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

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

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Sparkplug Press

Release date: October 22nd, 2005 (hardcover), March 12th, 2012 (electronic edition)
Pages: 802

Author: Peter Bracke (with foreword by Sean S. Cunningham
Official Fanpage

“Every story is left open just because of the greed factor. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not.” ¹

Whether you love it or loathe it, the Friday the 13th film franchise at its prime hacked the living daylights out of the competition during the height of the eighties slasher cycle. Each year a new edition to the series would chronicle the murdering rampages of a particular masked killer. Essentially they were the same film but with a different cast, a theme which vaguely connected them and more importantly the deaths and gore would be more creative methods of teaching the horny teens a lesson they’ll never forget. The audiences didn’t mind this repetitive formula and neither did I.

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

Ever since Jason Voorhees rose from the murky depths of Crystal Lake, the hockey-masked murdering maniac became somewhat of a household name, an anti-hero and remains one of the most notorious icons in horror film history. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the films then Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th is the book for you.

Written by Peter Bracke, Crystal Lake Memories is the definitive history of the films. Aided with the transcripts of over 200 interviews from the people involved with the films, the complete story is explored; beginning with Sean Cunningham’s vision of ‘Long Night At Camp Blood’ to the 2003 Ronny Yu directed horror icon mash up Freddy Vs. Jason.

Upon its original release, the book became an instant bestseller, backed by a number of positive reviews. Now like the many resurrections of Jason, the book is back, and this time it’s had an upgrade. The E-book edition, available for the iBook and Kindle, is filled with storyboards, promotional material and more interviews from the people who didn’t want to participate last time.

“Unlike other successful long running motion picture franchises, historical material on the Friday the 13th series has been comparatively scare.” ¹
Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13thFriday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

From the moment I started reading I was hooked. I love the fly on the wall writing style, which easily flows, switching between interviews and content. As a fan I’ve gained such an insight into the films and although many similar books have been released this is the most comprehensive to date. From the make up effects, the deaths and alternate scenes, there’s so much to savour that I spent a good few days basking in all its machete-swinging glory.

Bracke actually spent three years tracking down the films alumni, some of which had remained quiet about their experiences. The book includes interviews with: Sean Cunningham, Wes Craven, Frank Mancuso, Victor Miller, Steve Miner, Adrienne King, Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, Corey Feldman, Crispen Clover, Kelly Rowland, Ronny Yu, Kane Hodder and Robert England to name a few.

Nowadays, the majority of performers would kill for a chance to be a part of a film series like this, but back in the era of the franchise’s creation some of the attached alumni didn’t want to be known for starring in them. Thankfully they can now share their experiences with a sense of humour, which makes amusing reading.

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13thFriday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Honesty is the best policy and Bracke is honest about the quality of the films. He recognizes what they are; good, old-fashioned, cheesy American slasher films; but understands their significance in horror history and the desire craved by fans to learn more about them. Let’s not forget that Friday the 13th has become one of the most popular franchises in horror film history, which spawned eleven instalments, a successful 2009 remake and a hit television series (which had no connection to the films). It branched out with a line of collectable memorabilia ranging from comics, novels, magazines, posters, models and a video game for the NES.


  • Bracke, Peter (2012) Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, Sparkplug Press [1]

With over 800 pages, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th is the book for fans, newcomers to the series and anyone wanting an honest, humorous and informative read. As long as Jason lives the series will too, and hopefully Bracke will continue updating the book. He could release a hundred editions and I’d read it everytime. Don’t like reading? Buy it for the images – there are plenty.

If you don’t find this book as entertaining as I did, you’ve probably already taken an axe to the head, by Jason of course.

“Will there ever be an end to Jason? I really don’t think so.” ¹

About Jamie Suckley

Jamie Suckley

Jamie, editor for Cult Movies at Static Mass, is a 24 year old media studies graduate from Sheffield, who likes nothing better than watching films. If he was to star in a horror film he’d like to be the first one killed (think Drew Barrymore in Scream).

He has a keen interest in horror which started when he was a child. Due to his hyperactive behaviour his cousins made him watch films they thought would calm him down- They were wrong! It was watching Hellraiser and Killer Klowns from Outer Space that his passion for horror began. Over the years this developed into a passion for zombies, madmen, mutated animals and all things gore.

When he’s not working, in his dream world, worrying about zombie epidemics or watching films, he can be found on Twitter sharing his thoughts and bringing his dream world into reality.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSuckley.