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Featured DVD Review: Friday the 13th: The Ultimate Collection

September 29th, 2011

Friday the 13th Box Set: The Ultimate Collection - Buy from Amazon

This week Friday the 13th Box Set: The Ultimate Collection comes out on the home market. And note, that's The Ultimate Collection, not The Complete Collection, because after Jason Takes Manhattan, a new studio took over the franchise. I've previously reviewed most of these films, so I'll just go over the two I missed, after a short recap...

  1. Friday the 13
    The first and still the best of the franchise. In fact, it's one of the first and still one of the best in the Teenage Slasher genre. It was low-budget, and the special effects are now dated, but it is still effective.
  2. Friday the 13th: Part II
    It's practically a remake, which really hurts when you watch the two movies back-to-back. It is the first with Jason as the bad guy and it does have some good kills, so fans of the genre should enjoy it.
  3. Friday the 13th: Part 3 3D
    The 3D is a gimmick and the plot is very weak, even compared to the last installment. It is the first time we got to see the mask, but more on that later.
  4. Friday the 13th: Part IV: The Final Chapter
    The film has Crispin Glover doing a weird dance. It has very little else going for it.
  5. Friday the 13th: Part V: A New Beginning
    Likewise, outside of the Vi's dancing, there's little to recommend here. I appreciate the effort to add some mystery to the franchise, which is something we've not had for a long time. But it doesn't work out in the end.
  6. Friday the 13th: Part VI: Jason Lives
    The humorous installment of the franchise. At this point, I needed more humor to get through the film, but not everyone agrees.
And that brings us to...

Friday the 13th: Part VII: New Blood

The film begins with a recap of the previous installments in the franchise before we meet Tina, a young child with telekinetic powers. After hearing her alcoholic father hit her mother, she snaps and uses her powers to kill him, by drowning him in Crystal Lake, but the guilt drives her over the edge. After years and years in and out of mental institutes, her doctor, Dr. Crews, may have a way of curing her guilt. However, instead he plans to make it worse, so he can test her psychic powers. That's why he has brought her out to Crystal Lake. However, that plan backfires when Tina, in an attempt to revive her father, accidentally releases Jason from his watery grave.

One of the weakest films in the franchise and outside of the Tina's psychic abilities, there's nothing here that makes it stand out. They are just going through the motions.

The Extras

There are plenty of extras including an audio commentary track with the director, John Carl Buechler; the actress that played Tina, Lar Park Lincoln; and Jason himself, Kane Holder. There's a 15-minute making of featurette, a seven-minute featurette that pretends telekinesis is real, there's a three-minute reunion with two of the actresses that takes place at a salon, and finally 22 deleted scenes. The deleted scenes are mostly more gruesome kills that were likely cut to get an R-rating. The video quality of these are nasty.

Friday the 13th: Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Despite the title, the film begins at Crystal Lake. After Jason is again revived, this time with an anchor and a power cable, Jason climbs aboard the Lazarus, a boat being used for a high school graduation party. It's going to take them to New York City. In the meantime, kill, kill, kill, hey, there's Stacy Hirano, kill, kill, kill... and an hour later we are in New York.

And the downward trend continues. At this point, even hardcore fans of the franchise will be at least a little bored with the repetitive nature of the kills.

The Extras

There's an audio commentary track, a making of featurette, deleted scenes, and outtakes.

The Verdict

My overall recommendation involves a little math. On, the Friday the 13th Box Set: The Ultimate Collection costs just $38 for eight films and a collectors Hockey Mask. (It's the Part III mask, except dirtier, and it is full size. I was wearing it for a bit, but I couldn't watch the movie with it on, because I need to wear glasses to see anything.) Many of the individual films have been deeply discounted to $7, more or less. If you are willing to pay for at least half of these films, taking into account double-dips, then the box set is certainly worth it.

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Filed under: Video Review, Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part 3, Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th Part 2, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan