ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Ronny Yu

Starring:
Robert Englund/Freddy
Ken Kirzinger/Jason
Monica Keena/Lori
Jason Ritter/Will
PLOT-CRUNCH
The kids of Elm street don’t dream anymore and that keeps the Big K (Englund) out of the slashing game. He needs them to be afraid, to dream and to remember him to get back in there. So he comes up with the idea of manipulating Hockey Puss (Kirzinger), sending him to Elm street as a sturdy wake-up call. All is fine and dandy until Jason starts getting greedy on Freddy’s teen playground. Finger-knives king puts his glove down and attempts to reclaim his turf. LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!
THE LOWDOWN

"Time to put this bad dog to sleep!" — Freddy Krueger

Well, here it is little piggies, the film that’s been in the making for over ten years is now finally making its way to the big screen. Was it worth the NEVER ENDING wait and all the awful unused screenplay drafts that we had to read till now? Well, for this fanboy the answer is...OH YEAH! HELL YEAH! and FUCK YEAH!

I strongly feel that hardcore fans of both respective series will get more of a well put SLASH out of this movie than the random, uninitiated viewers. Purposely or not, this flick was made for the fans with key elements/plot conventions lifted off both franchises and slapped in the horror soup...and in heavy doses at that! For anybody who knows his Friday/Nightmare movies, a lot of stuff will feel heart warningly familiar. Who didn’t go nuts when the little girls did the “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you” thang? Who didn’t snap their neighbor’s neck in joy when the “Camp Crystal Lake” sign appeared for the first time? I know I sure did! Who will get a kick out of seeing Jason walking down Elm Street and vice versa? I PERSONALLY TOTALLY LOST IT! What will the average viewer get out of all this? Not much, I’m sure.

This zany trip came across like fan-pleasing rollercoaster ride. It moved at a lightning pace, slapped all kinds of crazy action and wild scenarios my way, “boo scared” my ass left and right while giving me EXACTLY what I crave from both series. Freddy had his precious moments with an awesome re-interpretation of his back-story (I loved that he was going to kill a little girl), stellar dream sequences that never went too over the top (a la Part 6 Freddy’s Dead) and a charming overuse of the word “Bitch” Nobody says “Bitch” like Uncle Freddy! Music to my ears! As for Jason , he had his day too! He had awesome flashbacks to his youth (loved the pillowcase nod) and fervently put the main tool (his machete) to use like he never did before! The man was on an ambitious slaughter spree with the cornfield rave scene being one of the highlights (although I did feel like they cut it too short). Basically we get what we wanted: a heavy cup of Elm Street and a handful of Friday the 13th rolled up in one fruit-roll of horror fun. Imagine how you’d feel if you’d bang Betty and Veronica from the Archie comics at the same time? Well, that’s how I felt while watching this film. Freakin' content!

As for the boys themselves, well, they were back in town and in top form! Freddy (Englund) displayed just the right mix of scary and funny. He treaded that line firmly through the whole movie. Although I did laugh at some of his antics and one-liners, the mean and perverted dirty old man side of Freddy always shined through. Thank you! As for Jason (Kirzinger), well, being the Kane Hodder fan that I am (read my convo with the man here), I had to purposely remind myself to keep an open mind and leave the “New Line dissing Hodder thang” out of the theatre. Yes, I liked Ken’s show as Jason. He actually felt a lot like Michael Myers to me in his slow, economic and still mannerisms. Although I adored Ken’s “surprise” swiftness when it came to killing, I preferred Kane Hodder’s more "raging bull" rendition of Jason more and felt like he would’ve worked here as well. What can I say, the heaving chest thing is the shite! Oh and ”expressive eyes” MY ASS!!

Both of the killers’ looks also did it for me in a big way. Make-up wise, Freddy had the right blend of Part 1 and Part 3 while sporting some really freaky teeth. Brrrrrr! As for Jason, he looked a bit more backwoods than he did in the last couple of entries and it worked! On the visual effects front, I was a happy camper. Although at times a bit too CGI, the visual shenanigans still came through in the creativity and off-the-wall department. And then there was...THE fight. Without giving anything away, I will say this: the WWF-HORROR Rumble went ALL OUT with the last 25 minutes or so of the film being an outrageous, no-holds barred and relentlessly violent bout between the two Titans of Horror. I was basically jumping in my seat like a grasshopper on steroids. Shite, I think witnessing this fight to end all fights was the highlight of my summer, beating out those Vegas hookers by a landslide. Who wins the match, you may ask? I won’t tell…

On the downside, although I dug the premise and the plot, it all went by too fast for me to be truly affected. But I guess that’s the price you pay for a speedy pace. The “blah” characterizations and bad acting also didn’t help in making me care about the situation at hand. Kelly Rowland actually pulled a “Busta Rhymes” (from "Halloween 8") on Freddy here! But fear not, she's "rewarded" adequately (HeHeHe). I also want to point this out: I don’t know if this was done in a “wink-wink” way or not, but I hated how our teen heroes figured out what was going on so easily. Were they reading the film's synopsis out loud or something? Lastly, I had one fanboy gripe: the whole “Jason is afraid of water” thing. Any fan of the Friday series knows that in the past entries, Jason was the first dude in the lake the second a naked, dumbass babe plunged in there for a midnight swim. Jason isn’t afraid of water.

Overall, "Freddy Vs Jason" was quite the crowd-pleaser and definitely lived up to its hype for me, while not disrespecting us…the TRUE fans. You can bet your “Hypnocil” that I’ll see this one again! WELCOME TO PRIME TIME, BEEYATCHES!

GORE
There’s lots of red slush in this cup...YIPPEE! I’m talking all kinds of impalings, a body bent backwards, a snapped 180-degree head, a multitude of machete slicing and dicing, a cut off torso, cut off arm, more stabbings, beheadings, more impalings…you get my drift? It’s a blood fest!
ACTING
Robert Englund (Freddy) was in tip-top shape as our favorite crispy critter. Although he cracked jokes, Freddy’s mean streak and evil soul was always felt. Ken Kirzinger (Jason) was tall, imposing and got the job done. Monica Keena (Lori) was akin to a Brittany Murphy knockoff, but with bigger breasts and less acting skills. She plays a virgin in the film…YEAH, RIGHT! And I can pull pink elephants out of my ass!!! Jason Ritter (Will) was on and off. Lochlyn Munro (Deputy Stubbs) is a fine actor and deserved better than this “blah” written part. He did what he could. Kelly Rowland (Kia) actually came out of this looking okay and didn’t say “ya'll” too many times. I still wonder what the reasoning behind her casting was though. I mean, is her name really that marketable? Not to me. Katharine Isabelle (Gibb) cashes in a check. Kyle Labine (Freeburg) had me on the floor as the “Jason Mewes light” dude. Gotta love stoners!
T & A
Now this is how it should be (take notes Salva, you’ll be quizzed on this later). We get a glorious nude gal, ample tits in tow early on and we get Katharine Isabelle’s body double showing it all off in a shower scene. NICE!! The ladies get a dude’s butt and another dude shirtless.
DIRECTING
Ronny Yu does everything he can to ensure that we’re taken for a pleasurable ride. The pace is swift, the angles stylish, the filters (loved the red and blue) well used and the slow motion ample. Kinetic Bon-Bon! He worked for Chucky, worked for Freddy AND Jason…hhhmmmm…maybe he should tackle Halloween 9 next!
SOUNDTRACK
Graeme Revell delivered an adequate score, but it was really the classic “Ki Ki Ki Ha Ha Ha” and “Nightmare theme” that had me grinning. They should’ve used both ditties more! We also get some "whatever" rock tunes.
DVD FEATURES
New Line Cinema - Release Date: January 13th, 2004

IMAGE: We get a stellar 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen image. We can also view the film in full screen.

SOUND: We get an impeccable English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and a English Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound option. English and Spanish subtitles are available for the English and Spanish deaf people that use them.

DISC 1: (The first disc sports the feature film and a couple of EXTRAS including...)

Feature Length Commentary: Director Ronny Yu and actors Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger come in to partake in this feature length commentary. Yu and Englund are particularly very animated giving us loads of insight about the many facets of making the film. From the experiences on location, to commenting on the actors in the film, to the hardships of some of the scenes to Freddy's "raison d'etre", this commentary made for a groovy listen and should please the fans. Why was Kirzinger so quiet though? I wanted more from the guy that bumped Hodder off. Oh well...

Jump to a Death: This nifty feature will appeal to the impatient gore-hound who wants to see plasma flow like freakin' right now! Yup, with this option we can jump to any death in the film and witness it "pronto" in all of its gory glory.

DISC 2: (When I slapped the second disc into my player, I quickly realized that this was where the party was at, in terms of EXTRAS. Let the fun begin!)

Deleted/Alternate Scenes: Here we're treated to 19 deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Ronny Yu and executive producer Douglas Curtis. To be honest, nothing really stood out here apart form the "alternate opening" which heavily nodded the Friday the 13th series and the "original ending" which although pretty tacky, was kind of fun to watch from a fan point of view ("Nightmare on Elm Street: Part 2" came to mind, for some reason). The commentary basically explained why the scenes were cut out (usually because of test screening feedback or pacing reasons). This was a decent feature. I expected more slick deleted scenes than the ones offered, but it still quenched my thirst.

THE PRODUCTION

Production Featurettes: These 5 featurettes acted as a video diary of the "Making" of the film. We have Ronny Yu, Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger and various producers and crew members coming in to talk shop. Interviews, on-set footage (love those) and actual takes being shot were also abound here. I found this behind-the-look at "Freddy vs Jason" mucho engaging, especially from an aspiring filmmaker point of view. The features went a little something like this:

Genesis: Development Hell (10 minutes): The lengthy struggle the film went through to finally come to life is dissected here.

On Location- Springwood Revisited (14 minutes): This featurette takes us on set to witness Yu performing his magic.

Art Direction- Jason's Decorating Tips (11 minutes): The look of the dream world vs the look of the reality world. What they went for.

Stunts- When Push Comes to Shove (21 minutes): We get an in-depth look at the stunts in the film and how they were accomplished.

Make-Up - Effects- Freddy's Beauty Secrets (6 minutes): The Freddy makeup process gets the royal treatment in this feature.

Visual Effects Featurettes (25 minutes): Here we get 12 Visual Effects Featurettes that we can either watch individually or all at once. This feature had visual effects supervisors Ariel Velasco Shaw and Kevin Elam come in to talk about the many visual effects found in the film from the CGI shots, the green screen effects, to the blood and guts. Although I enjoyed this feature and appreciated its weighty insight into the world of special effects, it did feel a tad too long. I said a tad, so don't go call your lawyers just yet.

We also get a Galleries section where a slew of Storyboards and Production stills are at hand for our viewing pleasure and a 2-part transcript of the badass Fangoria Article: Freddy & Jason go to development hell which chronicled the film's long and arduous trek to the screen.

PUBLICITY AND PROMOTIONAL

Pre-Fight Press Conference (4 minutes): This feature covers the cute promo event that took place in Vegas where Jason (Ken) and Freddy (Bobby) came up on stage in front of a crowd to go through a mock pre-fight boxing press conference. Robert Englund really ran with it, having an obvious hoot with it all. A silly-willie yet very entertaining watch.

My Summer Vacation- My Visit to Camp Hack 'n Slash (4 minutes): This feature chronicled the time that some fans spent at a Camp that was put together to push the film. So we see fans drink beer, draw pictures of Fred and Jase, play sports, participate in eating contests and do arts and crafts (mmm...ok). If it wouldn't be for the wet T-Shirt contest and the screening of the film, I would've said this weekend looked pretty lame-ass to me, but then again, I wasn't there so what the fuck do I know. An interesting feature in a "Animal Discovery Channel" type of way.

We also get the Original Theatrical Trailer, various TV spots (8 of them), a Music Video for the song "How Can I Live?" by Ill Nino (good tune), DVD ROM/Online Features and Trailers for "The Butterfly Effect" (the flick looks freaking good!), the TCM remake, Jason Goes To Hell and Freddy's Dead.

Minor peeves aside, this was an overall very satisfying 2-disc set. Being that I loved the film to fanboy death, I got a lot out of it. The EXTRAS were substantial and insightful while the audio/video were top notch. What else could you want? "Freddy vs Jason" fans should murder their loved ones to acquire this baby! Yeah, you heard me. MURDER I SAY! MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!
BOTTOM LINE
When I was a kid, I went to see "Friday the 13th: Part 6" and "Nightmare on Elm Street 4" on the big screen. I remember how excited and giggly I felt sitting there, watching those films. "Freddy Vs Jason" brought back the nostalgia and that fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It won’t win awards in the Best Acting and Screenplay departments, but I could easily let that go. Let’s face it, what I cared about was seeing my two favorite baddies do some mucho damage amidst a trippy, exciting, trashy and gory flick and that’s exactly what I got! "Freddy Vs Jason" owned!
BULL'S EYE
Brad Renfro was initially cast as Will, but bailed out (or was kicked off the set-- the man loves his booze).

Canadian stuntman Ken Kirzinger played a New York cook in "Friday the 13th: Part 8- Jason Takes Manhattan" and donned the hockey mask there too in doubling for Kane a few times.

This film was shot in Vancouver BC for a budget of 25 Million clams.

Was I the only one bummed that we didn’t get any cameos? Appearances by either John Saxon or Thom Matthews would’ve made my day.

Read my FRIDAY THE 13TH reviews here: Friday the 13th, Friday the 13: Part 2, Friday the 13: Part 3, Friday the 13: Part 4, Friday the 13: Part 5, Friday the 13: Part 6, Friday the 13: Part 7, Friday the 13: Part 8, Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X.

Read my NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET reviews here: Nightmare on Elm Street, A, Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Nightmare on Elm Street 5, Nightmare on Elm Street 6, Nightmare on Elm Street 7.
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10:35AM on 11/12/2011
A few fanboy quibbles aside, I love this movie like whoa....It's a horror fans dream come true.
A few fanboy quibbles aside, I love this movie like whoa....It's a horror fans dream come true.
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7:54PM on 02/16/2011

FLESH RIPPING GOOD

I remember reading in a Fangoria magazine in 1993 that Fredy vs. Jason was being made in a couple of years, then it never happened. When it finaly came out, people who didn't like horror movies were amped to see this. I love the homage to the franchises. The only thing I didn't like was the dialog. It was lame, Linderman talked shit to Kelly Rowland at the rave an it just had a corny feeling to it. Should of tried to feel her up instead of dissing her. But I loved all the fighting scenes an
I remember reading in a Fangoria magazine in 1993 that Fredy vs. Jason was being made in a couple of years, then it never happened. When it finaly came out, people who didn't like horror movies were amped to see this. I love the homage to the franchises. The only thing I didn't like was the dialog. It was lame, Linderman talked shit to Kelly Rowland at the rave an it just had a corny feeling to it. Should of tried to feel her up instead of dissing her. But I loved all the fighting scenes an death scenes. If the dialog wasn't horrendous then this film would deserve 4 skulls, other than that the film is awesome an makes me want to mutilate myself for fun

FreddyPillar was the shit, toke it up.

An Hodder is better as Jason in my humble opinion.
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10:09PM on 03/14/2010

It is basically another "Elm Street" movie with a Jason in it!

Die-Hard fans were waiting for this spin-off to see Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) fight for the first time, was it worth the wait...yes.

Yes, the movie had its moments. Ronny Yu`s visual style truly helps covers, some of the weak moments of the script. The young cast are likeable enough.

It`s chessy, occisionally sleazy, [link] with some comedy in it. Die-hard fans might be disappointed with the premise but at least, the two fight sequences between
Die-Hard fans were waiting for this spin-off to see Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) fight for the first time, was it worth the wait...yes.

Yes, the movie had its moments. Ronny Yu`s visual style truly helps covers, some of the weak moments of the script. The young cast are likeable enough.

It`s chessy, occisionally sleazy, [link] with some comedy in it. Die-hard fans might be disappointed with the premise but at least, the two fight sequences between Freddy and Jason are fun to watch.

It is just too bad to some degree, the writers couldn`t come up with something really clever for the story, however. Even non-fans might like this.
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10:54AM on 02/12/2009

Not a fan!

It had its moments, but I really hate prankster Freddy. Freddy was really only good in two NOES films.
It had its moments, but I really hate prankster Freddy. Freddy was really only good in two NOES films.
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3:47PM on 01/21/2009
I give props this film was done very well. Some nice (but at times cheesy) gore, decent acting, I enjoyed this film alot. Although I did not like that Jason was the good guy, in Friday 3 he was the scariest man alive, this movie they seem to want you to feel sympathy for him, wtf?
I give props this film was done very well. Some nice (but at times cheesy) gore, decent acting, I enjoyed this film alot. Although I did not like that Jason was the good guy, in Friday 3 he was the scariest man alive, this movie they seem to want you to feel sympathy for him, wtf?
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6:38PM on 10/02/2006

Killer

This is a crossover done right. I also thought Kirzinger was a better Jason than Kane Hodder (I mean no disrespect, Hodder is awesome, but his "Jason wouldn't kick dogs" thing is really stupid), mainly because he brought a certain quality that was never there before. Plus I dug his sleepy-eyed look. I just wish Freddy's body count were higher...
This is a crossover done right. I also thought Kirzinger was a better Jason than Kane Hodder (I mean no disrespect, Hodder is awesome, but his "Jason wouldn't kick dogs" thing is really stupid), mainly because he brought a certain quality that was never there before. Plus I dug his sleepy-eyed look. I just wish Freddy's body count were higher...
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2:41PM on 10/02/2005

Mr. Shit

After 10 long years, this movie was finally made and it delivered! We've got gore galore, nudity, bad acting, and the two baddest killers in horror history kickin each other's asses. This is definitly in my top 3 F13 and NOES movies. I think a 3.5 is deserving because you don't get to see the lead's tits, or even Katharine Isabelles tits. They are so hot! Even if you don't like the F13 or NOES movies, you'll love this one!
After 10 long years, this movie was finally made and it delivered! We've got gore galore, nudity, bad acting, and the two baddest killers in horror history kickin each other's asses. This is definitly in my top 3 F13 and NOES movies. I think a 3.5 is deserving because you don't get to see the lead's tits, or even Katharine Isabelles tits. They are so hot! Even if you don't like the F13 or NOES movies, you'll love this one!
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12:50PM on 08/04/2005
This movie was awesome. Seeing Jason and Freddy fight it out was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. This is definetly a must see for fans of either series.
This movie was awesome. Seeing Jason and Freddy fight it out was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. This is definetly a must see for fans of either series.
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