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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive history of the franchise and a great film book in its own right, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (Standard Text Edition) (Kindle Edition)
NOTE: This is a review of the Kindle edition. The hardback version is a different enough book for this to be an important distinction.

This long, long book of interviews is pretty much the definitive history of the Friday the 13th movies. It feels like everyone was interviewed (producers, writers, lead and supporting actors, the stuntmen who played Jason, special effects and make-up people, cinematographers, 3D process specialists etc). If anyone has been missed then it's no great shame. Probably most importantly all the directors have been interviewed - they arguably have the best overview of each film.

It's not a love-in. People are frank in their opinions on the movies, and of the sometimes difficult productions. There is real dirt here.

I really enjoyed it as a reading experience, and I learned probably everything I ever wanted to know and more about these movies. It's a very complete and satisfying book. The only complaint I can level at the book is that the 2009 remake is not covered.

The Kindle edition is apparently much longer in text than the hardback version. There isn't a single picture in it. This didn't bother me. I'll happily take more interviews over photographs. Though it is a very minor pity that the occasional pertinent image didn't make it into the digital edition. Also a lot of the actors/characters in these films are anonymous and forgettable so it's sometimes hard to keep track of who the actors are without pictures.

The book does not appear to have been proof read. There are many, many typos. The content is so good that I didn't care. It doesn't make it hard to read or anything. Just be aware that there are a lot of silly errors throughout the whole book.

Without the slightest reservation I would recommend it. You don't even have to like the Friday the 13th films to get a lot out of it. It's a film book that's as worthy of being read as say something like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-drugs-and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Changed Hollywood etc.

10 out of 10 Exceptional

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Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete Story of Friday 13th (2013) Film Documentary

Good, wide ranging documentary. Well worth watching.

The problem for me is that I read the book of the same title first. It is superior. The extended eBook version has considerably more content due to its considerable length. Many more people were interviewed for the book than they could get to talk on camera. For example Steve Miner, the director of two and three, talks in the book but isn't interviewed for the film. Also I assume they pulled quotes from old magazine articles so they could have more interviews.

There are also maybe too many actors clogging up the screen time. No offence to actors, but really, what do they have to say that isn't just a variation of what every other actor has to say? The technical behind the scenes people are more interesting to hear talk.

Also the book is more critical. People in the doc say the odd negative thing about the quality of the movies, but not much. In the book they let rip more freely. For example Sean S Cunningham (director of Part 1 and producer on 9 and FvJ) doesn't like the movies, including his own. In the film version he barely hints at his dissatisfaction with the films - although he does openly laugh at the idea of Jason in space.
The doc did throw up a few titbits of information that were surprisingly missing from the book. There is information about Adrienne King's stalker (he held a gun to her head!) and the reason why Part 9 onwards isn't called Friday the 13th is because Paramount still owns the title. They only sold the characters to New Line Cinema.
Also the film covers the 2009 remake, unlike the book.

I would recommend the book over the film version. Even if you have seen the movie I still recommend picking up the book as there is a lot more content in it. If you've read the book then I consider the film to be entertainingly superfluous.

7 out of 10 Good
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