DVD Review: ‘Freddy vs Jason’

Nothing could have prepared me for the ultra amazing kick-ass DVD New Line Cinema prepared for Freddy vs Jason. This two-disc special platinum edition DVD set will make you drool all over those new pants you just brought. This DVD OWNS, and you are going to be trapped watching it over and over and over again. Read on for my full length review of the film that made every fanboy’s dream come true.
I try to maintain a professional attitude as much as possible when it comes to reviews and such, but once I got my grubby little fingers on the Freddy vs Jason (my movie review) DVD, I went all super fanboy again. Anyone who didn’t like this bad ass flick has some serious explaining to do, because Freddy vs Jason is a fanboys dream, and the DVD is no exception! Not only does it rule, but also it gives you even more appreciation for the film, and Director Ronny Yu.

Being an avid horror fan, I find it very frustrating the way we usually get treated when it comes to DVD’s, but one company has always looked out for the fans, and that’s New Line Home Entertainment. This two-disc platinum special edition comes jam-packed with goodies; there is everything from kick-ass behind-the-scenes features to really sweet Easter eggs (ones that are worth digging out).

Skipping disc one initial – since I’ve seen Freddy vs Jason ten times – and after dropping the second disc twice before I finally got it firmly planted in my DVD player, I found myself hyped up for this bad boy almost as much at the movie itself. After watching an ultra cool interactive menu opening, I was treated to a nice surprise – we were right after all, the DVD contains exactly 20 deleted/alternate scenes, not 19 like New Line reports! The scenes are mostly extensions from the theatrical cut, and most under a minute long, but they explain many of the questions we’ve been asking since the film hit theaters. The alternate opening is really cool, but I’m glad they cut it, unfortunately it makes no sense with the storyline whatsoever. There are some awesome scenes that contain FX that were cut like Mark (Brendan Fletcher) vomiting leeches or snakes of some sort. One scene that was actually better than it sounded, was the alternate ending, where Will (Jason Ritter) morphs into Freddy while making love to Lori (Monica Keena); the scene is reminiscent of a short portion of the morph scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 2. But there was one scene that made me sad they deleted, it was an extension of the fight scene in the real world. It kicks off with Lori yelling, “Place your bets,” and then the fights kicks into high gear, Freddy even kicks Jason square in the nuts – great stuff, shouldn’t have been cut.

After I finally got the 16 minutes of deleted scenes out of the way I navigated to the “Publicity and Promotions” section. The first item in this “tree” was the full footage from the “Pre-Fight Press Conference” in Las Vegas, which was held at Bally’s on July 15, 2003. It looked like a blast; with every Freddy comment tons of cheers and boos perspired, while when Jason talked, well he didn’t and Freddy ridiculed him for it! Great gag, great publicity stunt.

Also under this menu were the trailers and TV spots that were shown, they blare, “Freddy vs Jason – place your bets!” (Thank god that line was cut). Still a fun watch, and it brings back some fond memories of sitting in front of the computer and waiting for the website to go live.

Next under the Publicity menu was a video by Ill Nino entitled “How Can I Live.” I love the CD, and I love this single, and the fact that it’s in Freddy vs Jason makes it ten times better.

What do hot dog eating contests, wet T-Shirt contests, arts and crafts, kick ball, dodge ball, super short shorts, and beer have to do with Freddy vs Jason? An amazing event New Line threw for the release of the film was called “Camp HacknSlash.” The event was held at a camp in Texas, where fans could party all day and then sit under the moonlight and watch the premiere of Freddy vs Jason. One thing I regret, is not attending, it looked AMAZING.

Last on this menu were a few trailers for the films Butterfly Effect, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Freddy’s Dead, and Jason Goes to Hell.

But this is just the beginning!! At first I was thinking that the disc was just OK, but once I saw the branches in the “Production” menu, I knew I was in for a real treat. First they posted two 45-plus-page articles that appeared in Fangoria magazine before its release on August 15th (thanks Fango for giving away the entire freaking movie before it came out).

After skimming the pages of some memories that pissed me off (I mean come on, Fangoria ran a special issue that went scene by freaking scene until the end, that’s CRAP) I was treated to five “Production Featurettes.” The first was entitled “Development Hell,” and by god it was. The ten minute feature went into details about how Shannon and Swift’s script was “collapsed” by Blade writer David Goyer into a smaller film, from its originally timed two and a half hours. Also, Ronny Yu talked about making the film “raw” and back to the basics, which gives you a lot more respect for the man. You wouldn’t believe how much he cared about the fans.

Next up was “On Location: Springwood Revisited.” This 15 minutes feature talked about how Freddy vs Jason scared Ronny Yu, because he wanted to make the fans happy, and was afraid to fail them. It also detailed the entire bed scene and how it was actually shot really slot and then sped up, really cool stuff.

Then I headed into a 12 minutes feature on the “Art Direction,” where we watched them decorate Jason’s dream cabin, and discussed the intricacies of color use. They focused a lot on the real world vs the dream world, and how they needed to both feel “real” in order for it to work. This segment also had some interesting stuff on setting fires and how they didnt want to burn down the sets too fast.

But as I headed further into the special features, it just got better. We got a taste of the stunts, and saw how much Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger did on their own. We get to see stunt men get prepped in fire for the corn rave scene and see how they achieved the vision of a car crash. All very cool stuff.

The “visual Effects” feature just added even more depth to the making of the film. We learn of the troubles in making blood drip on the ground, and how they were forced to use CGI. There’s a look at how they did the pinball scene, the nose clip scene, and how they had a little trouble with Jason’s closet and the floating victims. This DVD has EVERYTHING.

Heading into the clips from the film, I expected a bunch of stupid publicity photos but was treated to hundred’s and hundred’s of storyboards that were used in the films production! The artwork is very comic book like, which is what Ronny Yu envisioned the film to look like. But theres a surprise lurking around somewhere that involves a sketch, an Easter Egg you might call it. This Easter Egg has the writers talking about the original ending, where the lake swallows up Freddy and Jason, only there’s something NONE of us knew about! Ronny Yu had an even better idea, a hand the size of four houses comes out of the lake and drags them down to their battle in hell. It sounds stupid, but wait until you see this sketch!

Another Easter Egg I found while digging around was a FX preshot of the fight in the dream world with Freddy and Jason. It runs 16 minutes long and is really freaking cool. They arent hard to find, just do a little of that “left-right” stuff.

As for Disc one, there isnt much on there but a “Jump to a Death” feature, which pretty much explains itself and the commentary with Ronny Yu, Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger. Just like in person (check out this interview), Robert Englund tells a tale that keeps on going. The man can speak for ever and tell you stories you’ll remember the rest of your life. Englund – you are awesome!

As for the look of the film, it looks fantastic, included are both 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and 4:3 full screen transfers. The colors are crisp and clear and couldn’t be better. Ronny Yu’s use of reds and greens and blues are visually stunning even on DVD.

Just when I thought it was over… I stick the first disc into my DVD Rom drive to get a screen shot of Freddy Jumping out of the water for my background when I find out the disc is loaded with extras! There’s an “Enhanced Mode” where both players have a power meter that changes throughout the film. You can also help a player by answering trivia questions throughout the movie. Another great feature in the script to screen comparison, which is always a cool feature, you can even print the whole script if you’d like.

On Disc Two, there’s a feature called “Cutting Room Floor” where I got to edit my own little clip, which was a disaster, ugh. Then there is also the “Sound bites” where you can mix and match Freddy’s infamous quotes to Jason’s kills.

After my long pleasurable night I was left feeling so grateful for New Line Cinema that i wish I could kiss them all! New Line Cinema, along with Lions Gate Films, knows who their fan base is, and delivers on all ends, always! This is one rare horror DVD, and I know I can’t wait for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (review) DVD now, because it’s just as jam packed as this bad boy. Pre-order it now, it’ll be worth it!

Source: Buy Freddy vs Jason on DVD here!