FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)
Which would qualify as:
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 8
FRIDAY THE 13TH XI
SLASH’S SHITFACED SATURDAY
Well, you never die Kreugerheads, it is time for a real treat, as unstoppable killing machine, Jason Voorhees first teams up with our favorite Slashman, Freddy, & then ultimately they have to square off against each for a real battle royal. This film was over 15 years in development, & it comes into being following FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991), & JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY.
Directed by Ronny Yu @ 97 action-packed minutes.
Produced by Sean S. Cunningham
Written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift.
TAGLINES: The Slicer, the Dicer, neither any Nicer.
Freddy Vs. Jason–place your bets.
Winner kills all.
Even a killer has something to fear.
One-two, Freddy’ s come for you–3-4, Jason’s at your door.
DATA: Fuck is said 38 times, with 24 other scatological references. Budget was 25 million; it grossed 82 million domestically.
Ronny Yu is a very energetic director, used to filming action movies, who has directed 21 films since 1979; most of them in Hong Kong; including BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998), FORMULA 51 (2001), & FEARLESS (2006).
The cinematographer was Fred Murphy, who has shot 76 films since 1969, including HEARTLAND (1979), EDDIE & THE CRUISERS (1983), THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (1985), OCTOBER SKY (1999), SECRET WINDOW (2005), then has been busy for years shooting television series: FRINGE (2009-2010), & all 84 episodes of THE GOOD WIFE (2009-2014).
The musical score was composed by the talented Graeme Revell, who has written 108 film scores since 1988, including DEAD CALM (1989), THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE (1992), BOXING HELENA (1993), GHOST IN THE MACHINE (1993),THE CROW (1994), TANK GIRL (1995), FROM DUSK UNTIL DAWN (1996), SPAWN (1997), BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998), PITCH BLACK (2000), LAURA CROFT;TOMB RAIDER (2001), THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (2004), & GRINDHOUSE (2007).
Robert Englund played Freddy for the 8th time, & the last time to date.
Former stuntman, 6’5” Ken Kirzinger played Jason, acing out Kane Hodder, who played the part in all the previous FRIDAY 13TH films.
FREDDY’S BABE GALLERY
Odessa Monroe played Heather,
Jason’s first victim in this go-round.
She has been kind enough to provide us with plenty of tit-shots.
Total nudity does not faze either.
Monica Keena played our protagonist, Lori Campbell.
She, likewise, was sweet enough to provide us with cheesecake;
& here’s a couple of tit-shots from another film.
Katherine Isabelle played the randy ball-wearing, Gibb.
Had to search hard, but did find some T&A for the gallery.
Kimberly Warnat played “a beer line girl.
She wanted us to include her in the Gallery skin shots.
Evangeline Lily, that LOST gal, had a cameo as a “school student”.
A lovely young woman, she has provided us with spicy cheesecake.
I did find one nice tit-shot, but I suspect it may be a fake; looks good though.
C&W star, Kelly Rowlands, played Kia.
She did get sort of “here’s my tits” for a video it seems.
It opens on an extreme close up of Freddy’s face, & shit-yes, they have decided to do this bitch correctly, for Freddy is in the realistic, takes 3 hours to apply it, make-up; no more Halloween mask from the fucking Dollar Store. You get the vibe right off the bat that this movie is going to be way cool.
Cut to Robert Englund looking like himself narrating a scene where he has captured a little girl in his basement, & after killing her (implied not shown), he brags about killing dozens of children, keeping a scrapbook of his press clippings–but then the Springwood parents, pissed off he got out of jail on a bullshit technicality, come for him, & burn his house down around him (though this is slightly horse pucky since we Freddy aficionados know he was actually cornered in the boiler room of an abandoned factory, where he took the children to play & then slay.)
Narrating further we are treated to scenes from five older NIGHTMARE films, as Freddy explains that living in hell is not so bad, but since fear is the demonic power he thrives on, he is angry that the population of Springwood has forgotten him, working hard on not telling the new teenagers about him. He has searched all over Hell for someone who could assist him, & has decided that Jason Voorhees fits the bill nicely.
Cut to a lovely scene at the Camp Crystal Lake, where a curvy brunette is preparing to go skinny dipping, tired of waiting for her drunken boyfriend, shit-faced herself, Heather strips down, giving us a magnificent tit-shot, than great ass shot. I could tell from this moment on that this move was doing things right.
She emerges frightened from the lake, only putting on her shirt partially, before she sees Jason lumbering through the fog coming after her. She runs like a girl, tit flopping out of the wet shirt, butt cheeks teasing us; of course falls down in the woods,
Jason catches her, and runs his machete through her, pinning her to a tree.
Then we hear the voice of Jason’s mother, praising him, & she comes to him, explaining that his gift is that he never can die, that even in hell, he could rise up again, and dip his rusty blade in more teenage torsos.
We witness Jason’s mutilated body in a shallow grave resurrecting, similar to one of the resurrections of Freddy in earlier NOES films, & a smooth clone of every time Dracula has risen from the grave. But, as Jason gets up, & shuffles off to Springwood, where he was directed to go in order to punish the “naughty children”, we see that old shapeshifter Freddy had been pretending to be Mrs. Pamela Voorhees.
Cut to 1428 Elm Street, this time with a blue door (they filmed this movie in
Vancouver, BC, & managed to find a neighborhood with elm trees & a house that looked enough like the original in CA.) & we are introduced to Lori, who lives there now, a hot short blond, so fucking stacked in her push-up bra and tight sweater, it looks like she might tip over forward.
She is expecting two BFF’s, Kia & Gibb, who have invited Blake & Trey. Lori wanted it to be a girl’s pajama party, but the boys, sitting around spread-legged, swilling beers, while rubbing their crotches have other things on both their minds.
Trey is the jock asshole alpha male, & treats Gibb like a slave bitch, & she goes for it, of course. He drags her upstairs & bangs her in somebody’s bedroom. We see Gibb’s naked back, being on top & all. After, Trey doesn’t want to be touched, (what a prince this prick is, right?). Gibb gets up, goes to the bathroom, giving us a sweet booty shot, & then takes a shower; her nude silhouette clear through one of those prism plastic shower doors; but then Bap, the camera jumps the door, & we are in there with her, a crane shot, but as she twists & turns, we get several lingering shots of her perky breasts. (the actress playing Gibb refused to do this nude scene, so they had to use a body double–oh well, if Janet Leigh could get away with it in PSYCHO, why not here too?).
While Gibb is scrubbing her bush & pits, Jason shows up in the bedroom; no damn indication how he got his lumbering 6’5” butt up there–the window, back stairs, hiding in the fucking closet Michael Myers style–but he is there; and as Trey is dreaming, Jason stabs him 7-10 times in the back; then he puts his machete down, & folds the bed in half, breaking Trey’s body in half, pretzeling him up in a bloody Murphy bed.
The inept Springwood police are called in, & they are freaked, looking at the nature of the murder, fearing that maybe Freddy Kreuger has returned; mentioning his name, which is taboo, & Lori hears it–sort of putting into motion the notion that the mere mention of this name will start the Freddy fearball rolling. Lori falls asleep, probably bored with the stupidity of the constabulary, has a nightmare, encounters Freddy, wakes up & is hip to the secret Dealio.
Blake is sent home where he gets to argue with his brutish father, who leaves him on the front porch. The kid falls asleep, encounters Freddy, who reaches out to him, but alas, was not strong enough to accomplish jack shit, so Blake wakes up unharmed. His Dad is sitting next to him. The Kid stands up & his father’s head rolls off; turning around, he walks into the business end of Jason’s machete. The investigating officers concluded that Blake had killed his father, then committed suicide; by invisible machete I guess. The cops were real Barney Fife motherfuckers.
Cut to Westin Hills Mental Health Clinic (we need to stop here, the birthplace of Freddy, just like we need to make a visit to 1428 Elm Street in each NOES film).
We meet Will & Mark, two teenagers forced to stay there because they both know about Freddy–Will because, as Lori’s boyfriend, he saw Lori’s father kill her mother; blaming Freddy–& Mark, who saw Freddy kill his older brother.
They take Hypnocil, the make-you-forget drug. After reading about the new murders, they escape, hide out at Mark’s brother’s empty (convenient, right?) house, & drive the brother’s hippy van.
Cut to Springwood High, congested hallway, Mark shows up & announces that Freddy Kreuger is the fucking murder-mad culprit. This scares the snot out of dozens of numb young minds. Will shows up, hugs Lori, tells Mark to shut the fuck up, then two mental health types show up, & the boys easily out run them, & ditch them. Will has a cinematic ephinany, realizes that the city & the parents have worked for years to make people forget Freddy, thus removing his power–& he concedes that maybe they let the bladed glove out of the damn bag.
Cut to a cornfield later that night, with fifty cars in a circle, with the town’s teenagers at a Rave, (some great cinematography in the set up shots ) getting high, feeling each other up, trashing the rumor that some clown called Freddy used to be the hot shit horror in town, & now would like to cut up more adolescent ass. Gibb is drunker than a bar fly at two in the morning, & she thinks she sees Trey (her deceased boyfriend), & of course follows him.
They enter the silo, which suddenly becomes a kind of boiler room; Trey becomes Freddy, who is now strong enough to slice Gibb a new snatch, & nearly cut her tits off. But–wait Freddy only dreams he’s done that, cuz outside the dream, Jason appears & shoves a broken pipe through her back & out between her bloody breasts.
Freddy gets all sulky, & has no time to lure someone else to Dreamland, because Jason charges into the rave like a berserk samurai, & kills 8 or 10 of them in a Mifune-flash; lots of yelling WTF, oh fuck, let’s get the fuck out of here!!
Freddy realizes, brilliant tactician that he is, that Jason is robbing him of potential future kills, slaughtering over a dozen before the rest flee in their souped up rides. This makes Freddy very unhappy; since his personal best of murders in any one NOES film is 2-4 kills. Jason just kills like a damn murdering reaping machine, mowing down flocks of victims as easily as scything oats.
The senior class nerd, Lori, Will, & Kia escape in the van. When they get to Lori’s house, her father confronts them, & roughs up Will, who then confronts him with the accusation of murdering his wife five years before. Lori feels her Dad must be guilty, & she splits with the other kids, & drives over to Mark’s house. They arrive just in time to witness Freddy attacking Mark, slicing up his face, before pouring gasoline on him, & setting him on fire. (ironically, this is the only Kreuger kill in the whole movie, making the score Jason 23/Freddy 1).
Cut to the police investigating all the murders at the Rave; one young deputy makes a connection to this deaths, & Jason. The dipshit sheriff does not want to hear it. the deputy approaches some of the teenagers, & he volunteers to assist them fighting Freddy & some other guy. They come up with a plan to break into Westin Hills, & steal a shit load of Hypnocil, so that the kids can just “forget fucking Freddy”.
But the monsters of mayhem are there too. Freddy inhabits one of the stoners, convincing him to flush the Hypnocil, rather than taking it to the others. Jason shows up electrocuting one of the other stoners, just as the first stoner injects Jason with a large dose of tranquilizer; but Jason cuts the kid in half before the drug took effect.
The teens drag the unconscious Jason into the van, & take off for Crystal Lake, which apparently is in Ohio too, not that far from Springwood. The kids hatch the old hackneyed plan to drag Freddy from Dreamland, & when he exists in this world, let Jason have at his pedophile ass. But coincidentally, now that Jason is “asleep”, he encounters Freddy in Dreamworld. An epic battle begins, which Freddy seems to have a slight edge with since they are battling in the environment that he thrives in. Yet, because of Jason’s total lack of Fear, & apparent indestructibility, Freddy soon figures out that he cannot kill Jason–but Freddy does discover Jason’s fear of water, so he pulls him into a nightmare about him drowning as a child.
Suddenly Lori enters their dream in order to retrieve Freddy, saving Jason in the process. At one point, Lori is looking for help from the camp councillors, but she finds them all making out & fucking on the cabin porches.
She approaches one couple, as the young man becomes Freddy, complaining that the naked corpse he is banging is “the deadest piece of ass I ever had.”
This pussiful plan enrages Freddy, who attacks Lori, revealing what a stupid little cunt she was for believing that her father murdered her mother; absurd, since Freddy did the deed.
Meanwhile, cut to Crystal Lake where Jason wakes up, & breaks out of his lame clothes-line rope tethers, & chases after the others. Now, let’s see, Lori is already in the dream, so was she carried into the cabin that the others took refuge in? Not explained.
Jason breaks in, the Nerd tries to protect Kia, & Jason tosses him like a small sack of goat shit across the room, impaling him on a shelf bracket, knocking shit over, starting the cabin on fire. Lori’s hand is burned, which causes her to wake up, but not before she latches onto Freddy & drags him into the real world.
Jason takes one look at Freddy & jumps his shit, & Freddy gives as much as he gets; while the teens escape. Some of the fight choreography reminds me of several of the fights the Wolfman had with Frankenstein.
Jason tosses Freddy through the cabin roof, where he encounters Lori, Will, Nerd, & Kia. The Nerd succumbs to his sucking chest wound, & Kia taunts Freddy, calling him a kiddy stalker, a fag motherfucker, & a numb nuts. She does not seem to be afraid of him. While Freddy is trying to deal with this, Jason shows up killing her quickly with his broad sword machete; another kill stolen from Freddy.
This really enrages Kreuger as the two titans of Indie horror square off for their Big Battle; quite the well-choreographed fight scene done by the director who helmed FEARLESS with Jet Li.
Excellent solid action ensues (Ronny Yu hates jump-cut pussy editing, so he takes the time to choreograph & shoot all the moves; which I really appreciate). They hit each other with large pieces of mining equipment (WTF an abandoned mine is doing at at summer camp stretches credibility a bit). Freddy gets up high on the rigging & rails, tossing down rebar like spears, several of which impale the indestructible Voorhees.
Freddy tries to nail Jason with a mine cart, but somehow it hits both of them. Jason takes the advantage by delivering several brilliant lethal machete thrusts to Freddy, who screams like a girl. Somehow Freddy gets a hold of the machete, & chops all fingertips off Jason’s right hand. He then stabs Jason about nine times with the machete, then impales him with the blade glove, before shoving blades into Jason’s eyes through his bloody hockey mask.
But Will & Lori are still there cheering for Jason, so they set the boardwalk on fire, distracting Freddy, allowing Jason to punch through Kreugers back & out of his chest, before tearing off Freddy’s right arm with the glove still on it.
Freddy, holding the machete in his left arm, manages to cut into Jason’s chest, hitting him in the heart.
Lori sets off a huge explosion with some stuff left out from the mine, blowing the terrible combatants into the lake. Freddy surfaces first, and he gets out of the water & attacks the kids. But Lori is ready for him, holding Jason’s machete. Jason surfaces, comes up behind Freddy, & shoves his gloved hand & arm through his back & chest, just as wild-eyed Lori decapitates Kreuger.
Jason & Freddy sink back into the lake. Will & Lori skip off, finally at peace with their nightmares. (In one version of the ending, they find a cabin & are having sex while Jason reappears & kills them–but not this one.) A few bubbling minutes later, Jason does re- emerge, & as he walks up out of the lake, we see that he is holding his trusty machete in one hand, & had Freddy’s head in the other. Freddy’s head winks just as the final credits roll.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at 59% Critics Approval & 50% Audience Approval.
Bob Campbell of the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER wrote: “This will satisfy the hordes who have awaited this heavyweight matchup for over a decade.”
Jack Matthews of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS wrote: “Though a stickler might ask what is at stake in a fight to the death between two guys who are already dead (or worse), the hardcore fans are not likely to be disappointed.”
John Monaghan of the DETROIT FREE PRESS wrote: “I think New Line’s smartest move was letting Ronny Yu direct this powerhouse sequel.”
Wesley Lovell of CINEMA SIGHT wrote:”With Jason & Freddy at war over the souls of children, this great send-up of the genre is extremely fun, & is faithful to the characterizations long-established screen villains.”
Hey, the great thing about including Jason in a horror film,is that the body count goes way up; in this case it was 24; about of them wiped out at the Rave in the cornfield. Still hard to believe that old Freddy only killed one character in this action-packed excellent film. Perhaps not a critical success, this movie, for me had some essential ingredients that I applaud. First of all, some stacked bitches to stare at; fatigued with flat-chested ones–& tasteful nudity, lots of bodacious tit-shots, bum-shots. Second, well choreographed fight scenes, very well planned, and NEVER shot in lazy bull shit jump cuts. Ronny Yu agrees with my assessment, & I hug him for it. 75% of the action scenes today are shot with jump-cut close-up lazy stupid jump cuts; the pox on all the directors who make that fucking choice. One of the worst was now deceased Tony Scott.
Rob Zombie was offered the director’s chair, I read, but he opted out in order to work on his own Indie horror classic, HOUSE OF A 1000 CORPSES (2003). Peter Jackson was asked to direct, & that didn’t work out–but I am very pleased with the way Ronny Yu helmed this fine foxy bitch; using a lot of the 25 million dollar budget right there on the screen; remembered almost 10 million had been spent on the project for 15 years while in “development”. He used 300 gallons of fake blood, approaching the record-setting SAW numbers.
As mentioned in several other reviews, the last couple of FREDDY films had Robert Englund using a pull-over fake-looking Halloween mask, & in this movie they had him sit for 3 hours daily to apply the genuine Freddy look. I did read where one mishap took place during the climatic final battle scene; actor Ken Kurzinger caught on fire, but being an experienced stunt man, he knew they would get to him & put out the flames quickly–however Robert Englund was unaware that his thick make-up got so hot, it literally baked & bonded to his face.
Fred Murphy’s cinematography was beautifully handled; crisp, colorful, steady as a rock; steadi-cams & cranes abounded. Greame Revill’s music also added a lot to this film, adding a few subtle metallic motifs, reminiscent of Charlie Clouser’s imaginative use of odd metallic sounds in all his SAW scores. Using a massive, 6’5” actor to play Jason did increase the tension, & heighten the battle scenes with 5’10” Englund.
Using the Horribly Hooched 10 Star rating system, I would give this one a 9.5 stars; a nearly flawless example of what a terrific slasher epic could be.