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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Filmmaking > Horror > Slasher > Franchise > Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (2013/Image Entertainment Blu-ray set)

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (2013/Image Entertainment Blu-ray set)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: B Film: B+

Ch-ch-ch-ah-ah-ah... Jason is coming for you!

Crystal Lake Memories is one of the most extensive documentaries I've ever seen for a film franchise and a must for slasher/horror fans that are curious how these films came to be. Covering all eight of the original Friday the 13th films from Paramount, Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X, Freddy Vs. Jason from New Line Cinema, and even the recent (terrible) reboot from Platinum Dunes, you will walk away an expert on Jason Voorhees after watching this.

Directed by Daniel Farrands, who also produced the extensive Never Sleep Again documentary on A Nightmare on Elm Street (which I highly recommend, reviewed elsewhere on this site) proves yet again that he is a fantastic and thorough expert on cult horror films. Collaborating with author Peter M. Bracke, who created a 300 book of the same name, this film also serves as a companion piece to that incredible release.

Disc 1 breaks down as follows:

1. Prologue/Long Night at Camp Blood [44:40]
2. The Body Count Continues [36:58]
3. A New Dimension in Terror [33:15]
4. Jason's Unlucky Day [38:17]
5. Repetition [31:15]
6. Resurrection [36:23]
7. Curious Goods [9:56]

Disc 2 includes:

1. Jason's Destroyer [28:52]
2. Terror in Times Square [23:24]
3. The Nine Lives of Voorhees [22:16]
4. Evil Gets an Upgrade [18:59]
5. Winner Kills All [30:56]
6. Reboot [29:47]
7. Reflections on the Water/Epilogue [15:01]

Narrated by Friday the 13th Part 4 actor Corey Feldman (who plays a cool role in the documentary as an actor around a camp fire), the documentary features interviews with 150 cast and crew members from the film franchise including key players such as Jason actor Kane Hodder, Director and Creator Sean S. Cunningham, Freddy himself Robert Englund, Gore Master Tom Savini, Actress Danielle Panabaker, Jason actor (reboot) Derek Mears, the late Betsy Palmer, the late Wes Craven, Producer Robert Shaye, Musician Alice Cooper and many more. The total run time for this film is a staggering 420 minutes!

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy, English Dolby Digital 5.1 track (448 kbps), the film looks and sounds great on Blu-ray with little left to be desired. There are also English and Spanish subs on the disc as well.

Seeing that the film itself is basically a giant bonus feature there is also a commentary track and some trailers from the original films.

Jason Voorhees is without a doubt one of the most infamous villains in the horror genre and for fans of the films it's hard to image a better companion piece than this great documentary. While not all of the films in the series are necessarily great, it's still fun to learn how they came to be and hear from the cast and filmmakers on them and see never before seen photographs, concept art, deleted scenes, outtakes, and film clips. I look forward to more film studies like this from Daniel Farrands in the future!

- James Harland Lockhart V



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