Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
Directed by Various
Distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment took on the Herculean task of compiling what they intended to be the ultimate Friday the 13th box set with their new release Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection. Indeed, the set delivers all 10 of the original Friday the 13th films, as well as Freddy vs. Jason and the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th with Derek Mears portraying Jason. There are some really cool things about this set, but it does come up seriously lacking in certain aspects.
The set is packaged in a sturdy tin case with an image from Jason Goes To Hell on the cover. Personally I think they could of come up with something a bit more eye-catching and iconic (not to mention a little text on the spine for those sliding the set onto a shelf with their film collection). The rest of the case is festooned with images from the 2009 Friday the 13th remake. Again, probably not the film you want to represent the series.
The packaging wraps up with a truncated version of the Crystal Lake Memories book. The book contains tons of images from the Friday the 13th series and loads of interesting quotes from the filmmakers and stars of the films. It's slickly printed and a nice little addition to the package. Not breaking any new ground, but it's shiny and pretty. A Camp Crystal Lake Camp Counselor iron-on patch and two sets of old school red and blue 3D glasses for Friday the 13th Part 3 are also included. The 10-disc set (nine Blu-rays and one DVD filled with special features) are housed in a sharply printed hard-cover book that contains a page or two in honor of each of the films. It's all held together by a red elastic band with a quote from good ol' Crazy Ralph printed on it…"I told the others, they didn't believe me. YOU'RE ALL DOOMED."
As for the films themselves, you know what you're getting here. It's the Friday the 13th series. One of the most iconic collections of films in the history of horror movies. Yes, some of the movies are better than others, but the original 10 films are indeed horror history. Personally, I enjoyed Freddy vs. Jason and was happy to see it included in the set. It's nice to see Derek Mears' performance recognized with all the other Jason's, but that's probably the only thing about the 2009 remake worth looking at. But hey, complete collection means complete collection, right?
Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection introduces five new films to Blu-ray. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and Jason X all make their Blu-ray debuts in this set. Unfortunately, the folks who compiled the films for the set decided to go with the R-rated version of Jason Goes to Hell instead of its more colorful unrated counterpart. Not sure why you wouldn't give horror fans every drop of the red, red kroovy that you could. Even more curious, though the disc for the original Friday the 13th is clearly marked as the R-rated version, it is indeed the uncut version Paramount released a while back on Blu-ray. There were a lot of questionable choices made by the compilers of this set.
That being said, the movies do look sharp in their Blu-ray format. It's a great way to watch these legendary pictures and they are all as fun as you remember them. And it is indeed a complete collection. The inclusion of the 2009 Friday the 13th remake, as well as Freddy vs. Jason makes sure the set includes ever film Jason has appeared in. The content of the films is, of course, the strong point of this collection. Do they make it worth the $100+ price tag? As a fan, I'd like to get a little something new from a set like this for that kind of coin.
The thing is, we're already familiar with the films. Hell, we already own all the films (probably in VHS and DVD format). So to make this set worthwhile, it needs to bring something new to us in the special features. If there's nothing new to share with audiences (which is certainly a possibility with an iconic franchise like this) then it makes a repacking like Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection feel like more of a money grab than anything else. You can see the full list of special features contained on all the discs in the set compiled smartly here in Matt Serafini's article on Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection. As you can see, these are pretty much rehashed features that have already been seen on previously released versions of the Friday the 13th films.
The bottom line on the collection is this: If you don't own any Friday the 13th films and you'd like to get them all on Blu-ray, then this set is going to save you some shopping around. You can get all 12 films for just about $10 a piece. That's a decent price considering the fact that it's one-stop shopping. But (and I would assume if you're reading this, you fall into this category) if you already own Friday the 13th films, you're not going to get much new here at all. You can scoop up a couple of the movies making their Blu-ray debut, but other than that, this is basically rehashed material. What could have been a celebration of one of the most beloved horror franchises ever comes off as a lackluster, lazy effort.
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.
4 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5