Friday the 13th / Friday the 13th Part 2 / Friday the 13th Part 3 3-D Sean S. Cunningham / Steve Miner

Friday the 13th / Friday the 13th Part 2 / Friday the 13th Part 3 3-D Sean S. Cunningham / Steve Miner
Looking to cash in on the Friday the 13th remake (which openly borrows from the original and first two sequels), Paramount has gathered the first three films from the franchise it originally, and accidentally, launched back in 1980. If this smells a bit unnecessary, well, that's because it is - there isn't much here that wasn't included on 2004's From Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set. Any new extras included on the first two discs consist of recycled memories and facts from previous releases, namely the box set and the recent His Name Was Jason documentary. The first film is still one of horror's finest, introducing the summer camp as fertile ground for mass murder, taking the slasher genre to new heights and extremes. Considering the franchise's legacy and the mask that represents it, the surprise ending and killer reveal are still riveting to witness, and to this day I don't think any film's conclusion can rival the introduction to Jason. The commentary features the cast and crew, including director Sean S. Cunningham, who goes straight into admitting the goal was to earn money to keep making movies and support his family. Although Crystal Lake Memories author Peter Bracke distractingly moderates, I like the unconventional approach, avoiding the usual play-by-play. The interview with Cunningham at his home finds a very modest filmmaker just as content to distance himself from the film's legacy as to accept responsibility. The second Friday is hardly a classic but it does keep its predecessor in mind, as far as advancing the narrative. Most notable is the emergence of Jason Voorhees, who from here on in became a horror superstar and the subject of numerous sequels, with his ongoing quest to seek increasingly horrific vengeance. The DVD includes an interview with Bracke loaded with an expert's knowledge of the first two films, a reflection of what to find in his excellent book. A featurette gives a look at the popularity of the Scarefest horror convention; featuring the cast and crew from various films, it demonstrates the fervent dedication and overwhelming geekdom of the genre's hardcore fan base. "Jason Forever" has the same low-budget graphics from the box set, which leads me to believe it's a leftover; regardless, it's just filler, gathering four past Jasons together for a Q&A panel discussion. Both discs have a chapter from "Lost Tales From Camp Blood," a weak attempt at furthering the bloodshed with brand new (and amateurish) enactments that find a piss-poor version of our killer attacking more prey. The tastiest bait for these reissues, however, comes with Part 3, which gives most fans what they've been waiting years for: the movie in 3-D. Still a rare commodity at this point, the DVD comes with two sets of 3-D glasses and the film in both 3- and 2-D. And, yes, that technology isn't quite up to snuff for home entertainment. As glorious as it is to see Rick's eyeball pop out at you, I found there is something lost in the translation from the big screen to TV. Still, it's great to have the option to watch my favourite Friday (yes, I said it) the way it was meant to be seen. It's undeniably the moment that opened the franchise up to a sequel free-for-all, wandering away from the Crystal Lake confines. But from the biker gang decimated in the barn to the ridiculousness of fan favourite Shelly and his props to Jason acquiring the iconic goalie mask, the third film injects a sense of humour and turns brutally calculated kills into splatterfests. Of course, this also made it the epitome of sequel abuse, but how could we have come to Jason in outer space (Jason X) without a bit of hilarity? (Paramount)