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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Joseph Zito
Cast:
Kimberly Beck, Erich Anderson, Corey Feldman, Barbara Howard, Peter Barton, Lawrence Monoson, Joan Freeman, Crispin Glover
Writing Credits:
Barney Cohen, Bruce Hidemi Sakow, Martin Kitrosser (character creator), Ron Kurz (character creator), Victor Miller (character creator), Carol Watson (character creator)

Tagline:
Three Times Before You Have Felt The Terror, Known The Madness, Lived The Horror. But This Is The One You've Been Screaming For.

Synopsis:
The body count continues in this vivid thriller, the fourth - but not final - story in the widely successful Friday the 13th series. Jason, Crystal Lake's least popular citizen, returns to wreak further havoc in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. After his revival in a hospital morgue, the hockey-masked murderer fixes his vengeful attention on the Jarvis family and a group of hitherto carefree teenagers. Young Tommy Jarvis is an aficionado of horror films with special talent for masks and make-up. Has the diabolical Jason finally met his match?

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$11.183 million on 1594 screens.
Domestic Gross
$32.980 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Monaural
French Monaural
Spanish Monaural
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $16.99
Release Date: 6/16/2009

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Joe Zito, Screenwriter Barney Cohen and Editor Joel Goodman
• Audio Commentary with Horror Filmmakers/Fans Adam Green and Joe Lynch
• “Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 4” Short Film
• Slashed Scenes
• “Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” Featurette
• “The Lost Ending”
• “The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited” Featurette
• “Jimmy’s Dead Dance Moves” Featurette
• Trailer
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Friday The 13th, Part 4: The Final Chapter - Deluxe Edition (1984)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 15, 2009)

With the possible exception of The Neverending Story, 1984’s Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter might stand as the most deceptive movie title ever. I don’t think it qualifies as a spoiler to reveal that the series kept going long after the conclusion of this flick. Including 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason, we got seven more Friday offerings after this fourth one as well as a 2009 reboot/remake.

As long as profits remain to be earned, Jason will continue to kill. Whereas Part 2 and Part 3 each opened with the conclusion of their respective predecessors, Final launches with a general recap. It reintroduces the legend of Jason (Ted White) and sets the stage for more gore.

The flick then picks up right where Part 3 ended, as we see authorities clean up the mess Jason made. The film also shows the apparent demise of Mr. Voorhees, as the coroners cart off his body.

To the shock of absolutely no one, reports of Jason’s death are premature, and he again starts a killing spree. Abruptly, the film cuts to a local family that includes Mrs. Jarvis (Joan Freeman), teen daughter Trish (Kimberly Beck) and young son Tommy (Corey Feldman). We hear that the house next door has been rented by a group of six young adults.

Lots of attractive young people out in the middle of nowhere with Jason on the loose - no points if you figure out what will happen from there. We watch the usual exposition in which the various characters hang out and engage in frivolous sexual activities. Jason stalks the woods and slowly offs more and more of the characters as we head inexorably toward yet another climactic showdown.

Blah blah blah. Why do I get the feeling I could just reiterate the same review for each Friday movie and it wouldn’t matter? That’s not fair, I suppose; since I still have four more movies to go after The Final Chapter, I don’t know what potential surprises may arise.

So far, however, the Friday movies have stayed very close to the same template. Any story differences among the first four flicks remain minor. Someone kills young adults out in the woods - that’s about it. Most of the characters look and act the same from movie to movie, so the main changes come from the nature of the killings.

I expect that’s why Friday fans continue to flock to the flicks. They want to see new and more creative ways for Jason to slay the same cast over and over, and Final Chapter definitely expands his repertoire. This film makes his attacks more graphic and brutal than ever, so I suppose that adds to the film’s appeal for fans.

Otherwise, you won’t find much new in Final Chapter. It introduces a family to the concept; we still have lots of anonymous, horny young adults, but we also get young Tommy and his mother. Not that their presence does anything to alter the normal dynamic; the twist fails to add up to something fresh, though it does mean the film’s ending presents a moderately different take on things.

One change comes from the identity of the director. Steve Miner helmed the last two flicks, but here Joseph Zito takes over for him. Don’t expect this to make any difference, as the movie remains clumsily paced and put together. The films always telegraphed scary moments, and that continues here, as Zito makes sure we see the jumps and jolts come at us from a mile away.

Another unintentional difference revolves around the cast. For the first time since Kevin Bacon’s turn in the first movie, we see actors who had actual acting careers after the flick in question. Actually, Final Chapter offers two such performers: Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman. I never thought much of the latter, but Glover manages to bring a little quirky energy to his role. Given the amateurish nature of most Friday performances, this makes a minor difference here.

But not much of one, I’m afraid. Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter does little more than reiterate the same tired story in the same tired way. It attempts some minor twists but fails to make them stick. It may satisfy fans of the series who desire to see ever more graphic slaughter, but otherwise it fails to demonstrate any form of inspiration.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B+

Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter 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. The Final Chapter presented a fairly ordinary picture but not a bad one.

Across the board, sharpness came across as adequate and that was about it. The movie rarely looked substantially ill-defined, but it also failed to present great delineation. The image appeared acceptably concise with a small current of softness that ran through the whole thing. As with its predecessors, no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and only minor edge enhancement manifested itself. Source flaws were absent, though grain was a consistent – and often heavy – factor.

In terms of colors, the tones here came across as decidedly ordinary. They occasionally mustered some lively images, but the colors usually appeared moderately flat and dull. While they never became tremendously bland, they also lacked substantial vivacity. Black levels seemed passable but somewhat drab, and shadows tended to appear a bit too dense and heavy. Ultimately, The Final Chapter offered a passable image.

In addition to the film’s original monaural audio, this DVD included a new Dolby Digital 5.1 remix. Don’t expect a whole lot from the soundfield. Music benefited the most, as the score boasted good stereo delineation. Otherwise, the mix focused on general ambience. Scenes like the rainstorm showed nice spread across the front but the majority of the movie remained essentially monaural. Surround usage was minor at best.

Audio quality seemed fine for its age. Speech came across as reasonably natural and distinctive, but without much life or verve. Music sounded clean and bright, although the score also lacked much depth or range. Effects fell into the same category. They never turned shrill or distorted, but they failed to present elements that appeared lively or powerful. The audio was good enough for a “B-“ given its vintage, but it didn’t impress.

How do the picture and sound of this 2009 disc compare to the 2004 release? Unfortunately, I was unable to directly compare the two; the version I reviewed in 2004 was available only as part of a boxed set called “From Crystal Lake to Manhattan”, and I gave it away years ago.

Based on my comments about the 2004 release, I get the impression that the 2009 disc offers mild improvements in terms of both picture and audio. The most obvious change comes from the inclusion of the 5.1 remix, as the 2004 DVD stayed with the original mono. Both offer similar audio quality, but the mild spread of the 5.1 soundfield made the new track a little more engaging.

The main difference in the two transfers relates to source flaws. The 2004 disc suffers from minor print defects, while the 2009 release is quite clean. Both have a lot of grain, and all other aspects of the images seem to be comparable. I expect the 2009 disc looks and sounds superior to the 2004 one, but it’s not a huge upgrade.

The 2009 Deluxe Edition adds a whole bunch of extras not found on the earlier release. We start with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Joe Zito, screenwriter Barney Cohen and editor Joel Goodman. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at studio and budget pressures, MPAA concerns, story and characters, editing, music and cinematography, killing Jason, cast and performances, gore and effects, locations, and a few other production topics.

Though the track occasionally sags due to dead air, the participants usually offer a good look at the film. They interact well and seem happy to delve into the movie’s creation. Despite some gaps, the commentary moves well and turns into a satisfying discussion of the flick.

Next comes a “fan commentary” with horror filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch. They also sit together and provide a running, screen-specific chat in which they offer an appreciation for the film. They tell us a little about the production but mostly get into their thoughts about it.

Tracks like this usually degenerate into little more than gushing praise. This one includes a little of that, but the participants are too irreverent for this to become an annoyance. Not that they come across like smarmy jerks, though; they clearly love the movie, and their feelings come through in their comments. We don’t learn a ton about the movie here, but the track proves to be enjoyable and fun nonetheless.

Continuing a series from the first three Deluxe Editions, Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 4 runs six minutes, 20 seconds. This gives us a short film in the Friday vein. The first three were pretty lame, and Part 4 doesn’t fare any better. Maybe somebody likes these things, but I take nothing from them.

A collection of Slashed Scenes goes for 15 minutes, 18 seconds. We find a slew of silent clips narrated by Zito. These are really just outtakes, as no unused story points appear. Instead, we see raw footage of stunts and gore. None of this becomes especially interesting, though the compilation offers a decent look at the basic effects work.

Next we find a featurette called Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. In this 11-minute and two-second piece, we hear from Zito, Cohen, special effects creator Tom Savini, and actors Ted White, Kimberly Beck, Bonnie Hellman, and Erich Anderson. “Day” looks at story issues, cast and performances, gore and effects, and some thoughts on the series.

While it includes a lot of good information, “Day” jumps around so much that it becomes a bit incoherent. It feels ADD in the way that it flits from one topic to another and rushes through its subjects. I like the material we get but would prefer a longer, more in-depth take on the film.

More deleted footage shows up via The Lost Ending. The silent clip goes for three minutes, 20 seconds and comes with narration from Zito and Beck. It shows a dream sequence that would’ve finished the film. It’s not great, but it might’ve been interesting, especially since so many of the Friday flicks used similar fake-out finales.

The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part I lasts 18 minutes, six seconds and provides a faux documentary that examines the events of the first four Friday movies. It looks at the killings from a mix of angles and comes across as reasonably entertaining, especially when it points out the more absurd aspects of the series. Some poor acting bogs it down, but it’s still clever enough to succeed.

Finally, Jimmy’s Dead Fuck Dance Moves lasts two minutes, seven seconds and includes a few notes from Zito. We see shots of Crispin Glover’s bizarre dancing; we get a mix of outtakes and bits from the final film. It’s an insubstantial piece.

A Preview for The Uninvited opens the disc. We also get the theatrical trailer for Final Chapter.

A film that totally failed to fulfill its title’s promise, Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter also fell short of any other distinctiveness. It did little more than rehash the same story, as it tossed out characters and situations an awful lot like those of the first three movies. The DVD presents acceptable picture and sound along with a pretty good collection of extras. I’m not fond of the flick itself, but this is a good upgrade for Friday fans.

To rate this film, visit the Ultimate Edition DVD Collection review of FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER