Guilty Pleasures – Freddy vs Jason

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It’s not often that we see two heavyweight movie franchises cross paths. Back in the 1980s, you couldn’t get any bigger than Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, and Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th flicks. They were horror movie juggernauts, titans of teenage killings and the baddest of the bad.

Fans always wondered who would have won in a  fight, if the two had to go head to head. And in 2003, and they finally found out.

It’s been nearly ten years since Freddy Krueger terrorized people in the dreams, and the towns folk want to keep him erased from their memory. Freddy still has one more plan on getting back to Elm Street. He resurrects Jason Voorhees and sends him off to kill. The more bodies which fall to the ground, the stronger in which Freddy becomes. This is until, Freddy realizes that Jason isn’t going to step aside easily, and must be taken down himself.

The idea of pitting the Springwood Slasher against the Crystal Lake killer hadn’t been a recent one. As far back as 1987, studio execs wanted to make that happen. But thanks to the fact that the latest Friday the 13th film bombed, Jason Takes Manhattan, those plans were put on hold. Continueing through development hell, nothing was happening with the idea, with the closest the two ever got to one another being a surprise ending for the final Friday 13 film, Jason goes to hell.

But cue more than a decade of work later, and New Line Cinema finally got a script ready and a more than capable director in the form of Ronny Yu for the long in development face off. I’ll give points to Yu for playing the film as more of an action movie with a horror bend to it, something that worked perfectly.

All the right ingredients were there, from those damn clueless teenagers getting all horny and whatnot, to a valid reason for Jason to return from the grave, as his strings were pulled by the dream demon himself, Krueger. And man oh man, I just loved that brief glimpse into the origin of Krueger, that Yu made.

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Seeing actor Robert Englund without the make up, eating the scenery as he celebrated getting off scot-free from murdering children before some pissed off adults got their hands and molotov cocktails on him? I would have gladly paid to see a Night mare on Elm Street film that went right back to the very beginning like that. No disrespect Jackie Earle Haley.

And to be honest, it was kinda cool seeing these horror icons back. Since they had departed, horror movies had become a tad too predictable  and far too reliant on torture porn and realism. This was old school at it’s finest, and it was a movie geared towards the fans of not only the genre, but the respective series as well.

And it had some kickass marketing to boot. Here’s Freddy actor Robert Englund, in full make-up and character, talking smack about Jason. Who just sits there and absorbs it all like a hate-sponge. And freakin’ Michael Buffer milking his signature catch-phrase. It doesn’t get any better than that.

But it does. Because here’s the thing: Most films promise you a drop drag out fight to the bitter end, but few of them deliver on that oath. Freddy vs Jason however? We get not only one, but two great fight scenes between the two killers. Even though Jason takes on Freddy in a match more one-sided than a one-legged man in ass-kicking contest, thanks to groovy drugs and narcolepsy, it’s the final fight that makes it all worthwhile.

Jason operating like an M1 Abrams tank, smashing up cabins with the face of Krueger while the slasher launches everything he can at hydrophobic one, with a few snarky one-liners to boot It’s a match that just goes on and on, but doesn’t get old, ending in a rip-raoring finale that sets actual water on fire. Man, good memories.

Freddy vs Jason isn’t much of a horror film, but it’s also one of the best love letters ever written to fans of the franchises.

Last Updated: March 13, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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