His Name Was Jason (2009) - 2-Disc Splattered Edition

Genre(s): Documentary
Anchor Bay || NR - 84 minutes - $19.97 || February 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-02-05


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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: Daniel Farrands
Writer(s): Thommy Hutson & Anthony Masi (written by)
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • The Men Behind the Mask
  • Final Cuts
  • 6 Featurettes
  • From Script to Screen
  • Dragged From the Lake
  • Fan Films


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

The documentary is hosted by Tom Savini, makeup specialist (and occasional actor) who any horror fan would recognize from such hit films like Dawn of the Dead (1978), Evil Dead and of course Friday the 13th. Tom pops up on-screen every twenty minutes or so to introduce a new segment while he "walks through" a horror film (that is actually an attraction at Universal Studios) that is taking place. Anchor Bay had such a huge success with their previous franchise look on DVD, Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, that it come as no surprise to see them tackle another one that happens to have a few more films under its belt - Friday the 13th.

First off, Friday the 13th remains one of my favorite film franchises next to Romero's Dead films and Halloween. I've seen each one numerous times (the first four seem to get watched more often of course) and have seen many of the actors in person at conventions and a previous job which worked closely in the horror field. Savini seems to be the most recognized at of everyone, even though he was never in the films, but most know him by his work and small role in Dawn of the Dead. I've met him twice - once at my previous employer and the other at a convention and each time I found him to be fascinating. Anchor Bay did a great job of choosing him to be the host as fans is more likely to relate to him than anyone else.

The documentary delves deep into so many different aspects of the series that itís hard to focus on just one in particular. It starts off with a quick overview of all 11 films (including Freddy vs. Jason) giving a quick plot summary of each and how some differ from the next. One thing most casual fans may not know, is that Friday the 13th Part II, III and IV take place within a span of a few days...and itís interesting to see how each film, director and makeup artist portrays Jason. In the second we mostly see him inside of a large potato sack with a small eye hole, the third he gets his iconic hockey mask, and in the fourth he retains it until his gruesome end at the hands of a young boy. Looking at each film you can see that Jason moves and reacts differently as does his facial expressions and (too much or lack of) hair.

What most fans want to see if interviews with the cast - and they are here! Numerous individuals come out to discuss their stories on set as well as the friendships they have kept over the years. What's by far the most interesting is that Betsy Palmer hated the fact that she starred in the original film (only do it so she could buy a new car), but now, almost thirty years later, itís probably her most memorable role and has banked a serious amount of cash. While not a part of the films at all, we see a few interview scenes with Seth Green ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Robot Chicken"), James Roday ("Psych"), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and various other TV & Movie stars. The last ten minutes or so discusses the remake (or reboot?) and has interviews with a few of the cast.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This release includes a nice embossed slip cover. When you open the DVD Case up there is a $5 MovieCash Ticket to see the remake in theaters as well as a foldout poster.

Tons of special features await those who buy the documentary including The Men Behind the Mask (46 Minutes), which is a comprehensive look at all the men who played Jason, Final Cuts (71 Minutes) gives us extended interviews with the directors and From Script to Screen (31 Minutes) has some interviews with the screenwriters.

Dragged from the Lake (20 Minutes) includes a discussion on a dozen scenes which many movie goers felt were odd and misplaced in the film. Besides the actually documentary, this was probably my favorite thing on the disc.

Fan Films (10 Minutes) is some embarrassing films that no one should ever want to watch again...

Rounding out the disc is The Camp Crystal Survival Guide (5 Minutes), Friday the 13th in 4 Minutes (4 Minutes), Fox Goes home (4 Minutes), Jason Takes Comic-Con (4 Minutes), Inside Halloween Horror Nights (7 Minutes) and Shelly Lives! (2 Minutes). Most of this stuff is pretty boring and just jokey crap.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

His Name Was Jason is presented in 1.78:1 and occasionally 1.33:1. Itís hard to really judge the documentary since it uses various sources for scenes and interviews, but overall this is a nice presentation. I really liked the 3D Pop they used on stills and its across really nice.

Anchor Bay has included a Dolby Digital 5.1 track for this release. To be honest, I can't recall a single moment when my rear speakers were active...but this is a documentary, right? Dialog is the most import thing and it comes across nice and clean.



.::OVERALL::.

Fans of the Friday the 13th will eat this disc up. Anchor Bay has put together a nice set that includes an informative documentary and a robust amount of special features that this belongs in any horror fans library. The inclusion of $5 off the remake makes this deal even sweeter.