Monday, April 13, 2009

Mini Review: His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2008)

With the Friday the 13th reboot kicking around theaters and two actual Friday the 13ths in recent memory, it only makes sense that the gears of low hanging fruit (Which I am calling as a band name right now. Dibs.) should grind into motion. The epically titled result: His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th.

I was aware of the existence of this feature length documentary, but hadn't paid any attention until it recently popped up on Instant Watch. Having some free time that I didn't want to waste on being productive, I gave it a go. The intro, which is functionally indistinguishable from an EPK for the new Friday movie, wasn't promising.

I only made it about a third of the way through before drifting off into a pleasant, Sunday afternoon nap, so everybody feel free to viscously attack me in the comments if the movie suddenly changes course at the halfway mark. Otherwise, HNWJ:30YF13 is a terrible sham of a documentary, which is saying a lot for a genre currently dominated by the likes of Michael Moore and Ben Stein.

It's a huge mass of talking heads: actors, producers, makeup artists, and directors of completely unrelated slashers for some reason. Yes it is great that you made Hatchet, how does that make you relevant to this documentary? Everyone regurgitates glib, shopworn factoids that any F13 fanboy worth his salt could have already told you. Oh wow, Part V doesn't actually have Jason in it? I didn't know that from having already suffered through the film. Anyone who doesn't already know this crap probably has no interest in watching a Jason Documentary.

The general slasher documentary, Going to Pieces was already pretty mediocre, but it looks like The Thin Blue Line compared to Jason. Another big red flag: Sean S. Cunningham, the creator of the Friday franchise and therefor a major subject for any documentary, is an executive producer. Hey! You can't make documentaries about yourself. That's cheating.

I wouldn't expect hard hitting journalism from a doc about a psychotic, hockey mask wearing pop culture icon, but it would be nice to see an outside perspective rather than a feature length DVD special feature. Hell, I would have probably enjoyed it as a free bonus with a real movie, but as a standalone movie I want something deeper than a cross section of the horror film community falling over each other to stick their tongues up the ass of a fictional character.

A fictional character who would rather fillet than get fellated, anyway.


  1. Low hanging fruit has gears?


  2. Yes. Yes it does.

    Some metaphors have nice easy births, and others are sins against nature.