His Name Was Jason
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"Jason has no expiration date," as someone observes in the exhaustive His Name was Jason, a touch-all-the-bases approach to chronicling horror's blankest killer. Yep, it's all too true. Timed to mark the 30th anniversary of the Friday the 13th franchise, but probably more to serve as publicity for the 2009 remake, His Name was Jason is a two-disc set containing the 90-minute title doc plus a bevy of shorter, themed extras. Jason gives a quick run-through of all the Friday the 13th installments, filled out with detailed analysis of Jason as a cultural phenomenon and copious memories from the various casts and crew. (The better-known actors who have passed through the series--namely Kevin Bacon, Corey Feldman, and Crispin Glover--aren't around for interviews.) Special-effects gore maestro Tom Savini's wry delivery guides us through the story, with a few newly-staged murders along the way. Extensive clips are used to illustrate the grisly single-mindedness of Jason's killing, and various directors, including franchise guru Sean S. Cunningham, weigh in on the heaviness of guiding the various episodes. It all seems surreally weird, in the light of the movies' general lousiness and the trashy elevation of the empty-vessel killer to icon status. The 90-minute documentary is just the beginning, it turns out: fans can delve deep into the nuances of life (and death) at Crystal Lake. A 45-minute featurette on the actors who played Jason fills out disc one, and a plethora of other shorts (most of them culled from the same interview sessions, this time without the supporting clips) crowd disc two. There's another hour and 20 minutes of stories from directors, and 30 minutes of screenwriter anecdotes. "Dragged from the Lake" gives light to some amusing discrepancies in the series, as well as detailing actress Adrienne King's horrifying experience with a stalker. Fourteen minutes of fan films give parodistic views of the Jason experience, and "Friday the 13th in 4 minutes" gives a tongue-in-cheek shorthand account of the entire saga. Director Joseph Zito and actor Erich Anderson re-visit the set of The Final Chapter, and actress Gloria Charles takes a tour of the deadly barn from Part 3. Shorter extras include a 5-minute Crystal Lake survival guide (i.e., interviewees reciting the worst mistakes you can make while in proximity to Jason), a quick trip to a Comic-Con, and a tour of Universal Studio's Friday the 13th horror house. Things round off with a funny bogus ad for the law offices of a character from Part 3, Shelly Finkelstein, the kid that introduced the hockey mask into the series. It's a lot of effort for a low point in horror history. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
Both discs are full of fantastic and very detailed segments and having FX guru Tom Savini "hosting" the whole film is a treat.
It was beautiful seeing some of the "old timers" from the very first films in the franchise come back to tell their tales of terror and chip in with their experiences throughout shooting and it leaves the viewer longing for a true F13 reunion film. The extras are well done and very informative, even to a fan that thought new everything about these films.
You can't go wrong with this disc set at all. It comes beautifully packaged in a sleek and sexy cardboard sleeve and the disc menus are well organized and easy to navigate.
One thing I really liked about it is that you don't have to watch the documentary beginning to end. You can pick and choose to watch whatever you are most interested in. You like Kane Hodder - watch his interview, more of a Derek Mears fan - you can pick his and so on.
Very well done and worth the pricetag!
Nothing groundbreaking here. A bunch of interviews from cast members.
But unless your a a huge hardcore fan, I would recommend renting instead of buying.
Not a lot of new stuff. And because they are doing the whole series, its hard to linger on any one movie or topic for too long.