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His Name Was Jason: 30 Years [Import]

Diane Almeida , Erich Anderson , Daniel Farrands    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description


"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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By steve u
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you love Jason, you like this. But it's pretty much just interviews with the actors etc. Could have been much cooler with a retrospective of his kills / theories and rumors etc. etc. etc... Fun to see all the young actors from so long ago as they now look today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A renter. Feb. 19 2009
By Andrew Foster TOP 1000 REVIEWER
A fun look back at the series, and a great refresher if you want to remember whats come before, so you can catch up for the new re-make.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment July 15 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After watching Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, I was hoping for something of similar quality in this documentary. Unfortunately I found it cheesey and not overly interesting. Furthermore, this is the single-disc release of this set, which was originally released with a second disc. If you're a fan and you want to pick this up, I'd recommend the 2 disc one for a little more money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to the greatest franchise in the genre March 21 2009
By Rob A.
I purchased this documentary/reflection of the Friday the 13th franchise without absolutely no background info as I sort of stumbled upon it by accident. Having been a long time follower of the F13 series though I had somewhat high expectations as to the content of the discs and I have to say if there is one documentary that does the series justice it is this one.
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!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary, but brilliant DVD release Feb. 7 2009
By Dave. K - Published on Amazon.com
The actual documentary gets **** Out of 5. But ***** overall for the DVD.

His Name Was Jason: 30-Years of Friday the 13th is a must own for fans of the franchise; this documentary on the series was written by Thommy Hutson & Anthony Masi and directed by Daniel Farrands who wrote Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and hosted by Tom Savini. Due to some of the people involved like Anthony Masi and the fact this was put out by Starz Home Entertainment (using the Anchor Bay name) no doubt people will compare this to Halloween: 25-Years of Terror.

As much as I enjoyed His Name Was Jason it isn't without its flaws. I was hoping this documentary would cover some of the production on the movies, but actually very little of the making of the films are covered and that's where 25-Years of Terror edges it out. For most of the 90-minutes it's various members of the cast and crew and other filmmakers talking about the movies like Jason's psyche and some of the kill scenes. In a sense it's sort of like hanging out with friends talking about the films, which was really cool, but I would have liked to have heard more about the production of the films. The first 10-minutes or so are spent talking about the plots and I thought this documentary might fail. I mean I enjoy the series, but there weren't many plots. The first and third are really the only ones with hint of a plot, but once we get past that His Name Was Jason really picks up.

What I absolutely loved about His Name Was Jason was seeing some of the actors taking part. Some of the actors have done conventions or put themselves out there with interviews for various horror sites, but some of the actors are ones that haven't been heard of since the releases of the films. There were a lot of actors involved and that's what really made this so much fun. My only complaint is too much time was put on Joe Lynch director of Wrong Turn 2, Adam Green director of Hatchet and James Roday star of the TV series Psych. While I loved Hatchet and love Roday on Psych, I do feel too much time was spent with them. First off Lynch and Green were hysterical, but I would rather hear more from the people actually involved.

Like I said most of His Name Was Jason focuses on stuff you would chat with friends about rather than the making of the movies. Shavar Ross who played Reggie in the 5th part mentions how originally he was set to return for the 6th. Obviously that didn't happen since Jason Lives went in a different direction, but it would have been nice if stated what the original idea was. Granted it's not a huge deal, but information like this would have been nice. The documentary was very fun and at times informative, but I hoped for more focus on the production of the movies and there really should have been a lot more focus put on the people involved, but despite these complaints His Name Was Jason truly is a must own for fans and again despite any complaints the fans of these movies will love this documentary flaws and all.

Some people have complained about certain people not being involved, but look this documentary covers every film in the franchise and it would be impossible to get everyone involved. It would have been nice to see Dana Kimmell, Thom Matthews and Corey Feldman, but regardless His Name Was Jason is still great and has at least 1 person per film. Every film in the series has at least 1 person involved so due to that people have to lighten up.

As good as His Name Was Jason was it's the bonus features that really make this DVD so amazing. The DVD is jam packed with bonus features of 4-hours of content and this is how a DVD release should be like. Quite honestly His Name Was Jason would rate as one of my favorite DVDs; Anchor Bay truly did an amazing job at the release.

The 2nd disc has a feature called Final Cuts, which runs at a total of 77-minutes and are extended interviews with all the directors except Steve Miner and Ronny Yu. Neither of them took part in this set and it's quite a shame Steve Miner wasn't involved. Miner directed Part II, which was Jason's debut as the killer and Part 3, which was the first time Jason dons the Iconic hockey mask. When it comes to the franchise Jason and the mask are the first two things that come to mind and I would hate to think Steve Miner thinks he's above the series.

Final Cuts goes into much better detail on the making of the movies and gives pretty good insight. Some of what is said has been stated before, but this goes into pretty good detail about how the movies came about as well as filming them. His Name Was Jason was shot in 2008 and at that time some of the films ranged from 15-years old to 28-years old so it's understandable that certain details might be forgotten, but this is what the actual documentary should have been like. Again some of this stuff may have been stated before, but it was an excellent feature and really gives excellent insight.

From Script to Screen runs at 31-minutes and has interviews with Victor Miller writer of the original, Barney Cohen writer of the Final Chapter, Todd Farmer writer of Jason X and Damien Shannon & Mark Swift writers of Freddy Vs Jason and Friday the 13th 09. This is another solid feature, which gives excellent insight to the actual writing of the movies.

But my favorite features were Fox Comes Home, which runs at just under 4-minutes and features Gloria Charles who played Fox in part 3 she was a member of the biker gang and in this feature Gloria Charles walks around the filming locations of part 3 and at the end she recites one of her famous lines. Closing the Book on the Final Chapter runs at 12-minutes and features Erich Anderson who played Rob and director Joseph Zito.

This feature like Fox Comes Home is walking around the filming locations and even includes the Jarvis house as it looks now and that was really cool to see. This feature gives some really excellent insight to the making of the movie and again this is what the actual documentary should have been like.

Shelly Lives features Larry Zerner in character and was a laugh riot! This feature is bound to put a smile on the faces of the viewer and since Shelly was such a beloved character it makes this feature even better.

Overall His Name Was Jason: 30-Years of Friday the 13th is hands down one of the very best DVDs ever released. The documentary was very solid, but it's the bonus features that make this release so amazing. Fans of the series will no doubt enjoy the documentary and will love the bonus features; this is a must own for all Friday the 13th fans.

There are a lot more features on this DVD, but too many to review all of them, but trust me this DVD is worth every penny.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All the 'Friday the 13th' Fans!!! Feb. 8 2009
By Pumpkin Man - Published on Amazon.com
I received this as an early Valentine's present because the remake is coming out in 5 days, so I wanted to be pumped and ready for it! This documentary is very entertaining and interesting if you love the series and love seeing Jason do his thing! They bring back a lot of the important actors who were in the movies. Even though the women are a little older, they are still beautiful! They talk about how they got the job, how each movie came to be, a little about the remake, etc. I loved the fan film in the bonus features, including Freddy Vs. Jason in 30 seconds with bunnies! If you love Jason Voorhees, and the Friday the 13th series, I highly recommend HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a Fluff Piece Than Anything March 24 2009
By David Girod - Published on Amazon.com
I really enjoyed "His Name Was Jason", let me state that right up front. As a child of the 80's I grew up going to the "Friday" films with my brother, and still watch the franchise on DVD regularly. With that said, I was hoping for a little more from this documentary.
The main attraction of this 2 disk set is the 90 minute documentary which brings back cast and crew of the various films to discuss each entry. Also invited along for the trip are some head-scratchingly unrelated "celebrities" like Seth Green of "Robot Chicken" and some guy from the TV show "Psych"?? Not quite sure why they would be considered an "authority" on "Friday the 13th".
Basically, Tom Savini introduces several topics while walking through a faux Crystal Lake setting, and various cast and crew members chime in with their thoughts on the various topics. (It's fun watching some of these folks take themselves and their parts in the films way too seriously!!) For the most part it's a fun little trip, and serves better as a "where are they now" sort of thing. I loved seeing Amy Steel, Betsy Palmer, Kane Hodder and other series favorites again. But to be honest, if you are looking for an in-depth, behind the scenes documentary, you won't really find it here. The film is fun, and if it were included as an extra in the upcoming release of the 2009 "Friday the 13th" DVD, it would have been perfect. But when you are paying more for a documentary on a film series than you would for a DVD entry of the series itself it seems a bit odd?
If you are a huge "Friday" fan, I recommend you at least rent "His Name was Jason", it's a fun quick look at the series. But I HIGHLY recommend Peter Bracke's "Crystal Lake Memories" hardcover book. Bracke's book goes into much greater detail on each of the films from the original through "Freddy vs. Jason", extensive interviews with cast and crew, as well as studio heads, critics and fans. Maybe if I hadn't read "Memories" first I would have been more thrilled with "His Name Was Jason", but when the series was so captivatingly captured as it was in "Crystal Lake Memories", it's tough for anything to compete.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cut cut hack hack Oct. 22 2010
By rndkr - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with many other folks that the herky-jerky editing is the main problem with this documentary; there is nowhere near the in-depth analysis here that is evident in the highly enjoyable sister doc, Never Sleep Again (the really good one about the Nightmare on Elm Street series). It's still fun to see some of the old cast members reminiscing about old times (I always in particular liked "Vera" from Part III and was happy to see her pop up for a few seconds here and there before the ADD-addled editors cut to something else); it's funny to hear how much affection some of the actors have for these movies in which their parts consisted mainly of playing some teenaged stereotype who sooner or later has their throat cut, their eyeballs squeezed out, or receives an axe in the face. The Friday movies were considered pretty sleazy trash back in their heydey, and I've always considered them as such (they have nowhere near the imagination and inventiveness of the Nightmare on Elm Street flicks), but they are trashy *Fun* and the first two I think are definite classics of their kind, with memorable Final Girls, some real scares and suspense, and of course Mrs. Voorhees ("Kill her mommy! Kill her!"). I just wish the makers of this documentary had been able to slow down a bit and let people talk; there is also a real lack of film clips that last more than 10 seconds, another huge debit for obvious reasons. Two other complaints: as good a makeup and gore artisan as he is, Tom Savini's hosting comes off as a bit smarmy to me, and the final 5 minutes or so devoted to hyper-hyping the turns-out-it's-lousy 2009 remake seems in retrospect rather disengenuous. The best part of this final segment is that it really does make me want to revisit a bunch of the originals soon, whereas I never ever ever need to sit through the bland + unnecessary remake again. Final rating: **1/2 out of ***** mostly for the drive-in memories, not the doc itself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great comprehensive look at a horror icon March 11 2009
By Michael Andrews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy horror films like i do, especially the original Friday the 13th films, this is a great documentary to get your hands on. Everyone from the actors, actresses, filmmakers to the various stuntmen who all portrayed the hockey masked killer with the mama issues, Jason, are all interviewed here in depth and sharing how these films changed their lives and the entire 80s horror industry as we all knew it. A strong, good companion piece to the films themselves.
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