Friday The 13TH – The Ultimate Collection Preview, Review, Video, & More!

You know it’s Halloween time when Paramount decides to pull out all the stops when re-releasing their Friday The 13th franchise films in an all inclusive 8 DVD box set with a 3D version and pair of 3D glasses for Part III, a replica of Jason’s hockey mask, and an 8 page collector’s booklet appropriately called: Friday The 13th – The Ultimate Collection!

Available tomorrow, October 4th, 2011, avid horror fans will be able to purchase this limited, 50,000-unit, collector’s edition for $39.99U.S./$42.00Canada. This box set is chuck-full of surprises that even the deepest Jason fanatic might not have known about, till now!

The box set is assorted into one booklet that contains the DVD’s and literature which includes the synopsis, special features, “Friday Facts”, “Body Counts”, and “Weapons Used”. A person who may not enjoy these films or has lost touch of how great they were, well how great most of them were, can now easily pick up the booklet, browse through the different categories, and choose which one they want to view. It’s a genius method not only to engage the hard-core fan, but potentially make a new one.

To give you a premise of what you are getting into when purchasing this ultimate collection would take a grand attempt. There is just so much packed into these 8 films that I couldn’t even begin to divulge in its entirety. But to get your blood flowing, without draining it, here is just the tip of the knife of what to expect!

The first new thing to watch out for is with “Lost Tales from Camp Blood”. These 5 mini films depict another epic horror montage which follows one to another throughout different DVD’s in each special feature section. It’s a movie inside of a movie to keep you going through all 8 discs. It’s filled with blood and guts paralleling Friday The 13th in an indie style camp blood killer frame! The other cool addition is Part III skipping out on all the extras and leaving room for a 2D and 3D version of the film. It might be a cheesy 1982 film, but in 3D it still managed to freak me out with things jumping out of the screen.

The Final Chapter disc has the best scenes and special features hands down. You get the audio commentary options set by either director or two avid fans. It is a real treat to hear them discuss the film as you watch it in a perspective that a fellow horror fanboy would enjoy. Another awesome special feature is the “Slashed Scenes” snippets not only found in the Final Chapter, but throughout the other 8 films. Not only do the slash scenes showcase certain parts that not have made it to the theatrical version, but it also shows the cool ways that the scenes with the most blood and deaths were made. So if you are an indie horror film maker, this is a definite must see!

The New Beginning really is the new beginning where things get a little funnier and a lot more outlandish in the series. Don’t take my word for it though, just check out the films special feature “The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part I, II & III”; a series of mocumentiry episodes that the creative team depicts of the Camp Crystal Lake story. Not the best, but it does have its moments where you laugh. This is also in the franchise where Jason’s mask goes from original red diamond to blue diamond cuts. Why the change, well you’ll have to watch the special features to find out!

Jason Lives, The New Blood, and Jason Takes Manhattan all follow the same setup as the DVD’s before it. In these films, you begin to see where the franchise just took a turn for the weird. Having said that, just because it’s weird does not change the fact that they are still fun to watch. In these last 3 films alone, Jason manages to kill a total of 55 people. Not only does he manage to put in the grave a sizable amount of bodies, he does so by using: a scythe, a party horn, his bare hands, an electric guitar, a drum of toxic waste, a whiskey bottle, a rock, and much more. How do I know this? Because the 8 disc booklet is so awesome that these horrific little details are easily knowledgeable with just a flip of the page!

Friday The 13th – The Ultimate Collection is downright a masterpiece of history and horror classics. I am aware that the films were once greats, and also that they may have turned for the worst towards the end, but there is no doubt that this collector’s edition shouldn’t be strayed just because of those two reasons.

I do however dislike and will forewarn a few things about this collector’s edition.  It was not released in Blu-ray format and the replica mask is tiny! If Paramount is going to go all out, why not go all out! Across the board the film industry has shifted to Blu-ray format, at least for their special edition releases. Why couldn’t Paramount do the same with this? Also, if I were planning to give out a replica of Jason’s mask with this, I would have made it a little bigger. I understand that this is a collector’s edition and some may not even open it or use it, but to giveaway a replica mask of Jason with head straps (insulting actual use) then at least take the extra step in making the mask big enough to fit a grownups head!

When all is said and done, this collector’s edition is to die for. It would have been nice to have it in Blu-ray format, no doubt thinking that Paramount is going to milk this one some more in the future. It would have also been nice for the mask to have fit my head but I do have a big head – so did Jason!? Regardless, you will enjoy this collector’s edition and hopefully survive it to see another day.

Grade:  B

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