FRIDAY THE 13th: NEW DVD REVIEW

What can I say to best review this version of Friday The 13th?  If you haven’t seen it, I suppose I’ll start out with a brief synopsis (though, seriously, why haven’t you seen it).

A group of camp counselors are fixing up Camp Crystal lake (also known as Camp Blood, because, well, it has “a DEATH CURSE” with a drowned boy and murdered counselors).  With a plan to fix it up for inner-city kids to have a place to go and get away from their troubles and learn skills to help them later in life…like…well…basket weaving.  Almost immediately, however, the counselors start dropping like flies in a very giallo-like murderous spree.  Keep your bloody eyeballs peeled for an early appearance from a grass smokin’ Kevin Bacon.

SPOILERS:

Ok, it’s the mother of the drowned boy Jason Voorhees, PAMELA VOORHEES, killing everyone.  That’s right, an old lady.  Young, youthful, strong 20-somethings are being picked off by an old lady.  Alright, getting PAST that little bit of weirdness though, this flick is REALLY something you must see.  It truly has attained a place in the pantheon of Horror greatness.  Friday the 13th was one of the first horror films I ever saw and it was one of my first forays into the world of gore (thanks to Tom Savini’s fantastic effects).  It scared the shit out of me.

This film has been criticized over the years for being something of a “paint by numbers” sort of horror film and considered a rip-off of Halloween, and to a degree, this is true.  But what Victor Miller and Sean Cunningham did was take that formula and run with it.  I’d say, moreso than Halloween, Friday the 13th defined the slasher genre.  A group of teens/20-somethings in an isolated area being picked off.  Perfect.

So what’s special about the new edition?  I didn’t get the blu-ray as I don’t have a blu-ray player, but I can definitely say that the new transfer for this edition is fucking fantastic.  I watched a bit of the box-set edition of the first Friday before I watched this new one and you can really see the attention the producers (Paramount?) paid to the new transfer.  The picture is CLEAN AS FUCK and when I get a blu-ray player, I’ll definitely be picking this one up.  I have yet to see a difference like this in transfer from one edition to another that is just so clearly BETTER, even on DVD.

The DVD also has a new slew of special features that are totally worth picking up the new disc for (some old ones too), but I stand by picking it up for the new transfer alone.  It’s beautiful.  Even if you already have the first Friday th 13th, go out and pick up this edition (especially if you can get it on Blu-Ray).  It is THE definitive edition of the film.

Four out of Five skulls

REVIEW: ‘HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th’

HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th
Directed By: Daniel Farrands
Writers: Thommy Hutson, and Anthony Masi (Though, it’s a documentary, so…writers??)
Cast: Just About Everyone EVER In Every Friday The 13th Flick

A Synopsis From The ANCHOR BAY Press Release:

He first became known to audiences on May 9, 1980. Over the course of nearly three decades and eleven films (soon to be twelve with next year’s remake), he has inspired terror in the hearts of film fans the world over. He redefined the concept of immortality and invincibility. He gave horror a new face…by not having one. His name is Jason Voorhees and this is his story.

His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, the ultimate tribute documentary about one of horror cinema’s most enduring icons, has been acquired by Anchor Bay Entertainment, the leading horror programmer, for North American DVD distribution. It will be released as a “splatter edition” DVD on February 3, 2009. Then, on February 13th, 2009, Starz will host the broadcast premiere of the documentary – in celebration of the infamous date and its most famous posterboy. In addition, the documentary will have its World Premiere Friday, November 14 at the 31st Starz Denver Festival during The Watching Hour, the festival’s midnight film series. Ari Lehman, the “first” Jason and other special guests will be in attendance.

Produced by Anthony Masi (Halloween 25 Years of Terror, The Psycho Legacy) and Thommy Hutson (Prank) and directed by Dan Farrands (The Girl Next Door, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers), In addition to the full-length documentary, the DVD is anticipated to contain over four hours of bonus features, including additional interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and more.

Hosted by legendary special effects make-up artist Tom Savini – whose (literally) eye-popping prosthetics were featured in such gorefest classics as 1979’s Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, Maniac, and the original Friday the 13th – His Name Was Jason is the definitive look at the history and cultural legacy of this 20th Century boogeyman. Extensive interviews were conducted with over eighty people involved throughout the entire Friday the 13th franchise, as well as filmmaker and fan testimonials.

Jason fans who watch His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th will be treated to reminiscences and ruminations spanning Jason’s entire film history, as well as a virtual “who’s who” of contemporary film horror, including:

Actors: Betsy Palmer (1), Adrienne King (1 and Part 2), Larry Zerner (Part 3-D), Bonnie Hellman and Judie Aronson (The Final Chapter), Shavar Ross and Debi Sue Voorhees (A New Beginning), Darcy DeMoss and Vincent Gustaferro (Part VI), Lar Park-Lincoln, Elizabeth Kaitan and Diana Barrows (Part VII), Peter Mark Richman and Jensen Daggett (Part VIII), Lawrence Monoson and Camilla More (The Final Friday), Lisa Ryder (Jason X), Seth Green and Travis Van Winkle (2009 remake);

Jason Voorhees portrayers: Ari Lehman (1), Warrington Gillette (Part 2), Richard Brooker (Part 3-D), Ted White (Final Chapter), C.J. Graham (Part VI), and Kane Hodder (Part VII, Part VIII, The Final Friday, Jason X);

Filmmakers: Sean S. Cunningham (Director, 1), Victor Miller (Writer, 1) Danny Steinmann (Writer/Director, A New Beginning), Tom McLoughlin (Writer/Director, Part VI), John Carl Buechler (Director/Special Makeup Effects, Part VII), Joseph Zito (Director, The Final Friday), Greg Nicotero (Special Makeup Effects, The Final Friday), Marcus Nispel (Director, 2009 remake), and Composer Harry Manfredini, creator of Jason’s signature musical cue “Sh-sh-sh-sh, ha-ha-ha-ha.”

This documentary (in an UBER-DELUXE 2-Disc Set, by the by) is an absolute MUST for Friday the 13th completists.  While watching HIS NAME WAS JASON, I couldn’t help but think that this is the sort of thing that should’ve been included with the Friday box set Paramount put out back in ’04 and should DEFINITELY be included with the upcoming Blu-Ray box set Paramount’s releasing (if it can be finagled with Anchor Bay).  Any true fan of the series will not be learning anything new here as the writers, directors, and stars remenisce about the good ‘ol days of making the Friday films.

If you’ve never seen any of the Friday films or are just getting into the series, HIS NAME WAS JASON serves as an excellent primer for the series and will definitely get you pumped about seeing the films.  Tom Savini hams it up as only Tom Savini can do as the Hostest with the Mostest in a semi-wraparound bit that also features a girl running around screaming and, at one vital point, boobies.  BOOBIES!!!!

Really, this flick is much like the HALLOWEEN: 25 YEARS OF TERROR Doc that came out a couple of years back.  In fact, I believe some of the same parties are involved in this as well.  The doc could’ve had a few more people involved to make it fully all-inclusive (NO CRISPIN GLOVER?), but overall, the filmmakers did a pretty damn good job of gathering the majority of everyone who ever had a hand in the making of the legend of Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th to talk about their memories and experiences.

I could’ve done without a few of the talking heads who had nothing to do with the films.  I can understand it to a degree, getting “famous fans” to talk about their favourite Friday memories, but overall it was relatively filler and useless.  I could have ALSO done without the last 10 or 15 minutes of the film being devoted to the new “re-imagining” of Friday the 13th (see review HERE).  I suppose it was necessary for completion’s sake, but as the film wasn’t even released when this Doc was made and because it’s not a part of the original canon, it could’ve easily been left out.  So could the FREDDY VS. JASON segment for that matter (a truly terrible film in and of itself).

Definitely a flick for fans and completists, but not necessarily for everyone.  If you’re visiting Backwoods Horror.com, though, there’s a good chance you’ll get something out of it.

OR

DEPENDING ON YOUR LEVEL OF FANDOM (A PERSONAL 2 and 1/2 SKULLS FOR ME)

REVIEW: FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009)

Posted on 16th February 2009 by aaron in News,Reviews - Tags: , , , , ,

WHAT THE FUCK?

This movie was worse than Rob Zombie’s Halloween Remake.  This was ALMOST as bad as Stockholm Syndrome.  This movie is the biggest fuck up of all time.  Seriously.  WHAT….THE….FUCK.

Ok, ok, let me start over.  I went into this movie with an amazing amount of excitement.  From everything that came out before the movie hit theaters, I was stoked as hell.  Then I went to see it.  This movie is nothing like a Friday movie except that Jason is in it, but he’s not the Jason we all know and love.  He’s not your mindless, badass killing machine.  He’s this plotting, planning, tunnel living guy.  He sets up all of these traps which Jason NEVER did and, I don’t know man, I just don’t know how to go about describing this.  It’s not even a remake.  It’s more of another sequel, but a bad one, worse than Jason X.  There are no creative kills.  There IS a metric shit ton of nudity, so it had that going for it, but it didn’t really add anything to the franchise.  It was boring and meaningless.  It seemed like they TRIED to have a story going with Jared Padalecki trying to find his sister who was on some trip out in the woods to find weed when Jason struck and took out all of the teens, or college age kids or whatever.  He killed all of them EXCEPT for Padalecki’s sister.  Why?  What was the point other than a happy ending for the Padalecki character.

You hardly ever saw Jason in fact.  What the fuck was with that.  Any time you saw him, he was on screen for about 3 seconds and then we have to deal with a bunch of shit dialogue from characters we never empathize with.  We can’t even empathize with the protagonist (Padalecki) because, well, he was just as one dimensional as all the others.  It seemed almost as though this movie was put together in a rushed three day weekend.  Seriously.  I cannot rail against this movie hard enough.  I can’t believe I wasted money to see it.  It was just another forgettable slasher that doesn’t do any kind of justice for the character of Jason Voorhees or the series in general.  Avoid seeing this one unless you have a gun to your head.

Awful.  Just…just awful.

ZERO SKULLS.  THIS FLICK IS D.O.A.

POSTSCRIPT:
It would be nice, seriously, if Platinum Dunes, Michael Bay, Marcus Nispel and Brad Fuller just started selling used cars or something instead of making movies.  Talentless fucks, all of them.

JASON VOORHEES ON ARSENIO (WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT!)

Ok, another “in honor of FRIDAY THE 13th (original and remake), I happened to come across, and am now sharing with you, dear readers, a clip from THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW and Kane Hodder in full Character and Makeup.  This was something of advertising for the then upcoming (and weirdest fucking one out of the PARAMOUNT Fridays) JASON TAKES MANHATTAN.  It’s like Gozeera, but, you know…less Japanese.  It’s pretty dern funny.  Take a look!

THE GREAT JASON WEIGH-IN

Ok all you loyal Backwoods Horror readers, it’s time to weigh in.  In honor of Friday the 13th itself and the upcoming remake, I’m wondering what everyone’s favorite Jason is from the long series of films.  For me, it has to be none other than Kane Hodder’s first appearance in Friday 7.  It had the best makeup and the best Jason Voorhees of all time.  But I wanna know what YOU, the readers, think.  So leave a comment with your favorite Jason and perhaps your favorite Friday memories.

Keep it bloody!

New Pics From Friday The 13th Remake

I’m sure that all of you out there in HorrorLand have already seen the (ONE) pic of the new Jason Voorhees from the Friday remake.  Well, over at Shock Till You Drop, they had posted a few new ones, but the studio had them take the pics down.  Well, here at Backwoods Horror, we (by that, I mean, ‘I’) know good and damn well that studios don’t pay any attention to us.  So…with the help of Youtube, I give you the newest Friday Remake photos.

So what do I think about ’em?  Not much.  The new Jason looks kind of weird.  I can’t really explain it, but he doesn’t really capture that menacing feeling so perfectly created by Kane Hodder’s Jason Voorhees.  I know, I know, “it’s just a guy in a hockey mask.”  Well, fuck you buddy, because to take that concept of “a guy in a mask” and turn that character into a menacing juggernaut of fear, well, that takes a special kind of talent.  I just don’t think the new guy, Derek Mears, is going to pull it off.  Just another forgettable remake.

UPDATE: Below is a pic of the hood Jason’s gonna be wearing in the new Friday Remake.  Shit, they’re gonna have the ‘Tater Sack Jason’ the Deadpit Boys made so famous.  This is a toy mockup it’d seem.  I can only guess they’re basing it off of the movie.  Check it out:

“Tater Sack Jason” In Friday Remake?

Posted on 19th June 2008 by aaron in News - Tags: , , , ,

According to Bloody Disgusting, we’re going to be seeing “Tater Sack Jason”(phrasing coined by the Deadpit Boys) in the new Friday the 13th remake in addition to your standard hockey mask wearing, zombie-esque, psycho serial killer.  I’m not entirely sure why they’re even calling this “film” a remake though, because Jason wasn’t even really IN the first one except in some (spoiler) weirdo dream sequence as he popped up out of the lake as a little messed up looking kid.  This seems like a new Friday movie to me and I think they should just market it as that instead of a “remake.”  I mean, what are they remaking?  Kids in the woods getting killed by Jason?  If that’s a remake, then the Friday franchise was just one remake after another.  Hell…at least he’s not in space.
Click on the Pic for more information.