When Titans Collide

bya Gabrielle at 8:31 PM

Because I’m lazy, I’m going to post something I wrote for the Gamecock when I was in school instead of something current.

I had a friend that worked for the school paper. He knew that I was a horror fanatic and that I loved Freddy Krueger more than any childhood doll hiding in my closet. So, he came to me and asked if I would write a review for “Freddy VS Jason”, and I happily accepted. The following is what appeared in the paper. However, whoever edited it misspelled my name. They put an “E” on the end. Grr. That was how my professor’s name was spelled. People probably thought we were related and that I was advertising the class he taught. Hope you enjoy it.

When Titans Collide

by Gabrielle Cooke

In a clash of horror-industry titans, a reign of terror stretching over two decades has come to a carnage-filled climax on the big screen. After championing their genre with a combined total of more than 15 films, Freddy and Jason, two tenacious and seemingly undefeatable villains, have finally come together to face one another in the ultimate horror film showdown.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the right corner, weighing in at 160 pounds with a record too terrifying to mention, from Springwood, Ohio, we have dream terrorist Freddy Krueger. And in the left corner, weighing in at a hefty 250 pounds with a history of slaughtering sexually driven teens, from Camp Crystal Lake, New Jersey, sits “Friday the 13th’s” silent but deadly stalker, Jason Voorhees.

Such an introduction is just one of the many images moviegoers have envisioned since New Line Cinema began advertising its new horror film “Freddy vs. Jason” a few months ago. But for thousands of horror fans out there, this match was likely imagined even before the first hint that these two might collide was revealed in 1993.

In “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,” Freddy’s signature glove reaches up and pulls Jason’s mask down to hell. Since that fated moment, fans have eagerly waited for such a film, yet the road to its debut has been paved with countless rumors and false hopes.

The film was delayed by many factors, namely the fact that the horror icons were owned by two different studios. New Line Cinema held the rights to Freddy, while Paramount Pictures laid claim to Jason. “Freddy vs. Jason” might have materialized a lot sooner if the two studios could have come to an agreement when “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood” was made. The film was originally intended to include the long-awaited match-up. In 1992, New Line bought the rights to Jason and promptly made “Jason Goes to Hell,” where it slipped in a glimpse of what was to come.

In 1997, New Line officially proposed the idea, but the project was shelved for various reasons. After the release of “Jason X” in 2002, Bob Shaye, the president of New Line, confirmed that he had found the right script, written by David S. Goyer, and that filming would begin September 2002. The film was originally planned to be released on June 13, 2003, a Friday the 13th, but was pushed back to Aug. 15.

And so now, after all the hype, the anticipation, the fan frustration – is the film worth it? To some, yes. But before you hand over your $5.50, be aware that this film is not going to win any prestigious Hollywood awards. If you waltz into the theater expecting to be “moved,” besides the sudden jump in your seat, expect to be disappointed. One thing that should satisfy most moviegoers is the amount of blood and gore. Seemingly, there is not a single orifice of Freddy’s or Jason’s that does not ooze blood in this film.

The most popular question is, of course: Who is going to win, Freddy or Jason? And who else better to ask than the horror genre guru himself, USC professor Bill Cooke, who teaches the class 100 Years of the Horror Film.

“Fans of both Freddy and Jason are liable to come after me with finger blades and machetes if I don’t pick their favorite,” Cooke said. “While I always preferred the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ series to the ‘Friday the 13th’ series, I found myself pulling for the underdog Jason.”

And in the end, is Jason the victor? “I won’t give away the ending of ‘Freddy vs. Jason,’ but they found a way to satisfy both camps,” Cooke said.

If you are a horror fan and “Freddy vs. Jason” leaves you wanting more, you might want to sign up for Cooke’s class next spring.

“My goal is to present as complete a picture of the horror genre as I can – to cover, in roughly chronological order, the trends and the talent behind and in front of the cameras,” Cooke said.

The course was also offered last semester and became a student favorite.

In addition to teaching film studies courses, Cooke has written and directed two feature-length movies, “Campfire Tales” (1991) and “Freakshow” (1995). Both are available on DVD. Also, he is a regular contributing writer to “Video Watchdog,” the perfectionist’s guide to fantastic video.

Hopefully, “Freddy vs. Jason” will not be the last film for the feared duo we have all grown to love. Cultural icons like these two tend to slowly fade from the silver screen only to reappear when you think they are down and out for the count. And so the rumors and the waiting begin again. Maybe this time we won’t have to wait so long for round two.

Freddy VS Jason

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