Browsing Tag
friday the 13th

If you asked me back in February about which movie I would have the most fun at this year I’m sure I would have a bunch of different answers. Trailers touting The Hulk, X2, The Matrix: Reloaded, etc. all would have me enticed with the thought of comic book heroes coming to life on the big screen, or huge sequels to some of my favorite movies. I wouldn’t even have dreamed that Freddy vs. Jason could be a shinning spot in an otherwise lacking summer movie season, but here we are, days after the film’s release, and I can’t stop thinking about just how cool the film actually was.

Even if you aren’t a fan of both series, or either of them, you know who Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees are. For the unenlightened the film gives origin sequences to each character, but true fans will see the joining of two huge horror series into a bloodbath of gratuitous nudity, decapitation, disembowelment, and, my favorite, dismemberment.

Jason (Ken Kirzinger, from the Friday the 13th series, when not getting killed by underachieving teenagers, hangs around Camp Crystal Lake, the site of this drowning nearly 35 years ago. In classic Friday fashion anyone who goes skinny-dipping, does drugs, or has premarital sex is marked for death. Freddy (Robert Englund), on the other hand, is the polar-opposite of the lumbering, mindless Jason. Mr. Kruger was an intelligent child killer who was burned alive by the townsfolk after being released from custody. He seeks children in their dreams (a place you are left defenseless) and kills them there.

After the children of Freddy’s former stomping grounds are given a drug that inhibits dreaming, he is left powerless. Since almost no one remembers his name, they no longer fear him, and without fear, he has now power. So, by way of trickery, Freddy conjures up an image of Jason’s mother and tells him to begin killing and instill fear in the hearts and minds of children once again. This plan works all too well for Freddy, as Jason doesn’t stop once he gets going, leading to a confrontation of two of horrors biggest antagonists.

The film, although very poorly acted on the part of the supporting cast, really gets its spark from the wit of Freddy and the excellent kills provided by Jason. As with every Friday film, we are treated to a number of glorious un-doings, including a rather painful romp on a folding bed. The movie doesn’t skimp on the gore either, no cut away shots, although some blatant MPAA based editing can be seen. With each detached limb comes a fountain of the red stuff that makes Mortal Kombat look like a flesh wound. In fact one scene of the film reminds you a lot of the Monty Python classic.

Freddy and Jason meet twice during the film for a balls out fight to he death, once in Freddy’s decrepit basement lair and again on the shores and docks of Camp Crystal Lake. The film takes into account that you know who these characters are, and who doesn’t, but then asks you to forget every move in each series, more so Friday the 13th than Nightmare on Elm Street. Those wondering how Jason X fits into the picture can figure that it is either a splinter storyline, or happens after the events of this film.

Director Ronny Yu is not stranger to the pairings of weird killers, he directed Bride of Chucky, and shows us that he isn’t afraid to deliver above average special effects, buckets of blood, and a touch of humor to keep you occupied through the movies very few slow parts.

With a cast mainly comprised of no-namers who are just there to become canon fodder in the crossfire you look forward to the next kill and the next confrontation of these two killing machines. Freddy vs. Jason gave me a lot more than I expected to get after reading some preliminary so-so press about the film, but after seeing it for myself I can honestly say I haven’t had a better time at the movies all summer and I certainly can’t wait for the DVD.

Is Jason back? He most certainly is, but not in the form we have grown to know and love in the past editions of the Friday the 13th series of movies. Jason X is the first re-visit to the series in nearly ten years, and with that long bench warming plan, it seems as though the writers and producers of this series intend to take the movie, and the forth-coming series, into a new domain.

Jason X starts out in the near future. Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) is finally capture and brought to a scientific research facility on his old stomping grounds of Crystal Lake. Jason is being studied for his highly elevated regenerative capabilities that allow for him to take a beaten, and keep on coming. Through a minor mishap while prepping Jason for transport, he escapes lays ruin to several marines and doctors, and then is frozen in a cryogenic unit, that also freezes his lead researcher Rowan.

Flash forward 455 years in the future when a team of student finds the old facility while charting around on Old Earth, see us humans with our beer, pot, and pre-marital sex have destroyed the planet to the point where no one can even inhabit it. I’m glad I’m doing my part. The team finds the frozen Jason and Rowan and manages to revive her with their vast medical techniques.

The problem with Jason X is the story, and technology don’t seem to stay constant through the entire movie. In the beginning they are able to repair a severed arm and a stab wound to Rowan, but when one of them gets something as simple as scratch or flesh wound they are totally unable to help, or heal. Before Jason becomes Uber-Jason near the end of the film, he is literally blasted to pieces by the nipple-removable android, but manages to come back. Several marines are merely stabbed, yet seem to be beyond repair, the consistency is laughable at best.

Which, in some aspects, is what the writers appear to be going for. There are several times during the movie when there are some down-right funny lines delivered, and some funny moments, “He’s screwed,” just being one example. Sure it doesn’t appear to be funny now, but when you see how this guy died, it is laughable. The classic moment from the film happens almost at the end on a “holo-deck” of sorts where two women proposition Jason with some favorite 1980’s past times. The ensuing “death-sequence” is the funniest and most memorable part of the movie, hell I’m still thinking about it.

While Jason X isn’t anything new or exciting, it does bring the serial killer to a new and uncharted domain for him, and anything but Aliens and Predators. While rumors are circulating of two more in this mini-series of Jason, it remains to be seen. I found it both funny, and relieving, that writer/director Jim Isaac makes fun of the older movies in the series. This one was okay because if they actually expected us to take this seriously the whole way thought, they have another thing coming…like maybe a machete.