Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Crystal Lake Memories: The Juggernaut Documentary for Every Day of the Year

Welcome to the gargantuan, monster documentary of your Friday the 13th dreams, Crystal Lake Memories. Did you read and enjoy Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th? That would be the gorgeous hardbound book filled with the entire history of the Friday the 13th franchise with color pictures and hundreds of screams? If you did, then that made you hungry. You wanted to hear the story from the actors, directors, producers, effects people and make up artists. You wanted to see the locations. See the actors how they look now, then and with makeup not fully completed. The anecdotes have arrived. The footage has been found as have stills and stories. Crystal Lake Memories is out on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and it will quell the aching in your horror junked bodies left when you finished the full blown tome and needed to put your eyeballs underneath the hockey mask.  

 You know how you can tell that you’re going to be excited by this 400 minute vision quest into Triskaidekaphobia? Corey Feldman (former Tommy Jarvis aka the real Tommy Jarvis pt. 1 aka the kid who multiplied the goddamn Gremlins) narrates the behemoth. In other words, they got one of the guys we trust who is responsible for two Voorhees kills (or so) from the entire series to tell us all about it. Part of me would have preferred varying narrators. Either stars of each movie or other personality from the horror-verse, but the cohesion, listen-ability and friendliness with which Feldman recants the legend of Crystal Lake is simply perfect. Feldman’s voice is tolerable and in fact enjoyable for hours on end. That’s half the battle with a documentary of this girth.

 The format/storytelling involves a chapter per movie with clever graphic intro. Think of how Never Sleep Again was handled for Nightmare on Elm Street. 1428 Films was also responsible for that release as well, and it shows. The content is primo though you won’t find Kevin Bacon in the interview chair (just as we didn’t get Johnny Depp in Never Sleep Again). It’s comprehensive attacking the films from every aspect. Pre to post production, effects creation and script writing as well as the filmmaking process itself will all be present for each movie. That’s how you get 400 minutes (plus a bonus disc of interviews if you should have been lucky enough to pre-order this release from the Crystal Lake Memories site). There’s no down time or time misspent on over-explanation.

With making of documentaries taking the front seat on some recent franchises be it Nightmare on Elm Street or Return of the Living Dead, readers have been asking whether CLM holds up to or is better than the widely agreed upon reigning champion of horror docs, Never Sleep Again. I believe the Crystal Lake Memories is the better doc if for no other reason than the story of the Friday the 13th franchise is vaster and there are entries in need of back story or development. How did they decide to send Jason to Manhattan and why is Jason Goes to Hell the Final Friday (we’ve heard that before)? Why end it at Chapter 4 and the come back for more? The story of the Friday the 13th series feels like it has more tangents. More stops and starts and perhaps confusion as well as the outlier Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Crystal Lake Memories pieces together a more fractured series in desperate need of cohesion (especially if you marathon the entire series and take notes).
For those of who own His Name is Jason and want to know if this documentary is still worth their time I urge you strongly to look at the run time and then remember how many questions His Name is Jason left you with after you were finished watching it. This far surpasses the scope and knowledge base of the previous documentary. There can be only one. This is it.

 I strongly recommend purchasing the book, Crystal Lake Memories. I also believe that if you just bought the recently released Friday the 13th box set this will fill in more than a few gaps. The cover art for this release far exceeds the box set artwork to be sure. 400 minutes at $25 or so for the Blu-ray combo pack is very economical and educational.

You can pick up Crystal Lake Memories NOW!!! Keep your hockey mask and 3D glasses available.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the book: I can highly recommend the ENHANCED 2012 ebook version "which includes additional image materials, including over 700 behind-the-scenes photographs, storyboards, screenplay excerpts and archival documents." It's well worth it even if you own the hardback.