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His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2 Disc Splatter Edition)

4.3 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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  • His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2 Disc Splatter Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

30 years ago, a small horror film gave birth to 12 sequels, an endless body count and one of the most terrifying icons in horror history. Gore FX legend Tom Savini is your host for the ultimate documentary on everybody's favorite hockey-masked momma's boy and his three decades of cinematic carnage, featuring classic clips from every FRIDAY THE 13TH movie, rare behind-the-scenes footage, and over 80 interviews with filmmakers, actors, stuntmen, FX artists, journalists and fans.

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"Jason has no expiration date," as someone observes in the exhaustive His Name was Jason, a touch-all-the-bases approach to chronicling horror's blankest killer. Yep, it's all too true. Timed to mark the 30th anniversary of the Friday the 13th franchise, but probably more to serve as publicity for the 2009 remake, His Name was Jason is a two-disc set containing the 90-minute title doc plus a bevy of shorter, themed extras. Jason gives a quick run-through of all the Friday the 13th installments, filled out with detailed analysis of Jason as a cultural phenomenon and copious memories from the various casts and crew. (The better-known actors who have passed through the series--namely Kevin Bacon, Corey Feldman, and Crispin Glover--aren't around for interviews.) Special-effects gore maestro Tom Savini's wry delivery guides us through the story, with a few newly-staged murders along the way. Extensive clips are used to illustrate the grisly single-mindedness of Jason's killing, and various directors, including franchise guru Sean S. Cunningham, weigh in on the heaviness of guiding the various episodes. It all seems surreally weird, in the light of the movies' general lousiness and the trashy elevation of the empty-vessel killer to icon status. The 90-minute documentary is just the beginning, it turns out: fans can delve deep into the nuances of life (and death) at Crystal Lake. A 45-minute featurette on the actors who played Jason fills out disc one, and a plethora of other shorts (most of them culled from the same interview sessions, this time without the supporting clips) crowd disc two. There's another hour and 20 minutes of stories from directors, and 30 minutes of screenwriter anecdotes. "Dragged from the Lake" gives light to some amusing discrepancies in the series, as well as detailing actress Adrienne King's horrifying experience with a stalker. Fourteen minutes of fan films give parodistic views of the Jason experience, and "Friday the 13th in 4 minutes" gives a tongue-in-cheek shorthand account of the entire saga. Director Joseph Zito and actor Erich Anderson re-visit the set of The Final Chapter, and actress Gloria Charles takes a tour of the deadly barn from Part 3. Shorter extras include a 5-minute Crystal Lake survival guide (i.e., interviewees reciting the worst mistakes you can make while in proximity to Jason), a quick trip to a Comic-Con, and a tour of Universal Studio's Friday the 13th horror house. Things round off with a funny bogus ad for the law offices of a character from Part 3, Shelly Finkelstein, the kid that introduced the hockey mask into the series. It's a lot of effort for a low point in horror history. --Robert Horton

Stills from His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th  (Click for larger image)












Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Savini, Kane Hodder, Seth Green, Travis Van Winkle, James Roday
  • Directors: Sean S. Cunningham, Daniel Farrands
  • Producers: Anthony Masi, Thommy Hutson, Blake Reigle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, Anamorphic, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001L9EXNO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,578 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2 Disc Splatter Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dave. K VINE VOICE on February 7, 2009
Format: DVD
The actual documentary gets **** Out of 5. But ***** overall for the DVD.

His Name Was Jason: 30-Years of Friday the 13th is a must own for fans of the franchise; this documentary on the series was written by Thommy Hutson & Anthony Masi and directed by Daniel Farrands who wrote Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and hosted by Tom Savini. Due to some of the people involved like Anthony Masi and the fact this was put out by Starz Home Entertainment (using the Anchor Bay name) no doubt people will compare this to Halloween: 25-Years of Terror.

As much as I enjoyed His Name Was Jason it isn't without its flaws. I was hoping this documentary would cover some of the production on the movies, but actually very little of the making of the films are covered and that's where 25-Years of Terror edges it out. For most of the 90-minutes it's various members of the cast and crew and other filmmakers talking about the movies like Jason's psyche and some of the kill scenes. In a sense it's sort of like hanging out with friends talking about the films, which was really cool, but I would have liked to have heard more about the production of the films. The first 10-minutes or so are spent talking about the plots and I thought this documentary might fail. I mean I enjoy the series, but there weren't many plots. The first and third are really the only ones with hint of a plot, but once we get past that His Name Was Jason really picks up.

What I absolutely loved about His Name Was Jason was seeing some of the actors taking part. Some of the actors have done conventions or put themselves out there with interviews for various horror sites, but some of the actors are ones that haven't been heard of since the releases of the films.
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Format: DVD
I received this as an early Valentine's present because the remake is coming out in 5 days, so I wanted to be pumped and ready for it! This documentary is very entertaining and interesting if you love the series and love seeing Jason do his thing! They bring back a lot of the important actors who were in the movies. Even though the women are a little older, they are still beautiful! They talk about how they got the job, how each movie came to be, a little about the remake, etc. I loved the fan film in the bonus features, including Freddy Vs. Jason in 30 seconds with bunnies! If you love Jason Voorhees, and the Friday the 13th series, I highly recommend HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!
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Format: DVD
I really enjoyed "His Name Was Jason", let me state that right up front. As a child of the 80's I grew up going to the "Friday" films with my brother, and still watch the franchise on DVD regularly. With that said, I was hoping for a little more from this documentary.
The main attraction of this 2 disk set is the 90 minute documentary which brings back cast and crew of the various films to discuss each entry. Also invited along for the trip are some head-scratchingly unrelated "celebrities" like Seth Green of "Robot Chicken" and some guy from the TV show "Psych"?? Not quite sure why they would be considered an "authority" on "Friday the 13th".
Basically, Tom Savini introduces several topics while walking through a faux Crystal Lake setting, and various cast and crew members chime in with their thoughts on the various topics. (It's fun watching some of these folks take themselves and their parts in the films way too seriously!!) For the most part it's a fun little trip, and serves better as a "where are they now" sort of thing. I loved seeing Amy Steel, Betsy Palmer, Kane Hodder and other series favorites again. But to be honest, if you are looking for an in-depth, behind the scenes documentary, you won't really find it here. The film is fun, and if it were included as an extra in the upcoming release of the 2009 "Friday the 13th" DVD, it would have been perfect. But when you are paying more for a documentary on a film series than you would for a DVD entry of the series itself it seems a bit odd?
If you are a huge "Friday" fan, I recommend you at least rent "His Name was Jason", it's a fun quick look at the series. But I HIGHLY recommend Peter Bracke's "Crystal Lake Memories" hardcover book.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary is for anyone and everyone who truly loves Friday the 13th! Or for that matter, horror films in general! It's got everything a fan could want! Every movie is included! Even if some (I won't name them out of fear of offending you guys) probably could have been excluded without much an outcry from anyone. The part I loved the most is that there was an actor, from each film, talking about his/her experiences. The personal touch gave the documentary heart. And Tom Savini serving as host, and tour guide (if you will) was spot-on and sensational! The extras are pretty cool too. There's one entitled "Shelly Lives" which is an absolute riot! I won't say more out of fear of giving away spoilers, but it's definitely worth a mention. The documentary itself is beyond entertaining! In fact, it left me wanting more! So much MORE!!!! I would be thrilled to see a documentary like this for every film in the series. Well... almost every film. lol. True fans should get the exclusions. At the end of the day, this 2 disc DVD is everything you could want, and much, MUCH MORE from a Friday the 13th documentary! Trust me! I'm a REAL fan! One who truly loves Friday the 13th and everything associated with it! Not to say that I went in to this thinking it would rock because it was about my all-time favorite horror movie killer Jason. I went into it with an open mind, and as a fan I was pleased. So enjoy this great documentary from the classic Friday the 13th series! I know I did! I just want to say thank you to the writers, producers, cast, everyone else involved in this production, and most of all... thank you Jason. Without whom, none of this would be possible. Peace.,
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