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Inspired by the critically-acclaimed book, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th takes viewers behind the mask on an epic journey into the making of the landmark horror franchise-from its humble beginnings in 1980 at a New Jersey summer camp to the blockbuster release of its 2009 "reboot." Combining hundreds of rare and never-before-seen photographs, film clips, outtakes, archival documents, conceptual art and behind-the-scenes footage, and featuring interviews with more than 150 cast and crew members spanning all twelve films and the television series, Crystal Lake Memories is the ultimate tribute to one of horror's most iconic and enduring franchises.Written by
"Crystal Lake Memories"- An entertaining and engaging retrospective, though it lacks the sharp pacing and focus of the superior "Never Sleep Again"
From the same creative team who crafted the deliciously entertaining and incredibly engaging "Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy", "Crystal Lake Memories" is a thorough and fairly absorbing documentary that covers the entirety of the famous (and infamous) horror film franchise "Friday the 13th." Loaded with hundreds of interviews, seemingly thousands of clips and behind-the-scenes photos and a metric ton of information and informative tid-bits of trivia, this is definitely a must-see for all fans of the hockey-masked maniac Jason Voorhees.
From series creator Sean Cunningham to the plethora of men behind the mask including fan-favorite Kane Hodder, there are dozens upon dozens of interview subjects who spin yarns and fondly recall the creation of every single film in the franchise. All the while, Corey Feldman narrates with glee and we're treated to all sorts of fascinating making-of images and video. Want to know exactly how that infamous "Ki-Ki-Ki, Ma-Ma-Ma" sound effect was created? Wanna know what the incidental actors thought of one another? Want to know how hard it was to film "Part III" in state-of-the-art 3D? It's all here, along with countless other factoids.
Unfortunately, all of this comes with a pretty severe trade-off. That being that the film has a punishingly bloated run-time of nearly seven hours. Yup, you read that right! Seven. Hours. Part of what made the prior film about the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise work was that it knew when to get in and when to get out. And even then, it was still pushing it with a four-hour runtime. But the facts presented felt relevant and fascinating, the structure was sound and the pacing was fairly brisk. I can't necessarily say the same about "Crystal Lake Memories." This one just pushes it too far. Sure, you could argue that with nearly twice the films to cover, it needed to be nearly twice the length. But given how repetitive the interviews become over time, and how the same basic ideas are revisited over and over... it's easy to see that at least a full hour could have been cut out. Maybe even two. And the pacing is way too slow for its own good. There's so much more droning on in this movie... it can occasionally become hard to stay invested.
Still, that can't detract from the fact that on the whole... yeah, "Crystal Lake Memories" is a really fun experience. It's informative, mostly engaging and you'll learn quite a bit by the time the credits roll. Just don't plan to watch it all in one sitting! I'm giving it a pretty good 7 out of 10.
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