[OCTOBERFEAST is the greatest celebration of the year, a revelry dedicated to pop-culture’s most nutritious Halloween detritus. Plastic screams and artificial sweeteners have never been more bountiful. In the old country, villagers refer to the extended party as Satan’s Snacktime]
Today’s OCTOBERFEAST guest is a man whose reputation precedes him, creatively murdering people for the past twenty-seven years. When this dude targets you, he infiltrates your dream, exploits your fears, and then commits horrendous acts of barbarism. Also, he wears a sweet Christmas sweater and is responsible for some of the horror genre’s most hilarious one-liners of all-time.
The homicidal dream-slasher in question is, of course, the one and only Freddy Krueger.
As a villain five times in the 1980s, twice in the 1990s, and twice in the post-millennium, many consider Krueger to be an exemplar for slasher-flick murderers who has stood the test of time. After all, what’s more horrifying than the notion that our dreams – the venues we use to play out hopes and dreams and unspoken fantasies – can become the grounds of our gruesome demises?
Krueger’s deeds speak for themselves. So hit the jump and check out some of the handiwork of Elm Street’s most malignant spirit.
Born in the in the middle of Reagan’s second term, I can’t honestly say I knew what the hell was going on until the early 1990’s. And even then, a lot of cool shit (like the Spice Channel and Through the Never) went right over my head. It’s an unfortunate fact but I might as well have not even lived my first six years.
However, there were two figures so ingrained within pop culture that I couldn’t help but recognize them. Although their respective franchises had already started to descend, their ability to affect my six-year-old sensibilities did not dwindle at all. In my childhood, there were two indisputable manifestations of terror:
Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.
Take a giant, undead monster with an unquenchable bloodlust and put him behind a hockey mask. Then give him a machete and a penchant for hacking up doofuses. Occasionally, include a back-story that touches upon his being a semi-retarded child who drowned in Crystal Lake. The result? Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th series.
Even more frightening is Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Krueger is a former child molester/murderer who was burned alive by a mob of pissed off parents. Of course, Freddy is then somehow able to infiltrate the dreams of the townsfolk and kill them in the process. If this weren’t horrifying enough, one must remember that Freddy rocks a glove with four knives on it, wears a creepy striped sweater and adorns a fedora. A fedora!
So, if my childhood was haunted by these icons of horror, why include Freddy vs. Jason in the OCTOBERFEAST? Well for starters, that fact that Krueger and Voorhees scared the piss right into my bedsheets is a testament to their effectiveness. If you walk out of a horror flick completely unafraid of its antagonist, chalk that movie up as a failure. While there are certainly some duds in the Friday the 13th& A Nightmare on Elm Street collections, the best of those franchises are some of the best.
Secondly, 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason finally gave fans what they had been begging to see for years. The burn-victim-nightmare-killer and Lennie-from-Of Mice and Men-with-a-goalie-mask dominated the American horror scene throughout all of the 1980’s & 1990’s; it was natural for people to want to see them go toe-to-toe. Same idea as Superman vs. Batman or Godzilla vs. King Kong — you take the two greatest and have them duke it out! Even the producers of the series knew it was only a matter of time — just consider the teaser placed at the end of Jason Goes to Hell (posted below).
Really though, Freddy vs. Jason is a fun movie. There’s no bullshit philosophical musing, nor did the producers puss out and settle for a PG-13. Instead, the viewer is treated to ridiculous murders and plenty of excuses to pit the two villains against one another. It does exactly what it was expected to and does it well.
Lastly, Freddy vs. Jason makes it into OCTOBERFEAST because it is the collaborative swansong for both franchises. After this 2003 effort, both Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street would be subjected to bullshit Hollywood reboots. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no “purist” and I definitely think restarting a franchise can be an excellent decision (*ahem*Batman Begins*ahem*Casino Royale*). But in the case of both of these series, I’m calling shenanigans on reinvention.
Grab a bag of candy corn, pound some apple cider and watch Freddy vs. Jason. If for nothing else, you get to hear Kelly Rowland say, “What kind of faggot runs around in a Christmas sweater?”