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Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs

So many people working in the horror industry are there because they grew up being a fan. However, for writer/producer Dan Farrands, his reason for pursuing his dream came from a fan letter response he received when he was 14 years old.

I had written this letter to Frank Mancuso, Jr., telling him how much of a fan I was of the Friday the 13th movies, and I even pitched him my idea for the ‘ultimate’ Jason movie too,” explained Farrands. “I really didn’t expect to get a response from him, let alone a full-blown letter. Once I got it, it lit the fire for me to want to work in the horror industry. I still have it framed on my desk.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

Farrands, as a life-long fan of the Friday the 13th series, is now experiencing his life coming full circle with the release of the new editions of Friday the 13th Parts Four through Six. His involvement with producing the bonus features on these discs can be attributed to his work on the recent Jason documentary His Name Was Jason (review here).

Farrands said, “I loved working on His Name Was Jason, but as a huge Jason fan, I feel like that documentary didn’t hit the mark or really tell the story I wanted to see being told. So now working with Paramount on the special features was my way to give fans the opportunity to see the materials they deserve to see.

A lack of access to Paramount’s vaults is what Farrands attributes his own disappointment to surrounding the His Name Was Jason project since there wasn’t a lot of new material that they could get access to. But when it came time for Paramount to start planning out their reissued versions of installments four through six, they knew they’d need to get the ultimate expert involved – Farrands.

We told them we needed every single frame from these movies, and Paramount literally sent us any scrap of Jason film that they still had in their vaults from all over,” said Farrands. “Boxes were being delivered to me and Andrew [Kasch, who served as editor for all the bonus features] for weeks on end, and we pored through every single second of it.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

Because of the diligence of both Farrands and Kasch, the new Friday discs boast amazing bonus features that should appease even the most finicky Voorhees fan out there. As Farrands says, “The Final Chapter is almost everyone’s favorite because it’s so well-made. We just knew we were going to have to really deliver on the goods for this one. We worked closely with director Joe Zito and screenwriter Barney Cohen on the commentary so it was fun to get them in the room together to hear all their thoughts on making the film.

We also found all the footage of Crispin Glover’s ‘Dead Fuck’ dance, which is hilarious. It’s funny to watch the cast try to hold it together while he’s dancing away, but they just couldn’t do it. I think it’s even cooler that Paramount didn’t censor the dance name either – I wasn’t expecting that to say the least,” Farrands added.

Probably the icing on the cake for The Final Chapter for Farrands and Kasch was locating the lost ending.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

The ending was just a series of raw dailies and didn’t even have a soundtrack so Andrew had his work cut out for him in putting it in order for the disc,” Farrands explained. “We worked with Joe to get it all together and see what he thought, and then we brought in Kimberly (who played Trish) to give a narration over hints of Harry Manfredini’s original score, and it was just such an amazing thing to see come together as a fan.

For A New Beginning (which Farrands lovingly dubbed “the bastard stepchild of the Jason movies” since it has no real Jason in it), director Danny Steinmann and actors John Shephard and Shevar Ross lent their time for the commentary track.

Actress Tiffany Helm also donated her talents for the special features and recently shot a video doing her famous “Violet Robot Dance” for the fans. The other gem that Farrands and Kasch were able to create was a “Part Five Making-Of” mini-movie that featured the back story from Steinmann, the cast, and the crew detailing all of the shenanigans that went on while they were filming the movie.

The biggest challenge both Farrands and Kasch faced was finding lost footage for Jason Lives since there wasn’t much to work with from that particular movie. That being said, the team knew they had to cook up something special for fans all the same.

There’s always been this much talked-about alternate ending of Jason Lives that introduces audiences to Jason’s father, but ultimately, it was never shot,” said Farrands.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

So we brought in a visual artist to create storyboards for this alternate ending (with director Tom McLoughlin’s blessing) and had Bob Larkin, who played the caretaker, do a voice-over alongside the storyboards. As a fan, it is chilling to watch, and we really hope we gave those who buy this disc something special,” Farrands added.

One of the long-time controversies that always surrounds the Special Edition DVD phenomenon is that studios release them, and then a few years later they somehow come up with new and better material to entice fans. Farrands wants to ensure fans that this isn’t the case with these editions.

Farrands said, “The reality is that back when these movies were being made, home video was just getting started so no one had the foresight to think that all this extra film was going to be of use in the future. DVD hadn’t even been dreamt of yet, so unfortunately a lot of the materials from some of the Friday flms were either tossed out of the vault or destroyed.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

Everything that could be salvaged is on these discs, and there isn’t anything beyond what you’ll find in the special features unless the missing footage is living in some guy’s garage somewhere. Paramount gave us everything and held nothing back because they know how passionate the horror community is,” Farrands added.

One of the bonus features that is completely independent of anything Paramount might have had stored away is a series of mockumentaries entitled he Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited, which is a tongue-in-cheek retrospective that plays along as if everything in the Voorhees universe was reality.

The mockumentaries were something I originally wanted to do on His Name Was Jason, but we just ran out of time,” Farrands explained. “I brought the idea to Paramount, and they fell in love with it. We got our friends and some industry favorites like Stuart Gordon and Tom Holland involved, and they all turned out better than I could have imagined.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

Farrands attributed most of the mockumentary’s creative force to associate producer Don Crandall, who did double-duty playing the intrepid Deputy Buz Dorf, Jr. “Don was an amazing collaborator and brought a ton of creative ideas to the table that helped shape the narrative of the mockumentaries,” said Farrands.

Another coup for Farrands and those who worked on the mockumentaries was being able to film at the original Jarvis House from The Final Chapter. Farrands gushed, “We actually got to re-create the ‘crime scene’ that audiences never got to see when it was all over. And being in the actual home in Topanga Canyon (where not a whole lot has changed in 25 years!) was completely over-the-top amazing.

Dan Farrands Talks The New Friday DVDs (click for larger image)

With The Final Chapter, A New Beginning, and Jason Lives under his belt, Farrands is now looking forward to the special editions of The New Blood and Jason Takes Manhattan, which should be hitting stores later this year.

We definitely have some great stuff lined up for fans for these movies even though so much of the extra footage has been lost,” Farrands said. “I can promise you, as a fan, I still think they will be awesome to watch. Producing the special features has been a dream come true for me. I hope everyone that sees these discs understands that the work we all did came from the love we have for the entire series,” Farrands added.

Look for these stellar packages in stores on June 16th.

Heather Wixson

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28 Comments

  1. Let me ask this point blank — will the uncut GORE be included on the Part 8 disc? I’ve read that “outtakes” and alternate angles and such will be included, but I’d like a statement on the gore itself.

  2. Dan (or anyone else involved),

    Have there been any conversations about re-revisiting Parts 2 and 3 (the original already has a pretty satisfying release). 2 seems particularly underserved without ever getting any kind of commentaries. Commentaries are cheap, generally fun, and very informative. I hope sales are good enough where something can be done down the line. Did they happen to send you guys any footage from those films?

  3. Hey…that’s me in two of those pictures! And…more importantly…that’s MY awesome Jason Voorhees mask!

    It was a pleasure to be able to participate in these Special Features! I hope the fans enjoy them!

  4. Also keep in mind that The Final Chapter was cut with the MPAA in mind. So while you’ll see far gorier material on the bonus features, they were never in the film…so Part 4 was technically released uncut.

    So while we’ll never get uncut versions, these special editions will show everything that is still in existence…in one form or another.

  5. does anyone know if parts 4-6 are coming out on blu-ray anytime soon? i will buy them regardless because i want to see all the great special features and i don’t want to wait and they are pretty cheap this time around.

    • No word yet on a Blu Ray release of 4-6 or a new box set. I think they want to see how these editions sell before deciding whether they release to Blu-Ray.

  6. I can’t wait for these!! His Name Was Jason was decent enough but it just didn’t do it for me. Thanks so much to Dan Farrands and everyone else involved for going the extra mile and then some to make these news discs special.

    • Thanks, Sutter! I hope these versions deliver the goods! You always wish there was more (and trust me, we unturned every stone imaginable looking for the lost scenes), but in this case I PROMISE you that everything that exists in the Paramount vaults was put to good use.

      • Thank for all the effort you put in – I’m especially glad some love is being given to Part VIII. As the last Paramount Friday and the last Friday of the ’80s, Jason Takes Manhattan holds a nostalgic niche for me. As much as remember being bitterly disappointed by it when I saw it at a midnight show opening weekend back in the day, it’s become one of my favorite entries in the series.

  7. Actually, we did find several lost scenes from Part 7 that didn’t make it on the original box set. They are mostly “character moments” involving Lar Park Lincoln and Kevin Blair, as well as an extended scene with Billy Butler and his date on their way to the “birthday bash.” These are definitely included in the new Deluxe Edition.

    We also found a few outtakes of Kane rising from the lake and a better-quality version of Melissa’s “ax to the head” death scene.

    Unfortunately most of the trims from Part 7 were destroyed in 1991. Believe me, we would have killed ourselves to create the ultimate/uncut version of 7. But what we did find will hopefully give fans a chance to see (albeit not the best quality) some of that holy grail material, and we were grateful to John Buechler and Fred Mollin for providing us with the early work tapes that they (thankfully) kept safe all these years. Had it not been for that material, the Part 7 disc would have been sorely lacking. So thanks to John and Fred!

    On the upside, Part 8 has pretty much everything that was excised from the film — lots of outtakes, alternate angles and a few never-before-seen moments. Scott Reeves, Jensen Daggett and Kane Hodder did an amazing commentary track that I know fans are going to love. The best feature (IMHO) is the “gag reel” that Rob Hedden and his team assembled for their cast & crew wrap party. We included it in its entirety — including a “piece” of Kane’s Jason you’ve never seen before!

    Just wanted to fill in some of the gaps and to let everyone know that we put everything that exists on these DVDs. Paramount didn’t “hold out” on you this time — if it existed in their vaults, we put it on these Deluxe Editions.

    So grab your machetes and enjoy!

    Dan Farrands

    • I’m not the biggest fan of the series and what it did to our beloved genre, but I have nothing but awed admiration for all the hard work that you guys have been putting into this series.

      It’d be nice to see the same done for the whole HALLOWEEN franchise, especially since it (arguably) held up better over the sequels than F13 did.

      • I cannot echo more strongly your comment about seeing the same thing done to the Halloween franchise… It would be great to have to ‘ultimate’ editions of these films (well, apart from H8), and to see some of the lost footage etc. For instance, it would be nice to see the entire ‘syringe going into the eye scene’ from the first “Halloween 2″, as well as the entire’ dunking in the scalding water scene’, both of which seem to have been cut/trimmed from every copy of the film I have seen since I first watched it. Also, it would be nice to finally get a definitive version of “Halloween 6″!

        • Trust me, no one wants to see a special edition of “Halloween 6″ more than me!

          I’m still trying!

          – Dan

    • awesome news thanks too bad it could not be edited back into the film but great news anyway will the uncut kills be apart of the dvd special features like on the box set bonus feature disc???

      also i could of sworn i remember reading somewhere about an alternate ending for jason takes manhattan although not sure if it was ever filmed or not

      • Each disc has a feature called “Slashed Scenes” that contains all of the lost scenes (including the “kills”) that were found. Some of them (i.e., “Part 4″) have director introduction and/or commentary, while others just play out on their own. The one thing we were careful to avoid was that annoying “split screen” effect from the box set where you were forced to watch both versions (unrated and rated) at the same time. We just went for simplicity and showed the scenes as they were. I wish we could have done a branching feature or some other way of incorporating the gore scenes into the film; alas, it wasn’t possible for this edition.

        As for “Part 8,” there wasn’t so much an “alternate ending” as there was an extra moment that can only be described as a poor man’s homage to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” involving Young Jason trying to escape from Big Jason’s mouth! Has to be seen to be believed (and seeing it, you can understand why they cut it!) … but yes, it’s on there!

        – Dan

        • thanks so much for that info will the slashed scenes for part 7 only contain new footage found or will it also contain the previous footage that was on the box set

          and lastly i hear the reason why parts 2,3 and part 5 doesn’t have slashed scenes is because all the footage and from the infamous version 2 for part 5 were thrown out and lost forever is that correct

        • Hi Dan,

          I’m a moviejournalist from Belgium and a huge Friday fan myself. A couple of years ago I did a interview with Todd Farmer and I did some pretty long articles about the complete franchise. In that time I did come across soms clear and large pictures of deleted gore scenes out Parts 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8. I was wondering, if the footage is completely lost how is it possible that some people have such clear pictures of this deleted scenes? One that I vividly remember is the kill from Part two where you see the spear impaling the couple from a top camera angle. Do you have clear scans of these pictures and if the footage was lost, it would be cool to put these in a photo gallery so that the fans at least can see these pictures.

          Keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to the DVD’s!

          Steve – Moviepulp / DVD Info / Moviegids

    • “Just wanted to fill in some of the gaps and to let everyone know that we put everything that exists on these DVDs. Paramount didn’t “hold out” on you this time — if it existed in their vaults, we put it on these Deluxe Editions.”

      It’s weird that nobody included the gore-trims of Friday The 13th Part 2 then. Because I was just checking out the Blu-ray van Part 2 and not only do you see a box full of slides and stuff of this film, but on 00:05:27 you do see slides of some uncut kills like the impaling of the couple on the bed. How is that possible when supposedly everything was destroyed?

  8. I wish they could have included the entire sex scene in Part 5 with Debisue Voorhees. I read in Crystal Lake Memories that it was basically shot like a porno. Debisue Voorhees’s perfect tits should get a bonus feature.

    • Let me brace you guys now … all of the extra footage from Part 7 except what you saw on the bonus disc from Paramount’s last F13 boxed set has been destroyed.

      • yep i just read that also but doesn’t all the footage on the bonus disc for 7 has all the uncut kill scenes or most of em if that’s the case i wouldn’t mind that being reinserted into the film or as a dvd extra without the commentary

  9. This sounds like a project that was much-loved. What an amazing feeling it must have been to receive all that lost footage…

  10. I don’t know if it’s that Buz is tiny or that machete is fucking huge.

    Anyway, can’t wait to see these features! Especially being that The Final Chapter is essentially why I live in LA right now. Needless to say, I’m a HUGE fan of this series…Well, until part 4.

    Sounds like you guys did great work. Can’t friggin’ wait.

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