Now since I was a young pup of a horror fan back in the old days I have had nothing but love for the 'Friday the 13th' series. Sean Cunningham's mainstream offspring from his 'Last House' days, the series follows the ongoing antics of the seemingly invincible Jason Voorhees as he slays his way through countless uninhibited teenagers at his favourite stomping ground of Camp Crystal Lake (and on occassion beyond- Manhattan anyone!?)
The first film had a lot to do with the series success, a glossy homage to the Italian greats like Bava (which in turn tipped their hat to Hitchcock) and showcasing the gory talents of the king of splatter Tom Savini - Friday the 13th ran riot at the box offive ensuring limitless licensing for the countless sequels that would follow.
Fans of the series (including myself) were thrilled when Paramount announced the series would be making its way onto the shiny disc format, but many were disapointed that although what came were indeed very nice anarmorphic transfers - they were not the dream 'directors' cuts packed with lots of extras that could have been.
Many fans have sweated at what would be delivered with what many see as one of the best in the series with the later 'Jason Goes to Hell', and with New Line holding the rights, hopes for an uncut release is very much in the minds of the Voorhees obsessives.
'Jason Goes to Hell' opens with the outrageously absurd scenario of our battered but not beaten Jason being baited by his favourite titbit, a showering teen girl. Little does our anti-hero realise that she's leading him into a trap where he is literally blasted into a hundred little pieces by some ambushing soldiers. But they don't realise that Jason's heart still beats (hey! who says the big guy needs a body!) and it/he has plans to return and seek out his living relations to use their bodies as a host to continue his mindless rampage!
Yes, a 'Friday the 13th' with an actual plot! And quite a good one it is too, cleverly utilising characters from earlier in the series to bring the storyline to (ahem) a close. At the directors helm this time round is Adam Marcus and he does a solid job with the film. The film is definitely one of the most original in the series, but at the same time it is in the same vein as many of the horror films that were around in the eighties and early nineties (see New Line's Nightmare on Elm Street series for example). And maybe I am a bit of a sucker for tradition, but I really do enjoy the repetitive nature of the earlier films in the series (ie. slasher by numbers).
What will be a welcome joy for fans of the series will be the news that this release by the Victor Company in Japan is not only a gorgeous transfer but fully uncut also. For the first time, many of Jasons fans will be able to delight in some delicous gory carnage that will please them no end. Of particular note is the show stopping scene where Jason gets busy with a couple of fornicating camping teens. Whilst a lucky boy is being pleasured from his girlfriend on top of him, Jason slices her quite literally down the middle which will have gore fans cheering with joy. There's some great limb snapping and some of the most impressive creature effects since The Thing that will have folk applauding also.
The full screen transfer is very strong and clear throughout, whilst the 2.0 audio is slightly disapointing as it is mixed very low and could have been clearer (so you'll be cranking your volume right up with this one). Extras wise, there's really nothing much going on here apart from a fun trailer for the films Japanese release which showcases all the films gory moments.
Sadly though, hunting down this uncut release can be an expensive one which makes this purchase really only an essential buy for fanatical (and wealthy) fans of the series only. And add to this the fact that although the disc is NTSC it is also Region 2 also, so US readers really will need a multi region player for this one also.
That said, it really is a fun film (and what an ending it has too!) and this release from Victor probably could be the only way to catch this particular film uncut (unless of course New Line get their act together with their eventual release). If you've got the cash and you're a big fan, this is well worth checking out!
|Directed by Adam Marcus|
|Released by Victor|
|Not Rated - Region 2 NTSC|
|Running Time : approx 91 mins|
|Ratio : Full Screen|
|Audio : Dolby 2.0|
|Extras : Japanese Theatrical trailer|
|Optional Japanese subtitles|