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Nine Days of Nightmares Day 8: Freddy Vs. Jason

What's the movie?: Freddy Vs. Jason

Who's in it?: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Katharine Isabelle, and Kelly Rowland

Who directed?: Hong Kong action director Ronny Yu.

What's it about?  So Freddy is in hell, upset that the people of Springwood have forgotten about him.  Because of this lapse in memory, he is essentially powerless.  He finds a way to get Jason Voorhees to go to Springwood, and kill people, while Freddy takes the credit.  However, things don't work out the way the Freddy wants it to and decides to take out his aggression on Jason. 

What's Good?  Okay, so the movie is essentially a tribute to the old school horror movies where you would have two popular crossover characters and what would happen if they were to meet and throw down.  Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man definitely comes to mind.  The entire movie is all set up for the point where these two icons of slasher films finally meet and fight.  However, the brilliant thing is that you get to see them fight on both planes where each one is most powerful.  They fight in the dream scape where Freddy reigns supreme, and then the big brawl in the waking world where Jason and Freddy essentially rip each other up into little pieces.  The amount of blood shed just from the combatants alone is insane.  Easily worth watching just for the fights. 

The kills are well executed.  Jason gets most of the action so you get some really fun kills that are new to the Freddy franchise but definitely well known to the fans of the Friday the 13th series.  Freddy's one kill is really gross and well done.  But let's face it, this is Jason's show all the way.  

What's not so good?: I would like to say that this is a great movie.  The last act would certainly support the notion that this is a good movie were it not for the stuff leading up to the last half hour.  The acting is atrocious.  My least favorite being Katharine Isabelle as Gibb.  I know she is a horror fan favorite for her movie Ginger Snaps, but in this one, she is absolutely awful.  Even worse is the guy who plays the father of one of the characters. He feels it's necessary to over emote as he is chasing his daughter up the stairs.  The only three who come off any good are Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger as Jason, and the lead actress Monica Keena, but even she is not that great.  She's a good actress, I have seen other things she has been in and this is not her best work. 

Also, there was a promise that there would be a clear winner and a clear loser to the fight.  Needless to say, the ending is so ambiguous that you think there is a clear winner but no, you'd be wrong.  Basically Jason rises out of the water carrying Freddy's head and the head looks at the camera and winks.  That said, I would like to think that Jason is the winner of the fight because were Freddy to win, I think things would not have ended happy.  That said, thank goodness they didn't go with one of the other story lines.

Other story lines?:  The original, brilliant (for the most part) script that I had the opportunity to get a hold of was by a guy named Peter Briggs.  You might know him as the guy who wrote the insanely excellent original Aliens Vs. Predator screenplay.  Well, he also wrote the first version that I had heard of Freddy Vs. Jason which gave both horror icons their moments to shine with a massive body count credited to both of them, and also had Alice and her son Jacob teaming up with Steven and Jessica, the couple who survived Jason from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.  The caveat? Freddy is brought back to life by a cult of Freddy worshippers called Fred Heads.  Yeah.  I know.  The other script was worse.  It implied that Freddy sexually abused Jason at Crystal Lake Camp which explains why Jason kills.  Apparently, when he kills, he sees the people as Freddy and not as they should be.  Like I said.  Worse than what they had come up with in the Briggs script and the actual movie.  Other storys suggested a battle between Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers.  Pinhead was also suggested to be a combatant in a movie against Freddy and Jason but thankfully, neither of those never materialized.
An actual sequel was done for Freddy Vs. Jason.  Two of them to be quite honest.  Freddy Vs Jason Vs. Ash has Freddy and Jason fighting another horror icon, Ash Williams from the Evil Dead movies as portrayed by Bruce Campbell.  It apparently was in the works but Sam Raimi would not sign off his Ash character to the studio, despite everyone else wanting to go forward.  Needless to say, it never was made into a movie so it was instead released in comic book form.  It also spawned a sequel with Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash 2: The Nightmare Warriors which teams Ash up with anyone and everyone who ever survived against Freddy or Jason in the previous movies. (Except for Jason X, that would be silly.)  The fact that we get to see Tommy Jarvis, one of the most popular survivors of the Friday the 13th series teaming up with the likes of Ash, Alice, Jacob, and Maggie from Freddy's Dead is pretty neat.  Seeing these characters interact with each other is a treat for anyone who ever watched these movies and wondered how these survivors would interact with each other.   Both books, while exceedingly violent and kind of cheesy, are worth a read if you want to see what could have happened if the movie had been made.
Final Verdict?: I am going to give Freddy Vs. Jason a 3 out 5 razor gloves simply because when they finally do meet and fight face to face, it is quite fun to watch. I admit that FVJ is a guilty pleasure, but definitely one that is in my rotation if nothing else for the fight.   

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