Friday The 13th: From Crystal Lake To Manhattan (2004)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
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Overall Rating 74%
Overall Rating
Ranked #16,074
...out of 16,898 movies
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Connections: Friday The 13th

Five discs gather the first eight movies in the Friday the 13th series, plus a batch of behind-the-scenes featurettes. You can track the rise, fall, and endless resurrections of Jason Voorhees, from the original 1980 film to Jason's self-kidding trip to the Big Apple. --Amazon
Included In This Collection
Friday The 13th Friday The 13th Part 2 Friday The 13th Part III Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Friday The 13th: A New Beginning Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Review by Chad
Added: June 03, 2005
Friday The 13th is, in my eyes, the ultimate slasher franchise. Sure, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger are right up there with Jason in the classics department, but in my opinion, Jason edges them all out thanks to his simple, take-no-prisoners approach. Everyone has their favorites, but once again, that's just my opinion. Included in this box-set are the first eight movies on four discs, and a bonus disc full of bonus features. The movie discs are bare-bones; most feature the movies themselves and nothing else. Parts three, six, seven and eight have commentary tracks, and to be honest, I'm a bit split on this. Personally, I'm not a fan of commentary tracks, so I didn't check them out and probably never will. However, there's a lot of people out there that do enjoy this material, so it certainly would have been nice had there been just a few more tracks thrown into the mix for the other films (especially the originals). I suppose that commentary on half of the movies is acceptable, though. I'm not going to go over the films themselves here, as that's already been covered on this site. Check out the reviews if you like:

1. Friday The 13th
2. Friday The 13th Part II
3. Friday The 13th Part III
4. Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter
5. Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning
6. Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
7. Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood
8. Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

After sitting through twelve-plus hours of Jason Voorhees slashing his way through horny teenagers and witnessing 121 deaths, we come to the bonus disc.

The "Friday The 13th" Chronicles
The first feature on this disc provides the real meat of the bonus features. Here we have ninety-seven minutes worth of director, producer, and actor commentary split into eight featurettes - one for each of the eight films featured in this set. Some of them run for a good chunk of time (twenty-plus minutes), while others sort of skimp out and clock in at a mere five minutes. Some of the material is quite interesting and gives real insight into the making of the films while featuring plenty of set-stories, but some of the material is a bit lacking in the entertainment department. The most noticeable case of this is during the featurette for part three where one of the producers goes on and on about how everything was filmed in 3D, what techniques they used, how this and that shot was done, etc. This part wasn't downright bad, just a little bit on the boring side. I'm sure that this would have been more enjoyable if I was more into the technical aspect of films, but since I'm not, this certainly drew a few yawns during the run-time. However, some of the pieces included are beyond boring and reach that "bad" status. A few of the actors that show up during the various segments seem to have less than fond memories of the movies, and some really had nothing to add to the commentary but kept on talking for what seemed like ages (Corey Feldman, this means you). Overall though, with those few blemishes aside, these segments were quite entertaining and featured a lot of interesting material. Each one is worth a watch for the Jason fans.

Secrets Galore Behind The Gore
If the title didn't give it away already, this segment deals with revealing the techniques used to create the gore effects in a few of the movies. We're treated to thirty-one minutes of material spread out amongst three featurettes - one for the original movie, one for part four, and one for part seven. Effects master Tom Savini narrates the first two featurettes, while director John Carl Buechler and Kane Hodder step in for the third and final one. If you're a fan of makeup effects and such, you may enjoy this one more than I did. In my view, it wasn't bad or anything... it just wasn't anything great either. It was interesting to see how they did the effects, but it would have been nice to see some loving given to the other movies in the series as well. The only real gripe I had about this section was the inclusion of a promo package for Savini's effects school. While I respect the man to no end for his countless contributions to the horror genre, this ten-minute piece was completely out of place here and had nothing to do with the F13 series other than Savini saying "I did the F13 movies, and now I'm doing this." Based on the lack of time spent on the three featured movies and the exclusion of the rest, this was nothing more than a time-padding feature in my eyes.

Crystal Lake Victims Tell All!
What we have here is fifteen minutes worth of commentary from a select few (four or five) people who were on the receiving end of Jason's machete in the various films. Each one tells a few stories about working on the movie and experiences working with the rest of the cast. This section was pretty damned entertaining in my eyes, but it's much too short for my liking. As I mentioned above, over a hundred people have died throughout the first eight movies, and they could only give fifteen minutes to a half-dozen people for this segment? More material would have made this one of the better segments on the disc, but sadly, that is not the case.

Tales From The Cutting Room Floor
Sixteen minutes worth of deleted scenes and alternate takes is what we find in this section. Some of these deserved to be cut (lengthy conversation pieces that did nothing to further the movies), but a good chunk of the segment is spent showing how much of the death scenes were cut / edited / trimmed / removed. Most of these scenes are shown in a split-screen view; we see the final version on the top half of the screen while the original version plays on the bottom half in order to see just what was changed. This was a neat feature, but it would have been nice to have an option to see the original version in full-screen mode. Director John Carl Buechler and Kane Hodder step in for a small chunk of this segment to give some insight into a workprint copy of Part VII, and while the footage was quite nice, hearing these two guys talk about it did nothing for me. Most of the conversation consisted of quotes along the lines of "wasn't that cool" and "imagine that with gushy-sounds." The footage itself was very nice though, so I can forgive the guys on that issue. It would have been nice to see some more cut scenes and original murder sequences, but regardless, this is still one of the highlights of the DVD set.

Friday Artifacts And Collectibles
This six-minute feature shows a few of the props, action figures, and memorabilia from the series. For the most part, this is a fluff piece and really isn't worth watching. The saving grace, however, comes when director John Carl Buechler shows the original model that was to be used for Tina's father at the end of Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood. As you may recall, I dubbed this ending as being "mind-blowingly retarded"... however, had this setup been used in the actual movie, it would have been leagues better and certainly wouldn't have received criticism from yours truly. It's a shame that the executives behind the film wanted him wearing facial makeup and nothing else, but that's Hollywood for you.

Original Trailers
Here we see the theatrical trailers for seven out of the eight original movies in the series (only a teaser trailer is shown for part six). They're indeed nice to have on the disc, but there's really not much more to be said. You either enjoy these or you don't, and while I stand by the statement that they're nice to have, I'll probably never watch them... after all, I've sat through each of the movies over the course of the last couple of weeks... why watch the trailers now? Putting these trailers on the discs with the movies may have been a smarter idea, but maybe that's just me.

Overall, this box-set is a bit lacking and seems to have been rushed to market, but it's still worth a purchase if you'd like to have the movies in your home library, though I wouldn't recommend a purchase if you already own the original DVD's. If, however, you're like me and wanted to upgrade your VHS collection to DVD, then you couldn't go wrong with this set. There's really not enough quality material here to make it worth the extra cash otherwise. There's nearly three hours worth of bonus materials and four commentary tracks, but most of the bonuses are merely alright; some are interesting, some are quite good, but there's really nothing particularly special. My rating for this box-set would be a 6/10; keep in mind, however, that this score is for the box-set as a whole and not for the films featured within.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 05/14/2007, 07:11 PM
The bonus features, in my opinion, were pretty lame. I'd go into details, but you pretty much said exactly what I was thinking while watching them. And the Crystal Lake Victims Tell All! Was misleading, considering half of the people chatting didn't die in the series. 5/10
Nirrad #2: Nirrad - added 04/01/2008, 01:10 PM
This is one piss poor box set. it had some good feature, but why in the hell aren't the movies uncut. I spent $80 on this bad boy and it was totally not worth it considering the movies alone are now $6.00. Still though, the movies are great, and it's my favorite horror series. But the features, the box and the cases are just shitty.
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