While it can sometimes seem that we’re deluged by new Blu-rays and special editions of the Friday the 13th franchise, companies are still putting out additional discs at a prolific rate. This August 10th, Paramount is both re-issuing its eight-movie boxset, including remastered versions of the first four films, and giving the original Friday the 13th its own launch.
The Sean S. Cunningham-directed picture, which arguably remains in at least the top five entries in the series, developed its low-budget charms into a lucrative property. The film follows Camp Crystal Lake counsellors, including a young Kevin Bacon, as they get mysteriously picked off in various gruesome ways. The Blu-ray offers a freshly restored theatrical feature and includes a digital copy of the uncut edition of the film, which has eleven seconds more footage. Compared to the cost of picking up one of the recent collections, the standalone Friday the 13th is just $14.99 on Amazon.
At this point, though, another Blu-ray might be pushing it for all but diehard collectors—or those who don’t yet have the horror classic in their library and want an up-to-date product. The initial Friday the 13th arrived on DVD in 1999, and again in 2009 in the same format and Blu-ray as the unrated edit. Fans could then pick up four-disc and more comprehensive boxsets in 2011, 2013, and 2018. Furthermore, we saw a 40th anniversary steelbook of the 1980 Friday last year with bonus features, a 4K scan from Shout! Factory, and even a cinema run.
How essential it is to continue adding these slightly tweaked releases is questionable, then, although doing so does just about keep the IP active after years of protracted legal battles over Friday the 13th. Just when the disputes appeared to be nearing resolution, an extra complication arose in January 2021, meaning that there will likely be a long wait before Jason Voorhees returns to our screens.