Posted: 11/09/2006


Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of ‘Friday the 13th’

by Peter M. Bracke

Reviewed by Gary Schultz

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Titan Books has just released the ultimate, definitive know-all book on one of the greatest horror franchises in American cinema history, Friday the 13th. The book is called Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, by Peter M. Bracke and it is just that—a complete history of the franchise thus far. Peter Bracke has been writing about horror for several years and has been featured in Fangoria and Alternative Cinema, and you can plainly see by the quality of this book that he is passionate about the horror genre and is obviously the foremost expert on the Friday the 13th franchise. Crystal Lake Memories isn’t just an overview of the Friday the 13th franchise; it’s an exploration into the depths of the series and focuses on the creation of one of horror’s most memorable villains, Jason Voorhees. The stories are told by firsthand accounts by the hundreds of people that have worked on the franchise for over 20 years.

Crystal Lake Memories is the most detailed account of a movie franchise I have ever read. The absolute attention to the smallest detail is what makes this book a great addition to any true horror enthusiast’s collection. Bracke breaks down the entire franchise starting with its conception from the mind of Sean Cunningham through its entire history thus far. Each Friday the 13th film has it’s own chapter covering that film’s successes and failures. Bracke interviews every major player from actors to stuntmen in every sequel and gets their individual insight on the challenges of making a Friday the 13th film. Their responses are honest and often inspiring.

All ten Friday the 13th films are accounted for in this book and each of their stories are told. Crystal Lake Memories also covers the Friday the 13th television series and the box office battles between Jason and his arch-rival Freddy Krueger and discusses in detail the years of struggle to get the Freddy vs. Jason movie into production. Crystal Lake Memories“then takes us on a thrill ride recounting one of the greatest movie crossover battles of all time, Freddy vs. Jason. Crystal Lake Memories is a sharp looking insightful book that has hundreds of never before seen photos complementing the classic snap shots of Jason than have become iconic in modern pop culture. Crystal Lake Memories is the bible for any Friday the 13th fan.

Gary Schultz is an independent filmmaker in Chicago.

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