Friday The 13th (1980)
By: J.R. McNamara on July 18, 2009  | 
DVD
Warner Home Video (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, Germa DD 2.0, Spanish DD 1.0. Croatian, Czech, Danish, English, English (FHI), Finnish, French, German, German (FHI), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish Subtitles. 91 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Starring: Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby
Screenplay: Victor Miller
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
When reviewing a film like the original Friday the 13th one is faced with something of a quandary: how do you review a film that literally everyone has seen? When someone says to me 'oh, I love horror films too', my brain immediately assumes they have seen several films, and of those, Friday the 13th would be one, so what can a new review offer any DVD horror collectors?

Thankfully this new disc offers some pretty cool extras, so the extras section is going to offer a bit more than the actual guts of the film review itself. For the eternally lame, though I will offer a short plot synopsis just to make sure we are all on the same page.

The story of Friday the 13th goes as follows: several years ago, Camp Crystal Lake was closed down due to a few murders, and then, every time someone tried to reopen it, attempts were halted by fire or other 'natural' occurrences. Flash forward to now, or 1980 as the case may be, and we follow the lovely young cook Annie (Robbi Morgan) who bums a lift to the newly refurbished Camp Crystal Lake with a trucker who is going part of the way there. On the way, she is told of the horrible things that have happened there, and how this attempt to reopen will no doubt be foiled as well. After fobbing the trucker's tales off as rubbish, she leaves him and continues on her merry way and gets picked up by another driver, who promptly pursues her into the woods and slashes her lovely throat.

In an early sequence we also get to meet the other councilors of the camp, Alice (Adrienne King), Marcy (Jeannine Taylor), Jack (Kevin Bacon… yes, that Kevin Bacon),  Bill (Harry Crosby), Brenda (Laurie Bartram), Ned (Mark Nelson) and their new boss Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) as they go about their business of fixing the place up. Steve has to go into town to run a few errands, and leaves the youngsters to do what they have to do to get the place ready, and perhaps to enjoy each others company, and engage in a bit of tomfoolery… but after Steve leaves, strange things start to happen, and eventually the kids are picked off one by one. Who is committing these crimes though: is it Steve, or one of the nutty townspeople, or is it someone we have never met before who has a grudge against the Camp and a gargantuan screw loose? Let's hope at least one of survives…

This is the modern horror classic. It has spawned sequels, toys, comics. Hell, as I type this I am wearing a Jason/ Friday the 13th hockey shirt!! Its influences seem to be almost infinite, and there is a reason for that: Friday the 13th is an amazing horror film, I still get a thrill watching it today, even though I have seen it literally, hundreds of times. The cast is perfect and the final reveal left-of-centre, truly this is a masterpiece of horror cinema.
Video
he picture quality of this edition isn't bad, and remember, we are talking about a 30 year old film, so some blemishes can be forgiven. Friday the 13th is presented in16:9 widescreen and has a very occasion artifact, but not so much that one would really notice.  
Audio
The audio is presented in a quite lush Dolby 5.1.
Extra Features
The first thing the Friday fan should see is the unusual cover that this DVD has: why does the first Friday film have a picture of the hockey mask on the cover? Wasn't it not until the third film that Jason got his goalie role? Well the little tagline of 'The Terror Before The Mask' gives that away. This is certainly NOT a reworked film with a bit of hockey player in it, no this is before that time, but still what better way to sell a Friday film, especially the first one in the wake of the remake's release, than to remind the purchaser of who REALLY becomes the star of the series? Also strangely, the ominous figure in the trees is carrying a chain…OK…

Disc 1 appears to be the same as the previous region 4 release of Friday the 13th, but with a brand spanking new picture on the disc.  These extras include a commentary by Sean S. Cunningham (introduced by author Peter Bracke), a doco from 2003 entitled Return to Crystal Lake: The Making of Friday the 13th and the original theatrical trailer. All wonderful extras but bring on the new NEW stuff!! One of the problems with the commentary and the doco on this disc is that the same areas are covered. One can quite easily be watched without the other one, and basically the same information will be delivered.

Disc 2 is where the Friday fan starts to get his moneys worth. On this disc we are presented with some brand new extras, and some of which don't give the Friday fan the same stories you have heard over and over again.

Friday the 13th Reunion: This is footage taken from a convention on 13th September 2008 and features tales about the filming from special effects legend Tom Savini, actors  Ari Lehman( Jason), Betsy Palmer (Mrs Vorhees) and Adrienne King (Alice), Writer Victor Miller and composer Harry Manfredini. The panel discusses aspects of the film that hadn't been cover too much before, like the Casting, the Characters, the Movie Ending, and Adrienne King gives one of her well-known screams, and discusses the stalker she had after the filming of the first Friday, and how it effected her and her career.

Fresh Cuts: New Tales of Friday the 13th: This features new interviews with Lehman, Miller, Savini, Manfredini and Robbi Morgan (who played Annie) and is broken down into several sections: Victor Miller on Concept, Casting Young Jason, The Unfortunate Hitchhiker, Working With Harry Crosby, Stories From The Set, Harry Manfredini on Scoring the Theme, Getting Into Character, The Chair Jumper, Music To End With and Friday the 13th: A Surprise Hit. This was a great selection of tales and anecdotes not as familiar as the ones you always hear, and seeing Robbi Morgan again was refreshing as well, as she is not one I have regularly seen on Friday extras, though she does incorrectly refer to herself as 'the first victim'.

The Man Behind The Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham: Here we look at how the Friday films have made Cunningham a success, even though critically his films aren't necessarily well received. This is basically a discussion with both Cunninghm, and his son Noel, about how his journey through Hollywood has panned out, and we get a look at his home and office as well, for those who like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Lost Tales From Camp Blood Part 1: this is a throwaway extra that has already been used on a release of Friday the 13th Part 2 and is completely superfluous here. As a matter of fact, other than the words 'Camp Blood' featuring in the title, I don't understand why it is even an extra on this disc at all.

The last two extras The Friday The 13th Chronicles and Secrets Galore Behind the Gore take you back to tales you have heard many times by folks who love to tell them: Cunningham, King, Palmer, Savini and Lehman. Now that is not a criticism necessarily of the performers, but instead of the people who put the DVD together. Surely at some point they must have thought 'Didn't we hear the story about Betsy's car twice already?' Still, if you want a complete package, you can't go too far wrong including EVERYTHING!!!

The only fault I can pick on this second disc is that it doesn't go for long enough, surely there are even MORE tales to be told, and more stuff to be found? I was really left wanting more with this disc.
The Verdict
Its' the original Friday the 13th, so you may think that you already have it and don't need to upgrade, but if you are an extras junky like I am, you should go and pick this up for the second disc. If you don't own the original Friday the 13th , well I am not even sure why you are at Digital Retribution at all. Did you take a wrong turn on a search engine?
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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