Tag Archives: Friday The 13th

Friday The 13th: The Game Killed By Legal Issue

Due to a rather messy legal battle over rights to the entire franchise – from screenwriter Victor Miller. Any and everything Friday The 13th related has met a gruesome ending.

There hasn’t been a new film in the long running series since the 2009 remake and despite efforts to make more films, they were put on ice due to Miller’s law suit. Now said law suit has claimed another victim, Friday The 13th: The Game will no longer receive any more updates as revealed by publisher Gun Media on Twitter and their official site.

Jason Head Squeeze

We’ve now been forced to accept that the lawsuit makes future content for the game, including alternate play modes, new playable Jasons and Counselors, and new maps, unfeasible now or in the future. Although the listed content types will be affected, we remain committed to launching dedicated servers on our console platforms and providing the continued maintenance and bug fixing important to supporting our fan base.

So what does this mean exactly? There will be no additional content added to Friday the 13th: The Game. This includes “Uber Jason”, The Grendel Map, Jason Kill Packs, Clothing, Emotes and new Counselors.

Its a real shame as the game is a lot of fun to play and all the additions planned sounded great. But from this point on, there will be no more new content. The game will still be playable (so far) with all the current content but we just won’t be getting anything new.

Gun Media have said they will still support the game with bug fixes and server support/maintenance but I have a feeling that just won’t be enough and that Friday the 13th: The Game is pretty much dead from this point onward. Still, if you read this Gun Media, there are other horror franchises that could suit your game mechanics very well indeed…

Mike and Freddy

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Friday The 13th The Game: Virtual Cabin

Friday the 13th: The Game is a lot of fun, and I’m really not much of a fan of these competitive multiplayer games. But the development team at IllFonic are clearly big admirers of the movie franchise and have poured their heart and soul into the game in an attempt to deliver a true Friday the 13th experience. The game is full of nods and references to the entire film series and the whole package really is fun to play.

The basic gameplay is pretty simple, team up with a few friends and one of you will be horror movie icon Jason Voorhees while the others play as camp counselors. The aim is simple, playing as a counselor you must try to escape the map using whatever means you can. Playing as Jason, you must kill all the camp counselors before they can escape. There are various maps to play on and Jason comes in numerous variants inspired by the movies. Different Jasons have different skills, weapons and kills…all of which are bloody and brutal. The level of detail and attention to source material is just sublime. You have the amazing Kane Hodder doing the motion capture for Jason, Thom Mathews returns as Tommy Jarvis. Original musical score composer Harry Manfredini returned for the game. And of course the king of gore Tom Savini designed all the kills in the game too.

Friday the 13th The Game kill

But the game is not all about the relentless murder of camp counselors as there is a wonderful little extra called the Virtual Cabin. This is an interactive museum of Friday the 13th trivia and fun. Behind the scenes info can be found on both the making of the movies and the game. There are recreated props and scenes from the movies, characters you’ll recognise…oh and a fuck tone of hidden secrets. It really is a brilliant treasure chest of Friday the 13th goodness. This Virtual Cabin is so much more than it first seems – you just need to know how to unlock all the hidden extras.

Right here, I’m going to do a none spoiler walk-through as to how ‘complete’ the Virtual Cabin in the game…oh yes there is a point to all of this and the cabin is in fact a mini adventure game with puzzles you need to solve in order to unwrap all the great hidden tit-bits. I’m going none spoiler as there is a lot I think you should experience first-hand.

But before I do get into all of this, I do suggest that you just explore the cabin yourself and enjoy all it has to offer, play around with it’s props and familiarise yourself with it’s layout before you follow this guide as things are going to get bloody and the cabin will change as you play.

Version 1.0 – Beta

So this is the first iteration of the cabin in its purest form. You can walk around at your own leisure and look at all it has to offer without triggering anything ‘serious’. You may notice a couple of locked doors (I bet you took a sneaky peak though the keyhole though eh?), but don’t worry – we will open them soon enough. This is also where you can find the first clue. If you pick up the various newspapers and magazines and turn them around, you will notice there is a word puzzle on the back. Work it out yourself if you wish but I will give the answer right here anyway. While you can pick things up and examine then, you can’t actually take anything…we’ll remedy that right now.

Friday the 13th The Game Virtual Cabin

The hidden word you are looking for is ‘mother’. But where to use it? In the main entrance of the cabin is a funky looking 80s computer. Its a handy little tool where you can do various things like look at the camp counselors, these are really a mix of the people who worked on the game and a few cheeky surprises. too. Change the date (later), reset the cabin to any of it’s previous versions and check for updates. Update checking is exactly what you want to do, but you’ll be asked for a password. You know what to do, ‘mother’ is the password and this will unlock the next version of the cabin.

Version 1.1 – Inventory Added

The computer screen will tell you what has been added as your controls have now been updated along with the map, the telephone now works and you can also add items to your inventory. So exit the computer and turn around, you’ll see a small diorama next to the stairs depicting a scene from one of the films – but things are not quite right as the little figures are not in the right places. Pick up each of the three figures and add them to your inventory. Walk toward the kitchen (this is why I said you should explore the cabin yourself and get used to the layout.) and you’ll notice a previously locked door is now open, the first door on your right.

I will call this “the red door room” for future reference as there is a big red door in the middle of the room. Don’t go in the room just yet, instead continue toward the kitchen and go into though the next door along. This is the bathroom have a loot look around if you wish. If you look in the open box next to the shower/bath, you’ll see another figure you can pick up – so do it. Now head back out and now go into the previously mentioned red door room. In the corner of the room is another diorama depicting another scene from one of the films. Once more collect all the figures. Now still standing at the diorama, you need to put the figures back in the correct order. Working from left to right put them down in this order; Ali, Jason (holding a machete) and finally Chris.

Now return to the first diorama by the stairs in the main entrance. Put the figures down, once more working from left to right in this order; Jessica, Jason and Steven. The drawer will open, take a peak inside and pick up the secret patch. This kick-starts the next piece of the puzzle, collecting three more patches hidden around the cabin.

If you go upstairs you’ll see a wall on the left with some of Jason’s iconic masks…but three are missing. Staying upstairs and the first mask is in the blue tent in the bedroom past the “coming soon” door. This is where you’ll need to use your newly acquired ducking skill to get inside the tent and grab the mask. The second mask is downstairs in the fireplace in the main entrance. The final mask is back in the red door room in an open box. Now you have the three missing masks head back upstairs to the wall of Jason masks and take all of them, you should now have seven masks in your inventory (just check) and seven empty hooks on the wall. You need to put the masks back on the hooks in the order they appeared in the movies. Any self-respecting Friday the 13th fan should be able to do this with ease. If you want a clue, look at the degradation of the masks. For an even bigger clue…

Jsson masks.jpg

Just put the masks in the order shown in the picture. However, something is not right as this is supposed to be a shrine to Jason and one of those masks does not belong as he never wore it. Once more, any self-respecting Friday the 13th fan should know this one, remember Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning? Pick up the non-Jason mask with the blue markings (the third one along). To the right of the display another draw would’ve just opened and reveled another patch. Pick it up – two down, two to go.

So next you’ll need to use the plinths you should have noticed if you explored the cabin as I suggested. As you are still upstairs, go back to the room with the blue tent and open the wardrobe in the corner. On one of the shelves is a blue yo-yo, pick it up. Head back downstairs and near the front door is a coat-rack, take the blue baseball cap. Back to the red door room and the table on the right will have a police badge on it, pick that up. Finally go back in the bathroom and resting on the toilet cistern is a red bandanna –  yup pick that up too. So you should now have the four items needed to be placed on the plinths. First, go to the kitchen and head though the green door next to the dining table. Just behind the now opened door is the first plinth – put the blue cap here. The second is back in the red door room and here you want to place the red bandanna on the plinth. Third, back upstairs and go into the room with all the props and very bloody bed. The yo-yo goes here (there should be a mock VHS tape on the plinth you can take and use in the VHS player if you want). The fourth and final plinth is in the blue tent room and this is where you put the police badge. A little secret compartment should open up with the third patch so pick it up.

Now for the final patch. This can be as quick or as long winded as you wish to make it. As the computer pointed out earlier, the phone is now working and hidden around the cabin are various phone numbers. Look on the back of fliers, etc. Go explore, search and find as many phone numbers as you can then use the phone to dial all of them…this is the long way to do it. The quicker way? Head downstairs to the main entrance and just around the corner from the first diorama is an awesome 80s rotary phone. Use it and dial; 1-555-342-9277. The drawer under the phone will open and voilà – the final patch. Take yourself and all four patches to the kitchen and near the light switch on the wall is the where you need to place them. A secret door will open and onto the next part.

Version 1.2 – Basement Launched

Now the basement of the cabin is accessible so down you go. You’ll find yourself in a room featuring the in-game models of all the Jasons – feel free to check them out and their descriptions. Pretty cool stuff.

Friday the 13th The Game Virtual Cabin basement

You’ll most probably have also noticed a ringing telephone. When you are done admiring the various Jasons, answer that damn annoying phone. Well done, you just completed the Virtual Cabin…well the first third anyway. The game will reset taking you back to the main menu. Just re-enter the Virtual Cabin again to start the next chapter.

Version 1.3 – New Game Plus

Yeah at first it’ll seem like you have just re-started the whole thing over. But as the computer boots up it should say version 1.3 – new game plus. Oh yeah it all may look the same but things have definitely changed. Everything you did on the previous play-through will still be in place, the patches are on the wall in the kitchen, the Jason masks all in their rightful place – everything is just as you left it including the now open basement. Again, go explore if you wish, who knows what else you can find?

Friday the 13th The Game Virtual Cabin computer

But to crack on with this next part you need to use that computer once more. This time though you need to change the date to June 13th, 1979. Does that date sound familiar? Its the date the first film in the series takes place. Exit the computer and you should hear that damn phone in the basement again. Go on, go answer it…again.

Version 1.4 – Lights Nerfed

So now the power to the cabin has been cut, no lights. You may also want to check out those Jason models once more…something is wrong eh? You are now locked in the basement but not to worry as getting out is easy. Just head over to the fuse box on the wall and as you examine it, you’ll hear the basement door open – so time to head back to the main floor. Quickly look around the kitchen and you’ll see things have gone very, very wrong. Head to the main entrance and…well feel free to explore the cabin…if you dare. You’ll have to explore the cabin if you want to progress. Head upstairs and things are beginning to look very bleak. As what has happened upstairs is revealed, you should hear some rather unsettling sounds going on in the background. Time to head back downstairs to see what that was all about.

That previously locked door opposite the red door room is now open, so why not go inside? Turn around and close the door while inside the room and you will find a key. Pick it up and open the door. Now go to the main entrance and the front door will be ‘open’. Lets go explore the great outdoors.

Version 1.5 – Outdoor DLC

As I have said before (and will say again) feel free to take a look around, find some fun Easter eggs, nods and references, play with the props just come back to the cabin when you are done.

Friday the 13th The Game Virtual Cabin outside

If you are outside with the cabin behind you, looking out over Crystal Lake, turn to your right and there is a locked shed. Unlock the shed with the key you found and take the shovel you’ll find inside. Turn back around and leave the shed, follow the path until you get to a small campfire. Turn left and you should see a car, a way to escape? No, but next to the car is a fridge…a padlocked fridge (who padlocks a fridge?) You can find the combination to the lock if you really look for it. Or of course you could just use the code; 5312 to save some time. Open the fridge and take the wonderful surprise inside, I’m sure Jason won’t mind.

Walk back to the campfire and turn left to continue along the path you started on up the hill. Go past the “no entry” sign on the left, past the open rusty gate on the right and just keep walking straight ahead up to the top of the hill where you will find Jason’s shack…dare you enter? Well you have to if you want to continue this game. Put what you found in the fridge on the familiar looking table in the shack and you will be rewarded with one of those secret patch things again. Yup more to find but only three this time.

Leave Jason’s shack and head back down the hill until you get to those rusty gates from before that will now be on your left. Make your way inside and go toward Jason’s grave, dig him up (why would anyone do that?) with that shovel from earlier. Open up the casket (now really, why would anyone do that?). Jason is not in the best of shape is he? Time to recreate the opening to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. So look around the graveyard for a fence post, its just turn the right of Jason’s grave. Stick the fence post into Jason’s chest (okay so really why the fuck would anyone do that?). Once the mayhem has ended, look inside Jason’s casket for the next patch.

Now for the third and final patch. Go out of the cemetery and stand in front of that no entry sign you saw before, looking forward though the gap in the fence. You should see a pool of blood several paces in front of you – walk to it. Notice the machete on the floor pointing in a direction? Follow that direction in a straight line and do not venture off that route (oh go on then just for fun, I dare you to walk a different route). Anyway just follow the direction the machete pointed you toward until you get to another directional arrow carved into a tree, follow that in straight line (don’t you want to go off the path again?) to a real arrow stuck in a tree and then follow the direction the arrow is showing you to another tree with a small family of ducks pointing you in the next direction. This is the final one now so just walk forward to the mound of dirt on the floor and dig. Take the third and final patch you’ll find there.

Friday the 13th The Game Virtual Cabin dock

Walk back to the campfire (oh dear!) and turn left so you are facing Crystal Lake. Head on down and you will see where you need to place the patches you collected. Put the patches where they belong and take the gas can. Put the gas in the boat engine and finally escape the cabin to the safety of the police…

Version 1.6 – New Game Plus Plus

So you just finished the Virtual Cabin…again. But there is still more. So now you are back at the main menu, load up the Virtual Cabin one last time (until they update it again). The computer should now say when booting up; version 1.6 – New Game Plus Plus. Just like last time, everything is as you left it. The front door has been replaced, but you can open it and venture outside if you wish. Go explore both the cabin and outside to see anything you may have missed earlier if you like.

To advance in this part you need a cheat code – but not just any cheat code. The granddaddy of cheat codes. Its time to break out the Konami Code. Depending on what platform you are playing on, the Konami Code is slightly different. So using default controls/button layouts.

  • PC: W, W, S, S, A, D, A, D, Left-Click, Right-Click.
  • Xbox One: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A.
  • PS4: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, O, X.

Friday the 13th The Game glitch

If done correctly, the screen will go corrupt for a few seconds and a debug menu will appear in the top left-hand corner of the screen. You need to tinker with a couple of the options. First turn Show Collision: ON and then Map Collision: OFF which will display unkownError. Then click Close Debug Menu and you are back in the game…the now very broken game as red lines showing the boundaries of the in-game props will now be displayed. Head back to the red door room and you’ll notice the door in the middle of the room is glitching out – walk into it. You are now in some kind of strange room. Find and activate the radio on the table, when the message is finished those damn patches from before will appear. Pick them up and…

Version 1.7 – Unstable Build

So the Virtual Cabin just reset itself and its all gone wrong. Have some fun here and look around the cabin. Just stay upstairs for now though. Yup everything is all kinds of fucked up and notice that coming soon door is still locked? Lets get it open then.

You need to follow the path of the patches, pick them up as you go and follow them downstairs. When you reach the bottom of the stairs, that thing that met you when you got there, you have to examine or the rest of the game won’t play out. You now can’t leave the cabin so just follow those patches into the kitchen and down to the basement. You are back in the Jason display museum and three of the Jasons are holding three of the patches. Who does he think he is eh, stealing your hard earned patches…so go get them back.

Friday the 13th The Game Virtual Cabin basement 2

Time to follow the patches one last time. So back upstairs ensuring you pick up every single patch as if you miss one then the next part will not trigger. They will lead you all the way to the top floor and to that locked coming soon door. Its still locked too – but you have debug mode on and can walk right through it, so off you go.

Version 2.0 – Relaunch

Okay so you ain’t in Kansas anymore but a Friday the 13th fan should know exactly where they are. Still not sure? Just follow the linear path through the door in front of you. Continue forward and you’ll find yourself in a room with a computer. Check it out if you like for an interesting tit-bit. Then when you are ready, look for a lever on the side of a door and use it for the final surprise…

You just completed the Virtual Cabin.


 

Friday the 13th The Game kill 2

You can re-enter the Virtual Cabin anytime you like now and explore it in all its gory glory. When you do enter it, it’ll be set at the Version 2.0 ending, but you can use the computer to rest all progress if you want to play through it all again or just replay the various sections.

The whole thing is a fantastic Easter egg with dozens and dozens of more Easter eggs hidden inside. I’m still not sure if I have found everything the Virtual Cabin has to offer and developers, IllFonic do like to update the game including the Virtual Cabin along the way – seeing as there is a new update coming to the game this Thursday I’m sure there will be more secrets to discover in the future.

Is Jason Voorhees A Deadite?

Yeah I know Halloween has come and gone – but we can still have some horror fun.

So there has been a fan theory going around for years that Jason from the Friday The 13th movie franchise is in fact a Deadite from The Evil Dead movie universe. This all came about for various reasons, one of which can be found in the Freddy vs Jason vs Ash comic book. You see, this comic book actually started out as a sequel to the Freddy vs Jason film. However, the film fell through – so they turned the script into a comic book instead. The comic book makes several references to the Friday The 13th, The Evil Dead and the Nightmare On Elm Street movie franchises. One of which being the infamous Necronomicon (Book Of The Dead) and links Jason to it.

FreddyvsJasonvsAsh

Even more so, director of Jason Goes to Hell – Adam Marcus has recently confirmed that this is true as the site Movieweb has reported. But I wish to cast a shadow over the theory and the Movieweb article as a whole. I mean, does it really matter what Adam Marcus says about this subject seeing as he never had anything to do with the creation of either Friday The 13th or The Evil Dead at all? He just directed one of the sequels. This site also makes a very bold claim – and I quote…

Sam Raimi, the man who directed Evil Dead, also gives it the thumbs up.

Raimi didn’t just direct The Evil Dead… he created the entire universe. Anyway, I’ve checked up on this claim and can find zero evidence either way. I’m not saying that Sam Raimi has never given the thumbs up to this idea, just that I can find nothing to suggest he ever has.

But even I have to admit that the theory does hold some water, but the problem is that the container holding the water is definitely leaking. Before I get to the problem(s) with the theory, lets quickly cover the history of Jason.

So Jason was left to drown in Crystal Lake by camp counsels who were preoccupied via sex and drugs… that was his first death. The he came back at the end of the film in what is suggested as being an hallucination… or was it? I mean, if he is a Deadite – then he could have been there at the end of the first film right?

Anyway, from the first sequel onward – Jason became the main antagonist of the franchise (except for one instance) and at the end of each and every film – he is ‘killed’ off. Axe in the head, chopped up by Corey Feldman, he has been drowned (again), blown up, dissolved by toxic waste and even dragged to hell by Freddy Krueger – just to name a few of his demises. Despite his many, many, many deaths – he keeps on coming back. This is why many people think he could be a Deadite due to the difficulty in killing him off. But there is another reason too. Just going back to the flick Jason Goes to Hell once more…

Jason Goes to Hell Necro

That’s the Necronomicon right there and I don’t mean a replica… that’s the very same prop used in Evil Dead II. And where is the book found? In the Voorhees house which suggests that Pamela Voorhees used it to bring her son back from the dead in the first film and that is how/why he appears at the end of that film (it wasn’t an hallucination) and continues his rampage through the entire franchise. So maybe director Adam Marcus may be onto something after all. And just going back to that Moiveweb article for a while, they quote Marcus directly…

“It’s not like I could tell New Line my plan to include The Evil Dead, because they don’t own The Evil Dead. So it had to be an Easter egg, and I did focus on it…there’s a whole scene that includes the book, and I hoped people would get it and could figure out that’s what I’m up to. So yes, in my opinion, Jason Voorhees is a Deadite. He’s one of The Evil Dead. It absolutely is canon.”

So there you go, Marcus is outright calming that it is in fact canon that Friday The 13th and The Evil Dead do exist in the same universe and that Jason is a Deadite. But to bring up a previous point – who is he to say what is or is not canon? He directed one film in a long running franchise… that’s all. He has no say on the history of either Friday The 13th or The Evil Dead. I don’t mean to piss on his parade but its true.

But here is my point. If Sam Raimi and Victor Miller & Sean S. Cunningham – the actual people who created The Evil Dead and Friday The 13th movies respectively wish to retroactively connect the two franchises officially… then should’t it be up to them to say so and not a director of only one of the flicks? Also as Marcus himself pointed out, New Line who now own the Jason name didn’t and still do not own The Evil Dead… so how can they be official canon? You can’t have two franchises exits in the same universe if they are owned by different companies. I mean, that is the whole reason why New Line purchased the Jason rights from Paramount Pictures to begin with – so they could make Freddy vs Jason and bring the two universes together.

For me, its a fun theory and as previously pointed out via the comic and Jason Goes to Hell – there are nods and references… but its not official is it?

More from Adam Marcus over this subject…

“I wanted to create a mythology for Jason in this movie, because it had driven me nuts as a viewer. She (Pamela Voorhees) makes a deal with the devil by reading from the Necronomicon to bring back her son. This is why Jason isn’t Jason. He’s Jason plus The Evil Dead, and now I can believe that he can go from a little boy that lives in a lake, to a full grown man in a couple of months, to Zombie Jason, to never being able to kill this guy.”

See, here is where I have a problem with the theory.

Deadites do not age… ever. Proof? See Henrietta Knowby in Evil Dead II. So why would Jason go from a child in the first flick to an adult in a few months for the first sequel? And if he can age that quickly…why does he not age even more so after becoming adult? It makes no sense knowing The Evil Dead universe. Then, how did Pamela get the Necronomicon? Okay so pre-warning, but I’m going to go full on The Evil Dead nerd right now…

The Evil Dead AshTape

So as The Evil Dead universe shows. It was Professor Raymond Knowby who first found the book via an archaeological expedition to the Sumerian ruins of Castle Kandar. This is the very same castle that is featured in Army Of Darkness and it is Ash himself who recovered the book and took it to the castle during the events of Army Of Darkness for Professor Knowby to find it and take it back to the infamous cabin. Then while at that cabin when the events of The Evil Dead take place and Ash burns the book at the end. Of course as Evil Dead II shows, the book may be gone – but some pages still exist and its those pages that open a portal that sends Ash back in time to the events of Army Of Darkness so Ash can find the book and place it in the castle for Professor Knowby to discover and take back to the cabin…

Army Of Darkness Portal

Its a self-fulfilling prophecy but there is one major thing to take into account over the whole thing….the Necronomicon never leaves the castle until Professor Knowby takes it to the cabin and then it is destroyed by Ash at the end of the first film. So how could Pamela Voorhees ever have used it to resurrect Jason in Friday The 13th? And I’ll continue my rebuttal to this too…

In the opening of Friday The 13th, its revealed that Jason originally drowned and died in 1957. A mysterious killer (its the mom) turns up at the same camp Jason died at a year later and murders two counsellors in 1958. The film that jumps forward twenty two years to present time, 1980 and the film starts proper. Seeing as Pamela Voorhees dies at the end of the film, that means she must have used the book to resurrect Jason before this happens. Years before, months, weeks, days or just hours? It doesn’t matter either way just as long as we know the resurrection had to have occurred before Pamela died.

The Evil Dead was released in 1981 (filmed in through 1978-1980 though) so was can assume the events of the film take place around then. Plus I’ll also bring up the TV show Ash vs Evil Dead which is most definitely canon as Sam Raimi himself is behind the series plus events form the moives are directly referenced as backstory in the TV show. Ash brings up that he first went to the cabin around 30 years ago… which make sense given the release of The Evil Dead.

The Evil Dead Cellar

Where did the book come from? It doesn’t add up especially when you take into account that no only was the book destroyed by the end of the first film circa 1980 but that it appears in the picture Jason Goes to Hell from 1993… the book doesn’t exist anymore. Then again – the Necronomicon is in Ash vs Evil Dead so even the official canon can’t get it right. But the TV show didn’t exist in 1993 when Jason Goes to Hell was released and this theory first came about – so I’ll overlook that aspect. But one major question still remains… how/when did Pamela Voorhees get a hold of it to use to resurrect Jason? (if we ignore the Ash vs Evil Dead)

The book never left the cabin from The Evil Dead and it was evetually destroyed by fire. But I’ll also overlook that factor and ignore the book being burnt… and it still makes no sense. Try to keep up here as I cover the book’s journey through the films. After being sent through time – Ash puts the book in the castle in Army Of Darkness, Professor Knowby finds the book and takes it to the cabin where he unleashes the Deadites. He kills his possessed wife – Henrietta and buries her in the fruit cellar. Within the context of the movies, its not known exactly what happened Professor Knowby but he’s presumed dead (though the TV show does answer this). Anyway, Ash and his friends turn up at the cabin and find the Necronomicon and accidentally unleash the Deadites once more – the events of The Evil Dead take place and around the same time, so do the events of the first Friday The 13th. The events of both films occur and (lets assume) the book is not burnt. The events of Evil Dead II happen and Ash is sent back in time so he can put the book in the castle.

Army Of Darkness Book

So how did the book end up at the Voorhees house in 1993? Plus adding to the fact that Pamela must have used it to resurrect Jason before she died in 1980. She must have taken the book from the cabin before Ash and his friends turned up in The Evil Dead used it on Jason after he died in 1957… and then returned the book so Ash could find it in 1981-ish… and then remove the book again to place it in the Voorhees home in 1993… after she died. Then Ash must have obtained the book from the Voorhees house after coming back from the past in Army Of Darkness so he can have it in Ash vs Evil Dead… it makes no logical sense, even within the horror world.

Jason can not be a Deadite given what is established within the films universe’s… even with me removing plot holes to try to make this make sense… it makes no sense. As I said, it a fun theory – but it just does not hold up and director Adam Marcus ‘confirming’ it as canon does not make it so either.

 

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Friday The 13th: The Game Is Looking Surprisingly Bloody Good

Friday The 13th: The Game started out when independent developers – IllFonic and publisher – Gun Media began making a parody survival horror game called Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp. Originally, the game was intended to be a send-up of horror games using classic 70s and 80s slasher films as its basis as this reveal trailer shows.

Did you notice a familiar name in the credits for that trailer? Some guy by the name of Tom Savini. You know THE Tom Savini – actor, director and all time horror make-up legend. Savini was on board from the start as a visual effects supervisor as well as an executive producer. It was this connection that got the game’s publisher – Gun Media thinking about opening up their game and maybe trying to acquire the rights to the Friday The 13th film franchise. After several meetings with director Sean S. Cunningham and New Line Cinema, Gun Media managed to secure the Friday The 13th IP and Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp officially became Friday The 13th: The Game.

The game is going to be a a semi-open world, third-person survival horror game set in and around the the universe created with the Friday the 13th movie franchise. Gameplay wise, it will be a multiplayer experience where up to eight people can play online with one person controlling the iconic Jason Voorhees while the remaining seven players will control one of several camp counsellors over varying game-maps. The goal is simple enough. Play as Jason and you have to kill the counsellors – play as the counsellors and you have to try to survive Jason’s bloody rampage… and bloody it is too.

On board with the game are some of Friday The 13th’s most famous and respected alumni. Make-up genius Tom Savini is on board to work as designer for the many, many, many various Jason kills and the game is set in the 80s with a classic ’80s rock’ soundtrack to give it that very special Friday The 13th flavour.

Fan favourite Kane Hodder who played Jason in Friday The 13th Part VII, Part VIII, Jason Goes to Hell, and Jason X is back and playing Jason again via motion capture for the game as well as being on board as a stunt coordinator.

Original Friday The 13th writer and director – Sean S. Cunningham also returning to the franchise that made him (in)famous as the game’s producer.

Developer, IllFonic have promised a morgue full of nods and references from the moives in the game. With many (if not all) of Jason’s looks over the years being represented in the game from his first ‘real’ burlap sack look from Friday The 13th Part II to his more zombie-like appearance from Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Whether his latter Jason X and Freddy Vs Jason looks will also make it into the game is yet unknown. But I’m sure the game will offer plenty of various Jason skins to use. Even Tom Savini has designed his own exclusive Jason skin for the game.

Yes, the movie references will be coming thick and fast. Even Jason’s arch nemesis – Tommy Jarvis is returning and is being portrayed by Thom Mathews from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Tommy Jarvis is to Jason what Nancy Thompson is to Freddy Krueger, Laurie Strode to Michael Myers or Andy Barclay to Chucky. In short, they have a history.

Even Harry Manfredini who created the soundtrack for the original film will compose the soundtrack of the game too and it sounds gorgeous.

I’m sure the game will feature plenty of extra DLC utilising more assets from the movie franchise, who wouldn’t want to play as everyone’s favourite lovable asshole – Shelly from Friday the 13th Part III? There is so much they can do with this game taking characters and locales from the movies. Maybe even crossovers and get Freddy in there too? A horror fan can dream can’t he?

Its as if all the Friday The 13th moons have aligned as the original creators of the movie franchise team up with a game development crew that actually care about doing the name justice and giving us gamers a good Friday The 13th game experience after all these years.

The game looks and sounds great, intense, atmospheric and scary as this IGN Jason gameplay footage shows.

Set for release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. No exact date has yet been set but after several delays to add more gameplay features and a single player campaign too. Its been rumoured that Friday The 13th: The Game will be ready for a summer 2017 release.

Besides, its got to end up better than this…

Are you looking forward to Friday The 13th: The Game as much as I am? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

An Incomplete History of Horror Films Part V.

Its the decade of big hair and even bigger horror films. the 80s.

If the 70s was my favourite decade for horror films, then the 80s is a very, very close second. This was the era of the slasher film (and their numerous sequels), plus a few examples of modernising the classic movie monsters from the past. Some of my favourite horror movie directors cut their teeth in the 80s and it was also the decade of amateur, low budget masterpieces. The effects were bigger, better and bloodier and the films became more controversial as the boundaries of what was allowed to be seen on film were pushed to breaking point with many movies being outright banned here in the UK as the censors hit hard and the dawn of the ‘video nasty‘ was born.

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Cannibal Holocaust (1980): Well, if I’m going to show how controversial the 80s horror movie was, I may as well go straight for the jugular. Directed by Ruggero Deodato and easily one of the most infamous and controversial horror films to ever be made. A team of four documentary makers go to a South American jungle to search for cannibals. They go missing, so an anthropologist and his team is sent to find them. The documentary team are never found, but their film reels are…

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Where to start with this film, so much to cover? This is often regarded as the first of the ‘found footage’ sub-genre that became popular in the late 90s onward, as the movie’s plot is told through the film that the missing documentary team made. Onto the controversy; the director was arrested and charged with obscenity then all copies of the film were ordered to be destroyed… but why, its only a movie right? Well that is not what a magazine in France thought, they believed the film was real and that people were actually killed. This prompted charges against director; Ruggero Deodato to now include murder. It all even went to court as Ruggero Deodato had to prove his innocence by having the actors who supposedly died in the film appear in court as well as show behind the scenes photos of other actors that ‘died’ on screen still being alive as well as the effects work used. Eventually the charges against Deodato were dropped, but that was not the end. So no human was killed making this film, but something(s) were. There are actual animal killings shown in this movie, not special effects but real animals being killed. A coati is killed with a knife, a large turtle is decapitated and its limbs are then cut off before its shell and entrails are removed, a tarantula and boa constrictor are killed with a machete, a squirrel monkey is decapitated and a pig is shot in the head with a shotgun. All real and all on film. This lead to the film being heavily censored or outright banned in some countries and its still a sore issue today. There is a lot more to cover with this film, but I have plenty more pictures to talk about so need to move on. But do I recommend this one? Yes I do. There are various versions of this film to watch, there is an edited version that cuts out most of the violence and all of the animal killings. However, I have to be honest here and say its crap. If you really want to watch this movie, then you just have to watch the full, uncut version. Yes its hard to sit through and I’m an animal lover so detest the killing of animals for entertainment. But for the full impact of the film, the uncut one is the only version to watch.

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Fade to Black (1980): A very low budget psychological horror movie written and directed by Vernon Zimmerman. Eric is frequently bullied and betrayed, he hides away from his torment in his love for horror movies and often fantasies about being one of the villains. Eventually he snaps and begins a killing spree against the very people that bullied and opposed him all while being influenced by some of his favourite horror icons.

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Its a shame this picture is so low budget as its a great idea, but the lack of money really shows on screen.The plot is a little bare, some of the death scenes are just pathetic and the editing is terrible. But there is still a watchable movie here. Its great to see someone get made up and dressed in classic movie monster garb (Dracula, The Mummy, etc) and show that there is still room for the old guard in horror films. Dennis Christopher playing Eric is a joy to watch and Linda Kerridge as a Marilyn Monroe look-alike is great too. Plus be on the look out for a small appearance by Mickey Rourke. A good film, but tremendously flawed. Only worth a watch if you enjoy low budget schlock.

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Friday the 13th (1980): Just like Halloween (1978), I think its law to include this in a horror movie list. Directed by Sean S. Cunningham. It summer at Camp Crystal Lake and a group of young camp counsellors are readying the camp for a busy season. But it seems that somebody isn’t happy about all the commotion as the camp counsellors are killed off one by one.

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I think it can be said without much argument that Friday the 13th is one of the main trendsetters in terms of the ‘slasher’ sub-genre of horror film. After John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) set the standard, many, many followed and this film was one of the big hitters that went on to become a very successful franchise with about six hundred sequels (I may have over counted), spin-offs and even a remake. The franchise became so huge and popular that everyone knows the killer in Friday the 13th is Jason Voorhees… isn’t he? One of the all time classic horror films with exceptional make up/effects work by the grand-master himself, Tom Savini. The film also features an early role for Kevin Bacon.

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The Shining (1980): I said in the previous part how The Exorcist (1973) is my all time favourite horror film, and it is, but this picture is a close second. Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring the legendary Jack Nicholson. Jack Torrance is a writer struggling to write his next book, he takes on a job offer as a caretaker at a remote hotel that closes down for the winter. Arriving with his wife and son, Danny. As Danny starts to witness strange hallucinations, Jack begins to experience cabin fever and slowly goes insane.

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One of the very best examples of a tremendous psychological horror film. This movie was detested by Stephen King, so much so that he went on to publicly slam this picture and even make his own version as a three part TV mini-series in 1997. I love King’s novel and I also love Kubrick’s version just as much (I also enjoyed the TV mini-series… but not as much), they are two very different animals from two different geniuses. Jack Nicholson gives one of the best performances of his career, if not THE best and goes down in horror history as one of the all time great villains. There is a unnerving feeling of tension right from the opening credits of the film and it never lets up until the end credits roll. The hotel backdrop is both gorgeous and foreboding and Jack’s slow decent into madness is well done throughout the picture. It all builds up to a terrifying ending with a quizzical footnote involving a photo that still has people theorising and debating today. Beautifully shot, brilliantly adapted from the novel (despite what King says) and genuinely scary… “Heeeeeere’s Johnny!” .

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An American Werewolf in London (1982):I see the bad moon arising.“, great song by CCR from an equally great film directed by John Landis. Two American backpackers go exploring the English countryside moors where they are attacked by a wolf-like creature. One of the two outright dies, while the other is mauled but lives and he slowly learns he has been given the werewolf curse.

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Oh, how I love this film. A modern twist on the classic werewolf lore. The film is a great mix of genuine scares blended with a very dark sense of humour. The make up effects are just sublime, especially on the ever decaying Jack who haunts his werewolf friend David as he is trapped in limbo. The main werewolf transformation scene is still the greatest werewolf transformation ever filmed and make up artist, Rick Baker deservedly won and Oscar for his work in this movie. Another thing that needs mention are the terrifying nightmares David has as his curse starts to take over. Some absolutely amazing visuals and scary scenes. My favourite werewolf movie by far… and the soundtrack is awesome too as each of the main songs has the word ‘moon’ in the title. Almost forgot to mention the radio adaption form 1997 which is also worth checking out if you can find it.

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Docteur Jekyll et les femmes (1981): This is a French film by director Walerian Borowczyk. A modernised take on the Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Set in the 19th century in London. A celebration for Dr Henry Jekyll and Fanny Osbourne’s engagement is being held at Dr. Jekyll’s home. Later that night, one of the female guests is brutally attacked, raped and murdered in her room and this starts a very bizarre and bloody series of events.

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This film is a strange and often difficult watch (if you can find a fully uncut version), yet its beautifully shot and directed. The movie is very surreal and often feels almost dream like. There is quite a lot of sex and nudity in this one and often mixed with violence. The film feels very sleazy, but that sleaze just works. Not a film for everyone, but if you want a Dr Jekyll yarn that dares to be different and even shocking at times, then you may enjoy this picture.

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The Evil Dead (1981): Directed by Sam Raimi and starring cult fan actor, Bruce Campbell. Five college friends shack up in a cabin in the woods. A recording is found in the cellar and played back which unleashes an evil force with the power to possess humans and turn them into demons.

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I already did a quick overview of this film. I really enjoy low budget horror movies from first time directors and The Evil Dead is pretty much the pinnacle. The plot is bare basic, the acting is horrible and the effects work is cheap… but the film is still one of the best horror films made. This is the movie that got me interested in what happens behind the camera just as much as in front of it. I love reading/watching anything about The Evil Dead and think its amazing how this film was made by a few teenagers and how it has gone on the become a successful franchise recognised around the world. It a cheap, low budget effort. But its also a bloody, scary and effective picture with some of the best camerawork and direction seen at the time.

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Possession (1981): A little known French/German horror film directed by Andrzej Żuławski and starring Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani. Mark returns home from a business trip away, he finds is wife, Anna is restless and withdrawn, Anna says she wants a divorce and she starts to act even more irrational and bizarre. Mark believes another man is involved but it seems Anna’s behaviour is related to something much more sinister.

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How best to describe this movie? An extreme assault on the senses, that sounds about right. This picture is surreal and hyperactive, its beautiful and disturbing at the same time. The acting is OTT and eccentric, yet it all fits perfectly with the tone of the film. You’ll watch this film once and think to yourself ‘what the fuck did I just watch’ but then immediately want to watch it again and it is subsequent viewings that make this film so much more enjoyable. Isabelle Adjani won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981 and deservedly so too. Not an easy watch, but if you can make it through, you will be rewarded with a hard edged and brutal horror film that will stick with you forever.

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Basket Case (1982): Written and directed by Frank Henenlotter. This is another one of those low budget, gore-fests that I enjoy so much. Duane is a strange young man who goes everywhere with a wicker basket which contains his surgically removed, deformed Siamese twin. The brothers set out to seek vengeance on the doctors who separated them.

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Bizarre seems such a tame word to use as a descriptive of the one, but bizarre it is. This is a trashy film, its not high art, it has no political statement to make. Its just what it is meant to be. A low budget, low brow piece of rubbish… but its great and entertaining rubbish. Its a film about a deformed Siamese twin kept is a wicker basket that wants revenge, what are you expecting? Its silly, hokey and gory. A stupid film that entertains from start to finish.

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Creepshow (1982): I love horror anthology pictures and this is one of the very best. Directed by George A. Romero, the film includes five tales (and a wrap around story); Father’s Day is about a cruel dead father who comes back to carry on his reign of terror. The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill is a tale where a country bumpkin discovers a recently crashed meteorite but after he touches it, things slowly go very wrong. Something to Tide You Over has a man who finds out his wife has been having an affair, so he buries his wife and her lover alive up to their heads on a beach as the tide comes in, only they return for revenge. The Crate is a wonderful tale about a hard done by man who finds a way to rid himself rid his overbearing wife thanks to a mysterious crate. They’re Creeping Up on You is about a ruthless businessman suffering from mysophobia and locks himself away in his germ free apartment only to be invaded by his worst nightmare.

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I could quite honesty go on about this picture for hours and hours… but I can’t here as there is so many other films to cover. What is there to like? Directed by George A. Romero, written by Stephen King and make up effects work by Tom Savini… you couldn’t get a better horror team than that in the 1980s. Each of the five stories are great and offer a varying amount of scares as well as macabre comedy. Inspired by the old horror EC comics of the 40s-50s and that inspiration shines through. This film’s tongue is firmly placed in its cheek and its a complete riot.

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982): The second sequel to the John Carpenter classic that isn’t really a sequel. Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, the film departs form the story of Micheal Myers and does its own thing. A mysterious toy maker releases a new line of Halloween masks for sale which seem to have some kind of a connection to a strange series of commercials on TV that are counting down to a big event… but what?

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This film was despised at the time of release as it took a severe departure from the Halloween movie franchise (even though this was only the 3rd film). Fans hated it as did the critics, yet over the years, the movie has gained a strong a loyal following. I adore this film and always have done, I got tired of the whole Micheal Myers thing after the first film anyway, so this movie was a breath of fresh air. Originally, John Carpenter wanted this to be the start of a whole new anthology idea after he killed of Micheal Myers in the first sequel. His intention was to have a series of Halloween themed films each year all with a new story, yet they would all exist in one shared film universe. But as the fans at the time were too small minded and just wanted more Micheal Myers, more of the same tired old formula, the idea was dropped and Myers was brought back for several other terrible sequels instead. Still, this movie is a great horror picture full of scares and a few hard to watch scenes too. A massively overlooked film that deserves much more credit.

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Poltergeist (1982): A true classic in every sense of the word. Directed by Tobe Hooper, written and produced by Steven Spielberg. The Freelings are a young and loving family who move into their new home. The youngest daughter, Carol Anne, develops a strange connection to the TV and things only get stranger from that point on.

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One of the all time classics and a modern retelling of a golden age ghost story. The film is chock full of iconic and memorable imagery/scenes. That picture of the clown up there probably sparked off childhood memories you’d rather forget. What about the tree or the skeletons in the unfinished swimming pool, maybe the scene where the paranormal investigator goes to wash his face? The visual effects in this one still stand up today (for the most part) and are still some of my strongest memories of a horror film. As scary as it is tense and well made, Poltergeist has stood the test of time and can still offer plenty of chills today.

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The Thing (1982): Another one form one of the all time greats, director John Carpenter. A loose remake of The Thing from Another World (1951) and based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. Starring Kurt Russell and featuring music by the legendary Ennio Morricone. Set in Antarctica and a US research station is suddenly brought to attention by a Norwegian helicopter trying to kill a dog. After the helicopter crashes, the members of the US research station take the dog in as a pet, which was perhaps not the wisest idea.

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I must have been around 7/8 years old and watching this with my brothers and cousins at my Auntie Chris’ house one night. I have a very strong memory of watching THAT dog scene and if you have seen the film, then you know exactly which very specific dog scene I am talking about. I remember being both horrifically scared and yet unable to look away at the same time. I was terrified but amazed. It was that moment when I fell in love with horror films. Oh I had seen other horror films before this one, but nothing quite like The Thing. So I have John Carpenter and a dog to thank for my love of horror films. This film is amazing, the directing is spot on and the isolation you feel due to the setting is unnerving. Ennio Morricone’s score is almost minimal and fits perfectly. Then there is the small cast full of great performances of which the star, Kurt Russell is easily the best. Also of note is Rob Bottin who headed up the effects/make up department and created some of the most stunningly grotesque and yet beautiful effects work of the 80s. “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding!

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Psycho II (1983): The first sequel (there were others) to the Hitchcock classic Psycho (1960). Sitting in the director’s chair this time around is Richard Franklin and returning as Norman Bates is Anthony Perkins. After 22 years of being institutionalised following the events of the first film, Norman is released and goes back to his motel and it seems that mother is also back too.

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I love the original film, it is one of my all time favourite films ever. Is this sequel as good? No, not at ‘as good’… but its still a damn good film regardless. There are some genius moments of directing here including blending the aftermath of perhaps the most famous scene of the original film into this sequel seamlessly. There are a few scenes that I’m not a fan of (like a bloody, overflowing toilet… been done countless times before) but then there are also scenes that are also excellent. The film leaves you guessing as to whether Norman is settling back into his old ways, or is somebody attempting to give him a few gentle pushes? Maybe Norman is innocent in all of this? Anthony Perkins is just as great playing the role here as he was in 1960, also returning from the original is Vera Miles and even Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance despite dying three years earlier. An overlooked film and one of the better horror sequels made, well worth checking out as a double feature with the original.

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Gremlins (1984): Directed by Joe Dante and starring Zach Galligan & Phoebe Cates. Billy is given a Christmas gift, a small and unusual creature called a Mogwai. This Mogwai has a strict set of three rules that Billy must adhere to, but due to series of ‘accidents’ the rules are broken and the Gremlins are born.

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How do you categorise this film? Its a family friendly, Christmas themed, horror, comedy, action, satire of monster movies… movie. There is a weird cocktail of so many genres and sub-genres it just shouldn’t work, but it does. Gremlins can be genuinely scary at times, but then a few seconds later and it’ll make you smile with its humour. The very dark and macabre tale Kate tells about how she learned there is no Santa Claus is both disturbing and humorous. The Gremlins themselves are malicious but engaging and thoroughly entertaining. And of course, yes Gizmo the Mogwai is ‘cute’. This is a fun romp for all the family to enjoy regardless of age.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The film that made me a fan of writer/director Wes Craven. The birth of one of the all time great horror icons, Freddy Krueger and the start of the career of some unknown actor called Johnny Depp. A group of teenagers are being haunted by nightmares where a horribly scarred and burnt maniac with knives for fingernails called Freddy, who scares them so much they refuse to sleep. It soon becomes apparent that if this guy kills you in your dreams, then you die for real. But who is this Freddy and where did he come from, maybe the parents know more than they are willing to let on?

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Does Freddy Krueger (or this film) really need any kind of an introduction? This is arguably Wes Craven’s masterpiece (for some anyway, there is another film he made later that for me is his masterpiece…). Rather like Friday the 13th (1980), this film is one of those trend setters that defined the slasher sub-genre of horror films and much like ‘Friday’, it too spawned many, many sequels, spin offs and a remake. Freddy has rightfully gone down as one of the all time great horror icons and has become cemented in many a subconscious of the horror fan. The film has some overtly bloody scenes, but also a film with just as many creepy/scary images and scenes that contain really well done frights. “One, two…

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The Terminator (1984): Its another one of those low budget films from a little known director and this time its James Cameron in the hot seat. Starring the then unknowns; Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton and some guy called, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the year 2029, a killer cyborg is sent back in time to 1984 to murder the mother of the leader of the resistance who leads the humans to defeat the self-aware Skynet super computer. If the mother is dead, then the leader can never be born. But the resistance themselves send back a lone soldier as a protector.

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I know what some people are thinking as they read this. “The Terminator isn’t a horror film.”. Yeah, I’ve heard this before numerous times, even my girlfriend said the same thing as I was writing this when she peered over my shoulder. The Terminator is a horror film and please allow me to plead my case as not only will I put forward a convincing argument, I’ll also categorise what sub-genre of horror film it falls into. Okay, so we have a weak female who by the end becomes a stronger version of herself (Sarah), a virgin who has sex and dies shortly afterwards (Kyle), a killer that is in someway masked or in disguise (Terminator), POV shots from the killer, a chase type movie where the killer keeps perusing its intended victim(s) and there is even an ending where the killer is (supposedly) stopped just to come back at during the end for more. Does any of this sound familiar? These are slasher movie tropes as The Terminator is a slasher horror film. Just remove the sci-fi element for a while and think of the film on its purest terms. A movie about a stalking killer who systematically goes through a phone book and murders women named Sarah Conner. Change the killer form a cyborg to an everyday flesh and blood human, remove the time travel and sci-fi elements, change the title to ‘The Phone-book Killer’ and you have a bog standard 80s slasher film. The Terminator is anything but bog standard though and simple because it just threw in a few sci-fi elements. Watch something like Halloween (1978) and then watch this film directly afterwards and you’ll see so many of the tropes and clichés from the classic slasher film repeated in The Terminator. This flick is a horror film, and a damn good one too.

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Dèmoni (1985): AKA, Demons is produced by Italian horror guru, Dario Argento and directed by Lamberto Bava. A group of people are invited to attend a preview screening of a new film. One of the guests tries on a prop from the movie, a silver mask of a demon and this kick-starts a gruesome series of events that get worse and worse.

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The plot is simple, the acting is sub-par and the music is typical, cheesy 80s rock. But the film is one of the most enjoyable demonic possession films made with buckets of blood thrown in too. Much like the decade it comes from, this film is a bit of a mess and a lot of things don’t make much sense… but it all just clicks and works. It almost gets a bit meta with the idea of a film about demons being shown in a film about demons, as life begins to imitate art. The dead bodies build up, both human and demon as the film progresses and what is left of the survivors escape the cinema and out onto the streets where they are saved, only for the viewer to be hit with a great stinger of an ending that still resonates with me today. Here’s an interesting tit-bit for you too, the guy in the mask handing out invites at the start of the movie is Michele Soavi. A protégé of Argento who would go on to become a horror movie director himself.

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The Return of the Living Dead (1985): From writer/director Dan O’Bannon. A pair of employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a gas into the air. The gas brings back to life a cadaver which the duo cut up and then enlist the help of a local mortician to burn and hopefully end their problems, only this triggers an even bigger problem.

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Braaaaaaaaiiins!” the zombies cry out in this film as they hunt for brains to eat. This was the first film to introduce the idea of a zombie that eats brains, something that has now become common place and referenced countless times. The idea of mixing comedy and horror is not a new one, it has been around since the 1930s, but very few films manage to get the balance right. ROLTD doesn’t just get it right, it nails the blend of comedy and horror perfectly. As gory and scary as it is funny, this film is a riot and wicked fun. The scene where a zombie torso is interrogated (above image) and it is revealed that zombies need to eat brains as being dead hurts and brains ease the pain is genius, as it gives a reason for the zombie attacks and you actually start to feel a little sympathy for them too. The make up is amazing with some of the most detailed and creative zombies ever seen on film, Tarman, need I say more?

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Re-Animator (1985): Loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft short story, Herbert West–Reanimator. Directed by Stuart Gordon and starring Jeffrey Combs. Herbert West is a scientist who creates a fluid which can bring dead tissue back to life. With the help of his medical student housemate Dan, Herbert West gains access to a morgue where he can continue he research into bringing the dead back to life.

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Part Frankenstein, part zombie movie and all topped of with a deliciously dark flow of humour. Re-Animator is a gory masterpiece of horror cinema. Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West is wonderfully over the top and a joy to watch as his passion drives him to the brink of insanity, an interesting modern take on the ‘mad scientist’ of the 50s era. Also of note is the main antagonist of the movie, Dr. Carl Hill played by David Gale who ends up tangling with Herbert West and coming off worse for wear. There are some truly gore-tastic scenes in this one as well as some rather ‘WTF’ ones too that all build up to an unforgettable ending. Its also worth checking out the other films in this franchise; Bride of Re-Animator (1990) and Beyond Re-Animator (2003).

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Entrails of a Virgin (1986): An infamous Japanese horror classic directed by Kazuo Komizu. A group involved in making porn head out to a house in the mountains where they find a mud covered demon who brutally kills the males and rapes the females with its ‘impressive’ appendage.

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Errrr, yeah. How do I cover this one? I really enjoy Japanese horror, alas not all of it is good. I find that it falls under three basic categories. 1) Damn good, 2) Damn terrible and 3) What the fuck did I just watch? Entrails of a Virgin definitely falls into category 3. There is no plot, just and excuse to show sex, nudity and gore. The sex is mostly censored/fogged out as there were some very strict rules when it came to showing sex on screen in Japan, yet strangely the gore is shown in all its glory. Never understood why something as natural and normal as sex was taboo but murder, blood and gore was perfectly fine. And the gore in this is taken to ridiculous levels. Is this a good film? No, its terrible. But it is a film that has become so infamous that I feel it deserves a mention here. Worth watching? Not really, but if you want to see some soft core censored porn alongside unbelievable gore… then this is the film for you.

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The Fly (1986): A remake of the 1958 film that was based on the short story by George Langelaan. Directed by the wonderfully weird David Cronenberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. Seth Brundle is a brilliant scientist who has created two pods capable of teleportation. he uses himself as a guinea pig to test his invention, but just as he prepares to teleport himself, a fly enters the pod with him and the DNA of the fly becomes part of Seth.

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This is how you do a horror remake well. The chemistry between Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis is amazing (well they did marry in 1987) and they play off each other perfectly. The make up effects as Seth slowly turns into ‘Brundlefly’ is astonishing and the slow transformation brings about some disturbing scenes. Goldblum gives a stunning performance as he manages to break through all the make up he has to endure and still make you feel something for the character. The ending is a bloody, grotesque conclusion and yet utterly heart breaking at the same time. Its a strange feeling how the film makes you feel for the monster by the time the credits roll. A simple story, but told so very well.

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The Hitcher (1986): An overlooked masterpiece of thriller/horror directed by Robert Harmon and starring the mesmerising Rutger Hauer. A young man has a job transporting a car from one state to another. While driving along a quiet desert road, he spots a hitchhiker and offers him a ride. This hitcher is not quite what he seems and a game of ‘cat & mouse’ begins between the two.

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Is this a horror film? Quite a few people I know don’t think so, but for me it most definitely is. This isn’t a picture about blood and gore, this is a movie that plays on tension and fear. Is a slow burner with a simple plot. Often massively overlooked and often forgotten about too. This film oozes atmosphere and tension, there are scenes in this movie that will stick with me forever. As every time I have a burger and fires, I always check the plate first. Rutger Hauer is simply astonishing in his role of ‘John Ryder’ (if that is his real name) and is perfect casting, Hauer is at his most ‘Rutger-ist” in this film. I could sit here and write about this film for hours, who is ‘John Ryder’, why is he doing all of this, etc? The film has a lot of subtlety and subtext that many people miss. An amazing flick the deserves a lot more credit… just avoid the terrible sequel and remake.

hellraiser

Hellraiser (1987): Clive Barker is the writer/director behind this gothic classic based on Barker’s own short story; The Hellbound Heart. Larry moves into his old family home along with his wife. They soon discover that Larry’s bother, Frank has been squatting in the house but has mysteriously disappeared. While moving in, Larry cuts himself by accident and this triggers a series of events that reveal what happened to Frank and his connection to a strange puzzle box.

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What a movie, I love this film. Its a great throwback to the gothic horror films Hammer were making in their heyday, but mixed with the blood-soaked gore that became common place in the 80s. Its essentially a haunted house movie… but not. There is so much memorable imagery in this film its hard to know where to start. Well you have the poster-boy himself, Pinhead (though only known as ‘Main Cenobite’ in the movie), it strange how Pinhead became the face of Hellraiser despite the fact he actually only has a few minutes of screen-time, I think the puzzle box itself has more screen-time. There is a scene in this picture that is disgustingly disturbing and yet strangely alluring and beautiful to watch, I refer to the re-birth of Frank. A visual treat along with a compelling plot, interesting characters and of course, plenty of blood. A great movie well worth watching and if you don’t, “we’ll tear your soul apart!“.

monstersquad

The Monster Squad (1987): Written by Shane Black and Fred Dekker, directed by Fred Dekker. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Gill Man, and The Mummy try to take over the world by taking possession of a scared amulet. But a group of young kids known as ‘The Monster Squad’ team up to take on the classic monsters.

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The classic Universal movie monsters are back in this wonderful Goonies-eque style family friendly action/horror/comedy. Really not so much of a horror film (compared to other films I have listed) but more of a horror themed movie the whole family can enjoy. It just puts such a huge smile on my face to see the classic Universal monsters still being used and in such a fun way too, and that is the best way to describe this flick… fun. There are some great gags here along with plenty of (mild) scary scenes. If you have kids, then sit down with them and watch this one. While mainly aimed at a younger audience, there’s still plenty for the older horror fan to find here with jokes, references, etc that will keep you more than entertained. And remember, this is the film that taught us that “wolfman’s got nards.

lostboys

The Lost Boys (1987): From director Joel Schumacher comes this teenage take on the vampire lore. A mother and her two sons move to a small coast town in California. The youngest son, Sam meets the Frog brothers who claim the town is being taken over by vampires.

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This film just proves how shit other teenage vampire moives really are… mentioning no Twilight, I mean names. A film of its age that is somehow ageless at the same time, the word ‘classic’ does not does this movie justice. There are some great scary scenes, but all through the picture there is a fun sense of humour. A particular highlight is Barnard Hughes who plays Grandpa who rounds of a great cast including; Dianne Wiest, Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Kiefer Sutherland. The title comes form the Lost Boys of Neverland, from Peter Pan. The film is topped off with a beautiful and memorable soundtrack. Modern vampires done justice creating on the best vampire pictures ever made.

shiryonowana

Shiryô no wana (1988): AKA; Evil Dead Trap is another Japanese horror film directed by Toshiharu Ikeda. A TV station host, Nami comes across a strange video tape. The tape appears to be a real snuff film and Nami along with her TV crew decide to investigate the location where the tape was filmed only to find themselves caught in a gory nightmare.

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Yes more Japanese horror and this one is brutally, bloody, brilliant. The flick feels very Argento-esque in many ways, its not shy with the gore and its plot is as basic as it can get. Yet the whole package just works and doesn’t fail to entertain and horrify along the way. The death scenes are graphic, gory and gruesome (there is a particular ‘eye opening’ opening) as the victims are dispatched of in pretty creative ways. The film’s plot is pretty formulaic and ‘slasher’ like and you’ll be correctly second guessing where this film is going… until, the last act where things go a little ‘weird’ and even almost ‘Cronenbergian’ and accumulates into a brilliant conclusion.

socity

Society (1989): Brian Yuzna is sitting in the director chair for this one. Teenager Bill Whitney feels as if he doesn’t quite fit in, even among his own family. He is given a disturbing tape that may prove incest within his family that involves a weird society. Bill then decides to try to uncover the mystery of this society that seem to be in control.

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To say this film is weird is a massive understatement. Its beyond bizarre, its in a world of its own. It feels Cronenberg-esque, but even I don’t think he would go this far. The effects work is both disgusting and beautiful and with effects by a guy called; Screaming Mad George, what do you expect? I think the film is trying to make some kind of social comment on the soullessness of the upper classes but at the same time, the movie never takes itself seriously at all. There are some pretty disturbing and hard to watch scenes as the picture builds to a 20 minute climax dubbed ‘The Shunting’ that will stick in your subconscious and never leave.

Well that is the end of the 80s in my Incomplete History of Horror and what a strange and wonderful journey it has been. In part VI, I’ll take a look at the 90s as horror films try to be clever.

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Friday The 13th – C64

Today is Friday the 13th so…

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Little Bit of History: From Domark and relased in 1985 for the Commodore 64. Later ported to the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. The game was inspired by the film series of the same name and became infamous for its jump scares. Some copies of the game even came with fake blood capsules filled with red sugar water that you could use to make it look like blood was pouring from your mouth. Also at the end of the tape was a collection of horror SFX.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: You play as one of the teenagers and are tasked with hunting down and killing Jason Voorhees while trying to protect your friends by taking them to a player selected sanctuary somewhere on the map. Jason could disguise himself as anyone of your friends and this would make him hard to find.

Little Bit of Character: You could play as 1 of 5 teenagers including; Gerry King, Bryan Bone, Amanda Baxter, Wendy Watson and Stuart Palmer. Then of course there was also Jason Voorhees.

Little Bit of Influence: Later Friday The 13th games were made like the more known one for the NES another for mobile games in 2000 and there is an all new Friday The 13th game coming to PC, Xbox One and PS4 to be relased in autumn of 2016.

Little Bit of Memories: I had this one on the same compilation tape as The Evil Dead. I always remember this one being pretty good fun even if it did have a strange soundtrack like Teddy Bears Picnic would play if you went to the woods or Old McDonald when you went to the farm. The map at the time was quite varied and fun to explore all while trying to find Jason. Oh and then there were those jump scares I mentioned as if/when Jason would kill one of your friends, you would be greeted with a image of a teenager with a machete stuck in their head and a loud digitized scream sound.

Little Bit of Playability: I was quite surprised to find this was still pretty playable today. I really enjoyed exploring the map and trying to track down Jason before he killed everyone. Though the controls did feel a little stiff, but after a while I got used to them. Still a pretty fun game to play today.

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