Packing Up Camp Crystal Lake

In 1980, Sean Cunningham and Paramount pictures unleashed Friday the 13th, one of the biggest horror franchises ever in the world of horror.  Who knew ripping off Halloween would be so successful.  34 years and ten films later, we have a box set billed as the complete collection.  This is a big set, it has the eight Paramount films and the four New Line films, 3-D glasses for Friday the 13th 3D, a camp counselor patch and a booklet called Crystal Lake Memories. (an excerpt from the book).  It is all held together in a steel tin with an embossed Jason.  The discs are housed in a very nice book with slip case pages.  The artwork is great.  This is very nice packaging.

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And it starts off great.  First, the sound and picture are great.  The films benefit from Blu-Ray.  Each of the first eight films are packed with special features covering the various DVD releases of the films.These are pretty in depth and since some featurettes were made years apart, they do at times retread tales that were told.   But there are fun inclusions like convention footage featuring multiple Jasons and the like.  There is a series, an episode on each disc that is called “Lost Tales From Lake Blood”.  It is the tale of a Jason like killer who is not actually Jason.  It is not all that effective, and lacks a sense of real plot.

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After the fifth film, the features taper off slightly, mainly just including the features from the original DVD releases and the Lost Tales.  But after the eighth film?  It becomes hit or miss.  There are no special features for Jason Goes to Hell.  Just a trailer.  To top it off, they only include the theatrical cut of the film.  The DVD had the uncut version along with the theatrical version, as well as an audio commentary and featurettes.

There are a few features from the Jason X disc, and the same goes for Freddy Vs. Jason and the Friday the 13th remake (which is the same disc that was available in stores on it’s own.  Starting with Part V through Jason X, each disc has two films per disc.  I suspect Freddy vs Jason and the remake are on their own discs simply because it was less trouble to repress the discs they had.

Probably the biggest disappointment?  The promoted bonus disc.   The bonus disc is the same DVD that was included with the previous DVD box set from a couple years before hi-def that only covered the first eight films.  And a majority of the special features included on that disc appear on their respective blu-rays.

Overall, it is a nice set, and the first eight discs are nice and packed with features.  It is just that it starts to decline after that.  As I said previously, the picture quality is solid and the audio is high quality.  And again, the actual packaging is great.  I can only wish the Nightmare on Elm Street set had been packaged with such care.

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