As we currently sit awaiting the next time we hear “Ki ki ki, Ma ma ma” on the big screen amidst these ongoing legal battles (a 13th Friday the 13th is surely less if but when), in the meantime, we can rejoice. As Daniel Farrands’ labour of love that is his 2013 documentary, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, based on Peter M. Bracke’s immaculate 2006 book of the same name, has finally been released on Blu-ray.
This nearly 7-hour documentary, narrated by Corey Feldman, charts the franchise’s every step, from Sean S. Cunningham’s 1980 original to Marcus Nispel’s fun 2009 reboot. Even finding space for the Jason Voorhees-less Friday the 13th: The Series. Among this brilliant document are an impressive gathering of talking heads (as many players - on and off-screen - as possible are here), compelling set stories and fun details that equate to a treasure trove for fans.
The episodic structure breaks up nicely what could have been an exhaustive watch and each instalment is treated respectfully on its own merits, history and analysis. Even the more derided entries like the underrated Part VII: The New Blood and Jason X, get as fair a treatment as both the divisive films (Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday and Part V: A New Beginning) and the more praised entries like Part IV: The Final Chapter and Part VI: Jason Lives…which we all know is the best Friday and a stone-cold classic!
This documentary is a real work of utter affection, which may make you re-evaluate, re-appreciate or re-affirm your thoughts for each and every film in one of horror’s most beloved, enduring - and in this writer’s humble opinion - best franchises.
The extras may only consist of a commentary but this whole well-delivered package from 101 Films is one huge extra really, and a must for any fan’s collection, as they await that long-overdue return to Crystal Lake.