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Danny Steinmann
John Shepherd, Marco St. John, Melanie Kinnaman, Richard Young, Vernon Washington, Shavar Ross, Tiffany Helm, Juliette Cummins, Jerry Pavlon
Writing Credits:
Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen, Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen, Danny Steinmann, Victor Miller (characters), Tina Landau (additional dialogue)

If Jason still haunts you, you're not alone!

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:
Opening Weekend
$11.183 million on 1594 screens.
Domestic Gross
$32.980 million.

Rated R

Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
English Monaural
French Monaural

Runtime: 92 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

• None


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 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 8, 2004)

Since they called the fourth flick in the Friday the 13th series The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning shouldnít exist. But I guess they decided money remained to be made, so the series continues with this 1985 flick.

In a departure from the first three sequels, Beginning doesnít open with a rehash of the prior flicks. It quickly reintroduces the character of Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman), the kid who finished off Jason in Final Chapter. He watches some goons dig up Jasonís grave, an action that revives the killer and sends the madman after the boy. However, Tommy soon wakes up from this vision to reveal that heís now a young adult (John Shepherd) in the care of a mental hospital.

Yes, it appears that little Tommy went a bit bonkers after his encounter with Jason, so now the extremely withdrawn dude remains a charge of the public mental health system. They send him to the rustic Pinehurst Youth Development Center, where he quickly meets assistant director Pam Roberts (Melanie Kinnaman) and director Matthew Letter (Richard Young). They brief him on the centerís system and what they hope to do for him.

From there Tommy settles in and we meet the other residents as they go about their chores. One of them turns out to be a little nuttier than the rest; Vic Faden (Mark Venturini) goes psycho when he angrily takes an axe to fat, dopey resident Joey (Dominick Brascia). The cops cart off Vic, but we soon see that another murderer stalks the area when a mystery man violently slays a pair of young toughs.

The kids and staff remain on edge after this, and it doesnít contribute to Tommyís already precarious mental state. He continues to see visions of Jason, and he reacts violently when another kid taunts him. In the meantime, more slayings occur outside of the facility. Sheriff Tucker (Marco St. John) tries to handle the killing spree while he undergoes pressures from the mayor (Ric Mancini). Tucker proposes an outrageous theory when he suspects Jason as the murderer even though Mr. Voorhees apparently was cremated.

From there, we watch as the death toll escalates. The mystery killer continues his rampage. As always, this leads toward an inevitable confrontation of some sort.

No one will accuse New Beginning of deviating radically from the template established in the first four movies, but Iíll give it some credit for its attempts to broaden matters. Much of the set-up and execution remains the same. The plot offers another batch of youngsters isolated in the middle of the woods, and we see a series of gruesome killings.

At least Beginning tries to do something different, though. Yeah, it follows the same basic structure, but it offers some intrigue as to the identity of the killer. Other flicks attempted red herrings, but this one pulls off those teasers.

Tommy doesnít get a lot of depth, but he stands as one of the seriesí more interesting characters. The rest of them vary from non-entity to broad stereotype. The movie doesnít attempt to delve into Tommyís psychoses well, but it gives him some personality, and thatís more than I can say for many folks in the prior four movies.

Overall, I prefer New Beginning among the first five Friday movies. Will it stay my favorite after I watch the next three? That I donít know, and to call it the best of the bunch seems like faint praise anyway, as none of the prior four did a lot for me. Beginning doesnít reinvent the wheel, but it shows some creativity and turns into a reasonably satisfying slasher flick.

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

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning 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. A few minor concerns popped up here, but Beginning offered probably the strongest visuals of the first five Friday movies.

From start to finish, sharpness looked strong. Only a smidgen of softness crept into a few shots, as the movie lacked many instances of ill-defined images. The film remained nicely delineated and concise most of the time. I noticed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement stayed minimal. Print flaws also decreased when compared to prior flicks. I still saw sporadic examples of specks, spots and grain, but these didnít cause too many distractions.

After the drab-looking Final Chapter, the colors of Beginning rebounded well. The movie depicted a natural palette with good clarity and vivacity. Even colored lighting was smooth and distinctive, as the movie consistently presented lively tones. Blacks also improved and came across as deep and firm, while shadows were nicely concise and not too opaque. The movie looked very good and seemed very satisfying.

Friday the 13th: The New Beginning stood as the final flick in the series to come with a monaural soundtrack. While slightly superior to the others, it still remained average for its era. Speech betrayed no edginess and sounded reasonably natural, with tones that were a little tinny but not badly so. Effects stayed clear and acceptably accurate but lacked much range or heft. Music was a little broader than usual. The score offered decent dynamics but remained moderately thin overall. Another mediocre track, the audio of Beginning was fine but not any better than that.

This version of Friday the 13th Part V 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.

Anyone who wants a radical departure from the standard Friday the 13th epic wonít get it in The New Beginning. However, the movie manages to broaden its horizons somewhat, as we finally get a Friday that feels like more than just a remake of the others. The DVD offers very good picture with acceptable audio. New Beginning wonít win new fans but it should entertain those with a taste for this sort of flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.1052 Stars Number of Votes: 19
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