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Looking Back at the Original Take on Freddy vs. Jason

We all know (and I think at this point most of us love) the slasher lover’s dream matchup movie Freddy vs. Jason. It turned out pretty well, right? I think so. In fact, I’ve been a pretty adamant defender of the movie when it comes to the “the best they could’ve done” argument that comes up when talking about the long history of the film. Sure, some ideas sound cool when we hear them isolated from the rest of their script (i.e. the Freddy cult named “Fred Heads”), but are they just as cool when encompassed by the rest of the context that surrounds them? That’s what I want to set out to find out.

I want to really find out if the Freddy vs. Jason we got is the best Freddy vs. Jason we could’ve gotten. Bear in mind that I’m not 100% sure on whether or not the script I’m about to review is the confirmed real script, but from the research I’ve done, I believe it is.

I do also want to state that this script was written as a Nightmare entry in 1987, but it is—according to what I could find—the first attempt to bring Freddy and Jason together for a battle of the titans. Again, my goal with this review is to try and read as many iterations of a Freddy vs. Jason and compare them to what we ended up with back in 2003 to see if we really did get the best we could’ve gotten.

Now, without further ado, I bring to you, my review of Nightmare 13: Freddy Meets Jason written by Lewis Abernathy.

Where Do I Start?Freddy looks at a seemingly mentally defeated Jason with his bladed glove pointed at him.

To be honest, there isn’t much story to be had in this script. The general idea is that there is a cult of Freddy fanatics that want to bring Freddy back to life and they apparently need a virgin to do so. The virgin will then marry and be impregnated by Freddy so Freddy can use the baby as a vessel to be reborn. Also, the virgin they choose is a 13-year-old handicapped girl. Yes, you read that correctly. I have no words—that’s just absolutely disgusting.

Even with all of the gross plot points, I do think that the Freddy cult is a pretty cool idea. They wear the same green and red sweater that Freddy does because they unabashedly worship the guy. They also take “dream dope” that helps them bridge the gap between reality and the dream world. There’s a lot of cool ideas there, and they’re actually somewhat genuinely disturbing at times in the script when they so seamlessly kill with no second thought.

There is also some sort of cop whose name is Murdoch that has fought Jason before and is trying to track down the cult. He’s mostly a side character, but he’s also very annoying and has a weird affinity for calling any sort of kid/teenager a punk. He doesn’t really do much, though. The script makes him out to be something bigger than he ends up actually being in the context of the whole story.

That being said, that is essentially the story in a nutshell. It’s completely forgettable. Either way, the main character’s name is Meagan, and the virgin that is chosen is her sister, Lily. Meagan teams up with her boyfriend Jesse, her best friend Stormie, and an ex-Freddy cult member that they break out of the mental hospital, Erwin, to try and stop Freddy from marrying Meagan’s sister. Their plan? Resurrect Jason to stop Freddy once and for all by bringing him into their reality and killing him. Basically, the only way you really can kill Freddy.

How do they resurrect Jason, you ask? Well, they find where he’s buried, dig up his body parts, put them into bags, and bring him to Crystal Lake. There’s only one problem: they need a heart to put into Jason. Luckily, Jesse died earlier in a laughable wild west dream sequence that’s not worth going into because, well, it sucks. With that in mind, Meagan, Stormie, and Erwin break into the morgue and steal Jesse’s heart. This next bit breaks my heart as a Jason fan, and it really shows Abernathy’s lack of respect, care, love, and whatever other terms for a well-meaning action you can think of.

They resurrect Jason and he essentially becomes their puppet because he recognizes Jesse in a locket that Meagan has. Yep. Go back and read it again if you need to. Jason Voorhees is at their complete mercy because of a teenager’s heart that is inside him that he somehow recognizes. Speaking of that, let’s get to the two main reasons why we care about this script.

As Good as It’s Going to GetFreddy stands off in the distance, almost as a silhouette with his glove pointed outward.

Let me get this out of the way as soon as I can—the dream sequences in this script are horrendous. Not horrendous in a fun and gory type of way, but, horrendous in a “this is really bad” kind of way. I think the worst one is when Meagan and Stormie are in jail. Meagan’s not in their cell because her parents arrive at the station and she’s brought out to talk to them, so it’s only Stormie alone in the cell. She ends up falling asleep and Freddy shows up, showing off his blades and such. He ends up snorting Stormie up into his nose, and we get a disgusting look into tiny Stormie’s adventure inside Freddy’s nose.

He ends up using pepper to make himself sneeze, ending up with tiny Stormie splatting against the wall and seemingly combusting in reality as Meagan makes her way back to the cell. I honestly think that I wrote the description of that dream sequence better than the script does. It’s that bad.

There is a cool concept stuck in the movie and that is the “dream dope” I spoke of earlier. Erwin uses it with Stormie and Meagan pretty early on to try and track down the cult and that dream sequence is probably one of the better ones, and even that one isn’t that great. It ends with Freddy turning Stormie into a crab, Erwin waking himself up, and Meagan being lured to her house to see a pregnant Lizzy and Freddy ripping out from her stomach to kill Meagan.

The thing is, though, that even though these sequences are bad and the one-liners are some of Freddy’s worst, the lack of respect shown isn’t too bad with Freddy. Sure, although there is some lack of respect shown for his character, for the most part, he’s just there as we know him—he’s Freddy. I wish I could same the same for Jason. Speaking of that…

What Were They Thinking?Jason holds up a severed arm after a kill, looking at it in complete curiosity.

There is a complete lack of respect for both Freddy and Jason in this script, but it’s mostly on Jason. Freddy has his usual one-liners, like when Jesse falls asleep at the wheel of his car and dreams about Freddy in his “nightmaremobile” saying, “Shouldn’t dream and drive,” which is okay. Freddy wasn’t subjected to many uncharacteristic actions in this script like Jason is. Although this most likely would’ve been one of the most “cartoon-ey” entries into the Nightmare franchise, let’s be honest, it was essentially the natural progression of the franchise until New Nightmare came along.

But boy, does this script do a number on Jason and make him almost like a stooge. There’s a part in the script where Erwin is strapped to a gurney and getting driven back to the mental hospital when Jason shows up. Jason kills the driver and attendant, rips open the back of the ambulance, and has the locket in his hand thrusting it at Erwin over and over as if to say “Ooga Booga, help find Meagan!” Yikes. Later, Erwin wants to drive, but Jason throws him into the passenger side because I guess Jason wants to drive. He then attempts to put his seatbelt on and breaks it, setting off an annoying chime that repeats “fasten your safety belt, please…” And, well, read this for yourself:

Jason SMASHES the dashboard with his fist, silencing
the voice and chime. He turns suddenly to Erwin as if
to say, “Yeah?! What about it?” Erwin shrugs nervously.

What the hell is that? First of all, can anybody imagine Jason being okay with Erwin being in this car, let alone have him make a gesture that has his body language saying “Yeah?! What about it?” What the hell were they thinking?

Look, I’m not saying you can’t use Jason for some comedic moments (see picture above), but there is a limit to how much you can get away with when you use him for that stuff. Subtlety is a very useful tool to have when you want to use any serious character in a comedic way. You’re in and out; you never want to stay in the moment because it loses its effect the longer it goes on.

There’s also one big moment that is a huge slap in the face to Jason and his fans that happens at the end that I will be talking about soon.

There’s a Reason This Wasn’t MadeFreddy and Jason face off in a dream. Jason recoils as water falls from the ceiling and Freddy learns a new weakness.

Before anything else, let me tell you that Freddy and Jason don’t even see each other until page 100 out of 112. I think that’s all that needs to be said about that.

Okay, let’s talk about the most well-known part of this script—the boxing match in hell. It sucks. There, I said it. The idea is pretty cool, but the execution is just a bunch of pop culture references and a few “Look, it’s x person!” moments that are just there to be there. Hitler makes an appearance because of course he does; Ted Bundy is the ring announcer because relevant bad guy; and Lee Harvey Oswald shoots Ted Bundy in the head because “ha-ha, funny moment and reference to assassination.”

Not just those moments, but the actual fight itself is just one big joke. It felt like we were in a Looney Tunes cartoon with some of the things that happened, such as Jason jumping up and down on Freddy’s back, Jason getting crushed by a giant metal mallet, and the least annoying, Freddy eating a can of worms and maggots as his “Popeye’s spinach” moment. A little eye-rolling, but definitely not out of character for Freddy to do such a thing. Now, I guess if you contextualize all of the silly things in terms of this being a dream sequence…okay, I guess. But personally, as a fan of both of them, the balance felt off here. I know it’s supposed to be a Nightmare entry, but I don’t think that excuses the balance being so off in terms of the silliness factor.

At the end of all of this, Jason ends up bringing Freddy back to their reality and stomping on his head, which makes all of the cultists’ heads explode, as well. Not sure why—maybe I missed something there, but that happens. It also has Jason giving Murdoch a weird wedgie, shoving a shotgun up his a**, and blowing his head up when it shoots. It’s sort of satisfying because Murdoch is a bit of an annoying character, but it’s still just so weird that Jason does it.

After that, Jason gets absolutely blasted by a massive SWAT team, and right before he dies—prepare for stupid—he grabs Jesse’s heart from his chest and hands it over to Meagan in some weird attempt at a touching moment between the two. Is this even Jason at that point? I know people have controlled him by pretending to be his mother, and overall just using his mother to their advantage, but there’s none of that here. It’s some random kid’s heart. Is this him being grateful for a heart? Why would he be grateful and not just kill them when he was resurrected? It makes no sense to me.

But overall, this script is just terrible. It mocks Jason, doesn’t even attempt to do anything creative with Freddy, has Freddy making out with a 13-year-old handicapped girl, and wastes any sort of potential it could’ve had with the cult. There’s barely any action in it, no scares, the comedy is weak, and it actually made me mad when reading it, but, I do this for you guys—what can I say. I read this script so you don’t have to.

I did leave out a good portion of the script, but it is for good reason—it doesn’t add anything to the story or to my opinion on the overall script. It sucks, so please don’t read it.

Until next time, friends.

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Written by Bronson West

Bronson fell in love with horror (mainly slashers) at the age of 6 when he watched Halloween at his babysitter's. Fitting, right? He also thinks he's funny, but apparently that's up for debate.

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