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“FRIDAY THE 13TH” 40TH Anniversary Steelbook

Review by John Delia

Now here’s a cool home video for those who like horror thriller movies, Friday the 13th (1980) the 40th Anniversary of the original release uncut in a Steelbook Blu-ray with Digital code. It has a long list of special features, a face-lift for the film and sound pumped up to tickle your audio systems. The film’s biggest accomplishment was the paranoia that the film created with audiences leaving theaters and looking behind them before entering their cars at night. Or even looking under their bed before going to sleep. Well at an early age it did that for me anyway and it took a couple of days to not think about it anymore.

Kevin Bacon as Jack, Harry Crosby as Bill, and Adrienne King as Alice in Friday the 13th (1980) From Paramount Home Entertainment

Jason Voorhees (Ari Lehman) dies in 1958 when the Camp Crystal Lake counselors ignore him having fallen into the camp’s lake. It triggers a number of camp counselor deaths by an unknown killer. It’s 1980 and having reopened the camp after some time, new counselors take jobs at the woodsy getaway for youngsters. But it won’t be long when the violence begins once more.

The revenge theme film is the beginning of a long list of sequels that keep killing off the counselors and anyone else that may come along and visit the camp. The film gets very gruesome, actually bordering on an NC-17 rating. But thriller fans were mesmerized by the movie and it became a big success. Its 50 years later and the original film has been enhanced and remastered for audio and video and encased in a steel protected box.

Harry Crosby as Bill in Friday the 13th From Paramount Home Entertainment

The film gave some fledgling and notable actors a chance to show their talent taking each of the actors up a notch. Long time actor Betsy Palmer adds her fine acting as the mother of Jason Voorhees. Newcomer and a much younger Kevin Bacon takes on the role of Jack one of the camp counselors who has a very seductive scene with Jeannine Taylor as Marcie. And Adrienne King who plays Alice in this film went on to make several horror flicks. But, the film did way more than that as it found some very creative ways to kill each of the counselors providing gasps and winces by a very surprised audience. The special effects are amazing for the time period with no CGI, but the ingenuity of the crew that put them together made the gory film a hit.

Drawing a lot of fans for horror and terror during the late 70’s, the story itself used a revenge killer similar to the recent movie Halloween (1978) to bring fear to Friday the 13th and it worked. It became a hit basically using a similar formula of killing people that had failed the antagonist who came back to life for revenge. From there on out the producers came up with a sequel followed by 10 more, each getting a lot of followers.

Kevin Bacon as Jack and Jeannine Taylor as Marcie in Friday the 13th From Paramount Home Entertainment

The clarity of the video is very good with very little noticeable grain and the film restorers even go to work clearing up some of the darkness scenes to reveal more of the gutsy deaths. I also found the sound to be crystal clear keeping the film creepy and in some scenes even more shocking.

BONUS FEATURES:

“Commentary by director Sean S. Cunningham with cast and crew”
“Friday the 13th Reunion” Director Cunningham assembled a couple of original cast members, the writer, Henry Mancini who wrote the music. It was staged in front of an audience at a screening in 2008.
“Fresh Cuts: New Tales from Friday the 13th” writer Victor Miller leads off talks about the concept of the films.
“The Man Behind the Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham” The director talks about his life after Friday the 13 and how he feels it succeeded on just a small budget.
“Lost Tales from Camp Blood- Part 1” a creepy step by step of a bloody scene that was written and directed by visual effects cinematographer Andrew Ceperley who created several Lost Tales involving the camp in the film.
“The Friday the 13 Chronicles” Cunningham talks about how he produced and worked out all the necessary steps to bring it to the screen. There are some good shots of the special effects.
“Secrets Galore Behind the Gore” How did they do that? The make-up specialists Tom Savini, Steve and Victor had to figure out different effects like chopping a head off, slicing a throat, pushing an arrow through a neck, an ax in the head, and so many more gory scenes. Their work spawned many other ways to create gore in their sequels and other movie horror flicks.

Friday the 13th (1980) is rated R by the MPAA for bloody violence and sexual content including nudity. It also contains teen drinking, drug use and smoking. This uncut version has not been rated, but has been lengthened and may have added violence.

Kevin Bacon, Laurie Bartram, Harry Crosby, Adrienne King, Mark Nelson, and Jeannine Taylor in Friday the 13th From Paramount Home Entertainment

FINAL ANALYSIS: Excellent protective box, clarity, and remastering. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Betsy Palmer, Kevin Bacon, Ari Lehman, Robbi Morgan, Laurie Bartram, Harry Crosby, Adrienne King, Mark Nelson, and Jeannine Taylor
Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
Written by: Victor Miller
Genre: Horror, Thriller
MPAA Rating: UNRATED/ Rated version R by the MPAA for bloody violence and sexual content including nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
Video Release Date: June 16, 2020
Original Theatrical Release Date: May 9, 1980
Language: English
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: English 5.1 True HD
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Distributed by: Paramount Home Entertainment
Released on: Blu-ray, Steelbook

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