Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 10/31/00
Friday the 13th,
1981 (1999) - Paramount
review by Dan Kelly of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
86 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical
trailer, film-themed menu screens, scene access (14 chapters),
languages: English and French (DD mono), subtitles: English, Closed
Make way for Jason! It
seems the original Friday the 13th
had barely made it into theatres before work began on a sequel.
Friday had proven its worth by
doing "killer" business at the box-office, making back
Paramount's $700,000 investment several times over. For Round Two,
Master Jason takes the hot seat and becomes the center of attention.
With a new killer at the helm, could Friday
the 13th, Part 2 live up to the expectations set by the
first film? Well... sure it could. What kind of expectations can you
put on a low-budget follow-up to a low-budget rip-off?
The initial scene of Friday the 13th,
Part 2 picks up just a few months after the events of the
original film... and quickly dispenses with the one remaining
survivor from the first film. Most of this scene consists of footage
from the first film, mixed into a God awful flashback/dream
sequence. Then story moves ahead five years. Naturally, another
hapless group of teens is trying their hand at running Camp Blood.
It hasn't been that long since the first killing spree, but the kids
seem to think that it was all some sort of urban legend, and Jason
and Mrs. Voorhees are only campfire tales. Just like the first
Friday the 13th, these teens
are really unmemorable. There's no way to remember who's who.
They're introduced and make their presence on-screen just long
enough to get slaughtered in as nasty a manner as possible. There's
so many teens, in fact, that director Steve Miner completely forgets
about six or seven of them by the end of the film! What happens to
them? The world may never know...
Friday the 13th, Part 2 has a
similar look to the first film, but is more intense. Almost right
away in Part 2, we're treated
to pumped-up gore factor and more elaborate means of killing and
torture. Miner has since gone on to direct other scary things (like
Lake Placid and
Dawson's Creek), and he does
okay here as well. But the problem is that there's just no story.
You have counselors, you have Jason and you have a camp, but there's
nothing to bring it all together. The budget here is obviously all
in the gore effects, with little else to show for the money spent.
The film has its scary moments, but they are so far apart (with
nothing to tide you over between them), that any possible
effectiveness is lost. After a while, as a viewer, it just becomes a
chore to hang in until the end.
Friday the 13th, Part 2 looks
about as good on DVD as the first one does. Color reproduction and
saturation is solid and accurate with little bleed. Flesh tones and
black levels are also rendered accurately, and shadow detailing
seems to be a little more defined than on the first film. There is
also a small amount of grain plaguing the picture, but it's a little
less noticeable, as this print is in fairly good condition. Both
edge enhancement and artifacting become an issue from time to time,
but otherwise, this is a nice anamorphic widescreen picture. The
audio is also acceptable. The film's original monaural soundtrack is
intact here, with all the limitations you'd expect from a mono track
- little bass, slightly tinny sound and limited range. Still, it's a
very clean mix, with clear dialogue, and it's free of distortion or
The extras here are of the same near-nonexistent type that is the
Paramount norm. The theatrical trailer is cropped to 1.33:1. It's
kind of scratchy and dirty looking, but it's there. And it gives
away as much of the "plot" as the trailer for the original
Friday the 13th film.
Friday the 13th, Part 2 is a
mindless and gory little flick. It has near zero entertainment value
(beyond carnage and cheap thrills) and adds little to the series as
a whole (outside of the introduction of Jason as the killer). It's
also too short to be of consequence - its 86 minute running time
consists of about 7 minutes worth of flashbacks and 3 or 4 minutes
of opening and closing credits. It's not really essential to the
series, but chances are that if you liked the first, there will be a
few scenes here to grab your attention. This is a relatively good
looking and sounding DVD, and it's one that Friday
the 13th fans will no doubt want in their collections.
Otherwise, there's probably nothing here for the casual viewer.