Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Something Rank (#28-25)

The countdown continues...
Four franchise favorites face off!

Check out: #36-33, #32-29

(#28) Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

Apparently somebody out there wanted this to happen. Apparently a lot of people did. Who are you people? Two legends of laceration take it into the ring to battle it out as reigning champion of teen trauma. In one corner: Jason Voorhees, backwoods brute and wonky-eyed momma's boy. In the other: Freddy Krueger, violater of the playground and the sleep-deprived. Who will win? Apparently somebody cares...

"Welcome to my world, bitch!"
--Freddy Krueger

I'm partial to these fright icons when they're at their most menacing. But if you're a fan of these series at this point of convergence, you've pretty much (forcibly) embraced the joke. There's nothing left to terrify with Freddy or Jason, thus the inevitable franchise renovations. They crack jokes, grunt, call each other "bitch," and sever something or other. This is obviously the winking intent. Two film series that are so tied to their generation are ushered into a new one, mockingly and with epic proportions. It thinks it's funny, it thinks it's Thunderdome. Apparently somebody cares...

Killer Looks:

Freddy's career trajectory:
High School Janitor to Dream Demon

Jason's career trajectory:
Handicapped kid to Handicapping kids

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#27) Friday the 13th Part VIII:
Jason Takes Manhattan

Jason Voorhees does it up Broadway style! More like off off Broadway style... Taking Jason to the Big Apple seems it would promise something bigger and better, but it's more of the same only worse. From cruise liner to cruising public transportation, Jason hulks his way through this mundane film, lazily offing people to faint late-eighties rock.

It's as lame and overly-teased as its characters hair and wardrobe. Jason's mutant child past gets regrettably placed front and center while the New York backdrop may as well be made of Styrofoam. It's tourism with no sense of direction.

Killer Looks:

1) Humble beginnings at Crystal Lake

2) Jason's New York state of mind

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#26) Jason Goes to Hell:
The Final Friday

Let's be honest -- it all goes to hell. Inspired as several of the plot turns and death scenes are here, this entry (like Jason moonlighting in Manhattan) accentuates just how strained this series has become. Not that we should expect more from of a number nine in any series, or any entry promising to be THE final face-off (Part IV: The Final Chapter, anyone?) Somehow each chapter grows more and more self-aware while feeling less and less substantial.

Gone is Harry Manfredini's stirring score as Jason's vomited from one stranger to the next, passing on his horrific legacy while leaving everyone nauseous. Fans seem satiated with some innovative slaughter and token T&A (a bit of beefcake keeps the campfire going), but I need a bit more fuel behind the fodder.

We can also blame Freddy Vs. Jason on this incarnation, which highlights the possibility for the pairing in its final moments. It's all for the sake of a joke of course, but then so is Freddy Vs. Jason. Then again Freddy isn't the only fanboy cameo. Jason Goes to Hell is full of in-joke references to vastly superior horror films. Even if this entry isn't worth recommending, it recommends a few bare essentials...

Freddy makes a collect call from hell

The Evil Dead's gnarly Necronomicon
and a Carpenter-stamped crate from The Thing

Jason's being passed around
like he's a sex parasite from Shivers

Killer Looks:

1) Jason in the flesh

2) Jason in the flesh of everyone else

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#25) Halloween 5:
The Revenge of Michael Myers

Notable as being one of the more aggressive sequels in its attempt to traumatize a child and put her into jeopardy for the majority of its runtime. I guess that's a plot. Even the Haddonfield police and Dr. Loomis himself (Donald Pleasence feeling not so pleasant) place little Jamie right in front of Michael's knife-wielding hands on several occasions. They may be family, but hugs don't exactly seem in order.

Danielle Harris makes for a marvelous child actor, carving a career out being brutalized by this bastard boogeyman. Their bond though is less poignant than it is completely nonsensical. Donald Pleasence, too, seems so tied to this series that it's quite sad to see the progression of embarrassment on his face at his continual involvement. At this point his paycheck was performing stronger than he was. And by the time the film tacks on extraneous elements like the mysterious man in black with the "Thorn" tattoo, all that's left is to shrug and say, "Well, that happened." But a child is permanently scarred so... there's that.

Killer Looks:

All along, behind that expressionless mask...

Michael was masking back tears.

My Thoughts Exactly:

Up Next: #24-21

Michael disposes of some white trash...


Jaime Grijalba said...

I liked "The Final Friday" more than people think, I tend to like the weird installments, like this one. Number VIII is bullcrap for sure.

Adam said...

"Final Friday" is more interesting than I remembered. Like the Jason beast crawling into women's nether regions. That deserves credit for something.