Coming September 13th, 2013 (which so happens to be our next calender Friday the 13th) the Friday the 13th series will be released on blu-ray in one mass collection. Finally, right?!? Finally we’re given what we’ve been asking for ever since blu-ray format movies began coming out in droves. Ever since random Friday blu-rays have eked out into the market. Finally, we have the definitive collection. Or do we? From amateur to hard fans alike, Friday the 13th has been an amazing storyline worth watching over and over. Among other notable historic figures, Jason Voorhees will be remembered as the pinnacle bad guy among the many slasher antagonists of the 1980’s. Jason may not have started the modern slasher (credit for that should go to Myers), but he most certainly defined it. And yes, i’m placing this hockey mask wearing mama’s boy up on the pedestal he so rightly deserves, because with Jason there are no confusing story arches that you have to work to follow. He’s pissed his mom was killed. He’s pissed those morally questionable camp counselors let him drown as a boy and if you walk up into his Crystal Lake territory…well, adios compadre. Jason doesn’t stand on ceremony; he’s driven by revenge without the James Bond supervillain monologue. But I digress, let us get back to this “definitive” blu-ray release!
If you asked me to express in one word what I thought of this blu-ray Friday the 13th collection, my word would be: Exploited. Plain and simple, newcomers and old fans alike are being exploited against this most beloved horror series. Why? Well, lets take this point for point.
- Tin Case- this might seem mundane to some, but for me this just feels like some cheap (but expensive retail price of $130) metal box. A “definitive” collective should be in something worth the title of “Complete Collection.” And we haven’t even mentioned the art work on the cover yet. What is this? Some generic picture from Jason goes to Hell? Warner could have done something much — much — much more cooler and something worth the mantle of a Friday the 13th collection. Did the wow factor get drowned in the lake? There are so many iconic images to this franchise than some cheap copy and paste.
- Theatrical releases- each and everyone (except for perhaps the reboot film) of the FINALLY blu-ray release are not uncut…but simply a format transfer/repackaging of what we already have on DVD. If this was going to be the DEFINITIVE collection, every single disc should have included an uncut version with all the added blood the MPAA forced producers to leave out in theaters and the original DVD releases. 99% (1 % being the recent reboot included in this “collection”) of these features are recycled from previous deluxe editions. If i’m going the shell out $130, this had better be it, the very last collection you’ll ever need, or at least until the next video format comes out. But again, we end up coming back to the word — exploited.
- Friday the 13th part 3 and 3D- The blu-ray part 3 with this “collection” is simply the standard analygraph 3D format, not the actual modern 3D built in today’s HDTV’s. This is less of a big deal for me, but only because I haven’t jumped on the whole home theater 3D experience yet. But again, if you’re going to market a blu-ray collection for $130, shouldn’t it be legit? Why not bring this awesome original 3D movie into the new format? Laziness and greed…
- Special features- Nothing new here that hasn’t already been released at one point or another on one of the many DVD collections. The only thing new is the bonus “killer disc” full of supposedly never before seen footage on the making of this famous franchise; however, chances are those very same “never before seen” moments will be included in the upcoming release of a new Friday documentary called, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th.
Friday the 13th is a longstanding series. There have been many collection releases as the franchise rights have continually changed hands. Understandable, each producer is going to want to put out their collection, but when it comes to a blu-ray $130 box set, is it too much to ask for it to be worth the cost? As of now, blu-ray is king, shouldn’t a blu-ray collection be better than the already released DVD collections? Makes sense to me; makes sense to a lot of fans out there that have already commented on the pending release. Apparently not so much for Warner Bros. Check it out for yourselves, here is what will be included in the blu-ray collection:
- Disc 1 – Friday the 13th (1980)
- Disc 2 – Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
- Disc 3 – Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D (1982)
- Disc 4 – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) NEW TO BLU-RAY
- Disc 5 – Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985) / Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) NEW TO BLU-RAY
- Disc 6 – Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) / Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) NEW TO BLU- RAY
- Disc 7 – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) / Jason X (2002) NEW TO BLU-RAY
- Disc 8 – Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
- Disc 9 – Friday the 13th (2009) (Theatrical Version and “Killer Cut” Extended Version)
- Disc 10 – Killer Bonus DVD Disc
Bottom line: though intentionally excited to hear of the upcoming release of a blu-ray collection of my most beloved 80’s slasher, after looking up and reading through the above mentioned features and also seeing the marked up price, well…its not worth the cost, not yet anyhow. I know a lot of hard core fans and folks who don’t really care for uncut enough to deny themselves and will thus be purchasing this collection. Some will be grumpy; others will actually smile as they hand over their hard earned funds. But not me. This release is the same release I already own on DVD; $130 isn’t worth a few extra pixels. Warner Bros. could have done Jason and Friday the 13th right by honoring it with a collection worthy to be on a blu-ray format, but apparently the only thing their interested in is money through the exploitation of endearing fans of the series. This is a very sad Friday indeed.
What? You thought you were going to get away without having me say something about the upcoming DVD, Blu-ray release of Evil Dead (laughs hysterically!)? The most surprising thing for me right now is how its only been about three months since this “new” take on Sam Raimi’s masterpiece was released to theaters. A quick turn around considering the movie is more than likely still showing somewhere. But i’m not complaining. The moment news broke that Evil Dead was going to be released in July, my jaw hit the floor in greedy anticipation. Back in April, and leading up to the theatrical debut, there was a lot of doubt whether the film would disgrace the good work Sam and Bruce had done way back in the 80’s. However, after the red band trailer hit the airways, a lot of doubt was cast aside. Thomas‘ worldwide through in the towel and became true believers, watching the trailer over and over with morbid curiosity. To be honest, the trailer freaked me out, and because there is something fundamentally wrong with me, I became instantly hooked. I needed to see this movie.
If you missed Evil Dead in theaters and are waiting beggarly for Tuesday to finally come around, no worries, i’m not planning on spoiling anything for you. But I will say, the casting was great (lesser known’s could have only pulled this off. Casting an already “famous” person would have been too distracting). The story and script were sound, keeping to the original in spirit, but adding a deeper level of struggle and conflict. And the gore, still so true to Raimi’s unique and unusual tastes. Above everything else, Evil Dead proved to countless horror nerds that reboots can be done correctly and respectfully, keeping as much to the original as possible, whilst also taking it deeper and adding different twists and turns for a newer audience. Back in April, after the credits rolled, in my lounged theater seat, I pondered over which Evil Dead was best. Let me be the first honest fanboy and say out loud that the remake is, in my humble opinion, (slightly) better than the 1981 original. I know, I know, how can I say such a thing? Well, its true. The original is indeed a masterpiece, for its generation. Considering its been over thirty years, this reimagining, against all odds, took Sam’s vision and added to it, sticking to the lower budget feel, but jiving it up for a newer audience. Now, remember, i’m only talking about the 81′ Evil Dead, not the famous chainsaw induced, limb removing sequel, Evil Dead II. Groovy? Okay, moving on.
Here’s a list of special features that will be included in either/or both DVD, Blu-ray release:
- Commentary featuring stars Jane Levy, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Director Fede Alvarez and writer Rodo Sayagues (Blu-ray exclusive)
- “Making Life Difficult” – The Intense and Physically Exhausting Creation of the Film
- “Being Mia” – The Physical and Psychological Transformation into “Evil Mia”
- “Directing The Dead” – Director Fede Alvarez re-imagines a cult horror classic
- “Unleashing The Evil Force” – Exploring the origins and design of the new Book of the Dead (Blu-ray exclusive)
- “Evil Dead the Reboot” – Cast Rehearsals, Bruce Campbell, Deadites and more! (Blu-ray exclusive)
If your asking yourself, “What? That’s it? No ‘Directors Uncut’ version?” Than you and I are on the same page! Yup, looks like this “first” release is just going to be the film and a couple of extras. And I say, “first” release because we all know these guys are going to double dip and release another version sometime down the road. My bet, some time around October. Does this make me instantly hate them? Am I now going to refuse the release and boycott all sales? Nope, not in the slightest. I’m just going to sneer and complain while at the same time purchasing my DVD copy; the Blu-ray can wait till something “uncut” comes out. Yeah, whatever, you know you’ll be doing the same thing!
If you somehow missed all the hype and haven’t bothered to watch the red band trailer, here it is below:
If you’ve seen the trailer and the movie and want to check out what the meager extra features will be, check out this short video below:
Evil Dead (2013) is set to release July 16th, 2013.