HIS NAME WAS JASON
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Lar Park Lincoln
What's it about
As we are on the verge of another Friday the 13th release, this little documentary set lands in our lap. It covers the basics of the Friday films and features interviews with the cast and crew from the series that is now spawning its 11th film.
Is it good movie?
I was really, really pumped to get my hands on this disc. I suppose at the end of the day I simply had hopes that were too high, because this one disappointed me. If you've never seen a Friday movie before or aren't really a fan of the series, this might whet your appetite a bit because it glosses over the whole series so fast your head will spin.
I guess I'm not really sure what the point of this documentary is. It barely touches anything in depth about the Friday movies and doesn't spend a lot of time discussing the new film either. With that being said, it doesn't suck- there are some great little bits of trivia in there and it's refreshing to see some old faces from the past getting the opportunity to discuss what made them a bit of cash in the old days. I'm a sucker for Kane Hodder and anything that gets him screentime will always interest me (yes, I've seen Metalbeast).
It’s cool that this is hosted by a hammy Tom Savini, and it is also cool that the documentary is busted up into categories like kills and things like that but ultimately it is impossible to watch this without wanting more. I couldn't believe how quickly they blazed through this franchise and barely spoke about each movie. The whole documentary is only 90 minutes long and if it were only about each movie that would equal about 8 minutes of screen time per flick and it isn't even like that because of the other things they touch on.
Clearly this little project was made with love because there are some great names that were dug up here for the fans. But with that said, it just seemed like too much stuff was left on the cutting room floor- thank goodness for extras.
Video / Audio
This one comes in 1.78:1 widescreen and doesn't have the best video transfer because the source material is spotty. Some interviews look like they were conducted with a crappy camera and as such the quality suffers.
Audio is pretty average too, coming in Dolby 2.0 which isn't exactly thrilling unless you still haven't picked up that surround system yet.
This DVD is saved by the extras, and you'll see why.
First we start with The Men Behind the Mask, which features extra footage with each guy who played Jason on the big screen. You'll even learn about the whole Steve Daskawisz/Warrington Gillette fiasco and Kane Hodder complaining about being robbed from F vs. J. Great stuff here.
Next we'll go to Final Cuts where all of the directors are interviewed, except for Steve Miner and Ronny Yu (unfortunately). Some great stuff here too, and by the time you watch just this section alone, you'll be exhausted.
From Script to Screen is a bunch of interviews with writers, and although I thought this was a little dull it still packs a lot of information into a short amount of time.
Dragged from the Lake features odds and ends from anyone involved and will also tell the sad story about Adrienne King's stalking fan that ruined her life for years.
How do you feel about Fan Films? Well, you get an Angry Video Game Nerd adaptation (awesome), A Jason anti-depressant commercial (funny), FvsJ in 30 seconds done by rabbits (funny), and a stupid fan film about Jason's long lost brother. Neat additions.
There's also Closing the Book on The Final Chapter, which features Chuck Zito and Erich Anderson walking through the Jarvis house and discussing memories of the old film that many still love.
Fox Comes Home features Gloria Charles doing the same thing that Zito did, except in the house from Part 3.
Friday the 13th in 4 Minutes deals with press clips of 'critics' hating on the movies, and is just classic stuff. A great feature that made me laugh.
Jason Takes Comic-Con is another look at the new flick, and features a lot of Derek Mears- the guy is awesome, intelligent and reminds me of myself (if that isn't a compliment, what is?) and really can bring a lot to the role.
The Camp Crystal Lake Survival Guide is a funny little piece about how to live through an attack from Jason, which is disposable but funny fluff.
Don't forget about Inside Halloween Horror Nights, a great little added feature that talks about the Jason themed horror house that took place at Universal Studios' Halloween event. This makes me sad because I wanted to go to that so badly and didn't get the chance. Great details though, did you know that the barn smelled like manure? Heh.
Finally, Shelly Lives! is a funny little bit that is just great, I won't spoil it but you'll definitely dig it if you like good old Larry Zerner.
This set has been saved by the extras and should be strongly considered by any Friday fan. As a side note, I strongly recommend Crystal Lake Memories, a book by Peter M. Bracke which is the ultimate resource for any Jason fan. As it stands, you might want to pick this up, if nothing else the extras pay a decent service to us fans.