Warners loses a Jason and gains a Chris (Nolan)… Owen Wilson’s a turkey; Woody Harrelson’s a hawk… Essential ARCHER item becomes real…
Direct from the lavish Cinefantastique Online studios, Dan Persons brings you up to date on what’s happening in genre film.
Warners loses a Jason and gains a Chris (Nolan)… Owen Wilson’s a turkey; Woody Harrelson’s a hawk… Essential ARCHER item becomes real…
Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Halloween Haunt pioneered the concept of basing walk-through haunted attractions on movies, usually tied in with some new release (THE GRUDGE 2, BEOWULF, QUARANTINE), but over the last few years Universal Studios Hollywood has taken the idea to its ultimate degree, building haunts around hit horror franchises for its Halloween Horror Nights presentation. Thus we saw mazes built around A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, FRIDAY THE 13TH, and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in 2007 and 2008. Last year’s horrors were based on SAW, HALLOWEEN, and MY BLOODY VALENTINE. 2010 sees the return of the SAW maze, along with new mazes based on the remakes of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and FRIDAY THE 13TH.
Unfortunately, in aping horror film franchises, Halloween Horror Nights has become a little bit like one, churching out sequels and remakes that convey that “been there, done that” feel. Universal continues to succeed at its intended goal, which is to bring horror movies to life, turning them into amazingly detailed walk-through mazes that immerse fans in the worlds of their favorite movie monsters. Unfortunately, focusing on individual films (such as the recent Freddy and Jason remakes) leads to a certain monotony. In each maze, Jason/Freddy jumps out at you in the first room, then the second room, then the third room, etc – and it’s always the same character with the same appearance. (The previous Elm Street and Friday mazes benefited from being based on franchises with lots of sequels, which offered some variety when it came to depicting the characters: for example, Jason could appear with a bag over his head, as in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART II, instead of the familiar hockey mask.)
Here is a rundown of the horror-movie-inspired thrills and chils at Halloween Horror Nights’ 2010:
FRIDAY THE 13TH: KILL, JASON, KILL. Jason’s back, but this maze is remarkably different from the ones seen in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately, Jason isn’t really given enough room to show off the difference between his current incarnation and the versions seen during previous Halloweens. The new Jason is supposed to take his cue from the performance by Derek Mears in the remake, who made the character more of an Olympic athelete, rather than the slow and steady menace that he was when played, most famously, by Kane Hodder in the FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels VII through X (it was Hodder’s performances that set the style for Universal’s previous “Friday the 13th” mazes). Setting that aside, the new “Friday the 13th” maze does justify bringing the character back, by showing him in new settings and situations, with lots of new gore gags.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Like the “Friday the 13th” maze, this one lives up to the promise of offering something new, this time a grim Freddy based on the 2010 remake. Unfortunately, the attempt fares less well. The remake’s new Freddy makeup is not that impressive when translated into the live medium – it looks like putty smooshed around the face. And by focusing on a single film, the maze looses the variety made possible by pulling the best bits and pieces from several sequels. The result loses the “Nightmare” on Elm Street: it’s fairly generic, with burlap tunnels and tight corridors that force you to walk past windows and doors from which Freddy can make his expectedly unexpected appearances. There area few nice touches, fortunately: solid walls that disappear, revealing Freddy behind them, or that stretch as if pressed from behind (recreating a memorable image from the original film that was botched in the remake thanks to cartoony CGI).
SAW: GAME ON. Against our expectations, “Saw: Game Over”turned out to be the highlight of 2009’s Halloween Horror Nights, so we are not complaining when we saw that this year’s incarnation is a virtual duplicate. There are a few nice gruesome bits included, such as the “rack-crucifix,” which neatly – well, not so neatly – twists off its victim’s arms. (We are not gore fans, but this one effect is almost worth the price of admission -although flashing lights and screams may distract you from seeing what’s happening.) The interesting point here is that most of Universal’s mazes try to feature the villain as much as possible, but “Saw: Game On” maintains Jigsaw as an off-screen voice, focusing attention on the mechanical traps and torture devices. Our only disappointment was with a recreation of a scene from the original SAW, in which one victim must dig a key out of the body of another victim in order to unlock a device before it kills her; for some reason, the actress playing the role was camping it up, simply flopping her fingers through bloody guts as if playing a game, not engaged in a life-or-death race against the clock.
VAMPYRE: CASTLE OF THE UNDEAD. This is set in Universal Studios year-round walk-through attraction, thes House of Horrors, which was designed to provide a sort of tour through the history of the horror genre, starting with old-fashioned classic horror movies like DRACULA and moving through the decades to include PSYCHO, CHILD’S PLAY, etc. For the last couple years, Universal Studios Hollywood has taken to re-branding the attraction for Halloween: last year it was “Chucky’s Funhouse”; this year it is “Vampyre: Castle of the Undead.” The layout and sets remain much the same – this is a fixed location – the main difference is that the walk-through is haunted by a bunch of ugly vampires based on a comic-book tie-in. The inspiration here seems to be to go anti-TWILIGHT, which is fine with us, but that will take you only so far. The vampyres need something of their own to make them memorable, beyond the fact that they are not like Edward Cullen; what we get are fairly generic, if effective at hissing and scaring in the dark. There is also a problem with the setting: House of Horrors is designed to feature several different environments: in some the vampyres seem appropriate (like Dracula’s Castle); in some they do not (like Chucky’s toy story or Frankenstein’s laboratory). There is corridor of mirrors that we do not remember from years past – creating some visual distraction that allows the vampires to make effective surprise appearances from concealed doors, and there is a very effective bit at the very end, with a headless corpse that turns out to be alive.
ROB ZOMBIE’S HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES: IN 3D ZOMBIEVISION
It may be Zombievision, but it’s barely 3D. The flimsy cardboard spectacles create some color separation that makes certain highlighted objects stand out, but for the most part the techniques does not yield particularly memorable results. The walk through the various ghoulish scenes is creepy enough to be worthwhile, but the characters have not truly achieved the cult status that makes them ideal choices for a Halloween maze. Rob Zombie’s fans will probably feel differently – and have a great time – but the average Halloween enthusiast will be less sanguine.
BACK LOT TERROR TRAM: CHUCKY’S REVENGE is another awkward attempt to insert the killer doll into a location where he does not fit: last year it was in the House of Horrors; this year it is on the backlot. It’s starting to feel like a pay-or-play situation, with an actor under contract who gets slotted into some movie just because the studio has already paid his salary and wants to get something back for its investment rather than letting him collect his check for doing nothing. The problem here is that, in spite of numerous sequels, the CHILD’S PLAY films were always a second-rate franchise, and although talking dolls are always creepy and unnerving, the tiny tike is just not credible as a serial killer.
To some extent, Halloween Horror Nights acknowledges this by not featuring Chucky very much on the walking part of the tour (I saw one small actor in a mask and costume, a stationary doll or two, and some pint-sized silhouettes). Instead, most of the monsters are storm-troopers with de rigueur chainsaws. There are also some nicely camouflaged “plant” monsters, who blend in with the vegetation on the dark hillside.
Chucky is truly featured only on the video played on monitors aboard the tram, and truth be told, this footage is amusing – a parody of true-life documentaries charting the fading careers of celebrity has-beens. Chucky is seen in a montage of clips and still that portray him descending into drink as the career opportunities fade. In a gambit that borders on bad taste – but is pretty funny – we are told that the official explanation for the devastating 2008 fire on Universal’s back lot was a cover story; the real culprit was a vengeful Chucky, angry at the way the studio had abandoned him.
The facades and scenery are more or less the same as in previous years, but retroffited to accommodate Chucky (i.e., it’s dolls hanging from the tree, not Jason’s victims). Also, the path has been altered in some cases to give you a slightly different view as you pass from the Bates Motel to the Psycho House, where you can see more “Mothers” (i.e., Norman Bates in drag) than you can shake a stick at. The effect is more campy than frightening.
The airplane crash site is just as awesome as ever, but the storm troopers do not do much to enhance it. In past year’s, this area worked best when used to convey a sense of apocalyptic horror, in which the world seemed to be in total chaos, with zombies feeding on helpless victims in the yards of nearby homes. If Universal really wants to do something interesting with this area next year, they should fashion it into something based on LOST – now that would be interesting.
Halloween Horror Nights would be better if it made greater use of its own classic movie monster movie legacy. It is certainly a shame that, on the 50th anniversary of Alfred Hitchock’s PSYCHO, Universal Studios could not have found some way to feature the famous franchise. Yes, one could argue that Norman Bates is dated, but so is Chucky. Canning the killer doll in favor of Norman – or just about any other Universal monster – would be an easy improvement (and it would tie in nicely with the back story for this year’s Terror Tram).
Bottom Line: If you have not been to Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights, you really owe it to yourself to make the effort. However, if you have attended on previous occasions, there may not be enough new and novel frights to make a return trip an absolute necessity. If you have not already seen King Kong 360 3-D and the Simpsons motion-simulation ride, this is certainly a good opportunity to do so.
By the way, if Universal was going to bring back both Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees for Halloween Horror Nights 2010, would it have really killed them to stage a Freddy vs. Jason fight somewhere on theme park’s lot?
WEEKEND OF HORRORS
LOS ANGELES, CA
Fri., Sat. & Sun.
October 15-17, 2010
Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel
With Guests Including
SEAN PATRICK FLANERY (SAW 3D)
NORMAN REEDUS (THE WALKING DEAD)
TROY DUFFY (BOONDOCK SAINTS)
SID HAIG (SPIDER BABY & MORE)
KEN FOREE (DAWN OF THE DEAD)
ADRIENNE KING (FRIDAY THE 13th — Crystal Lake Wine)
ROBERT Z’DAR (MANIAC COP)
WILLIAM LUSTIG (MANIAC — Blue Underground Video)
FRANK HENENLOTTER (BASKETCASE)
“UNCLE BOB” MARTIN
NATHAN HANNEMAN (HORRORHOUND)
Plus JEFFREY COMBS’ One Man Show NEVERMORE
A complete schedule of events will be posted shortly before the convention. Check their NEW webpage for Updates.
Note: Cinefantastique is a Media Sponsor of this event.
In this post about SAW 3-D, being touted as the finale installment in the Jigsaw saga, Lionsgate president Jason Constantine makes the following statement about the longevity of the SAW franchise:
“You can count on one hand the franchises that lasted seven years — and every year, no less,” says Jason Constantine, Lionsgate’s president of acquisitions and co-productions. “It became part of pop-culture discourse.”
This strikes my as slightly myopic in terms of the history of horror, fantasy and science fiction film franchise. Off the top of my head, here are several more than you can count on one hand – unless you are a polydactyl alien from a galaxy far, far away:
- The Universal Pictures Frankenstein series began in 1931 with FRANKENSTEIN and continued through 1948 with ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, totaling eight films.
- Toho Studio’s original Godzilla franchise began in 1954 with GODZILLA (a.k.a. GOJIRA) and took a breather after TERROR OF MECHA-GODZILLA in 1974. The franchise revived in 1985 and lasted until GODZILLA VS. DESTROYER in 1996, then resumed again in 1999, wrapping up with GODZILLA: FINAL WARS in 2004, with 26 films on its resume.
- The Hammer Films Frankenstein series began in 1957 with CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and ended in 1974 with FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL, totalling six films (not counting the aberration known as HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN)
- Hammer’s Dracula series began in 1958 with HORROR OF DRACULA and ended in 1974 with LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES (a.k.a. THE SEVEN BROTHERS MEET DRACULA), totaling eight films (nine if you count BRIDES OF DRACULA, in which the Count does not appear).
- The James Bond franchise launched in 1962 with DR. NO and continued until QUANTUM OF SOLACE in 2008, totaling over 20 films. (There was a haitus in the 1990s, but still this is a long-lived franchise).
- HALLOWEEN started its reign of terror in 1978, which lasted through HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION in 2002. The franchise started up again in 2008 with a remake.
- FRIDAY THE 13TH began in 1980 and lasted through 2003’s FREDDY VS. JASON, before launching a remake last year.
- A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET arrived in 1984 and officially ended with FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE in 1991 – barely six years. But then the franchise started up again in 1996 with WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE, followed by FREDDY VS. JASON in 2003, and then a remake this year.
Well, that makes eight. I guess we’re not supposed to count the ALIEN franchise and George A. Romero’s sequels to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968), because the films were spaced out at long intervals: the ALIEN films extend from 1979 through ALIENS VS. PREDATOR in 2007; Romero’s latest, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, arrived earlier this year.
If we include non-sequel franchise, we get the Vincent Price Poe movies from HOUSE OF USHER in 1960 through THE OBLONG BOX in 1969. Extending past the real of cinefantastique, we get lengthy franchises devoted to Sherlock Holmes and other screen detectives, not to mention such low-brow fare as Ma and Pa Kettle and Francis the Talking Mule.
Let me know if there are any I missed.
It’s a testament to the outrageous lengths that New Line Pictures had taken the FRIDAY THE 13TH series after acquiring the rights to the Jason character from Paramount, that there was nowhere to go but back to the beginning. JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY transformed the summer camp-lurking mass murderer into a non-corporeal life form that takes possession of various bodies via a dark, viscous fluid. JASON X found Jason, unable to be executed using conventional means, being awoken from cryogenic stasis 500 years in the future by students on a science expedition from humanity’s new home, Earth 2. And the self explanatory JASON VS. FREDDY had New Line showcasing their two top in-house horror icons in a battle royale with each other, in a largely successful attempt to renew interest in both sagging franchises. Jason had long since become a bit of a joke, little more than a delivery platform for the creative output of makeup FX designers. It hadn’t mattered for a long time whether or not he had motivation for killing, or even if he was actually human; screenwriters twisted the legend like Silly Putty in order to suit the latest outrageous adventure.
In 2003, the same year that the case of Jason vs. Freddy was heard in cinemas, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company released its debut effort – a commercial-slick remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The company’s unofficial mission statement has it dredging up our ’70s horror heritage and purchasing remake rights whenever available, and as unappealing as this sounded, their Chainsaw remake wasn’t all that bad. While the young cast seemed like little more than a bunch of WB starlets filling up their summer hiatus (though we enjoy leering at Jessica Biel as much as the next fella) and it had to stoop to gore and extended scenes of torture to move its audience where the original relied on atmosphere and inference, original cinematographer Daniel Pearl returned to beautifully ease his sun-blasted, 16mm classic into the 21st Century tent of Michael Bay World, and whoever thought of bringing in R. Lee Ermey (whose character was a relatively new invention) deserves major praise. A string of less successful remakes followed: a grim version of The Hitcher and a deadly dull Amityville Horror remake, wasting a too-young Ryan Reynolds in a role that he could have hit out of the park a few years down the road, were universally panned but smartly marketed (even the ultra-dopey Chainsaw prequel made a profit.)
It was probably inevitable that Platinum Dunes would set its sights on Friday the 13th as a remake-friendly project; for better or worse, it’s got one of the most iconic killers in horror film history and enormous name recognition, and the various films in the series are also notable for having little or no plot, and, frankly, when it was bad (and it was bad pretty often) it circled the nadir of modern horror. This all to say that we approached the recent remake – helmed by Marcus Nispel, late of Platinum Dunes’ Texas Chainsaw reboot – with as open a mind as is possible.
Unfortunately, one common factor in the Friday cannon is pretty bland cinematography. Things got more interesting once the series shifted to New Line (particularly Ronny Yu’s beautiful shot Freddy vs. Jason) but there’s something wrong when even the spaceship-set Jason X is shot as blandly as a Sci-Fi original series. Nispel made his bones in the commercial & music video world where his work is rightfully acclaimed. His Friday the 13th is richly colored, with deep forest hues creating a nicely creepy atmosphere.
We also liked the approach that the screenwriters took when it came to which aspects of the series would be carried over; we get some of the creepy, mongoloid Jason from the first film (though only in the “Killer Cut”, but more on that later). We get some of the canvas bag-wearing Jason from Part II (the most frightening, in our opinion) and, of course, the ubiquitous hockey mask.
Nispel is also quite good at creating suspenseful set-pieces, particularly a very disturbing kill early on involving a sleeping bag and a bear trap. We also liked the opening gambit involving what can best be described as a decoy group of hikers, which leads us to…
What’s not so good? (Spoilers ahoy)
The film opens on a group of kids who unknowingly tread onto Jason’s turf while looking for a magical forest of marijuana (not kidding.) It is a bit shocking when nearly the entire group is killed off after 20 minutes and we get the title card, which was a nice touch.
The problem is that the second group – gathered for a weekend party at the luxury cabin of ultra douche bag, Trent (Travis Van Winkle) – is far less interesting than the first group. Stopping off for supplies, they meet Clay (Jared Padalecki, from the WB’s Supernatural) who’s searching for his missing sister, Whitney (Amanda Righetti) who had been among the first group. Also along for the weekend are fun-loving Nolan (a Mathew McConaughey lookalike), his girlfriend Chelsea (Willa Ford), the slutty Bree (Julianna Guill) and, for the sake of racial diversity, Lawrence (Arlen Escarpeta) and Chewie (Aaron Yoo).
The inclusion of the latter two perfectly represents the fatuous notion behind too many studio decisions, which allow marketing reports to trump realistic casting decisions. And, though this might fall under the ‘personal preference’ column, we strongly disliked the notion of underground tunnels running beneath Crystal Lake. Now, maybe we missed the scene where the existence of these was explained, but unless there was a large precious mineral find in the Crystal Lake area, their presence seems highly suspect. Its obvious purpose was to give Jason’s seemingly miraculous comings and goings a practical explanation, but it doesn’t do much for Jason’s mythic status to imagine him carefully scaling up and down decades-old mining company ladders (and come to think of it, wouldn’t this just take up more time than less?) It also allows for a dungeon of sorts in which Jason can keep Whitney captive – an odd, unusual plot point that simply does not fit in the Friday world. This dubious machination comes courtesy of director Nispel, for whom its inclusion was the only requirement in screenplay submissions.
There are doubtlessly fans who love the notion of Jason setting the sort of elaborate booby traps that would make Wile E. Coyote jealous, but we always felt that his presence was most terrifying when he was just a garden variety, mass-murdering backwoods mongoloid without an ACME charge account.
BLU-RAY DETAILS – THE KILLER CUT
New Line’s Blu-Ray is quite lovely to look at, featuring deep, inky blacks that really bring out the woodsy atmosphere. The color scheme is a bit more muted than some might expect, but that was clearly the intent of the original cinematography and reproduced faithfully here.
There’s a 9 minute difference between the theatrical version and the “Killer Cut” on DVD and Blu-Ray. It appears to be mostly a matter of scene extensions, with several gorier kills (particularly the aforementioned sleeping bag scene) and quite a bit of added nudity, which significantly extends the screen time of Julianna Guill and her breasts. There are also a few isolated moments with Jason, including a shot of him sharpening his machete that was included in the trailer but dropped from the theatrical cut, and a few glimpses of him witnessing the beheading of his mother in the opening scene, which reenacts the conclusion of the original film. (Sharp-eyed fane of Deep Space Nine will recognize Nana Visitor as Mrs. Voorhees.) The makeup on young Jason in this scene is kind of silly, and it was probably a smart cut.
The disc also features 3 additional scenes, including an alternate version of the moment where Jason first finds his hockey mask that is demonstrably better than what wound up in the film.
The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees discusses the work that went into the redesign of Jason for 2009, including clothing, makeup and masks.
Exclusive to Blu-Ray are Hacking Back/Slashing Forward, which is little more than the cast and crew talking about how much love and respect they have for the original film, along with a collection of seven mini-featurettes on the death scenes.
Making up for the absence of an audio commentary is something called a Terror Trivia Track which runs concurrently with the film.
Smarting by the anemic box office and angrily negative fan reaction to FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING, Paramount brought in writer-director Tom McLoughlin (whose only previous directorial experience was the well regarded ONE DARK NIGHT back in 1983) to revive the franchise. McLoughlin – under studio directive to bring Jason back to life – decided to use humor to smooth over the more ludicrous plot machinations, and his comic sensibilities were thankfully more graceful than his predecessor’s had been. As with previous entries, production began almost before the previous film had exited theaters, and FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VI: JASON LIVES! was released in August of 1986. The sequel picks up with teenage Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews, so memorable alongside James Karen in the previous year’s RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) and fellow asylum inmate Allen (Ron Palillo, TV’s Horshack, in what would sadly be his highest profile role post-KOTTER) on a breakneck graveyard run to once and for all purge Jason from his dreams. This plays out almost identically to the opening of the previous FRIDAY THE 13TH – though instead of ghoulish pranks, Tommy and Allen set out to burn Jason’s corpse to cinders. What follows gives a fair indication of the type of humor that McLoughlin offers, as the attempt to put Jason down for good has the exact opposite effect: a steel pole gets lodged in the torso of the lifeless, desiccated body – which is brought back to life Frankenstein-style by a bolt of lightning. After Allen gets a hole punched through his chest by the newly animated killer, Tommy flees, his unfinished task a heroically epic fail. The prologue finishes up with an optical shot through the eye of the hockey mask, with Jason stalking across the frame, then stopping to throw a machete at the camera in a takeoff of the James Bond opening that elicited wild applause from the audience with whom we saw the film.
Tommy makes a fruitless attempt to warn the local authorities in the form of Sheriff Garris (an appropriately gruff David Kagen), who winds up throwing Tommy in jail after he makes a grab for a shotgun. Having renamed itself Forest Green in an effort to distance itself from its most infamous son, Crystal Lake – understandably – doesn’t lay out the welcome mat for Tommy; he does, however, find a believer in the Sheriff’s daughter, Megan (Jennifer Cooke), who just happens to be one of the counselors at yet another summer camp operating off the lake (how do they get insurance?)
Director McLoughlin showcases a few humorous moments of the all-too-rare “laughing with” variety, as Jason goes after a pre-Ghost Tony Goldwin and the director’s wife, Nancy. Jason blocks the path of their rather unintimidating Volkswagen, and after Tony’s unsuccessful attempt to threaten him with a fist-sized handgun, Nancy tries offering him her wallet – cut to final shot of an Amex card floating in a blood-soaked puddle.
McLoughlin is careful never to let the humor drift off into outright satire – probably harder than it sounds when you’re talking about a Part VI of anything – but he’s also aware that given the triteness of the setup it’s probably the only way to squeeze out a halfway entertaining movie. Even if the sequence wherein Jason kills a bunch of corporate executives on a survivalist weekend plays too broadly for comfort, McLoughlin’s heart is in the right place.
With the help from Megan, Tommy escapes from the jail and heads to the place he know Jason can’t resist – a summer camp. McLoughlin does take a risk here; previous films in the series have only shown camps getting ready to open, but here we see Jason actually menacing a little girl in her bunk, and the series dips its toe into palpably uncomfortable waters for several moments (though some of that tension is relieved by a snoozing camper with a copy of “No Exit” open on their chest.)
Being a Paramount film, nothing too horrible happens (though at the risk of a spoiler, let’s say that one character bends over backwards in a more than figurative sense.) However, the MPAA once again had at the film, dulling the impact of nearly every kill. Being the final film in the unofficial Tommy Jarvis trilogy of IV, V, and VI, the showdown leaves Final Girl Megan without much to do, as Tommy lures Jason back to the very lake where he drowned as a boy, leading to a fiery – if not quite final – confrontation.
Far superior to its dreadful predecessor, Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives is the last decent film in the series made at Paramount. The ill-conceived A New Blood introduced a Final Girl with telekinetic abilities, thus ripping off two movies instead of just one, and the aberration that was Jason Takes Manhattan featured a High School graduation party on a cruise to NYC that doesn’t reach the titular city until the conclusion for some hastily filmed Times Square shots (the Pilgrims got to Manhattan quicker.)
While not all the humor in Jason Lives works, at least the failed bits don’t up-end the whole show. The only major complaint is the shift in location shooting to Georgia; while the California locations of III, IV, and V stood out like a bloody machete from the effective Northeast setting of the first two films, Georgia always looks like Georgia.
Paramount has understandably decided to make this film the last of the series to get special edition treatment, possibly because they have run out of installments of Lost Tales of Camp Blood, the 6th (and we hope, final) of which is included here. The film has also been cleaned up a bit since its last release, with a much better looking image than the copy found on the box set.
The best extra is the commentary with Tommy McLoughlin, editor Bruce Green, and writer Vinnie Guastaferro. McLoughlin is a horror enthusiast (who directed several episodes of the Friday the 13th syndicated series); he still relishes his shot at making a Friday the 13th film (he still has Jason’s gravestone in his yard) and he leads an informative and fun chat that makes it hard to switch hack over to the film soundtrack. (We actually had the opportunity to meet McLoughlin shortly after this film, while he was shooting Date with an Angel at the de Laurentiis studios in North Carolina and can confirm that he really is that nice.)
As for the remaining bonus features:
- The making-of piece, Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th Part VI is interesting, but features a lot of overlap with the commentary.
- Slashed Scenes is another tribute to the MPAA, featuring complete versions of the edited kills, though the workprint quality is wobbly.
- Meeting Mr. Voorhees describes McLoughlin’s unfilmed ending that would have shown Jason’s never-discussed father visiting his grave.
- The mocumentary The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part III doesn’t offend; neither is it worth much of your time (particularly for the third time.)
- The nearly apologetic theatrical trailer is also included.
We’ll give Paramount the benefit of the doubt that they truly intended to end the FRIDAY THE 13TH series with young Tommy Jarvis chopping Jason Voorhees into a million pieces at the conclusion of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER. Screenwriter Barry Cohen was given explicit instructions to make sure that the form of Jason’s exit wouldn’t leave any doubt that this was indeed the end of the line, even if the final shot lingers ominously on the face of a traumatized Tommy, suggesting a possible alternate route – just in case. It turned out that “just in case” happened less than a year later when Paramount came to its fiduciary senses and commissioned a 5th installment of the franchise after THE FINAL CHAPTER raked in sixteen times its own meager budget. Danny Steinmann, coming off the nasty Linda Blair revenge-themed programmer SAVAGE STREETS in 1984, moved into the director’s chair. FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART V: A NEW BEGINNING has since become a bit of a pariah among fans because the screenwriters – looking for a way to get themselves out of the narrative dead end that THE FINAL CHAPTER had boxed them into – gave the sequel a twist ending that (while it makes more sense than most other films of the franchise) is handled so poorly by Steinmann that it utterly overshadows the show’s few virtues.
Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning opens with a dream sequence in which young Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman returning for a cameo) watches a pair of grave robbers unwittingly revive Jason. He wakes from the nightmare as a teenager (played as a near-mute by John Shepherd) riding in the back of a bus on route to the Pinehurst halfway house for troubled teens (presumably, Tommy has been under state care since hacking Jason to pieces as a child.) As Tommy is shown the facility, we meet the heroically under-written cast of characters, a group of teens whose only real trouble seems to be a tendency towards petulance. ‘Always eating fat kid’ battles ‘walkman wearing, robot-dancing punk girl’ and ‘crazed axe-wielding loner’ for our attention until the arrival of neighbors Ethel Hubbard and son Junior straight from a Hee Haw parody of Mother’s Day.
It was at this point in the series that you could feel the producers, screenwriters and directors just throw up their collective hands and say “Hell, nobody takes this crap seriously – so why are we sweating it?” From this point on, the already limited characterization dropped down to almost nil. With no human beings to feel any sympathy with, audiences began to actually embrace Jason – often the only character with a defined agenda. We clearly remember our crowd at a showing of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood cheering loudly for Jason’s brand of faceless mayhem and nothing else.
Anyway, Ethel’s complaints about the kids at the shelter getting into trouble on their property soon prove legitimate as fat kid Joey (Dominick Brascia, complete with melting chocolate bar screwed tightly in his pudgy little hand) pesters dangerous loner Vic (Mark Venturini) once too often and gets an axe buried right in his skull in broad daylight. People who remember nothing else about the film remember this moment – the one bright splash on an otherwise dull, ugly canvas. It’s at this point that the film begins setting up its twist ending, so if you haven’t seen the film and want to remain “surprised,” skip the next paragraph.
When the ambulance crew arrives to pick up fat kid Joey, paramedic Roy Burns (Dick Wieand) begins to have a fit of apoplexy at the sight of fat kid Joey’s body. Watching Wieand’s face contort recalls third-tier silent movie acting at its most histrionic. At the crime scene of the next two victims – a pair of leatherboys that arrived at Crystal Lake via Rydell High – Wieand has a similar outburst that etches into the very celluloid itself “I’m the killer!!!” and of course, he is. That’s right – it’s not Jason. Excluding his cameo in Tommy’s dream, A New Beginning marks the only film in the series where Jason is utterly MIA, racking up zero real-world kills to the chagrin of fans.
There’s an attempt to cast the specter of guilt on Tommy himself, real estate paid for at the conclusion of the previous film and spread more thickly here, but we simply know that it’s not him. Once “Jason” has hacked through the majority of the cast, we’re left with Shavar Ross, last seen making an ill-fated trip to a local bike shop with Arnold Drummond, Final Girl Pam (an unmemorable Melanie Kinnaman) and Tommy, who saves both of them by pushing the hockey masked killer onto a grouping of sharp farm-type implements. The mask is removed, revealing not the malformed inbred son of Pamela Voorhees, but the most obvious suspect since Raymond Burr in Rear Window. We’d love to tell you that A New Beginning is better than its reputation – to tell you that the efforts of the production not to cheat the finality of the previous film’s conclusion, but we simply can’t.
Even by the muted standards of low budget horror, the film is an unforgivably crass, ugly experience, devoid of suspense, and, thanks to the MPAA’s blood vendetta against the franchise, bereft of any interesting kills (after the broad daylight demise of fat kid Joey, of course.) Director Steinmann’s idea of humor can be found glued to the gutter, begging for scraps of uncomfortable laughter from the lowest possible denominator. Fans of the series – and of horror in general – are right to vilify it.
Whatever its faults, Paramount has given Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning an excellent presentation on their Deluxe Edition DVD, released june 16. No one with the film fresh in their mind will be surprised at Director Steinmann’s demeanor on the commentary track; sounding near-inebriated, he jokes his way through the film offering little decent information. Joining him is Shavar Ross, who offers the only interesting stories about the production, and a “superfan” moderator, who has probably chosen to champion the film precisely to crowbar himself into this sort of situation (mission accomplished, we thought, you can stop pretending to like this turd.)
- We also have the fifth (!) installment of the fan-made Lost Tales from Camp Blood, pointless as ever, but at least this time it’s more interesting than the feature.
- The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part II offers another bit of news magazine-style mocumentary, examining Jason’s murder spree as an actual news story.
- New Beginnings: The Making of Friday the 13th – A New Beginning is the laboriously titled documentary on the production, offering a far better look at the process than the commentary does.
The package is rounded out with the original theatrical trailer, and the disc comes with the same lenticular slipcase as Friday the 13th Parts IV and VI.
Feast or famine? This week it’ a feast! After two weeks of almost no worthwhile horror, fantasy, and science fiction home video releases, we suddenly find ourselves deluged with more titles than we can count. This week’s big seller is a new GHOSTBUSTERS Blu-ray disc, which replicates most of the bonus features found on the 2005 double-feature DVD box set (reviewed here), which also included GHOSBUSTERS 2. The re-cycled bonus features are presented in Standard Definition: there is an Audio Commentary (starts slow but gets better), nine minutes of deleted scenes (mostly trivial), a ten-minute on-the-set featurette, an eleven-minute cast and crew featurette (recorded for a 1999 DVD release), a special effects featurette, a multi-angle featurette, and storyboard comparisons. The new high-def bonus features include Cinechat, Blu-Wizard, Slimer Mode, BD-Live, A featurette titled “Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car,” a featurette on making the Ghostbusters video game, a slideshow of photos, and a videogame preview. Also included is a set of theatrical trailers, presented in high-def, for films like CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and THE DA VINCI CODE.
Other Blu-ray discs topping the sales charts this week include Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs; Lost: The Complete First Season; and Lost: The Complete Second Season. All were previously available on DVD. The new Blu-ray discs offer improved audio and video quality, while porting over old bonus features and adding one or two new tidbits to entice you to buy your favorite titles again. View an excerpt from one of the “Making of the Pilot” bonus feature from Lost: The Complete First Season.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Jason is back on DVD and Blu-ray this week. The Friday the 13th remake emerges with even more gore in an Extended Killer Cut, available on DVD and on Blu-ray; the later includes both the new cut and the theatrical version, an Amazon Digital Bundle, and a Digital Copy.
In case that’s not enough hacking and slashing for you, five old titles are back: Parts 2 and 3 are on Blu-ray; Parts 4, 5, and 6 are on DVD.
Paramount’s new Blu-Ray of Friday the 13th, Part 2 contains a lovely 1080p transfer that freshens up the 18-year-old film considerably. We didn’t see the DVD release of the deluxe edition last year, but the image on the Blu-Ray is light years ahead of their previous bare-bones issue. It’s still a low-budget horror picture, and folks should set their expectations accordingly, but we noticed improvement in color stability and detail over the Blu-Ray release of the original film. Read a complete review here.
Paramount Blu-ray disc of Friday the 13th, Part 3 contains both the 3D and flat versions of the film (2 sets of 3D glasses are included). The flat transfer is superior to previous home video editions, but not as demonstrably so as the Friday the 13th, Part 2 Blu-Ray release. The print appears to have weaker colors and somewhat more dirt and print damage than the other titles in the series, though this could easily be a side effect of the 3D photography that more technical savvy people might be able to confirm. It’s not a quite a bad transfer, but if the 3D version were not included it would be difficult to recommend an upgrade from the standard DVD edition. Read more here.
It’s a shame that Paramount didn’t deem Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter deserving of a Blu-Ray release (yet), but the new Special Edition DVD looks quite nice. Though inflation would drive the budgets of future installments up, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter seems practically epic when compared to the poverty row entries still to come, and the DVD’s image reflects the higher production standards. To make up for the lack of commentaries on the previous two Friday the 13th discs, there are actually 2 tracks included here, plus a load of bonus features. Read all about them here.
We hope to get back to you later with reviews of the new DVDs for Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning and Part VI: Jason Lives.
RiffTrax – the latest spin-off of the late, lamented Mystery Science Theatre 3000– is releasing ten DVD titles this week. An Internet venture, not a television show, Rifftrax consists only of audio commentary, with no host segments showing the gang doing skits based on the film. The RiffTrax website sells these down-loadable audio tracks that you can synch up with DVDs you already own. This allows RiffTrax to take on movies without securing the broadcast or DVD rights, so they have extended their reach quite a bit beyond what they could do as Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
The DVDs don’t have this advantage, so the titles being released are older, low-budget films, many of them in the public domain: Night of the Living Dead(reviewed here), Carnival of Souls, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Missile to the Moon, House on Haunted Hill, Little Shop of Horrors, Reefer Madness , Swing Parade, and two sets of short subjects. The budget priced DVDs (under $10) lack bonus features of any kind, but they do offer you the option of watching the films with or without the acerbic barbs of MST3K alumni Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy (interviewed here).
We have only seen the RiffTrax take on Night of the Living Dead, which was better than we feared but still did not convince us that the film warranted the treatment. Others may feel the same about Carnival of Souls, House on Haunted Hill, and Little Shop of Horrors, but probably few will object to subjecting Missile to the Moon, Reefer Madness, and Plan 9 from Outer Space to the usual slings and arrows of outrageous sarcasm – although we worry that Mike Nelson might be running out of jokes for Plan 9, having already provided an audio commentary for Legend’s 2008 colorized DVD (reviewed here).
BABYLON 5 AND BEYOND
As if that were not enough, the five seasons of Babylon 5 have been repackaged for DVD release, one box set per season. The old DVDs from 2004 are still available at less than half the price. The Warner Brothers website promises that the discs have been “digitally remastred for upgraded picture and sound as well as enticing Exclusive Extras,” but we would like to hear more specifics before recommending that you replace your old collection with this new set.
Also out this week: the animated Transformers – The Complete First Season; the direct-to-video Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories(starring Christina Ricc); and The Sender,an obscure 1998 film with an all-star cast consisting of Michael Madsen, R. Lee Ermey, Robert Vaughn, and Dyan Cannon.
Andrew Fitzpatrick contributed to Friday the 13th section of this article.
Is it possible that this film is so old that there’s no longer any snarky fun to be had making fun of its title? It was certainly possible that in 1984 Paramount Pictures was growing awfully tired of being known as the “Slasher Studio” with titles like the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, and APRIL FOOL’S DAY, giving the venerable studio bad press among powerful critics like Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, who railed against the the violence and supposed misogyny. The problem was that the films were all solid earners on thrifty investments, and studios are notoriously gun shy about killing golden geese. But once Paramount’s fortunes began to rise with a series of successful Eddie Murphy comedies and a string of blockbusters like FOOTLOOSE, FLASHDANCE, (and RAIDERS OF THE something or other) the studio must have felt that they could afford to cut the slasher films loose. Screenwriter Barney Cohen was tasked with killing Jason Voorhees (a job that no fictional character had thus far been capable of) and PROWLER director Joseph Zito was brought on board to send him off with style. An unusually capable cast was assembled, including then-heartthrob Peter Barton (THE POWERS OF MATTHEW STAR, anyone? Anyone?), future star Crispin Glover, future child-star catastrophe Corey Feldman, and everyone’s favorite LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN, Lawrence Monoson, all of whom contributed towards giving the film a feeling of professionalism and legitimacy that the series would never see again while the franchise was at Paramount.
As with the previous entry, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter picks up right where the previous film left off, with an apparently dead Jason lying on the floor of the barn at Higgin’s Haven. With the characters unaware of Jason’s medical condition, which prevents death, his body is brought to the county morgue where he promptly slaughters the attendant (Police Academy’s Bruce Mahler as the show’s only truly obnoxious character) and a nurse before heading back to Crystal Lake. Meanwhile, a group of teens (who apparently don’t listen to the news on the car radio) are headed out to the lake for a weekend getaway in a rented house, situated right across from the Jarvis home, with young Tommy (Feldman) teenage sister and future ‘Final Girl’, Trish (Kimberly Beck)living with their mom (Joan Freeman.) On their way home, the Jarvis’ meet would-be camper, Rob (Erich Anderson) who has returned to Crystal Lake for revenge against Jason for killing his sister years earlier (apparently she was the bottom half of Friday the 13th Part II’s notorious Twitch of the Death Nerve-inspired spear kill.) The arrival of twins Tina and Teri (Camilla & Carey More) completes the victim roster and we’re off to the races, with director Zito bringing a polished execution that the series hadn’t seen before or since.
Zito’s instincts for performance allowed someone like Glover to improvise moments like his stupendously insane dance; and had the series actually ended with this film it would be quite well remembered today. Of course, the spine of any Friday the 13th film is the kills, and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapterhas some of the series’ most visceral deaths, displaying the same nasty edge to the violence that Zito brought to The Prowler and the crazy violent Chuck Norris vehicle, Missing in Action. The slaughter scenes here have more weight to them simply because we care more about the performers (one very impressive kill is implied by shadow play against the side of the house during a rain storm and nicely demonstrates creativity trumping gore.)
Besides the always entertaining Glover, a pre-Goonies Feldman is also very good as the monster-mask wearing, Zaxxon-playing Tommy Jarvis – a familiar character to many of us who were too young to see this film when it first came out, but snuck in anyway. Anyone who wonders why he was such a popular child star need only watch the scene where he peeps on a pair of naked teens from his bedroom across the way; the kid nearly always made something out of nothing. And while Kimberly Beck is a bit bland as final girl, Trish, and the phrase “dead fuck” isn’t nearly as funny as screenwriter Barney Cohen seems to have thought it would be, this would be the last time that pointing out the deficiencies of a Friday the 13th film would take up so little space.
It’s a shame that Paramount didn’t deem the film deserving of a Blu-Ray release (yet), but the new Special Edition DVD looks quite nice. Though inflation would drive the budgets of future installments up, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter seems practically epic when compared to the poverty row entries still to come, and the DVD’s image reflects the higher production standards.
To make up for the lack of commentaries on the last 2 Friday the 13th films, there are actually 2 tracks included here, the first featuring Zito, Cohen, and editor Joel Goodman, none of whom are under the impression that the film is anything more substantial than it is, but are rightfully proud of what they were able to achieve. The second is a fan track featuring directors Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2) and Adam Green (the woefully under-appreciated Hatchet), which is actually quite fun. They’re both smart, savvy guys who grew up on the same horror feed as the rest of us, and they have a legitimate and heartfelt affection for Zito and the film.
As for the bonus features:
- Buckle up for the 4th installment of the increasingly irritating Lost Tales from Camp Blood (see our reviews for the previous films for an explanation that we’re getting too tired and embittered to re-write.)
- The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part 1 is a mock Investigative Reports-style documentary on Jason’s killing spree that is fun for a few minutes, but we ran out of steam long before it was even half over.
- A more substantial extra is the documentary, Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday, a brief but informative piece on the making of the film, featuring Zito, Cohen, SFX artist Tom Savini (who returned to the series for the first (and last) time since the original) and star Beck.
- Jimmy’s Dead Fuck Dance Moves is an unedited take of Glover’s hysterical dance, where you can see other actors straining to keep straight faces.
- The Lost Endingis exactly that, presented without production audio but with commentary by Zito and Beck.
- Longtime fans will likely be most excited by Slashed Scenes, a 15min collection of alternate takes that offers the best look yet at the unedited murder sequences.
The only disappointments are that the show didn’t qualify for a HD release and that not all the extras from the previously released box set have been ported over (this really ought to be step 1 when studios double-dip on releases), so purists should hold onto their old discs. Otherwise Paramount has done an admirable job with this release. Highly recommended.
With the release of the abysmal JAWS 3D in 1983, the short-lived 3D fad of the early ’80s had finally burned itself out with a whimper. But the previous year had given us perhaps the best 3D film of the era: a romp of special effects and atmosphere that proved why horror is still the first, best choice for a 3D production – FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3 – 3-D. Put into production less than a year after Part 2 had wrapped, it’s unknown (at least to us) when it was decided to incorporate 3D into the picture, but it was a likely factor in retaining Steve Miner for the director’s chair, as it no doubt helped to smooth over a technically difficult shoot. Even under luxurious circumstances, making a 3D picture is a complex, and technically tedious process; necessitating a Kubrickian number of takes of even the simplest actions. But working with only a few million dollars (large by the franchise’s standard, certainly) made the shoot a grueling experience – not just for the crew, but for actors who felt neglected while the bulk of attention went to the technical aspects. The resulting film looked completely different than previous FRIDAY THE 13TH films, not just because of the 3D, but because the show was the only film in the series to be shot in an anamorphic 2:35 aspect ratio, giving it a distinctly cinematic feel.
Friday the 13th, Part 3 picks up literally moments after the end of Friday the 13th, Part 2, with the first reports of the latest massacre at Crystal Lake going out over the local news. The show is being watched by a middle-aged couple who appear to run a local convenience store, and quickly give us a good indication of the lack of attention given to performance. The hideously abrasive duo represents the typical Hollywood idea of rural folk: filthy, unshaven cussaoholics that spit dime store abuse at each other like short-bus Tennessee Williams characters. The direction given the actors clearly stopped at “act gross” and they proceed, as if to curry favor with a director that was likely unconcerned with their actions, to bury the needle in the red. Perhaps we’re overreacting, but there’s just something so dismaying low-rent and lazy about this level of stereotyping (and Miner had shown just the previous year that he could be better that that sort of back-row pandering).
Fortunately, this sequence, like the rest of Friday the 13th, Part 3, is saved by the superb use of 3D; nearly every shot – from incidental camera movements to laundry poles right in your lap – conveys both a depth of field and a sense of fun. Unfortunately, characterization doesn’t get much better once we get to the main group of teens; abandoning the notion of camp counselors, we have a party hosted by Chris (Dana Kimmell) at her family’s cabin. Other guests along for the weekend include the hunky Rick (Paul Kratka); a spare, disposable couple, Debbie and Andy (Tracie Savage and Jeffrey Rogers); sad, overweight prankster, Shelly (Larry Zerner); the lets-have-one-more-girl-in-the-cast Vera (Catherine Parks); and a pair of aging, dope-addled hippies (Rachel Howard and David Katims), who appear straight out of a Groove Tube sketch. For variety sake we also get a trio of trouble-making bikers (Crystal Lake is getting worse than Gary, Indiana) as grist for the killing wheel.
The evidence on screen points to a group of young, hungry actors who were given brief character notes and then left largely to their own devices. In some cases, this results in utter blandness; Chris, Vera, and Debbie are utterly interchangeable, and the only defining trait given to poor Andy is the ability to walk on his hands (which does, however, result in the film’s best kill). Too often this results in a replay of the hayseed couple from the opening, with stereotyping as broad as an L.A. freeway and just as unpleasant to encounter. Chubby loser Shelly (not the fault of Zerner) wears out his welcome almost instantly, constantly faking his own murder with homemade SFX makeup from an enormous kit (which he refers to as “my life”) and telegraphing his own demise so forcefully that there’s no surprise when it finally happens. There’s just no way that any of the other characters would be hanging out with this guy, much less the High Times centerfold couple, who seem to be along for the ride because Paramount counted up their Cheech and Chong’s Nice Dreams receipts and decided that America’s love affair with aging hippie dopers was still going strong.
On home video – without the novelty of Friday the 13th, Part 3 became notable only for containing the moment when Jason first dons his trademark hockey mask – iconic, for sure, but a slender thread on which to hang an entire movie.
Paramount has gone a long way towards restoring the film’s reputation with next week’s Blu-Ray release, however. As with Lionsgate’s Blu-Ray edition of My Bloody Valentine 3D, the disc contains both the 3D and flat versions of the film (2 sets of 3D glasses are included, and don’t make the same mistake we did and think you can just use the glasses that came with My Bloody Valentine 3-D – the red and blue lenses are reversed.) The flat transfer is superior to previous home video editions, but not as demonstrably so as the Friday the 13th, Part 2 Blu-Ray release.
The print appears to have weaker colors and somewhat more dirt and print damage than the other titles in the series, though this could easily be a side effect of the 3D photography that more technical savvy people might be able to confirm. It’s not a quite a bad transfer, but if the 3D version were not included it would be difficult to recommend an upgrade from the standard DVD edition.
The 3D version actually has a reasonably stable image that is easily comparable to My Bloody Valentine 3-D; unfortunately, the polarized-lens gasses that made the theatrical experience so special have been subbed out for the inferior anaglyph type for home viewing. Fortunately, the effects translate decently to home viewing, and we found the image less headache-inducing than most 3D films on disc.
Don’t throw out Paramount’s old box set, as the cast commentary track hasn’t been ported over to this release; as with Friday the 13th, Part 2, a Steve Miner commentary track is sorely missed, but there’s still plenty to chew on:
- Fresh Cuts: 3D Terror (HD) features the affable Larry Zerner and gives an entertaining overview of the difficult shoot.
- Legacy of the Mask (HD) is devoted to the iconic hockey mask and its almost immediate resonance with the public.
- Slasher Films: Going for the Jugular is a bit of a ramshackle look at the genre that is too slight to make much of a ripple.
- Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 3 (HD) is yet another chapter in the apparently endless series of loosely connected, fan-made tribute shorts that simply have no business being here while older extras are being left off.
The original theatrical trailer is also included (HD). Paramount has righted numerous past wrongs with this release, establishing a standard to which other major studios should be looking to when it comes to genre releases on Blu-Ray.