How frustrating it is to be a Friday the 13th fan. For years, Paramount has given short shrift to the hugely popular horror franchise, releasing limp DVD editions that contained few or no bonus features, and which failed to reinstate highly desired deleted scenes. It almost seemed like the studio was horrified by their ownership of the phenomenally profitable franchise, despite the rich financial rewards it brought them, and didn't want to do anything to attract attention to the series.
Like, you know, creating definitive DVD editions or anything.
Fans who wished to enjoy the bloody rampages of Mr. Voorhees and his mother in high definition have had even more reason to complain. After quietly releasing blu-ray editions of the first three Friday installments as a test, Paramount pulled the remaining sequels from their blu-ray release schedule, giving fans no way to enjoy well-loved installments like The Final Chapter and Jason Lives in high-def.
And there the matter has rested... for four years.
But now, there are signs of life beneath the digital waters of Camp Crystal Lake. Warner Brothers, which already controlled the rights to the first Friday the 13th movie in Europe, recently made headlines when they licensed permission to create new DVD and blu-ray editions of 600 titles from the Paramount library. And yes, among these are the first eight Friday films. (The later sequels were made by New Line, and are not part of this deal.)
Horror news site Bloody Disgusting quotes filmmaker Daniel Farrands as saying:
"It’s confirmed that Warner Bros. DID acquire the F13th titles from Paramount. But they haven't yet decided whether they will release a full Blu-ray box set or simply release 'one offs' of each title.”
Naturally, we'd all love to own a big ol' box of HD Jason. But if we have to buy them one at a time, well, that's still better than nothing.
Look for new Warner blu-ray editions of the first eight Friday the 13th films to trickle out later this year.