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Here's the lowdown on the set straight from Warner Home Video:
Quote: " Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection is a 10-disc collection that includes the twelve films on nine Blu-ray discs, as well as a killer DVD bonus disc full of special features on the making of the famous franchise. The must-own set is presented in a collectible tin case with 11 hours of previously released special features and a 40-page soft cover book. The book is excerpted from Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday The 13th, a fan-favorite volume that’s viewed as the ultimate memoir of the series, and highlights some of the 200 interviews, 600 photos, storyboards, concept art and more. Also included is a brand new, official Camp Crystal Lake embroidered Counselor Patch. Also included are digital versions of all 12 films with UltraViolet™, allowing viewers to download and instantly stream the films to a wide range of devices from computers and compatible tablets to smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players."Sound good? Good.

 Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection
Now, just in case you don't want to rifle through the whole review, here's a few important things you need to know:

  • No new special features were created specifically for this collection.
  • Save for the artwork, the discs featuring Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part II and Friday the 13th Part 3 are the same discs that were previously released by Paramount Home Entertainment; Friday the 13th is still the uncut version and Friday the 13th Part 3 is still presented in 2D and red and blue anaglyph 3D.
  • Save for the artwork the disc for Friday the 13th (2009) is the same as the previous release from Warner Home Video in 2009.
  • Freddy Vs. Jason features a revamped menu and has had its audio upgraded to a DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 track, but everything else is the same as the previous Warner Home Video release from 2009.
  • Only the R-rated cut of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is included--there is no unrated version in this collection; the commentary track found on the DVD is also absent.
  • The "Killer Bonus" DVD of extras included in the set is the same disc that was included with the "From Crystal Lake To Manhattan" boxed set released in 2004, right down to the disc artwork and copyright stamp.
  • The "From Crystal Lake To Manhattan" commentary tracks for Friday the 13th Part 3 and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood are not included; all of the original eight Paramount films contain at least one commentary track except for Friday the 13th Part II and Friday the 13th Part 3 which do not have one. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan each include two commentary tracks.
  • The UltraViolet code included with the set is one code for the entire collection--you do not get a separate code for each film.

So now that we've got that out of the way, here's my totally obligatory and completely arbitrary "From Worst to First" countdown of the Friday the 13th series. Feel free to come up with your own list and put it in the comments section.

It's the Friday Countdown
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
11. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Basic Plot: A passing boat full of teenagers bound for New York pulls Jason Voorhees along for the ride.

Talk about bait and switch. Everyone's biggest and most justified complaint with Manhattan is that two-thirds of the movie actually takes place on a second rate cruise ship on it's way to New York City, and by the time it actually gets there you're either too pissed off at being suckered in by the ad campaign or too bored to care anymore. Supposedly this was the most expensive of the original Fridays to produce, but most of the budget must have went to the cost of shooting what little locations they actually did manage to film in The Big Apple because it's the cheapest looking film in the entire series. The wonderful Jason makeup and special effects from the previous film, The New Blood, are nowhere to be found here, and what we're left with is the weakest and blandest looking Jason of the original Paramount entries. Don't even get me started on the "Muppet" Jason that makes an appearance once he's finally unmasked or his bafflingly lame demise--I don't want to spend that much time writing about this movie.

I mean, there's just so much wrong with this one it's hard to point to something that would make it worth sitting through again. It certainly wouldn't be the characters who are largely just fodder for the slaughter with broader than typical Friday stereotypes stapled to their chests, and it certainly wouldn't be the weakest heroine in the entire series who remains a victim throughout the entire movie by taking abuse from not only Jason Voorhees, but from her psychologically abusive uncle, a bitch classmate and a couple of street thugs who kidnap, drug and attempt to rape her too. Replacing the strong female lead found in every other entry in the series with a cowering waif is not a trend that needed to be bucked. The pacing is all off, it's bereft of any suspense and thanks to the MPAA being at the height of their nannydom there is virtually no gore whatsoever, which leaves Jason having to resort to strangling someone with his bare hands. Oh my how the mighty have fallen. Needless to say, this is my least favorite movie in the franchise, and now that I think about it I'm still a little bitter about paying to see this with my own, hard earned lawn mowing money when it got released in theaters back in 1989. Screw this movie...it's #11 on the list.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Extras
  • Commentary with writer/director Rob Hedden (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release).
  • "Killer" Commentary with actors Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves and Kane Hodder (by telephone)
  • "New York Has A New Problem - The Making of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan" - Making of featurette (18 min., HD)
  • Gag reel (5 min., HD)
  • Slashed Scenes (13 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD)
  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles; Part VIII" - Making-of featurette (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (14 min., SD)

 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
10. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Basic Plot: When hunted by a motivated bounty hunter, serial killer Jason Voorhees' supernatural origins are revealed as Crystal Lake is hit by another murder spree.

Does the thought of a Friday the 13th flick that borrows heavily from such cinematic masterpieces as Wes Craven's Shocker and Jack Sholder's The Hidden, introduces all kinds of new, nonsensical mythology angles from out of nowhere and gives the Jason we all know and love about 10-minutes of actual screen time sound good to you? It does? Great! Jason Goes to Hell is just the movie you're looking for. Everyone else? You should probably just keep scrolling through the list until to see one that catches your eye. I'm all for trying something different to shake things up and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks (and I'll get to that one later), but if this is the best they could come up with then I would've rather the filmmakers just stuck to the status quo and let a Friday the 13th movie be a Friday the 13th movie. For a good portion of its running time its an unpleasant, boring and dreadful film to sit through that hasn't gotten any better with age like I thought it might when I sat back down to watch it again. It's also another bait and switch job preying on those of us looking to enjoy more adventures of our hockey masked hero in all his glory, and what little we do get is the worst looking and most lifeless Jason in the series.

All that being said there are a couple of things I like about Jason Goes to Hell, but you should temper your expectations by focusing on my emphasizing of the phrase "a couple" on the line above. The biggest thing it has going for it, especially in the unrated version released on video (which is inexplicably not included in this release, but probably for the reason that the unrated version was made specifically for the home video market and any elements greater than standard definition weren't readily available), is that it's probably the goriest and nastiest Friday movie in the entire franchise and features some wonderfully executed special make-up effects, so if you're looking for some splatter--albeit not the conventional Friday kind--then you might fall in love with its particular brand of bloodshed. Another thing I like about it is the character of bounty hunter Creighton Duke, who is played so batshit crazily insane by Steven Williams that every second he's not taking up at least 50% of the screen is a second that's totally wasted. People have attempted to hunt Jason down in Friday movies before, but none with anywhere near this amount of glee or gusto. You can't help but do anything except root for this guy even when he's being a total prick to the main characters, and by the end you'll wish you could buy him a beer. So yeah, those are the two things I like about Jason Goes to Hell, but at least that's two things I like more about it then Jason Takes Manhattan, so it goes just ahead of it at #10.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround German and Spanish
Subtitles: English, German and Spanish

Extras
Unfortunately the unrated version of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is not included in the set, and with its exclusion the audio commentary recorded specifically for that version featuring director Adam Marcus and screenwriter Dean Lorey is also absent.

  • TV Version Alternate Scenes (SD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)

 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Friday the 13th (2009)
9. Friday the 13th (2009)
Basic Plot: While partying at a secluded cabin a group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.

Initially I wasn't going to include this one and list it separately on its own. I guess I just don't really see it as belonging to the series whose name it bears, but after some consideration I decided to stick it in here at #9. I think peoples' opinions of Friday the 13th '09 will vary greatly depending on how well versed they are in the rest of the series, and those who have less experience with the saga of Jason Voorhees may get more out of it. After all, it was made with the intention of bringing Jason to a new generation of fans who were unfamiliar with the particulars but recognized the title and its implications and not necessarily for the die hard Friday fans who've either been there since the beginning or have at least seen all of the previous pictures. As one of those old timers I got little out of Friday '09 that I hadn't already gotten out of the previous two decades worth of movies, and I was bored with the picture as a whole as it tried to cram what basically amounted to bits from the first four films into one, 110-minute outing.

Anyone familiar with those pictures will immediately see the beats lifted when they happen, and the whole thing plays like a greatest hits album from your favorite band that cherry picks the singles while leaving out what made individual albums great in the first place. A relatively promising pre-title sequence manages to build suspense and throw in a few shocks and gross out gags, but disappointingly the momentum and good will that it creates quickly dissipates afterwards. It soon becomes painfully obvious that most of the main characters you're about to spend the next 80 or so minutes with fall into one of two, cookie cutter categories--obnoxious douchebag or obnoxious stoner--and it's hard to build up any suspense or tension when the characters are so revolting that you wish they'd all just drive off a cliff. Knowing this the filmmakers instead play the kills for jump scares and laughs, which is a problem with a lot of horror pictures where they don't understand how an effective film in the genre works.

Friday '09 feels like a Final Destination movie for a lot of its running time, while the rest is lifted from director Marcus Nispel's 2003 remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in both its look and how its antagonist is characterized (neither of which I liked in that film either incidentally), so there's really nothing here to set it apart from most every other hack horror picture that's managed a theatrical release in the past decade. Instead of seizing the opportunity of hindsight to reimagine, reinvigorate and take a few chances with the series and character of Jason, Friday the 13th '09 wastes the budget and talent afforded to it and plays things entirely safe and dull, which is never a good mix for something striving to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, VC-1, 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English and French
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Extras
Save for the new on-disc artwork, the disc containing Friday the 13th (2009) is the exact same Blu-ray disc that was previously released by Warner Home Video in 2009.

  • Picture-in-Picture Track featuring interviews with cast and crew covering the making of the film and trivia facts about the franchise.
  • "The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees" - More interviews with the cast and crew about the film. (11 min., HD)
  • "Hacking Back/Slashing Forward" - cast and crew discuss their memories of the franchise and how the new film fits within it. (12 min., HD)
  • "The 7 Best Kills" - Featurette covering some of the kills from the film. (23 min., HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (8 min., HD)

 Friday the 13th (2009)
 Friday the 13th (2009)
 Friday the 13th (2009)
 Friday the 13th (2009)
 Friday the 13th (2009)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
8. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Basic Plot: Years after Tommy Jarvis chained him to the bottom of Crystal Lake, Jason Voorhees returns to his murderous ways when accidentally released by a teenage girl with psychic powers.

We're now at the point in this countdown where I'll be writing about the films in the series that I actually like, and I'll start things off with one that I had to think long and hard about before settling on a ranking for it, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. Even though I totally buy into Jason Voorhees as a zombie killing machine in the later sequels a part of me feels there's no room left over in the series for any other supernatural shenanigans, but other times I figure that if you're going to introduce those factors in the first place you might as well get creative and shoot for the moon. Taking what is basically Stephen King's Carrie White character and dropping her into the middle of a Friday movie isn't the most original thing the filmmakers could have done, but it works fine in setting up a heroine who isn't afraid to fight back once it's decided that she's had enough abuse from her duplicitous psychiatrist, that uppity bitch over in the next house and ultimately Jason Voorhees himself.

If much of anything else in The New Blood doesn't seem too fresh, well, that's because it really isn't. It contains several things lifted right out of the much better The Final Chapter, and after two movies where the writers tried to find new things to mine from the franchise things head back in much of the same old direction again. But there are some bright spots, and the biggest one as far as I'm concerned is the work that went into bringing Jason to the screen for his fifth outing, which shouldn't really be all that surprising when you consider director John Carl Buechler's background as a make-up effects artist responsible for some of the most recognizable creatures of the 1980s. Kane Hodder gets a lot of credit for bringing some actual character and pathos to Jason and as much as I like the character in this picture and hate to take any credit away from him, I think the make-up and the fact that Jason goes maskless for such a larger than normal portion of it have a lot to do with most fan opinions that he was the best actor to portray him. It's too bad that the rest of the picture is so average and bland that it can't rise to the level of the effects and stunts, because if more work and creativity would have gone into the script and if the direction and editing had been a little tighter we could be talking about one of the better Fridays. As it stands, The New Blood is last in a list of the ones that aren't awful and right where it should be at #8.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Extras
Note that the commentary track that was included on the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release featuring director John Carl Buechler and actor Kane Hodder is not included, which is unfortunate since it's the better track of the two that have been recorded.

  • Commentary by director John Carl Buechler and actors Lar Park Lincoln (edited in) and Kane Hodder (by telephone).
  • "Jason's Destroyer: The Making of Friday the 13th Part VII" - Features interviews with director and cast. (15 min., HD)
  • "Mind Over Matter: The Truth about Telekinesis" - Featurette on telekinesis and its part in the film. (7 min., HD)
  • "Makeover by Maddy: Need a Little Touch-Up Work, My Ass" - Actresses Diana Barrows and Elizabeth Kaitan get a makeover. (3 min.,HD)
  • Slashed Scenes - Cut footage from the film with an introduction from director John Carl Buechler. (17 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD)
  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles; Part VII" - Making-of featurette (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (12 min., SD)
  • "Secrets Galore Behind The Gore" - Featurette that covers much of the same ground and the newer "Slashed Scenes" feature, but this time with director John Carl Buechler and actor Kane Hodder (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (11 min., SD)

 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part II
7. Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
Basic Plot: Mrs. Voorhees is dead and Camp Crystal Lake has been shut down, but five-years later counselors at a nearby camp are stalked by another unknown assailant.

Friday the 13th Part II falls prey to being what most sequels were back when the whole franchise model started taking over, which is little more than a complete retread of the previous film. The first Friday (more on that one later) had little originality going for it to begin with, and Part II, just by virtue of playing the same camp counselors in the woods stalked by a murderer story, has even less. True, there's a different killer roaming the countryside this time out since Ms. Voorhees was dispatched with extreme prejudice in the last picture, but there's really no question as to who the antagonist is this time out seeing as he's mentioned by name early and often and at no time does Part II try to be clever enough to throw a curveball type twist as to his identity late in the game. Longtime fans of the series who are puzzled and frustrated by inconsistencies with major threads of the series and its timeline can also blame this movie for awkwardly taking place five years after the first film and by featuring--in what shouldn't be a surprise to anyone reading this--Jason Voorhees as its burlap sacked slasher.

Depending on how you look at it, Jason either makes no sense or completely contradicts the motivations of Ms. Voorhees from the previous entry in the series. Though he does later become one, it's pretty clear that Jason isn't a super human zombie through the first four films, yet he supposedly drowned in the Crystal Lake as a child. So did he or didn't he? If he didn't, then what was the point of his mother taking revenge for his supposed death in the first film if he's not, you know, actually dead? Was he hiding out in the woods from everyone, including his loving mother, all this time? That's pretty doubtful and has more to do with sloppy writing if we're being totally honest, but at the same time it's hard to blame filmmakers who, when faced with an unexpected hit, had to turn around and deliver another movie inside of a year's time at the studio's insistence. So in regards to taking the shortest route possible and delivering on what everybody seemed to like most about the first only more, well, Friday the 13th Part II doesn't really disappoint with some pretty decent kills, some skin and generally likeable characters trapped in the same secluded setting. It even features one of the better heroines in the series and attempts to add to the mythology of the franchise established in Part I, even if it makes little sense when you stop to think about it. Oh, and for better or worse it was horror icon Jason Voorhees's coming out party, though I imagine most--myself included--wouldn't have Friday the 13th any other way.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Extras
Save for the new on-disc artwork, the disc containing Friday the 13th Part II is the exact same Blu-ray disc that was previously released by Paramount Home Entertainment in 2009.

  • "Inside Crystal Lake Memories" - Interview with author Peter Bracke discussing the film. (11 min., HD)
  • "Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions" - Footage and interviews with cast and crew conducted during a horror convention called "Scarefest". (7 min., HD)
  • "Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part II" - Part two of a Friday fan film. (6 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)
  • "Jason Forever" - Footage taken from a 2004 Fangoria convention that brought together four of the eight actors that played Jason (from the 2004 Best Buy Exclusive release of "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan"). (30 min., SD)

 Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
 Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
 Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
 Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
 Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
Friday the 13th Part 3
6. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
Basic Plot: Jason Voorhees is back seeking new victims in order to continue his murderous rampage across Crystal Lake.

"Jason gets his hockey mask" is about all the franchise story progression you get out of this third entry in the series, and for the sake of not repeating myself you've hopefully not skipped my take on Part II, because other than there being no hint of mystery as to who the killer is and the location moving away from the campground Friday the 13th Part 3 doesn't stray far from the formula that worked so well up to this point in the series. Steve Miner directed the first two sequels, but with the third film he seems to have been given more freedom to experiment with the general look and how the camera moves, which creates a feeling of uneasiness throughout much of the picture. Speaking of cameras this was famously one of a handful of 3D films released in the early '80s, and if you're lucky enough to be able to catch a theatrical screening of it in polarized 3D you should definitely do so as out of those earlier movies it features the best use of the effect. It's unfortunate that, like the previous Blu-ray release, a headache inducing, red and blue anaglyph version is included here instead, but it is what is is folks. In all honesty this picture and Part II are pretty interchangeable as to which one I prefer, but the memory of seeing Part 3 with a screaming crowd constantly poking their fingers towards the screen is such as indelible memory that I can't help but put it right ahead of the previous one.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Extras
Save for the new on-disc artwork, the disc containing Friday the 13th Part 3 is the exact same Blu-ray disc that was previously released by Paramount Home Entertainment in 2009. Note that the commentary included with the 2004 "From Crystal Lake To Manhattan" release featuring author Peter Bracke and actors Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Larry Zerner and Richard Brooker is not included and the disc contains options for viewing in 2D and red and blue anaglyph 3D (two pair of glasses included).

  • "Fresh Cuts: 3D Terror" - New interviews with filmmakers (excluding director Steve Miner), author Peter Bracke and cast which mainly focuses on the 3D aspect of the picture. (13 min., HD)
  • "Legacy of the Mask" - Featurette focusing on the building of Jason as a horror icon. (9 min., HD)
  • "Slasher Films: Going for the Jugular" - featurette focusing on gore in horror films, most specifically the Friday the 13th series. (7 min., HD)
  • "Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part III" - Part three of a Friday fan film. (9 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)

 Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
 Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
 Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
 Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
 Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
Jason X
5. Jason X (2001)
Basic Plot: After decades spent in cryogenic suspension, Jason Voorhees wreaks havoc on a spaceship full of students looking to score easy A's.

Like Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X is a Friday movie that on paper seems like a horrible idea that just shouldn't work whatsoever, but unlike that previous picture it absolutely does and rolls along with the crazy notion of Jason Voorhees in space in such an effortless and entertaining way that you may ask yourself why it took so long for them to shoot the brute towards the stars in the first place. Admittedly it's a lower budget feature, lit and shot quickly with shoddy visual effects that at times make it look only slightly better than your average made for SyFy movie, but what it lacks in boatloads of cash thrown at the screen is more than made up for with a clever premise and writing that allows for characters and situations that no other Friday movie could ever dream of having, even if it does borrow heavily from pictures in the sci-fi genre such as Alien and a few others along the way.

The most widely seen of these is of course the souped-up and imposing Uber Jason who makes an appearance just in time to amp up the excitement of the action oriented climax, but there are plenty of other winkingly knowing and more overt touches throughout that play the sci-fi setting against the more traditional Friday elements. For example, a scene involving a virtual reality version of Camp Crystal Lake gets an obvious laugh at just the right time and an efficiently brutal kill involving super-cooled liquid are definite highlights, while smaller moments such as Jason waking up from cryogenic sleep as he seems to sense a couple going at it get a nod and a chuckle from fans familiar with the series. Now if you were to ask me if some of the other films already listed are better made than Jason X I'd have to say yes. Like I stated before, the one major drawback with the picture is its budget, and maybe if it weren't for the sci-fi setting and its need to look like a slicker, high end production with believable visual effects and better sets it might compare favorably to the rest of the series (a score that didn't sound like it was being played on a CASIO keyboard most of the time might have helped too). As it stands it does tend to look chintzy for much of its running time (see the video portion of this review for an explanation) as opposed to looking like the lower budget movies from the '80s that a lot of the earlier Friday films are, and unfortunately it hasn't and will continue to not age as well as those pictures. It's still a fun, silly and repeatable popcorn fueled ride that's more concerned with delivering on action, plot and one-liners than it is scares and gore, making it a nice change of pace for the series overall and one that I've found new things to enjoy about each time I've sat down to watch it.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 German, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Spanish
Subtitles: English, German and Spanish

Extras
  • Commentary with director James Isacc and writer Todd Farmer.
  • "By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Jason X" - Making of featurette with cast and crew interviews. (30 min., SD)
  • "The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees" - Featurette focusing on the character of Jason Voorhees with footage from Jason X and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. (17 min., SD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)

 Jason X (2001)
 Jason X (2001)
 Jason X (2001)
 Jason X (2001)
 Jason X (2001)
Friday the 13th (1980)
4. Friday the 13th (1980)
Basic Plot: Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that years prior was the site of a child's drowning and the killing of two counselors.

Many would rate this movie a little higher because it's the one that started it all and where the Friday template was set, and when discussing a lot of film series they'd have a point. But the first Friday the 13th? Nah. A lot of people point to Halloween as the inspiration for it, and to a certain extent that's true. It's well known that the selection of a specific, "special" day for the title is taken directly from Carpenter's film and Bob Clark's Black Christmas and that these films are also largely responsible for the killer stalking the helpless teenagers trope that Friday took and ran with for over a decade, but it was Halloween's commercial success specifically that jump started the slasher genre in the late '70s and led to a boatload of films that tried to imitate and capitalize on it. I mean, if there's one thing horror producers over the years have been good at it's following the leader. Now that's not to say that all of these Johnny-come-latelies weren't any good, in fact some of them are still highly regarded, but Friday the 13th is one of the average ones that just happened to get picked up by a major studio with their marketing budget behind it.

Its main inspiration actually comes from the giallo films being made in Italy throughout the '60s and '70s by Mario Bava, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, just to name a few of the genre's most famous directors. Viewers who compare Friday the 13th to Bava's early giallo flavored Blood and Black Lace and the later released Twitch of the Death Nerve simply can't dismiss the similarities between them--the use of a mystery killer, POV shots and elaborate, gory death scenes (some lifted wholesale) just scratch the surface on the debt owed to these earlier efforts. If the home video market of 1980 would have resembled what we have had from the mid-90s on no horror fan would have been shocked by what they saw in Friday the 13th, but because middle America had fairly limited access to these Italian imports at the time a lot of people saw it as a fairly bold, fresh step for the genre instead of the homogenized and sometimes clumsy attempt that it actually is. Even American horror films weren't off limits when it came to the inspiration for the movie's killer, and this is certainly a case of the "why would you steal from the rest when you can take from the best" mode of thinking that tends to prevail in Hollywood. Mrs. Voorhees, who as Wes Craven's Scream so famously pointed out, is the killer in Friday the 13th, but she's also a damn near spot on inversion of the Norman Bates and Mother dynamic from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, arguably the most famous American horror film ever made. Back when I didn't know any better watching her stalk that last victim through the woods while speaking in her son's voice made me wince with fear, but now? Meh, Anthony Perkins did it better.

Besides the location it isn't remotely original, doesn't have any particular style and bungles what it tries to emulate, contains little to no actual plot or many memorable characters and last but not least--this one's kind of an important as to the legacy of the series--it doesn't star The Man, The Myth and The Legend, the aquatically challenged Jason Voorhees, and by reading all of that you'd probably guess that I hate it, but you're wrong. Friday the 13th is actually still a decent slasher flick featuring better than average performances, some good set pieces, plenty of gore for a wide theatrical release circa 1980 courtesy of Tom Savini and an execution that was good enough that it had a slew of imitators itself. There's also a nostalgia factor at work for me since it's one of the earlier films in the sub-genre that I saw growing up (albeit edited for television), and that does go a long way. Lastly, it manages to set up the mythology of the series well--even if it did get loosely interpreted and mangled with each subsequent sequel--and isn't a bad jumping off point for further exploration of the core characters and setting. I'm still thankful that some of the later sequels were more fun, stylish and improved upon the groundwork laid in place here though, especially when you think of the slog that watching nine more films exactly this would be like.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Extras
Save for the new on-disc artwork, the disc containing Friday the 13th is the exact same Blu-ray disc that was previously released by Paramount Home Entertainment in 2009.

  • Commentary with Crystal Lake Memories author Peter Bracke, Sean S. Cunningham, writer Victor Miller, composer Harry Manfredini, and lead actresses Betsy Palmer and Adrienne King
  • "Fresh Cuts" - New interviews, primarily with commentary participants. (15 min., HD)
  • "The Man Behind the Legacy" - In-depth interview with Sean S. Cunningham. (9 min., HD)
  • "Friday the 13th Reunion" - Footage from a horror fan convention. (17 min., HD)
  • "Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part I" - Part one of a Friday fan film. (7 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)
  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles; Part I" - Making-of featurette (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (1` min., SD)
  • "Secrets Behind the Gore" - Features interview with Tom Savini and plenty of behind the scenes pictures (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (9 min., SD)

 Friday the 13th (1980)
 Friday the 13th (1980)
 Friday the 13th (1980)
 Friday the 13th (1980)
 Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
3. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
Basic Plot: Still haunted by his gruesome past, Tommy Jarvis wonders if he is somehow connected to a series of brutal slayings occurring in and around the secluded halfway house where he now lives.

A lot of people absolutely hate Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. A lot of people are absolutely wrong. By following Tommy Jarvis and his fractured psyche to a halfway house full of misfits, Part V is the first in the series to actually have a real stand alone plot that's more than the standard "teenagers chased through the woods" one from the first four pictures, so right off the bat it's a more interesting film than most of the others. Also, as much as I enjoy the exploits of Jason Voorhees the fact that it returns the series to its more overtly giallo roots with the use of a mystery killer is another proverbial feather in its cap that's hard to ignore. But what really makes it tick and so entertaining though is that at its core it's a lurid and trashy exploitation picture that would have been right at home alongside any number of the B-movies shown at drive-ins or grindhouse cinemas during the '70s, and I love it for it.

The Arthur Fonzarelli wannabes that pop up early in the picture for no apparent reason, the redneck chicken farmers, Reggie's drifter brother and some of the halfway house residents could easily have just strolled over from whatever Roger Corman biker or horror picture that happened to be playing on Screen #2 at the local drive-in, and some of the dialogue, situations and seemingly unintentionally goofy, off the rail bits are exactly the type of stuff that was typically found in those pictures too, though no one specific element is straight up lifted or used as a linchpin in the picture or its screenplay. The times when certain scenes or characters go against stereotype, such as a sheriff who for once isn't a Doubting Thomas and right off the bat wants to believe Jason Voorhees is responsible for all the bloodshed, are also welcome and break from conventions found elsewhere in the series. Part V also contains what was at the time the highest body count in the franchise, and even though the gore effects were somewhat neutered by the MPAA and sometimes awkwardly edited, scenes such as the aftermath of the picture's first victim have a leering sensibility about them that's unsettling.

You have to kind of admire a movie that is made with just enough bad taste that during its climax it's able to outfit the main heroine in what amounts to a wet t-shirt without being overly sleazy about it, and Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is that movie. It's just sort of a shame that those shepherding the series didn't follow through on the promise of the film's title and move the Friday pictures towards where the story was headed with the implications of that last, menacing shot.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Extras
  • Commentary with director Danny Steinmann, actors John Shepherd and Shavar Ross, and fan/DVD extra maker Michael Felsher (by telephone).
  • "New Beginnings: The Making of Friday the 13th Part V" - Making-of featurette featuring interviews with cast and crew. (11 min., HD)
  • "Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part V" - Part five of a Friday fan film. (7 min., HD)
  • "The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited; Part II" - Part two of a mockumentary covering the events of the Friday the 13th series. (10 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD)
  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles; Part V" - Making-of featurette (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (15 min., SD)

 Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
 Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
 Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
 Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
 Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
2. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Basic Plot: Following the events of the previous film, Jason Voorhees awakens in the local hospital and makes his way back home to Crystal Lake. Can the Jarvis family survive when stuck between him and a group of young party goers?

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter immediately sets itself apart from the previous three entries by being the first in the series to attempt anything resembling a plot, even if it does fall short of the ability to stand on its own. Until this point the pictures were little more than young nubiles getting hacked to pieces in the woods, but The Final Chapter features well rounded characters and contains subplots to the main story, such as the brother of a Part II victim hunting Jason, and with these additions it's a much stronger, distinctive and entertaining sequel. It also introduced to the Friday films their first ongoing protagonist, Tommy Jarvis (played here by Corey Feldman and less effectively by a different actor in each of the two subsequent pictures), and it's in this film that the character is most likable and given time to develop. Director Joseph Zito wasn't new to the genre when he took on the fourth entry in the series having previously directed a couple of movies in the genre, including the decent slasher thriller The Prowler a few years prior, and really wanted to try out some different stuff with what he saw as a franchise that was beyond the point of growing stale. Given the opportunity to go with some of his ideas but not stray too far from the formula, he and returning make-up effects man Tom Savini largely bypassed the impact of imposed MPAA cuts and came up with some interesting and efficiently brutal ways in which to showcase and then dispose of their cast. Savini's work here, especially in regards towards Jason, is great, and among some fans remains the high watermark to which all other Fridays are compared.

Though there are few things that don't quite work with The Final Chapter, such as the exclusion of one character's demise that was removed from the final film and never referenced after it supposedly occurred and a couple of kills that serve no real purpose to the plot, overall it's still a well paced potboiler that's suspenseful in its buildups, bloody in its execution and in the end sets the franchise off in what might of been an interesting, new direction. This one's a lot of people's favorite in the series, and I would certainly agree with a lot of the arguments in favor of it belonging at the top since it's so well made and the most frightening of all the Fridays, but here it comes in at #2.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Extras
  • Commentary with director Joseph Zito, screenwriter Barney Cohen, and editor Joel Goodman.
  • Fan Commentary with directors Adam Green ( Hatchet) and Joe Lynch ( Wrong Turn 2).
  • "Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" - Making of featurette. (10 min., HD)
  • "Slashed Scenes" - daily footage covering nearly every kill with voiceover by director Joseph Zito. (15 min., HD)
  • "The Lost Ending" - Alternate ending to the film. (3 min., HD)
  • "The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited; Part I" - Part one of a mockumentary covering the events of the Friday the 13th series. (18 min., HD)
  • "Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part IV" - Part four of a Friday fan film. (6 min., HD)
  • "Jimmy's Dead Dance Moves" - Exactly what it says it is. (2 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD)
  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles; Part IV" - Making-of featurette (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (13 min., SD)
  • "Secrets Galore Behind The Gore" - Featurette that covers much of the same ground and the newer "Slashed Scenes" feature, but this time with make-up effects artist Tom Savini (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (13 min., SD)

 Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
 Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
 Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
 Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
 Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
1. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Basic Plot: Tommy Jarvis digs up the corpse of Jason Voorhees in order to cremate him, but unfortunately things don't go as planned and Jason is resurrected instead, sparking a new chain of brutal murders.

After the success of 1984's A Nightmare On Elm Street, horror fans were no longer content with mere human slashers stalking the night and were clamoring for a little bit of the supernatural to go along with their slice and dice. Luckily for the producers of the Friday series they were in just the position to give them what they wanted by resurrecting the dead Jason Voorhees as an unkillable machine of death with the first film produced after Freddy's premiere. In Jason Lives, Director Tom McLoughlin recalls a great deal of the genre's past in crafting what is essentially a Universal Monster movie, and while some see it as the beginning of the end of the franchise it's actually the most entertaining and well directed entry in the Friday the 13th series. It's the only film in the series to feature no nudity and is rather tame in the gore department when compared to many of the others, but what it lacks in those Friday staples is made up for with a decent story that could almost exist as a stand alone movie, characters with some level of depth who we actually care about and a self aware sense of humor that hits the right notes more often than it doesn't. It also features some clever and clean editing, which is something that most Friday films lack simply because of cuts or artificial pans and zooms made in post production in order to satisfy the MPAA's requirements for an R rating, and it even features a few well choreographed action scenes not typically found elsewhere just to spice things up a bit.

For better or worse, depending on your own taste, this is also the film that firmly established Jason Voorhees as the anti-hero of the series. No longer contained to the shadows, Jason Lives isn't afraid to showcase its star in a number of money shots early and often, and for once the terror of Crystal Lake is given some semblance of character. Hell, someone finally had the good sense to give the poor guy a utility belt, and after everything he's gone through it's about time too. I mean, what's Batman got on Jason that he should be the only one that gets to carry around a bunch of cool gadgets in easily accessible pouches anyhow, huh? If you want the best characterization of Jason in the series you needn't look any further than here.

The only real downsides to the film are the inclusion of several scenes bolted on in order to bolster the running time and body count that quite frankly have little to nothing to do with the actual plot and some of the stuff that's meant to be funny just falls flat and feels silly, but overall it's a small gripe towards what is otherwise Jason's best outing. The timeline and continuity of the series make little sense and are all screwed up by this point (by my estimation Jason Lives takes place around the year 1994), so if you're looking for that one film to act as an introduction to the series for someone then this is it (besides the first one) since it's the most accessible and in the end is just plain fun. Though I sometimes go back and forth between this and The Final Chapter as to what my favorite is, I'd have to say that when given a choice of what to watch between the two I more often times than not go with Jason Lives, so it's #1.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, AVC, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Extras
  • Commentary with writer/director Tom McLoughlin, editor Bruce Green, and actor Vincent Guastaferro.
  • Commentary with writer/director Tom McLoughlin (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release).
  • "Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th Part VI" - Making of featurette. (13 min., HD)
  • "Meeting Mr. Voorhees" - Alternate ending through storyboards, music, and the actor who played the caretaker’s voice. (3 min., HD)
  • Slashed Scenes (6 min., HD)
  • "Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part VI" - Part six of a Friday fan film. (7 min., HD)
  • "The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited; Part III" - Part three of a mockumentary covering the events of the Friday the 13th series. (9 min., HD)
  • Theatrical Teaser
  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles - Part VI" - Making-of featurette (from the 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" release). (15 min., SD)

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

And besides, it was responsible for unleashing this bit of greatness on the world:
 




Freddy Vs. Jason
Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
Basic Plot: Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees return to terrorize the teenage population of Springwood, except this time they're out to get each other too.

Now's the point where you might be thinking something along the lines of "Hey, wait a minute! Where's Freddy Vs. Jason at? Isn't it part of this set?", and you'd be right to pose that question. Don't worry, you aren't missing anything and it is indeed part of the set, but I left it out of the ranking for a pretty specific reason--it's really a A Nightmare On Elm Street flick that for some reason was left out of the Blu-ray set of that series and wedged in here instead. Why? I don't know. One of life's great mysteries I guess. Anyway, though it doesn't live up to what most fans envisioned a meeting of these characters to be like, I really like Vs. for the sheer fact that it isn't ashamed of anything. Anything. It's loud, crass, ridiculously stupid and bloody as hell, but you can't help but watch it and all the fan service that director Ronny Yu shoves down your throat while delivering the '80s Nightmare film that the MPAA never let us have without a big goofy smile carved into your face.

That's enough to make it a much more fitting swan song for Robert Englund's portrayal of the most popular genre character of the '80s than Wes Craven's New Nightmare could ever hope to be right there, and I'm glad Englund got to go out playing the character as nasty and gleefully menacing as we all remember him. It's also better than a large portion of the Friday films, and when you stand Jason next to Englund's fantastically charismatic Freddy Krueger it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone why by comparison Freddy cast such a dauntingly large shadow at the box office and that when these two titans of splatter finally got thrown together why Jason would inevitably end up being the co-star in a story catered more towards Freddy. So yeah, don't let anyone fool you or tell you otherwise-- Freddy Vs. Jason is really the last, great A Nightmare On Elm Street film.

Video & Audio Specifications
Video: 1080p, VC-1, 2.40:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 German, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Spanish and Portuguese
Subtitles: English, German, Spanish and Portuguese

Extras
Surprisingly this is a new authoring of the disc and not the same one released by Warner Home Video in 2009 with just new on-disc artwork. It features a revamped menu system that is now the Warner standard and an upgraded DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 track. All of the special features from the DVD and initial Blu-ray releases have been ported over as well.

  • Commentary with director Ronny Yu and actors Robert Englund and Ken Kirtzinger.
  • Production Featurettes: "Genesis: Development Hell", "On Location: Springwood Revisited", "Art Direction: Jason's Decorating Tips", "Stunts: When Push Comes to Shove", "Makeup Effects: Freddy's Beauty Secrets" "Visual FX", "Camp Hackenslash", and "Pre-Fight Promotional Event". (SD)
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes - 21 deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary with director Ronny Yu and executive producer Douglas Curtis. (SD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)
  • TV Spots (SD)
  • "How Can I Live" by Ill Nino Music Video (3 min., SD)

 Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
 Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
 Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
 Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
 Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
Video
As you may have noticed, I've listed the video specifications for each film above in the countdown, but just to summarize all films in the set are 1080p and either 1.78:1 or 2.40:1 ( Friday the 13th Part 3, Freddy Vs. Jason, Friday the 13th (2009) only) and encoded with either the AVC or VC-1 ( Freddy Vs. Jason, Friday the 13th (2009 only) video codecs. Some are based from newer masters, and some are based on older ones, and each film varies to a certain degree as far as the quality of their respective transfer.

Friday the 13th Parts I - VIII
Friday the 13th I through VIII (the original Paramount titles) are all based off of new masters created in 2009 for the Deluxe Edition releases, and generally look very good when you accept the fact that they're lower budget studio pictures. The quality of the film stock and the budget afforded the production increased with each succeeding film in the series, and as a result each one looks progressively better than the last. The exception to this is Part 3, however, whose 2D version suffers from the fact that it was shot as a 3D feature in that it's often soft, sometimes blurry and contains double lines and inconsistent focus, doesn't offer the same amount of fine detail afforded the other films in the set and there are instances where the source print suffers from slight flecks or dirt and debris, but overall it's quite good and the best the film is ever likely to look on home video.

As for the rest of the Paramount films, well, the transfers are very good and largely share much of the same positives and negatives, and those of you who already own Parts I through III on Blu-ray should have a good idea as to what to expect. Like I said before, as the budget of each film went up they got better looking through the use of better film stock and higher quality lighting, and over time grain becomes less and less apparent in each though it's never completely absent. The good news with that of course is that's how the films have always looked, so there hasn't been any overly egregious use of digital noise reduction to try and smooth things out, leaving each movie with a pleasing, film-like appearance with a high level of fine detail. Black levels too are very nice for each, important seeing as by their nature the majority of these pictures take place at night, and I noticed very little to no issues with black crush, banding or macroblocking. These newer masters also offer the Friday pictures with their most colorful and pleasingly bright presentation to date, and this is especially the case with Part V: A New Beginning and Part VI: Jason Lives, which were probably the most eye popping of the original pictures to being with. In fact the only film to really not catch my eye was Part VII: The New Blood, which often times looks a little flat in comparison to the rest, but it's still a fine looking transfer that seems to reflect the original presentation well.

Parts I through III in the collection are the exact same discs that were previously release by Paramount Home Video, so if you'd like to read Gabe Power's reviews of these discs and get a little more in-depth on the technical specs and the films themselves you may do so by checking out the following links: Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part II and Friday the 13th Part 3.

Unlike the original pictures, the later four films in the set that were originally released through New Line Cinema and Warner vary quite a bit from movie to movie largely based on the gaps between when they were originally produced and the time at which they first surfaced on home video, and in the case of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (hereafter referred to as JGtH), Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason ( FvJ) look to be sourced from older masters used when the films were first released on DVD over and around ten years ago.

Jason Goes to Hell
JGtH suffers from what is probably the worst looking and dated transfer in the collection (if you can look past the inherent 3D faults that Part 3 suffers from), and even though it does look better than its DVD counterpart in terms of overall quality, it's not what I would call a great Blu-ray presentation. It's not terrible by any means, but I don't think a lot of people are going to see it as a substantial upgrade if they already own the DVD. Being a lower budget feature a lot can be accredited to the production of the movie, but detail varies from shot to shot, there's some banding and macroblocking present every so often, instances of edge enhancement and black levels aren't as deep, consistent and satisfying as you would generally like them to be, and these attributes especially stand out when comparing them to other transfers in the set one right after the other. Color representation is generally good and there's a nice grain structure, but overall it just looks flat and a bit lifeless, though that's generally how I remember the film looking in every instance that I've seen it over the years and it has more to do with the actual production of the film itself rather than the transfer here.

Jason X
Jason X is a step up from its older sibling, but still an odd duck. I think a lot of one's opinion of how the video transfer looks will depend on how little or how much you care about the look of the picture as to how it was produced. I believe it was one of the first major motion pictures to do so, but at any rate Jason X was shot on film, then transferred to digital for all post production and visual effects work and then moved back to film, and I don't know if it's a case of all the kinks not being worked out, the budget or both, but to me it's always straddled the line between looking cheap in one shot and perfectly fine in the next. For all intents and purposes, it's an earlier digital film, so there's very little in the way of grain in the image, there are a few softer shots and there's some instances of banding and macroblocking every so often, but overall, and this is given it's production history, I'd have to say that Jason X looks pretty good here. There's some nice detail to be had, black levels are stronger than JGtH but not quite on par with the Paramount films, and the colors really pop, which is especially nice since it features the most varying array of any the Friday features. This one's a pretty decent, if not overwhelming, upgrade over the previously released Platinum Series DVD.

Freddy Vs. Jason
Seeing as its stats look identical and it's encoded using the VC-1 codec instead of AVC which has pretty much become the industry standard over the past year or two, from what I can tell the video transfer of FvJ is the same one that was previously released a few years ago. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, as that transfer has held up quite well and features a nice film-like grain structure to remind you that you're watching a film as opposed to video, eye catching color that splashes the red all around, very fine detail in everything from Freddy's sweater to the dents in Jason's hockey mask and consistently dark and deep black levels. The only faults with the transfer are the occasional instances of banding that occur during some of the darker and night-time shots, but generally it's kept in check and not an issue. The source print used is also free from any dirt or debris that tends to pop up on older films, so it's pretty much as perfect as it gets in that department. Though it leaves room for improvement that we're unfortunately not getting here by way of a new, AVC-encoded transfer, overall FvJ still looks very good on Blu-ray.

Friday the 13th (2009)
The last film in the set is of course the 2009 release Friday the 13th, and even though I really don't like the overall look of the film itself I also can't deny that it slightly edges out Freddy Vs. Jason as the best looking video transfer in the collection, which shouldn't surprise anyone seeing as it's the most modern of all the pictures. There's a high level of detail throughout the majority of the picture and black levels are generally very good and consistent throughout. I didn't notice much in the way of banding, artifacting or aliasing in the image, and seeing as it's a recently released film the source used is free from unintentional defects mostly found on older ones. Again, I'm not a huge fan of the overall intended look of Friday the 13th (2009), and to be more exact I think it's original film elements have been overly processed and digitally scrubbed in post production and it has bland and muddy color palette that's far too dark, but for better or worse the video transfer here is a very close approximation of how I remember it in theaters a few years ago. Overall this is a very good video transfer of an overall ugly movie.

 Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection
Audio
If you'd like to check out the technical specifications for each film I've again listed them along with each accompanying film above, but to quickly summarize Parts 1 though 3 retain their Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio tracks while the rest of the films in the collection contain DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, and in the case of Freddy Vs. Jason an upgrade to a DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 track.

Friday the 13th Parts I - VIII
As was the case with the video, the larger budget of each proceeding film in the original Paramount series afforded the filmmakers more time and toys to play, and as a result each sound mix in the series gets a little more clearer, complex and aggressive each time out. Like the video transfers, the main audio tracks on each of the Paramount released films in the collection are very similar to one another in that they're all 5.1 mixes base on either tracks that were originally mono ( Parts I through V) or presented theatrically in Ultra Stereo ( Parts VI through VIII). The mixes all tend to be very front heavy towards anything but bigger effects with little for the surround channels to do except act in service of the newly re-mixed musical scores for each, though the later films that were in fact originally in stereo do receive a slight bump in activity. Honestly the 5.1 mixes aren't they way I'd like to view the films since they're a bit jarring after growing up all these years with the original audio, and thankfully Parts I through III retain their mono options, but all things considered I'd say these are an overall improvement. Along with the increased quality of the musical tracks, dialogue is also cleaner and crisper than I recall on the older DVDs, and I didn't notice any pops, ticks or other defects in the tracks that would detract from the viewing experience. On the subject of the Dolby TrueHD versus DTS-HD Master Audio tracks you may notice that the latter are a little beefier, but not a total revelation.

Jason Goes to Hell & Jason X
Things get a little more technically impressive with the newer pictures in the set originally released by New Line Cinema and Warner, and more in line with what you might come to expect from modern films. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday ( JGtH) starts things off with an aggressive and boisterous mix that surprisingly makes fairly decent use of the surround and LFE channels for highly effective and well timed jump scares and music stingers. Dialogue is crisp and clear and never an issue, and I didn't detect any problems with the track, though it could have used a little bit more normalization. Things move right along with 2003's Jason X, which is a much more action oriented sound mix than than other Friday film  that makes the most out of its production budget by sounding like a much bigger film than it actually is, though the sometimes cheeseball score is a dead giveaway. The surround channels are quite lively with all sorts of ship noises, gun fire, screaming, and explosions, and the LFE channel isn't forgotten in all the ruckus either. This one's another fine track that's been added to the collection.

Freddy Vs. Jason & Friday the 13th (2009)
Freddy Vs. Jason features what might be the best audio track in the entire collection, and that's not just because of the bump from its original Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track to a new DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 track either. This one's a roller coaster of highs and lows and frenetic ear shattering scenes that give way to quieter, tense moments all the way through, and the audio track supplied here is more than up to the task of giving everything the movie's got. The surround channels spill over the action, blood and music early and often  as it moves between what is real and what is dream, and the track is boosted by some aggressive LFE output to boot. Dialogue is always intelligible coming from the center channel and once again I didn't notice anything that would hamper the enjoyment of watching Freddy and Jason slice and dice all the teenagers they can get their hands on. Likewise, Friday the 13th (2009) is another rumbler of an audio experience that's more of a standard horror film soundtrack as opposed to the off the wall craziness of Freddy Vs. Jason. The surround channels are primarily there for atmospheric and stinger sound effects and the film's score, but pick up every now and again when the action calls for it. Dialogue is clear coming from the center channel so you'll hear every word and scream in crystal clarity. I've never noticed any defects with this one and the viewing for this review didn't bring anything new to the surface. Overall, this one's more in line with what you can expect from most larger budget pictures in the genre and a very good one at that.

 Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection
Extras
First thing's first-- Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection features no new special features for voracious fans to rip and claw their way through. Everything included in the set has been previously released through either the 2004 "From Crystal Lake To Manhattan" boxed set (the "Jason Forever" featurette located on the Friday the 13th Part II disc was a Best Buy Exclusive with the 2004 set) or the Deluxe Edition DVD/Blu-ray releases, and the bonus DVD added to this set is unfortunately the exact same disc that was included with the 2004 release of the original Paramount films, right down to the on-disc artwork and the date stamp. Ultimately the bottom line for you as to how much you'll get out of the special features comes down to how familiar you are with all of what's found in the set. While much of it is good stuff, if you've already seen or own all of it than you're more than likely to skip out on what's offered here, but if you haven't or don't then you'll likely enjoy what's included. It's very much a case of the eye of the beholder and all that.

For the disc-by-disc extras, please refer to each film above. As for the "Killer Bonus" DVD, a lot of the features are duplicates of ones housed with their particular movie, but here's a rundown of the disc if you aren't already familiar with it:

  • "The Friday the 13th Chronicles" - An eight-part documentary focusing on each of the original eight Paramount films in the franchise. With the exception of parts II and III these are also included on the individual Blu-ray discs. (103 min.)
  • Secrets Galore Behind the Gore" - Three featurettes that focus on cut footage from Parts I (Tom Savini), IV (Tom Savini), and VII (John Carl Buechler and Kane Hodder). These are included on the individual Blu-ray discs as well. (23 min.)
  • "Crystal Lake Victims Tell All!" - Interviews with various cast members from the franchise. (15 min.)
  • "Tales From the Cutting Room Floor" - Deleted and alternate scenes from throughout the movies. (17 min.)
  • "Friday Collectibles and Artifacts" - Focuses on props and collectibles from the franchise. (7 min.)
  • Theatrical Trailers; these are also available with each movie, and some are presented in high definition on the individual Blu-ray discs.

As you can see from the picture above the collection is housed in an embossed metal tin, and includes a book-style case for the ten discs (nine Blu-rays and one DVD), 40-pages of excerpts from Peter Bracke's book "Crystal Lake Memories" (highly recommended), a Crystal Lake Camp Counselor iron-on patch, two pair of anaglyph 3D glasses and a red, elastic band with "You're All Doomed!" printed on it to hold everything together (not pictured). Truthfully it's a very handsome set, but I'm going to replace it with THINpak Blu-ray cases and custom artwork as soon as I can. Like Fox Home Video's Star Wars release, the discs have to be slid out of the pages in the book, which forces you to leave fingerprints and who knows what else on a disc's surface when you attempt to remove one.

Also included is an UltraViolet code for the complete series (you do not get a separate code for each film in the collection), redeemable at flixster.com.

 Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection
Overall
I wouldn't count any of the Friday the 13th films as being personal favorites of mine individually--there's just too many superior horror films out there--but taken as a whole it's one of my favorite horror franchises and right up there with the A Nightmare On Elm Street series as far as I'm concerned. Warner Home Video's release of Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection features all of the films in high definition and with lossless audio for the first time ever with mixed but expected results. The video transfers and audio tracks in the set for the original Paramount titles are as good as one could hope for given the time in and the budget at which they were produced, and the while the quality of the films produced from the '90s on vary from picture to picture they're all generally good. As for the special features there are plenty of them, but there isn't anything new to speak of which is a bit of a disappointment, as is the exclusion of the unrated version of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday which has been available and the preferred version of the film since it was first release on VHS and laserdisc back in the early '90s. I know some of you won't be bothered with the loss of what is one of the series' lesser films, but if your goal in purchasing the "Complete Collection" is to retire your DVDs then there's still one or two discs that you're going to have to hold on to.

If you can't live without owning all of these movies in the absolute best format possible then by all means go get this set, but if you're like me and already own all of the previously available Blu-rays in the collection and really only want to own a couple more on high definition then I'd suggest holding off for a while and seeing if the movies you want get a separate release or wait for the eventual price drop or a sale. Oh, and make sure to order Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th to feed your need for new bonus material while you're at it. You won't be sorry.

The screen captures featured throughout this review were taken from the Blu-ray release, but because of .jpg compression may not be representative of its high definition quality.