New Friday The 13th Series Blu-ray Doesn't Cost $500

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2017-05-26
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Jason Voorhees has his eye on you. Paramount Pictures

An upcoming Friday the 13th collection will bring the series back to Blu-ray after years of limited availability. Unfortunately, as with so many aspects of Friday the 13th fandom, there are some major compromises in this latest release.

The new Friday the 13th: Ultimate Collection Blu-ray set is listed for release Feb. 13, 2018 (though Diabolik DVD warns the date is subject to change). But despite the title, the new Ultimate Collection contains only the first eight movies in the series, from the original Friday the 13th through Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. That means no Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X or Freddy vs. Jason (other than X and the rad opening to Jason Goes to Hell, you’re really not missing much).

Bloody Disgusting has a great rundown of the complete special features, including trailers, commentary and multiple behind-the-scenes documentaries, including “Fresh Cuts: New Tales from Friday the 13th.” Other highlights include weird-ass faux-documentaries, like “The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited,” a featurette on horror conventions, a cast reunion, deleted scenes and some original theatrical trailers. Oh, and it comes with two pairs of 3D glasses for Friday the 13th: Part III. That’s a lot of bonus material, but you’ll still have to subscribe to Shudder for the best Friday the 13th documentary, Crystal Lake Memories.

If a lot of this stuff sounds familiar, you might already own the Friday the 13th collection on DVD (which can be had for $20). This new Blu-ray collection is basically an HD reskin of that release, complete with the same terrible box art (though that could change, too).

While the new Blu-ray collection isn’t the final, authoritative release the name suggests, it looks like the only way to get most of the Friday the 13th series on Blu-ray outside of dropping over $500 for out-of-print 2013 release, Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection.

Since Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan have never seen solo releases on Blu-ray (as far as I can tell), this new Ultimate Collection is ultimate by default.

Friday the 13th occupies a peculiar place between cultural saturation and obscurity. While hundreds of millions know Jason Voorhees and his iconic hockey mask, the movies themselves are far less ubiquitous and sometimes a little tough to track down. That’s part of the fun of being fans of a franchise that hasn’t been commodified, franchised, advertised, merchandised and transmedia strategized to quite the same degree as the Marvels and Star Wars of the world. That said, sometimes it’s nice to leave the romanticism of obscurity to the 90s and just have the whole damn thing handed to you on a platter.

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