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Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

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For the past twenty-five years, cinematic icon Jason Voorhees has terrified audiences around the world, his ling-running exploits spanning eleven films and generating over half a billion dollars in box office receipts. Now, for the first time and in their own words, over two hundred alumni of the series recall a quarter century's worth of never-before-told tales. Filled wi For the past twenty-five years, cinematic icon Jason Voorhees has terrified audiences around the world, his ling-running exploits spanning eleven films and generating over half a billion dollars in box office receipts. Now, for the first time and in their own words, over two hundred alumni of the series recall a quarter century's worth of never-before-told tales. Filled with all the backstage stories, struggles and controversies behind the onscreen mayhem, this candid and exhaustive history takes you inside the record-breaking franchise like no book ever has.


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For the past twenty-five years, cinematic icon Jason Voorhees has terrified audiences around the world, his ling-running exploits spanning eleven films and generating over half a billion dollars in box office receipts. Now, for the first time and in their own words, over two hundred alumni of the series recall a quarter century's worth of never-before-told tales. Filled wi For the past twenty-five years, cinematic icon Jason Voorhees has terrified audiences around the world, his ling-running exploits spanning eleven films and generating over half a billion dollars in box office receipts. Now, for the first time and in their own words, over two hundred alumni of the series recall a quarter century's worth of never-before-told tales. Filled with all the backstage stories, struggles and controversies behind the onscreen mayhem, this candid and exhaustive history takes you inside the record-breaking franchise like no book ever has.

30 review for Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    Film school in a box. There's no better way for me to describe Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, which regardless of what your opinion of slasher movies or this long-running series is--11 films and a television series are covered--stands as one of the best books I've read about the creative process. Published in 2006, it's an oral history, which I always appreciate, and author Peter Bracke exhausts every aspect of the making of low budget, non-union movies--financin Film school in a box. There's no better way for me to describe Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, which regardless of what your opinion of slasher movies or this long-running series is--11 films and a television series are covered--stands as one of the best books I've read about the creative process. Published in 2006, it's an oral history, which I always appreciate, and author Peter Bracke exhausts every aspect of the making of low budget, non-union movies--financing, script development, casting, production, special effects, post-production, distribution, marketing, etc.--which is literally grab a camera and your friends and make a movie. -- Sean Cunningham, Producer & Director: I discovered Bruno Bettleheim and his book Uses of Enchantment back in the mid-1970s when I had tried to develop an update of Hansel & Gretel. He says one of the values of these grim, ugly fairy tales is that young people have unnamed fears: fears of abandonment, fears of death, fears involving sexual repression. Scary stuff. Parents read these stories and get spooked, but the kids love it, because at a young age we don't have words or names to go around these things, we just know they are out there lurking. What fairy tales can do, and by extension certain kinds of horror movies can do, is take the fear, dress it up in a costume, look at it in the safety of a story and then put it away. We had a tough bullet to bite--there is no discount for the patron at the box office to see a low budget movie. On any particular night, people are either going to see your film or someone else's. They are all first-run movies. Even at that time, the whole idea of a second feature, the B-movie that plays at drive-ins and exploitation houses, didn't exist anymore as a viable alternative to conventional distribution. That was the reality. When Victor and I were conceiving Friday the 13th, we were very aware that we needed to create something that had an element of circus to it. -- Victor Miller, Screenwriter: Everything happened really fast. This was in the middle of 1979. My first week's work was coming up with about 50 different venues. Anywhere that kids would be. Like high schools, playgrounds, forests, whatever. I would go over and pitch my ideas to Sean and we would say, "Nah, nah, nah." Then I remembered that going away to summer camp was just too scary for me. My older brother went to camp and I did not like the stories he came back with--the whole idea living in these big rooms with people and sleeping in double bunk beds sounded pretty awful. So I finally went over to Sean's and said, "I think I got it. It's a summer camp before it opens." And we both said, "Yippie!" I went off to my little office, typing my life away. And after I started writing I came up with the highly unfavorable title of "Long Night at Camp Blood." That was its working title until about the third or fourth draft, when Sean came and said, "I've got the name of the movie." -- Barry Moss, Casting Director: The first thing you do when you cast is, you read the script and write down your ideas for the role. Then you send a breakdown out to all the agents and ask for their submissions, and they send you headshots and resumes. From there you audition--usually the casting director interviews everybody first, and then you bring back your top choices to read for the director. On Friday the 13th, we usually brought in three or four actors for each part, and sometimes you just get lucky right on the first day. Like when you bring in Kevin Bacon, and he's the answer--you don't even have to bring in anyone else. -- Kevin Bacon, "Jack": When I first started out, I had the idea there were two sides to acting--"out of work" and "star." That was a misconception that was blown apart when I realized that there was this whole middle range of actors who were making a living in the theatre, playing a wide variety of roles, tuning and tightening and mastering their craft. So I took whatever acting work I could get at the time. I worked as an extra, and tried unsuccessfully to land commercials. I did soap operas. That being said, I think I was still really careful not to make work decisions based on money. Friday the 13th, honestly...it was material that, for whatever reason, I didn't necessarily feel connected to. But I tried to take the size of the budget and the size of the part and the size of the paycheck out of the equation. And then a huge variety of things open up to you, because there is something about a truly collaborative effort that really feels right. Movies are an isolated medium. You're taught or learn to look out for number one--yourself. Rarely do you encounter something that's really my concept of what an ensemble is. -- Betsy Palmer, "Mrs. Voorhees": I was in some city once, doing a radio show and the kids were calling in to talk to "Mrs. Voorhees." And I asked one of the girls, "Why do you kids love this woman so much?" And she said, "Because we know why you did it." That is the reason why I think the character has stayed alive as long as she has. I didn't think I was a bad lady. I thought I just got the short shrift in life. If her little boy hadn't drowned she never would have killed all those counselors. I just tried to save those other children every summer when they tried to reopen the camp. Doesn't the movie talk about how I had set fires and poisoned the water, and it eventually closes the camp down? Doesn't it make sense? -- Tom Savini, Special Makeup Effects: It's a very primitive thing, but it's all about a mindset. It's the same mindset that I teach the students here at my school: "What do I need to make me believe what I'm seeing is really happening?" Then you create the pieces. And in the case of a movie, the pieces are the shots. I need a shot of the actor clean. Then, a shot of the threat of the knife or the threat of the ax. Show that first, because then the audience knows there's going to be a meeting of that weapon and the actor. And finally a shot of the impact, of that meeting. That's what the audience can't wait for. It's almost like an exhibit from your favorite artist. That's really what Friday the 13th was about, not just gore--magic tricks that are fooling you into believing that what you're seeing is really happening. -- Bill Freda, Editor: I remember the Paramount screening distinctly, because I was working the soundboard in the back. All the studio execs at the distribution level were there, too, including Frank Mancusco. And when Sean and I had been editing, we used scratch music. And there was this one piece of music that we used at the end, with a big "Bang!" in it, for when Jason pops out of the water at the end. And at that screening, I remember I took the volume band and just went crazy with it. I mean, everything would shake at that volume. And boy, when I bounced that thing up all the execs just jumped. I think that's the thing that sold it. I think these guys sat there and said, "Even if we buy this movie for the ending, it'll be worth it." -- Steve Miner, Associate Producer: The enjoyment with this kind of film is audience participation. The audience didn't even mind the dumb stuff, because they could talk back to it. They really stayed with the story. What does happen with a lot of these movies is that they have terrific ad campaigns but then don't deliver. I don't think that was the case with Friday the 13th, because business continued strong for weeks and weeks. Practically all of the advertising money was spent during its first week of release, which means that its continued success was based on good word of mouth. I think a film like Friday the 13th is pure entertainment, like a rollercoaster ride is pure entertainment. These excerpts cover the making of the original Friday the 13th (1980) and take the reader to the 13% mark. If I were a film professor, I think I'd want a class to prepare students for what low budget, non-union, by hook or crook filmmaking was all about and I'd use Crystal Lake Memories as my textbook. Each week, Professor Valdez would look at a different aspect of filmmaking, talk about what these guys did and whether it was successful or not. Even if you hate the Friday the 13th movies, and I have criticisms of all of them, I felt like this book was inspiration to go out and produce something better. Bracke's fantastic book served as the basis for a 400 minute documentary of the same name in which most of those he interviewed give on-camera interviews, with footage from all the movies. If I had to choose my favorite, I'd say that the two directed by Steve Miner--Friday the 13th Part 2 and Friday the 13th Part III--stand out. Part 2 has the best Final Girl in Amy Steel, whose character "Ginny" actually uses her college degree to survive Jason, while Part III, shot for and released in 3-D the following year, is the best rollercoaster ride.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Strand

    Though I'm not a huge fan of the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, this book was fascinating from beginning to end. Every movie in the series is covered in incredible detail, and the story of each installment, even the really crappy ones, is genuinely compelling. I've read another comprehensive book about the series, seen the documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON, and even read about the later films in Fangoria when they were being made, but this was still packed with stuff I didn't know. I read the enhanced e-b Though I'm not a huge fan of the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, this book was fascinating from beginning to end. Every movie in the series is covered in incredible detail, and the story of each installment, even the really crappy ones, is genuinely compelling. I've read another comprehensive book about the series, seen the documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON, and even read about the later films in Fangoria when they were being made, but this was still packed with stuff I didn't know. I read the enhanced e-book edition, which apparently has an extra 100,000 words of content that wasn't in the hardcover. (This book is IMMENSE!) It's also got video interviews, screenplay excerpts, MPAA paperwork, storyboards, shot lists, and more. Easily one of the best horror movie-related books I've ever read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    C.T. Phipps

    I have a confession to make: I absolutely love the Friday the 13th series. I was born a little too young to be part of when it was a mega-sensation (i.e. I was a teenager in the 90s rather than the 80s) but I came to lose Jason Voorhees through the magic of VHS. Which, for those of you who have no idea what those initials means, were magical boxes that contained images as well as the souls of dead unicorns. Crystal Lake Memories is a novel which contains collected anecdotes and a rough timeline I have a confession to make: I absolutely love the Friday the 13th series. I was born a little too young to be part of when it was a mega-sensation (i.e. I was a teenager in the 90s rather than the 80s) but I came to lose Jason Voorhees through the magic of VHS. Which, for those of you who have no idea what those initials means, were magical boxes that contained images as well as the souls of dead unicorns. Crystal Lake Memories is a novel which contains collected anecdotes and a rough timeline for the creation of the original Friday the 13th to Freddy vs. Jason. We get to hear from virtually every single cast member, member of the production staff, and the writers. Their perspectives are almost uniformly positive and, honestly, include a bit of lying since poor Adrienne King (Annie in the 1st movie) quit show business due to a crazed F13-inspired stalker that goes completely unmentioned in the book. The anecdotes are quite candid in places and sometimes contradictory, which is good for the book's humor value. For example, one creator spends a long time explaining how ridiculous the concept of "if you have sex you die in a F13" movie is, only for the next to say, "Sex equaling death was clearly a major part of our idea for the movie." Plus, there's more than a few lurid innuendoes about how the actors tended to hook up during the long shootings. The biggest contribution this book may have made to F13 fandom is the fact it resulted in the creation of the identically-named documentary that's available for purchase on Amazon.com. That was hosted by Cory Feldman and, frankly, does the book's job a great deal better. The Kindle Edition may be much longer but the content tends to be a bit on the repetitive side with many actors somewhat embarrassed about their roles despite their pleasant memories. The lack of pictures also hurts it versus the coffee-table version that was at least visually stimulating. The book also lacks any coverage of 2009's reboot, perhaps because it's a bit harder to get in touch with Amanda Rhigetti and Jared Padalecki (but apparently not Kevin Bacon or Crispin Glover). In the end, the book is a little dry and on the technical side. It's amazing the author managed to get seemingly every single person involved in the production of the movies interviewed. However, the anecdotes dominate everything when I think the book could have benefited from maybe summarizing the films or adding some bits for the laymen. It's basically 11 or 12 ComicCon panels in text form. 8/10

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth McKinley

    It doesn't get more comprehensive than this monster. When it says the Complete History of Friday the 13th, it means it! Friday the 13th was one of those movies that made a huge impact on my life. I know that either sounds pathetic or psychotic, but hear me out. I was too young to see the original in the theater. But I do recall being mesmerized by the VHS box at the local video store years later. I was a whopping 12 years old and up until then my introduction to horror was the late night Creatur It doesn't get more comprehensive than this monster. When it says the Complete History of Friday the 13th, it means it! Friday the 13th was one of those movies that made a huge impact on my life. I know that either sounds pathetic or psychotic, but hear me out. I was too young to see the original in the theater. But I do recall being mesmerized by the VHS box at the local video store years later. I was a whopping 12 years old and up until then my introduction to horror was the late night Creature Features on Friday nights that I could rarely stay awake that late for. But things were changing fast as puberty was hitting and horror was one of those things that intrigued me. I remember the exact moment when I first experienced Friday the 13th. I had some friends over and we had a movie marathon night and my parents let us rent the original and Part 2. The tension, the special effects, the sympathetic characters you could relate to all wrapped up in a hide your eyes behind the pillow roller coaster. My life was forever changed and I was addicted to horror from that point on. That was 30 years ago and I've seen and read just about everything horror, including Friday the 13th and all it's sequels. Sure many of them stink from a cinematic point of view. Some have the thinnest of plots, terrible acting, ridiculous story lines and lousy cinematography. But, it was never meant to be filet mignon. It was meant to be a wild ride with cheap thrills, buckets of blood and a scare or two along the way. This huge compilation is meant for the fan of the series. If you've only seen one of the movies and thought it was silly, Crystal Lake Memories isn't for you. It's an exhausting and comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at all of the movies in the series and it doesn't miss a thing. Interviews with cast, directors, production crew and just anybody you can think of that was connected to the series is all here. If you're a die-hard fan like me, you'll want to sink your machete into this one. 5 out of 5 stars You can also follow my reviews at the following links: https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5... http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1... TWITTER - @KenMcKinley5

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott Breslove

    My buddy and I worked at the camp where the original Friday the 13th (you know, the one with Kevin Bacon) was filmed. Needless to say, we are huge fans of Friday the 13th and Jason. Not only was this book a very comprehensive study on all the Friday films from the original to Freddy vs. Jason, (thank god it was written before that crap that came out recently calling itself a Friday reboot. Sorry Mr. Nispel, you had your moments, but overall, the movie was a poor excuse for a Friday the 13th film My buddy and I worked at the camp where the original Friday the 13th (you know, the one with Kevin Bacon) was filmed. Needless to say, we are huge fans of Friday the 13th and Jason. Not only was this book a very comprehensive study on all the Friday films from the original to Freddy vs. Jason, (thank god it was written before that crap that came out recently calling itself a Friday reboot. Sorry Mr. Nispel, you had your moments, but overall, the movie was a poor excuse for a Friday the 13th film.) but it is also a great companion for horror conventions. My friend and I have gone to numerous conventions with this book and it is now proudly autographed by numerous Jasons, victims, the great Mrs. Betsy Palmer, and even Freddy Krueger himself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Yes, I read a whole long book about the entire Friday the 13th film series and lived to tell the tale. The author is very sincere and very, very thorough. Quite interesting in particular to read the many interviews of those involved in the making of the movies, from actors to musicians to producers to stunt men - their reactions run the gamut from embarrassment to pride, bemusement to pure indifference. What can I say, I quite enjoyed this and the movies themselves remain a guilty pleasure.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    I thought this book was flibbin' fantastic! I've been a huge fan of the first two movies and had seen all of them up until part VIII. I thought the book was great in that it talked to not only the actors, but writers, directors, writers, anyone involved per se. And it gives a lot of behind the scene stuff, where it talks of what went on between the people involved. If you enjoy movies of any kind, or are actually involved in movies give this book a read. I thought this book was flibbin' fantastic! I've been a huge fan of the first two movies and had seen all of them up until part VIII. I thought the book was great in that it talked to not only the actors, but writers, directors, writers, anyone involved per se. And it gives a lot of behind the scene stuff, where it talks of what went on between the people involved. If you enjoy movies of any kind, or are actually involved in movies give this book a read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ownsbey

    i wachted all the movies frist i loved the movies they havelots of blood andare some what scary i just like the movies then i foun out they had the books so i got all the books and i loved them to the books a classic toalong with the movies did not win this on good reads

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jevron McCrory

    Utterly incredible HEAVYWEIGHT tome! Absolutely essential! Interviews with everyone and some of the best images from the series you will ever see! Seriously! I'm not even that big a fan of the series but this was AMAZING!!! It's a beautiful book! Utterly incredible HEAVYWEIGHT tome! Absolutely essential! Interviews with everyone and some of the best images from the series you will ever see! Seriously! I'm not even that big a fan of the series but this was AMAZING!!! It's a beautiful book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Huge coffee table book. Unbelievable stories and behind the scenes on F13!!! This is a bit of cinema history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stanley

    I never thought I would read a 1200+ page book about the Friday the 13th series, but here I am. It was very interesting and insightful with many of the people involved giving what appeared to be their honest recollections of the experience. However, while learning allot about the series, you also discover how little many of the people at the top felt about them. They had little desire to make good films, just churn over a little profit and move on to the next one. Many of those in the day to day p I never thought I would read a 1200+ page book about the Friday the 13th series, but here I am. It was very interesting and insightful with many of the people involved giving what appeared to be their honest recollections of the experience. However, while learning allot about the series, you also discover how little many of the people at the top felt about them. They had little desire to make good films, just churn over a little profit and move on to the next one. Many of those in the day to day production did put honest work into their films and tried to make something decent. However, between the producers and MPAA, they would always fight an uphill battle to do so.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Fascinating history Friday the 13th is one of those franchises that you either love or hate, sometimes both and for the same reasons. This book gives some insight on the production of each movie from the writers, directors, composers, producers, studio executives, and actors that made the series possible.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    First off, I did not know this was a coffee table book when I purchased it on my Kindle. BIG mistake. I missed out on hundreds of (most likely) really cool pictures. Instead, I just had hundreds and hundreds of pages of people bitching and moaning. Some people who were interviewed (the whole book is oral history, fyi) were pretty cool and very excited that they were able to be a part of something as cool, long-lasting, and culturally significant as Friday the 13th, but many of those interviewed, First off, I did not know this was a coffee table book when I purchased it on my Kindle. BIG mistake. I missed out on hundreds of (most likely) really cool pictures. Instead, I just had hundreds and hundreds of pages of people bitching and moaning. Some people who were interviewed (the whole book is oral history, fyi) were pretty cool and very excited that they were able to be a part of something as cool, long-lasting, and culturally significant as Friday the 13th, but many of those interviewed, especially those from the earlier film in the franchise, were so full of themselves and couldn't stop talking about how they were so "above" doing horror and were constantly shitting on their movie, the writers, the directors, the producers, their cast-mates, and the franchise as a whole. Nobody forced these assholes to make these movies and I'm positive that they cashed the checks that they earned, so it all just grew very tiresome. Still, there was a lot of good information and insight into each film and it has made me VERY excited to go back and watch them all again. The book was a little too long and nothing was left out, but I think it probably works very well as a coffee table book. Recommended for horror film fans - JUST DON'T GET THE KINDLE VERSION!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark Evans

    I can't believe how good this book is. I don't even care about Friday the 13th and I was absorbed by the interviews and behind-the-scenes facts. It's absolutely worth your time if you have any interest in the subject matter, in non-fiction, or just a good book. I can't express my amazement at what a great read this was enough. The whole thing pulls no punches, shares all the stories both good and bad, and really sucks you into the world of low budget filmmaking. My only two knocks - the Kindle vers I can't believe how good this book is. I don't even care about Friday the 13th and I was absorbed by the interviews and behind-the-scenes facts. It's absolutely worth your time if you have any interest in the subject matter, in non-fiction, or just a good book. I can't express my amazement at what a great read this was enough. The whole thing pulls no punches, shares all the stories both good and bad, and really sucks you into the world of low budget filmmaking. My only two knocks - the Kindle version is riddled with spelling mistakes and it's just so insanely big. I don't think it was overlong - you get detailed writing on eleven movies and a TV show which is crazy effort - but it was a much larger undertaking than I was expecting. I pretty much read every free second for a week to finish it, but so worth the effort.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Robinson

    Good: Incredibly thorough and honestly I think that Bracke has a real talent as an interviewer. He managed to say a lot just using people's responses juxtaposed against each other. Bad: So long. So, so long. Too long. Weird: I understand why he didn't cover the remake but I was disappointed anyway because I still don't understand why they bothered saying that it was a remake. Nothing about it couldn't have just been the 12th entry in the series. Final: You know by the title if you'll like this or n Good: Incredibly thorough and honestly I think that Bracke has a real talent as an interviewer. He managed to say a lot just using people's responses juxtaposed against each other. Bad: So long. So, so long. Too long. Weird: I understand why he didn't cover the remake but I was disappointed anyway because I still don't understand why they bothered saying that it was a remake. Nothing about it couldn't have just been the 12th entry in the series. Final: You know by the title if you'll like this or not. I think it's a particularly fine piece of film journalism but if you don't like horror movies and especially if you don't like Friday the 13th movies then there's no reason for you to read it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jed

    Obviously for fans of the movie series only. But if you are, you will not find a more comprehensive, more informative, and more fun read about everyone's favorite undead, hockey-mask-wearing, naked-teenager-killing, Crystal Lake resident. The twisted history of the series, where the numerous writers and directors intended on taking it and where it ended up are illuminated with interviews from nearly every cast member, writer, director and studio executive involved in the life cycle of the series Obviously for fans of the movie series only. But if you are, you will not find a more comprehensive, more informative, and more fun read about everyone's favorite undead, hockey-mask-wearing, naked-teenager-killing, Crystal Lake resident. The twisted history of the series, where the numerous writers and directors intended on taking it and where it ended up are illuminated with interviews from nearly every cast member, writer, director and studio executive involved in the life cycle of the series. If you love the movies like I do, there's no excuse not to read it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pearce

    Ridiculously comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the long-running slasher movie series. It's based around interviews and the participants don't mince their words. It's everything a Jason fan could want. Ridiculously comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the long-running slasher movie series. It's based around interviews and the participants don't mince their words. It's everything a Jason fan could want.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    This, I must own. It answers just about everything you'd want to know about the series. It's a huge hardback overflowing with vivid images and of course too, too much TMI. I loved it so much I felt acute withdrawal when I had to return it. This, I must own. It answers just about everything you'd want to know about the series. It's a huge hardback overflowing with vivid images and of course too, too much TMI. I loved it so much I felt acute withdrawal when I had to return it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aldin

    this book is CRAZY sooo many deaths and disturbing parts,

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy cupcake persad

    i wanna read this book i really enjoy the hororrs and screams...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason Dikes

    Awesome. If you like these movies, read this book. Don't ask to borrow my copy. Awesome. If you like these movies, read this book. Don't ask to borrow my copy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eden Thompson

    From my book blog www.JetBlackDragonfly.blogspot.com Written by Peter M. Bracke, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday The 13th, is an absolutely complete look at a film series that changed cinema, written by the foremost authority on the franchise. No one is saying it's Citizen Kane, but wasn't meant to be; in fact, no one associated thought it would go anywhere. On a budget of $500,000, it has gone on to make nearly a billion dollars. Looking pretty tame now, there had been noth From my book blog www.JetBlackDragonfly.blogspot.com Written by Peter M. Bracke, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday The 13th, is an absolutely complete look at a film series that changed cinema, written by the foremost authority on the franchise. No one is saying it's Citizen Kane, but wasn't meant to be; in fact, no one associated thought it would go anywhere. On a budget of $500,000, it has gone on to make nearly a billion dollars. Looking pretty tame now, there had been nothing like it at the time, and it spawned a massive and continuing genre. With over 300 pages, 600 photos and 200 interviews including each cast, this covers the series like no other book. In 1979, director Sean S. Cunningham pulled together a group of young filmmakers and New York actors to make a low budget movie based on a title alone and not a script - the easiest way to get audiences into seats, make a horror film like the recent hit Halloween. A cheap option: film it and house the cast and crew at a remote camp in the off season. Bracke covers every angle of the production, casting, filming and premiere of the first Friday the 13th film, including many of the innovative tricks by make-up master Tom Savini. The original cast included a young Kevin Bacon, and Betsy Russell, a once popular actress known for her sweet housewife persona - at the time she was in need of a car, told her agent she needed $10,000, and when he suggested the juicy role of Jason's mother for exactly that amount, she thought it was a quick pay check for a film no one would ever see. It became one of the most iconic horror film roles. He continues in-depth coverage right through every film of the series. I was mainly interested in the first film, and gave the sequels a cursory read: indeed, everyone associated with the first film would tell you - Jason was not a killer, he died many years before the story, and continuing storylines are ridiculous. But it's all here in detail if you are a fan. If you are interested in horror films, or moviemaking, this is book to seek out. I had a hard time finding it, but it is available online. If you can't find this, a documentary based on this book is on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuAnW...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    When the very first "Friday the 13th" came out in theaters, I was 6, so clearly I was too young. Because my world was Star Wars and Saturday morning cartoons, I was not aware of the movie or the following sequels. I didn't see my first "Friday the 13th" movie until "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" was released on VHS. I remember loving it and re-watching it numerous times with my sisters. After that, I never watched another "Friday" film until a few years ago and then I watched the enti When the very first "Friday the 13th" came out in theaters, I was 6, so clearly I was too young. Because my world was Star Wars and Saturday morning cartoons, I was not aware of the movie or the following sequels. I didn't see my first "Friday the 13th" movie until "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" was released on VHS. I remember loving it and re-watching it numerous times with my sisters. After that, I never watched another "Friday" film until a few years ago and then I watched the entire series. I was struck by how cheesy and goofy these films are. Still enjoyed watching them, but they were not what I was thinking they were going to be. With that in mind, I decided to read this book. I walked away with an appreciation for these films not because they are masterful works of cinematic art, but because they were all made by people with passion, talent, and a desire to just entertain people. Many knew what they were making was never going to win the major awards or even respect by those in power in Hollywood, but that didn't matter to them. What they have earned is the love from audiences and fans worldwide who have championed Jason Vorhees and all the movies even when they got completely ludicrous and out there. A group of dedicated and scrappy individuals created a film series that will be long remembered after people have forgotten which movies won Academy Awards for Best Picture. I enjoyed reading about the origins of the film starting with Sean Cunningham putting this little independent slasher film together; the casting of the films with young, fresh actors and actresses including Kevin Bacon who is included in the interviews (Yay!); the realization that certain aspects always had to be included in each film (nudity and sex); the creation of many of the special effects (the kills); the continuous fight with the MPAA over ratings; the numerous LGBTQ+ talent involved with these films: and the many conflicts throughout the entire run of movies. Even if you aren't a huge "Friday the 13th" fan or even a fan of slasher/horror films, there is something to be gleaned from this book. Movies are made by people who love what they do and set out to produce the best movies for the fans. That's something to appreciate.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Earl

    For any fan of the Friday 13th films, this is the ultimate book dedicated to the series. I was a bit sceptical at first when I heard it was just filled with quotes from actors but it works. There is some narration from the author scattered around the chapters but the book is mostly filled with quotes from the cast and crew. The author has spoken to over 200 people connected to the films and the book is extremely well structured. Each chapter starts off about how the film came about, writing the For any fan of the Friday 13th films, this is the ultimate book dedicated to the series. I was a bit sceptical at first when I heard it was just filled with quotes from actors but it works. There is some narration from the author scattered around the chapters but the book is mostly filled with quotes from the cast and crew. The author has spoken to over 200 people connected to the films and the book is extremely well structured. Each chapter starts off about how the film came about, writing the script, pre-production, filming and post box office. There's lots of behind-the-scenes images and production stills to keep you busy. What struck me about the book is how frank and open the cast and crew were. Especially the trouble various cast/crew members had with each director. The book obviously doesn't include the last 2009 Friday 13th as it was published before that. But summing up, for anybody interested in Jason, this is the book to get.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Johnathon

    Superb oral history of the Friday the 13th franchise covering up to "Freddy vs. Jason", featuring everyone from the actors to make-up artists. Peter Bracke covers all his bases, with more than a few interviewees not having fond memories of the series, from an infamous lake scene in Part IV wear an actress nearly froze to death to production mess of "Jason X". However, it's paired with lots of fun moments as well (Kevin Bacon still has fond memories in one of his first acting roles) and paired wi Superb oral history of the Friday the 13th franchise covering up to "Freddy vs. Jason", featuring everyone from the actors to make-up artists. Peter Bracke covers all his bases, with more than a few interviewees not having fond memories of the series, from an infamous lake scene in Part IV wear an actress nearly froze to death to production mess of "Jason X". However, it's paired with lots of fun moments as well (Kevin Bacon still has fond memories in one of his first acting roles) and paired with some fantastic production photos & art, this is a must-own for any fan of this classic movie franchise.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Flinchpaugh

    Possibly one of the best "behind-the-scenes" books I've read on a Hollywood production. Most books are either awash in praise from every corner over the cultural landmark that is one particular movie or boring pat-on-the-back from people who still want to work in the industry. There is an autheticity here, from the naked motivation of pure commerce from some interviews, to the mild nostalgia from actors who have moved on, and that makes the nostalgic romance from them creating a "B" or "C" list Possibly one of the best "behind-the-scenes" books I've read on a Hollywood production. Most books are either awash in praise from every corner over the cultural landmark that is one particular movie or boring pat-on-the-back from people who still want to work in the industry. There is an autheticity here, from the naked motivation of pure commerce from some interviews, to the mild nostalgia from actors who have moved on, and that makes the nostalgic romance from them creating a "B" or "C" list movie (depending on your taste) that much more truthful. A warning though, the book is all interviews, but in those interviews, truth is revealed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Graemeh

    While you can debate the artistic merits of the movies themselves there is no denying that this is a superb overview of the movies in the series. Packed with information, interviews, anecdotes and pictures it is a treat to read through and makes a great reference book to the series. If you are a fan of the Friday the 13th movies or just a fan of horror movies in general this is a great read. And lets be honest, the first movie was cheap and trashy and absolutely superb!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike White

    A great look back at the series. It's a bit dated, and really only for hardcore fans, but it's a perfect look back for the initiated. A great look back at the series. It's a bit dated, and really only for hardcore fans, but it's a perfect look back for the initiated.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nigel Carroll

    one of the most interesting books ive ever read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    xmikerx75

    Superb. Ki ki ki. Ma ma ma. Loved the series and loved this. My word though, Hodder takes it hella seriously but this is good. You like the films, buy this. Excellent.

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