- Rated R
- Buy the DVD
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
ason Voorhees is going retro this Halloween with the DVD release of his first eight films, “Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan,” a 5-disc Ultimate Edition DVD Collection for die-hard fans of the horror icon. The set includes all eight films spread out on four discs (two films per disc) and a fifth bonus disc with hours of special features that only hardcore fans will probably enjoy. The collection follows everyone’s favorite masked murder during his legendary killing spree at Camp Crystal Lake to the out-of-place cruise ship trip to NYC, but while the series has been highly regarded for its imaginatively gory death scenes, fans will be sadly disappointed with no sign of any uncut versions or a 3-D cut of part III; two very important missing pieces in a self-acclaimed “Ultimate Edition.”
The only positive element in the set is the bonus material, which includes assorted commentary and a separate disc of deleted scenes, exclusive interviews with cast and crew, and the original theatrical trailers to every film. The audio commentary tracks in the set appear on part III (with cast and crew), part VI (with director Tom McLoughlin), part VII (with Kane Hodder and director John Carl Buechler) and part VIII (with director Rob Hedden), but they’re all pretty standard behind-the-scenes babble. In fact, if you currently own these DVDs individually, you’ll notice that nothing has changed during the transition to this 8-part set.
The “Killer Extras” bonus disc has a lot more to offer fans of the series, but the amateurish PhotoShop menus make it look like a junior high video project. “Friday the 13th Chronicles” is the most extensive section on the disc, with eight separate featurettes that explore the legacy of the series through interviews and clips. “Secrets Behind the Gore” is another selection of mini-features that focus on the creation of SFX and make-up through interviews with Tom Savini (“The Godfather of Gore”) and John Carl Buechler, as well as drawings and never-before-seen clips of the innovative techniques used to create the memorable death sequences.
The rest of the disc is pretty bland, including “Crystal Lake Victims Tell All,” yet another assortment of interviews with actors talking about their various death scenes, a handful of “Tales From the Cutting Room” that show final edits side-by-side to earlier and much gorier cuts, and “’Friday’ Artifacts and Collectibles,” a quick look at famous props and collectibles from previous “Friday” directors and fans around the world. This Ultimate Edition DVD Collection is more of a trick than a treat for most “Friday the 13th” fans, but it you haven't picked up the films on DVD yet, this is the perfect chance to purchase a cheap and condensed collection of the first eight films with a few interesting special features that will keep you busy on a rainy day.