Blu-ray Review “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”

crystallakeActors: Corey Feldman, Sean S. Cunningham, Adrienne King, Amy Steel, Dana Kimmel
Directors: Daniel Farrands
Producers: Thommy Hutson
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: 1428 Films
Release Date: September 13, 2013
Run Time: 400 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Friday the 13” is one of my favorite horror franchises. Jason Voorhees is also one of my favorite horror icon. The films are so fun and have held up so well over the last 30+ years. The franchise has not only consisted of twelve films but also a TV series, books and tons of collectible merchandise. When you factor in all those aspect, “Friday the 13th” becomes much more than a horror series. It actually is more of a pop-culture phenomenon, which has been over three decades. This is not the first documentary on the films and won’t be the last but it is definitely one of the best, especially alongside others like “His Name is Jason”. When you read the title of this film, it is not taking lightly it’s title…it is “The Complete History of Friday the 13th”. Did I mention that this is 400 minutes long…take a sec and do the math…yes, that nearly seven hours long. This is not a joke. It is a hardcore documentary for a hardcore “Friday the 13th” fan.

Official Premise: Inspired by the critically-acclaimed book, “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th” takes viewers behind the mask on an epic journey into the making of the landmark horror franchise — from its humble beginnings in 1980 at a New Jersey summer camp to the blockbuster release of its 2009 “reboot.” Combining hundreds of rare and never-before-seen photographs, film clips, outtakes, archival documents, conceptual art and behind-the-scenes footage, and featuring interviews with more than 150 cast and crew members spanning all twelve films and the television series, “Crystal Lake Memories” is the ultimate tribute to one of horror’s most iconic and enduring franchises.

So being a huge fan of this franchise, I was really taken back by the fact that this documentary reached out to so many people who have been involved with the series over the year. This also included a bunch of people who have never appeared in camera interviews, which is a mega plus. A few of the great talent who participated with this doc includes Kane Hodder, Robert Englund, Tom Savini, Sean S. Cunningham, Derek Mears, Betsy Palmer, Wes Craven, Ken Kirzinger, Robert Shaye and Alice Cooper, along with many more. “Crystal Lake Memories” is written and directed by Daniel Farrands and produced by Thommy Hutson. This is the same team who also delivered us the amazing “A Nightmare on Elm Street” documentary, “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy”. These guys deserve an award for all the word that they put into this doc.

1428 Films released this film as a combo pack with the documentary spread out over two Blu-rays and two DVDs. The 1080p transfer with it’s 1.78:1 aspect ratio works well with the interviews and footage from the films. I was a little bit let down to see that the audio track included was only a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, which is not really screaming Blu-ray quality but it worked for the most part. In terms of special features, there are not any additional extras besides a commentary track. But wait a sec…the commentary track is insane a must watch for any true “Friday the 13th” fan. It includes director Daniel Farrands, author Peter M. Bracke, and editor Luke Rafalowski throughout all seven hours. I remember seeing a photo on Facebook of the trio after recording this track and it just shows how much love went into it. Must listen for any fan and a great companion to the documentary.

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5 Replies to “Blu-ray Review “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th””

  1. Can you confirm if the packaging states region free/multi region, of just region A, as most sites selling this in Europe list it as region A only.

  2. Pre-ordered , arrived today WITH 4 hour extra extended interview disc…..7 hour doc , 7 hour commentary on said doc , 4 hour extra disc , there goes my weekend.

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