So, I signed to write for the classic Cracked magazine as a paying gig. My first pitch’s 6 popular Horror characters that should be allowed to die off.
Here’s the article I wrote for it. Tell me what you guys think:
Slasher characters have been a popular draw for the Horror film genre since ‘73’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with many sequels and actors portraying them. But, when does the storyline and character run his course?
Jason has had an illustrious career racking up a body count of nubile counselors at Camp Crystal Lake all the way to Manhattan and even space since ‘80. He has even squared off against fellow fan fave, Freddy. He’s had multiple actors play him with various corn becoming part of his personality, most notably stunt master turned actor, Kane Hodder. Then, the powers that be seemed to run out of ideas, so Jason got the dreaded remake treatment. Of course, because of the namesake, it made money, so a sequel to the remake was in the works with one idea being a found footage angle…a dead (pun intended) angle, in my opinion. Now, the property is in legal hell with New Line and Paramount, who got the franchise started, fighting for it. The dude has already gone to hell once, let his stay there. I love the character, hell my name is Jason, but there is nothing left, honestly.
Freddy has been slicing and dicing since the late Wes Craven introduced him in ‘84’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, killing kids of the folks that killed him when he was a living kid killer. Now, his MO is getting them through their dreams. You’d think this angle would endless possibilities. Wrong. In ’10, Freddy got the remake treatment without Robert Englund, the actor, who created Freddy. For the most part, it bombed, and Englund, isn’t jonesing to get back into the make-up again into his 70s. They are floating the idea of rebooting the franchise with, say, Kevin Bacon taking over Freddy. Bacon got his career started in ‘80’s Friday the 13th, so he his genre history, but he’s no Englund. The last we saw of OG Freddy, he winked at us as Jason was carrying his head back to his trophy room. Sorry, Fred, why don’t you hang there for a while.
Leatherface is the granddaddy of the five. The late Tobe Hopper’s ’74 A Texas Chainsaw Massacre was created based on the real serial killer Ed Gein from Wisconsin, who had mommy issues and a penchant for human meat, making masks out of his victims. The late Gunnar Hansen created the character of Leatherface but didn’t take part in any of the sequels or prequels that added so much corn to the character, he was more of a buffoon than someone we were supposed to be scared of. With the prequels, they humanized him and gave him a reason to wear the masks other than he was a twisted mother. He’s no longer scary and *gasp* boring.
Michael is our second oldest when he came out in John Carpenter’s ’78 Halloween, which also put Jamie Lee Curtis on the map. Starting with his sister inexplicably, he comes back for Curtis’s Laurie Strode, who winds being the final girl, and in the inevitable sequel, we learn she’s, wait for it, his little sister, which ran the rest of the original storyline even though Curtis was not in any of the sequels until H20 and Resurrection, which she dies in the first act. They tried giving him a backstory of being part of a cult, which I dug and thought had possibilities, but apparently, the powers that be listened to the part of the fan base that did not like it, and it disappeared as Curtis reappeared. Then, when Laurie died, they ran out of ideas, so they “reinvented” (What the heck is that?) the franchise with Rob Zombie, who gave Mikey a run of the mill white trash, abused backstory that you hear about everyday in the paper. This carried through two POSs, in my opinion. John Carpenter (as producer), Curtis, and the OG Michael, Nick Castle are back for one more go this October with a storyline that is a direct sequel to the original, essentially erasing the others including the storylines…no more sister issues. They claim this will finish the franchise. It’s time to settle down into old age at the home and hang up the William Shatner mask.
Pinhead from the Hellraiser series seemed to be another with endless possibilities…until character creator, Doug Bradley quit playing him after ‘05’s Hellworld. With new actors and new looks, Pinhead has never been the same, going to hell like the last couple movies the powers that be have cranked out. And like Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
The Creeper is an interesting feller in that he only comes around every twenty-three years to feed. He, like Freddy, feeds on victims’ fears, but unlike, Freddy, he’s real-world. He literally smells and tastes their fear, knowing what part of their body he wants to eat. It’s a fun franchise, but the sequels, there have been two so far, take so long to come out, the audience has moved. The reason for this is, the director’s past won’t leave him alone, so no one wants to work with him. He wants to make a fourth and final Jeepers Creepers, but the last one, which came out last year on VOD only after fourteen years of nothing, was pretty much universally panned as watered down and all over the place…however, it did tease Gina Phillips’ Trish’s return from the original ’01 cult hit. Here’s hoping they can get the final one done, and the Creeper can either fly off into the sunset or die a good death and leave us with fond memories.
Be good to each other.