A Bloody Good Time 11.08.12: Horror Knockout Tournament - The Finals
Posted by Joseph Lee on 11.08.2012
411's Joseph Lee concludes the Horror Knockout Tournament with a rematch between horror icons and cinematic rivals Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger! Help decide who will win inside!
Opening Logo courtesy of Benjamin J. Colón (Soul Exodus)
Welcome to A Bloody Good Time.
Last week, we finished our quarterfinal round. There's only two fights left before the finals and we crown our first ever ABGT Horror Knockout champion!
Some of you (hopefully all of you) may read Shawn S. Lealos' Alternate Takes, in which he goes over all things comic book related. He's had knockout tournaments for comic heroes and villains, and it seems to have went over very well. Lealos' Knockout deal was such a good idea that with his permission, I decided to steal it. Okay, I guess the technical term is "borrow", but you get the idea. Starting now, We will begin a 32-character tournament for horror movie villains, monsters, what have you.
How does this affect you? You can choose who wins! My opinion means very little, as I just ranked the monsters in my own order to determine bracketing. You will decide who your favorite is. You can vote who advances based on any criteria you like, although I'd recommend just going with whoever you like best. But hey, if you want to vote based on who you think would win in a fight, go for it! It's totally up to you.
This tournament will run six weeks! This week is the second half of round 1, and then we'll have round 2, the quarterfinals, semifinals, and then the finals. For the final round, I'm going to do something special and give full-write ups to the characters, involving their history in the genre, memorable moments, and who they've defeated in the tournament. The winner will ultimately be announced on November 15.
Here's the bracket for you. The text is a little smaller than I'd like but you should be able to tell who's who.
It's been a long tournament that saw some upsets (I'm still irritated that King Kong went out in the first round), so obvious choices (Michael Myers destroying Sadako) and some surprisingly tough battles (Godzilla vs Predator). Last week saw what some were predicting as the final finally happen. Jason took down Dracula and Freddy managed to take out Godzilla.
Sure, there was some vote thing yesterday, and that could be considered important, but the REAL important election takes place now! It's the rematch of the century!
It's only fitting that these two square off as they're two of the most popular characters in horror. In fact, if you grew up in the 80s and watched horror these are probably the two that defined your childhood. My very first horror film was Jason Goes to Hell and once I really started getting into the genre, the Nightmare on Elm Street series was the first franchise I really plowed through in a matter of days. Naturally, the first time these two fought I was in the front row opening night feeling like a kid again. There may be problems with that movie, and there may be people who dislike it, but I absolutely love it.
This week I'm not going to give you a run down of their strengths and weaknesses and put forth a strategy. You know that already. You know Freddy's story and you know Jason's. In fact, you already know their strategy against each other. I think it's safe to say that everyone voting in this tournament has seen Freddy vs Jason. Instead, I'm going to do a mini-list for each in which I count down my favorite five moments from each franchise.
Let's start with the Springwood Slasher.
Freddy Krueger (#2 seed)
Defeated: Victor Crowley (Round 1, 459-21), The Shark (Round 2, 402-98), Xenomorph (Round 3, 379-270), Godzilla (Round 4, 371-280)
Let's not waste any time...what are my five personal favorite Freddy Krueger moments?
#5: "Hey, you forgot the power glove!"
Some may consider Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare the worst in the series. Personally, I think it is, but I can still appreciate Robert Englund's willingness to ham it up and make himself look like a fool. Freddy as a joker isn't that bad to me. He's always been willing to mock his victims, he just got more silly with it as things went on. This isn't the height of the silliness, as it actually is at its worst in the beginning of the film when Freddy's dressed up as a witch and cackling lines from The Wizard of Oz. This is just a really fun kill in a movie that's already one big joke to begin with.
There's a lot to appreciate with this kill. The fact that the power glove is considered in some circles to actually be a joke makes it ripe for mockery, and here it was almost a brand new concept. Seeing Freddy in Nintendo form was really cool, especially considering this game looks a lot more fun than the actual NES game that was released. There's a lot of things to dislike about that movie, but this is a really fun moment that wouldn't have been out of place in one of the earlier sequels.
#4: The Freddy Worm
As the Nightmare films progressed, it because obvious that besides Freddy, one of the big draws was the special effects. Even today, a lot of the work done is very impressive. If you even go back to the first film, there were some great moments like the kill on the ceiling or the blood spraying out of the bed. It's those other-worldly moments that made the first film so memorable. As the sequels progressed, it was an opportunity for special effects designers to test themselves and put something new on the screen.
But when you see the Freddy worm for the first time, it's quite impressive. It's a giant worm with Freddy's head and in order for him to try and kill Kristen, he has to eat her. So that's exactly what he does, feet first. These days it's easy to tell how they did it (a mix of animatronics and stop-motion animation, along with a large puppet, I'd guess) but back then, it blew my mind. Today it remains one of the most visually impressive moments in the entire franchise.
#3: Glen's death
Speaking of the original film and the blood shooting from the bed, it's the very next moment! This is probably the most impressive kill in the series in every definition of the word. It's the bloodiest, the hardest-to-pull off (it involved rotating room) and the most memorable. Everyone who has seen the original Nightmare remembers the fact that Johnny Depp was sucked into his bed and more blood than the human body could possibly contain came spilling out.
You've seen this death brought up on countless articles about this series and there's really nothing I can add that's new or innovative. It perfectly defines just what you can do with a slasher films when there are no real rules. In the dream world, Freddy can do whatever he wants. If that makes defying the laws of physics, then he'll do that, because those laws don't apply to him.
#2: "You are all my children now"
Freddy is the kind of guy that doesn't do massacres. He settles for one on one kills to make the nightmare as personal and frightening as possible before he finishes you off. So to see him not only get into the real world, but use the weakening barrier between the two in order to kill a lot of people, it's great to see. He's not nearly as powerful here as in the dream world and he wouldn't be this powerful in the real world ever again, but he's able to trap the victims in the area and heat up the entire area. There's been no real explanation, but I'd like to think it's because he's willingly possessing someone instead of being pulled out.
My favorite part of this moment, outside of the great line, is when one of the teens tries to talk him down. There's a hideously-deformed man hacking and slashing his way through a party, and you really think he's going to listen to you? Help yourself, fucker. It's the worst possible pool party ever! I actually had to stop myself from making this my top moment, because it's that good. But the next one is just a little bit better.
#1: "Welcome to prime time, bitch!"
This is the moment that defines Freddy Kruger. He's the kind of guy who, with his powers, will devise an entirely brutal method of killing you while taking the things you love and turning them on you. Then he will shout out a mocking one liner just to let you know that you are well and truly screwed. The thing I like about the kill is how over-the-top Freddy goes with it. He doesn't just show up and shove her head in a TV, he grows out of the TV and pulls her into himself.
The best part about this line is that Robert Englund ad-libbed it. He got the character at that point and in five words he managed to sum up everything about Freddy Krueger that you need to know. He's a sadistic killer with a twisted sense of humor. If it entertains him, he'll leave your dead body hanging from a TV that's several feet above the ground and stuck to a wall.
And now we move on to his opponent.
Jason Voorhees (#4 seed)
Defeated: Jack Torrence (Round 1, 399-51), Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Round 2, 368-142), Michael Myers (Round 3, 370-312), Dracula (Round 4, 416-210)
#5: "You're deadmeat, slimebag!"
Sometimes Jason is single-minded, and if he's in pursuit of a victim he really doesn't want to waste time with other insignificant people. So after kicking a boom box that is playing some generic 80s rap, he upsets a small gang. They threaten Jason and you expect some sort of massacre right in the middle of public while our heroes manage to escape for a while. But no, Jason decides that he can finish this without lifting anything but his mask. It's enough to scare them all away and he can pursue his mission.
The Friday the 13th films never get funny moments at Jason's expense. Even this one really doesn't make fun of Jason, except for the fact that he is quite ugly after years of rotting. When he lifts up the mask, it's almost as if he's saying, "Why yes I am dead meat. Want to do something about it?" Jason could have killed them, but he was busy. It proves he's self-aware of what he is, which is probably why I like it so much.
As I've mentioned before, I loved Jason X. I know it's bad, but I still love it. It's goofy, fun-to-watch and has a lot of great kills. But I also love the fact that indeed, evil gets an upgrade. For some reason the broken nanomachine computer decides that instead of replacing Jason's essential parts (like his head) with flesh, parts of the ship would do nicely. I can just imagine the conversation that resulted in this creation. "Hey, what's worse than Jason Voorhees?" "A super-powered Jason Voorhees with 50% of his body made of metal!"
It's like a Dragon Ball Z battle or something. Kay-Em absolutely annihilates him, he gets a power-up and then comes back and destroys her with a punch. With the strongest opponent out of the way, he's able to keep coming and coming. Explosions won't stop him, being sucked into the void of space can't stop him. It ultimately takes re-entry into earth's atmosphere to burn him up, and even that's not 100%. I always wanted a sequel to this movie, but never got it.
#3: He just won't die.
But Jason X wasn't the first film to establish that Jason is a hard villain to kill. Hell, The New Blood, where this specific moment comes from, wasn't even the first. But it is very fun to watch a strong, undead killer like Jason Voorhees take on a much tougher opponent who doesn't even have to touch him to do damage. Jason takes possibly the greatest beating of the series here, at least before Jason X.
Let's list the things that happen to him. He gets electrocuted. He has a house dropped on him. He gets set on fire and blown up. Eventually he's not even killed, just dragged back into the lake. That's not even counting the things that happened to him in the previous six films to get him to this moment. But he still keeps coming. This is the movie that really set up that Jason can't be killed, just stopped for a while. Even then, it's going to take a lot to stop him.
#2: The sleeping bag kill
This is from the same movie. It also happens to be Kane Hodder's favorite kill. There's something to be said for an unstoppable killer that is so strong he can hoist you up inside of a sleeping bag, slam you into a tree at full strength and it results in your death. It's hard to even figure out how she could die so instantaneously. Did Jason liquify her internal organs? Did he cause a bone to pierce something vital? Who knows? The point is that he's strong and he can kill you easily.
I happen to agree with a point Kane has made on the kill. The uncut version features Jason slamming her into the tree several times. It shows that Kane was getting tired toward the end and doing it once really establishes that Jason is a force to be reckoned with. However, I must admit, this is not my favorite Jason kill. That actually happened one movie earlier.
#1: Face through the RV wall
This is my favorite kill. It's bloodless, it's seems impossible (and probably is...let's have Mythbusters test that one) and is kind of silly. But it's also bad-ass and shows off how strong the new and improved Jason is. The Jason of the first four Friday films could not have done this. But the fact that he has died and come back to life has somehow made him stronger and the result is him slamming a woman's face into an RV wall so far that it sticks out on the other side.
As far as kills go, it's definitely one of the most visually-impressive of the series. It's my favorite Jason moment ever and one of the reasons that Jason Lives is my favorite of the franchise.
That's it for me. Leave some comments here on or my Twitter. Next week...well it depends on the winner. I'm either going to do something about Freddy or try to come up with some material about Jason (who I've written about a ton on this column). Who is your favorite? Freddy or Jason? The time to vote is now!
Closing Logo courtesy of Kyle Morton (get your own custom artwork and commissions at his Etsy account)
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