[ WARNING: If you've never seen Halloween, Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street, this post contains spoilers basically everywhere. ]
[ ALSO: If you haven't seen those movies -- Welcome to our planet. October 31st is a holiday we call Halloween, during which people like to dress up, absorb a bunch of sugar and scare the crap out of one-another. It's probably a good night for you to walk around unnoticed. ]
Nearly three weeks of watching endless gore, thanks to AMC's Fear Fest, Netflix and the internet, has filled my mind with a bunch of random aimless questions. The most important of which is: Why has there never been a Jason vs. Michael Myers movie?
The obvious answer is that, while Freddy Krueger initially attempted to lure Jason Voorhees into a collaborative plan for revenge on the world (in 2003's pretty cool Freddy vs. Jason), Michael Myers is generally just out to destroy his entire family (and whoever else steps into that path). Still.. You could theoretically have Jason and Michael cross paths somewhere, say, in an asylum.
I'm kind of annoyed that the movies have stopped coming. Only 11 Jason movies? 8 Halloweens? Why the hell stop now?! Sure there were the Rob Zombie remakes that attempted to re-cast Mike Myers as a long-bullied, sympathetic character, but if they're all basically invincible, what's stopping a brand new super-collaboration? Freddy, Michael and Jason vs. The World!
If somebody wants to get on that, I want a producer's credit.
In the meantime, let's pore over the old ones and analyze a few more burning questions...
Who would win in a fight?
In this still-unmade-yet-surely-Oscar-worthy mega-movie, who leaves victorious after the three stars inevitably turn on each-other and have an invincible monster throwdown (Mike Love is not an option)?
Freddy Krueger is an intriguing option, as he creepily invades people's dreams. And you basically have to fall asleep. Yet many a tricky teen has successfully yanked FK out of dreamland and back into the world, where he's slippery, but largely fallible. One might think Freddy could outwit both Jason and Michael and attack them in their dreams. ..But how well do you think those guys sleep? I'm guessing not soundly.
Michael Myers has a reputation for being an unstoppable evil machine, yet... He also gets distracted and emotional. He takes off his mask and sheds a single monster-tear in the fourth movie after Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) calls him uncle. However, he has also used this trick to win rare moments of sympathy and ultimately defeat Laurie Strode (in Resurrection). Michael can also somehow drive a car (and always seems to know where the telephone line is). So...
I'm going with Jason Voorhees. This guy is a machine. He's creative, patient and probably the strongest. While Freddy uses dreams and Michael generally likes his giant knives, Jason uses whatever the hell to kill -- from arrows to garden shears to throwing people out windows or just picking up that one poor girl in her sleeping bag and slamming it into a tree. This guy has the mind of a sixth-grader torturing bugs -- bugs he really hates -- and he'll bully himself to victory.
Who would you rather fight?
I'd fight Michael Myers. This is funny, because I also think his movies are the creepiest. Then again, I'm not a member of his family (that I know of). He's also the slowest, so you get time and Dr. Loomis at your side (if you exist anywhere from '79 to '95).
A couple people have put Jason away for a while. He languished underwater, tied to an anchor, for a decade or so, while Michael kept going. But to pull that off, you either need to have telekinesis or be Tommy-Jarvis-crazy. Either way, I'm not saying Freddy, because that just sucks. Not much is more terrifying than having to fight in your dreams, where, as a mere mortal, you have even less control.
If you want to expand the category, zombies are a fun option. They have an obvious weakness and only one general attack (CHOMP!). However, as the catalytic epidemic causing the zombification spreads, the fact that there are so many of them gets to be a problem. (If you ask From Dusk Till Dawn, this can be a problem with vampires, too.) Also, some writer/directors (Land of the Dead) seem to think that zombies can eventually develop logic. This, coupled with the speed of a Zombieland zombie would pose a serious threat to even the most drug-free, non-sex-having teen.
The ultimate worst enemy, however, might just be the man-killing disease (as in Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain and several other movies). I mean.. if it's aliens, we could all still at least band together and shoot a few. But you can't punch a plague.
Who are you in a horror movie?
A great question, straight out of Scream. You're smart, but who are you? What's your downfall?
Are you the jerk who epitomized douchebaggery before it was even a word? Are you the ditzy party girl who grabs more beers and gets offed first? The guy smoking the joint outside who goes second? Are you the edgy gal who makes it halfway, then valiantly dies trying to save everybody? OR.... are you the winner -- clever, self-preserving yet not completely self-absorbed, cute enough for a camera to follow for the full 90 minutes.
To get to an answer, subtract how hot you think you are (out of 100) from how hot you actually are. That's approximately how many minutes into the movie you're gonna last.
Are cheesy horror movies a vast right-wing conspiracy?
No. John Carpenter himself said this was not his intention (citation needed). The teens doing all the drugging and the sexing? They're just distracted. Just look at a movie like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where a gang of teens hardly does anything before a family of insane rednecks tears into them.
Which is the funniest horror movie?
The most jovial of the epic slasher flicks has to be Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. This installment is a complete parody of itself. It has the best lines ("So.. What were you gonna be when you grew up?").
In the movie an older Tommy Jarvis accidentally brings Jason back to life via lightning and the small town cops (who live in a world where Jason has already come back to life no less than three times, mind you) not only lock him up for warning them, but also claim that they're "too busy" to go look for all the suddenly-missing kids and basically spend the movie yelling at Tommy for being so "crazy." Jarvis brought this upon himself, in a way, but if I'd lived through the fourth and fifth installments of this series, I'd go dig Jason up and stab the corpse, too.
Why do we watch this crazy crap?
Call me nuts, but I find the stuff funny. For a movie to actually put fear into me is rare (and a thrill), but to watch what happens when people try to off each other in the most creative ways (especially a bunch of weird writers in a room)... fun.
There's also a bit of a hero thing going on here. If you manage to make it to the end of the movie, you're a real life Batman. (Because immortal psychopaths actually happen.. right?)
Do we secretly empathize with these killers?
Funny you should ask. There is actually one guy -- Jason Voorhees. I know it's starting to sound like I've developed a severe man-crush, but this guy just has the best reason to kill.
Fred Krueger was already a child murderer when he was offed by the townspeople. He just found a great way to continue doing what he'd always enjoyed. Michael Myers, as Dr. Loomis puts it, is just "pure evil."
Jason was a victim of neglect. Then mom went kinda (and somewhat understandably) batshit in the first movie, and a rogue camp counselor killed her too. I'd be pretty angry if I suddenly found myself to be a ghost on Earth after being an 8-year-old drowning victim. I might stop after the first few years, though, and just go look at some naked people.
The one thing about Jason Voorhees is that, whenever and wherever he pops back to life, he always wanders back home. Dude just wants to be left alone. And isn't it kind of awful of us to keep trying to build a summer camp where all those people were killed? Everyone in the later movies seems to have the habit of saying that Jason is a "legend," but, uh.. all those "Decapitated during mass murder at Camp Crystal Lake" death certificates are out there somewhere.
Why have so many different people played Michael and Jason, while Robert Englund has pretty much always portrayed Freddy Krueger?
I dunno. Seems kinda silly, doesn't it? There is literally a different dude (sometimes two, because of the stunts) playing Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees in about every movie. And quite often they look different.
The two minor exceptions are Tyler Main, who played MM twice, and Kane Hodder who played Jason in movies 7-10... though 8 (Manhattan) is mostly dumb and 9 (Goes to Hell) doesn't have much actual Jason in it (I find VII and Jason X to be surprisingly fun).
Other random things learned during Fear Fest...
- All the coolest places to party are way down the old dirt road and past that cemetery.
- Odd time signatures are the creepiest.
- Wow, we really should be watching our babysitters closer.
- Nobody questions "Why a hockey mask?" while being stabbed.
- The women are right - camping is stupid.
- It's real hard to shut down a forest after something terrible happens.
- Morgue security guards are really the worst.
- Once a man is elected sheriff, he becomes extremely lazy.
- Hair was feathery as hell back in the day.
When will this post end? Are you now just rambling so you have a reason to sit there, watching Friday the 13th Part III one more time?
Tags: 13th, amc, andromedastrain, anightmareonelmstreet, fearfest, freddykrueger, fridaythethirteenth, halloween, jasonlives, jasonvoorhees, jasonx, johncarpenter, kanehodder, landofthedead, michaelmyers, newblood, robertenglund, robzombie, thefinalchapter, zombieland