Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection Proves to be a Half-Assed Affair
The complete specs have been made available for Warner Bros. Entertainment's upcoming Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection Blu-ray box set, and it's a great day if you like your releases edited and slapped together.
You can scroll to the bottom for a complete list of specs for each movie, but I'm going to jump in and tell you exactly what's wrong with this release. This isn't an editorial lamenting the lack of uncut Friday the 13th movies that have never before been released. If we haven't seen excised footage by now, it's because, in all probability, it no longer exists. Yes, it would be nice to finally see Friday the 13th part 2 in all its uncut, Carl Fullerton glory, but it's probably never going to happen.
This isn't a gripe session predicated on unrealistic expectations. But what's inexcusable is that Warner Bros. is offering the R-rated versions of the original Friday the 13th and, in an even more egregious move, Jason Goes to Hell. This is inexcusable. Friday the 13th has already been released to Blu-ray in an uncut edition - is there any reason they couldn't have included both cuts? As for Jason Goes to Hell, there's no reason to watch the film in its R-rated form because all the fun stems from KNB's outrageous splatter FX.
Is there a chance that Warner Bros. doesn't have any idea what they're talking about and these two films will be the uncut versions after all? It's possible. The specs for the original Friday are otherwise identical to Paramount's 2009 Blu-ray release, so it's within reason to assume they might have incorrectly identified the unrated cut as the theatrical one.
The same can be said for Jason Goes to Hell, which will include the Adam Marcus and Dean Lorey commentary that was originally recorded for the unrated DVD release.
But let's talk about some other areas where this supposed "complete" collection falls flat. First off, we're getting a lazy anaglyph 3D presentation of Friday the 13th part 3. Polarized theatrical 3D films like Dial M for Murder and Amityville 3D have been and will be transferred into real 3D for Blu-ray and yet Friday fans remain stuck with the ugly, incorrectly transferred mess that plagued Friday the 13th part 3's previous HD iteration.
And then there's the extras. Nothing complete about them. I wasn't expecting any new supplements to be commissioned for this release. After all, there's a seven hour Crystal Lake Memories documentary en route later this year that promises to be the final word on Friday information.
But the extras list is such a mess that it's hard to keep track of everything. But let's try:
Friday The 13th
What's here: Pretty much everything that was on Paramount's Blu-ray and Deluxe DVD. That's why it looks like the R-rated listing could simply be an error. But Friday the 13th never saw another stateside release with extras, so there's nothing else 'missing' here.
Friday The 13th Part II
What's here: This is the same supplement list carried over from the previous Blu-ray and DVD release.
Friday The 13th Part III
What's here: This is the same supplement list from the last release, although the WBShop also claimed that they are 'touching' up the 2D version by removing some additional dirt.
What's missing: The audio commentary from the 2004 From Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set. Now this is where the laziness starts kicking in. Because you'll see further down that Warner is, in fact, including some of the other commentaries from that 2004 set. So what this comes down to is not wanting to create a new Blu-ray when they can re-use the old release (but can they really add a new transfer then?).
Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter
What's here: This marks the first time TFC has seen Blu-ray, and most of the extras have been carried over from the Deluxe DVD release. It's unclear what is meant by the term 'vintage featurettes' but what that may or may not encompass is: Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 4, Jason's Unlucky Day: 25th Years After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited - Part 1 and Jimmy's Dead Dance Moves. Again, it's most likely that someone at Warner mistakenly categorized these as 'vintage' featurettes, despite being 4 years old.
Friday The 13th: A New Beginning
What's here: Like part 4, this is ANB's Blu-ray bow (to celebrate, it gets to share disc space with Jason Lives). Most of the extras look to have been carried over from the Deluxe DVD release. There's still a question of what's vintage. In any case, here's what that likely entails: Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 5, New Beginnings: The Making of Friday the 13th part V: A New Begining and The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited - Part 2.
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI
What's here: Part 6 hits Blu-ray in a release that's likely identical to the Deluxe DVD. Here's the 'vintage' featurettes: Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 6, Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th part VI and The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited - Part 3.
What's missing: Tom McLoughlin's solo commentary from the 2004 release.
Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood
What's here: TNB looks identical to Paramount's Deluxe Edition from 2009. The 'vintage' featurettes include Makeover by Maddy: Need A Little Touch-Up Work, My Ass, Jason's Destroyer: The Making of Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood and Mind Over Matter: The Truth About Telekenesis.
What's missing: The John Buechler and Kane Hodder commentary from the 2004 box set. The director and star did another commentary for the 2009 release, but it's pales in comparison to the original conversation.
Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
What's here: JTM looks identical to Paramount's Deluxe Edition from 2009. The 'vintage' featurettes include New York Has A New Problem: The Making of Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and a gag reel. Curiously, this release claims to include the Rob Hedden commentary track that was previously offered on the 2004 box set, making this an incredibly confusing case of Warner's cherry picking supplements.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
What's here: The same supplements from the old New Line DVD. Curiously, this alleges to be the R-rated theatrical cut. If true, this is the most catastrophic oversight of the entire set.
What's missing: Possibly the unrated cut.
What's here: The supplements from the New Line DVD. 'Vintage featurettes' being: The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees documentary (including a background cameo by yours truly!) and Making of Jason X documentary.
Freddy vs. Jason
What's here: The supplements from the New Line DVD are listed in full.
Friday The 13th (2009)
What's here: All the features from the 2009 release have been carried over.
Friday the 13th Killer Bonus Disc
What's here: This is the bonus disc from the 2004 release. In the wake of the incoming Crystal Lake Memories documentary, this is going to look like a shoddier effort than it already is.
Lastly, we have that hideous packaging. This should've been a slam dunk but, instead, we get a slapdash image from...Jason Goes to Hell? This is a collector's set and presentation is everything. The least Warner Bros. could've done was make this an eye-catcher. Something that celebrates and commemorates 33 years of Friday the 13th, instead of using a hideous piece of key art. But perhaps the awful image, the ugly font and the barely decorated tin (they couldn't be bothered to put artwork on the spine?) is an accurate representation of what a lazy cash grab this truly is.
Far be it from me to tell you how you spend your money. But the existing Paramount deluxe edition DVDs can be had for mere dollars on Amazon and, believe me, the transfers on those are quite impressive for standard definition presentations. This is a pricey set and Warner Bros. knows that some fans will plunk down for it (and they're right, there's currently a group of raving douchebags on Blu-ray.com berating anyone who expresses disappointment with this). But when companies like Scream Factory and Synapse are out there regularly crushing it with every release, why should we be expected to support such mediocrity?
But hey, it comes with a patch.
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