Wait a minute… This feels familiar.
(Also, the longer I look at the word (“word”) “Fridayth”, the more I think it looks like the name of a Norse deity. Just throw a misplaced J in there, and we are good to go. Frijdayth! The dawn of our Norn blessings!)
Anyway, remember back in October when we ranked our best candies in honor of Halloween? Originally, I wanted that to be a ranking of the best horror movies! Or horror movie characters/villains! But no… Andy got fussy and Chad hates horror, so we ended up going with candy, instead. A missed opportunity to be sure; who doesn’t enjoy horror movies?! I should have fired my regular partners that month and called in our buddies from Pint O’ Comics who are much more experienced with the horror genre. It could have been great! I could have spared us all from three candy lists that separately had Ramen noodles, breath mints, and Ho-Ho’s as candy (Ho-Ho’s ARE fucking candy, though; deal with it).
So… who is the best horror movie monster of all time? Well, this is Friday the 13th, and it’s clearly Jason Vorhees. I mean, everything about him is iconic, from the hockey mask to the machete to the slow, stalking pace he takes after his prey to the silly “ch-ch-ch-ch, ah-ah-ah-ah” music when he is lurking. And the crazy thing is that he became iconic despite the fact that for THREE of the first five Friday the 13th movies, he either WASN’T the antagonist (the first and fifth iterations) or WASN’T wearing his hockey mask (the second). That shows you just how impactful he is. He got over with 40% effort.
There are people who will tell you that “TECHNICALLY” the first Friday the 13th is the best of the series. It’s got the “best” story and the “biggest” reveal and had Kevin “Bacon”. You know what you do with those people? Yell “NO, I DENY YOU!” in a firm and loud voice, splash your drink in their eyes, and run far, far away from them. They are deceitful, and you mustn’t fall for their lies.
A Friday the 13th without Jason as the haunting villain is like a salad without dressing. Sure, you can have it if you want, and some snooty elitists even claim to prefer it. But no one believes them, and it’s clearly the inferior option. Unstoppable and silent agent of death or kinda depressed old lady? Easy call.
Also, for some reason, I was convinced for YEARS that Angela Lansbury played Pamela Vorhees in Friday part 1, and HOW RAD WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN? I think when I was, like, 5 years old, all old women just looked the same to me. There can be no other explanation. If you were an old lady, you were either Angela Lansbury or my Nana; that was all I had. It wasn’t until I was in my teens and saw the movie again that I was all “Wait, this isn’t how I remember it”.
OH MY GOD IF MURDER SHE WROTE WAS ALL A SECRET PRECURSOR TO FRIDAY THE 13TH?! Imagine! She was actually bringing Jason to various towns across the country to vent his murderous rage, and then she blamed a scapegoat for the killings; I can head-canon this.
What else has Angela Lansbury been in, though…?
I’d pay to see THAT, too. Belle kisses the Beast, he turns into a handsome prince, they embrace… AND THEN THEY ARE BOTH RUN THROUGH BY A MACHETE CH-CH-CH-CH, AH-AH-AH-AH. Take that, kids seeing a Disney cartoon! Forget the delicious gray stuff, we have childhood trauma on the menu!
All right, well Jason aside… who else are the best horror movie monsters of all time?
Well, I would put Michael Myers at the #2 spot because honestly? I apparently have a horror movie fetish for “giant, stalking, silent killer in a white mask”. But also, the original Halloween is [in]arguably the greatest pure horror movie of all time. It’s actually really clever and meticulously made, with Carpenter dedicating a lot of effort to perfecting the score and the background details. Michael is just the beneficiary of a movie with a brilliant atmosphere. But still… he’s got the swell head-tilt about things that seemingly befuddle him. And… a kitchen knife?
Additionally those movies had Dr. Loomis screaming at townsfolk about EVIL. There’s honestly not a movie around that couldn’t be improved by having Donald Pleasance wander on screen at some point and start yelling at everyone.
After Jason and Michael, there would be… hell, I don’t know. We didn’t end up doing this list in October, after all, so I never had to think about it. I mean… I guess it would be Freddy and Dracula? In some order or the other? They seem like they’d be high up. Dracula is the best of the Universal Monster monsters, and Freddy is, along with Jason, in the 80’s Horror Triumvirate. Who else even is there to consider?
Leatherface? Just a hillbilly defined by his weapon.
Ghostface? Just an identity that changes from killer to killer.
Pumpkinface? No one ever watched these! Wait, is it Pumpkinhead? I got used to typing “face”.
The Invisible Man? I mean, he’s just invisible. It’s better than nothing, but it’s no dream god or undead silent stalker.
Anyway, that’s a dramatic change from a top two that NEVER talk to a next two characters who are DEFINED by their talking, whether it’s Freddy’s quips or Dracula’s bad-ass accent and regality. So, see? I can’t be pigeon-holed. I don’t have a type; what are you talking about?
I mentioned recently that the decade of the 2000’s was a real low point in the horror genre. There were some gems here and there, but almost everything was so dedicated to becoming a disgusting gorefest that was less designed to thrill or scare you than it was to make you want to puke. Why did we decide THAT was the reaction we wanted from our cinematic experience? Who likes throwing up? Not I!
Luckily, we have mostly evolved past these flicks as a species, but I still occasionally remember the entire two minutes’ worth of Hostel that I saw, wherein a character wearing a ballgag threw up in his mouth. I immediately left the room. Typing that sentence made me start gagging again, and now my eyes are watering and EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE BECAUSE OF YOU, HOSTEL.
Human Centipede came out in 2009, and while it did get some sequels based on the sheer spectacle of the original, it was like we as a species saw Human Centipede, realized what we’d become, and endeavored to make better scary films in the 2010’s.
I’m pretty sure I just definitively proved evolution. You’re welcome, Charles Darwin! Also, Pokémon!
The 2010’s did give us better horror movies, but it also gave us slightly more confusing ones where I–as someone whose brain is wired to overanalyze nonsense–couldn’t stop speculating on the “rules” of any newly established threat.
YEAH, mostly that one!
It Follows was a fine movie about the perils of driving the bone wagon to the moist graveyard, but I quickly became obsessed with figuring out what the boundaries of the universe are. The quick premise of the movie being that if you have sex with someone haunted by a relentless demon, the demon will start pursuing you. Wherever you go, the demon goes at it’s Jason-esque walking pace. The demon is invisible to everyone but the “infected”, and it can take the form of any person it wants to. Once it kills you, it goes back after the person who infected you.
So say the demon is following you, and you fly from Maine to San Diego. The demon has to hoof it on after you. If nothing else, that buys you some time. But say that by the time the demon gets to Colorado, you fly back to Maine. Does… will the demon KEEP GOING TO SAN DIEGO, THEN TURN AROUND? Or will it immediately about-face and head back to The Lobster State?
Is Maine called The Lobster State? I’mmassume it is.
(It isn’t, it is The Pine Tree State. That’s objectively dumber!)
Where was I? OH RIGHT. I remember thinking “well, if the demon has to follow your exact trail, you could get in a car and just do big donuts for several hours until you run out of gas” because since it only walks… think how long that would take it to do! Just walking in a circle for days.
TURNS OUT, the demon does not have to follow your exact path, though, because at one point, the protagonist hides in a swimming pool, and the demon comes along and just chucks stuff at her while she’s in there. It’s weird, but… whatever! It finally answered my burning question. Also, I got to see an immensely powerful demon resort to clumsily hurling objects at its prey, so everyone wins.
Don’t worry, though! Because there are other, unanswered questions! What counts as “sex”? What happens to the demon in the event of an orgy or multiple pentrations!? If you pass the demon on to someone and then have sex with five other people, does the demon come directly back to you after it kills the person you passed it to, or does it have to go get the people you banged in the meantime? What about the people THEY rounded home with? Why is the demon visible to the person it is chasing? Does the demon believe in fairness and handicaps? WHERE DID THE DEMON COME FROM? Who is the first person that had STDemon?
I need It Follows part 2 through 6, guys. I still have questions.
Now I… now I can’t focus on anything but the rules of It Follows again.
I better go try to think about something else for now. Plus, I should leave more horror movie musings for the next Friday the 13th!
Until next time… take care!