Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Collection
Director & Cast: various
Review by Brian M. Sammons

Come on, you know what these movies are all about. Don’t tell me you don’t. Even if you never seen any of these flicks before, which I would find surprising as hell if you call yourself any sort of horrorhead at all, you know about these classic and hugely influential (and no, I’m not joking) films. You’ve got to know about the hockey-masked killer, Jason. He’s a bona fide horror rock star. You show anyone in the world his infamous mask and chances are still very high that they will know who you’re talking about, despite the heyday for this series being long gone. So with all that said, I’m not going to go through the plot of each of these eight Friday The 13th films, the ones put out by Paramount Pictures before they sold the rights to New Line Cinema, and the eight movies collected here for the Ultimate Collection. Because if you don’t know what a Friday The 13th flick is then I have nothing to say to you, other than go watch them now and come back when you’re done.

So what will I cover in this review? Well the reasons why you should, or should not, pick up this latest re-re-rerelease of these fan favorite films. And sadly the only reason I can come up with is the packaging and extra not-on-the-disc goodies.

This set comes in a neat, if somewhat flimsy, plastic box. Each collection is a limited run so they are numbered out to 50,000. Mine has a little sticker on it saying that it’s 31,153/50,000. Inside the box the coolest bit has got to be the mini hockey mask right out of Part 3. Too small for anyone other than infants, it would make a nice wall decoration if you were so inclined. Next there is the attractive book/DVD case. Not only does it hold all your discs in one convenient and compact spot, but each sleeve has some facts and trivia on each film, including a body count and a list of all the weapons used in that installment to slice and dice the teens with. Case in point, I never stopped to think that in the first Friday The 13th film, only four weapons were used; knife, arrow, axe, and of course, the machete. Little stuff like that I always find cool. Two pair of 3D glasses, for Part 3, round out the physical extras in this collection.

Now for the down side; these are the exact same DVDs from the previous Deluxe Editions of the DVDs. So not one, teeny tiny new bit of anything is added to the movies or the extras on the actual discs. That is a huge disappointment and means that if you have the last edition of the Friday films there is really no reason to get this unless you’re the world’s biggest Friday The 13th fan and you’ve just got to have a mini Jason mask for yourself. I hate to say it but this sort of feels like a blatant attempt by Paramount to rip off the diehard fans who love these movies to pieces. After all, who is the Ultimate Collection aimed at, if not them? And if that’s the case, then such fans already have these movies. Chances are they have purchased the Friday films multiple times, so I why not try to get some more bucks out of them, I guess. No one is putting a gun to the heads of Jason fans and making them buy this, but it still feels kind of sleazy since the only thing new this time around is the packaging.

All that said, it is a really neat boxed set. The movies look better than ever, short of Blu-ray, and I can only assume that a Blu-ray boxed set is in this series’ future sometime. The extra goodies are cool and the fanboys, like myself, are sure to find them cool. If you already own the Deluxe Editions of these movies then you really don’t need to get this. If you don’t have the first eight Friday The 13th films on disc, then what the hell is wrong with you? They’re awesome! If that is you, then this collection is a great way to rectify that gross oversight. But other than that, I would have to suggest you pass on this one.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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