Friday the 13th The Final Chapter: Deluxe Edition – DVD Review

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By now you all have to know that I am the resident horror nut at The DVD Lounge which is kind of evident from even just my reviews of Friday The 13th Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Jason Voorhees is ultimately one of the greatest icons in the history of the horror genre and if you don’t know him by now then you had to have just been born. The Final Chapter is funnily enough just a clever title that doesn’t mean “final” by any stretch of the imagination. Actually this ironically enough is a film that begins a whole new part of the franchise that begins the Tommy Jarvis portion of the story that adds brand new dimensions to not only the films, but also Jason himself. The Final Chapter is only the beginning.

The Final Chapter actually starts off with a campfire telling of what has gone on at Camp Crystal Lake throughout the years and this includes an excellent montage of the greatest death scenes from the first three films. Then picking up right where we left off in Part 3; Jason Voorhees is dead and the cops all over the place. Looking at the carnage and knowing things can be peaceful now; Jason’s body is loaded up and taken to the morgue of a local hospital so that he may be properly disposed of. As is always the problem though, Jason isn’t fully done with business so he decides to leave the hospital ADO (Against Doctor’s Orders) but that doesn’t really matter since most of the doctors and nurses are now dead. It’s time for him to head back to Camp Crystal Lake and protect his territory.

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Upon arriving back at his hunting grounds; Jason notices that a new group of sex-starved teenagers are renting a few houses nearby and next door to the newly moved in Jarvis family. Jason finds his way to the teens first and of course lets them know, in not so subtle ways, that underage drinking and premarital sex is not the way to enjoy your youth. The machete wielding maniac makes short work of the group of friends but soon finds that he may have finally met his match after encountering the young and soon to be newly bald Tommy Jarvis.

The Final Chapter is one of my favorite in the series because it seems to begin a new way of life for the Friday the 13th films. The first and second films told a lot of background and really set the tone for everything, but then along came Part 3 and it focused more on senseless killing and the 3-D aspect of it all. This film does a great job of bringing about the plot portion of the third flick that was missing and incorporates it all into the beginning so as to continue on and move forward. Yeah there are a number of people that die for no reason, but that is made up for with the Jarvis family. Let’s not forget that the acting credibility got much better here with Corey Feldman and the awesome Crispin Glover making appearances.

The carnage is shown in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and things are touched up here and there, but the film shows its age at some moments with a bit of grit and grain. Other then that though there are no real issues.

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it comes through nicely with all dialogue filtering through the center speaker and the music, sound effects, and overly cool “Chh-chh-chh Ahh-ahh-ahh” circling the room.

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Audio Commentary – The first track on the disc consists of director Joseph Zito, editor Joel Goodman, and writer Barry Cohen. It’s a great track as all three discuss every aspect of the film from the writing to the casting to the special effects and more, but it’s all the stories that make for the best stuff. Tons of little tales from the shoot and behind the scenes makes it seem that they all enjoyed the hell out of making The Final Chapter and that helps keep the commentary lively, upbeat, and fun.

Fan Commentary – Track number two brings together two fans of the film who also happen to be two of my favorite new directors in Adam Green (Hatchet, Spiral) and Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End). This is a fantastic concept and while I originally was skeptical of hearing just two random fans discuss the film; it made it better knowing they were two aspiring horror directors. Listening to them rant and rave about the film and how it also helped shape their careers made this one of the best commentary tracks yet.

Lost Tales From Camp Blood Part 4 – Really really sick of this. It is boring and nothing of even remote interest. Essentially it’s a short film spread out into parts over the different Friday releases that deals with a stalker killer, but not Jason. It sucks. (6:21)

Slashed Scenes – Commentary is provided for these mostly alternate death scenes because there is no audio whatsoever. It’s quite a shame that most of these scenes didn’t end up in the final cut of the film because it would have made it even better. There is a lot of blood, gore, and guts to be had here so make sure to check them all out. (15:00)

Jason’s Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – A handful of those that worked on the film, in front of the cameras and behind them, have a bit of a roundtable discussion to talk about everything that went into making it. Tom Savini is involved which automatically makes it good no matter how crappy it may come across, but that’s the pleasant thing it actually is really good. Hell, I could have listened to them swap stories and discuss Jason for hours. It is almost like another, yet short, commentary track, but it would have been more enjoyable by seeing their reactions and being able to judge their true feelings when telling their tales. (11:02)

The Lost Ending – An alternate ending that also has no sound but comes with commentary so we can all at least somewhat understand what is happening a bit more. It is quite good and I think would have been interesting to see how it would have come about had any dialogue and audio actually made it into the finished product. (3:20)

The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part 1 – In an interesting twist; this is a fake documentary/newscast that includes clips, interviews, and even some “lost” footage. It really could have been a cool feature if it had been done right, but they attempt to be more funny then serious and it ends up making it stupidly annoying. Shame. (18:00)

Jimmy’s Dead F*ck Dance Moves – Crispin Glover shows some extended dance maneuvers. Quite awesome. (2:07)

Original Theatrical Trailer

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Things really started to fizzle out in Part 3-D but they picked back up and fast in the next release. Good thing too because the sequel after this one really crapped it up in quality, but that’s a story for another review. The Final Chapter (funny irony isn’t it?) ups the gore, the awesome kills, and even just really tells a much deeper story then Jason walking around and randomly killing people. This re-release is worth spending the extra cash on because fans will love the slight touch-ups to the DVD quality and also the new special features. Mr. Voorhees continues to thrill me even though there are some occasional stinkers throughout the murderous, and overly long, franchise. One thing that bothers me is how it is evident with each film release that they are making anyone’s purchase of His Name Is Jason almost completely pointless. More and more of that footage is showing up on these releases and giving things a repetitive nature, but if you never picked up that documentary then you’re in good shape.

Although I would recommend picking up His Name Is Jason too because it’s got some more good stuff you won’t get on these releases. Did I just contradict myself? Yes, yes I did.

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Paramount presents Friday The 13th The Final Chapter: Deluxe Edition. Directed by: Joseph Zito. Starring: Kimberly Beck, Peter Barton, Crispin Glover. Written by: Barney Cohen & Bruce Hidemi Sakow. Running time: 91 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: June 16, 2009. Available at Amazon.com