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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
John Carl Buechler
Cast:
Kane Hodder, Lar Park-Lincoln, Kevin Spirtas, Terry Kiser, Susan Blu, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Heidi Kozak, William Butler
Writing Credits:
Manuel Fidello, Daryl Haney, Victor Miller (characters)

Tagline:
On Friday the 13th, Jason is back. But this time, someone's waiting.

Synopsis:
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
$19.170 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

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

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $79.99
Release Date: 10/5/2004

Available as Part of ďFriday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - Ultimate Edition DVD CollectionĒ

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director John Carl Buechler and Actor Kane Hodder


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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 7: The New Blood (1988)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 12, 2004)

With 1986ís Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, the titular psycho returned to action. He continues his violent ways with yet another in the apparently never-ending series, 1988ís The New Blood.

Although the last couple of movies lacked this feature, Blood starts with a staple of the first few sequels: a recap of the prior effort. We see the ending of Jason Lives to witness how murderous monster Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) ended up at the bottom of Crystal Lake. A little girl named Tina Shepard (Jennifer Banko) wishes for the death of her abusive father John (John Otrin). This sets events into motion that collapse the pier on which he stands and apparently kills him.

The flick jumps to Tina as a young woman (Lar Park Lincoln). She wakes up from a nightmare about this event and we see her as her mother (Susan Blu) takes her to Crystal Lake, where paranormal psychologist Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser) runs a study of psychokinetic abilities. Not coincidentally, this location is where Tina last saw her father.

We meet some kids at a neighboring cabin. That group includes hunky Nick (Kevin Blair), and he takes an instant interest in Tina. Dr. Crews meets with Tina and we watch as he tests her skills. Between Crewsí pressure on her and her negative associations with the location, Tina gets upset and runs back to the pier where her dad died. She wishes she could bring him back, which inadvertently triggers the resuscitation of Jason.

Tina sees Jason emerge from the lake, but no one believes her. At least she gets to spend some time with Nick, who invites her to a birthday party. In the meantime, Jason goes back to his old antics and starts to kill again. Tina senses this and starts to see visions of Jasonís violent ways. The rest of the movie follows his attacks as well as Tinaís reactions and the other kids. We also learn more about Dr. Crews and his motives.

The first few Friday flicks essentially retold the same story repeatedly, and I complained about the lack of creativity. This may be an example of ďbe careful what you wish forĒ, as the more the Friday movies deviate from their source material, the less effective they become. Blood presents a more imaginative take on the events, but it goes down such a silly path that it makes me miss the gory simplicity of the earlier movies.

Actually, the series went to crap when it totally lost touch with reality. No, the flicks never maintained a perfect connection with the real world, especially as Jasonís abject refusal to die became more and more absurd. I guess the movies excuse this by calling him a zombie; I donít recall that the flicks ever explicitly stated this, but they follow that concept.

I will admit that Blood had some potential, mainly because it was the first Friday flick to offer a character with the apparent ability to battle Jason as an equal. This isnít just another teen with ineffectual weapons. Tinaís psychic abilities mean that she can fight Jason in a meaningful manner.

Unfortunately, the climax fails to live up to that potential. Actually, the movieís conclusion may well be the dumbest of the whole series. The concept is inherently ridiculous anyway, but it doesnít even manage to take care of business in any form of satisfying manner.

With each new movie, it becomes more and more absurd that people are willing to hang out at Crystal Lake. How stupid are these people? The films try to eliminate this problem as they communicate that people regard Jason as an urban legend. How is this possible? Even if no one believes in the Jason bogeyman, all the killings are a matter of record. I think a tourist trap with so much blood on the ground would be an awfully tough sell, but each movie brings more and more teens back to the killing grounds.

While Blood attempts more character definition than the first couple of flicks, the personalities remain one-dimensional at best. Much of the problem with this movie comes from the lead role of Tina. Sheís genuinely screechy and annoying, which makes her one of those participants we Jason will kill.

The New Blood continues a Friday the 13th trend that takes the movies farther and farther from what made the series successful. It seems desperate to shake things up but it lacks much to make it worthwhile. Itís one of the less interesting of the Friday flicks.


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

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood 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. Although it didnít look quite as good as Part VI, the picture for Blood seemed more than satisfactory overall.

Sharpness was positive. A smidgen of softness occasionally interfered with wide shots, but those issues remained minor. Instead, the movie usually appeared distinctive and detailed. The image suffered from no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and it also lacked edge enhancement. Grain seemed a little heavier than usual, and I noticed occasional examples of specks, but the source mainly was clean.

Colors came across as very good. The film utilized a fairly broad palette, and the DVD replicated those tones with accuracy and vivacity. The hues always were concise and firm. Blacks seemed similarly tight, but shadows tended to be slightly dense. Low-light shots remained adequate but could be a little bland. Nonetheless, the image was quite positive as a whole.

Of the seriesí first eight films, only The New Blood boasted a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. (The first five were mono while VI and VIII used ďUltra StereoĒ.) Despite the slight expansion in audio capabilities, the mix seemed very similar to that of Part VI. The soundfield stayed with a forward bias. In that realm, elements were accurately placed and meshed together pretty nicely. The music demonstrated fine stereo presence and the effects helped create a good feeling of atmosphere. The surrounds largely just reinforced matters and didnít add much unique audio, but they managed to bring nice support to the track.

Audio quality continued to seem strong. Dialogue always came across as natural and concise, as the track lacked edginess or other concerns. Effects sounded dynamic and bold, with clean highs and fairly deep low-end. Music also showed good presence and range. Nothing about the mix floored me, but it worked very well for a movie of this oneís vintage.

This version of Friday the 13th Part VII 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 Iíll discuss when I get to those movies. Since Paramount designed the set as a connected package, I didnít give the individual discs grades for supplements; Iíll reserve those for an overall review of the fifth DVD.

Half of the eight movies include no supplements, but Part VII comes with an audio commentary. We hear from director John Carl Buechler and actor Kane Hodder, both of whom sit together for their running, screen-specific chat. Hodder doesnít offer much real information. He tells us some notes about how he got the part and life under the mask, with an emphasis on the logistical issues as well as his acting choices. However, Buechler dominates as he goes over casting, sets and locations, staging the kills and stunts, and cut material. The latter remains a particular sore spot, as Buechler continues to feel upset about the deletions forced on him for ratings reasons. The commentary fares best in its first half, but it tends to drag during the movieís second part. Friday fans will still probably learn a fair amount from this track, but itís too spotty to be better than average.

Although Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood attempts to do something different with the stodgy franchise, it fails to prosper. Its stabs at creativity become ridiculous and the movie is way too absurd to work. The DVD offers very good picture and audio, however, as well as a decent but inconsistent audio commentary. This disc presents the movie in a high quality way, so that should satisfy its fans. I canít imagine why anyway would enjoy this inane flick, but I canít complain about the DVDís execution.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6 Stars Number of Votes: 10
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