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

Voorhees a jolly good fellow... Lavish tome catalogues Jason’s bloody escapades.

Author: Peter Bracke

Publisher: Titan Books

320 pages · £35.00

ISBN: 1-84576-343-2

Rating: 5/5

The Friday the 13th movies are generally
afforded the kind of kudos reserved for child-kidnapping
crack-heads. It’s a pleasure, then,
to see the franchise honoured with a proper
coffee table book. Besides its aesthetically
gorgeous nature, the real delight comes
from the abundance of detail and depth.

If Bracke’s bored by the time he reaches,
say, Friday the 13th Part VIII, he doesn’t show
it. The non-judgemental oral history format
helps, although the writer wisely adds
splashes of informative scene-setting.
Remarkably, over 200 people connected with
the film pop up for talking-head duties.

Dog-eared anecdotes are thankfully kept to
a minimum. One surprise is the openness with
which Bracke’s interviewees discuss behindthe-
scenes hedonism. For instance, the set of
Part V was apparently “riddled with cocaine”,
while the film’s director is alleged to have
propositioned an actress. Of Part VII: The New
Blood, one actor recalls, “Almost everybody in
that movie was gay – it was like Fri-Gay the
13th”. Political battles are also tackled frankly:
we see different people taking credit for the
same eureka moment, and learn of the script
battles which beset SF crossover entry Jason X.
Pleasingly, Bracke doesn’t consider himself
Left: Unlucky for
some? Not for Friday
the 13th fans…
above documenting the series’ good old sex
’n’ violence, examining how censorship
affected each instalment.

Previously unseen illustrations abound.
Deleted FX shots (including Part III’s long-lost
alternative ending), storyboards and candid
on-set snaps are all gold dust for any Friday
freak. One so-called conceptual illustration,
though, is hilarious – a Part VI: Jason Lives
sketch of Crystal Lake which would shame a
toddler.

Jason Arnopp

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