"Making of"

Book Review: Crystal Lake Memories – The Complete History of Friday the 13th

Crystal Lake Memories

Publisher: Titan Books

Release Date: October 11, 2006

“Over the past few years, I have gotten to know Peter Bracke, the author, as he has carefully and painstakingly assembled his research. At this point, I’m sure that Peter’s the world’s most informed expert on the subject. Now, I think that it’s hilarious that when I have a question about events concerning any one of the movies, I always call Peter to ask him what really happened. Peter Knows.” –Sean S. Cunningham (Forward to Crystal Lake Memories)

Those that believe that Jason Voorhees is the king of masked killers will probably agree that Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th is the king of coffee table books. Peter Bracke spent countless hours researching a film series that most people would discount as trash. The stories of all eleven films are discussed using the words of those involved in the making of the films. (Luckily, information on the ill-advised remake isn’t included.) Better yet, these aren’t the rants of devotees of the series. The interviews put the films in their proper perspective (and words aren’t minced). Not everyone that participated in the making of these films can be described as fans, but their testimonies aren’t censored.

The book probably won’t be helpful to those that are looking for practical information on how to make a movie, and those looking for a studied analysis of the genre will also be disappointed. This is simply a comprehensive look at the making of each of the Friday the 13th films. It is a low-brow text for the fans of a low-brow series, and this is as it should be. Bracke obviously knows his audience. The book earns an easy recommendation for fans of the series, and is probably essential for devotees of the slasher genre. It would also make a fabulous Halloween gift for fans. Many would prefer it to bags of candy.


Review by: Devon Powell

"Making of"

Book Review: On Location in Blairstown – The Making of Friday the 13th

On Location in Blairstown

Publisher: AuthorMike Ink

Release Date: September 13, 2013

David Grove has written an extremely comprehensive history of the low budget exploitation film, Friday the 13th. He has based the book’s structure on the film’s original shooting schedule, filling in details and anecdotes in the general order that they happened in the film’s production. The meat of this detail is built from exhaustive original interviews with the film’s cast and crew. One might question why one would go to this much trouble to document such a critically reviled production, but the fact is that there is much to learn from the success of these little exploitation flicks. Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic slasher films of all time, and it would be a mistake to disregard it because it doesn’t strive for high art. As a matter of fact, part of the fun of Grove’s book comes from the fact that Sean Cunningham was merely trying to make a profitable exploitation film to keep his head above water. The film is treated as a fun piece of entertainment that was custom made for the average Joe. Fans of the film (and the series) will find the book difficult to put down. New filmmakers will find inspiration in the cast and crew’s guerilla techniques. We are happy to recommend this text to anyone that enjoys a few decent low brow thrills.

On Location in Blairstown - back

Review by: Devon Powell