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Steve Miner
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober
Writing Credits:
Ron Kurz

The body count continues ...

They comprise the most successful and shocking tales of terror in cinema history. Now, for the first time, the first eight classic Friday The 13th movies are available together in this killer DVD collection.

Beginning with the picture critics have called the original slasher flick, this collection spans nine years and includes seven additional blood-soaked, suspense-filled sagas starring one of the most horrifying characters ever to wear a hockey mask and wield a machete: Jason Voorhees. It's a splatterfest of fan favorites that follow the unstoppable Jason as he cuts and hacks a swath of fear all the way from Crystal Lake to the mean streets of Manhattan. In addition, the collection includes a special disc filled with never-before-seen footage and fabulous extras that will slay even the most jaded horror film aficionado!

Box Office:
Domestic Gross
$21.722 million.

Rated R

Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
English Monaural
French Monaural

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $79.99
Release Date: 10/5/2004

Available as Part of “Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - Ultimate Edition DVD Collection

• None


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

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Friday The 13th, Part 2 (1981)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 5, 2004)

Nowadays any horror flick that makes more than 27 cents at the box office engenders an endless supply of sequels. That was the case back in the early Eighties, when “slasher” movies remained in their infancy. 1978’s Halloween became a substantial hit and produced imitators, but the trend for sequels hadn’t quite started yet. Heck, we wouldn’t see Halloween II until 1981, three years after the release of the first movie.

The Friday the 13th films moved along so quickly that they appeared to come from an assembly line. 1981’s Friday the 13th Part 2 hit the screens less than a year after the original, and most of its follow-ups followed a similar pattern. That would eventually affect the quality of the movies, but it doesn’t cause problems for the surprisingly good Part 2.

Only Alice (Adrienne King) survived the earlier flick’s slaughter at Camp Crystal Lake. She remains haunted by her experience and hides from the world. However, she doesn’t have to deal with this pain for long, as a hulking figure soon stabs her in the side of the head and kills her.

Five years after the action over at Camp Crystal Lake, Paul (John Furey) launches a counselor training camp near that bloodied locale. Paul runs the joint along with assistants Ginny (Amy Steel) and Ted (Stu Charno) plus a boatload of counselors. Paul tells them the story of Jason, the boy who drowned at the Camp decades earlier and whose spirit allegedly haunts the place. However, he does so for wicked laughs, as no one takes the tales seriously.

Big mistake! Blood and mayhem ensue in a variety of graphic ways as Jason Voorhees (Warrington Gillette) stalks the community.

Most people think that the character of Jason emerged as a killer in the first Friday flick, but that didn’t happen. 2 is where we see him become the deadly force behind the movies. Despite that twist, don’t expect 2 to offer an experience that notably differs from the first flick. Really, it does little more than remake its predecessor, as it tells an extremely similar story. That doesn’t cause any problems, though. It’s not like the first movie was particularly original, as it mixed together bits and pieces of Halloween and Psycho.

Arguably, 2 improves upon the first Friday, at least in some small ways. It attempts slightly greater character definition and makes its killer a more forceful factor. The first flick’s murderer existed mainly as a shadowy presence, but here we see Jason take charge and act strongly. Sex plays a much stronger part here, as the film includes many more hook-ups and also tosses in some full-frontal female nudity, a rarity for this series; we often find topless women, but we don’t usually see them go all the way.

Although the story retells the same plot, 2 works better because of its direction and momentum. The first film moved in a bland and plodding way, while 2 actually demonstrates some flair at times. For example, the opening killing of Alice packs more tension than virtually any scene in the first movie, and some others work nicely as well.

One fun aspect of watching the Friday movies one after another: we get to see Jason develop. He played literally no role in the first film, so 2 offers our first look at him. He lacks his trademark hockey mask, and he comes across more like a troubled psycho than the supernatural force of evil he would become.

Overall, Friday the 13th Part 2 is a more dynamic and tight film than its predecessor. It lacks some creativity, I suppose, but it’s not like the original presented an inventive tale. It stole from prior horror flicks, and that factor minimizes the negative impact of the sequel’s repetitiveness. I wouldn’t call 2 a great film, but it presents a minor improvement over the first one.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio C+/ Bonus NA

Friday the 13th Part 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. I didn’t think the visuals of 2 lived up to the strong picture of the first movie, but it looked quite good nonetheless.

Sharpness remained positive but was a little iffier for this flick. Most of the movie appeared more than acceptably concise and well-defined. Some moderate softness crept into the image at times, but not with great severity or frequently. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and this flick depicted only the slightest edge enhancement. Print flaws were a little heavier than with the first movie, but they still weren’t much of an impediment. Grain was more noticeable, and I saw greater density of specks and marks. Nonetheless, these stayed pretty unproblematic for an older movie.

In the first film, colors offered a highlight. While not as strong here, they still came across pretty well. Most of the hues appeared pretty vibrant and lively. Sometimes they became a little flat, but those examples were infrequent. Blacks seemed slightly flat but were usually fairly dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated similar tendencies. Low-light shots could be a bit opaque and drab, but they mostly looked appropriately dense and visible. While the image of Friday was a “B+” that almost got an “A-“, put down 2 as a “B” that veered on a “B+”. It’s not a stellar transfer, but it satisfied.

When I listened to the monaural soundtrack of Friday the 13th Part 2, I noticed virtually no differences in comparison with its predecessor. Speech was intelligible and without defects but seemed moderately thick and distant. Effects presented acceptable clarity and came without distortion. They lacked depth or power, though. Music worked the same way, with a score that sounded reasonably tight but lacking in fullness or dynamics. Nothing went wrong here, so it seemed like a perfectly adequate soundtrack for a 23-year-old low-budget movie.

This version of Friday the 13th Part 2 comes as part of a package entitled From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - Ultimate Edition DVD Collection. It gathers the first eight Friday flicks onto four discs and adds a fifth platter of supplements. Four of the flicks include commentaries that I’ll discuss when I get to those movies. Since Paramount designed the set as a connected package, I didn’t give the individual discs grades for supplements; I’ll reserve those for an overall review of the fifth DVD.

Like many sequels, Friday the 13th Part 2 does little more than remake its predecessor. However, it does so in a satisfying way, as it presents a discernibly more dynamic and visceral experience. The DVD offers generally positive picture along with adequate audio. Friday the 13th Part 2 probably won’t win over any non-fans, but it acts as a decent entry in the series.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.25 Stars Number of Votes: 16
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