Jason Voorhees has carved his place into American pop culture and is one of the most recognizable cinematic killer in horror history. Now nearly, 30 years later, see how it all happened! With over 100 interviews with cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and dozen of film clips spanning the entire Friday the 13th series leading up to the 2/13/09 remake, there is no better way to get up close and personal with one of the most feared icons of our generation. Shut off the lights, lock up the cabin and get ready to learn all about a boy... His Name Was Jason.
HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH is a two disc set loaded with over 4 hours of bonus material. This film is a behind the scenes look at the franchise that broke horror box office records and made Jason a pop culture icon. With over 80 interviews from the cast and crew of the Friday the 13th film franchise, including the new Friday the 13th film, these firsthand accounts of never-before-told stories and rare behind the scenes photographs offer the ultimate look at the history of FRIDAY THE 13TH!
"Jason has no expiration date," as someone observes in the exhaustive His Name was Jason
, a touch-all-the-bases approach to chronicling horror's blankest killer. Yep, it's all too true. Timed to mark the 30th anniversary of the Friday the 13th
franchise, but probably more to serve as publicity for the 2009 remake, His Name was Jason
is a two-disc set containing the 90-minute title doc plus a bevy of shorter, themed extras. Jason
gives a quick run-through of all the Friday the 13th
installments, filled out with detailed analysis of Jason as a cultural phenomenon and copious memories from the various casts and crew. (The better-known actors who have passed through the series--namely Kevin Bacon, Corey Feldman, and Crispin Glover--aren't around for interviews.) Special-effects gore maestro Tom Savini's wry delivery guides us through the story, with a few newly-staged murders along the way. Extensive clips are used to illustrate the grisly single-mindedness of Jason's killing, and various directors, including franchise guru Sean S. Cunningham, weigh in on the heaviness of guiding the various episodes. It all seems surreally weird, in the light of the movies' general lousiness and the trashy elevation of the empty-vessel killer to icon status. The 90-minute documentary is just the beginning, it turns out: fans can delve deep into the nuances of life (and death) at Crystal Lake. A 45-minute featurette on the actors who played Jason fills out disc one, and a plethora of other shorts (most of them culled from the same interview sessions, this time without the supporting clips) crowd disc two. There's another hour and 20 minutes of stories from directors, and 30 minutes of screenwriter anecdotes. "Dragged from the Lake" gives light to some amusing discrepancies in the series, as well as detailing actress Adrienne King's horrifying experience with a stalker. Fourteen minutes of fan films give parodistic views of the Jason experience, and "Friday the 13th
in 4 minutes" gives a tongue-in-cheek shorthand account of the entire saga. Director Joseph Zito and actor Erich Anderson re-visit the set of The Final Chapter
, and actress Gloria Charles takes a tour of the deadly barn from Part 3
. Shorter extras include a 5-minute Crystal Lake survival guide (i.e., interviewees reciting the worst mistakes you can make while in proximity to Jason), a quick trip to a Comic-Con, and a tour of Universal Studio's Friday the 13th
horror house. Things round off with a funny bogus ad for the law offices of a character from Part 3
, Shelly Finkelstein, the kid that introduced the hockey mask into the series. It's a lot of effort for a low point in horror history. --Robert Horton
Stills from His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (Click for larger image)