Invasion of the Bee Girls

JULIE ZORN:  All right, you might as well know. We went to dinner at the Flamingo Bar and Grill. And by about 10:00 we were playing footsies under the table and having dessert like the good old days. And then we went to the hotel.  And then it happened.

AGENT AGAR: What happened?

JULIE ZORN:  We balled, and we balled, and we balled until he dropped dead.

AGENT AGAR:Touché. Let's go to lunch!

It took me a while to scrub my mind after the rape-fest that was Nude Nuns with Big Guns, and yet for some reason, I still wanted to dive right back into a sexploitation flick. Maybe I just wanted to see one done right. Who knows?

Maybe I just like boobs. Yeah, it's probably that.

Moving along.

Mixing Mad Science and Sex is never a bad thing in my book. What could go wrong?  I mean other than creating an army of sex-crazed killer bee-women. Psychotic sex-crazed-Stepford's aside, you've got nothing to worry about. Following a formula startlingly similar to a sexualized version of Jaws (1975), the film's story unfolds as a group of horny scientists are killed through "sexual exhaustion" until a curfew and forced abstinence is put in place. However, much like for Sarah Palin's children, the abstinence plan works about as well as you would think and the deaths continue until the movie switches gears into a classic 1950's monster movie complete with radiation and mutant bees.

And boobs.

Unlike our previously mentioned heavily armed Catholics, the film's level of misogyny never really rises above the traditional pat on the head of the self-assured male, who is then promptly seduced and killed by a killer bee-woman. Sure, the women here (either innocent and ignorant or seductive and murderous) are nothing more than sex objects, but that's the entire point; what with scenes carefully lit to hide the face but reveal the breasts and buttocks. It's easy to see what the main selling point of the film was (hint: It's not the compound EYES).

But is it any fun?

And the answer is absolutely.

From the opening notes of the insect-rific fa-la-la score by Charles Bernstein, to the closing momentous destruction of the film's doomsday device, there is never a moment where you won't marvel at the cheap 70's take on a b-grade sci-fi monster flick.

Besides, there's bees and boobs.

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

We should applaud filmmakers for successfully stepping outside of their comfort zone genre-wise.  Genre-hopping has created such memorable films as Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (2003) (yes, he had done violent movies before but, no, this did not necessarily mean he could pull off a kung fu epic) and Martin Scorcese’s Last Temptation of Christ (1988).  However, we should just as enthusiastically condemn directors who should know better than to mess with what works: Barry Levinson’s Sphere (1998), Francis Ford Coppola’s Jack (1996) (you remember, the uplifting comedy about progeria), and any time Kevin Smith decides to make a movie not specifically about New Jersey wiseasses.  So when I heard that one of Brian De Palma’s earliest films was a musical, the film critic in me proceeded with caution while the Schlock-Lover ran head-first, squealing manically into Phantom of the Paradise.

Singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper) has a simple dream: to become a famous singer. Song-writer Winslow Leach (William Finley) has a moderately simple dream: to write an epic cantata based on Christopher Marlowe’s Faust that will make him the belle of the NPR Ball.  Music producer extraordinaire Swan (Paul “I wrote ‘Rainbow Connection’” Williams) has a complicated dream: TO RULE OVER ALL OF POPULAR MUSIC WITH AN IRON FIST OF SPITE! When Swan hears Winslow’s cantata, he knows he’s got a hit on his hands.  The only thing standing in his way is Winslow.  So Swan does the only rational thing and sets into motion a series of events that leave Winslow a hideously disfigured, metal-mouthed creature that is hellbent on revenge!  And how best to get sweet, sweet revenge? By destroying Swan’s latest creation: a rock ‘n roll Xanadu called “The Paradise.”

Brian De Palma’s musical entry has to be seen to be believed.  It is a metatextual action/thriller/romance/revenge drama/horror/musical.  Granted, it is not a straight musical; no one bursts into song.  There just seem to be convenient reasons for characters to be performing songs that happen to speak to exactly what they are feeling at any given moment.  Mercifully, all of the songs are catchy since Paul Williams wrote them and all the performers can actually sing.  And you are going to need the soothing touchstone of musical to ground you through a film that switches its tone more often than a Frank Zappa concert.

Stylistically, the film bounces around references to earlier horror films like The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Psycho (1960), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), Touch of Evil (1958), and the oeuvre of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funnicello.  I am not going to say that the lack of narrative clarity does not hurt the film.  I am going to ask how much that could possibly hurt your enjoyment of a film with a screechy, flamingly homosexual glam rocker named “Beef” (Gerrit Graham).  "Beef," people, "Beef!"

Bizarre musical productions, awkward romances between mismatched weirdos, and a surprising amount of violence and gore, maybe Phantom of the Paradise was a better indicator of Brian De Palma’s career than thought…

Resident Evil: Extinction

When one gets to the third film of what could be a horror/sci-fi trilogy, certain gimmicks have to be introduced.  These include but are not limited to: the end of the world (the risk of or the actual), deserts or cute critters of some sort.  Not to be outdone, director Russell Mulcahy chocks Resident Evil: Extinction with all three!

The world is good and properly screwed by this third installment and Alice (Milla Jovovich) has taken up Leonard Smalls’ (Randall “Tex” Cobb in Raising Arizona (1987)) mantle as “the lone biker of the apocalypse.”  Hiding from the evil Umbrella Corporation for fear of their turning her into a weapon, hiding from her friends for fear that they will be used against her by Umbrella and hiding from the hordes of zombies, because, well, they smell bad, Alice is wandering around directionless.  Much like this movie.

It’s difficult to determine whether or not the lack of direction helps or hurts this movie.  If it were on purpose, Mulcahy may have been showing through the film the terror and nothingness that awaits us poor survivors of the zombie apocalypse: a life of scrounging for food and praying that there will be a point to any of it.  On the other hand, if it were not on purpose, it just goes to show that the filmmakers had no idea what to do with this installment and said “Screw it, put ‘em in the desert and release the crows!”  I go back and forth.

Don’t misunderstand, Extinction has a lot going for it, not the least of which is the sexiest pile of corpses I’ve ever seen. (Yeah, I said it.  Find a cuter corpse pit and we’ll talk.)  Building off the ending of Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Alice has gone full-Tetsuo (Akira 1988).  These powers come in hand when Claire Redfield’s (Ali Larter) convoy of survivors is attacked by a murder of zombie crows.  That’s right, zombie crows.  In one of the most metal moments in film history, Alice destroys them using her brain and fire.

Also, helping the film are above average zombie make-up and a heaping helping of Day of the Dead (1985) references.  After five years, the zombies are looking a little worse for wear and the effects team did a wonderful job of showing that decomposing flesh and the sun do not mix.  Meanwhile, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) works in an underground Umbrella facility with the foolish notion of domesticating the zombies into a viable workforce.  Care to guess how that goes?

Like most third films, Extinction does not stand well on its own.  However, within the series, it is not a bad installment and sets up a great ending that does actually continue into the fourth installment.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

In order to make a good horror movie sequel, the filmmakers must abide certain rules and conventions.  None of which are more important than the underlying rule: More.  And with More comes the equally important: Bigger.   Happily, for action/horror junkies like myself, Alexander Witt understood these rules and delivered the wonderfully over-the-top Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

Picking up from before the previous installment left off, Witt shows the audience how the Umbrella Corporation’s T-Virus spread and devastated Raccoon City leading up to Resident Evil’s (2002) climactic cliffhanger.  Joining (the finally named onscreen) Alice (Milla Jovovich) are a motley crew of actors that continue the first film’s tradition of English people pretending to be American including Sienna Guillory doing a disturbingly-accurate Jill Valentine impression, Oded Fehr being the man, Thomas Kretschman from the five year period in which he was the ONLY working creepy German in film, and Zach Ward playing a Russian…  Riiiiiight.

Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to rescue Umbrella scientist, Charles Ashford’s (Jared Harris) daughter from the quarantined Raccoon City, kill as many zombies as possible in the process, evade and/or stop Nemesis, a monosyllabic hulking monster who uses a minigun but only when he’s tired of using his rocket launcher, and, just so things are not too easy, escape an impending nuclear missile strike.

Witt and screenwriter/producer Paul W.S. Anderson like to pack as much as humanly possible into a sequel.  Luckily, they have more money to do so than the first film and they waste not one penny.  Right from the beginning, the scale of this sequel dwarfs the first film by focusing on an entire town, using primarily exterior shots to contrast the claustrophobic Hive, and inundates the audience with large action sequences.  Within the first eleven minutes, we get car crashes, zombie executions and delightfully ridiculous helicopter stunts.

And all that’s before Alice destroys three Licker monsters in a church with a motorcycle, bullets and sheer badassery.  Upping the ante from merely being tough, Alice now officially has superpowers!  You see the T-Virus, which at least kills everything and at most turns every human it infects into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength, simply made Alice hotter, better, faster, and stronger.  One could cry foul but this clearly falls under the “ What’s Good for the Goose is not Good for the Main Character” clause of science fiction/horror writing.

Aside from the larger scale of the film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse exceeds as a sequel for its greater sense of fun, for lack of a better word.  Resident Evil was a very “serious” movie.  Apocalypse on the other hand cannot take itself too seriously if only because at different points Alice runs down a building with no thought to gravity and feels conflicted about destroying a her friend who has now mutated into a horrible creature.  It’s silly and Witt embraces this aspect by giving us gallows humor, creepy zombie children eating a grown woman, Grand Theft Auto references, and, because you’ve been good little boys and girls, Zombie Strippers.

Dead Snow

Young filmmakers have the burden of trying to create something new in the wake of more than 50 years worth of film.  One could argue that this is even more difficult when applied to the horror genre as one would think there could only be so many ways to dispatch your cast in interesting ways.  However, despite this burden, filmmakers like Norway’s Tommy Wirkola should not overtly list the films inspired his Dod Sno (Dead Snow) (like Friday the 13th (1980) and Evil Dead (1983))within the first 20 minutes for fear of not living up to the standard.  Luckily for the audience, after a rocky start, Wirkola does just that.

Six Norwegian medical students have traveled to a small cabin in mountains near Oksfjord (they don’t have woods in Norway) to relax, drink, play twister and engage in snowmobile-related shenanigans.  Everything goes swimmingly until a local camper relates the terrible history of the area during World War II.  Apparently, the local people were subjugated by the Nazis (shocking, I know) for three years and at the end of the war mustered the courage to chase the Nazis out of their village and into the mountains where they met an unknown end.  Our six students find out what happened to the Nazis the very next day when they are attacked by, you guessed it, Nazi Zombies!

Let’s take a moment and bask in the warm glow of such an incredible horror movie idea: NAZI ZOMBIES!  Gentle readers, we must admit certain truths about ourselves as a movie-going audience.  We love watching Nazis get brutally destroyed.  We love watching zombies get decapitated and dismembered as much if not more than the Nazis.  In Dod Sno, Wirkola has given us the horror movie equivalent of Reese’s Peanut Buttercups:  Two great tastes that taste great together!

Now, our six Norwegian medical students are essentially interchangeable.  They’re similar to the teens we’ve come to know and enjoy in most slasher films.  What separates them, however, is that each one is more hardcore than the last.  We’re talking “stitch up your own neck bite with no mirror and fishing line” hardcore.  Without revealing the manner in which they are dispatched, I will say that the will to win is strong in all of them:  if they’re going down, they’re taking as many Nazi Zombies as they can down with them.  And there are oh so many Nazi Zombies.

Gore-wise there is more than enough to satisfy.  The only problem is getting to it.  The first half of the film goes on entirely too long and alternates between being an advertisement for the Norwegian tourism bureau and an Ace of Base video.  (Yes, Ace of Base is Swedish but you get my point!)  Once the gore begins, it dominates the second half of the film with excellent use of bayonets, snowmobiles, chainsaws, lower intestines, grenades, molotov cocktails, and communism.   And just when you think you’ve seen everything, Wirkola escalates the situation.

What’s worse than Nazi Zombies?

SS Zombies

Resident Evil

Remember the days before Alien vs. Predator (2004) premiered in theaters?  You know, the days when it was not a requirement to hate Paul W.S. Anderson; but rather, a life choice similar in gravity to deciding one’s career, underwear preference and toilet paper roll position.  Once again, we here at the Cavalcade of Schlock ask you to journey with us back to simpler times when all we knew from Anderson was the terrifying Event Horizon (1997) and the greatest Enter the Dragon (1973) remake, Mortal Kombat (1996) and take a look at the first installment of the Resident Evil series.

Milla Jovovich stars as the aptly unnamed, amnesiac protagonist, an employee of the evil Umbrella Corporation (Traveler’s Insurance, I’m looking at you!), the world’s leading developer for all things technological, pharmaceutical and Frankensteinian.  Jovovich is a security operative stuck dealing with hordes of zombies after a botched theft of Umbrella’s T-Virus and an artificial intelligence-controlled security system kill everyone in Umbrella’s underground lab.  Luckily, Jovovich is not alone.  Joining her amidst an assortment of cookie-cutter paramilitary types are the always-annoying Michelle Rodriguez and the always under-used Colin Salmon.

Anderson does an excellent job of getting the action started early and maintaining that momentum throughout the course of the film.  (Also, starting with a semi-nude Jovovich doesn’t hurt.)  However, Anderson is hindered by a low-budget.  Get ready for a lot of shots that either look like the interior of every office building in which you have ever worked or else some unidentifiable void.  What should be atmospheric and/or a creepy technological installation comes across at best Syfy Saturday fodder and at worst an Uwe Boll film.  Compare this with Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis (2005) and tell me if there’s much of a difference.

While the action is fairly non-stop, the bulk of the action is based around classics of  video game logic: the “go here to get something over there working,”  the “find the artifact,” and the old standby “OHMYGOD WHY WON’T YOU DIE?”  Adding to the video-game-en-scène are a heavily techno-inspired Marilyn Manson soundtrack, awkward/fixed camera angles, random piano blares, and frequent looks at the “map screen.”  While these may seem like detractors, I found these homages enriched the film if only because Anderson did not randomly inject actual screen shots of the game into the film like other German-directed video game films (House of the Dead (2003))

My only real complaint is that 90% of the film is not scary.  If you have seen any zombie movie before, you’ve seen all the scares, jumps, and pop outs in this film.

[SPOILER] However, the ending sequence from the exit of the Hive to the final shot are truly scary.  If only because the sequence pops out of nowhere and tonally feels like nothing else in the film. [END SPOILER]

But, if you’re looking for a soild horror/action film, you could do worse than join the world's skinniest action star for 90 minutes of zombie ass-kicking.  That and the end shot is absolute gold.

Chopping Mall

Gentle readers, it's time to discuss a sad, sad truth: God hates you. Now, you may try to argue that God gave humans free will, dominion over all we survey, and, most importantly, life. However, you fail to notice that God is trying to kill life on the planet. Consider lightning. Possibly God's most “metal” creation since, well, metal. Lightning can incinerate the living and bring inanimate things to life like Frankenstein's Monster, Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)), sea monkeys, and robots. And what do these all have in common? They all want to kill humans! Especially the sea monkeys. They're just biding their time. As we learned in the seminal work on artificial intelligence, Short Circuit (1986), without the calming influence of Ally Sheedy, lightning-infected robots will rampage and destroy all living things. Such is the case with the security droids in Jim Wynorski's Chopping Mall.

Continuing the 80's trend of placing the plot of a slasher movie in new and exciting venues, three young, nubile couples hang out in the local mall after hours to have a pastel and big hair orgy in the furniture department. The mall has recently upgraded its security system with the installation of three security robots that resemble the bastard children of the Daleks and Vishnu. Unfortunately for our lovers, lightning has struck the mall and set the robots on a kill-crazy rampage. Locked in the mall, the the couples attempt to destroy the robots and survive until the doors open in the morning.

One of the real treats of the film is the cast. It's essentially the lost and found of 80's schlock cinema; featuring Russell Todd from Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)Kelli Maroney from Night of the Comet (1984)Dick Miller from Gremlins (1984) and everything else, a blink and you'll miss it cameo from Rodney Eastman from A Nightmare on Elm St. 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)Mary Woronov from Death Race 2000 (1975), Gerrit Graham from Child's Play 2 (1990) and one of the greatest scream queens: Barbara Crampton. And where there's Barbara Crampton, there's gratuitous nudity!

And what goes better with gratuitous nudity than gratuitous violence? These robots pull no punches as they deliver possibly the best head explosion since Scanners (1981). I give the teens credit as they also take the fight to the robots in an attempt to survive the night.

This movie was nothing but action and cheesy acting. I loved it. While the running time comes in on the shorter side, this movie would pair up nicely with any other slasher of the era and, in particular, I got a distinct Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1998) vibe.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Picture this: You’re a Disney movie executive sitting behind your huge desk, just trying to finish up the last couple of meetings for the day before tee time and some guy comes in. He pitches you an idea about doing a movie based off of one of the many Disney park rides. Think about the bump in attendance that the parks would get as a result of the movie’s success! It sounds brilliant and unprecedented! Why not give it a shot? It’d at least get the guy to go away.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how we got the made-for-TV classic Disney’s Tower of Terror. It starred Steve Guttenburg and Kirsten Dunst. No, you probably didn’t see it. You should be glad you didn’t. I did.

Fortunately, it was forgettable stepping stones like that which bring us past the other ride-to-movie crap Disney did (Mission to MarsThe Country Bears, and The Haunted Mansion) and straight to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. To be honest, The Haunted Mansion was released a few months after Pirates, but we’re not going to talk about that movie. It’s better that way.

The prologue happens. There’s a little Elizabeth, a gruff sailor (Kevin McNally), little girl’s dad (Jonathan Pryce), and Captain Stick-Up-His-Ass Norrington (Jack Davenport). They encounter a burned ship and little Will Turner with a mysterious coin around his neck. The girl promises to take care of the boy and then promptly steals his coin once he passes out. Apparently, taking care of someone involves the theft of their valuables. Good to know!

Theoretically, the main plot of the movie is centered around the romance between the prologue's girl and the boy. Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), is now a lovely young lady and daughter of the island’s governor and Will (Orlando Bloom), is now an enterprising young man who’s apprenticed to a drunken blacksmith. Sure, it’s a cute story. Boy from the wrong side of the tracks in love with a rich girl who’s also got newly-promoted Commodore Stick-Up-His-Ass Norrington chasing her tail.

In reality, though, it’s all about the two scene-stealing pirates: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his former mutinous first mate Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). After his grand entrance, the audience finds out that Jack is currently shipless and looking for a replacement. Barbossa, on the other hand, has Jack’s former ship and a nasty case of semi-undead from coming into contact with cursed gold and loose women.

Remember that coin Elizabeth stole? Yep. It was cursed. The coin gets rubbed the wrong way and summons the pirates to bring on the plot. There’s swash to be buckled, ships to be acquired, curses to break, and adventure to be had. Though not a work of cinematic greatness, it’s a great deal of fun to watch. For the record, this movie spawned the new pirate renaissance and inspired the swagger of many a would-be pirate captain. It may also be the reason why the rum is gone.

Priest 3D

I've been wracking my brain for a few days now to figure out a way to start a review of Priest 3D. Do I start with a quick breakdown of the plot? Essentially a post-apocalyptic take on John Wayne's The Searchers with the Priests as the Cowboys and mutant vampires as the Indians, the film centers on one such Priest (Paul Bettany) whose niece is abducted by vampires, causing him to set out across the wasteland, seeing to her rescue. He does so against the wishes of the Ministry, headed up by Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer, who is either hurting for work or seriously slumming in this picture). Apparently the vampire menace has been put down, and any hint to the contrary is a threat to the totalitarian protective construct that the church has built.

Wackiness and Violence ensue, eventually leading to another group of priests (led by Maggie Q) being sent to bring back our protagonist, by any means necessary. Before long they run into the evil Priest/Vampire hybrid, Black Hat (played rather lethargically by Karl Urban), who wants to tear down the church... or something. To be honest, by the time they got to his motivation for anything, I wasn't really paying attention anymore.

Of course, the above breakdown pretends that the plot makes any kind of sense, which it doesn't. This film isn't only bad, it's AGGRESSIVELY bad. It's the kind of movie that comes into your house at night, steals your babies, and returns them to you as mindless zombies whose only purpose is to churn out money to see movies this. Freakin'. Bad.
Not even fun enough to mock, the film's pacing was set to fast-forward so you couldn't digest any of the scenery (recycled from a dozen other post-apocalyptic films), the characters (two-dimensional is actually adding an extra dimension), the monsters (badly recycled from the crappy vampires in "I Am Legend"), or the afore-mentioned threadbare plot. The movie never lingers on any particular element long enough for you to care, and as such, boredom quickly settles in. The one interesting aspect, that of the dictatorial Church of the Cyberpunk Jesus, is glazed over 4 minutes.

Well, at least the action's good, right? Sadly, no. Suffering from the same pacing problems as the rest of the picture, the action sequences are slap-dashedly thrown together so that you can't tell what's going on with the exception of a couple of "gee-whiz this was shot in 3D" moments.

As it's based on a Manga, I can only suppose that there is a better story to be had here, and it's a shame that the setting that could have been interesting wasn't used to better effect. Really, there's nobody to which I'd recommend this movie. It's terrible to sit through on your own (as I did), and the choice of action-packed vamp flicks for a Cavalcade has much better choices, the Blade Trilogy for starters. The first two for quality entertainment, and the last one for something to rip to shreds with friends.

Freddy Vs. Jason

A transcript from a recent Cavalcade of Schlock editorial meeting:

Micah P: Tom, I’ve read your review for Freddy vs. Jason.

Tom: Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good about it.  I think I nailed it.

Micah P.:

All you wrote was “Greatest Movie Ever.”  500 times.

Tom: I know!  Hook me up!  <Raises hand for high five>

Micah P.: <Stares blankly.  Walks away.>

And now, a “real article” explaining the glory that is Freddy vs. Jason since Higgins will not let me back in the Cavalcade of Schlock building.

To understand: in August 2003, I was sitting in a packed movie theater on a Friday night.  It had been twelve years since Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and ten years since Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993).  The lights dimmed.  The New Line Cinema logo appeared on the screen and the familiar piano theme from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) filled the speakers followed quickly by Friday the 13th’s trademark “Ch Ch Ch Ha Ha Ha.”  From a crowd of fans that did not care about whether Neo would free the humans or if Middle Earth was going to burn the ground came a wave of applause and cheering erupted and did not stop for the next 97 gore filled minutes!

Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has been stuck in Hell since the events of the aforementioned Final Nightmare.  Krueger hatches a plan to reawaken the now officially unkillable Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) and have him kill teenagers on Elm Street in order to inspire fear in a new generation and regain his own powers.  Jason proceeds to do just that.  However, he will not stop killing, going so far as to kill teenagers that Freddy was going to kill himself.  And, thus, a battle royale begins between the two horror icons for the privilege of killing the unsuspecting teenagers in the Ohio/New Jersey area.

Director Ronny Yu and writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift did not have the easiest task putting these two characters together in one film.  The production history on the film alone could fill up three articles.  While both characters started as straight slashers, Freddy’s films took a different, more effects heavy direction in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987) when director Chuck Russell started to take more advantage of the possibilities in attacking a person in one’s dreams.  In addition, the victims in Freddy’s films have traditionally been marginally more intelligent than Jason’s.  Elm Street kids tend to pick up on the fact that they are being picked off more quickly even if they do not know how or why.  Crystal Lake campers tend to have two disadvantages: inebriation and Jason’s brutal efficiency.  Jason usually kills 90% of the film’s victims in a 24 hour period before anyone knows what’s going on.  As a result, FvJ plays more like a NoES film with Jason guest starring.  However, this is balanced by Jason having the majority of the kills and having those kills be quintessentially Jason.

There is an impressive amount of gore and creativity in this film.  Both Freddy and Jason’s style of murder are given equal spotlight.  “Crafts-matic Adjustable Death” is a particular favorite.  But this is all prologue to the titular fight and what a fight it is.  Yu and company do not cheat the audience.  We came to see Freddy fight Jason and what a fight we got to see!  I have timed it, it lasts a solid half hour.  The fight is equal parts WWE and Looney Tunes and never stops being fun.

There is so much Jason and Freddy violence that not even the deplorable acting by our teenage cannon fodder, excuse me, I mean, “victims” cannot even get annoying.  But, they do try their damnedest.  Jason Ritter, in particular, makes Keanu Reeves look like Laurence Olivier.  Overall, this is a silly movie that is equal parts 80s slasher and Abbott and Costello monster film.  FvJ is a great send off for two slashers that have given us so much joy.