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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Steve Miner
Cast:
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober
Writing Credits:
Ron Kurz

Tagline:
The body count continues ...

Synopsis:
A fresh batch of teenage camp counselors return to the ill-fated Camp Crystal Lake five years after its most recent atrocities. Since the apparent perpetrator of those crimes was decapitated by the only survivor, the plucky teens ignorantly go about the business of reviving the camp, unaware that they are being stalked by an unseen figure who lives in the woods, waiting for the right opportunity to take bloody revenge.

Box Office:
Domestic Gross
$21.722 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

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

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $16.99
Release Date: 2/3/2009

Bonus:
• “Inside ‘Crystal Lake Memories’” Featurette
• “Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions” Featurette
• “Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 2” Featurette
• “Jason Forever”
• Theatrical Trailer


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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.

RELATED REVIEWS


Friday The 13th, Part 2: Deluxe Edition (1981)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 4, 2009)

Nowadays any horror flick that makes more than 27 cents at the box office engenders an endless supply of sequels. That was the case back in the early Eighties, when “slasher” movies remained in their infancy. 1978’s Halloween became a substantial hit and produced imitators, but the trend for sequels hadn’t quite started yet. Heck, we wouldn’t see Halloween II until 1981, three years after the release of the first movie.

The Friday the 13th films moved along so quickly that they appeared to come from an assembly line. 1981’s Friday the 13th Part 2 hit the screens less than a year after the original, and most of its follow-ups followed a similar pattern. That would eventually affect the quality of the movies, but it doesn’t cause problems for the surprisingly good Part 2.

Only Alice (Adrienne King) survived the earlier flick’s slaughter at Camp Crystal Lake. She remains haunted by her experience and hides from the world. However, she doesn’t have to deal with this pain for long, as a hulking figure soon stabs her in the side of the head and kills her.

Five years after the action over at Camp Crystal Lake, Paul (John Furey) launches a counselor training camp near that bloodied locale. Paul runs the joint along with assistants Ginny (Amy Steel) and Ted (Stu Charno) plus a boatload of counselors. Paul tells them the story of Jason, the boy who drowned at the Camp decades earlier and whose spirit allegedly haunts the place. However, he does so for wicked laughs, as no one takes the tales seriously.

Big mistake! Blood and mayhem ensue in a variety of graphic ways as Jason Voorhees (Warrington Gillette) stalks the community.

Most people think that the character of Jason emerged as a killer in the first Friday flick, but that didn’t happen. Part 2 is where we see him become the deadly force behind the movies. Despite that twist, don’t expect Part 2 to offer an experience that notably differs from the first flick. Really, it does little more than remake its predecessor, as it tells an extremely similar story. That doesn’t cause any problems, though. It’s not like the first movie was particularly original, as it mixed together bits and pieces of Halloween and Psycho.

Arguably, Part 2 improves upon the first Friday, at least in some small ways. It attempts slightly greater character definition and makes its killer a more forceful factor. The first flick’s murderer existed mainly as a shadowy presence, but here we see Jason take charge and act strongly. Sex plays a much stronger part here, as the film includes many more hook-ups and also tosses in some full-frontal female nudity, a rarity for this series; we often find topless women, but we don’t usually see them go all the way.

Although the story retells the same plot, Part 2 works better because of its direction and momentum. The first film moved in a bland and plodding way, while Part 2 actually demonstrates some flair at times. For example, the opening killing of Alice packs more tension than virtually any scene in the first movie, and some others work nicely as well.

One fun aspect of watching the Friday movies one after another: we get to see Jason develop. He played literally no role in the first film, so Part 2 offers our first look at him. He lacks his trademark hockey mask, and he comes across more like a troubled psycho than the supernatural force of evil he would become.

Overall, Friday the 13th Part 2 is a more dynamic and tight film than its predecessor. It lacks some creativity, I suppose, but it’s not like the original presented an inventive tale. It stole from prior horror flicks, and that factor minimizes the negative impact of the sequel’s repetitiveness. I wouldn’t call 2 a great film, but it presents a minor improvement over the first one.


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

Friday the 13th Part 2 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. I didn’t think the transfer of Part 2 excelled, but it looked good nonetheless.

Sharpness remained positive the majority of the time. Most of the movie appeared more than acceptably concise and well-defined. Some moderate softness crept into the image at times, but not with great severity or frequently. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and this flick depicted only the slightest edge enhancement. Print flaws were a little heavier than with the first movie, but they still weren’t much of an impediment. Grain was more noticeable, and I saw greater density of specks and marks. Nonetheless, these stayed within reasonable levels for an older movie.

Colors came across pretty well. Most of the hues appeared pretty vibrant and lively. Sometimes they became a little bland, but those examples were infrequent. Blacks seemed slightly flat but were usually fairly dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated similar tendencies. Low-light shots could be a bit opaque and drab, but they mostly looked appropriately dense and visible. Though I didn’t think the image was great, it deserved a solid “B”.

When I examined the new Dolby Digital 5.1 remix of Part 2, I felt it offered a satisfying piece. As was the case with the track for the first flick, this one focused on general atmosphere. Not much else happened here, and surround usage tended toward support. I noticed a few unique elements in the rear speakers – like a barking dog in the right surround – but most of the time those channels just reinforced material from the front.

And that was fine, as the forward channels opened up matters well. They showed good stereo music and demonstrated a fine sense of environment. The mix created a surprisingly natural sense of place; if I didn’t know better, I’d have thought the film always came with a multichannel mix. The soundtrack fit the material well.

In addition, audio quality was positive. Speech came across as reasonably concise and natural; no flaws or edginess marred the lines. Effects didn’t boast great range but they seemed clean and accurate. Music presented nice clarity and except for a somewhat dull-sounding rock song at a bar, that side of things appeared pretty robust. While the track never dazzled, it worked well, especially given its age.

How do the picture and sound of this 2009 disc compare to the 2004 release? Unfortunately, I was unable to directly compare the two; the version I reviewed in 2004 was available only as part of a boxed set called “From Crystal Lake to Manhattan”, and I gave it away years ago.

Based on my comments about the 2004 release, I get the impression that the two transfers look a lot alike. I hesitate to say that with certainty since I’ve not seen the 2004 version in a few years and I also took in the 2009 disc on a larger, more revealing TV. Nonetheless, I’d guess that both discs boast rather similar visuals.

I did rent the original Part 2 DVD from 1999 and thought that the two were also a lot alike; sharpness, blacks, shadows and colors remained similar. The 2009 disc showed fewer source flaws, but it also seemed grainier. I actually may prefer the older disc because of the grain issue, but I didn’t find serious differences between the two.

A more obvious change came from the audio of the 2009 DVD. It offered a new 5.1 remix, while the two prior discs went solely with the original monaural soundtrack. I had no problems with the 1981 mono mix, but I did rather like the new 5.1 edition. Since the 2009 disc provides both the mono and 5.1 tracks, it acts as an auditory “best of both worlds”.

With that we head to the set’s extras. Inside Crystal Lake Memories runs 11 minutes, 16 seconds and provides an interview with Memories author Peter Bracke. Conducted by Dark Delicacies owner Del Howison, they discuss why Bracke decided to write the book, his research and the writing process, his approach to the material, aspects of Part 2 and thoughts about the series’ enduring appeal.

I was pleased that “Inside” spent so much time on the production of Part 2. I feared it would be little more than a way to promote Bracke’s book, but it never feels like a promotional tool. Instead, we get good details about the series and Part 2 in particular. It’s too bad this DVD doesn’t include the deleted shots Bracke mentions here, though.

Next comes the six-minute and 49-second Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions. It includes some remarks from Scarefest event manager Jeff Waldridge, Friday makeup effects creator Tom Savini, Friday writer Victor Miller, composer Harry Manfredini, Scarefest host Patty Star, and actors Ari Lehman, Betsy Palmer, and Tucky Williams. We learn a little about Scarefest and why the folks involved in films like to appear there. Unlike “Inside”, “Legacy” does feel promotional. We get no real insights into the horror convention phenomenon and just learn how terrific they are.

A continuation of a piece started on the Friday the 13th DVD, Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 2 goes for eight minutes, 55 seconds. Actually, “continuation” isn’t really correct, as both parts of “Lost Tales” show different short horror films. Neither offer much entertainment, so don’t expect much from them.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a 29-minute and 26-second show called Jason Forever. This takes us to a January 2004 Fangoria convention that united four of the actors who played Jason. We meet Ari Lehman, Warrington Gillette, CJ Graham and Kane Hodder. They provide some memories of their work on the films. The program gives us a decent roster of facts and proves to be reasonably entertaining.

Like many sequels, Friday the 13th Part 2 does little more than remake its predecessor. However, it does so in a satisfying way, as it presents a discernibly more dynamic and visceral experience. The DVD offers generally positive picture along with good audio and a minor set of extras. Friday the 13th Part 2 probably won’t win over any non-fans, but it acts as a decent entry in the series.

To rate this film visit original review of FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 2

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