Friday the 13th: from Crystal Lake to Manhattan
After years of anticipation, Paramount has finally released all eight films in their Friday the 13th collection in one set that, while nowhere near definitive, is packed with enough killer special features that most devoted slasher fans will have a hard time not plopping down the dough for it. The controversy lies directly with the studio for once again not/i>… See more details below
After years of anticipation, Paramount has finally released all eight films in their Friday the 13th collection in one set that, while nowhere near definitive, is packed with enough killer special features that most devoted slasher fans will have a hard time not plopping down the dough for it. The controversy lies directly with the studio for once again not releasing the films in all of their uncut glory, much to many of the directors' dismay, never mind the fan uproar. Thankfully, there are enough juicy extras that still make it worth the buy, though the jaded consumer will be a hard sell because of this touchy topic. For example, the first film has been released overseas uncut with a director's commentary, but don't look for that stuff here. In fact, with the exception of Part 3 (sadly, presented without the original 3-D version), the first five films receive no love, save for the newly created featurettes on the bonus disc. On the plus side, the box delivers each film in its anamorphic widescreen format, though the various Mono and eyebrow-raising "Ultra-Stereo" sound options certainly represent the studio's unwillingness to remaster these gems, even if they certainly get the job done here. As far as extras go on the movie discs, there are four exceptional commentaries ready for you to sink your teeth into. The third film starts the fun off right with a reunion cast commentary headed by Peter M. Bracke, author of Crystal Lake Memories (Sparkplug Press). The talk is lively, though it's apparent that the moderator has a little more knowledge under his belt than the actual stars. Part VI: Jason Lives brings the best commentary track to the table, with Tom McLoughlin proving that he indeed knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote and lensed arguably the funniest and most entertaining sequel in the series. Director John Carl Buechler and Mr. Jason Vorhees himself, Kane Hodder, have a good time on the Part VII: The New Blood commentary, with the best moments reserved for the heavy discussions of the MPAA cuts, which can now be seen on the separate bonus disc. Finally, Rob Hedden appears on the Jason Takes Manhattan disc, where the director details why the production ended up more on a big boat than the Big Apple. Despite the added commentaries, the real hot stuff is saved for the jam-packed bonus disc that starts off with the 102-minute "Friday the 13th Chronicles" eight-part featurette documentary. With interviews from creator Sean S. Cunningham along with various cast and crew members, "Chronicles" gives a fun (albeit brief) look at each film as it fits into the famous horror legacy. Negative points go to Corey Feldman for sucking up the time given to the wonderfully strange and highly underrated Part V: A New Beginning as he shamelessly jockeys for a return to the series in the most sad ex-child-actor way possible. The "Secrets Galore Behind the Gore" three-part featurette and "Crystal Lake Victims Tell All!" feature more interviews with cast and crew, while "Friday Artifacts and Collectibles" shows a few of the directors' personal prop collections. The best is saved for last, with "Tales From the Cutting Room Floor" delivering side-by-side comparisons from the first and fourth film's uncut scenes, along with a few non-gory trims from Part 4 and incredibly bloody work-print footage from The New Blood (a real treat, even if the quality is near bootleg standards). The trailers section is just that -- all of the trailers from each film, presented here for the first time together in all of their glory. In all, Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan Ultimate Edition DVD Collection is the most comprehensive stateside release of this series and an incredible investment -- warts and all -- to any serious fan or collector.
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