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Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Limited Edition SteelBook (1980) - Blu-ray Review

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Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Limited Editon Steelbook

Produced and expertly directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller, Friday the 13th, being the first independent movie to get distributed by a major studio, never seems to get the credit it deserves.  We take it for granted with much of the discussion revolving around which film, Halloween or Friday the 13th, is better.  Let’s not do that anymore.  Each film deserves its reputation and its accolades.  Perhaps this film gets overlooked a lot of the time simply because MOST of what became the genre's go-to motifs were used so well here.

"this film gets overlooked a lot of the time simply because MOST of what became the genre's go-to motifs were used so well here"

And, yes, this film - regardless of its genre - is a CLASSIC. 

With the 40th Anniversary SteelBook re-release of Friday the 13th on blu-ray and digital, Paramount Pictures dives into the brilliance of the Uncut Version of this classic slasher and adds previously released bonus content including commentary, interviews with cast and crew, and behind-the-scenes featurettes.   

From the opening few moments to the classic score by Harry Manfredini and beyond, the original Friday the 13th is damn brilliant, never ceasing to be entertaining as a killer is let loose on some unsuspecting camp counselors and Walt Gorney as Crazy Ralph warns them all of their impending doom.  Well-paced and never short on skin or sharp knives, even hitchhikers aren’t safe from the killer in these woods. {googleads}

But who is responsible for the murders?  That’s the real kicker in this slasher and it is a twist that still leaves people’s heads rotating as Friday the 13th begins in 1957 and ends in the modern era.  So much death . . . and Cunningham, with wicked restraint, keeps the killer at bay until the final moments as a mama's boy becomes a MAN!

Starring Kevin Bacon and Jeannine Taylor as counselors Jack and Marcie, the highs of the slasher come as the kills from this unknown assailant get bloodier, bolder, and more unexpected.  It’s like the killer is getting off with each and every new body.  Who can forget Bacon’s death from under the mattress?  Or Taylor’s ax to the skull in the bathroom while every other counselor for the reopening of Camp Crystal Lake smokes weed and plays strip monopoly.Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Limited Editon Steelbook

And, as most of the kills happen on a dark and stormy night in New Jersey, these babes in the woods are lost.  Even owner Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) knows his new crop of counselors are doomed.  The kill sequences - with one being expertly handled on an archery range in the rain - are well-staged and never fail to deliver shocks as bodies are hurled through windows and screams are heard through the rain.  

While no one can use the name Friday the 13th to produce anymore movies thanks to an unresolved court case, this release of a classic slasher is as good as it gets when it comes to being unlucky on the night of a full moon when it is Friday the 13th.  

Co-starring Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Mark Nelson, Robbi Morgan, and Betsy Palmer as Mrs. Voorhees, Friday the 13th has been resurrected just in time for the celebrations to begin!

5/5 stars

Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Limited Editon Steelbook


Blu-ray Details:

SteelBook / 40th Anniversary Limited Edition / Blu-ray + Digital

Home Video Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- June 16, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1; English: Dolby Digital Mono; French: Dolby Digital Mono; Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The Chilling UNCUT version of Friday the 13th is back!  Paramount, with the addition of unrated footage, and insightful special features, invites viewers to plunge deeper into the film that spawned eleven sequels and the genre’s unstoppable bad guy, Jason Voorhees. A new owner and several young counselors gather to reopen Camp Crystal Lake, where a young boy drowned and several vicious murders occurred years earlier. They’ve ignored locals’ warnings that the place has a death curse… and one by one they find out how unlucky Friday the 13th can be as they are stalked by a violent killer.     


The rough spots are gone!  This 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer looks remarkable, fairing better than I remember the last release looking like.  This skin, which is reportedly the same as the last release, has much better night scenes than I recall.  It's a crisp and bright transfer, adding a lot of pop to the scenic locations used throughout this tale of a "Kill her, Mommy" or is that Killer Mommy. Colors, with red and green being dominant, absolutely pop. Locales, both at night and during the day, are vibrant with so much RED being everywhere. The town, the diner, and the camop at night are full of depth and well-defined shadows that were previously unseen. Black levels are solid and deep.  But wait until you HEAR this release.


That iconic score in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is beyond brilliant.  Sit back and be amazed!



  • Sean Cunningham leads the commentary with members of the cast and crew.

Special Features:

Let the party begin!  Paramount invites you to plunge deeper into the film with previously released bonus content including commentary, interviews with cast and crew, and behind-the-scenes featurettes thanks to this release!

  • Commentary by director Sean Cunningham with cast & crew
  • Friday the 13th: Reunion
  • Fresh Cuts: New Tales from Friday the 13th
  • The Man Behind the Legacy: Sean Cunningham
  • Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part I
  • The Friday the 13th Chronicles
  • Secrets Galore Behind the Gore

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars


Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Limited Editon Steelbook

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
95 mins
: Sean S. Cunningham
Victor Miller
Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
: Horror
They were warned...They are doomed...And on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Why I'm... I'm Mrs. Voorhees, an old friend of the Christy's"
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 9, 1980
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 16, 2020.
Synopsis: A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which was the site of a child's drowning and a grisly double murder years before.


Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Limited Editon Steelbook

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