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Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th

October 10th, 2013 by unkle lancifer · 9 Comments

If you called me on the horn recently and I didn’t pick up I’d like to apologize for that. Also, if you rang my doorbell and instead of answering the door, I poured a pot of boiling water on your head while bellowing in a demonic voice, “GO AWAY!” I’m sorry for that too. You’ll understand my behavior when I tell you that I was busy watching CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, the seven-hour strong docu-everything on the FRIDAY THE 13th series. It’s by the same should-be-sainted folks behind the dreamy NEVER SLEEP AGAIN docu-bonanza and it’s just as good…or maybe better… on account of I think I love FRIDAY ever so slightly more than ELM STREET. There, I said it. I can’t help it, the ELM STREET series may be more imaginative but FRIDAY is all kinds of rustic and I’m a rustic type of guy. I need to be in the woods not suburbia! If I’m going to drown, it’s going to be in a lake not a bathtub! You know, I’ve been trying to curb my nerd-thusiasm lately and now thanks to this, I’m so off the wagon.

Do you need to know anything more than the fact that CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES (which is based on the equally necessary book of the same name) features an interview with the banana-chomping hitchhiker from PART 4? Nor do I! But wait it gets better! Part 4’s Tommy Jarvis COREY FELDMAN narrates and appears in campfire set bookends! It’s true you’ll have to endure that dusty old chestnut about how HARRY MANFREDINI came up with the series’ trademark “ki-ki-ki- ma-ma-ma” musical cue but don’t worry; there are plenty of fresh anecdotes to keep things paddling forward. As someone who grew up in the stale era when you had only publicity shots to rely on, I really appreciate whoever they got to create Photoshop mock ups of Jason’s lost years. It’s clear that the filmmakers were well aware that fanatics have scoured this territory before (particularly if they’ve already read the book and have seen HIS NAME WAS JASON) so they really go out of their way to present novelty wherever they can and they do an admirable job of it.

If you grew up loving the FRIDAY THE 13th franchise this is a must see gift for you. It’s not all fun and games though as you may find yourself crying into your hands with every story about what might have been and the rampant disrespect and disregard delivered by the very suits that profited from the series. (I place a curse upon anyone responsible for destroying even a frame of FRIDAY THE 13th Part VII: THE NEW BLOOD!) For some of us, this series is more than just a cash cow. Personally, I see it as an unofficial map of my youth. Each film is like a time capsule signifying significant stages of my existence. My adolescence and teen years are submerged in Crystal Lake! The wide-eyed kid who saw PART 2 for the first time is not the same dude who smirked at PART 8. It’s amazing to think that once upon a time the distance between the original film and PART 4’s “final chapter” seemed vast. Even FREDDY VS JASON now reflects a crystal clear image of the time that it was made. I have watched as the parade of victims transitioned from much older than me to much younger than me. I must be dead because my life is flashing before my eyes. That’s what those who count the tickets will never appreciate and what makes fan-centric films like this so valuable. Wow, in some kind of strange slice of synchronicity, as I finish writing this, I find the Syfy Channel is showing a FRIDAY marathon. Looks like I’ll be dead to the world for a little longer. Don’t ring the doorbell!

Tags: General Horror




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Ben S
Ben S
7 years ago

I’m so glad that you weighed in on this important event. I also spent the last few days enraptured. My only problems with the documentary were probably/definitely not the filmmakers’ faults: 1) I wanted interviews with EVERY PERSON in the luncheonette scene in the original FRIDAY THE 13TH, including what they imagined to be their characters’ back stories (I want to know if they’re aligned with the ones I’ve given them!) 2) I know that Robey is a Countess now, but that is no excuse. What’s she doing that is so important that she can’t sit down for an interview? Cutting a new album, I hope. 3) I can’t believe how many of my most beloved actors from the series have passed on to the great Crystal Lake in the sky.

I love Betsy Palmer because she is exactly like my sharp and sassy grandmother. If my grandmother had played Mrs. Voorhees, she totally would have responded with the same amount of distaste when Tom Savini asked her if she wanted to see how they were going to cut her head off. I’ve recently learned that she was a substitute English teacher in the 1990s, as was Lara “Angelique on DARK SHADOWS” Parker! Can you imagine walking into English class, and there is Mrs. Voorhees or Angelique at the front of the classroom? It would have made all the rest of school worth it.

I’ve been going through the F13 series again because I caved and bought the Blu Ray box set that all the fans are so angry about, and I have to say–I don’t know if it is some Blu Ray placebo effect, but they look and sound amazing and are a whole new experience of pleasure. I never knew that JASON LIVES was so beautiful before…I must recommend going against the fan-hype if you’re feeling nostalgic and giving money to the bloodsucking oil slick that is Warner Brothers (if you haven’t already).

Finally, I hope that some day somebody does a sociological analysis of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET people vs. FRIDAY THE 13TH people, because even if you love both series you are always one or the other. What are the deep seated emotions and life events that lead a person to connect on the most intimate level with one or the other?

Caffeinated Joe
7 years ago

I loved the doc, as well. Watched it over a few days and it just could have gone on and on and I wouldn’t have cared. Loved it. Robey is pretty open to her fans on FB, so I don’t get why she wasn’t interviewed, other than she wouldn’t travel here and they didn’t want to go to France? Would have been cool, though, to see her and Chris Wiggins. Ah well.

The marathon tomorrow is of the television series. I am quite excited! I have seen them dozens of times and have the DVDs, but when it is on tv, I can’t resist. 🙂

Ben S
Ben S
7 years ago

I think that THE MONEY PIT is the only Shelley Long movie I haven’t seen. I had no idea that it features the song stylings of the great chanteuse Robey!! I might have to rent it this weekend…

I agree with you, that the death by preoccupation got a little lazy (I thought it worked in part 4, which I adore). I can’t bring myself to love parts 5 or 6 no matter how hard I try. Although “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” moves me to tears and ecstasy.

I think it’s amazing that they’re bothering to acknowledge FRIDAY’s gay fan base at all in an officially released documentary. However, I couldn’t agree with you more. One of my huge pet peeves with “assessments of gay horror fandom” is that they so often assume that gays love horror films only because there is some direct *man loving man* content (a gay actor; a secret gay relationship–which is not to say that WITCHBOARD isn’t the great romantic tragedy of our time). I always want to scream, “Loving horror movies gay-ly is not ABOUT that! It’s about scenery! It’s about Heather Langenkamp’s funeral-wear! It’s about Samantha Eggar’s posture! It’s about the purple sky in HOUSE OF USHER, the modern art in POLTERGEIST III, and the use of lightning zombie effects in ONE DARK NIGHT! It’s about Sue Snell’s hair and the look on Carrie White’s face!”

But I guess it would take too long to condense such sensibility to a sound byte. Also, I always thought they had good chemistry! But I guess that shows how much I know about heterosexual mating rituals?

Caffeinated Joe
7 years ago

I have seen The Money Pit and love the Robey has a role, no matter how small. She is great fun. 🙂

Caffeinated Joe
7 years ago

Love her version of that song. Have had it on my iPod for years now.

Ben S
Ben S
7 years ago

Poor Rick. So cute, so nice, and not an ounce of brain in his head.

I would love to do such a post! I woke up this morning trying to decide what I’d give Alice and Stevie Christie. I would say at least a solid 6.5 for whatever was going on when she drew that picture of him “last night.” Although a friend recently, astutely, pointed out that Steve Christie looks like he walked out of an early ’80s gay porn. Also, I might consider giving a 9 (*certainly* an 8) to beautiful blonde Ginny and Paul, both because they make such a great team and because they should have starred as Chris and Cathy in an early ’80s film adaptation of FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC.