DVD Review: Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood

SEPTEMBER 15, 2009


I’ve already reviewed the film proper here, as well as put together a little summary/capsule thing for Bloody-D's 13 Days Of Jason retrospective series from this past February, so if you want my in-depth(ish) thoughts on the film, check those out by clicking the links above. In short - I don’t really like The New Blood much. Jason’s look is awesome and some of the kills are great, but the kids bore me to tears, the rushed production shows at every turn, and I never quite shined to the telekinesis plot, since it was obviously an attempt to compete with the (then more popular) Nightmare On Elm St movies, which had “superpowered” characters in its 3rd and 4th films. This review concerns the brand new special edition DVD and whether or not you should upgrade (spoiler: you should).

Regardless of how I feel about the movie, Paramount and Dan Farrands have put together a fine special edition for it. For some reason it was the only one of the films that had a 5.1 soundtrack on the previous releases, so nothing new to report there. But the video quality is practically night and day. Since no one sent me the other new discs (ahem!) in time for a worthwhile review, I never bothered to compare the video quality with the previous 2004 releases. Below are screenshots from the 2004 boxed set versions and their counterparts from these new 2009 releases (click to enlarge):

Not only is the color much improved, but I was shocked to see how much picture information the 2004 releases were missing. In the shot of Jason in the kitchen, notice the decoration on the left side of the frame that is completely missing from the identical frame on the old release. And in the forest shot, notice the sharper detail in the trees and on Jason’s ratty clothes (and again, far more picture information).

As for the extras, Kane Hodder and John Carl Buechler’s old commentary is gone, but the pair have recorded a new commentary, this time joined by (a separate) Lar Park Lincoln. It’s not a bad track; Hodder and Buechler repeat some of the stuff they said on the last one, but Lincoln’s thoughts are obviously new, and thankfully she takes up the bulk of the track (unless you haven’t listened to the old one, in which case you might want to hear more from the guys). And Buechler admits that the story isn’t up to par, which I don’t think he fessed up to on the last one.

We also get about 15 minutes’ worth of deleted footage. The footage isn’t in particularly good shape - it seems to be taken from a VHS tape with a bad tracking problem, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the damn cassette had been stored in someone’s flooded basement. It’s an even split between excised character stuff and kills, some of which were on the boxed set. Of most interest is a deleted epilogue in which Jason resurfaces from the water, which would have been nice to have (the theatrical cut of New Blood is one of the only films in the series that doesn’t end on a scare). Of course, we also get the usual retrospective with cast and crew, though it runs a bit shorter than usual and skimps over the more interesting things about the film’s production (such as its origin as Freddy vs. Jason). Then there is an interesting look at “real” telekinetic cases, as well as how realistic the film is at portraying this power (spoiler: it isn’t).

Of no use to anyone is a three minute fluff piece of actresses Diana Barrows and Elizabeth Kaitan going for a makeover, spurred by one of the film’s few memorable lines (“Need a little touch up my ass”). I could see maybe this thing having some merit had the girls at least talked about the movie a bit while they got their nails done and tried on new clothes, but nope. Even at three minutes, it’s a fucking waste of disc space, time, energy, and any other abstract object you can imagine. The only good thing I can say about it is that at least it’s not another episode of "Lost Tales From Camp Blood", which has finally been ‘cancelled’ (or maybe it just concluded its run - I stopped watching these worthless things after the 3rd entry).

In my opinion, it’s the weakest film of Paramount’s series, but like all of the others, it’s not without merit, and blood or not, is fun to watch with a bunch of friends and some beer. The extras aren’t quite as extensive as they are for Final Chapter or whatever, but if you’re a fan of the film there is no question you should be picking this version up. The fact that a proper special edition exists at all is a laudable achievement; after years of bitching, Paramount has finally tried to make amends for the previous releases - for the good films and the bad ones.

Film Score 4/10
DVD score 8/10

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1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I'm just starting to get back into the Friday's from when I was a kid and was thinking about getting part 7 on the cheap but not the deluxe edition, so thanks.


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