Friday the 13th (1980) - Uncut Deluxe Edition

Genre(s): Horror
Paramount || Unrated - 95 minutes - $16.99 || February 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-01-26


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Writer(s): Victor Miller (written by)
Cast: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, Kevin Bacon


Theatrical Release Date: May 9, 1980


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Even if you are a minor horror fan, chances are you have seen Friday the 13th and a few of its sequels. For those that need a little refresher course... the film starts out at Camp Crystal Lake in 1958. A small circle of counselors are gathered and two sneak off for a little love making upstairs. As things begin to get hot and heavy, they are interrupted by an intruder who kills them. Flash forward twenty years later and we see a young girl named Annie who is on her way to the soon-to-be-reopened Camp where she will be the head cook for the kids and counselors. Sadly, as some may have guessed, she never reaches her destination and is killed by someone in a jeep (possibly trying to deter the audience into thinking it was the Camp Director as they used similar vehicles).

The rest of the staff has arrived, a handful of horny teenagers getting ready to fix the camp up for the opening and have some fun in the ways of sex and drugs. Slowly, one by one, they are picked off in extremely gruesome ways - not a single one actually realizing that there is a killer on the loose until the final one is left standing. When we gets towards the end, the killer literally comes out of nowhere - you would have never suspected it because that person was simply never mentioned before in the film.

There is no reason not to see this film - itís a decent horror film with well throughout characters who help started a franchise that is only topped by James Bond in the amount of sequels. Sure, itís a bit dated now in terms of fashion (did they not wear bra's in the early 80's?) and some of the phrases the kids say, but it still holds up as a great example of a film that can stand the test of the time and go on to be a hit with an all new generation of horror fans.

One of my favorite "slasher" films is finally available Uncut - which is a real treat for fans that have wanted to finally see some of these death scenes that they have heard about and seen pictures of for years. Now, as the box indicates, itís merely an extra 10 seconds (!) of additional gore, but its well worth it.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio Commentary by Director Sean S. Cunningham with Cast and Crew

Fresh Cuts: New Tales from Friday the 13th (14 Minutes) Ė A ho-hum feature that features interviews with Tom Savini, Victor Miller and Sean S. Cunningham. Itís informative, but a bit too short.

The Man Behind the Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham (9 Minutes) - A very candid discussion with the director.

Friday the 13th Reunion (17 Minutes) - Filmed last year, this panel discussion highlights several of the cast and crew as they talk about their experiences.

Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part 1 (8 Minutes) - Talk about lame... this is a tribute to Friday the 13th (which means itís a poorly shot amateur film). Skip it.

And of course the theatrical trailer. The real "special feature" here is the fact that the film is finally shown UNCUT - and that deserves a whole extra star!



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Friday the 13th is presented in 1.85:1. Comparing the version to the previous DVD (a flipper in the box set) will show itís only a slight improvement. Blacks are still a bit grey and the scene towards the end with the jeep coming down the dark road shows off a bit too much in terms of compression artifacts. Some of the new, uncut footage, is a bit rough though and it will stand out.

Paramount has included a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and 2.0 Mono. I'm not all that impressed with the DD5.1 track - its still a bit rough and dialog fluctuates way to often that I found myself going for the remote every 15 minutes to change it. It's still a huge improvement from the previous 2.0 mono track found on the previous DVDs.



.::OVERALL::.

Friday the 13th remains on the top of my favorite horror films list and I've seen it way too many times to admit. This new special edition DVD boats a slight improvement in the Picture quality, a bigger improvement in Audio (DD5.1) and a handful of new extras that makes it a decent upgrade for fans of the series. With Parts II and III out the same day, and a pledge from Paramount to bring IV, V and VI out later this summer, if you don't already own the box set, you may want to pick this up.