Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter - Deluxe Edition
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (15th July 2009).
The Film

People like Tom Savini, Rob Bottin, Rick Baker and the KNB FX trio are what make me love horror movies. They create such crazy effects that it sparks wonder in my mind of how they got it all done, long before CG would come to reign as a quick fix. Through different projects, all of these people have created some of the most amazing practical visual effects to ever take place on film. One of my dreams has always been that, ignoring money, talent and time, I would attend Tom Savini’s school for special effects in Pennsylvania; it would be worth a year’s tuition at the very least just to meet the man who created the original Jason, plunged an arrow through Kevin Bacon’s neck and had a revolver for a penis in “From Dusk ‘Till Dawn” (1996). You can’t pull that kind of talent and passion for the craft out of nowhere, but he seems to bring that sort of joy to his effects work with some of his patented maneuvers like the zombie pull-apart. With “Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter” (1984) Savini returns to take care of Jason one last time in the supposed final installment, bringing back some of the effects charm that the series had been lacking.

Of course the film can’t start without a recap of the previous installments, which basically come down to Jason’s mom kills teens, Jason kills teens, Jason kills teens and bikers. But this time, oh this time, Jason is really dead. Picking up right where “Friday the 13th Part 3” (1982) left off, Jason’s body is found dead in the barn where he got axed in the head and sent into a morgue to be analyzed. But of course Jason isn’t dead, he murders everyone in the morgue and heads back off to Crystal Lake for some sun and death. Back at Crystal Lake, the Jarvis family is living in a cabin near the lake and a group of teens are on their way up to stay at the cabin next door. The crew of teens gets involved in some sex, some skinny dipping and general drinking, making them perfect Jason targets. As Jason starts hunting down the different groups, Jimmy Mortimer (Crispin Glover) keeps trying to get laid and prove his friend Ted (Lawrence Monoson) wrong while Rob Dier (Erich Anderson) looks to get revenge for his sister who was killed by Jason before (in “Friday the 13th Part 2” (1982)).

By this fourth movie, the “Friday” franchise has a sure grip on exactly what it needs to accomplish: great gore, senseless nuditiy and cheap scares. For me most of it begins and ends with the addition of Tom Savini to the crew, bringing in some of the best kills of the “Friday” series with all sorts of knives and machetes through the body, some great head twists, hack saws and a corkscrew. Even better, Tommy Jarvis’ (Corey Feldman) obsession with horror special effects pulls together a huge collection of monster masks and props that are just amazing to see. Here it’s not about trying to invent something new, it’s about knowing your audience and giving them exactly what they want.

Aside from Savini, the actors in the movie are actually great too. Crispin Glover’s amazing performance as Jimmy culminates in one of the greatest dance scenes ever. Corey Feldman shows up in one of his earliest live action roles, and acts as a gateway to the movie for gore/horror fans who just love special effects. He has some great faces and moments to go along with it, but in all honesty Crispin Glover pulls of one of the best performances in a "Friday" movie and is genuinely hilarious. Ted White’s uncredited and single performance as Jason in the movie is a good performance, but a lot of it is all in the effects. White’s conflicts with director Joe Zito is documented over his disagreement with the film itself and arguing with Zito over letting Judith Aronson warm up.

Even though Zito sounds like a jerk on set, his directing knows what to show and when to show it, though cuts away a bit too quickly for my taste considering Savini’s great work in the film. Using Manfredini’s score, Zito plays all the right notes of a “Friday the 13th” movie with the cheap thrills and trying to set up a sense of tension that just builds excitement for the next kill. There are also some genuinely cool shots in the film, like the opening that does a long take covering the scene of Jason’s supposed demise or the final scene where Tommy kills Jason.

In the end this “Friday the 13th” movie hits the perfect spot for what I expect and need. Ridiculous Gore? Random Nudity? Funny Dances? All thumbs up. It’s beautiful in what it sets out to accomplish and it does it completely successfully, bringing the franchise to a new level with this supposed ending. Honestly it’s really Savini’s magic that makes the movie shine and that’s all I need. With Savini heading up the special effects, you’re in for a good time.

Video

Presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic aspect ratio, the transfer is dirty and grainy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Trying to make this movie crystal clear would take away from some of the fun and authenticity of the film for its era and it’s genre. That layer of dirt adds another feel to the movie that helps bring me further into the fun of watching the movie through that extra texture that keeps the mood of the movie.

Audio

Much like the video, the English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track keeps the same sort of grainy texture despite being upgraded with a new mix. It lets Manfredini’s score come through and you can hear all of the different gore sound effects be heard at the proper levels and in the proper time, though the hints of older audio quality are there, especially for a film made on the cheap. Intentionally designed to create the same feel or not, the audio track on the film brings the right mood and fun to the film. Also included are English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono tracks with English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

Extras

Like the other ‘Deluxe Editions’ preceeding it, the single DVD contains a good amount of special features including two audio commentary tracks, a short film, featurettes and theatrical trailers.

The first audio commentary track is with director Joe Zito, screenwriter Barney Cohen and editor Joel Goodman, and focuses mostly on the technical side of production; why certain shots were chosen, why they decided to write characters in certain ways or edit different shots. The trio aren’t terribly vain or self-obsessed talking about how they put the film together, but do a good job about talking about the film and even discussing some of the choices that they made in the film. There are a good amount of pauses in the track, but it’s interesting to hear from them and how the treat the film and good to hear some stories and choices from the set, even though some things are left out like the story of Zito and White’s conflict on set over the raft scene.

Next is the fan audio commentary with Adam Green and Joe lynch. The commentary definitely has a fan vibe to it as they keep referring to how awesome different kills and effects are, but these two have come into horror movies in their own right through “Hatchet” (2007) and “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End” (2007). They don’t have a know it all vibe and are fairly self deprecating about their limited body of work, but it’s still entertaining to listen to. They talk about their favorite "Friday" movies, laugh along at all the right moments, give all due praise to Savini, and debate on whether or not the kills were too long and too short.

“Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 4” short film runs for 6 minutes and 21 seconds, picking up from where the other installments had left off, but I still don’t understand why they exist on these DVD's. It follows a similar killer stalking people premise but without any of the comedy or payoff associated with the “Friday the 13th” films.

“Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After ‘Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter’” featurette runs for 11 minutes and 2 seconds. Savini features in a surprisingly brief featurette that serves as the making of for the film, talking with Zito, Cohen and others involved in the film to talk about why they did the things they did. Some of the same stories are brought over, but noticeably bringing in Ted White to talk about his interpretation of Jason, Kimberly Beck to talk about her role in the film, unfortunately no Feldman, but an impressive amount of original actors and stories from the original film. A solid, if short, featurette.

“The Lost Ending” runs for 3 minutes and 20 seconds, this featurette is the lost ‘dream sequence’ ending for the film that was never used, that lacks the original audio but has a narration from different people involved in the film and subtitles for what the should be. A cool addition to the film and a good choice to add a sort of narration to it since it was already missing the sound.

“The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part I” runs for 18 minutes and 6 seconds, this featurette is really part 1 of a 3 part mocumentary spread over this second batch of "Friday" movies. The mocumentary treats the legend of Jason at Crystal Lake as fact, talking about Jason as fact or fiction, the different murders that happened at the lake. It’s an amusing addition that adds in a set of in-jokes for fans of the "Friday" series and makes a lot more sense on the disc rather than the “Lost Tales from Camp Blood” that keeps showing up.

“Jimmy’s Dead F**k Dance Moves” featurette runs for 2 minutes and 7 seconds and looks at a bunch of different takes of the Crispin Glover freak out dance that he does in the film, supplemented by an interview with Joe Zito about how the dance got thrown into the film. A great featurette to add on considering how the dance helps to make the movie.

The original theatrical trailer runs for 1 minute and 55 seconds.

Bonus trailer on the disc is for:

- “The Uninvited” runs for 2 minutes and 19 seconds.

Note from moderator 26/06/12. The release also contains Slashed Scenes not mentioned here!

Packaging

This disc is packaged in a standard amaray case housed in a cardboard slip-case.

Overall

The Film: B- Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: A- Overall: B

 


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