Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I REDO the Jasons!

Promised to do this one way back at the Tom Holland review.
And had "Crystal Lake Memories", ordered way back at the Tom Savini review, and received it at the Tom Holland review.
I also mentioned this post as upcoming in the Robert Kurtzman review.
So, it's been awhile coming.
But, I always get there in the end.
Its been on the list.
I always finish a list.

So, here we go, at last, the promised sequel to "I "meh", the Jasons".

Crystal Lake Memories (2013)

Whelp, to dig into the documentary is to dig into the films themselves, so, here's my re-appraisal.

Friday the 13th (1980)

They finally come right out, and admit they ripped off "Halloween".
They changed "the venue", gave it a higher body count, increased the gore, but, yeah.
Oh, and they made the identity of the killer a "whodunnit?".
But, I happen to think that's enough changes to make it unique, and along with 4, and 6, I think it's one of the best ones.
My appraisal of this one hasn't really changed.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

A deliberate cash-grab from the first one, and they acknowledge it, and make no apologies.
Tom Savini was among the many from the crew of the first one to be un-enthused, and not join up.

My appraisal of this one as an unoriginal rehash hasn't changed either.

Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

My respect for this one shot up some.

They really put a lot of heart, and work into this one to make it stand out from the last two.
And from this one onward, they always tried to have a gimmick that made it different from the last.
Fans DID complain about 2 being a rehash, even though they coughed up their money.
The creators DID listen.

Anyway, the gimmick was 3-D, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into using the technology.
And, it wasn't cheap red/blue 3-D either, it was the good stuff.
I didn't know they had it back then.
They did, but you had to pay a pretty penny for it.
That's why most opted for the cheap shit.

They say, home video doesn't do it justice, you HAVE to see it film projected with the old glasses.

There STILL isn't the tech to pull off how it looked back then.
That's why its always been so unimpressive to me.
Lost a lot on the translation.

Many in the documentary claim it's one of the best 3-D movies ever.
Given that its competition is "Avatar", and "Gravity", I'm willing to believe it.

Also, this is where Jason gets his mask, so it's where Jason truly becomes Jason.

So, yeah, this is more special than I gave it credit for.
I'll bump it up a couple points.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Again, this is one of my favorites, and it's easily the best of the original ones where Jason is a non-zombie.
Nothing changed for me here.

Tom Savini hated the idea of Jason, who was a kid, and dead, and a dream, in the first one being alive, and running around in 2, but, he was willing to come back for this one to kill him off.
Heeheehee! )B-)

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

My respect for this one shot up too.
This might now be tied with 4 for one of my favorites on re-assessment.

Well, one thing, I now know why this one had the highest titty count, the director, Danny Steinmann, came right out of porno.
He's my hero!

Anyway, the film, well, I listed the high points in the old version, the acting on adult Tommy is the best, the secondary characters are actually pretty good, and again, the high titty count.

And, a high body count, this one really went for the gusto, and got away with a lot.

Also, and I can't believe this didn't register all these years, it loops back to the first one, the killer's identity is another "whodunnit?", and it turns out to be another grief-stricken parent, like Pamela Voorhees.

So, they were deliberately respecting the series.
It just turned out to be a sequence of creative choices that pissed the fans off.

I like it a lot better, I don't dislike it all anymore.
I really dig it.
Very under-appreciated film.

The way I look at the series now, is this way.
The events of 1-5 "really", happened.
No supernatural bullshit, so it could happen.

6-11, are the legend of Jason as told around the campfire, growing, and growing, and the tale getting taller with the telling.

12 is the Reader's Digest version of the original events.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

My assessment hasn't changed.

I appreciate more and more how Jason becomes a re-incarnation of the Universal Frankenstein, and how that was a deliberate choice, and a nod to horror history, and yadda yadda.
But, it never raises or lowers the amount of stars I give it.
Just behind 4.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

My assessment of the final product doesn't waver, but I have a lot more sympathy and respect for it now.

This one had a lot going against it.

The MPAA assholes made it no secret that they hated this series, and were always out for blood, and this one was the worst victim of their butchery.

They also had a woman line producer who hated the series, and horror in general, and neutered a lot of stuff right on the set, and everyone hated her guts.

Oh, and that part explains the weird ending with the dead dad coming up out of the water grabbing Jason!
He was supposed to be a zombie too!
They even shot it that way, with him in full makeup, but the dumb bitch didn't like it, and didn't explain why, so they shot it the other way, with him as a human, just covered with branches, and some mud, and it makes no fucking sense.

Also, this one was up against "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4", right at the ultimate peak of Freddy-mania.
So it would have gotten its ass trounced if it were GOOD.

And finally, in the late 90's or so, Paramount just up and fucking destroyed all the cut footage, so there'll never be a special edition fix to this.
The shitty cut is what we're stuck with.

So, I genuinely mourn the movie we were supposed to have.

The documentary guys rescued a bunch of grainy videotape dailies to show us what the cut stuff sorta looked like, but, that's all we get.

The director, John Carl Buechler, is just fucking heartbroken.

Oh, interesting factoid before I close this one out, the evil shrink is/was Bernie in "Weekend At Bernies".

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Budget constraints assfucked this one right out of the gate.

The writer/director, Rob Heddon, totally wanted to give us the movie hinted at in the title, the poster, and in the trailer.
Jason actually in New York, doing stuff in Times Square, meeting celebrity guests, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, all of that stuff.
Everything you can imagine, he had planned.
Nope, no money for it.
New York asks for the sky to shoot, and Jason is a low-budget operation.

So, we got "Jason On A Boat".
And in Canada.
But just the alleyways.

Also, the MPAA was pulling their usual corporate puritan thug bullshit.

Like 7, I sympathize, but it does no good to explain that a dog turd used to be the finest grass fed filet mignon before the dog ate it, it's still a dog turd.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

As hinted at in the Robert Kurtzman review, I like this one better.

Its finally grown on me.

You've got gorier kills, Creighton Duke has grown on me more as a character, the self referential humor looks better with age, and hey, Erin Grey!

Between the documentary, and AMC replaying this a lot, I enjoy this one now.

Nostalgia magnifies the nostalgia that was already there.
This was for 30-somethings that were teenagers during the first one, and now I'm a thirty-something, so it clicks better.

I think the grief I gave this one stemmed solely from my frustration of the wait for "Freddy vs. Jason".
That, and the whole "the real Jason is only at the beginning, and the end", thing, which, they do acknowledge pissed people off in the doc.

I'd rank this..oh...just after 4-5 (those being tied), yeah, between 4-5, and 6.

Jason X (2001)

My original review was buried in "I "meh", the 00's!! (Part 2!!)", and it's about the same.
Pretty good, but not great.

But, again, I gave it inordinate grief because of my trauma from waiting for "Freddy vs. Jason", year after year.
Really, that wasn't a passive "whenever it happens", thing, I was actually watching the calender.
That was truly painful.

So, I enjoy this one when it comes on TV, I'm a lot easier on it, I watch 'em all with nostalgia.
Hell, even 8.

Only thing I really learned, is the documentary jogged my memory on the bullshit of new New Line heads coming in, not caring about the series, and letting it sit on a shelf for 2 fucking years, then it got pirated like crazy on Pirate Bay, cuz fans thought it would never get released, then when it did come out, people had already seen how weak it was, and didn't give a shit enough to pay for it.

Allegedly, the scripted version was darker than the almost comedy version we ended up with.
Screw it, I liked it for what it was.
It's self aware of its goofiness.
It's a fun little flick.

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

*Holds hand to ear*

*The stadium crowd roars "all the drugs in meee! All the bugs in meee! How can III liive without youuu!!?".*

Goddamned right. ;-)

Okay, for the doc, they mostly recycled footage from the interviews on "Never Sleep Again", and for the new footage, they hemmed, and hawed, and nitpicked, and came down on the side that it doesn't hold up, but they can kiss my ass.

The one thing I did agree on, was it was shitty how Kane Hodder was kicked out of it.
The studio gave all these bullshit rationalizations about how they wanted a "fresh take", on the character, and none of it held up.
Kane said he watched it expecting to to see the scene that would jump out, and make him go "ohhh THAT'S why", but there wasn't anything in that movie he couldn't have done.
Yeah, that was pretty shitty.

Friday The 13th (2009)

My estimation hasn't changed at all from this updated review.

AMC has started playing the Freddy and Jason remakes,'s all the same.
They don't get any better.

The only real factoid I got out of the documentary, is that the "Freddy vs. Jason", guys also wrote this one.
But, they claim their original vision was messed with.
See my closing remarks on part 8.

Friday The 13th The Series (1987-1990)

I loved it.
Year after year, I like many a fan, kept waiting for them to do an episode whee they have to collect the cursed Jason hockey mask as an item to tie it in to the movies, but it never happened.
But, the promise of that episode tricked me into watching a good show.

This was the opposite of "Freddy's Nightmares".
Freddy had the better movies, but had the shitty show, Jason had mediocre movies, and an excellent spinoff show.

This has kind of re-incarnated as "Warehouse 13".
They even note the similarities in the documentary.

What killed this one, was moron affiliates playing it in slots where kids could see it, and drawing in the ire of the churchy assholes.

Course, look at what TV gets away with now.
"Hannibal", "Walking Dead".
We truly are in a golden age of horror on TV.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
There's always another social-conservative backlash waiting to strike.

Okay, now, the doc overall....

Excellent, exhaustive,....tiring.

"Never Sleep Again", is four hours that feel like an hour and a half, but there's no getting around that you FEEL 7 hours, no matter how engaging.

I was thoroughly killed when it was done.
Then, there was still the commentary, and bonus disk.
I saved that for the next day, after a well deserved 10 hours of sleep.

The bonus disk was worth the race for the deadline.
Snagged it just in time.

It not only had bonus interviews, but comedy skits, and a video from the band of the guy who played child-Jason in part 1.
Man, he can shred!
Entertaining stuff all around.

Both the documentary, and the bonus disk, contain everything in the main body, there's no left-over remainders split off like on "Never Sleep Again".

They discuss the music, the video game, the toys, everything, right there.
It's all crammed in.

I don't know which I like better.
I kind of like having the spinoff stuff from the films on the bonus disk of "Never Sleep Again", where I can find it easier.
But, having the main body of the doc "feel complete", has its appeal too.

I'll definitely be marathon-ing  this in rotation with "Never sleep Again", and "I am Nancy", in the coming years.
For sure.

Will I collect the films?
Nah. :-)
Doc is good enough.
I'm still a Freddy guy.

Sometime tonight, one last treat.

No comments:

Blog Archive