Starring: Warrington Gillette, Betsy Palmer, Walt Gorney, Adrienne King, Amy Steel, John Furey
Directed By Steve Minor
You know how I feel about Jason Voorhees. I think he is one of the most tragic characters in horror cinema history. Read my review of Friday the 13th Part III to hear the whole theory. Paramount Home Video recently released Friday the 13th Part II on Blu Ray and I gave it a try.
If you thought Jason Voorhees was “swimming with the fishes” after the first installment of this seminal horror series, guess again. Jason survived and was able to witness the murder of his mother, who was avenging his death and on a murdering spree in the first film. Remember, it is Ms. Voorhees that is the killer in the first film, not her offspring.
So, witnessing the death of his beloved mother is just the thing to set Jason off on his bloody path of revenge. And he is going to slice and dice all the counselors of Camp Crystal Lake, now nicknamed “Camp Blood” until he is satisfied.
A few faces from the first film survive to make brief appearances here. There are some new faces too but don’t get too attached. They all fall into the same stereotypes which just make them fodder for little ole Jason.
I have heard Jason called “Sack Head” in this film and for a just reason. It isn’t until the 3rd installment of the film that he gets the infamous mask, so stayed tuned to see how that transpires. The sack just makes Jason seem that much sadder to me. You know….a “sad sack”.
I know, bad joke.
What can I say about Jason Voorhees that hasn’t been said before? If you like slasher flicks, Jason is the man for you. This film gives you what you are looking for: nudity, jump scares, some hysterical amateur acting and gore. If you want artistic horror, look up Dario Argento.
Jason is the “meat and potatoes” variety killer. He doesn’t go for style or flair: he goes for straight body count and delivers in every film.
If you are a horror aficionado, then you know that Jason films are straight up slasher fare for the masses. These films are for pure entertainment: there isn’t a social message or political message. The Friday the 13th film series are popcorn flicks, pure and simple and should be judged accordingly.
So, given those parameters, this film works and any horror fan will enjoy adding it to their collection.
The film is offered in anamorphic widescreen and transferred in MPEG 4/AVC. This was a low budget affair, so the transfer looks as good as can be expected given the source material. The overall picture is mostly bright with a decent color palette. The day scenes look better than the night scenes, that is expected in low budget films.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track offers some nice dynamic range .. Dialogue is clear and there is some use of the rear speakers with ambient sounds and soundtrack filtering through these. While it is not the most dynamic, it is okay.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The single disc release comes packaged in a standard slim blu-ray amaray case with artwork suitable to the film presented.
First up, Crystal Lake Memories is a discussion with the author of the book by the same name that recalls the legacy of these films in cinematic history. Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions explores the horror conventions where devotees come together to celebrate their love of everything gory and scary.
Jason Forever is a fun little featurette. It is a panel discussion where 4 actors that have played Jason in the film series discuss their experiences, the differences in their performances and the impact these films have had on horror fans.
Rounding things out is Lost Tales from Camp Blood: Part II.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Movie 6.5/10
The Video 4.5/10
The Audio 6/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10