It’s no secret that CHUD has entered a new era.  We’re moving forward and growing by leaps and bounds and we’ve already started bringing you the awesome with more surprises in store.  But, while we’re all for celebrating the long life of the New Flesh, it never hurts to take a look back and celebrate the things we’ve done in the past.  Things like Lists.  They’re a tremendous part of CHUD’s identity and we’ve lost count of how many of you guys have cited them as the reason you got on board with us in the first place.  We’ve done a lot of them – some forgotten, some still mentioned in almost every forum discussion – all of them fun.  So we’re bringing them back.  And what better time than now that our first list under the new regime is well under-way?  So – every Friday we’ll publish a freshly-put-together index of every list we’ve ever done – our Remastered Special Editions, if you will.  Plus, we’ll have a few surprises along the way.  So, without further ado…

10 Days of 13:  CHUD Goes to Crystal Lake
Originally Posted in 2007, then re-posted in 2008
Featured Writers:  Devin Faraci

With the release of a new Friday the 13th this Friday February 13th mixed with the (third, maybe) rerelease of the first three films in new DVDs, I figured now is as good a time as any to reprint this classic series from a couple of years back, where I sat down and watched all 10 Friday the 13th films as well as Freddy vs Jason. To make this something more than a simple reprint series, I’m also reviewing the new DVDs on each of the relevant entries. Which I guess makes just the last 8 nothing more than a reprint series, but since this was a pretty fun series I don’t see the harm in that. This new edition of CHUD Goes to Camp Crystal Lake will culminate with my review of the new Friday the 13th, but it’s unlikely that it will be in the same format as the rest of the series. I’ll save that for my review of the DVD in four months.

Special thanks to Litmus Configuration for the amazing image above!

Part One (Click to read!)
Devin Says:  “Right from the start of the first Friday the 13th many of the series’ signature elements were in place: extended shots from the killer’s POV, that “ki ki ki ha ha ha” sound on the soundtrack, and teenagers getting sliced and diced as a result of engaging in some nookie in close proximity to Crystal Lake. But as the film goes on it becomes more evident how very different this one is from all the rest that follow.”

Part Two
Devin Says:  “Considering how clumsy and inept he is in Friday the 13th Part 2, it’s amazing that Jason ever went on to have the prodigious career that followed. At one point Jason stands on a chair to stab a girl with a pitchfork and the chair breaks, sending the big dummy with a pillowcase on his head (oh yes, he is wearing a pillowcase. Add The Elephant Man to the list of films from which the Friday franchise cribs) crashing down, snapping the pitchfork in half. Not the most auspicious of debuts.”

Part 3D
Devin Says:  Part 3 is probably most notable as the 3D entry to the series, and director Steve Miner (returning from Part 2) hugs the gimmick close like it’s a life preserver in a stormy sea. Friday the 13th Part 3 misses almost no opportunity to stick things right in the camera – time and again I felt like I was watching Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes on Count Floyd’s show. It’s surprising that a boner didn’t end up getting poked into the camera, as everything from a pole to a yo-yo to a spear to an eyeball to even popcorn ends up almost touching the lens.”

Part Four:  The Final Chapter
Devin Says:  Friday the 13th Part IV: I Believe The Children Are Our Future, is widely considered the best of the series. I’m not here to challenge that assertion. Right from the first kill, this Friday entry oozes production value: they have a helicopter! When the authorities showed up to clean up after Jason in the last two films there was just a couple of guys in cheap sheriff outfits, but in Part IV it looks like there’s an actual, reasonable response to the massacre. You start to think that maybe you’re watching a real movie this time.”

Part Five:  A New Beginning
Devin Says:  “Everybody knows that Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, notorious for featuring Fake Jason, is among the worst in the series, right? Everybody except me, that is, because upon revisiting the film I found that it wasn’t that bad after all. In fact, I think that if it wasn’t for the idiotic identity of Fake Jason (his unmasking brings cries of “Huh? Who the fuck is that?” from the audience) I think this installment would be much more popular.”

Part Six:  Jason Lives
Devin Says:  “There are not many film franchises that see the very best installment happen in the fifth sequel, yet here’s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, the hands down very best Friday movie. It’s the one that all other Fridays should be judged against, and they’ll all be found lacking… especially the increasingly terrible ones to follow. Writer/director Tom McLaughlin brought a whole new feeling to the series, giving Jason Lives a tone that dances between self-aware humor and legitimate tension. He also took the time to write dialogue for the characters, which means that if you fast-forward past all the parts where people are still alive and talking you’ll actually be missing stuff.”

Part Seven:  The New Blood
Devin Says:  “It’s tempting to be forgiving of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood because the movie suffered so badly at the hands of the MPAA. The rating board forced director/make-up artist John Carl Buechler to cut almost every drop of blood out of a film with that word in the title; almost every kill is truncated to the point of senselessness. The DVD box set of the Paramount F13 films gives you a peek at the uncut kills, and they are impressive, especially the latest take on the old Jason standby, the head smoosh. With the kills included as Buechler intended, A New Blood would have been the goriest Friday yet.”

Part Eight:  Jason Takes Manhattan
Devin Says:  “What are the worst movies ever made? Obviously you’d have to immediately narrow that list down to theatrically released movies, since the annals of student and amateur films are almost certainly filled with garbage in quantities that would be impossible for the human brain to process – all of this incredible badness is slithering just under our radar, like same horrible Old One in a Lovecraft story, always just on the other side of the threshold and beyond human comprehension. So we have a list that begins with theatrically released movies, which is still a staggering amount, but much more manageable. I don’t know what films would be on that list but I do know that among their number must be Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.”

Part Nine:  Jason Goes to Hell
Devin Says:  “After Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, federal agents raided Paramount’s Hollywood lot and rescued the hideously tortured franchise. Well-meaning authorities tried to find the series a suitable home, but as is too often the case in abusive situations, Jason Voorhees was placed with a studio that would continue to make him do completely unnatural things.”

Part Ten:  Jason X
Devin Says:  “The decision to hire Spike Lee was a controversial one for many fans of the moribund Friday the 13th saga, but even they had to admit that his concept of reinventing Jason Voorhees as a crusader for racial equality – by any means necessary, including via machete – was inspired. ‘I didn’t drown in Crystal Lake,’ Jason famously intoned. ‘Crystal Lake drowned in me.’”

Supplement:  Freddy vs. Jason
Devin Says:  “This movie is why the Friday the 13th series had been treading water for ever since Part VII. I don’t know why it took New Line so long to get this film made after they acquired the rights to Jason Voorhees and Friends, although it certainly wasn’t worth the wait. Freddy vs Jason isn’t a terrible movie, and its high production values are certainly commendable, but the whole picture is a concept wandering in search of a compelling story.”

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