A Nightmare on Elm Street Vs. Friday the 13th – Two Iconic Horror Franchises
Happy Hallowe’en my fine feathered freaky friends. Today I would like to briefly discus and compare two of the biggest horror franchises of all time: A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. I have recently completed rewatching both series, and while I love both, I would say both are not equal. Both series are iconic: show someone a cheezy goalie mask or a glove with knives as nails and most likely they will know what movie franchise it came from.
Friday the 13th, the original movie, was released in 1980, taking the horror world, and pulp culture in general by storm. It tells the story of a young, mentally challenged boy who drowned due to the negligence of counsellors at the summer camp, Camp Crystal Lake, and the revenge extracted by is crazed mother. This movie introduced us to the character of Jason Voorhees (just Jason from now on), but what many people forget (or don’t realize) that Jason isn’t even in this first film. It’s the second film that we finally get to meet Jason, but even then he’s not wearing his Goalie mask – he acquires that in the third film when he takes it from the ”Prankster” of the group. The Friday the 13th Series continued for 11 movies, including the cross over film Freddy Vs. Jason – 12 if you include the 2009 remake (or re-imagining). Along the way Jason evolves a little, going from a creation of his mother’s sick and twisted mind to a burlap sack wearing killer, then gaining his mask. At one point he’s able to from body to body as an evil spirit. Hell – he even ends up in space. Some things that don’t change are the facts that no matter how slow he lumbers, Jason will catch his victim and no matter how dead Jason seems to be – he’s not. Jason is a relentless killer, but not an intelligent killer. He gets the job done, but he doesn’t think much – but he doesn’t need to. At first it’s not apparent that he’s a supernatural being, but soon it becomes apparent that he’s not mortal, seeing that he cannot be killed. Many, if not most of Horror’s cliches have originated from this series. He’s the original unkillable killer.
A Nightmare on Elm Street debuted in 1984 and introduced the world to Fred “Freddie” Krueger, a vicious child killer, murdered in a fire by residents of his town seeking justice when a legal loophole set him free. Freddie has found a way to infect the minds of his victims by entering through their dreams. Sporting his now famous gloves with knives on the tip of each finger as his primary weapon, if Freddie kills you in your dreams, you’re dead in real life. The Nightmare series had 8 stand alone films as well as the crossover film, Jason Vs. Freddie and a remake/reimagining of the film from 2010. Freddie, from the start is a supernatural being that haunts the dreams of his victims, and unlike Jason, has a working mind – he’s devious, and taunting. Yes he has a working mind, though it doesn’t seem to work that well. Just a side note: the original film starred a young Johnny Depp – He dies in a extremely bloody scene.
Both series are great. Sure, not each movie of each series is great (hell, some are just downright bad), but as a whole, each are important to the horror genre – changing the entire genre in their own ways.I have to say I prefer the Friday the 13th series over the Nightmare series for one main reason: Remember when I said that Jason was mostly mindless and Freddie had a mind? Well Freddie’s mind, while working, is a silly mind. His taunts are silly and his puns are worse. With Jason, he’s just going to kill you – he’s not going to make some dumb, silly pun or taunt you in a ridiculous manner. He’s just going to keep coming until he gets you. Still – I like both series and say that if you are a fan of horror then you should watch both series. If you don’t then I argue that you really can’t consider yourself a connoisseur of the genre.
What’s your view on the two series?
Tales From the Crypt Presents: Ritual (2001) – Potential Wasted By Not Enough Story
I wanted to like 2001’s Ritual, really. I like Tales From The Crypt, and I like Zombie Films. Unfortunately, I did not like this Tales From the Crypt Zombie Film.
Do you remember the Crypt Keeper from the 1980’s and Early 1990s? Yes? Than you would have expected the Crypt Keeper to introduce a Tales from the Crypt movie… right? Yeah, I expected that also, but guess what? No Crypt Keeper. Alright, not a great start.
So, the story is about a Doctor, suspended from practicing medicine in the states for two years due to a decision that was forced upon her. She has accepted a position on a mansion in Jamaica, caring for a rich guy that thinks he’s being controlled by dark forces. Jamaican style Voodoo, called Obeah, is being blamed for his illness, while many believe he is just plane crazy.
This is a movie about plotting, revenge, black magic and silly people. It’s a movie where we are treated to seeing the main character’s apparently permanently erect nipple push though her blouse. It’s a movie of brothers – of family betrayal. It’s a movie 30+ minutes too long for the amount of story contained within.
This movie dragged on so long. Take about 30 minutes away and it would be okay.
I say don’t watch this film. It’s not the worst I’ve seen – hell, it’s not even close. Still, it bored me.
I can’t even find the trailer for you folks to watch – sorry. Those of you with Netflix will be able to watch it with no problems if you really feel you need to.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer (2012) – To All Those Who Told Me This Sucked You Can No Longer Suggest Movies to Me Anymore
Okay, I have to stop listening to people’s opinions when it comes to movies. When I first saw the trailers for 2012’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, I thought that it looked like it was going to be a good, silly action film. Then I made the mistake of listening to people who’ve said that it sucked, sucked badly. Well, I just watched the film and I am pissed at all those people. This movie was awesome.
Truly a silly concept: Vampires are making a (secret) claim for the U.S, using the cover of the Southern Unites Sates policies to hide their existence and plans. Abraham Lincoln, as a boy, had discovered their existence when he witnessed one of the creatures of the night take his Mother’s life, and growing up, planned and plotted revenge.
As a young man, Mr. Lincoln is recruited by a Vampire hunter and taught the methods he would need to battle Vampires, and agrees to attack and kill them only when receiving instructions to do so, all the time waiting for the instructions to kill the Vampire that killed his mother. Growing impatience with the wait causes friction between the young Mr. Lincoln and his mentor.
Time advances and Mr. Lincoln becomes President and overseas what appears to be a losing war against the South and it’s Undead allies. The Vampires’ extend their grasp and influence over the and start taking a more direct part in the war with entire platoons of Vampires, leading Lincoln to devise an interesting method of combating the hoards of Undead.
This movie is stylish: it looks fantastic, the acting is passable (not amazing, but good enough), and the story, while silly, is interesting and compelling. If you can suspend your sense of disbelief then is is a great, fun film to watch. I definitely recommend it.
Check out the Trailer here:
Act of Valor (2012) – Wow – Way Better Than I Expected
Act of Valor (2012) was a movie that got a bit more press than it might have normaly got due to the fact that the movie used real Navy Seals. This is a good action film – not a great film, but a good action movie.
So, the Seals are used to extract a kidnapped female operative that had been posing as a doctor, helping poor kids in Mexico. Add to this the fact that the kidnappers are working with a Georgian (in Russia, not the Southern U.S.) Terrorist who plans on having 16 suicide bombers detonate themselves in 16 different locations in the U.S., using high tech, undetectable suicide vests, thereby plunging the U.S. economy into chaos.
Well filmed, and action packed, I really enjoyed this film. THere are no award winning performances, and there wasn’t any particular character that I liked or particularly hated – but this film didn’t need that. It had a good balance of explosions and gunshots and plotting. Sure, it’s a bit of U.S. flag waving (and I am not an Amaerica), but that said, this is a great “guy’s movie.”
So, in short, if you want to watch a good, military action film, check out Act of Valor.
Check out the trailer here:
Things to Come (1936) – A Truly Great Film
I just finished watching the 1936 adaptation of H.G. Wells story, Things to Come and must say I found this to be an excellent film. Made just before World War Two, the feeling that war palapable in Europe and this move plays on that feeling. In the movie war breaks out and is waged for so long (decades upon decades)that eventually society breaks down into feudal city states, constantly warringwith each other, and technology failing – what machinery that actually works is usually bits salvaged from other bits.
This is a movie that shows the bleakness that many Europeans felt on the cusp of World War II. This movie is a vision of what most likely seemed a possibility: a future of endless war and suffering. This is a great movie.
There are not many author’s that embraced trhe future in the way that H.G. Wells did. HE didn’t sugar coat it and fill it up with Utopias, butterflys and rainbows. This was a warning… of Things to Come.
The timeline of the movie spans decades – from 1940 to 2036. A war breaks out between the Axis and Allies but goes on so long that no one knows who’s winning or even if anyone is in charge. Feudal communities have broken out, with local Warlords running things.
Luckily for man, a group of scientists have created a society to keep man from descending completely into barbarity.
There is a lot to this movie, and I did not feel olike I was watching a movie from 1936, but a timeless story with a universal message. This is a movie that deserves to be watched.
This might be the best movie on this site.
Good news folks, you can watch it for free because it has slipped into the public domain.
Here is the trailer:
And Here is the whole amazing movie:
The Blob (1958) – Fun Filled Cheezy “Horror”
There’s something to be said about many of the Sci-Fi/horror films of the 1950s. They usually have some sort of charm and 1958’s The Blob is no exception.
Taking place on one long night in July, 1957, in a small Pennsylvania town after a meteorite strikes and it’s contents, a gelatinous substance proceeds to start engulfing the town’s residents, starting with the old farmer that first discovers it. A couple of local teens discover the farmer, his hand engulfed in the goo, and rush him to the town’s doctor. Soon the doctor and his nurse, as well as the affected farmer are all absorbed by this monster. The teens are of course are not believed until it’s too late and the creature… the Blob has grown to epic proportions.
This is a cool, fun old film that deserves to be watched by any fan of the old “Creature Feature” films. This film starts the late, great Steve McQueen.Make sure you check out this film, as I believe that it’s available freely on the Net in streaming format.
Here is the trailer:
The Darkest Hour (2011) – What a Waste of a Potentially Good Idea
When I first saw the trailers for The Darkest Hour, I thought that it looked like it could be a good movie – it definitely looked interesting. Unfortunately I should have stuck with the trailer.
Taking place in Moscow, a strange looking borealis (Northern Lights) precedes a dropping of flowery looking lit up objects. Once one makes contact with flesh, it disintegrates the living being.
The story starts with two American ‘Net entrepreneurs who have headed to Moscow to find their idea stolen. Later, while drowning their sorrows in a Moscow Night Club, where they are when this attack happens. They. along with two womaen and the asshole that stole their idea manage to survive this onslaught in a now almost empty Moscow. Along the way they meet up with a weird scientist guy and a cute Russian girl, a group of Russians that have found ways to survive.
This movie had so much potential, and like many movies, was no more than smoke and mirrors. I just at no time cared for any of the characters, and there wasn`t much of a point (other than survival) to anything.
Once again, my time has been wasted.
Don’t watch this crap.
The Taint (2010) – I Like Bad Movies, But I Hate This One
A chemical (or virus) released by the lab in a town, turns all the men in to raving lunatics that have an uncontrollable urge to violently kill all women.
This is a piece of shit film that is nothing but a waste of everyone’s time. Really bad acting, filmography, script and concept. I find absolutely nothing compelling about this garbage. The only thing that it almost had going for it is that it is short. When I was done this movie I felt like finding the director and punching him in the face. This movie came close to making Black Devil Doll look good.
Don’t waste your damn time on this.
Here’s the sitty trailer for this shitty film:
Slugs (1987) – Oh My God – Don’t Watch This
1987’s horror (I think they meant horrible), movie Slugs is another waste of time.
A town, built on a toxic waste dump (no, this isn’t Tromaville), has become infested with carnivorous slugs that are travelling through the sewer system, killing the residents. If only they were all killed before this movie was made.
Bad special effects combined with even worse acting make for a particularly crappy movie – and I like bad movies.
Word to the wise: Just watch something else.
Here’s a trailer for those compelled to watch:
Swamp Thing (1982) – 80`s Comic Book Cheeziness – But I Love It
I watched 1982’s Swamp Thing back when it was new (and I was young) and I loved it then just as I love it now.
Starring Adrienne Barbeau and Louis Jourdan, this Wes Craven movie is primarily about a scientist that develops some plant/animal hybrid formula that allows super fast regeneration of cells. An evil, bad mad scientist wants the formula and, with his henchmen, heads to the doctor’s laboratory in the swamp to take it. An accident leaves the good guy on fire when the formula gets splashed all over him – he’s assumed killed. The bad guys take the research notes (minus one book that Adrienne hides while feigning unconsciousness.
The good guy scientist, instead of being killed by the formula/fire, is actually transformed into the Swamp Thing: a giant, plant/man hybrid with enormous strength and rapid healing powers.
The rest of the film has Adrienne being captured, saved, captured, escaped…Swamp Thing captured/escaping. It’s really all very silly and low budget… But I just don’t care. This film has charm and is fun… and I got to see Adrienne Barbeau’s boobs when I was a kid and that’s something!
Hey, this is a comic book movie, so realism can be thrown to the wind. Leave your sense of credulity at the door and enjoy this silly film.
Here is the trailer:
Strippers Vs. Werewolves (2012) – Way Better Than I Expected
Okay… Now I expected Strippers Vs.Werewolves to be bad, really bad. I really didn’t expect much at all from this film. Man was I wrong: this was a really fun film.
Lets see… Werewolves and other creatures of the night exist, and one gets killed by a stripper when she gets scare while performing a private dance for him and stabs him in the eye socket with a silver pen. The club owner, who has experience with werewolves, hatches a plan to get rid of the body.
Meanwhile, back at werewolf headquarters, they are starting to miss their now dead werewolf friend and start hunting for him.
About this time, we find out that the stripper who killed the werewolf is engaged to be married to one of the werewolves, though she doesn’t know he’s a werewolf. Funny thing: he doesn’t know that she’s a stripper and is the one that killed the member of his pack.
So, the werewolves leave a trail of death on their search for the killer of their brother, while the strippers prepare for the inevitable werewolf onslaught.
Stylishly filmed, and the actors actually act. There are a few familiar faces (Hey Guy Ritchie – did you try to make a horror film?). Now, I’m not saying this film deserves any awards, and to be honest it is a little too long for the amount of actual story. It’s low budget, and for a werewolf film, you never see a transformation from man to wolf – just one moment you see the human face, then the next moment they’re a werewolf. Also, Robert Eglund gets top billing but does sweet f#$% all in this film – he’s a ruse to get people to watch (I hate when film makers pull that kind of crap). That said, it’s a fun action packed, silly film that deserves to be watched.
Here’s the trailer:
Modern Problems (1981) – Early 80s Chevy Chase Telekinetic Silliness
I saw 1981’s Modern Problems in the theatre when I was all of 12 years old. I loved it then and I love it now. This is a movie of epic silly proportions.
It’s the story of Max Fielder (played by Chevy Chase), a wimpy air traffic controller that allows everyone around him to push him around. He’s dealing with the possible end of his long term relationship to Darcy (played by Patty D’Arbanville) due to his innate wimpiness and uncontrollable jealousy. Max accidentally gets irradiated with toxic nuclear waste that imbues him with telekinetic powers. Combine those powers with his personality issues and you have a troubling combination.
Along the way we are introduced to his friend, Brian, a wheelchair bound Vietnam vet played by Brian Doyle-Murray, who invites Max and Darcy to his beach house along with writer and womanizing asshole Mark Winslow (played by the always great Dabney Coleman). Max, when confronted by the group[ at dinner, loses it and unleashes his power and anger at Winslow. From there on things escalate like crazy. It all comes to a silly head in a flash of violence, voodoo and siliness.
See this move…
Here’s the trailer:
Snoop Dogg`s Hood of Horror (2006) – Surprisingly Good
2006’s Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror is a movie I would most likely never had seen had it not been for Netflix`s suggestion system – and I am glad Netflix did suggest it, because this was refreshing and fun.
A compilation of several stories that take place in the “hood”all tied together by Snoop, whos is a sort of gatekeeper, making sure people pay their dues when it’s time. The movie starts off with an extended animated sequence that explains how Snoop becomes the supernatural character that he is (giving his life for a family member…). The individual stories are interesting enough: a female tagger (graffiti artist) is given the power to get revenge on her tormentors by a very evil and wild looking Danny Trejo. That is, until she abuses the power given to her. Next, a son of a recently deceased vet has to live with poor veterans for a year (with his bitch wife) to see what the unfortunate go through. He puts them through a living hell until they exact their revenge. Then a story of an up and coming rapper that is forced to pay for his past transgressions against his friend and colaborator that died on the cusp of greatness in what seemed like a random act of violence. Then everything gets tied up in an epilogue.
Anyway, this film oozes fun and horror together. Like all horror compilations, there are twists, turns and plenty of comedy to go around. Snoop is perfect for his roll in this film, also.
This is one that I definitely suggest. Check out the trailer below:
Scarecrows (1988) – Could Have Been Good, But As Usual, Wasn’t
1988’s horror movie, Scarecrow is another example of me watching a crappy movie so you don’t have to.
A bunch of paramilitary pull off a heist at a military base, hijack a plane with the pilot and his daughter, get double crossed by one of their confederates, who parachutes out of the plane with the money. They land and look for him on a piece of property riddled with scarecrows. The Scarecrows come to life and take them out one at a time… and blah blah blah blah blah blah. Oh, and don’t forget this: blah blah blah blah blah blah.
This is a stupid, boring movie. Stupid is okay, but please: never bore me.
This crappy movie is available on Netflix if you`re a masochist. Here’s the trailer (I could only find the German trailer, but hey – it sucks):
Watch the Sci-Fi Classic, Things to Come (1936) NOW!!!
This is a classic sci-fi tale from shortly before World War II. An H.G. Wells story, this is a masterful story and film which is available freely from the wonderful Archive.org.
This is a definite must watch if you enjoy Science Fiction.
Watch it here at the Archive or right below with this embedded Youtube link here:
Exit Wounds (2001) – Exit Steven Seagal’s Movie Career
I watched 2001’s Steven Seagal action Schlockfest for one reason and one reason only: It was filmed in Calgary, Alberta Canada – the city that I call home.
Shortly after I moved to Calgary, there was a bit of a buzz about the Steven Seagal movie being filmed here, mostly due to a scene that was to be filmed an a bridge that is a local historical bridge. There was going to be explosions and stuff… typical action movie stuff.
It’s funny to watch a movie that is supposed to take place in Detroit and being able to recognize almost every single landmark as part of the Canadian city you live in…
Okay, now about the movie: You know that action movie you watched with that actor and he’s a cop, and he’s surrounded by bad cops, and the bad guy really isn’t the bad guy? This is that movie with Steven Seagal and DMX. I think that’s enough. No worse than most of Seagal’s movies and better than some. If you like these movies then you’ll do okay with this one and if you don’t like these movies then stay away. As far as I can tell, this is one of the last Steven Seagal movies to get a major theatrical release
Here’s the trailer:
Reader suggestion: Killer Image (1992)
Michael Ironside stars, Jack Ackroyd in a supporting role.
Good suggestion, though hard to find locally. I will most likely get this on Amazon
Alien Origin (2012) – “Found Video” Crapfest
Why… Why do I do this to myself?
This is a crappy movie that is supposedly made up of found footage (you know, like Blair Witch and Cloverfield). This time it’s video from Belize from a military unit with an embedded female american reporter looking for two missing archaeologists or something – I just don’t care.
It’s a tale of aliens that you never really see and the origin part is thrown in in the last minute.
Bad acting, and an almost total lack of plot, a total and complete waste of time.
Don’t watch it, but here’s a friggin trailer for you:
Exit Humanity (2011) – An Interesting but Much Too Long Movie
2011’s Exit Humanity is an interesting end of the world Zombie movie with a twist: it takes place just shortly after the American Civil War. The Zombie virus first appears at the end of the war when fallen soldiers start rising from the dead as black Eyed zombies. Skip ahead 6 years and we find our self in the kitchen of Edward Young, his wife dead from his gun after he arrived home to find she too had become one of the undead, and his young son nowhere to be found. After dealing with the remains of his wife, he goes off in search of his son. This trip is one of tragedy, and and quickly turns into a memorial March. Throw in a power mad general and his doctor who believes he can create a serum to fight the infection using human Guinea pigs in a NAZI like manner.
This movie is much better produced than I expected and the acting, while not great, and sometimes not believable, is passable. It’s an interesting look at a Zombie outbreak at an interesting time.
While I did like this movie, it is in desperate need of some serious edition: this movie needs to lose between 30 and 40 minutes for it`s length to match it’s content.
Easily found on Netflix if you’re looking for a fresh telling of a Zombie tale, check out the trailer below:
Night of the Comet (1984) – Cheezy Nostalgia
I remember watching this back in 1984 mostly to see the “hot chick” from my then home town Edmonton, Catherine Mary Stewart, who played the lead character, Regina.
The gist of this movie is this: A previously unknown comet makes a swing past earth, and the resulting meteor shower releases some sort of dust or radiation that turns anyone who wasn’t protected behind steel into dust. Most of the world who turned out to watch the comet disappeared, and the few who survived are turning into Zombie like creatures as they too slowly disintegrate Meanwhile, two hot sisters that survived the night team up with a low budget Eric Estrada like good guy dude try to survive. Add to the whole mix a group of high tech survivalists, some thugs and you have an entertaining if mild movie.
I think I like this a little more than it deserves because it reminds me of the younger me. But even so, I think I would have still liked, but not as much. Like I said: the first time I watched it when I was 15 was to see a local girl in a movie.
Check it out yourself.
Here’s the trailer:
Waxworks (1988) – Don’t Waste Your Time
Easiest write up of a movie on this blog so far: This movie is crap and doesn’t deserve a write up – IT SUCKS.
It took me two days to get through the damn thing and I hope I never see it again… An I freakin’ like crappy movies!
A bunch of teenagers get invited to a midnight sneak preview at a creepy waxmiseum – only to be drawn into the exhibits and therefore wax figures themselves. Bad acting, bad script and a bad cast… Surprisingly all this adds up to a bad movie.
If you want to see a good movie revolving around a wax museum then watch Vincent Price’s House of Wax.
Here’s the crappy trailer for this crappy movie:
Double Indemnity (1944) – My Three Crimes (Adultery, Insurance Fraud and Murder)
I watched this great film noir this morning, starring Fred MacMurray (best known to many as the Dad from My Three Sons) as Walter Neff, an insurance salesman that falls for Phyllis Dietrichson (played by Barbara Stanwyck), the wife of an uncaring, unfeeling Oilman, known only to the audience as as Mr. Dietrichson.
Neff meets Phyllis when he stops by the house to sell insurance. Immediately smitten, with Phyllis apparently sharing similar feelings for Neff, Neff is soon embroiled in a plot to Kill Mr. Dietrichson and collect the policy – a policy that pays out double (hence the movie’s title, Double Indemnity) in the case the policy holder dies in an accident.
Planning an murder that looks like an accident, and pulling it off looked like it went well. The only issue is that Porter Hall (played by Edward G. Robinson), a fellow insurance salesman gets suspicious and starts digging deeper into the circumstances around the death and turning up discrepancies. Fred spends the rest of the film trying to keep from getting caught and finding out that he just might be being played himself.
This is a tale of deceit, murder, adultery and awesomeness. The film is a great example of the Film Noir genre, and the actors are all top notch. A Dark tale (like all film noir), I highly recommend this film if you have an open mind enough to enjoy a dark tale that doesn’t show blood, gore or Zombies. If you get a chance to see this film, please do.
Check out the trailer here:
The Ladykillers (2004) – Compelling Weirdness from the Cohen Brothers
Watching this film reminded me: the Cohen Brothers are insane – beautifully insane. I swear these guys crap masterpieces!
A remake of the 1955 movie of the same name, this movie stars Tom Hanks and a cast of “that guys” planning an ingenious heist from a riverboat casino.
This a seriously fun and dark movie. tom Hanks plays a swarthy, kind of charming professor that seems a throwback to the Antebellum times, and is the mastermind behind the heist. Hanks’ character has gathered a group of men that all have specific specialties that they add to the group as a whole. Their plan is to tunnel into the cash room of the casino via a tunnel they dig from the root cellar of the sharp, elderly lady Hanks’ character had rented a room from.
It’s a bit of a crazy plan with some very funny twists and turn that leave you wondering and laughing.
This is definitely a film for Cohen fans and if you don’tnormally like their work then this is not for you. That said, if you do, then definitely watch this… then go and watch the 1955 original – it’s also great (and star s Sir Alec Guinness).
Check out the trailer below: