Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image satisfied.
Sharpness seemed positive, as most of the movie exhibited solid definition. A few slightly soft shots occurred, but those remained minor. I witnessed no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and I also saw no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws were absent, and grain felt natural.
Lives went with a palette that seemed bright for a Friday movie, but I can’t complain about the reproduction of those tones. The colors consistently looked positive. We got a bit of a green tint at times, but the movie usually presented a broad and vivid spectrum of colors that were solid. Blacks also seemed tight and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and taut. This wound up as a good “B+” image.
During its theatrical run, Lives boasted an “Ultra-Stereo” soundtrack. That was essentially the same as Dolby Surround, but since it was the first Friday to stretch beyond mono, it was an improvement on its predecessors. That audio got reworked into a satisfactory DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix for this disc.
The soundfield created a nice sense of setting. Music offered solid stereo imaging, while effects spread neatly and cleanly across the front. They blended well and brought about a smooth impression. Surround usage didn’t stand out as exceptional, but the rear speakers added dimensionality to the proceedings and were reasonably active.
Audio quality was very good. Speech always came across as natural and distinctive, with no problems related to edginess or intelligibility. Music was lively and dynamic. The score and songs showed good range and clear reproduction. Effects also sounded accurate and broad. They demonstrated clean highs and fairly deep bass response. This wasn’t a dazzling soundtrack, but it sounded quite positive, especially given the age of the movie.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2009 Deluxe DVD? Audio was brighter and more dynamic, while visuals seemed tighter, cleaner and more film-like. This became a good step up in quality.
The Blu-ray mixes extras from the prior DVDs, and we find two separate audio commentaries. From 2004, the first features director Tom McLoughlin as he provides a running, screen-specific track. I don’t think much of his movie, but McLoughlin gives us a nice look at this film. He discusses the actors and casting, the flick’s tone and sensibility, locations and related challenges, visual effects, cut sequences and graphic footage dropped for ratings reasons, and a variety of production anecdotes.
McLoughlin proves consistently chatty and personable. He covers the film’s creation in a fairly concise and involving manner that makes this a positive commentary.
Off the 2009 DVD, the second commentary includes writer/director Tom McLoughlin, editor Bruce Green and actor Vincent Guastaferro. All three sit together for their look at cast and performances, some character/story issues, sets and locations, gore and effects, MPAA concerns, music, sound design, and a few other production areas.
This track works fairly well, but it’s not as good as McLoughlin’s solo discussion. It throws out a fair amount of useful information but it tends to drag at times and never becomes particularly involving. Though I think it’s a decent commentary, the 2004 chat works better.
Excerpted from a long documentary on a 2004 bonus disc, The Friday the 13th Chronicles, Part VI runs 14 minutes, 42 seconds and includes remarks from McLoughlin and actor CJ Graham. The piece gets into the film’s origins, casting another Jason, shooting some of his scenes, its humor and references, studio reactions and added kills. A broader roster of participants would’ve been nice, but we still find some good notes here.
Once again, we find a chapter of Lost Tales From Camp Blood. The seven-minute and 17-second “Part 6” continues the series, but it doesn’t improve on its predecessors. This short is just as forgettable as the others.
Another continuation comes from The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited – Part III. As with the first two chapters, this nine-minute and 36-second piece looks at the movie events as though they really happened. I liked the first two, and “Part III” offers another fun and interesting “alternate reality”.
Next we find a collection of Slashed Scenes. This six-minute and six-second reel simply offers longer, gorier versions of sequences already found in the movie. We do get a bit more from the film’s ending, though; that’s the most valuable part of this otherwise less than enthralling compilation.
Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th: Part VI runs 12 minutes, 57 seconds and involves McLoughlin, special makeup effects artist Gabe Bartalos and Chris Biggs, and actors Bob Larkin, Nancy McLoughlin and David Kagen. The show looks at the premise and tone of the movie, sets and locations, cast and performances, some story/character subjects, various effects and MPAA concerns, stunts, and the movie’s reception. Inevitably, we hear a few tidbits repeated from the commentary. Nonetheless, “Lives” throws out a lot of unique material. Despite its fairly short running time, it offers a good collection of notes.
Along with the film’s teaser trailer, we find the two-minute and 46-second Meeting Mr. Voorhees. Loughlin introduces a story reel that shows us an alternate ending in which we meet Jason’s dad. It’s not the most interesting scene, but I like the concept; it’s too bad none of the movies ever dealt with the concept of Jason’s father.
One of the series’ weakest efforts, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives feels like an awkward attempt to make it something it’s not. It looks as though they wanted to give it more of a Nightmare on Elm Street vibe and seems too goofy and inane to deliver the requisite scares. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with a nice set of supplements. Though I dislike the movie itself, I feel pleased with the quality of this Blu-ray.
Note that as of April 2014, this Blu-ray version of Jason Lives appears only as part of a 12-film set called “Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection”. This includes films 1 through 8 as well as Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X, Freddy Vs. Jason and the 2009 reboot. It also throws in a bonus DVD and some other non-disc-based materials.
To rate this film, visit the original review of FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VI: JASON LIVES