Bad Movies Done Right — Nightmarathon Pt. 8: Freddy vs. Jason

Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: How sweet, dark meat.

Well here it is folks: the end at last.

After 13 hours of watching seven A Nightmare on Elm Street films back to back, I’ve finally reached the conclusion of my journey — Freddy vs. Jason.

Released in 2003, Freddy vs. Jason is the result of two decades of fans’ hopes and dreams. Too bad it’s a bloody mess of a movie.

As the film opens, Freddy Krueger is still trapped in Hell and impotent in his rage. The parents of Springwood have finally figured out a way to stop Freddy Kruger — they’ve forgotten him. After erasing every trace that Freddy Krueger ever existed, a new generation of high school students go through their lives blissfully unaware that a scant ten years earlier, their high school was an all-you-can-eat buffet for a child murderer turned dream master.

Krueger, seeking to reclaim his place in the nightmares of today’s youth, concocts an evil plan that involves resurrecting Jason Voorhees and sending him to Elm Street for a killing spree. Freddy figures that he will be able to take the credit for Jason’s massacre seeing how Freddy is the usual suspect for any brutal slayings that occur on Elm Street.

Freddy’s plan mostly works. After teenagers begin to show up run through with machetes or slashed to pieces, word begins to spread that the person responsible is none other than the boogeyman who had previously laid waste to an entire generation of high school students.

Unfortunately for Freddy, he finds that he has unleashed a monster on his turf and he’s poaching Freddy’s kills.  Soon, the two are pitted against each other like a couple of stray dogs fighting over scraps.

The usual group of teenage clichés make up the film’s casualty list — among them Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher and Katharine Isabelle.

While Freddy vs. Jason may finally grant the wishes of those horror movie fans who have pined for the day when they could finally see the two heavyweights of the slasher genre pitted against one another in a no-barred cage fight, it suffers from some of the worst plotting and dialogue to ever grace the annals of a DVD bargain bin.

Most of the film’s plot is carefully laid out in mind-numbing detail through elaborate exposition courtesy of Freddy Krueger. Robert Englund’s Freddy has had his powers ratcheted up and is sporting a newly horrific make-up job but gone are the days when Freddy Krueger cautiously and silently stalked the dreams of his victims.

Instead, in Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy Krueger is a posturing James Bond villain — all too keen to take ten minutes out of his day in order to outline exactly what his motivations and plans are.

When I first saw Freddy vs. Jason, I remembered really liking it. I’m starting to think that my enjoyment was almost entirely derived from the fact that I saw it in a crowded inner-city theater where the crowed was rowdy in its catcalling and heckling. Watching it alone on a Sunday afternoon did not replicate that effect in the least.

Maybe I was just bugged by the film’s total disregard of previous series continuity. Since Jason and Freddy were both dead when the film began, I imagine it took place after Jason Goes to Hell and Freddy’s Dead but there are still gaping holes in that logic.

In Freddy’s Dead, it is shown that the town of Springwood’s child population has been completely devastated and the town turned into a desolate wasteland. Yet in Freddy vs. Jason, the town is a thriving community with a high school full of students.

Another thing, why is Freddy Kruger still after the Elm Street kids? They can’t possibly still be the offspring of the mob that burned him alive. The parents of the kids in Freddy vs. Jason are probably young enough to have been in high school when Freddy first began his supernatural rampage.

I don’t mean to sound like a continuity geek but these are the types of questions that come up after watching all eight of the A Nightmare on Elm Street films back to back.

Another question that itched at the back of my mind was if Kelly Rowland’s character was related to Kincaid the Dream Warrior. There didn’t seem to be many black families on Elm Street so it would make sense.

Besides the continuity questions that bugged me, there were a few other things I picked up from watching all of Freddy Krueger’s films in a row.

For example, I really noticed how much Freddy calls women bitches. Besides clearly giving away his misogynistic attitude, he started to sound a lot like your average Xbox Live layer.

Most of all, though, I learned that if I’m part of a vigilante mob that catches a child murderer, I should try and talk the gang of angry parents into not setting said child murderer on fire.

He would just come back from the dead and do even more harm as a supernatural boogeyman. And once child murderers get resurrected by sleep demon worms, they are just a pain in the ass to kill.

Robert doesn’t do checkers. He’s an UNO guy, all right?! Follow Robert on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.

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