Archive for the Jason Vorhees Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Jason X (2001) review

Posted in Friday the 13th, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, Jason Vorhees, movies, nostalgia with tags , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2016 by Paxton

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Yesterday for my “greatest hits of AWESOME-tober-fest” week, I looked at the novelization for the movie Jason X, of which I am a fan.  I thought maybe for Fangoria Movie Friday I should revisit the movie itself and see if I do still, in fact, enjoy it.  A 15 years later retrospective on a very maligned movie.

In the late 90s, when Freddy vs Jason was still in “development hell”, Friday the 13th creator Sean Cunningham wanted to make another Jason movie to continue fostering interest in the character. Writer Todd Farmer pitched “Jason in space” and develpment began on what would become the 10th Friday the 13th movie, Jason X.

Jason X poster

The movie starts off in 2010. Jason has been captured by the government and kept in the Crystal Lake Research Facility. They have been testing his ability to regenerate tissue and stay alive. After several failed attempts to kill him it is decided to put him in cryo stasis, but certain other shadowy government departments want him for further study so they prep him for transfer to another facility. However, Jason escapes and kills nearly everyone. One of the researchers, Rowan, traps him in the cryo chamber, but Jason pierces the chamber with his machete and both Jason and Rowan are trapped in cryo sleep as the facility goes into lockdown mode.

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Over 445 years later, a scientific team stumbles upon the two and transports them to their ship. The crew revive Rowan from cryo sleep with nanotechnology and just as she is about to warn them about Jason he revives and starts killing all of the scientists. Rowan and the few survivors must figure out a way to stop Jason and get off the ship before it is destroyed.

That’s the elevator pitch, there’s a little bit more to it. But not much.  Getting this out of the way, the movie is ultra low budget.  Especially for being in space.  The actors are mostly unknowns but the lead girl, Rowan, was on Andromeda, as was one other cast member.  The cast is as good as any other standard Friday the 13th.  The kills are pretty good.  One of the more infamous being the “liquid nitrogen head smash”.

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For the characters, Rowan is pretty good as the female lead. The other “lead” if you want to call her that is an android a la Data from Star Trek: TNG named KM-14. You also get the typical smattering of other character types; “the tough military sergeant”, “the computer dork” and “the outspoken one with loose morals”. They work as well as any of the other F13 movies. Certainly no worse than Jason Takes Manhattan or New Beginning.  But saying “they work as well” and “they are good and interesting characters” are two different things.  They do what they need to do but they aren’t great.

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As far as the story goes, I like the idea of the government wanting to test the captured Jason’s supernatural healing abilities. He has this ability to regenerate after nearly 100% damage. Of course the government is going to want to study him.  I also like the idea of trapping people on a spaceship with a hunting Jason. You can tell the premise of this movie was “borrowed” from Alien. As a plot device, for me, it works.  What also works for me is the idea of Uber Jason.  Towards the end of the movie, the android character gets “an upload”, becomes Rambo and “kills” Jason by shooting off his leg, part of his rib cage and part of his head.  And despite the fact that Jason hasn’t died from some seemingly fatal wound at least 5 times before this, everyone assumes he’s dead.  Then the damaged medical station thinks Jason needs to be fixed so it takes over and rebuilds Jason.  As a cyborg.

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And so is born the best thing in this movie, Uber Jason.  We get precious little time with Uber Jason.  He’s awesome and should have been onscreen more than 20 minutes.  He’s relentless and kills gloriously.  The movie really picks up and seems more fun once Uber Jason is on the scene.  Here’s a nice gallery of Uber Jason pics.

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At one point they trap Uber Jason in a simulated 1980 Camp Crystal Lake environment.  He gets to kill two simulated co-eds by smacking their sleeping bags against a tree.  It’s a pretty great homage to past movies (the sleeping bag stunt was done back in Part VII).

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So, is this a great movie? No, not really. But it’s fun. It has fun with the concept of Jason and the idea to move him into outer space and turn him into a futuristic cyborg Jason was a clever idea. Did everything 100% work? No, of course not. The budget is uber cheap and you get what you pay for with the actors. But I had fun with what the filmmakers were trying to do and I still say I enjoy this movie.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Jason X movie novelization by Pat Cadigan

Posted in books, Friday the 13th, Genres, horror, Jason Vorhees, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2016 by Paxton

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Back when I did Movie Maniacs in 2012, I reviewed several 80s horror movie novelizations.  They are pretty rare out there in the wild, so it was a treat to be able to cover several of them.  If you’re curious, check out my reviews of Nightmares on Elm Street (Parts 1-3), Friday the 13th Part III and Friday the 13th Part VI.

While I’m a fan of both Freddy and Jason franchises, I probably gravitate towards Jason as my favorite overall. And being a fan of Friday the 13th, I’m telling you that Jason X is a very polarizing entry in the franchise.  Many people hate it.  I’m not one of them. I see some potential in this movie. It goes mostly unfulfilled, but there’s potential there.

Anyway, in 2005, about 5 years after the movie was released, during the media blitz for Freddy vs Jason, Black Flame books got the license to print Friday the 13th novels.  They would do two series, one of them being in the original timeline and another series in the Jason X timeline.  There would eventually be about five books in the Jason X series and it started off with a novelization of the movie by Pat Cadigan.

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Picking up this book I should tell you it’s hefty for a slasher movie novelization.  The general rule for movie books is about 1 page per 1 minute of action.  So a 90 minute movie would generally be about a 90 page book if it was a straight translation.  Give or take some flourishes by the author.  Well, this book is over 400 pages long.  Jason X the movie is 92 minutes long.  So there may be one or two flourishes by the author.

I have lots of hopes for this extra 300+ pages of content.  I want the futuristic world fleshed out. They barely mention what the future world is like aside from “the Earth has become uninhabitable”.  And who are the members of the crew that find Jason?  Are they scientists?  Explorers?  Archeologists?  What?  It’s not really explained in the movie.  And lastly, I’m hoping I get more action and murder with Uber Jason.

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So, I’ve read the book, did it meet any of my expectations? Was it any good?  The easy answer is yes, it was good.  If not great.  As a fan of the movie, I also enjoyed the book.  Unfortunately, the page count is due to the author fleshing out existing scenes with more exposition and not creating brand new scenes or subplots not in the movie. Well, the main character, Rowan, is given a definite romantic interest with Brodski who has a larger part in the book.  But, it ultimately goes nowhere because he meets the same fate in the book as he does in the movie.

So what new stuff is there?  Well, the author does add some very interesting content in the form of character backstories and many ruminations on the nature of Jason Voorhees.  We also get a good description of what the universe is like 4.5 centuries in the future which we don’t get in the movie.

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Per the book, after Rowan and Jason were frozen together, the Army did go to the facility to help, but found the entire complex on lockdown and decided to leave it alone as they finally had Jason contained and the world was starting to have bigger issues like food riots and global warming.  Things got so bad martial law was declared.  One hundred years after Jason is frozen the Earth starts to burn starting at the equator.  Surviving humanity escape to biospheres in orbit and we eventually contact alien life and trade them for the blueprints to a “hyper drive”.  Rowan and Jason were left on Earth, cryogenically frozen and forgotten for the next 3 centuries.  And I guess the power grid stayed “hot” for that long as well since the system stayed on lockdown and frozen for that long.  Eventually, using the alien “hyper drives”, humans settled on an Earth II.  Earth I would be studied in colleges as history and one college, New Harvard, would send field trips back to the original Earth led by Professor Lowe who is considered the foremost authority on Earth I.  It is one of these field trips, populated by the Professor, a team of military escorts and a group of students that discover the frozen and forgotten Jason and Rowan.

So the group that discovers Jason is just a class field trip?  I did not pick up on that.  Anyway, the other new things Cadigan adds includes lots of insight into the nature of Jason.  We learn that Jason’s existence is elemental.  He’s not evil per se, but anti-life.  An anti-life elemental.  Living things had many purposes but the basic one is life itself.  By contrast anti-life had one purpose.  Cancel out life.  KILL.  We also get a kind of explanation to why bawdy teenagers set Jason off.  Life stimulates survival instinct in many ways, one of which is sex.  Sex makes humans feel more alive and it helps create more life.  This is what Jason, as an entity of anti-life, is drawn to.  This is why Jason’s urge to kill becomes more apparent when these things are happening.  I like how this book is trying to explain some of the nature of Jason’s existence.  It doesn’t go too far, it goes just far enough.  I like it.  Cadigan also describes Jason’s senses and how he hunts his victims.  He has a “life radar”.  He can sense the life around him.  Once someone gets on his “radar” he can track them.  Again, I like these types of explanations.

Another thing I like about this book is it deals with Jason being captured and studied scientifically.  It makes sense the government of course wants to figure out how Jason does what he does.  And it makes sense the government would want to weaponize those talents.  This movie sort of touches on those ideas.  We see Jason being tested in the beginning but we also see lots of cell testing on the space ship Grendel after he’s been taken out of cryo-freeze.  I don’t want the government to figure anything out, I want them to think they have everything under control, see results of their “tests”, get confused and then Jason “unexpectedly” comes alive and ruins all their plans by killing everybody.  That’s what I want.  And we get that here.

So, yes, the book delivers as a solid adaptation of the movie itself.  It fills in some holes and adds some interesting back story to many of the characters.  If I have to say anything against it, it does feel a bit long.  Four hundred pages is a lot for a slasher novel and it kind of feels long.  But I was rarely bored.

Like I said, this novelization was the beginning of a series of novels based in the Jason X universe. The novels sound interesting, but all of them are around 400 pages which is a little too long for a Jason Voorhees novel. However, Pat Cadigan did followup the Jason X novelization with the next book in the series, Jason X: The Experiment.

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The gist of the plot involves the government using skin grafts from Jason to create a super soldier who then goes rogue. It sounds kind of cool having Uber Jason vs a super soldier. It seems the other four books in the series also deal with the government’s attempts to weaponize the unnatural abilities of Jason Voorhees.  I liked this novelization enough that I would consider reading Cadigan’s followup book.

Unfortunately, this book series is pretty hard to find. Actually, all of the Friday the 13th books are pretty hard to find.  I got lucky when I found this particular book on PaperbackSwap.com several years ago. I’ve only ever seen one other book in the series in the wild. It was the third book, Jason X: Planet of the Beast by Nancy Kilpatrick.  I found it in an old used bookstore in Auburn, AL back in early 2010.  But I’m always on the lookout and hopefully someday I’ll find that second Pat Cadigan Jason X book.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

6 undeveloped movie scripts that were turned into comic books

Posted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Batman, Bionic Man, comic books, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees, movies, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by Paxton

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This week the topic for The League is “comic books”. Yep, just “comic books”. I recently did an article about comic book covers that homage famous movie posters, so that idea was already burned. Fortunately, my draft articles are deep with ideas so I pulled this one out of the depths and fleshed it out a bit.

I love movies.  I love comic books.  I love comic book movies.  We have tons of movies coming out BASED on comics books.  But how about comic books based on movies?  There are plenty of those as well.  But what about comic books that are based on movies that never were made for whatever reason.  Ahhh, that could be interesting.

Today, I’m going to talk about six undeveloped movie scripts that were turned into comic books.

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Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet – These first two entries are probably the most high profile examples of unused movie scripts becoming a comic book.  In 2004, Smith wrote a screenplay for a new film version of The Green Hornet.  Much like the next script in this list, it was a reboot of the characters and the concept.  Smith even announced that he intended to direct the feature as well.  The project, however, died after the poor box office of Smith’s Jersey Girl.  Dynamite Comics purchased the unused script and had Kevin Smith adapt it into a new Green Hornet comic series.

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Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man (2011) – I talked about this series in my Bionic Reviews feature a month or so ago.  Kevin Smith wrote a screenplay for a new Bionic Man movie back in the 90s. It was a reboot of the characters and concept of the Six Million Dollar Man TV series.  It ultimately went unused.  However, after the success of Smith’s Green Hornet title they asked if he had any other unused scripts to adapt.  Smith pulled out the Bionic Man script and Dynamite loved the idea.  They tapped Phil Hester to adapt the screenplay into a 10 issue story arc to launch a new Bionic Man comic series that is still being published to this day.  It has also spawned a Bionic Woman comic series.

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Frank Miller’s Robocop (2003) – During initial production of Robocop 2, there was a first draft script by one of the original Robocop screenwriters, Edward Neumeier. However, due to a writers strike he dropped out. One of the producers contacted Frank Miller to write the script as Miller was still riding the success of his Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. Miller wrote a draft that producers and studio executives labeled “unfilmable” and the studio had the script rewritten into what eventually became Robocop 2, the movie.  In the early 2000s Avatar Press acquired the Robocop comic license and the publisher William Christensen, who owned a copy of Miller’s “lost” original screenplay, contacted Miller about adapting it into a comic story.  Miller was enthusiastic and worked with Steven Grant to adapt his unused screenplay (which included notes for Robocop 3) into a story.  Due to scheduling conflicts, Miller was only able to contribute some of the covers and not actually write or draw the interiors.  The nine issue adaptation was published in late 2003.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Movie Maniac Halloween costumes

Posted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, costumes, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Halloween, holiday, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, movies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by Paxton

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One of the best things about being a fan of the movie maniacs is being able to dress up as them for Halloween. Let’s take a look at some of the costumes that exist for some of our favorite movie maniacs.

Back in 1987, Collegeville released a Freddy Krueger “smock” costume similar to the old Ben Cooper designs.

Collegeville Freddy Krueger
(Via nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com)

It’s probably 100% nostalgic, but I love these costumes.

Next up is a Party City flyer from 2008.

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Throughout this very large flyer with tons of costumes, there are a plethora of zombies and super heroes, but only two movie maniacs. And I’m only talking about one of those maniacs this year. Check out in the upper right, costumes for Jason Voorhees and Chucky.

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You don’t even see those costumes on the inside of the flyer, only on the cover. I’m surprised these two are featured.  Remember, this flyer was in 2008.  The Friday the 13th reboot wouldn’t happen until the following year and Chucky’s previous movie was in 2004.  By contrast, Leatherface had his reboot prequel only two years prior, so of anyone, he should be on the cover. Just strange.

Next up is a current Party City flyer from 2012.  Not surprisingly, the Avengers are all over this thing.

Party City 2012 flyer

This flyer is a little better in that it has four movie maniacs. Three of which I’m covering this year. Here’s the full page of scary costumes.

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The movie maniacs are mostly on the second row (Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers). You can also see Ghostface from Scream in the first row.  Again, I’m surprised there isn’t a Leatherface costume.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: A timeline of video games featuring the movie maniacs

Posted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, movies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2012 by Paxton

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Today I’m going to do another “mixed” article featuring all of the movie maniacs. So, let’s take a look at some vintage video games that feature the movie maniacs.

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(Via AtariAge.com)
In 1983 Wizard Video Games released a Halloween game for the Atari 2600. It was based on the first Halloween movie by John Carpenter.  In the game you play a babysitter trying to protect the children from Michael Myers.

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(Via AtariAge.com)
Also in 1983, and also for the Atari 2600, Wizard Video Games released a video game based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  In this game you take the role of Leatherface and try to murder as many people as you can while avoiding obstacles like fences and cow skulls.  Yes, I agree, that sounds pretty awesome.  Due to the violent nature, however, the game incited many protests and forced many store owners to put it behind the counter away from children.  Despite this, I think it’s interesting that this is the only game I can think of where you take the role of the killer.  I’m surprised that’s not done more today.

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The first Friday the 13th video game was released in 1985 for the Commodore 64 and other computer systems.  You play as a group of camp counselors protecting your campers from zombies and the occasional appearance of Jason.  Screenshot courtesy of Giant Bomb.

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There was a Friday the 13th video game released by LJN in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  It is famously considered one of the worst NES titles ever released.  You have to love that box art, though.  It’s gameplay is very similar to the 1985 computer game in that you control counselors who are protecting campers from zombies, crows, wolves and, of course, Jason.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Freddy vs Jason vs Ash comic books (2003)

Posted in Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, movies, pop culture, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2012 by Paxton

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In 2007, Dynamite Comics and Wildstorm Entertainment combined forces to publish the horror comic crossover Freddy vs Jason vs Ash. Freddy vs Jason vs Ash 2003

The epic crossover was a 6 issue limited series written by James Kuhoric and Jeff Katz and drawn by Jason Craig. The awesome puzzle cover above for issue #1 was actually drawn by J Scott Campbell and Eric Powell.  You can click it to see it bigger on Flickr.

This series was based on a script treatment written by Jeff Katz.  The story served as a sequel to Freddy vs Jason as well as the Evil Dead series.  However, I think the licensing for Ash fell through and the studios decided to go another way.  So the story never went any further.  However, Katz kept his treatment alive and actively campaigned to get it made into a comic book.

Will and Lori, from Freddy vs Jason, return to Crystal Lake to get closure and finish off Jason once and for all.  However, Jason kills them.  We learn that Freddy is trapped inside Jason’s mind and is using the image of Jason’s mother to convince him to find the Necronomicon and deliver it to Freddy.  Freddy plans to use it to escape into the real world. Meanwhile, Ash is transferred to the Forest Green (formerly Crystal Lake) S-Mart and identifies the recent spate of disappearances and murders as the work of Deadites.  Ash gathers the teenage crew of the S-Mart to confront Jason and a newly formed and fully powered Freddy.  A bloodletting ensues.  There’s even a scene in which Freddy resurrects all of Jason’s previous victims in order to stop him when he turns on Freddy.  Pretty cool stuff.

I could see this being a worthy entry into the franchises.  Again, this seems to be Freddy’s story in which Jason and Ash make appearances.  I like how it was handled and it would have been fun to see this on the big screen.  And the artwork was really good as well.

In 2009, Jeff Katz and James Kuhoric returned to write a sequel called Freddy vs Jason vs Ash: Nightmare Warriors.

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The government resurrects Jason and Freddy looking to harness their supernatural abilities and the power of the Necronomicon to create an army of demonic soldiers. However, as you’d expect, the government can’t control them and they get loose. Ash forms a team to fight the monsters, known informally as the Nightmare Warriors. It includes former franchise characters Tommy Jarvis who appeared in Friday the 13th Parts 4-6 and Tina Shepard who appeared in part 7 and has telekinetic powers. Again, the story is fun and a definite horror fanboy’s dream.  Lots of killing and HUGE epic fights.  There’s also some subplots talking about how the original Freddy used the Necronomicon to become the dream being he is now.  Very cool stuff.  I highly recommend it.


2012 banner Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Topps’ Jason vs Leatherface comic book (1995)

Posted in comic books, Friday the 13th, Halloween, holiday, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, movies, pop culture, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by Paxton

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In 1993, Topps acquired the Friday the 13th comic book license. Their first release was a comic adaptation of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Then, in 1995, Topps released a crossover comic called Jason vs Leatherface.

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The three issue miniseries featured the first meeting between Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The book was written by Nancy Collins and drawn by Jeff Butler.

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The story is a little weird, as is how this comic is supposed to fit into the established chronology of either series. The story begins with Jason chained to the bottom of Crystal Lake where he was left after Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.  Jason is liberated by someone dredging the lake with the intent to drain it and build a corporate headquarters.  The lake has been polluted with toxic waste by the company so the lake water is collected in giant steel containers and shipped by train to some disposal facility.  However, en route, Jason escapes, gets off the train and starts killing people.  He meets up with one of the members of the chainsaw family and is taken back to their house.  At the house he joins the family for dinner and becomes friends with Leatherface.  It’s a dysfunctional good time, but as always happens, there’s a disagreement, then a misunderstanding and so Jason and Leatherface actually fight.  Jason winds up leaving and returning to Crystal Lake.

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Like I said, it’s an odd story.  And, also like I said, it doesn’t fit continuity.  Since Jason begins this comic where he ended up at the end of Jason Lives, then the story should take place in the 90s.  However, two of the family members Jason meets in Texas are “Hitchhiker” and “Cook”.  The character “Hitchhiker” died in the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre which takes place in the 70s.  The “Cook” character dies in the second Texas Chainsaw Massacre which happened in the 80s.  Neither family member should have been alive when this comic happened.  Another problem involves a flashback to Jason’s childhood.  We see his father, Elias, who has only been mentioned in the Part VI novelization.  We see Elias beat Jason and then Jason’s mother kills Elias to protect the child.  That’s fine, I guess, but Elias calls Jason’s mother Doris for some reason when her name has been established since the first movie in 1980 as PAMELA.  Weird.  But I guess that just goes to prove that this is a horror “Elseworlds” tale.

I enjoyed this comic.  The art was over the top and funny.  Perfect for the story.  The covers are really good, as you can see.  It’s definitely a fun, interesting read.  Give it a shot, but be prepared, because it’s a little on the goofy and weird side.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.