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Friday The 13th 8-Movie Collection Blu-ray Review

“Friday The 13th 8-Movie Collection” is loaded with slasher classics.

For those that can’t justify the hefty price tag of the mega Friday The 13th Scream Factory box set, Paramount has released a new set of the first 8 films on Blu-ray. Why they didn’t just put out a 4K set instead, I don’t know. Maybe next year? Anyway, the first 8 films of the franchise are undoubtedly the golden years. Sure, I have an affinity for “Jason X,” but everything else past part 8…not so much. Below I thought I would break down my thoughts on each film. 

Although initially conceived as a “Halloween” wannabe, 1980’s “Friday The 13th” has gone on to become an influential and respected slasher classic in its own right. It’s a simple story of camp counselors being knocked off by a mysterious individual at a camp with a dark past and yet it’s filled with genuine twists that are done right. The movie (and a good portion of the franchise) is also dripping with atmosphere which is partially why I have so much affection for this horror franchise as a whole. Add in likable characters and cast members Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer and Kevin Bacon and you’re in for a good time. Note: The theatrical cut is not included here. Only the uncut version is.

There aren’t a lot of franchises where several sequels are better than the original, but F13 is one of them. “Friday The 13th Part 2” may tread similar ground, but this time around, there’s a new killer on the loose preying on counselors at a camp near Crystal lake- Jason pre-mask and with the bag on his head. With the continuation from the first film, the grizzly murders, and a tough final girl with Amy Steel as Ginny, this is an intense installment through and through 

Sorry folks, the 3D version of “Friday The 13th Part 3” isn’t included on this set, but the movie itself certainly plays up the 3D elements in cheesy ways whether you like it or not! This is the movie where Jason becomes Jason as he dons the iconic hockey mask in this sequel. The story itself is basic hack and slash fare, but it’s a pivotal entry in the franchise nonetheless.

We know “Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter” isn’t the final chapter, but it might be the best F13 movie. I love everything about this one. The opening direct continuation from 3, the cast (which includes Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman), Jason’s brutality, the tension building, the introduction of the Tommy Jarvis character, and the direction by Joseph Zito. This is just a good old fashioned 80’s slasher.

“Friday The 13th Part: A New Beginning” took the franchise in a different direction. Initially I despised this one for not having Jason, but have grown to like it more for being something different. Admittedly, I’m not thrilled by the killer preying on troubled, mentally damaged teens. It’s in poor taste to be sure. Still, there’s some interesting psychological storylines here with a truly surprising ending to boot.

With a sixth installment, you’d think the franchise would be out of gas at this point, but “Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives” proves that wrong. This one is more comedic and self-referential, but it’s an utter blast to watch. Thanks to director Tom McLoughlin, there’s a perfect balance of comedy and horror here. Plus, it continues the Tommy Jarvis saga in a fun way.

“Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood” is perhaps best known as the movie where horror icon Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason Voorhees. While he’s a great addition to the franchise to be sure, this movie is bonkers and is one of my least favorites. There are great moments and shots (largely all revolving around Hodder), but the out of the blue telekinetic weirdness loses me.

“Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan” gets a lot of flack. Yes, there aren’t enough NY scenes. Yes, it was mostly shot in Canada. Yes, it feels like this movie wastes potential. Despite all of that, I still enjoy this one. Between Jason punching a head off to Jason wreaking havoc on a boat, it was nice to see a non-camp entry.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and 2.40:1 1080p 3. How do they look? The first 4 films are newly remastered from a 4K scan of the original negative and these are certainly the best looking films of the lot. They maintain the grit and grain of original print while providing new upgrades at the same time. 5-8 look respectable although it might be time for new transfers on those. 

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA for all. How do they sound? None of these tracks are likely to wow anyone as they are a bit on the soft side but they do the job.


Extras:
* “Lost Tales From Camp Blood” Parts 1-6. Short films/fan films.
* Digital copies for all 8 films.
* Trailers for all 8 films.
* “The Man Behind The Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham”- An interview with the F13 creator.
* A cast and crew Q&A “Friday The 13th Reunion”
* “The Friday The 13th Chronicles” for films 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Basically cast and crew interviews about the making of each film.
* “Fresh Cuts” making of featurettes on movies 1 and 3.
* “Secrets Galore Behind The Gore: Friday The 13th” featurette on films 1, 4 and 7.
* “Inside Crystal Lake Memories”- A featurette on the book and documentary.
* “Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions”- A look at F13 in the horror convention scene.
* “Jason Forever”- A 2004 convention Q&A with 5 Jason actors
* “Legacy Of The Mask”- A featurette on the Jason mask.
* “Slasher Films: Going For The Jugular”- A featurette on slasher horror films.
* 2 commentary tracks on “Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter.” One by fans and filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch and the other by Joseph Zito, Barry Cohen and Joel Goodman.
* Deleted scenes on the fourth film (with intros and commentary by Joseph Zito) along with the lost ending with commentary by Zito and Kimberly Beck.
* “Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter”- A making of with interviews.
* “The Crystal Lake Massacre”- A 3 part in-universe mockumentary
* “Jimmy’s Dead Dance Moves”- Outtakes of Crispin Glover’s dancing from “The Final Chapter.”
* Commentary on “Friday The 13th Part 5: A New Beginning” by Danny Steinmann, John Shepherd, Michael Felsher and Shavar Ross.
* The self-explanatory “New Beginnings: The Making Of Friday The 13th Part 5: A New Beginning,” “Jason Lives: The Making Of Friday The 13th Part 6,” “Jason’s Destroyer: The Making Of Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood” and “New York Has A Problem: The Making Of Friday The 13th Part 8.”
* Deleted scenes from “Jason Lives,” “The New Blood” (this one containing an intro by John Carl Buechler) and “Jason Takes Manhattan.”
* 2 commentaries on “Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives.” One solo track by Tom McLoughlin and another by McLoughlin, Bruce Green and Vincent Gustaferro.
* “Meeting Mr. Voorhees With Intro By Tom McLoughlin”- A storyboarded alternate ending.
* Commentary on “Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood” by Kane Hodder, Lar Park Lincoln, and John Carl Buechler.
* “Mind Over Matter: The Truth About Telekinesis”- A featurette on telekinesis.
* “Makeover By Maddy: Need A Little Touch-Up Work, My Ass”- Makeovers for Elizabeth Kaitan and Diana Barrows.
* A “Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan” gag reel.
* 2 commentaries on “Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan.” One by Rob Hedden and the other by Kane Hodder, Scott Reeves and Jesen Daggett.

September 4, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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