Thursday, February 19, 2009


I have to stress before I go any further that I am a big Tom Savini fan. Every time he shows up onscreen, I am amused to no end. The sequel to the LOST BOYS was the last time I saw him in a film. He is distinctive and quirky. For a special effects guy to arrive where Savini has crash-landed, demonstrates determination, skill and personality. However, in the documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON, Savini is lacking. Someone needed to host this DVD about the 30 year history of Jason Voorhees and I suppose Savini makes sense. However, the cute puns and middle-school witticisms that Savini delivers are weak, and they detract from the gem that this documentary is. Several months ago, I managed to secure every Friday the 13th film ever made so that I could bone up on the subject in time for the reboot of the franchise that just dropped, but since then they have been sitting around collecting a lot of dust. Why? There is always something way more interesting to do than watch a Friday the 13th movie. The movies are corny and propelled forward by ridiculousness. JASON GOES TO HELL? JASON TAKES MANHATTAN? JASON IN OUTER SPACE? These are all examples of how silly the franchise is. The beauty of HIS NAME WAS JASON is that it is essentially Friday the 13th Cliff's Notes. Face it, Friday the 13th movies are fun, but crappy and dated. A viewing of this DVD brings clarity to the series and won't cost you 20+ hours of your life. There are innumerable insightful interviews in which actors, directors, journalists and behind the scenes people associated with the films give their take on the franchise. It is rather riveting. The interviewees tell some funny, disturbing and heartwarming Jason-related stories. The interviews crackled with a giddy energy that actually made me feel like I had missed something by not seeing episodes 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Is this DVD a triumph? It sure in the hell isn't. Tom Savini's bad horsing around detracts from the guts of the interviewing more often than naught. That being said, it is great to hear about all of the behind the scenes goings-on during the various shoots of these films.

Prior to seeing this documentary, I had lost most of my desire to watch the FT13 reboot, but since watching this thing, I am hyped again. Friday the 13th movies aren't meant to be taken seriously, and this documentary drives that point home. That said, Tom Savini should be horsing around. Unfortunately, I feel that he takes his unfunny smart-assery too far. More of my musings can be found HERE.

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