CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES-Documentary by Dan Ferrands and Thommy Hutson-Based on the book by Peter Bracke.
For those of you out there reading this that don’t know me, I’m a huge Friday the 13th fan. It is without a doubt my favorite horror series. Freddy and the Nightmare saga is close second, but Jason has always been my main man. I was born in 1977, and was lucky enough to have grown up in the 80’s. A decade I will never let go of. To this day I sing it’s praises and surround my living in it’s neon/new wave glow. I was ( and still am) a Star Wars kid but I also collected comic books, loved saturday morning cartoons, toys and movies in the sci-fi/fantasy realm. It was in 1984 that I got my first dose of horror. I had seen bits of horror here and there up until that time. My family watching flicks or commercials and what not but never a full on HORROR MOVIE until I was 7. Nightmare on Elm Street was in theaters and my mother took me to see it with her. My mom and uncles pretty much got me into everything I love to this day. I was scared but amazed at the movie. Freddy was wicked rad to me and I fell in love with how the film made me feel. I wanted to see more horror AND I wanted to make movies after that day. When Christmas rolled around I got my first video camera and have been making movies ever since. I was hooked on horror at this point and I wanted to see as much as I could. Friday the 13th was the next big thing for me after Freddy. I would have sleep overs and get my uncles to rent the friday flicks for me. Jason was just an unstoppable machine and I loved his creepy look. Far more creepy to me than Michael Myers. Long dick short, I fell in love with Friday the 13th, hard core. I started making backyard Jason flicks with my friends, also throwing Freddy into the mix. I had already been a collector of toys, posters, comics and what not, but around 1992 I started to really go after Friday merchandise. There wasn’t a lot but whatever I could get my hands on, I did. I’m shoving down your throats just how into Jason I was and am because It all leads to this review of the Crystal Lake Memory Doc, which is supposed to be the definitive look at the franchise. I have to be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole thing. I was one of the friday fans out there who was pretty let down by the first doc the team put together called “His Name Was Jason” (2009). It was a 90 minute half assed attempt at giving the fans “What they wanted” and let me tell you, I am a fan and i did NOT want this. It was pretty lame and certainly more so after they released their AMAZING “Never Sleep Again” Documentary. This was an 8 hour chronicle of the nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and it blew my taint apart. it was fantastic and I have watched the thing at least 5 times all the way through since it was released in 2010. The Friday fans raised a big stink, and rightly so. To see our Jason be treated like the mongoloid step child while Freddy was living it up at the peek of Mount Doom was a huge slap in the giblets. Well we raised enough of a STOINK to light a fire under the asses of the 1428 Films crew, because it was soon announced that they would be working on a HUGE Friday doc, in similar tone to their Nightmare Doc. This was wonderful news, and for more than a year, the fans waited. You have to remember though folks that I am a die hard, so within the last 5 years or so I had already been soaking up the book, Crystal lake Memories, by Peter Bracke, from which the Doc is based on, AND the Making of Friday the 13th Franchise book by David Grove. In addition Paramount re-released all of the flicks again in 2 different box sets and individual dvd’s which also had special features. So the wealth of Friday information was great and plentiful. Finally breaking into the new doc, I’m not sure what I was expecting but for me, it was just a big re hash of everything I had already known. I think that’s the problem here. If you are a true hard core Friday nut, this doc leaves you with a “nothing special” taste in your mouth. I have been spoiled and so it was a true let down. Again, I’m not sure what I was wanting to get out of it, but I just can’t see myself wanting to pop this thing in again. For the casual Friday fan, this will blow them away. They do manage to get a few legendary Friday alum on the doc, like Executive Producer Frank Mancuso Jr, who had his hand in the making of parts 2-8, and Jennifer Cook, who was the female lead in part 6-Jason Lives. Hell, maybe even some of the extreme fans out there WILL find something truly magical about this doc, and hey, that’s great. The more Jason love, the better. For me though, Crystal Lake Memories was just a slightly boring 7 hours of information I already knew and in fact, some re-used footage from not only the His name Was Jason doc, but also stuff used in the Paramount special edition discs. I do give Ferrands, Hutson and their team a lot of high fives though for doing whatever they could to give us fans what we wanted. Honestly, I feel that I have pretty much learned everything there is to know about the Friday the 13th Franchise. I recommend this ONLY to the casual fan. Harsh, I know, but then again, it’s only my opinion folks. You do what your heart tells you.