Ever since "Friday the 13th" forever changed the face of horror as a sleeper hit in 1980, fans have been wanting to see the slasher classic in its original, unedited form. It may have taken the upcoming remake to make that happen, but Paramount finally has relented. And you know what? I can't tell a difference.
That's because 11 seconds of gore don't amount to much when spread out, and I've always thought the first "Friday" was pretty messy to begin with. No matter; this new special edition remains much appreciated. Although obviously dated visually, this bloody take on Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians" still has the power to shock and disturb. And that closing scene? Gets me every time.
This release boasts more features than the previous one, including a reunion of cast and crew at a hotel convention room. These kind of things always strike me as a little pathetic and even depressing, and the lack of professionalism exhibited by one panel member from the start makes the proceedings grating.
Things get better with a mini-doc on producer Sean S. Cunningham, who discusses his love/hate relationship with his "Friday" legacy (he's also featured on a commentary) from his home office. A "Fresh Cuts" feature offers bite-sized, behind-the-scenes interviews. The best extra of all may be "Lost Tales from Camp Blood," a new short film pitting Jason Voorhees against a naive young couple. Guess who wins? You do. —Rod Lott