Long before any sort of justice had ever dawned, Freddy vs. Jason debuted in cinemas to what may be remembered as the first notable crossover between two major film franchises. Since then, we’ve received a couple Alien vs. Predator movies, the second of which performed so poorly that Fox split them back into their own separate entities, and to a much, much lesser extent, Lake Placid vs. Anaconda.
And although the first seeds had been planted for an Elm Street crossover in the closing moments of 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, director Adam Marcus was cross-pollinating with a much different horror franchise right under our noses.
To help set the stage, let’s look at an excerpt from a recent discussion he had with Horror Geek Life in which Marcus elaborated on his need to make sense of Friday the 13th‘s continuity:
“I was populating [Jason Goes to Hell] with Easter eggs, and at that time I was on set while writing the script, and spending time with Bob Kurtzman for The Evil Dead part 3 [Army of Darkness]. I had become friendly with Sam Raimi, so much so that he had shot several commercials in LA and I had hung out with him on set. Sam’s an amazing guy, and one of my heroes. So while I was there, I asked Sam if I could borrow the Necronomicon to put into my movie. Sam gave a bewildered ‘Why?!’ and I explained the story. I was trying to create a mythology for Jason in this movie, because it had driven me nuts as a viewer.
“…at the end of [Friday the 13th] – because [Sean Cunningham] wanted to rip off Carrie, since it was a huge success – he thought, wouldn’t it be great if the kid leaps out of the water and grabs the girl? It ended up being the best scare in the movie. Here’s the thing though, he never thought they were going to make a series of movies about the kid in the lake. Cut to several months later and Alice from the first movie is in her home and this full-size man (who was a boy two months ago) murders her- I know for me I was only twelve when part two came out, and even as a kid myself, I asked ‘What? Why isn’t it a boy, and how did he live for thirty years in a lake?’”
After taking a moment to digest that, prepare yourself for some of the most interesting movie trivia you may ever read. We say that because Marcus went on to add that, in his view, Jason Voorhees is actually a Deadite!
“So what I told Sam was ‘I think it’s more fun if I have the Necronomicon in Pamela Voorhees’ house. She makes a deal with the devil by reading from the Necronomicon to bring back her son. This is why Jason isn’t Jason. He’s Jason plus The Evil Dead,’ and now I can believe that he can go from a little boy that lives in a lake, to a full grown man in a couple of months, to Zombie Jason, to never being able to kill this guy.
“Raimi loved it! He literally went and picked up the book, put it in a plastic bag and told me to put it in the movie. So only Sam, myself, and Bob Kurtzman ever knew that was my agenda. It’s not like I could tell New Line my plan to include The Evil Dead, because they don’t own The Evil Dead.
“So yes, in my opinion, Jason Voorhees is a Deadite. He’s one of The Evil Dead.“
How very stealthy of him. After reading that, we’re betting everyone will now be digging out their copies of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday in order to go over it with a fine-toothed comb. When you really think about it, it wouldn’t just make sense of what Marcus talked about, but also the fact that Jason seemed to be beyond human in appearances following Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
Believe it or not, a crossover came dangerously close to happening on the big screen, too, in the form of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, in which Ash was actually supposed to permanently kill of Krueger. And though that didn’t come to fruition, we can at least take solace in the fact that comic books of the same title saw the light of day.