Produced and made by the same team that put together 08's Halloween:30 Years Of Terror (30 must be Horror's magical number lately), comes this extensive two disc documentary of the history of one of Horror's most beloved franchises Friday The 13th and it's star Jason Voorhees. It's main feature is an hour an a half reflection on the entire franchise from Pamela to Freddy to remake, one thru 12. Broken up in segments hosted by a somewhat wooden yet honorable Tom Savini, many and most of the stars and filmmakers show up to tell their expierences on making their Friday film, as well as opinions on others they weren't a part of (and sometimes brutally honest) and feelings on Jason himself and his effect on pop-culture. The Savini segments feature an odd but expected choice of all being filmed on the set of the Universal Horror Nights Set of Friday The 13th:Camp Blood, complete with Tom interacting with the park's hired actors getting slain just like in the films. This documentary is a slight improvement on H30 on the fact that most of it's footage comes from it's crew in an intimate one-on-one setting rather than H30's majority convention footage which can be tiresome to watch in one sitting. This main feature is very entertaining and informative, and I myself could see a reviewing of it a little more quickly than with Myers' homage.
As for bonus features, when the box says over 4 Hours, it's not kidding. Not only do you get very extended interviews with pretty much everyone you saw in the feature, you get comical Internet fan films, Comic-Con footage promoting the remake, recaps of Friday's history done in 30 seconds (with bunnies?) and in four fan-spoken minutes, a walk-through of the house used in The Final Chapter, and much, much more. You even get two Easter Eggs of a musical nature, though once you watch them, you might want them to remain hidden. It's a chockful set, complete with a replica poster, embossed slipcover, and even, for I assume a limited time only, a free movie ticket (no online printing needed!) to the remake. There's even a parody laywer commercial reuniting three of the stars of Part Three that's guaranteed to make you smile.
Of course when trying to cover 12 films in 5 hours, there bound to be an omission or two. For one Corey Feldman, one of Jason's biggest rivals Tommy Jarvis, who was more than happy to contribute to the Paramount version enclosed in their boxset, is nowhere to be found. Neither is Kevin Bacon or FVJ director Ronny Yu. Also, even though it seems a miracle a Paramount/New Line owned franchise got honored through Anchor Bay in the first place, there really isn't much footage from the movies here other than a five second clip here and there, not to mention no footage whatsoever of the 2009 remake, of which I'm certain this release was supposed to be coinciding to begin with. Another strange thing is one of the bonus features, a walk-through of the Universal Camp Blood set, only has it's leading designer walking through the unfinished set explaining what you would see here, when they just should have taken the camera in there (ala Back To The Future:The Ride on the reissue DVD) when it was actually running, which that would have been really cool. But for pure recollections and fond memories, these omissions don't cloud an overall great documentary release.
And unlike H30's FullFrame presentation, this time Anchor Bay did it right with an Anamorphic 1.78:1 crisp picture (though at times that "water-ripple" effect on every interviewed background does get distracting) and a decent 5.1 audio mix. So, even if you're a casual fan or a Jason groupie like myself, this is one great DVD to be seen and owned. Finally Jason (and his victims!) get the respect they have deserved.
*Probably the greatest retrospective Friday The 13th has ever,
or could of ever, been made.
*Surely they won't talk about Jason Goes To Hell or Freddy Vs Jason, right? WRONG! Heck, they even bring up the "in-name-only" television series (they coulda left that one out though...)
*Many familiar, yet painfully aged, faces show up to recollect their time with Jason. Man, thank goodness for the names at the bottom of the screen, it's hard to recognize some of them now, but I'm glad they're all here.
*Could have used more clips from the actual films. Sure, there ARE clips, but there should have been more.
*This presentation is one HUGE spoiler-alert. If you are a newbie to the franchise and plan on eventually seeing all 11 previous chapters, do NOT watch this first. Each movie's plot (believe it or not) is explained in full.
*Don't expect an impartial reflection from some of these interviewed. If they thought a certain chapter sucked, they are going to tell you. Really tell you....