Disqus for Friday The 13th: The Film Franchise




The Slasher Movie Encyclopedia: Freddy vs Jason

The film starts off with Freddy's greatest hits, as he laments about being forgotten. Then, because New Line only had the rights to Jason's name and look, we get a recreation of a classic Jason kill, as opposed to clips from the previous films. He chases down a female who'd dare flaunt her nude body on his grounds, and impales her with a machete as well as the tree behind her. As he admires his work, the body begins to shape-shift from victim to victim as they tell Jason they deserve what happened to them. Suddenly, Jason is approached by his mother, who tells him that he's merely been sleeping. That there's more work to be done. The children of Elm Street have been bad, and need to be punished. So, mystical-dagger to the chest be damned, Jason rises from the grave and heads on out. However, Jason's mother turns out to be Freddy in drag, as he plans on using Jason to get his children back. Man, you gotta know once people in hell figured it was that easy to get Jason to do things, they'd be dressing up as his mother all the time, “Jason! Your mother wants a 1996 Buick LeSabre! Make them remember what fluid driving and anti-lock breaks feels like!"

Over at 1428 Elm Street, we meet our cast. Lorie lives here with her father, as her mother is deceased. Tonight it's shin-dig time as she hangs out with her friends Kia & Gibb. Kia is of course played by Kelly Rowland, of Destiny's Child fame, and at the time the casting choice bothered the hell out of me. Here I was, waiting for this film for 10+ years, and the studio wasn't taking it seriously. A member of DC? In Freddy vs Jason? What, was Jessica Simpson busy? Did one of the members of N'SYNC want too much money to play Freddy? It's even more odd considering she hasn't been in anything high-profile since. But I digress.
Gibb has invited her boyfriend, Trey, over, who also brings his friend, Blake. Now, you know Trey is destined for a brutal death because he meets the 3 boyfriend-in-a-horror-film-cliches:
  1. He's mean.
  2. He drinks.
  3. He wants naked time with the ladies.
I mean, talk about suicide. Sure enough, after they get romantic, Gibb is off to the showers. Meanwhile, Trey opens a beer, only to have Jason show up and repeatedly stab him with a machete. Unsatisfied with this being the only means of Trey dying, Jason then grabs each end of the bed and folds it in half, along with Trey! It's fantastic, and one of the best kills of either series. Jason had been blue-balled as far as killing people for almost a decade, and this was his release. I can tell you one thing, if I were Trey, my last thought wouldn't have been my life, Gibb, or something lame like that, it would have been “thank God this wasn't a fold-out-sofa bed”.

Well, naturally the police come to investigate, and their immediate thought is that Freddy is some how back. At the police station, Lori has a dream about a little girl where she ends up learning a few things about the Dream Demon.

Elsewhere, at the mental institution Westin Hills, two patients as well as best-friends named Will & Mark are taking their daily meds when Will sees a news broadcast about something happening at Lori's house. You see, they're old flames, and now that he knows she may be in trouble, he's itching to get out. At the cost of being shot full of tranquilizer, Mark ends up getting a set of keys to enable their escape.

While they're heading back to Springwood, Blake, Trey's best friend, is sitting on his porch, swearing vengeance for his friend Trey. He nods off and we get our first venture into the dream world. However, Freddy isn't strong enough yet to kill, so Blake survives. However, as he wakes up, he finds his dad decapitated, and within seconds suffers a similar fate at the hands of Jason. What a lame friend. You swear vengeance and then get your ass handed to you? If Blake had been in the movie Taken, after getting the phone call from his daughter and telling the kidnappers he'd kill them, he'd get in his car to drive to the airport, back out of his drive way, and instantly get T-boned by a semi and die.
The next day at school, Lori, Kia, and Gibb are trying to figure out who this Freddy guy is, when Mark hops in like Wikipedia on two feet, giving them all the information they need, and all the fear Freddy needs. Of course, Will is with him, and the shock of seeing her beau after all these years causes Lori to faint.

While waiting for Lori as she recoups in the nurses room, Kia nods off and has a dream of Freddy ripping off her nose, however, she remains unharmed in the real world.

Later in the evening, the gang all decide to hit up a corn-field rave. Gibb gets trashed, to the point she passes out in the corn-field, leaving herself open to two types of predators. One in the real world, one in the dream-world. In the real world it's a creepy date-rapist raver with glow-sticks hooked all over his body, who's getting his grope on with Gibb. He clearly did this because before the rave he MUST have thought “Oh man, I'm gonna dress up like a raver's fishing hat, and get ALL the chicks!” which then ended up not coming to fruition.

So, while this is going on, Gibb is in the dream world trying to avoid Freddy, in a classic boiler room scenario. However, before Freddy can lower the boom, Jason spears both the date-rapist and Gibb, earning the ire of Freddy, who proclaims that Gibb is “MINE! MINE!”. Jason wonders else where and comes across a few other partiers, one of which sets him on fire after Jason snaps the others neck. The act proves futile as Jason then roars through the corn-field ablaze, absolutely crashing the party as he slash and hacks multiple ravers, while the smarter ones scurry off. Linderman, a classic nerd-archetype who digs Lori [seriously, who wouldn't?], and the worst character in the entire Friday franchise, Freeburg, escape with Lori, Kia, and Will.

Everyone is dropped off, and Lori learns that her mother's death was at the hands of her father, at least that's what Will claims, as he saw it with his own eyes. After getting in a fight with her father, Will and Lori head to Mark's house in order to regroup and find out how to deal with Freddy. However, Mark is out cold, and Freddy is officially back. He asks Mark to send a message on his behalf, and when he refuses, Freddy sets him on fire and finishes him off with the blades.

With both of these guys gunning for them, the kids all get together and try to figure out what to do. A rookie cop who knows the score on Jason joins them, and agrees to help. They feel the best first move is to get some Hypnocil from Westin Hills, so at least then Freddy can't get to them. Freeburg has an idea where he thinks they should take out the main lynch-pin holding the stage together, thus destroying it, and then Brandy's dad won't be able to force her onto the game show! Oh, wait, wrong film.

Once they get there, they split up to find the stash. Jason shows up and takes out the cop via electrocution, while Freeburg has become possessed by Freddy. Now that he's in control, he finds the bottles of Hypnocil and does away with them. He also finds a large amount liquid tranquilizers and loads them into syringes. The rest of the gang find the empty bottles of Hypnocil, just as Jason finds them. Running away, they see Freeburg waiting in a hall way. They urge him to hop on the good foot, but he waits for Jason and injects him with the liquid tranquilizers, just as Jason uses his last bit of conscience to cut Freeburg clean in half. A fantastic kill.

Now that Jason is out, they take him to Camp Crystal Lake, as well as pull Freddy into the real world, so they can have their showdown, and hopefully kill one another. What ensues is a fantastic battle, and definetly the greatest fight in the history of these “VS” type of movies. Jason is like the Hulk, slow & powerful, and when he hits you, it fucking counts. Where's Freddy is like Wolverine, quick & agile, hitting you 5 times before you even have time to think if you want to fight. They battle all over the camp-ground, using their trade-mark weapons, as well as Co2 tanks, re-bar, and various construction tools. In the end, they're both on the dock, slashing each other to hell, with Freddy delivering one the gnarliest moments of both franchises, as he sticks his blades right into Jason's eyes, causing blood to pour from every angle. Lori sets fire to a massive propane tank, causing it to explode and send both Freddy and Jason into the water, but not before Jason is able to rip Freddy's claw-wielding arm clean off.. Krueger gets back on the dock to make one last go at Lori, only to have Jason impale him with his own glove, followed by Lori decapitating him. The last scene of the film is that of Jason, emerging from the water as the victor, carrying Freddy's head which then winks at us, letting us know it isn't over. 

Slasher Movie Encyclopedia:
Killed: 16
Swear Words: 67
Boobies: 9
Foot Chase: 2
Fake-Out Scares: 1
Car/Vehicle Stall: 0
Drugs/Drinking/Sex: Instances of all 3
Warned But No Belief: Yes

Top 3 Deaths -

Freeburg – Seriously, this character could have stepped on a nail, and died after the end credits of tetanus and it would have rocked, considering how obnoxious he is. However, his death is truly awesome. He gets cleanly cut in half, and thankfully the MPAA doesn't cheat us out of the money shot. Hell, not is he cut in half, but Jason does it with such force that the top half of him SPINS. Even if my best friend in the world was killed that way, I'd still mark out over it to my other friends “Man, I'm bummed he's dead, but did you see that?! He SPUN! That was incredible! Man, if I could do that, I would get sooooo laid! Hey, Steve, lemme try it on you. C'mon, man, your life sucks!”.

Freddy Krueger – Now, of course this could be debated on whether it's a death or not, but I say it is. I mean, he could be hurt in the real world, and his arm was not only ripped off, but it was driven straight through his chest.

Trey – One of my Top 3 favorite deaths of the entire Friday franchise. It's not just that the death is sweet, it's because it's so completely over the top, and Jason is SO pissed. I mean, he stabs Trey 6 or 7 times, and is like “ARGH! THIS GUY HAS TO DIE ALOT!”. He slams his machete into the ground, and then slams that bed closed. Like I said, he did this with such fervor, it was like a release after being in hell so long. I half expected him to sit down and have a smoke afterward.

Things You Need To Know In Order To Survive

As we all know, Freeburg was an insanely obvious rip-off of the Jay character from the View Askew films such as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Such an obvious rip that it was even mentioned in Never Sleep Again, the brilliant documentary on the Friday series. I spoke to Shannon & Swift, the writers, and asked them what the deal was with Freeburg. They told me that he was actually written as an Asian stoner type character, and what happened was more the studio as they cast local Canadians and it just morphed.

Perhaps the most well known piece of trivia is the original ending in which Freddy & Jason end up in hell, as they race towards each other, chains shoot from the dark, pulling them both back. Pinhead then appears and asks them “So, gentleman, what seems to be the problem?”. New Line wouldn't do it, which is an absolute shame, because I can tell you that people would have popped like CRAZY for that. But, as always, the studios don't respect or care about us horror fans, so they'd sooner eat their own hands than spend a few extra dollars to make us happy with no guaranteed return to them.

The line “what kind of faggot runs around in a Christmas sweater” was not in the original script, and the screenwriters, Shannon & Swift, were very bothered by the addition. Even more insulting is how cool their original scene was. Kia would tell Jason off, saying she's no longer afraid of him, and takes back all the fear she ever gave him, clearly the speech Nancy gave to Freddy in the original. Then, Freddy will be behind her and say “wrong one”. That's BRILLIANT. An awesome nod to the original film, and a cool bit for us fans. Of course, the studio changed it to that obnoxious BS.

The film was in what's known as “developmental hell” for 15 years. New Line spent $6 million dollars on unused scripts. Yes, that's the movie business. A place where $6 million dollars is pissed away. There were multiple stories floating around, with all of them pretty damn lame. We had Freddy as a camp counselor at Crystal Lake, who had molested Jason and then drown him to keep him from telling. Then there was one that actually had legs, in which a cult of Freddy worshipers known as Fred Heads, who were going to resurrect Krueger. They also walked around wearing red & green sweaters. Finally, Jason & Freddy were going to battle it out to earn the right to become Hell's #1 assassin, then survivors such as Nancy from the Nightmare films and Tommy Jarvis try to escape the two as well as deal with them once and for all.

The reasoning for Hodder being recast was because Yu wanted a taller Jason. Ken is 6'5, while Kane is 6'2. So, because of those 3 inches we lost the best Jason in history, for what I feel is the worst. Look, Ken is a great guy, and he's done some great work, but because of Yu's direction, he hindered the movie for me. Jason was completely emotionless. He lumbered around like an oaf, who seemed to simply do things for the hell of it, with absolutely zero sense of that fantastic rage that we've known for years. I wanted to see the Hodder version of Jason take on Freddy. I wanted the heavy breathing, the quick movements and unstoppable anger. The Jason we got in FvJ is just so lifeless. The final fight makes up for it, as Ken does bring it for a bit, but not enough to save the entire performance.

I asked Shannon & Swift if they were bummed at the casting of Kelly Rowland as Kia. I certainly was, because I felt like once again the studio didn't treat us horror fans with respect, and doing some stunt casting BS. However, they were merely skeptical because she hadn't been in anything else, but they were cool with the idea of anyone who could help sell tickets.

Westin Hills is also the place where Freddy himself was conceived.

Trey's death scene was initially rejected by New Line & Ronny Yu, the director. However, because Shannon & Swift, the writers, know good material when they see it, fought for the death scene, and even acted it out on the floor. Which was enough to convince everyone.

Finally, I asked Shannon & Swift if there was anything that they thought the fans might want to know about the film that they couldn't find on imdb or wikipedia. They simply said “just how hard we worked to deliver for the fans, and how difficult it was to get made in the first place”.

Box-Office Business:
Released on August 15th, 2003 by New Line Cinemas on a budget of $30 million dollars, Freddy vs. Jason became the #1 film that weekend with a 3 day total of $36,428,066, from 3,014 theaters producing an average of $12,086 per theater. It's closing date was on November 30th, 2003, after bringing in a grand total of $82,622,655.

Final Rating:
When it comes to franchise crossovers, it doesn't get much better than Freddy vs Jason. When I was a kid, my babysitter use to draw me pictures of the two fighting, and tell me how great the movie was going to be some day. So, like all horror fans, this was THEE dream project. The one we were all waiting for. Of course, when I heard Kane wasn't involved I was devastated, but it wasn't going to stop me from seeing it. I went to the first screening on the first day. I actually got off work early, because there was no way I was going to miss this. And I can tell you this, the film absolutely did not disappoint. The biggest reaction I've ever heard or seen in a theater is Trey's death. People literally stood up & cheered. The plot is brilliant, and doesn't insult the fans whatsoever, and that's thanks to Shannon & Swift. The effects are great, the kills, the battles, and Robert England are all fantastic.

However, the film isn't perfect. As much as Shannon & Swift have fantastic taste, I think their pushing for Ronny Yu was a mistake. He didn't like or care about either franchise, and for a film of this magnitude, that's the opposite of what we needed in a director. The film looks too polished. It's very glossy, and VERY colorful. As I stated before, the portrayal of Jason is pretty bad. He's boring. He's just a moving amount of mass in a jacket. He doesn't have that awesome sense of rage, where every movement had a purpose, and really gave Jason some character. All of that was stripped away here.
In the end though, this is an all time classic that every movie studio needs to look at when they do a VS film. The writers, as well as the main players Robert England & Ken Krzinger took a lot of pride & care into the project, and truly did the fans justice. As you can tell from the early drafts, this could have been one of the worst films of all time, but thankfully intelligent & talented heads prevailed, and we all got the film we deserved. 

****1&2 Head-Butts out of 5

Before I go I want to thank Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, @ShannonAndSwift, for being infinitely cool and answering all the questions I had regarding the film. I also want to thank them for not including the Fred Heads in their script.

I hope you guys dug this entry as much as the others. There's one left to go, and with that, I have a question. I had planned on compiling all the entries and creating an ebook for sale on amazon. However, I then thought it might be cool to do the entire Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and put it all together as one book. So, my question is, would you want a book with both franchises, or just the Friday series? You can let me know in the comments, on twitter @CaliberWinfield, or email: caliberw@hotmail.com. 

Until then, if guys would like to check out some of my other work, you can find more reviews & articles on movies, retro gaming, TV shows, pro-wrestling, and everything else at scrublife.wordpress.com. I also run a bodybuilding/fitness website, and that's at fatbuff.wordpress.com. 

Take care guys.

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