Published by Titan Books in association with Sparkplug Press
I love Crystal Lake Memories. When Peter Bracke’s original copy first hit shelves a few years back, I couldn’t stop reading the damn thing. All big time Friday the 13th fans know that Paramount was infamously cheap with DVD special editions (until recently), meaning that this Jason compendium was going to be the ultimate resource for all things related to Camp Crystal Lake. For me and many Friday fans, this thing was the ultimate coffee table book – packed with fascinating pictures and hilarious cast/crew tell-alls, Crystal Lake Memories was a brilliant companion to the long-running slasher franchise.
And now it’s back in e-book form. Bracke’s “revised” edition packs in even more trivia than ever before. I suppose there’s the question of a double dip for fans who already own the hardcover. That honestly depends on how badly you’re clamoring to have this on your e-reader. Personally speaking, Crystal Lake Memories is the type of book I always like to have around for reference. I enjoy re-reading sections on my favorite film, or going back to see what so-and-so had to say about a particular effort. In that regard, I think it’s completely worth the bucks to add an e-book version to your collection.
So what’s so special about this e-book, you ask? Well, sadly, if you’re not using the iBooks2 feature on the iPad2, you’re not getting everything you can out of this. But hear me out. Firstly, if you have access to iBooks2, don’t even think about not getting the ‘enhanced version’. This is truly a steal:
These features come at you in 720p HD, with 2ch stereo. Really hard to beat that, all for the ridiculously low price of $14.
Personally speaking, I don’t have an iPad, so I read this book again on the Kindle Fire, and it’s still quite wonderful. No, it doesn’t have any of the interactive features, but navigation is perfectly handed, with every section bookmarked for easy access. Images can be expanded in a pop-up window for those wanting a closer look and the presentation and layout makes reading a breeze.
So what’s new in this e-book edition? Quite a bit, honestly. I didn’t notice a lot of material at first, but the most obvious addition has to be an expanded interview with A New Beginning director Danny Steinmann who unleashes a torrent of candid comments on both the experience and his cast. Maybe it’s because Part V is among my favorites, but it seemed like there was quite a bit of new content there. I also caught the inclusion of a newer Tom Fridley (Court in Jason Lives) interview, but there’s more as well. According to Peter Bracke, this newer version is expanded by about 100,000 words. That’s a lot of content, and it’s integrated seamlessly.
This isn’t just another cash-grab, rest assured. There’s enough added content to Crystal Lake Memories to make it a worthwhile read, even for those who’ve already devoured this sucker once. The added convenience of having an easily navigable version on your tablet means faster reference whenever you want. Because let’s face it, a physical copy of Crystal Lake Memories isn’t exactly the most portable thing in the world. I really like what Bracke was able to accomplish here, expanding upon an already exhaustive text with the same amount of candor that made the book such a pleasure the first time around.
Unlike Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees never got a cinematic documentary worthy of his legacy. Meaning that for fans of the masked one, “Crystal Lake Memories” is the definitive source for behind-the-scenes material. And unlike other film franchises, there’s no one film widely regarded as the best, meaning Bracke gives almost equal time to each installment. Even the later entries make for a compelling read, and I barely count them as canonical Friday the 13th movies. Also to my delight, the 2009 remake is left off the plate completely.
It was rightly praised in 2005, and there’s plenty of reason to do so again. This is a fantastic book and I can’t recommend this revised version enough. If you’re even half the Friday fan I am, it’s right in your wheelhouse. You won’t be sorry.
5 out of 5