Quantcast ICONS Interview with Dan Farrands - Producer of the FRIDAY THE 13TH: DELUXE EDITION DVD's

Dan Farrands
FRIDAY THE 13TH DELUXE DVD Producer!

It seems like writer Dan Farrands can't escape his connection to the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. After directing the documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH, Farrands jumped on board to produce the special "DELUXE" editions of FRIDAY THE 13TH's 4 through 8. We caught up with him to get the low down on all the FRIDAY material he was able to uncover after being locked away in the Paramount vaults for years! FRIDAY fans, this interview is a must read!  - by Robg 9/09

If you recall, our first chat on ICONS OF FRIGHT was epic and legendary! Over 13 pages!

That’s so crazy!

I think it was the longest interview at the time! Firstly, congratulations on the success with THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, and also THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, because the last time we chatted with you, you were just starting that movie and now it’s done and out there, so congrats on that one too.

Oh yeah. Wow. Thank you. That was a long road for THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, especially because of the difficult subject matter. It took a brave group of people to want to conquer that one and they did. The movie certainly got a lot of attention. Weirdly enough, I just got an email from a friend of mine that I grew up with in Northern California and he had seen the movie not knowing I was involved, but told me he’d been deeply affected by it.
Well, the other thing is that now Jack Ketchum is a little bit more well known, and they’re starting to make more films out of his books, but you were there at the cusp of bringing adaptations of his work to the screen.

Yeah, absolutely. And it’s strange. All the attention that his work has been garnering over the last few years. When we approached him, as great of a guy as he is and as talented of an author he is, I just don’t think anybody had the slightest inclination that at any time in the future this work would be suitable for film adaptation. (Laughs) I mean of course, we’ve been through the HOSTEL’s and TURISTAS and films like that have come down the pike, and it’s kind of created its own little sub-genre. Which, I don’t think THE GIRL NEXT DOOR fits that but it was labeled that because it followed in the wake of those films.
So, let’s talk about the new FRIDAY THE 13TH DELUXE editions, because as soon as I got the ones for 4, 5 and 6, I devoured everything on them immediately. I enjoyed HIS NAME WAS JASON, I thought it was pretty cool. Like most fans I think we got a kick out of all the bonus material on the 2nd disc. There was a lot of really good additional content. So how’d these DELUXE EDITIONS come about for you? How’d this happen?

It’s kind of weird, just one of those weird synchronicity things happening. A good friend of mine, Geoff Garrett who was our 3rd partner, kind of our silent partner on CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES – the book, Geoff has gone on to be a successful producer in his own right, and he produced the TV series PSYCH, which explains why the star of PSYCH made an appearance in HIS NAME WAS JASON! (Laughs) I think James Roday’s appearance in HIS NAME WAS JASON baffled a lot of people and I’d love to clear the air on that – he had just written and directed his own episode of PSYCH which was a FRIDAY THE 13TH inspired episode. And that wasn’t brought out in HIS NAME WAS JASON. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t. But that hopefully clears the air hopefully to why he was on the show! In fact, they even offered us a free clip of that episode to show.
So, Geoff’s production office is right up the hall from a guy named Tim King, who is known for doing all the special editions for the Paramount DVD’s including the STAR TREK movies. Paramount has just come in and asked him to produce new editions of the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies, around the time we were doing HIS NAME WAS JASON. So, Geoff put 2 and 2 together – it wasn’t difficult to say, “Dan is producing this documentary on FRIDAY THE 13TH, you guys should get in touch.” So he did. It was around the time they were doing PART’s 1, 2 and 3 and he was looking for people he could connect with. People from those first few movies, so it was easy for me to give him a couple of names. Steer him in the right direction. I guess my good nature or good will paid off, because when it came time to do 4, 5 and 6, he almost abashing said, “Look, I don’t know if I should ask, but would you be interested in coming on board and producing 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8? I really want someone who understands these movies.”
I was really disappointed with the DELUXE EDITIONS Paramount put out for PART’s 1, 2 and 3…

And I think Tim understood that also. They just weren’t up to the task. They had another producer that they brought on board, I think the same guys that had done the boxed set for Paramount. I think Tim knew, and Paramount was aware that these were not what the fans wanted to see. So he made the call to me, and I’m grateful!

Between HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH, it seems like one keeps coming back into your life!

Yeah, yeah, it’s strange! Hopefully we put the lid on it this time. There’s not much more I think we can say! (Laughs)

For me, like most fans, I love FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER. It’s one of the most beloved chapters in the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. And it was amazing going through the “slashed” scenes and the lost ending, getting to see all this stuff, multiple takes of the gore FX and alternate shots. It’s just amazing to see alternate angles of a movie you’ve seen a million times growing up. For fans it’s great, but what was it like for you and Andrew (Kasch) to be finding this stuff for the first time? Stuff that no one probably realized existed?


We were a couple of kids in a candy store. We were jumping up and down. These boxes – they were just processed negatives. They were just dailes. They were never cut into the film. It was not like we took a finished print of the film and chopped up the pieces of the gore scenes and put them in a reel. These were boxes and boxes of probably I think somewhere along the lines of 50-60 boxes of just tiny rolls of processed negative. We didn’t even have a viewer to view them on. It was us just holding these film strips to a light and just unrolling them by hand with gloves on and being as careful as we could to preserve them. They’re 25 years old! You don’t want to damage this stuff. It was like a treasure trove. We were so excited, especially Andrew who did the bulk of the searching through this stuff, he would call me in the middle of the night and say ‘I found Crispin Glover’s dance scene! I found the Judie Aronson in the raft scene.’ The one scene that was the holy grail was that lost ending.

Yeah, absolutely.

We would go searching and searching and we couldn’t find it at first. And then one day towards the very end of this process, Andrew found a piece of it. Then another, and then another. And the lost ending started to come together. So for me, that’s the biggest find of the whole thing, to find that legendary lost ending for PART 4. Not only find it, it was in pieces. The next part of the process was taking those pieces and editing them together into a scene, because they had never been done.

With the lost ending, because there were no audio elements, you got Kimberly Beck to do some narration and Joe Zito to do some commentary, so you guys were really able to put together something impressive. I can’t imagine anyone other then fans such as yourself and Andrew putting that much effort into restoring the lost ending to FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4. (Laughs)

Yeah, I think the reason people haven’t seen this stuff until now is that nobody cared enough to go through it. I just don’t think there was anyone passionate enough to do it. Now, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are, and I’m sure 1000 fans would’ve jumped at the chance. But, it was fortunate that I had just done HIS NAME WAS JASON, I had done the book with Peter Bracke. So I certainly was up for the task as far as they were concerned. It gave me enough credibility to be the guy to go in there and unlock this stuff & find it. So, it was a thrill. It was a totally amazing experience just to be able to look at all this footage. Just to see it!


Now to share it with everyone else! There were long hours at night where we’d be high fiving each other saying ‘wait til fans see this. They’re going to love this.’ So we hope that’s the reaction that people have when people see it, because like you said, it’s just so weird to look at a movie you’ve seen so many times and be able to see all the alternate angles and the outtakes and even the crew just standing around laughing!

Yeah. I don’t know why, I never noticed it until watching this lost footage, but the kill scenes (for PART 4) are rather abrupt and abbreviated in the actual movie. They’re pretty fast & furious. I think they were effective to me as a kid! But it’s weird to now see this footage that really milks those kills, like Axel getting his throat cut for 2 full minutes! God! It’s a lot gorier then I ever thought it could’ve been!

(Laughs) Great, great. There were a lot more takes then just those. But we picked the best of those takes. We couldn’t show 30 minutes of Axel getting his throat slashed. But what you see (on the DVD’s) is by far the best moments. And I think even the die hard fans would’ve gotten bored with 30 minutes of each scene. But the best cuts are what we used. It’s there. 4 and 8 were the films that had the most footage just stored in the Paramount achieves. I’m afraid to say the same can not be said for some of the other films. But that said, I still think we found an amazing amount of footage given the age and condition of some of this stuff.

How involved was Joe Zito in the features for FRIDAY 4? Because he’s all over the disc on the commentary and for the alternate ending. Was he fully supportive from the start?


Danny Steinmann & Joe Zito
100 percent involved. He jumped at any opportunity. Anytime I said ‘Joe, we found something else’, he’d run right over and we’d record another piece of commentary for it. It was so cool working with him, because it was like we got to go to film school all over again. Just listening to him, he knows exactly what it is he was going for. He remembers every detail, he remembers names of everyone involved, he’s an encyclopedia of film and a real, real master of his craft. It was awesome to be able to sit with him and just listen to what he was going for, what ended up there. In his commentary, he speaks for himself. He’s very expressive about things that he liked and things that he wished he hadn’t done. (Laughs)
He looked at one of the outtakes of one of the deaths and said, ‘God, I wish we’d used that shot.’ But, Joe’s a great guy and very supportive of this. In fact, we really lucked out because for both projects, HIS NAME WAS JASON and these DELUXE EDITIONS for Paramount, Joe is a guy who travels a lot and in fact he shoots a lot of documentaries in the Middle East and in Europe. So he’s out of the country probably 9 or 10 months of the year. It just happened that on both of these projects he was in town. Literally it was like ‘I’ll leaving Saturday, so if we don’t do this Friday, I can’t do it!’ (Laughs) We really lucked out, so having Joe on board and being as supportive as he was was just a feather in our cap, we were so excited to have him. And just for him to be as enthusiastic as he was.


One of the most fun things on these discs is the mockumentary THE CRYSTAL LAKE MASSACRES REVISITED. Which if I’m not mistaken was an idea that started on HIS NAME WAS JASON, but not something you fully realized until this project?

Yeah, we tried. It was something that I had raised as one idea among so many when we did HIS NAME WAS JASON. There were just so many ideas that were put on the table. And things we would’ve loved to have done, which was nobody’s fault, it’s just that time is never on your side with these things, ya know? We just had to put that one (idea) on the backburner, so it didn’t come to fruition. But it was funny, because it was the first thing I said when Tim King hired me – I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it, but you have to let me do these mockumentaries!’ (Laughs) It was my one condition! I don’t think he quite understood the depth of what we were talking about doing. I think he was envisioning 5 minute segments, and we turned in this 35 minute mockumentary and he was like “Whoa! What?” But, for us it was just let’s just do it. It’s awesome, because so many people stepped up. Thanks to you, we got Tom Holland, um, Stuart Gordon has been a long time friend…


Stuart Gordon as Shelly’s dad completely steals it!

He was awesome, yeah! Shelly’s dad!

Here’s what I love about the mockumentaries, besides all the cool cameos. What I love is you’re approaching all the FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels from a very intelligent stand point. You’re breaking them down from both angles, from people that love PART 5 and people that hate it, because it’s an imposter. I compare it to BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, which is one of my favorite movies. You guys took that kind of approach with FRIDAY THE 13TH as if it’s this real world and here’s these people talking about these events. Was this kind of material scripted? Did it come out of improvisation with the people you filmed?

Yeah, we were going to go do the Christopher Guest thing and just let everyone improv it. But just given the fact that there was just so little time to do this, and so many people we would have to get – I mean, a lot of these people weren’t really actors! They were friends and webmasters and journalists. Staci Wilson and Ryan Rotten, all these people that are talented in their own right, but not necessarily improve actors. Not everyone knows the lineage of FRIDAY THE 13TH movies the way someone like me does. (Laughs) So really it became a last minute decision on my part to script the whole thing. And that’s not to say that everybody didn’t have a hand in improving as we went along, they absolutely did. The best zinger lines in these pieces were things that came out on the spot. David Rosiak who played one of the webmaster nerds and Matthew Chernov, they’re real life screenwriting partners, they played our resident Crystal Lake web guys.
They just riffed and went off and were so funny. They got so into their characters and kept improving stuff, so I think a lot of the best stuff comes from that. We definitely had a spine and a structure. Don Crandle who’s the amazing unsung hero of these things, including HIS NAME WAS JASON, he was so involved in that and didn’t get a lot of credit, he and I sat down and brainstormed what this would be. Do we do this like a History Channel documentary? We ultimately ended up with something that would be on MSNBC. One of these late night investigative report kind of things, where you collect old news reel footage and put together the pieces of the puzzle of the crime scene. That’s how we ended up approaching it, but it was Don and I just sitting down for a lot of days figuring out how to tell this and figuring out what kind of characters fans would want to see. So, he and I came up with the structure, I sat down and wrote the script for it. And we just went from there and just jumped in.


Well, what’s great is that every single possible fan debate that could’ve taken place over the course of the last 30 years is somehow addressed or mentioned. It’s stuff that I’ve talked to my friends about and thought to myself ‘OK, nobody thinks this much about the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies!’ I’m glad that you’ve proved me wrong in that you too think this much about it. (Laughs) Stuff like ‘Why does Tommy Jarvis look so different from PARTS 5 to 6?’ “Well, maybe he got plastic surgery!”

I love that bit! And that was David and Matthew just riffing. I think there was a line in the script asking “How does he look so different?” And they came up with that whole improve “Plastic surgery. Let’s put that on the board.” (Laughs) Funny little bits like that just kept coming up. And it’s important! I think you have to address the inconsistencies of the series in something like this. But still having fun with it, and you never want to make fun of it. We never intended to make fun of the movies, or the fans, especially didn’t want to make fun of Jason and in fact, that’s a no no with Paramount. Not only that, the other difficulty is you can’t show Jason. One of the other features on the disc was done by a guy named Andrew Ceperley, the LOST TALES FROM CAMP BLOOD. He worked independently on those, including for PART’s 1 through 3 and he’s a guy that works for Tim King. He’s a very, very talented guy. He ran into the frustration of not being able to portray Jason because Jason is now owned by New Line.
Oh that’s right! I didn’t even think of that.

So you can’t show him. So everything we did, I think within the context of our mockumentary had to be inspired by Jason and characters that were in and around the world of Jason, but we couldn’t portray the character of Jason at all. So other then a few flashes of film clips which we called re-creations, you just can’t show the character. Or portray him in any new scenes. Heidi Martinuzzi who is so funny to me, I call her the new Parker Posey, having her play the down-and-out waitress at the Crystal Lake diner. We even threw in – if you look really closely on the board behind her, you can see things on the menu that say things like the Jarvis Sandwich.


I caught that! You put some HALLOWEEN nods in there too, right? Because one of the reporters was named “Wynn”.

Yes! But that wasn’t my idea, believe it or not. The actor that played the reporter is a big HALLOWEEN fan so he asked me can I call him Terrance Wynn? In fact, a lot of the actors, I let them name their own characters.

Nice. (Laughs) I have to thank you because – Although it’s the bastard child of the series, I love PART 5! You and I have talked about that extensively off record. I’m glad you gave it an appropriate DVD treatment and I can’t believe you found Tiffany Helm!

We found Tiffany! I’m so happy that we found her, and not only that, the fact that she was so willing to jump in and be a part of this. Her mom is famous to fans of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET…

Right, Brooke Bundy! She’s Mrs. Parker in ELM STREET’s PART 3 & 4!

Right. She came down as well when we interviewed with Tiffany. One of the things we didn’t get to show on the disc, she had all of us do the robot dance. We stood with her and she conducted a class of the robot and we all did it. Or… attempted to! (Laughs) It is on film somewhere. It’s hilarious. She was awesome and as sweet as can be. It was great to find her and she’s just one of those characters that fans just love. We screened PART’s 4, 5 and 6 at the New Beverly and when she came on screen, everybody cheered. I think she’s a fan favorite. Vi! You know in our mockumentaries, Staci Wilson…


She plays Violet’s sister!

Violet’s sister Sapphron. Things didn’t go well for Sapphron after that. It was kind of a downward turn for her after her sister died. I won’t say anymore! But her sister puts her art in her heart. (Laughs)

Danny Steinman has said how much material he had to cut out of the 5th FRIDAY THE 13TH to maintain an R rating. Was this one of the entries where it was a little more difficult to find stuff for?

I have to say – with a heavy heart. The lost things from FRIDAY 5? They’re just not there. Um, tried as we did, Paramount tried, and believe me when I tell you, Paramount was as stand up as you can expect any studio to be, I mean, every department from the shipping department to the achieves in Pennsylvania to here in Los Angeles – everyone was going through everything looking for anything that they could. Unfortunately for 5, it’s just not there. Deleted stuff might have ended up with one of the producers? It might be with them, but it’s just unknown. Frank Mancuso, I spoke with and he said he just doesn’t have anything. But he might not even be aware of it. If it does exist? Then it’s sitting in somebody’s garage. I can tell you it’s absolutely not anywhere in the Paramount vaults. We tried to find the lost elements for PART 5, but they were just not there to be found. If they were there, believe me we would’ve included them. Paramount never restricted us! I have to say, there were never any rules like you can have this but you can’t have that.


You just mentioned you spoke to Frank Mancusso and he’s kind of been silent on the HIS NAME WAS JASON doc and these recent DELUXE DVD’s. Why is that?

Yeah, he did the book because of the relationship I had with him dating back to when I was 14. I had written him a letter back then and he was the first big Hollywood producer to ever acknowledge me, so I’m forever indebt to Frank for giving a little bit of props to a kid with big dreams. To me, this is so much fun because it all kind of started with FRIDAY THE 13TH for me. But, Frank’s been very supportive over the years. In fact, originally he wasn’t going to do the interview with Peter for the book CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES, but I kind of convinced him to do that. And after that, I think he just feels like he is at a different place in his life. He’s just not the FRIDAY THE 13TH guy anymore. I think it’s more Sean (Cunningham) and the Platinum Dunes guys. He’s happy to pass the torch. He feels like he did this big interview for the book and he said what he had to say.

You guys shot some recreation stuff for the mockumentary at the original FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4 house!

Oh my God, so awesome!

Well, you did something with Joe Zito and Erik Anderson for HIS NAME WAS JASON at that house too! How’d you guys find the place? Were you still in touch with the people that owned the house?
Yeah, it was great, because for HIS NAME WAS JASON we got to do this behind the scenes tour with Joe and Erik Anderson who played Rob in PART 4. The owners of the home is this older couple and they’ve owned the home since then, long before the movie was made in 1984. And the house hasn’t changed a whole lot! If you look really closely, some of the things on the kitchen walls are exactly the same things that were in the movie.

Wow. There’s even knife marks on the door or something, right?
Yep! Where Kimberly was swinging the machete at Ted White, she swung too hard on one take and chipped into the doorframe. And that chip in the doorframe is still there! Luckily we had done HIS NAME WAS JASON there so it was easy to reach out to the owners and say can we do one more day there for a different project? We only spent 5 or 6 hours there, but we got some great footage. And we faked all this rain and lightening, we recreated the crime scene from the aftermath of PART 4. With the crime lab people coming in and they’re going to take Jason’s hockey mask away & just all that cool stuff. It’s almost like the beginning of PART 4 where it’s the crime scene from PART 3? We got to do that!
We can edit it between PART’s 4 and 5 if we wanted to do an epic cut of the FRIDAY series!

Totally. That was really cool. We had such a blast. We were like a couple of kids running around with rainmakers, trying to figure out these quick cheap ways of just doing these little FX and putting crime scene tape all over the house, it was just so cool.

For PART 6, a lot of people that are familiar with the novelization, there’s this last scene with Mr. Voorhees, which I believe was scripted but never shot?

Yeah, that’s right.

But you guys recreated it using a storyboard artist and narration by the original caretaker of the grave! How’d you even find him and how’d that all come together?
That was my idea from the beginning. Initially, when you go on these things, you’ve got to pitch the studio on what the featurettes are going to be, so one of my initial ideas was “the lost ending”. How cool would that be? My first question was to call Tom McLoughlin and confirm that he never shot anything. He confirmed that he never had and it was only in his very first script draft. By the second draft that scene was dropped. So the fact that it made it into the novelization and it’s become this legendary scene is just really crazy. Whomever wrote the book, I believe it was Simon Hawke just happened to get the first draft of the script and he based his novel on that. But had he gotten any other subsequent drafts, it would’ve have been in there. So, I thought how can we include the lost ending if it was never shot? What can we do? The first thought I had was let’s be really crazy and go to Tom McLoughlin’s backyard where he still has Jason’s headstone and shoot it and have Tom shoot it. For production costs & other reasons, it just wasn’t feasible to do it. So the next thing was storyboards, so that’s what we decided to go with. We had this amazing artist who worked on the mockumentaries, this guy named Crash Cunningham, who’s probably one of the world’s biggest FRIDAY THE 13TH fans.


He’s an incredible artist, he makes his own hockey masks. (Laughs) I think he did some of the covers for the HALLOWEEN comics that Stef (Hutchinson) wrote. Crash is this great talent, he just stepped up and donated his services to us for the mockumentary. He created all of those phoney headlines, and photos and recreations of Jason’s photographs and Jason at the campgrounds as a young boy. Just insane things he was able to come up with! So when we did the ending of PART 6, we thought, look no further, Crash Cunningham is the guy. We were out of time at that point, so Crash to his credit put those storyboards together in a day and a half! That was the beginning of it. Even before that, when we shooting interviews with the castmembers, I said the one guy we gotta find if he’s still around is Bob Larkin, the gravedigger! Tom had written the scene with him in it, because in the first draft, the gravedigger had not died originally. That scene was a reshoot.

Right, they added those 3 deaths including the gravedigger after the first test screening.

Right. They had already abandoned the original ending anyway, so they probably thought well, here’s a guy we can kill off. So although they did kill Bob in the movie, just showing what the lost ending would’ve been in the movie, we found Bob amazingly. It was our production coordinator and she knew someone who he’d done a movie with.

Wow!

So we were able to track him down. He came in, did a little sit down interview with us, and at the same time, he recorded the dialogue that Tom had written back in 1985.

Unbelievable.


His voice! The minute he started reading the script pages, he went right back into that character from 85. That’s not how he really speaks! (Laughs) He jumped right into it as if it were yesterday. He recorded this track for us, and we brought Crash in to do the storyboards and it all came together. Tom came in and did an introduction for us and that’s how it all happened.

Let’s talk about 7, because PART 7 is one of my favorites. What can we expect from PART 7? And I know that some of the “gore” footage has been lost, so how can you ease our pain for that? (Laughs)

I know! Believe me, I share that pain deeply as does John Buechler and some of the other people involved in the movie. You can expect some really cool things for PART 7, despite the fact that all that “gore” holy grail footage from PART 7, all those kills scenes, ya know, John was not kidding when he says the MPAA raped his movie! (Laughs) They really took the heart and soul out of it which were so many of his awesome FX. That footage was destroyed in 1991 by order of someone at Paramount who’s no longer with the studio. Yeah, again, looking back, I don’t think it was a malicious act, it was just one of those things, somebody thought ‘well, we gotta make room, let’s lose some stuff here’. They go and clean out their achieves. It’s like anybody cleaning out their garage. Unfortunately a lot of the stuff from PART 7 became a casualty of that. Weirdly enough, I want to say 2 or 3 boxes of trims from PART 7 showed up. So there are some new shots, some things that haven’t been seen before. Like I told you, anything that was new that we found is in there. So there are a couple of character moments that we found and they actually do have sound. So there’s a scene with Lar Park Lincoln and Kevin Blair, a relationship scene, an extended version of their scene on the lake.
There are really cool outtakes of Kane (Hodder) dipping in and out of the lake. (Laughs) You know when he makes his first appearance where he rises from the water? There’s some shots of that. In addition, we have the same workprint that John provided for the boxed set, so we took all the scenes from there. I have to say, whoever did the boxed set didn’t look closely enough, because there were more scenes on that tape that they didn’t show.
So we included everything that we found. On top of that, Fred Mollin, the composer of the music for PART’s 7 and 8, he was awesome. He did an extensive search of his garage for us and he found quite a few work tapes of PART 7. So there were some alternate, better quality tapes of what John provided. You’ll see Melissa’s ax to the head kill and a few other little tidbits. As much as we could find, it’s in there.


Obviously, those VHS tapes of the work print are of inferior quality compared to going to the original prints. Is it even remotely possible to do something similar to what they did on the original MY BLOODY VALENTINE? They restored the “gore” footage to the original and you can tell the quality to that “gore” footage isn’t as good as the rest of the film, but just for the sake of seeing it that way, I mean is it even possible?

Yeah, anything’s possible. That’s called branching, the technical thing where they can branch outtakes into the actual film. Technical process costs quite a bit of money, there’s not enough time or resources to do that for this particular version. The other thing that I think is really cool and that really irritated me about that boxed set was that split screen where you’re watching these outtakes and you’re forced to watch the final scene at the same time. It was just so irritating to be because I felt like I couldn’t focus on what I wanted to see.
So what you see on our version, the DELUXE editions, is a feature called “slashed scenes”. You click on it and you get to watch the sequence. Even if it’s a 5 second outtake, you get to watch it full screen. It’s not a branch into the film feature. Who knows? Maybe that’ll happen in a future edition? Maybe the Blu-Ray is more capable of that. The thing is we loaded these up with so many features that there’s only so much memory on a disc. So maybe for the Blu-Ray that’s possible.

I’ve just always longed for a “director’s cut” of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD. That’s all!


Everybody does! And trust me, Buechler was going to come in and shoot new pieces of film for this! On his own dime, he was willing to do it. He wanted to recreate the scene with um – Tina seeing her mother being killed in the road, when she has that vision and crashes into the tree, and what John really wanted was Jason holding Betsy Palmer’s head. He was going to go out and shoot that.

Was it a timing issue?

There was no budget to include it, and from what I was told, then there comes director’s guild issues. It’s almost like you have to get permission from the director’s guild to go in and hire the guy again to be able to change the original work. It’s complicated, it’s a time involving process, and unfortunately we didn’t have the time. These were done very quickly and they all had pre-determined release dates. Once the marketing people have a release date, you’ve got to stick to it.


They churned these movies out so fast which is probably why there are so many alternate takes laying around.

Believe me, the stuff we found and pardon the bad pun, but these are definitely a cut above the boxed set that you saw a couple of years ago. And I think this was done with a lot more passion and care. I know everybody wants there to be lost scenes, and believe me, nobody wanted to find stuff more then we did. You couldn’t have found 2 guys, Andrew & myself more dedicated to locating this material. When it’s not there, it’s just not there.

For PART 8: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, I’ll go on record to say it’s my least favorite of the entire series. As a New Yorker, I’m offended!

(Laughs)

I can say that! But the interesting thing about 8, which contradicts what the director said on the boxed set. There are deleted scenes and alternate kills in that movie, because I’ve seen pictures of them in FANGORIA! So did you uncover some of these alternate kills?

Everything that could be found for FRIDAY 8 was found, and it was a lot. Um, there were many, many things. There’s a long list of alternate scenes and they’re not just “gore” scenes, there were long inane speeches from characters. (Laughs) You get to see the death of the deckhand, the Crazy Ralph type of character. You see him being chased around, but I don’t want to give away everything! There are a lot of scenes from PART 8, a lot of alternate takes that were uncovered. And also for me, the most fun part, was finding this gag reel which director Rob (Hedden) and his crew/editor had cut together at the time, probably for their wrap party. They took this 10 minute reel of outtakes and made this gag reel out of it and put music to it, and there’s some pretty funny moments in there. The whole gag reel is included.


Can’t wait to see that stuff. Lastly, we have to talk about the commentaries, because although a lot of the filmmakers are involved, one of the earliest things that we heard about were these “fan commentaries”. PART 4 has the one with filmmakers Joe Lynch and Adam Green. I listened to it before and it was really entertaining and fun. But the ones you did for the other sequels with the horror journalists didn’t make the cut. I’ll boldly say this – (Uncle) Creepy and I have a difference of opinion on PART 5. I love that movie & I’ll defend it to the very end! My theory is he wasn’t too kind to the movie in his commentary! (Laughs)

Ya know, it wasn’t even a matter of being “kind”. I think they were having so much fun – and Staci Wilson, I got to give it to her, she held her won against the Creep.

That’s not easy!

It’s a great commentary track, it’s really fun and they went at it like MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER, making fun of the characters but not in the way you’d expect. It was like the other night, we screened it at the New Bev and people were screaming and shouting and laughing about Demon’s hair and him getting killed in the shitbox. It was great! These movies were made to interact with the audience and illicit a response. That’s what they were doing! And I don’t think at any point were they saying these movies were terrible or anything like that. Never. They were having fun with the movie, but unfortunately the legal people over at Paramount looked at it being not positive. And I don’t think commentaries should always be positive. They should be a reaction to the movie itself. I will go on record and say that I think the commentaries should have been included, the fan commentaries for 5 and 6 would’ve just added to the fun of the package. And I think the people that did them, Steve Barton, Ryan Rotten and Staci Wilson were very talented and very smart with their comments and nothing was said in my opinion that was in any way berating the filmmakers or the people in the films.


Maybe they can end up on-line one of these days?

If there is a Blu-Ray release of these films, maybe Paramount will make the choice. And I don’t know if the choice was made because it was a space (on the disc) issue. It very well could’ve been that. I do think it was more of a legal issue. Maybe they didn’t want people having too much fun at the film’s expense. But I think what they lost was that tongue-in-cheek reverence for the films’ tone. It really was coming through and anybody that hears the commentaries will agree. It’s the stuff you’d sit around with your friends and say. Staci really likes PART 5!

Good, now I have something to talk to her about next time I see her!

Steve got a nod in our mockumentaries, so look for him in those. It must be seen to be believed.

What’s next for you at this point?

A few things. Another supernatural feature based on a true event that would be a nice follow-up to HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT and a TV series and a couple of remakes that are in the works. There are FRIDAY THE 13TH connections in both of them, that’s all I can say about that!



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