being at a horror convention and helping to make it a positive experience for the fans.
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part II (8:54) – The second installment in this fanfic series. It features couples, who are trying to get a hold of the two people killed in the first one, broke down on the side of the road.
- Jason Forever (29:27) – A video of a Fangoria panel in 2004 featuring 4 actors who have played Jason Voorhees, moderated by Peter Bracke.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:12)
Friday The 13th Part 3 In 3D (1982)
In the day following the events of Part 2, Chris and her friends are going to her family’s old farm for a weekend of debauchery. As she meets up with her old flame, Rick, he finds out that Chris is there for far deeper reasons. When her family lived on the farm, she ran away one night and was assaulted by a disfigured man in the middle of the night only to black out and wake up safely in her bed the next morning. Chris’s trip is meant to be a recovery of sorts for her and to face the demons of her past. But she may have to face her fear face to face, as Jason Voorhees wanders on site and begins murdering her friends one by one.
There are two notables on this entry. The big one, Jason gets the hockey mask in this movie. The other, it was in 3D and was the film that kick started the short lived 3D crazy of the early 80s. Aside from those 2 factors, take the most glaring stereotype of what an outsider might think the early the Friday the 13th films were and this could be the poster child. Right down to its kickin’ disco infused score, all the characters look like those 80s but still very 70s kids. It’s also got many random “add on” characters that show up just to die. Even some among the main group fall into this category (the stoner couple). The acting is the worst of the series up to this point and most of the characters are pretty annoying.
This used to be one of my absolute favorites growing up. I loved it for some reason (maybe I thought Dana Kimmell was a smokeshow and didn’t notice her “acting”). As time as passed and the more I watch, I have to be in the right mood to see this one. I’ve actually gone from hating Shelley to him being my favorite character in the movie. There’s one moment of greatness for the entire series in this film and its when Jason is first revealed with the mask and snipes Vera with a harpoon gun. Aside from that, everything feels to be done much better in the previous rendition. And its funny, too as Steve Miner also directed this one. If you watched both back to back, you’d swear two different people did it.
The 3D aspect of the film has added a layer of humor to it in the non-3D home video/TV viewings for this film in the following years. A lot of the shots look really weird and the film is full of those forced “coming at you!” moments with random objects. This set provides a 3D version and glasses, but its not modern technology. It’s the old red and blue, sometimes gives you a splitting headache variation on the technology. I don’t know why they didn’t take the effort to beef this up to today’s standards, but they chose not to. I know a lot of people claim this as a deal breaker, it’s far from for me. I’m not a fan of 3D and have been watching this film like this my whole life. If anything, there’s a charm to it with that. I highly doubt in actually good 3D this makes for a better film
Like I said, I gotta be in the right mood to watch this one nowadays. It just sort of drags for me. Sometimes it hits that goofy enjoyable experience and other times I’m annoyed. If anything, this one further kind of set and locked in the formula with which the series would follow. It can be fun when you’re in the right mood and in the right company of people to watch it with.
The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoding is no trick Shelley is pulling on anyone. It’s really kind of bad. The 2:40.1 frame features a thicker layer of grain with an image that is not very sharp and appears to have problems relating to the 3D shooting of the film. Many shots and scenes appear to be blurry (obviously a source issue, but worth noting). There is a lot of dirt and scratches present on this print that is highly noticeable and may be distracting to big time cinephiles. Once again, this is the same transfer released in 2009. There are times when this film looks impressive, but it’s all in between very rough looking images. The boldness of the colors is very inconsistent throughout. Scenes that take place in the same room or set can go from nasty to gorgeous within minutes. It’s a shame too as this one, while not one of mine, is a fan favorite.
The Jason Boogie pumps through an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track. The score is in line with the first 2 films’ levels and impact. The rest of the film feels very light and sometimes the dialogue can appear stingy. The effects work is still pretty nice. As seems formulaic, some of the sounds may be a little loud in the mix, but it may be by design. The popcorn popping scene is notably fun. The effects and score in these releases are just like Jason, they always seem to pick up when he shows up. The climaxes of the films up to this point have been pretty impressive in terms of score and foley work.
Additional Audio Tracks: English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono
All of these extras are ported over from previous releases of the film. They are brought to you in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Fresh Cuts: 3D Terror (SD, 12:52) – Peter Bracke talks original story concepts for Part 3. Then he, actor Larry Zerner and some crew members reflect the difficulties of shooting in 3D, creating Jason’s look, share stories from the set and discuss the alternate endings.
- Legacy Of The Mask (SD, 9:33) – A discussion on how Jason’s famed hockey mask came to be used. There’s also a look at the evolution of the mask throughout the Friday The 13th sequels.
- Slasher Films: Going For The Jugular (SD, 7:09) – A discussion on slashers featuring people involved with Friday the 13th , the owner of Dark Delicacies as well as some other horror vets like Tony Todd.
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part III (4:49) – The 3rd part in this series has us catching up with the guy who we were left with at the end of Part II as he discovers the house in which the first two murders take place.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:09)
Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
The very evening following the events of Part 3, Jason’s body is taken to the morgue. There, he springs to life, killing a doctor and a nurse and escapes to return to Crystal Lake. This time, our group of kids heading out for a weekend getaway are stationed next door to the Jarvis family (Trish, Tommy and mom). Also, the brother of a victim from Part 2 is out in the woods, hunting Jason, befriends the Jarvis family. Jason of course makes it his way to the houses and causes his more devastating night of terror yet. But this, time, he may meet his match from the most unlikely of sources.
This not only is the ultimate Friday the 13th film, its my personal favorite as well (and, well, i’m not alone at all on this). This may not bring much new to the table, but it gathers every element that has worked in previous installments and does them better than before. Joseph Zito also proves as one of the franchise best directors. He brings back Tom Savini for their second effort together (their first is a slasher fave of mine, The Prowler). This film gets the atmosphere, creativity, characters, violence and suspense taken care of perfectly.
From the opening shot, you can see there’s a little bit more money in play here. Paramount was more on board with producing this one than any other. Also, the casting has been enhanced. Yes, there are recognizable faces in Corey Feldman and Cripsin Glover, but the rest of the cast here were working Hollywood actors or up and coming ones. Most of them were doing plenty of television work and whatnot at the time as well. This plays to the film’s strengths as the characters are actually pretty likeable this time around. They’d also have fit just as well in a random teen comedy movie as well.
I’ll admit it, this movie scared the piss out of me when I was a kid. More than any Friday the 13th before it. It connected with me more than a lot of horror films did. The big key to this film working for me was Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis. In the movie, he was a kid that was pretty much around my age. He was into monster movie stuff, video games and making his own props and whatnot. He was me. Or I should say, he was us, the 80s kid horror fan from back then. Considering in the previous 2 films we had the brutal murders of a man in a wheelchair and a pregnant woman, a kid seemed like it was going to be the next step. So, with Tommy, it almost felt like Jason was coming after or could just be coming after me. We can all laugh now, but I was afraid to go to bed after watching this movie.
The film has probably the biggest boob count and some of the goriest kills too. If it’s not going to scare you, its going to titillate your horror senses. Back in the day, it might’ve been one of the most graphic films I’d ever seen. The meat cleaver to Crispin Glover’s face was jaw dropping at the time. And the guy getting his head smashed into the shower was just the right kind of brutality. The combo of actor Ted White, Joseph Zito and Tom Savini were able to combine forces and bring to life one the greatest iterations of Jason we would ever see. At least in his human/nonzombie version of the character.
Everybody has their favorite Friday film. And that’s the beauty of the series is that the answers can be so random. But I do think it’s telling that this film usually finishes at the top of people’s lists. If there is one Friday the 13th film that is “required viewing” its easily this one. Its not yet floated into self-parody and its the perfect culmination of everything that had come before it. If you don’t have the time but want to pick around, you could easily just watch the original and follow it with this one. Considering this movie has a recap of 1-3 at the start, you’ll probably be able to follow along pretty easy.
How about you run this through your computer? This may well indeed be the highlight of the classic Paramount films in this release. The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC high definition picture looks better than ever filling out the 1:78.1 frame. Take for instance the station wagon the teens take to Crystal Lake. I’ve seen this movie a billion times in likely over the past 20 years and I never once noticed that it was dirty and weathered. Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is really a whole new experience on Blu-ray. Every surface, every texture is more visible than ever. The Jarvis women’s hair’s fluff is well defined. Teddy’s vintage porn reels even look clean and clear. It has a nice thin layer of grain present throughout. This movie just looks beautiful. As this is my favorite Friday the 13th film, I am ecstatic to see that it was given such a grand appearance. This one was actually ready for release back in 2009 and wound up getting shelved. Thank you, Warner Bros for finally getting one of the greatest slasher films of all time to Blu-ray.
Cleavers gush through the face with great precision in the English DTS-HD MA 5.1. This is a nice loud, perfectly mixed track. The dialogue is nice and crisp. The score invades your living room. But it’s the nice clean, perfectly defined sound effects that are the star of this Blu-ray. The sounds fit so nicely and ad an extra layer of excitement to watching the film. Jason hacks, crunches and crashes will jostle people in their seats and get the blood pumping.
Additional Audio Tracks: French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
All the extras have been ported from previous releases. They are presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. At this disc, the film’s menu takes on the typical generic static Warner Bros menu design. As this is most of the fans’ favorite film in the series, its no surprised that this disc comes totally loaded with bonus material. Unlike the first 3 discs, all these bonus features are now in high definition. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Commentary By Director Joseph Zito, Screenwriter Barney Cohen And Editor Joel Goodman – The three go through the film discussing it inside and out. There are a some dead spots here and there.
- Fan Commentary By Adam Green And Joe Lynch – The stars of Holliston geek out and discuss the importance and fun of The Final Chapter. For my money, this commentary is actually miles better than the one with the actual filmmakers. It’s energetic, lively and will produce laughs. It’s something people will listen to again and again.
- The Friday The 13th Chronicles, Part IV (HD, 13:16) – A look back at making the final chapter featuring interviews with director Joseph Zito and star Corey Feldman.
- Secrets Galore Behind The Gore – Tom Savini On Part IV (HD, 13:30) – Tom Savini discusses his return to the series and joining a crew already in place. He goes over most of the deaths from the film. This featurette also gives a history and look inside Tom Savini’s school for FX makeup artists.
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 4 (HD, 6:22) – The 4th segment of this series finds our victim awakening in a hospital where the hooded axe wielder has tracked him down.
- Slashed Scenes With Commentary By Director Joseph Zito (HD, 15:20) – Raw dailies from the film that have no audio, so director Joeseph Zito provides commentary to lets us know what’s going on and why its been excised. It features a lot of gore from extended takes and alternate angles.
- Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (HD, 11:03) – Another little retrospective piece featuring Zito, Savini, actors Kimberly Beck, Ted White, Bonnie Hellman, Erich Anderson and screenwriter Barney Cohen. Surprisingly, it’s not very repetitive at all in its content.
- The Lost Ending (HD, 3:22) – The fabled alternate ending to The Final Chapter. Once again, the sound has been lost, so Joseph Zito and Kimberly Beck narrate what is going on in the scene with subtitles filling in the dialogue and sound effects.
- The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited, Part I (HD, 18:10) – A mockumentary on the history of Crystal Lake and its murders. This features a lot of in-jokes for other horror series and cameos from known figures in the horror community. Produced by Crystal Lake Memories, Never Sleep Again writer/director/producer and writer of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Daniel Farrands.
- Jimmy’s Dead Dance Moves (HD, 2:09) – Joseph Zito talks over dailies of Crispin Glover’s legendary dance scene from the film. Features full blown takes with more grooving.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:56)
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
Years have passed since The Final Chapter. A now grown up Tommy Jarvis is being transferred from a mental institution to a halfway house where he can begin to hopefully re acclimate himself with society one day. The house is full of colorful people with wild problems of their own. Tommy is still haunted by visions of Jason. After one of the residents hacks another to death with an axe, the assailant is taken away. However, murders begin to start up again. One by one the residents of Pinehurst and in the surrounding area are disappearing. Has Jason risen from the grave to resume his spree and come after Tommy? Or is it Tommy himself? Or maybe there’s something or someone else afoot.
Well, when box office returns are good and the cost for more product is cheap, you keep going. Just 1 year following The Final Chapter, this series was already back in theaters. This film was an attempt at maybe a new direction. It takes the series back to its whodunit roots, but also takes the killings to an absurdly high quantity. Until Jason X, this film had the highest body count of any of them. And the kicker? It wasn’t even Jason. Nope. It was Roy the EMT. And that’s where a lot of fanboy hate has come from. Fanboys will nit pick and dismiss an entire film because of a small minute detail. And that was their beef for many years.
I’m going to actually come in here and defend Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. This movie is a weird animal. Is this a good film? Well, on the surface, you could easily say “No, not at all”. However, there’s one thing I don’t think many of us ever take into account when having to rate a film and discuss its overall quality – the entertainment or enjoyment factor. Friday V is absolutely high end when it comes to this. This movie is pretty crazy. Friday V is an enjoyable level of trash. This takes all the trappings and such of the slasher genre and Friday the 13th itself and just completely exploits it. There’s so much sleeze here you just can’t help but get caught up in it.
We have characters in this movie that come into frame just to be killed. There’s no connection to anything. And to pump it up more, the deaths are more extravagant. A road flare in the mouth, garden shears to the eyes…its fantastic. And the film is full of weird charicatures of people to fill out the cast. We have these wild rednecks that live next door, this over the top studdering nerd, the girl who just walked out of some 80s pop video and a Michael Jackson stunt double/DeBarge knock off. Stuff happens in this movie that make your jaw drop not believing it would go there. As i mentioned before, right in the early running an annoying guy is just hacked up by a guy chopping wood over a candy bar. And the guy who did this, to set this plot’s killer in motion…LIVES! He goes to jail, but he’s survives this massacre.
There’s a scene where this skinny, horseshoe balded, mustached guy who looks like he thinks he’s super cool with his not too impressive car is doing lines while he waits for his girlfriend to get off work. In a way…if you told me that was someone who was working on directing, writing or producing this film, it wouldn’t surprise me. It kinda works as the best analogy for this film. Trashy, coke’d up, sleeze. But, it’s entertaining as hell. You’ll be shocked, laughing and covering your mouth watching this movie. Sure, many many other sequels like The New Blood or Part 3 may be a bit more of a competently made or plotted movie, but in no way is it as entertaining as A New Beginning. Its trash, but it’s the kinda trash you just can’t help but embrace. Watch the “shitbox serenade” and tell this movie isn’t great.
Just like The Final Chapter, Part V looks really stellar on Blu-ray. There is a great amount of detail. In one shot, you can see every detail on Tommy’s cuticles as he opens a switch blade. The colors here are nice and bold, from the red of Reggie the reckless’ hoodie or the blue of a police car. Fabric texture and patterns are actually noticeable for the first time on home video. Ethel and Junior look even dirtier than before. The axe with which Vic is hacking away at logs has every scuff, scratch and nick accounted for. And no worries, you can read every bit of writing on the walls of Demon’s shitbox. Violet’s room is bursting with wild vibrant colors. As said before, this is right up with The Final Chapter in its picture quality. And this is a movie that doesn’t deserve to look this good.
“Oooh baby, oooh baby” this DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is kicking. Its loud and the damage comes crashing through your speakers. It’s a little front heavy, but the boisterous sound is consuming. I gotta knock it just a tad as there are some peaks in the dialogue and effects. The dialogue is very crisp and clear and a little bit louder even than The Final Chapter’s mix. It could make a little better use of the subwoofer and there are some deeper sounds in this mix that never fully explore it. I’ll say this though, the shitbox serenade has never ever sounded so beautiful.
Additional Audio Tracks: French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
All the extras have been ported from previous releases. They are presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Commentary By Director/Co-Screenwriter Danny Steinmann With Cast & Crew – Director Danny Steinmann, Shavar Ross, John Shepherd and Michael Felsher (via telephone) discuss the film’s production, joke around and have a lot of fun.
- The Friday The 13th Chronicles, Part V (HD, 5:51) – The director of the fourth film, Joseph Zito and Corey Feldman discuss Corey’s involvement in Part V.
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 5 (HD, 7:10) – The fifth segment of this episodic Crystal Lake adventure has our protagonist still on the run encountering a couple out camping. That surely can’t bring about any good. The surround sound on this one is pretty groovy.
- The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part II (10:11) – The second part of this mockumentary covers the events of A New Beginning. It features some genuinely laugh out loud moments for those quite familiar with the film.
- New Beginnings: The Making Of Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (HD, 11:04) – Horror guru Michael Felsher, stars Shavar Ross, Tiffany Helm, Dick Wieland, Tony Morga, director Danny Steinmann and composer Henry Manfredini discuss following up a film that was supposed to be the final entry in the series.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (2:00)
Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI (1986)
Jason Lives starts with Tommy Jarvis on the run, heading to Jason’s grave to make sure he’s dead. In a fit of aggression, Tommy lodges a metal rod in Jason that is struck by lighting, resurrection Crystal Lake’s infamous killer. Crystal Lake, now redubbed “Forest Green” isn’t having anything with Tommy’s warnings as he’s considered looney. The sheriff’s daughter however, takes a liking to Tommy and helps him in his hunt for Jason after the two head counselors at camp go missing. And this time, there are actually children at the camp!
This is another favorite. This part VI gets it! Director Tom McLoughlin understands the series has run a course and decides to inject some humor into the film. The film is the biggest production of all and brings Jason into the sort of “classic monster” status with its tone and look. To classify, the film kinda runs down as a horror/action/comedy. There’s bigger stunts here and more intentional laughs than before. Its got a lighter spirit, but Jason is still hungry for the kill. He’s machine here, very Terminator-like.
Like The Final Chapter, Jason Lives also gives us some good characters to follow along watch try and survive. Tommy Jarvis is back, this time played by cult favorite Thom Matthews. The counselors are a fun and inoffensive lot that really aren’t deserving of the violence that awaits them. Most of them you are pretty disappointed when they meet their demise and they seem so undeserving of their horrible fate. Another strong character is the sheriff. While at first he’s the typical “non believer/crazy kids” type guy that ignores every instance…look at his circumstances. If this info was coming from anyone other than Tommy, he’d probably carry a bigger stick. As it is though, he does check up on things Tommy mentions. Its just unfortunate coincidences that keep Tommy from providing solid evidence.
This is the only Friday the 13th to take place while kids are at the camp. Other films haven’t included the camp or took place in the week or two before the kids arrived. They were a fun addition and take the Tommy Jarvis in The Final Chapter type “oh no, is he going to kill a kid?” vibe and amp it up. You figure, if there’s so many, maybe he’ll knock off a few. The kids are even given some fun personality. It also has one of the most comedic moments in film history when one looks to the other and says “Well, what were you going to be when you grow up?”
It’s weird to say this about a horror film, but Jason Lives is a great time. It finds a perfect balance between comedy, horror and action and just works. The film has some of its detractors, but those are people who take their Friday the 13th‘s way too seriously. This is my #2 of all of them as its just so damn entertaining. It’s got some good kills and great laughs. When I saw this at a young age, it still managed to pull off the scares and suspense for me while delivering a few laughs at the right time. And as an adult I’d found a whole other side of enjoyment for this one and truly found an appreciation for the craft on Jason Lives.
The Tommy Jarvis trilogy caps off again with another great transfer. The 1:78.1 framed
1080p MPEG-4 AVC picture looks better than ever. Forest Green is right as the colors pop pretty good in this transfer. Once again there is a welcomed grain accompaniment to the look of the print. Maybe it’s just as these features get more modern and get bigger budgets they’ll start to look better. I have my doubts on the next one as its always looked really soft. As I keep digging further into this set, I find myself even more impressed. Those worried about the double feature discs should fret not. These are BD-50s. There’s more than enough room for two. Plus, they are both lighter on the bonus material than the previous ones. If there’s any sort of issue, I couldn’t tell. These two looked far more impressive than Part 3 and that one had a whole disc to itself.
Lightning strikes on the DTS-HD MA 5.1 making Jason Live throughout your living room. While these tracks have been a little front heavy, they are boisterous and present enough for it not to be an issue. This track especially gives a grand sense of adventure and the dialogue runs cleaner and cleaner as the respective film’s number on the title increases. This movie has a lot more action and this track was up to the task. The scene with the R/V crash is pretty cool and things being flung through the air sound so crisp. I really like the track provided with this.
Additional Audio Tracks: French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
All of the extras are ported over from previous releases. They are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Commentary By Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin - The director by himself manages to keep this commentary flowing with anecdotes, trivia and references.
- Commentary By Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin With Cast And Crew - Actor Vincent Guastaferro and editor Bruce Green join McLoughlin this time around. Some info from the other commentary is repeated.
- The Friday The 13th Chronicles, Part VI (HD, 14:42) – Tom McLoughlin and Jason actor CJ Graham discuss making the 6th entry and trying to put their stamp on it to make it unique.
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 6 (HD, 7:17) – Our “hero”, still being chased by the hooded figure, finds shelter in a storage shack in the woods.
- The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited, Part III (HD, 9:36) – The third portion of the mockumentary follow Tommy Jarvis exploits in Jason Lives.
- The Making Of Friday The 13th, Part VI (HD, 12:57) – Tom McLoughlin, actors Bob Larkin, Nancy McLoughlin, David Kagen and effects guys Greg Bartalos and Chris Biggs reminisce about making Jason Lives and taking a different spin on the series and trying to get stuff past the MPAA. Tom McLoughlin’s tidbits tend to be a bit of a reprise of the “Chronicles” featurette.
- Meeting Mr. Voorhees (HD, 2:46) – Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin introduces a storyboarded version of an alternate ending that included Jason’s father. It features actor Bob Larkin reprising his role as the caretaker.
- Slashed Scenes (HD, 6:06) – Some rough footage of alternate and extended scenes.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:43)
Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
One night, as a young girl, Tina ran from home to the lake as her father was abusing her mother. When he came out to the dock to try and get her back to shore, Tina’s anger opened up her telekinetic abilities. She crushed the dock, sinking it under the water and burying her father along with it. Many years have passed and Tina is returning to (now reverted back to) Crystal Lake with her mother and psychiatrist in an attempt to channel her abilities and confront her past. Next door? PARTYYYYYYY with college/teen stereotypes. When Tina goes to the dock one night to try and connect with her father, she accidentally releases Jason Voorhees from his bindings set in the previous film. He’s back and he’s going to continue his path of destruction.
Let’s first give The New Blood its merits. The people involved really got behind this one. It shows in the Crystal Lake Memories book and bonus features. John Carl Buechler had a vision and he wanted to bring something unique to the table. A “Jason Vs. Carrie” tale. Someone to match up with him. This is also the first film with Kane Hodder as Jason. He would go on to play the role in the following 3 movies. Kane is synonymous with this role. He breathes a unique life into Jason. While he may not be my favorite incarnation, I can’t deny the greatness displayed. Also, the look of Jason may just be the best ever. He truly joins the ranks of all time horror icons with this look. It’s incredibly impressive. All the decay, his spine being visible, the continued attention to continuity of the mask…it’s incredible. This movie may all around have the best Jason. Oh, and one of the biggest pluses for the movie, 80s horror heartthrob-Kevin Spirtas!
However, having the best Jason is pretty much the only thing this movie has. When taken as a part of the series in a marathon, this one is a snore. It becomes really apparent that something needed to be done. It’s just a stale run through of everything you’ve seen before. It’s tired. Yes, we have a telekinetic girl, but that doesn’t bring much at all to this movie. All the teens next door are completely hollow and can’t even bring “just partying” to the table. You’ve seen all these people before done better/different in other films and your tired of them. So this is where you root for Jason. Heck, Lar Park Lincoln’s “Tina” is kind of annoying and poorly acted herself that you wouldn’t mind Jason winning this one.
A lot of fans of this film will defend it by saying “well it got hacked by the MPAA”. That’s fine and dandy, but I gotta judge the product as is. And the kills in this have great intentions, but a lot of them are indeed compromised. Especially excruciating is Dr. Crews, the guy you want to see get it MOST, death being a cutaway. On the bonus features you can see crummy VHS footage of these kills and yes, it would definitely have added to this film. But, “would” isn’t the film we have. I mean, they changed a girls’ death from being cut in half to just thrown out a window. HOWEVER, this film does pull of one of the series’ best and most memorable kills with the sleeping bag one. And, I’ll thank the MPAA for this one, without them, it wouldn’t have been near as effective (you’ll see in the cut footage).
Take this film by itself and maybe you’ll have a better time. I did like this one a lot better as a kid, but as I’ve grown up its become more of a bore to me. Like I said, there is stuff to like here. It’s just not enough for me to warrant this being “one of the good ones” like others do. An uncut version is never going to happen (footage was confirmed to be destroyed), so we have deal with what we have here. And what we have is the series looking for and needing some new life and its sign of being super stale are pretty evident.
Well, the image is better than I thought. It’s pretty well defined and much sharper than I anticipated. When the colors are allowed to, they pop. There are a lot of characters wearing clothes with faded colors and the interiors of the houses don’t provide a whole lot in terms of vibrancy. The image also isn’t very grainy as its appeared in previous renditions. There’s a grilling scene with a few girls that you can see the food they’re cooking in every stark detail. The many shades of blue in Kevin Spirtas Canadian tuxedo looks marvelous on this release, too.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 on The New Blood rocks. Just listen to the intro scene. It packs a mighty punch. The sound effects on these discs have, for the most part, been outstanding even if crutching on being front heavy. And when the house explodes in the end…BOOM BABY!
Additional Audio Tracks: French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
All the extras have been ported from previous releases. They are presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included. The interviews and cast on this disc seem a lot more genuine, fun and involved than most of the discs.
- Killer Commentary By Director John Carl Buechler And Actors Lar Park Lincoln And Kane Hodder – This commentary track is primarily Buechler and Hodder (via cell phone) and has Lar Park Lincoln edited in at certain placed. Kinda choppy, but it works.
- The Friday The 13th Chronicles, Part VII (HD, 11:39) – Director John Carl Buechler, Jason actor Kane Hodder and star Lar Park Lincoln talk about the look and take on Jason and stunts performed for The New Blood.
- Secrets Galore Behind The Gore – John Carl Buechler On Part VII (HD, 11:11) – John Carl Buechler and Kane Hodder go over making Jason’s costume step by step. Kane talks about what it felt like wearing the suit. Buechler praises Kane’s performance and what he’s brought to the role that no others have.
- Jason’s Destroyer: The Making Of Friday The 13th, Part VII-The New Blood (HD, 15:07) – A short retrospective with interviews from John Carl Buechler, Lar Park Lincoln, Kane Hodder, Kevin Blair (always Spirtas in my heart), Diana Barrows, Elizabeth Kaitan, John Otrin, editor Barry Zetlin and composer Fred Mollin talking about the MPAA making the final product a very compromised feature. This is a very good one as everyone here is passionate about this film, always has been and is not embarrassed about it. It also features a bunch of outtakes, alternate takes and ending.
- Mind Over Matter: The Truth About Telekinesis (HD, 7:25) – Dr. Barry Taff, parapsychologist and Jack Rourke, psychic discuss the art of telekinesis and its relation to The New Blood.
- Makeover By Maddy: Need A Little Touch-Up Work, My Ass (HD, 2:43) – Actors Elizabeth Kaitan and Diana Barrows reunite for the first time and get makeovers together and go clothes shopping. Just as exciting and pointless as it sounds.
- Slashed Scenes (HD, 17:01) – John Carl Buechler introduces this rought VHS sourced footage and confirms that YES all the cut scenes have been destroyed (people quit asking for and blaming Warner Bros for not releasing an uncut version of this film. It’s NOT happening and it’s not their fault). This is all that exists. At least you get to see it here.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:39)
Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
It’s the Crystal Lake class of indeterminate year’s big graduation trip. They’re taking a cruise ship to New York. From New Jersey…to New York. Aboard the SS Lazarus is Rennie. Rennie once had an excursion as a young child, where her uncle told her of Jason when trying to teach her to swim. He threw her in the water and she was pulled by the spirit of Jason further underneath the water. The ship takes off on its voyage, except Rennie’s greatest fear has snuck aboard. Jason Voorhees makes it the cruise from hell as he hacks away at the crew and graduates. The few survivors evacuate, via a raft, and paddle their way to Manhattan. The hunt is on, as Jason follows and chases them through the streets of the Big Apple.
This is one of the hated ones that I really don’t think is that bad. Unlike the previous film, at least this one tried to do something different and put its stamp on the series. It took Jason away from his natural habitat and tried to take the series to a new environment. As well all know though, most of this movie takes place on the ship. And only a handful of scenes were actually shot in Manhattan. Most of the New York stuff is actually the very un-New York streets of Vancouver. So, yeah, on the initial viewing, that’s a bit of peeve.
While budgetary constraints kept this film from its full potential, he fact that Jason is actually having his excursion on a ship and a metropolitan city is enough to make this movie a little bit fresh. The film is also littered with some unintentional humor, bad humor and some good gags. One of the kills has Jason taking on a boxer atop a building and he PUNCHES HIS FREAKING HEAD OFF AND IT LANDS IN A DUMPSTER BELOW! There is a good mix of good and lame kills. Once again, the MPAA got their way with this one.
This one doesn’t approach the trashy greatness of A New Beginning, but it’s kind of the more tame sister of it. There is some stuff that’s just inexcusable though. For as great as Jason’s makeup was last time, its absolutely terrible here. His look throughout is passable, but disappointing compared to last time. It’s when his mask comes off that is ludicrous. He looks like the shittiest Muppet you could possibly think of. How did this happen? I have no idea. While we’re at Jason’s demasking lot of people complain about this ending. I must say, the shear ridiculousness of it, I find hilarious. Sorry folks, that, along with all the random toxic waste barrels in the alleys just adds to the humorous entertainment value for me.
Some people are going to hate this movie. Some people are going to see it like I do. And then many will hate me because they watched this because I told them it’s an entertaining failure. I think it’s a real coinflip with people. I don’t see how people can support the previous one and not this. This is a leg up in comparison. Its very much toward the bottom of the series, don’t get me wrong, but some act like this thing is just nothing, but it does have plenty to offer.
Just like Jason in Manhattan, the picture quality just isn’t quite all there. The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC picture is at times impressive and other times flat. It doesn’t help that the boat this takes place on is full of boring, dull wood paneling throughout. Colors and skin tones are really strong though. The New York scenes in the film are nice, defined and colorful. It’s the faux New York, Vancouver sequences that look grimy and dirty and don’t really do this film any favors to showcase the high def to its fullest capabilities, but still this film looks the best it’s likely going to.
The cruise’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 is a fun track. This follows suit with all the sound effects being crystal clear and amp’d up. While this one, like the others, is front heavy, there is some noticeable play with the rear speakers. The highlight being the storm during the night of the cruise. The thunder plays all around, hit highs, lows, back and front, right to left. It’s a good sequence. Jason also busts through a bunch of doors and windows in this move, smashing up plenty of things and its loud enough to shake you in your seat even if you see the impact coming. As is with all these, the score is good an fulfilling. The dialogue in this film is probably the loudest, clearest and cleanest yet in this set.
Additional Audio Tracks: French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
All of the extras are ported over from previous releases. They are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included.
- Commentary By Director Rob Hedden - The director, who still enjoys this picture, goes through production, his budgetary constraints and on-set anecdotes.
- Killer Commentary By Actors Scott Reeves, Jensen Daggett And Kane Hodder - The three leads discuss their experiences working on Jason Takes Manhattan.
- The Friday The 13th Chronicles, Part VIII (HD, 14:32) – A retrospective featurette featuring director Rob Hedden and Kane Hodder going over the shoot, the challenges of New York and budgetary constraints limiting the potential of the film.
- New York Has A New Problem: The Making Of Friday The 13th, Part VIII-Jason Takes Manhattan (HD, 18:02) – Another featurette on the making of with Rob Hedden, actors VC Dupree, Kane Hodder, Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves, Peter Mark Richman, Tim Mirkovich, Tiffany Paulsen, Sharelene Martin, composer Fred Mollin and editor Steve Mirkovich.
- Slashed Scenes (HD, 12:56) – Extended and alternate sequences excised from the film.
- Gag Reel (HD, 4:54) – Bloopers from the film.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:19) – One of the greatest teaser trailers EVER!
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason Voorhees has been destroyed by the FBI (no, seriously they blow him up). During his autopsy the coroner is possessed with a desire to eat Jason’s heart. In doing so, he has become possessed by Jason Voorhees. Meanwhile, a bounty hunter named Creighton Duke has come to Crystal Lake claiming to know the secret to killing Jason Voorhees. It is discovered that Jason has a half sister and that Jason can return to form if his heart can possess a relative. Jason goes body to body terrorizing and chasing after his niece and her ex husband.
Here’s another despised entry in the series that I just can’t get on board despising. It seems every time this series tries something different or makes a big change people turn on it. They want the same stuff over and over (seriously, The New Blood is like The Exorcist for fans compared to this). For me, if you’re mad that hockey masked Jason is only present for a brief amount of screen time, you have 7 previous entries you can go and watch. It had been done, and done plenty
Is this a perfect movie? Nah, but its kinda junky entertainment. It’s a Body Snatchers and The Hidden hybrid thing. And the action in the movie plays like a crummy version of The Terminator. It does bring some ridiculous mythology with it, but that’s part of the fun and makes it a little bit of a one off. The music in this one-holy shit, this might be one of the lamest scores of all time. Its bad bad bad. I could probably make a more impressive one with a Casio keyboard.
Here’s the unfortunate news about Jason Goes To Hell and this blu-ray release. Warner Bros only has supplied the R-rated version. A lot of the difference won’t be noticeable, but a biggie is gone entirely. One of the greatest kills in the series (and my pick for best all time) is gone completely. It’s the tent kill where the girl gets ripped in half while she’s on top having sex. Now, all you see is the guys reaction with blood spraying on him. Warner Bros has given no explanation as to why this choice was made. Ever since this film first came for rental on VHS we’ve been treated to the Unrated cut. The DVD edition has the option for either. And to kick you in between the legs even more, the iTunes and Vudu versions of the film are the Unrated cut. This is by far the biggest disappointment in the entire box set. For a film that is so hated it has cause quite the outrage on forums. Keep your DVD. Hopefully when these come out in individual or 2-pack releases they can rectify this.
So, yeah, that’s the bad news. It’s a big bummer. But it is far from a deal breaker. There are still 11 other films and a ton of bonus materials in this set. And if the film is so hated, what’s it matter? It’s funny how a film that people claim is so horrible is now the holy grail of the series because of this. Personally, I don’t think this one is that bad. Not that good, but its something different. If you’re going to watch a Jason movie, you’re probably not going to pick this one up. But when watching the series in order or doing a marathon viewing, this film is a much brighter spot than it gets credit for.
Well, its disappointing that this is the R-Rated cut. While it’s not a showstopper, this 1080p MPEG-4 AVC video quality is a massive step up from the DVD. You can see it the instant we hit the diner and you can see the waitress outfits. Displayed in its original aspect of 1:78.1, Jason Goes To Hell features better facial textures than all of the previous films up to this point. It’s a rather dark film a lot of the time, but when scenes are actually well lit, the colors are rich and proclaimed. There’s also some extra depth in for the movie in its high def form. The Final Friday feels a bit bigger in its look than it ever had before. I would have LOVED LOVED LOVED to see my favorite kill of the series in glorious 1080p, but alas, it doesn’t exist in this cut of them film, and that’s a big damn shame. Again, that’s the worst strike against the entire set.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track fills out the score and effects just like the previous films in the set. However, the dialogue in the film is extremely muffled and a little lower. At times voices sound as if they’re speaking into a cup. It’s quite unimpressive and kind of distant. The sounds and score in the film in the film will take you by a jolting surprise after lengthy scenes of dialogue because your ears have adjusted to its subpar quality.
Additional Audio Tracks: German Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
All of the extras are ported over from previous releases. They are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An Ultraviolet copy of the film also is included. You’re going to want to hang on to your DVD of this movie folks. In addition to the Unrated cut not being used, the commentary track is not present either.
TV Version Alternate Scenes – These do not feature a play all function.
- Diner Scene (HD, 3:32)
- Prank Phone Call (HD, 2:34)
- Cuffin’ Steven (HD, :15)
- Introduction Scene (HD, :33)
- Giving Vicki The Baby (HD, :52)
- Vicki And David (HD, 1:04)
- Vicki Goes To Work (HD, :33)
- Alone In Jessica’s House (HD, 1:45)
- Steve And Randy’s Fight (HD, 1:23)
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:13)
Jason X (2001)
In the near future, Jason Voorhees is captured and kept at Crystal Lake Research Facility with scientists intrigued by studying his cellular regeneration. Only the day Jason is to be cryogenically frozen, he busts free and kills everyone in the facility. A scientist on site, Rowan, is able to trap Jason and freeze him. But not before Jason punctures the door he’s trapped behind, freezing her as well.
Skip ahead to 2455 and Earth is barren. A group of students stumble across Jason and Rowan and bring them back to their ship. Rowan is resuscitated and explains to them what has happened. Jason too comes back to life and begins wreaking havoc on the ship. Will students, marines and sci fi technology be enough to stop Jason Voorhees?
Once again. Something different, people hate. I think there are plenty of people that “get” this movie though. Some just take their Jason entering his 10th entry in “continuity” far too seriously. Taking Jason to space sounds totally stupid and that’s exactly the point. Todd Farmer has crafted a action/comedy with cool kills that almost feels like a love letter to the series. Another rehash at Crystal Lake was not needed here. Ten movies in a slasher series? That’s ridiculous! And that’s the gist here.
Farmer’s script is smart enough not just to stick to the Friday series for its ribbing. There are plenty of gags and ‘nudge nudge wink wink’ moments to other famous science fiction films as well. If you’re laughing at this movie, it’s by design. We’re not laughing at shortcomings or failures here. The film is full on comedy horror and its quite good at what it’s doing.
I’ve already gotten a great kick out of watching this film. I’ll go ahead and say, it’s easily one of the best of the series. I challenge people to watch this series in order from start to finish in a marathon session. I think you’ll get a different feel from some of these “hated” entries. Especially the two New Line ones prior to Freddy Vs. Jason that people just seem to be up in arms over. They say New Line didn’t care. I say New Line was trying to be innovative and give the fans something fresh and was trying to take the series to bigger places.
This film is notable for being the first film ever shot on film and fully rendered in HD. The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoding produces a very good picture that maybe could’ve been a tiny little bit better. It’s a bit on the flat side which is surprising. The image could use a touch more of sharpness as well. And now that it’s fully HD, it kinda looks closer to a made for TV movie on the SyFy channel than it does a wide release feature film. It’s still many steps above, but I probably won’t be the only reviewer to point this out. The characters’ clothing are made up of some good vibrant colors but a lot of the sets and backgrounds don’t really flash much as they aren’t made with a lot of variety or any bold colors. I worried that the CG in the film might look really cruddy when upgraded, but it actually holds up quite nicely.
You expect this DTS-HD MA 5.1 track to kick, and it doesn’t disappoint. This film rumbles and rumbles good. The mediocre score is all encompassing, but I think they get the effects at a damn near perfect level. The dialogue is clean and at a good loud, but not overdone, level. The mix on this movie is nice and up to snuff with many good catalog action titles. Jason X’s lossless audio track sucks you in and gets you in the mix of being a part of the ship and all its terror.
Additional Audio Tracks: German Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
- Commentary By Jim Isaac, Todd Farmer And Noel Cunningham - This is a commentary with a lot of joking around and maybe not as technically jovial as one may be looking for. It’s still pretty fun though. I liked hearing the origin of Cronenberg’s involvement.
- The Many Lives Of Jason Voorhees (HD, 29:56) – A retrospective look at the origin of the Friday the 13th series and its production history. Features interviews with people involved with the series and some known celeb critics.
- By Any Means Necessary: The Making Of Jason X (HD, 17:33) – A behind the scenes featurette that focuses heavy on the production and postproduction side of making the film.
- Theatrical Trailer (2:01)
Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
This film takes place between Jason Goes To Hell and Jason X. It also follows Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Freddy has been forgotten by the kids of Springwood, Ohio and therefore is powerless. The only way to return to his famed greatness is to scare up the people of Springwood into uttering his name again. To do so, he resurrects Jason Voorhees from the depths of hell, to rampage Springwood and hopefully get people thinking it was him. It begins to work and Freddy gets stronger. However, Jason will stop at nothing and begins taking all of Freddy’s potential victims. Oh and there’s some teens in the mix.
This movie is a whole lot of fun. Anybody going into this mash up expecting to be scared, leave that at the door. This is a monster bash. Jason is ruthless in this film with his kills. And the final bout between Freddy and Jason is like a WWE free for all. Ronny Yu injects his sensibilities that once worked for Chucky and goes crazy with them for Freddy and Jason. This movie promises for Freddy and Jason to fight, and it completely delivers on this.
The movie was stuck in a development hell for over a decade, but I think they finally landed on the right idea. A lot of those earlier scripts were really messy or too fan fic’y. Freddy Vs. Jason brings about a believable and natural idea in which these two titans can face off. This movie isn’t without some issues, but they are miniscule in comparison to the enjoyment the film brings.
It’s kind of weird that this movie was included in the set for a couple reasons. While this is supposed to be a 50/50 film, many will agree this is very much A Nightmare On Elm Street movie with Jason guest starring. Also, this movie wasn’t included in the Elm Street box set that came out. Strange because Elm Street is the franchise that WB/New Line has sole ownership of.
Freddy Vs. Jason’s 1080p VC-1 picture produces a very cinematic looking image. There’s a nice layer of compatible grain to the picture. This is the same transfer already available on blu-ray. But that’s just fine. The 2:40.1 frame has plenty of colors and strong detail to flaunt throughout. For a really dark film, it’s got a great image quality. Skin tones and facial surfaces provide strong detail. Everything in the film, from the floor to the counter tops to clothing has such an attention to detail that you feel like you could just touch it. Freddy’s burned face, Jason’s weathered hockey mask, the glove, the machete…any geek detail you’re wanting to examine is clear as day here for you to pause this sucker and study it.
While the video may be transported over, the audio gets an upgrade. We now have English 6.1 DTS-HD MA track for Freddy Vs. Jason. And man, is it awesome. This track gets full use out of every piece of your surround sound. This is THE best audio track in the entire set. Everything, from sound effects, to score to dialogue has the perfect amount of balance. It’s loud and is pretty much “store demo” perfection. You have a lot of fun hearing Freddy and Jason’s battle bounce all over you living room. This thing rumbles and booms. This track adds to your viewing and helps you to not only watch the film, but experience it.
Additional Audio Tracks: German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 2.0 Dolby Digital
Commentary By Director Ronny Yu, Robert England And Ken Kirzinger - This is a lighthearted affair going through production anecdotes and onset stories. As always, Robert England is a pleasure to hear discuss the deeper meanings within the plot points.
Behind The Story
- Genesis: Development Hell (HD, 10:22) – A history of how this film finally came to be. Goes over initial studio agreement issues and some ideas from earlier drafts.
- On Location: Springwood Revisited (HD, 14:33) – This is a promotional piece with featuring all those fluff interviews you always see on these.
- On Location: Cabin Fever (HD, 6:09) – Behind the scenes footage of shooting an action sequence inside a cabin during the film’s climax.
- Art Direction: Jason’s Decorating Tips (HD, 11:33) – A featurette going over the set design and lighting for the film. Has a lot of on set footage of brainstorming.
- Stunts: When Push Comes To Shove (HD, 21:38) – This focuses on the creation and execution of the stunts and action sequences in the film.
- Make-Up Effects: Freddy’s Beauty Secrets (HD, 6:30) – This highlights the make-up effects in the film. Primarily pays attention on Robert England’s make-up.
Visual Effects (HD, 35:22) – 12 segments with the CG artists discussing where and how they used came up with their effects.
My Summer Vacation: A Visit To Camp Hackenslash (HD, 3:57) – Video from a summer camp themed premiere of the film.
Pre-Fight Press Conference – Bally’s Casino Las Vegas, July 15, 2003 (HD, 3:48) – A press event for the film, featuring a weigh in between the two horror titans.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 16:16) – 18 deleted scenes, plus an alternate opening and ending. Also has the option of director commentary.
How Can I Live By Ill Nino (HD, 3:15) – A heavy metal music video from the soundtrack.
Trailers & TV Spots
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:12)
- TV Spots (HD, 3:46) – 8 television ads.
Friday The 13th (2009)
This remake of Friday the 13th is a unique one. It does not just retell or reimagine the events of the first film. Nope, if its Friday the 13th and they want to capitalize on the money, you GOTTA have Jason. So this becomes a retread of sorts through the first four films for its inspiration. If anything the original film is barely brushed upon as a little quick intro scene. The Final Chapter seems to biggest inspiration for the remake, and I don’t blame them.
The film starts with the final scene of the original (only with new performers). Then we follow some youngsters camping out hoping to score some pot from the fields. We then jump ahead and follow Trent and his friends for a weekend excursion at his dad’s place on Crystal Lake. Also in town is Clay, who is search for his sister that we saw being attacked earlier. Jason shows up, kill kill kill mom mom mom.
People always are quick to point a finger at these remakes. This is actually one of the better ones. It’s barely a remake. Jason is no longer a zombie, yes, but this just feels like it could be any random entry in the series. And that’s kind of a good thing. I guess it’s a compliment to generically fit in. It’s characters are just as obnoxious or “fun” as the other films in the series and they get knocked off either brutally or creatively.
Derek Mears is a great Jason Voorhees. His Jason is much more of a woodsman hunter than anything previous. He’s a vicious predator and killer. I’m still not sure if he’s protecting the pot or not, but the film kind of could be a modern day Reefer Madness if you want it too. Oddly, Jason has these underground tunnels which is hard to wrap your brain around if you think of what he would have to go through to get that to work, but that’s just thinking too deep for slasher movie. I think they’re trying to explain how pops up place to place. But oh well, it’s cool scenery. I hope we see Mears don the hockey mask again.
So this is where we leave off with the series. According to plan now, the next film will be a sequel to this one. And it will be the 13th. I think it’d be really cool if we get what some of us fans want and have it take place in the winter time. Crystal Lake in the snow would be awesome. I wanna ask that they PLEASE PLEASE don’t go the found footage route as I’ve heard rumblings they’ve thought about it. But, anywho, this remake is solid. Nothing special, but if you enjoy Jason and Friday the 13th movies, you’ll like it.
Unlike most review sites, I’ve always liked the 1080p VC-1 picture on Friday the 13th. The 2:40.1 frame is slick and polished. The film is only 5 years old, so of course it looks great. Every little bump, scratch and fingerprint is plain as day on surfaces. The grass, fields and bushes in the film are well defined. The skin tones are consistent throughout. Facial stubble and skin texture has a great amount of detail. Oh, and Jason looks incredible. The black levels are also very good and don’t feature any signs of crushing or anything like that. While slick and polished, it still looks very cinematic and has a color timing that gives it a hint of a class edge. This is a good picture that has been severely underrated over the years.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is suitable. I can’t help but feel like it could have been a little bit better. It strikes all the right notes, but doesn’t feel like it completely encompasses your viewing space. It does make great use of your subwoofer without being completely overbearing. I think after watching all these classic films with enhanced sound effects, the one in this one feel a bit low and not as defined. That said, this is a perfectly suitable track and will easily do the trick for you.
Additional Audio Tracks: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (Theatrical), French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Behind The Story
- PIP With Trivia Track
- The Rebirth Of Jason Voorhees (HD, 11:24) – Interviews and on set footage with the cast and crew. Goes through some make-up work and features an alternate scene in which Jason gets the hockey mask.
- Hacking Back/Slashing Forward (HD, 11:41) – Interviews with the cast and crew on their first experiences with Friday the 13th and what it has always meant to them. They also discuss using those influences on making this film.
- The 7 Best Kills (HD, 22:33) – The cast and crew discuss the 7 best kill scenes and how they came up with and executed them (pun intended). Features on set footage of shooting the deaths as well.
- Additional Scenes (HD, 8:19) – 3 deleted scenes from the film. It’s disappointing, as one of the scenes is the one from “The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees” featurette.
Killer Bonus Disc (DVD)
This disc is the EXACT same bonus disc that came with the Crystal Lake To Manhattan set. Seriously, the disc art is the exact same too. The menu is the same. So, same same same. But, here’s what’s on there in case you’ve not seen it.
- The “Friday the 13th” Chronicles (1:43:22) – Here is all of the segments from this documentary put together. In the Crystal Lake To Manhattan set, there were no bonus features on each disc with movies. So, you have them all twice in one set. How nice.
- Secrets Galore Behind The Gore (23:01) – Once again, these 3 segments have been on previous discs in this very set.
- Crystal Lake Victims Tell All (15:37) – The cast and some crew of all the movies discuss stories behind their casting and on set stories.
- Tales From The Cutting Room Floor (17:31) – Deleted, alternate scenes and uncut death sequences from the first one, The Final Chapter, Jason Lives & The New Blood.
- Friday Artifacts And Collectibles (7:01) – Cast and crew discuss props they have kept and collectibles they have. Also some NECA figurines are discussed.
Original Trailers – In case you missed them on their respective discs, here they are again.
- Part I – Theatrical Trailer (2:32)
- Part II – Theatrical Trailver (2:11)
- Part III – Theatrical Trailer (2:13)
- Part IV – Theatrical Trailer (1:52)
- Part V – Theatrical Trailer (1:57)
- Part VI – Teaser Trailer (1:40)
- Part VII – Theatrical Trailer (1:36)
- Part VIII – Theatrical Trailer (1:16)
Friday the 13th – The Complete Collection is absolutely fantastic. Of course there will be nit pickers that for some reason don’t understand that Warner Bros is not lying when they say “complete”. Complete means that all the films are present in at least their theatrical form. And yes, every film in this series is accounted for. In addition there is an assload of bonus materials featuring interviews, commentaries, behind the scenes, deleted scenes and more providing you weeks of Friday the 13th to munch on. The biggest gripe is that Jason Goes To Hell is the R-rated cut. Also, they COULD have put a more modern version of 3D for Part 3. That’s what is keeping this from a perfect 5 for me. And I really think those two things aren’t that big of a complaint. Those are me whining or nit picking. The transfers and sound for these films are absolutely impressive considering the cheap route they could have gone with them. Yes, this set is costly. But you’re actually getting a steal. Keep in mind this is 12 movies. And 10 discs. That’ll jump cost. Right now its $7.91 per movie. You’d probably pay $9.99-14.99 for one of these on their own. Plus you get excellent packaging and everything together in the set. This is a great release even if all the bonus is ported over. How many times do we really need the same people to say the same things. And do we expect them to pull stuff that is gone or doesn’t exist out of thin air? If you’re wanting something new, you’re in luck. Crystal Lake Memories, a 7 hour documentary spanning the entire series just came out on Blu-ray. That companioned with this makes for one of the greatest years to be a Friday the 13th fan! Own it on Blu-ray today! (released September 13th, 2013).
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