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Friday the 13th Part 2 - Blu-ray DVD / horror DVD / slasher flick DVD review
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Featuring: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Warrington Gillette, Betsy Palmer
Director: Steve Miner Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 16 June 2009 Runtime: 86 min.
(1 disc)
Format: Color, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital Mono - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese), Inside 'Crystal Lake Memories,' Friday's Legacy: Horror Conventions, Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 2, Jason Forever, Original theatrical trailer

The original Friday the 13th took the box office by storm. Studio heads saw the low production cost and high returns and decided hey, why not make more money? That's the cynical perspective, and I'm sure it's not far from the truth. That being said, in the genre of slasher flicks, this one is not bad.

I have always loved psycho killer movies. Once in 1986, I rented all the Friday the 13th movies available at the time on VHS (remember that?) and watched them in a night. Those were the days when video rental places were just taking off and slasher flicks were copious on the shelves. I was hungry and had more than my fill.

Part 2 of the franchise overlaps with the classic ending of the first one, basically showing the last eight minutes of the first film. It's almost as if they did this only to set up for the first murder. I guess it beats awkward exposition by a sheriff.

After the opening credits, a new group of young horny teens heads to the same area to start their counselor training. It is clearly stated that Camp Crystal Lake (aka Camp Blood) is off limits. A crazy old coot shows up to make sure the kids know they are all doomed. The plot is pretty simple; it could have been written on a bar napkin. The kids show up. The stand-out characters are established. Some of the characters wander off to have sex, others smoke weed, and one skinny dips. It's a slasher flick - kids are punished for giving in to their baser urges. One girl survives (and one pretty dweeby guy who was left at the bar, but that seems to have been forgotten).

The surviving female, Ginny (Amy Steel), holds her own against Jason despite having a head full of Heineken. She heads to his ramshackle cabin in the middle of the woods and pulls a gutsy move to take advantage of Jason's unresolved mommy issues. It should have ended there, but in trademark style perhaps instituted by Michael Myers of Halloween fame, Jason pops up for more.

Jason isn't quite recognizable yet. He hasn't found his hockey mask (and won't until Part 3). Seems he decided to bulk up quite a bit more after this outing. He's not quite lanky, but I don't think you could get his Part VI head into the bag he wears on it through this film. He looks like the killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

One of the things I loved about the first film was that Jason wasn't in the film (save the dream sequence). There isn't quite as much to recommend the sequel. The makeup effects aren't quite as much fun, the story isn't quite as clever, and Jason needs development.

The ending hopes for some shock value as was successful in the first film, but it just ends up making the final scene vague and the destiny of Ginny's boyfriend uncertain.

The Blu-ray release looks really good - I was surprised that it looked so good in most scenes. In darker scenes, there is some unevenness in the dark tones; however when compared to a VHS viewing, the tracking isn't a problem.

Extras include
  • Inside "Crystal Lake Memories" - an interesting interview with the author of Crystal Lake Memories.
  • Friday's Legacy: Horror Conventions - a look at horror conventions.
  • Lost Tales from Camp Blood - a new short in the vein of the original films.
  • Jason Forever - an interview with several Jasons.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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