PictureAlthough anamorphically enhanced, the picture is never really better then average. It is a well known fact that the 'Friday' films were low budget, but low budget films can still have good pictures if you re master them. Paramount obviously hasn't, but to be fair the picture is stable and clear and reasonably free of any print damage. As the film is set mainly at night, the blacks are fairly deep and well defined but at times I felt the picture looked a little murky. Never seeing the film on a big screen, I can't compare but Jon Kranhouse's photography is good and the daylight scenes look reasonable.
SoundProduced with the cheap Ultra Stereo system (popular in the 1980's especially with Cannon Films) Jason Lives has a Dolby Surround soundtrack. Harry Manfredini's score is well encoded and dialogue is clear. Alice Cooper's songs sound good and the sound effects especially slashing sound great. The rears erupt into life occasionally for some sound effects and some music, but this is mainly a 'front heavy' film. The sound I felt seemed a tad quiet, so this is one film I have had to turn the volume up a bit more then the average DVD release. A full Dolby Digital 5.1 would have been superb especially with Manfredini's score and Alice Cooper rock tunes but what we have here is just serviceable. At least the later films (when New Line took over) featured 5.1 soundtracks and even DTS.
ExtrasAll Paramount have included is the theatrical teaser trailer. There is no regular trailer or even Alice Cooper's music video. The totally pathetic packaging just shows the contempt Paramount have for the series after selling the rights to New Line. The newly designed cover picture is plain rubbish (the original gravestone film poster is the series best image) and the biggest insult is that the photo of Jason the back of the sleeve is from Part 5. They also can't even be bothered to spell Jason's surname correctly on the packaging, no excuses Paramount this film series has made you a lot of money over the years.
VerdictSome 17 years or so after first seeing it, Jason Lives is still one of my favourite films (not just horror). Sure there is much better horror (and other) films out there such as “An American Werewolf in London” or “The Omen” but Jason Lives has a special place in my heart probably because it is so damn entertaining!!
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