REVIEW: Friday the 13th (2009)


Friday the 13th (2009): D-

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always thought the purpose of movie reboots was to do a “fresh” retelling of a familiar story/franchise. You take the mythology and characters and tweak or “reboot” them using up-to-date special effects, relevant actors, and modern filmmaking conventions. The product is a re-imagined take on an old favorite, right?


The 2009 turd titled Friday the 13th did not do this. It’s a reboot for the sake of making a reboot and selling products. Nothing “fresh” is really brought to the story. Jason is in the woods and he kills teenagers who are just trying to have unprotected sex, swear, and drink beer (only the brand-partners for the movie, of course). No Mrs. Voorhees. No exploration of supernatural origins/powers. The movie sucks out anything unique about Jason and leaves us with a hollow murder machine you could find in any slasher-in-the-woods movie.

I love Jason mindlessly murdering people, but why reboot the franchise to show ONLY that? There’s the same ol’ gang of teens humping and drinking light beer right up until Jason hacks them up one by one. This film has a cast of physically flawless androgynous teens (and some of the most ridiculous hair I have ever seen). They don’t bother making them camp counselors which would, you know, make sense. They’re just dipshits who go to one of the kid’s parents’ lake house. I wonder how long the parents have owned the house and if Jason has ever attacked it before or if he’s just doing this on a whim. Seems like quite a coincidence.

Every “actress” is totally gorgeous even after getting a machete to the neck or harpoon in the face which, I guess is an achievement in the film? I don’t know.

The product placement in the film is off the hook! This happened:
BRO 1: Hey bro did you bring the Heineken?
BRO 2: What Heineken?
BRO 1: I told you to bring the Heineken! Where’s my Heineken?
BRO 2: Sorry bro.
BRO 1: What’s this: Pabst Blue Ribbon?
BRO 2: Have you never had a Pabst Blue Ribbon?
BRO 1: What the fuck is Pabst Blue Ribbon?
BRO 2: Dude, you can drink all the Pabst Blue Ribbon that you want!

And, this seriously happened:
BRO 1: Crystal Lake? Sounds like a water bottle. Like ‘Crystal Geyser.’ Every water bottle has ‘crystal’ in the name. Bet you can’t name one that doesn’t.
BRO 2: Aquafina. I win.

No one wins with this movie. Avoid it if possible.

REVIEW: Hatchet 3 (2013)



Hatchet 3: B

So, there’s this guy with a hatchet. A demented, redneck, indestructible guy with a hatchet. He likes to chop people up with his hatchet and this is the third movie in which he gets to.

This was a  really fun horror film that reminded me of early 90’s gore-fests I used to watch as a kid. It probably had something to do with the fact that Kane Hodder, the guy who played Jason in a LOT of the Friday the 13th films, plays the very Jason-like murderer, Victor Krowley.

Like said gore-fests, the actual plot only bookends the film. Some sheriffs go to investigate a murder in the swamp in Louisiana. Victor is there and he kills everyone. They send in backup and Victor kills everyone. They send in the SWAT team and Victor kills everyone (in one really incestuous-horror kill scene, the SWAT leader, played by the same guy who was Jason in the Friday the 13th reboot, is killed by Victor, who played Jason in a lot of the original movies). It only takes about twenty minutes of plot to deliver an unending supply of cops for Victor to slaughter and then you get a solid sixty minutes of gore. Then Victor’s supernatural origin is exposed and he is finally defeated in the final ten minutes.

The make-up and production value was really impressive. The villain is basically identical to Jason Voorhees but sometimes all a movie needs is cool make-up and a silent killing machine.

The kills are brutal and remind me of stuff I used to watch 20 years ago. Someone’s head is cooked with defibrillators, spines are ripped out, someone’s head is sanded off with a gas powered sander, and there are all sorts of hatchet-related deaths. They even shoot someone with a short-range missile. There is heavy metal music, screams and bone-crunching noises, and all types of physics-defying murder. Every internal organ imaginable is exposed and mutilated. One guy’s spine AND HEAD are ripped out THROUGH HIS STOMACH. How? Shhh. Hatchet 3. 

REVIEW: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)



Freddy vs. Jason: C-

Welcome to a movie that attempts to take the famous chemistry from the Godzilla vs. films and transfer it to the 11th installment in the Friday the 13th (or 8th Nightmare on Elm Street) series. If you sit down expecting to see something revolutionary that doesn’t shamelessly cash in on ideas from the past 25 years, you will be very disappointed.

I remember salivating over the marketing for this film; two of my favorite horror characters were going to face off in mortal combat. It was a horror version of Santa vs. the Easter Bunny. This was when I was really into WWE, so I was basically destined to see this in the theater. The director manages to cram everything Freddy/Jason fans love about Freddy/Jason movies into 95 minutes and the results are anti-climactic. Think about it: Just because I like avocado, toffee, and roast beef, doesn’t mean dumping them down the chute of a juicer is going to make nectar. If you are like me and are a fan of both franchises, you’ll suck it down and believe you love it no matter what while others will be understandably perplexed and bored.

There are plenty of decent looking teenagers misbehaving before they are killed, foggy boiler room dream-murders, “chh-chh, chaa-chaa” Jason noises, and a plot that you could read the newspaper through. There isn’t a minute of this movie that goes out on a limb that isn’t immediately rendered as CGI and lopped off.

At the beginning of the film, fans are already all riled up from the dick-tease ending of Jason Goes to Hell. Freddy is trapped in Dream World because parents of Elm Street have gone to near-Orwellian pains to remove his killing sprees from the newspaper archives and minds of the town. Apparently, Freddy requires mass paranoia and terror in order to operate, both of which have been abolished by the town’s seemingly well-meaning helicopter parents; no sniveling, horrified teens means Freddy has no power. Freddy resurrects Jason and sets him loose on Elm Street, knowing that his murders will result in a renaissance of Freddy-fear, allowing Freddy to kill, kill, kill.

Just like Greek mythology, logical questions about the story have no place here. While some “rules” are set in stone, others are made of Silly Putty. Freddy is weak and can’t kill kids in their dreams, but he can summon dead people from Hell. How can Freddy go to Hell, but not Earth? He is confined to the dream world except when convenient for particular scenes. How is Jason, after so many decades, still so damn quiet and why is his machete five feet long?

The “vs.” part of the film comes in when the movie has about 15 minutes left; a rejuvenated Freddy attempts to eliminate Jason so he can have all the carnage to himself. I won’t ruin it for you, but the fight scenes are what a toddler playing with action figures probably imagines, full of flying jump-kicks, projectiles, and one-liners. Imagine Freddy and Jason as Power Ranger villains and you’ll have the aesthetic of the film correctly pictured.

Objectively, the movie is terrible. But you know what? It is the only movie I have ever seen twice in the theater on the same day. Maybe that means I’m a loser, but maybe it means fuck you, I’m not a loser: C-!