If every slasher villain faced off in a Royal Rumble, who would win? If 100 people were coming to kill you and you got one slasher to defend you, who are you taking? Who is the best? Most powerful? Most skilled?
These are the pressing questions of our time. We are 40 years post the golden age of slasher films and we need answers. Plenty of ink and exhaled carbon dioxide has been used arguing over which movie, or franchise, is the best. E n o u g h. It’s the villains that have impacted the culture. People don’t dress up as Jamie Lee Curtis or Neve Campbell for Halloween. They ring doorbells cloaked as serial killers. People know who Jason is, and a lot don’t know which franchise brought him fame.
It’s time to talk specifically about the bad guys.
But first, we need determine what constitutes a slasher film.
As our friend Randy says, there are governing specifications that make a slasher film. In the words of Wikipedia, “although the term ‘slasher’ may occasionally be used informally as a generic term for any horror film involving murder, film analysts cite an established set of characteristics which set slasher films apart from other horror sub-genres.”
Ok, cool, so what are the parameters you might ask? Welp, here’s Wikipedia:
Slasher films typically adhere to a specific formula: a past wrongful action causes severe trauma that is reinforced by a commemoration or anniversary that reactivates or re-inspires the killer. Built around stalk-and-murder sequences, the films draw upon the audience’s feelings of catharsis, recreation, and displacement, as related to sexual pleasure.
So, with all due respect to Stephen King, Pennywise has not entered the chat. Neither has Jigsaw, Patrick Bateman, Norman Bates, or Hannibal Lecter.
Unfortunately for my free time (and mental health), there were over 100 slasher films released during *just* the Golden Age (1978-1984). Therefore, we’re going to guess that the total number of slasher films ever hovers somewhere around untold. So, we need to make cuts before we even get started. Who is even worthy of ranking? Well, here again is Wikipedia:
Notable slasher films include The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Black Christmas (1974), Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Child’s Play (1988), Candyman (1992), Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).
When I set out on this exercise in the first place, my instinct was to rank the villains from the above list with the exception of Black Christmas. So, obviously I’m a genius. But more importantly, this list is going to rank the villains from these corresponding franchises. Yes, franchises. We are not going to simply watch the original installments and pump out a list. Nope, there is way too much canon after the originals. However, we’re not incorporating reboots or remakes. OG’s only, period.
The final rule; all movies in the original lineage are factored into the equation. Many of these franchise churn out so many installments they eventually become caricatures of themselves with the villain no longer bound to the laws of physics. No matter how farcical the story gets, it counts. There’s no fair way to arbitrarily cut off each franchise once we feel like it’s gotten out of hand.
As with any good power ranking, this list is going to be tier based. And to make sure you all stick around, we’re starting with the worst.
Tier 4 – Nah, I’d Actually Win
Real World Comparison: The Tooth Fairy – Just like the Tooth Fairy, Candyman derives his power from being a rumor. And just like the Tooth Fairy, once you learn the truth about Candyman you’re like, oh, this dude blows.
Candyman is a supernatural slasher that appears when someone says his name five times aloud while looking in a mirror. His backstory is that he was born a slave in the 1800’s and his real name, revealed in the sequel, is Daniel Robitaille. Daniel, or Candyman, fell in love with a slave owner’s daughter, Caroline, and got her pregnant. Upon discovering Caroline’s pregnancy and secret love, a lynch mob hunted down Daniel and sawed off his right hand. They then smeared honey all over him and a swarm of bees stung him to death. His soul lived on in Caroline’s mirror – also revealed in the sequel – he attached a hook to his chopped up right arm, his entire body is full of bees he controls, and he torments/murders those that summon him.
Candyman possesses the ability to cross between the real world and his alternate dimension. He appears in people’s dreams before killing them. He also stalks, haunts, and torments his victims prior to gutting them, and can plant images in their waking minds telekinetically. This entire trilogy is a Nightmare on Elm Street ripoff. (For the record, it is allegedly based on the 1985 short story “The Forbidden” from the collection Books of Blood by Clive Barker.)
The first time we ever see Candyman is in a parking garage. Candyman’s voice is absolutely harrowing. It’s a soft whisper that still reverberates and echoes wherever he is. He reveals himself to Helen, who is a student doing a research paper on the legend/myth of Candyman. He’s upset that Helen has disproven his existence and those in the real world do not fear him anymore. Candyman continuously explains throughout the trilogy that death is better than life, that he loves being a rumor, and he gains his power from people believing the rumors of Candyman to be true.
In the parking garage Candyman flashes images of his real life through Helen’s head before she passes out. When she comes to, she is in the bathroom of Anne-Marie, covered in blood, while Anne-Marie is screaming bloody murder. Helen goes out into the hallway and discovers that Anne-Marie’s Rottweiler was decapitated and her son, Anthony, is missing. When Anne-Marie notices Helen in the house, drenched in blood, she attacks Helen. Helen grabs a knife and overpowers Annie-Marie, pinning her down and using the knife as a bluff to get her to calm down. At this very moment the police break down the door and take Helen into custody for the murder of the dog and kidnapping of Anthony.
Candyman repeated shows a brilliant ability to frame people in the real world for his murders. Helen is eventually released from jail as the police do not want to charge her until they find Anthony as they assume Helen has murdered him. While in her bathroom, Candyman attacks Helen by punching through a wall. As Helen runs around the apartment in an effort to escape, Candyman just magically appears in front of her every time she switches hallways.
Eventually Helen is nearly incapacitated when her friend Bernadette shows up for their date to work on their research paper. As Helen tries to warn Bernadette, Bernadette hears Helen’s faint voice and assuming there is a serious problem. Bernadette enters the apartment and Candyman brutally murders her.
Helen wakes up, covered in blood, and handcuffed on her own bed. The police have arrived and are charging Helen with Bernadette’s murder. Helen is then transferred to a psychiatric facility (seriously this entire franchise is a ripoff of Freddy). In the ward, Helen screams about how she can’t sleep because then Candyman will come to her in her dreams and kill her (no like seriously though this is copyright infringement or something).
Helen has a meeting with Dr. Burke, who obviously doesn’t believe her story about the Candyman being responsible for these murders. Helen says she will prove he is real and says his name five times into a mirror. Candyman appears from behind Dr. Burke and stabs him through his back and out through his chest (this is pretty much Candyman’s one move).
Candyman then unties the restraints on Helen’s wheelchair and bounces because, guess who everyone is going to think killed Dr. Burke now. Helen escapes out a window and runs for freedom.
Continuously throughout the movie Candyman tries to convince Helen to join him in the underworld as an immortal grim reaper. (Spoiler; in every movie he spends like half the time trying to convince the girl he’s chasing around to join him). Helen finds his lair and basically says she’ll trade Candyman by joining him if he lets Anthony go free. Candyman agrees and begins to convert Helen. However, during the ceremony, Helen sees in her mind where Anthony is. Candyman left him in the middle of a bonfire back at the apartment complex where Anne-Marie lives, and the fire is just beginning to be lit.
Realizing Candyman lied, Helen rushes to save Anthony. She climbs into the pile of wood and grabs Anthony. As she tries to save him, Candyman appears behind Helen and grabs her, holding her in place so both her and Anthony die in the fire. Helen is able to grab a wooden stake that is on fire and drive it through Candyman’s chest. Helen then crawls out with Anthony, getting caught on fire in the process. Candyman screams in agony, catches on fire, and a swarm of bees are seen fleeing the fire as they leave Candyman.
In the sequel Candyman pops up to stab everyone from behind while chasing around Annie, who turns out to be a a descendant of Daniel and Caroline’s baby. He murders a professor that wrote a book saying Candyman isn’t real from behind in a bathroom and pinned it on Annie’s brother. He murders a cop who says Candyman five times into a mirror while trying to prove to Annie’s brother he isn’t real. The other officers in the police station assuming it was Annie’s brother so they shoot him to death.
He shows up and sicks his bees on a fella name Honore that Annie meets along her journey. That murder gets pinned on Annie because she was in the room when it happened. He murders Annie’s mom by, you guessed it, showing up behind her and stabbing her with his hook. The cops then assume Annie killed her mom.
After running around for 90 minutes Annie finally finds her way down to the slave quarters of the house where Caroline and Daniel used to live. Her reasoning for seeking out these quarters is that Annie discovered the secret that Candyman’s soul is trapped inside Caroline’s mirror from Honore. “Break the mirror, break the curse.” While in the quarters, Candyman flat out admits the mirror theory is true while attempting to convince Annie to join him in immortality. His hubris does not go unpunished, as Annie neglects to join him and snatches the mirror off the wall. The quarters begin to flood, and Candyman is washed away.
But wait! He then appears, just floating there over the water. As he is about to kill Annie she smashes the mirror and Candyman shatters. Annie and a ragtag band of teenagers then escape the flooding quarters.
Sporadically throughout the sequel there are voiceovers of a local radio host in New Orleans who repeatedly speaks directly to Candyman as many Candyman murders are being reported in New Orleans, and it’s hilarious. For instance, the best is “This goes out to the man with the hook; relax, chill, have some gumbo or somethin’.”
Anyway, Candyman’s obvious flaw is that he is entirely dependent on you saying his name five times. So, just.. like.. don’t? It’s not so much that I would actually win against Candyman, it’s that I simply wouldn’t summon him in the first place. Like how is this hard?
Real World Comparison: The Wet Bandits – When it comes to sneaking around and pulling one over on adults, both Chucky and The Wet Bandits are in their wheelhouse. However, neither can defeat their ultimate foe; a fucking child.
[Ok, so I immediately cheated and used a non-real world comparison for the first two real world comparisons. However, the Tooth Fairy and Home Alone canon are such prominent parts of the culture that they’re essentially real. I mean, South Park made a trilogy based on the concept that, say, Homer Simpson is so famous he’s basically a real person. And who am I to argue with South Park?]
This whole thing started with the fact serial killer Charles Lee Ray is trash and got gunned down by a cop. However, Charles apparently knows a crazy amount about the voodoo arts, and while he’s bleeding to death he transfers his soul into that of a Good Guy doll so he can live on. The spell itself is so powerful it storms down lightening on the toy store and the store explodes.
The first time we see Chucky take action it really demonstrates all his strengths. Chucky is wildly strong for a doll, fast, sneaky and stealthy, and pretty clever. After slinking around the apartment and into position, he whips a hammer at Maggie. The hammer hits her dead in the eye with such force that she stumbles backwards many paces and proceeds to fall out the window and plummet to her demise.
Chucky then convinces Andy to take him downtown so he can get his revenge on his former accomplice, Eddie. Chucky sneaks around Eddie’s house and eventually turns on the gas from the oven. He makes enough noise that Eddie fretfully tries to investigate who is wondering about. Chucky essentially baits Eddie into bursting through his own kitchen door and shooting at the oven, which is now functionally a gas bomb. The entire house blows up and Andy and Chucky calmly leave the scene.
When Chucky attacks next he takes on Karen, Andy’s mom, in a wrestling match. Karen threatens to throw him in the fireplace if he doesn’t talk and Chucky launches into self-preservation mode. Chucky actually wins the wrestling match, displaying a ridiculous feat of strength; Chucky overpowers Karen while being held in the air, thus not having his legs on the ground to anchor himself.
After Chucky’s escape, he hides in the back seat of Officer Norris’s car before popping up while Norris is driving and begins strangling Norris with cords. During the struggle, Chucky goes under the driver seat and begins stabbing through it with a knife and then crawls forward and pushes on the car pedals, causing the car to crash. Chucky tries to get back in the car after being ejected through a broken window, but Norris shoots him and Chucky scurries off, seemingly fine.
But he’s not fine. Chucky, a doll, is actually bleeding from the bullet wound. Chucky goes to see his voodoo teacher to understand what is happening. There he learns that the longer he stays in the doll’s body, the more he becomes the doll, and thus, eventually will be permanently stuck. The only solution is to use the same voodoo spell that got him into the doll to place his soul into the body of the first person to whom he revealed his true identity. For those keeping track at home, the answer is Andy. Chucky has to transfer his soul into Andy’s body before it’s too late. Chucky then spends *the rest of the franchise* chasing a six year old and trying to pin him down for like two minutes. Spoiler; Chucky never succeeds.
Over the course of three movies, Chucky does rack up some gruesome and twisted kills. He stabs a doctor in the leg before frying his brain with a defibrillator. In the second movie, Chucky again surprises a victim by hiding in the backseat of their car. He ties a Good Guy employee’s hands behind the driver seat and then proceeds to suffocate him with a plastic bag. Also in the second movie, Chucky kills Andy’s teacher by hiding in the closet, only to jump out and stab her in the heart with an air pump, and then pump air into the puncture. She’s somehow still alive, however, so Chucky beats her to death with a ruler.
In the third movie, Chucky starts off by killing the CEO of Good Guy dolls by bashing the CEO’s head with a golf club, throwing darts in his lower back and hand, and then strangling him to death with a yo-yo string. Later, Chucky tricks a garbage man into thinking there’s a mechanical problem in the back of the truck. Chucky then hops in the cab, and turns on the compactor, crushing the driver to death.
Chucky exhibits an incredible ability to withstand immense physical abuse. At the end of the first movie, Chucky gets burned in the fireplace before having his head, arm, and leg shot off. He STILL bursts through the wall and starts choking out a cop while looking like Anakin Skywalker getting burnt by lava.
In the second movie Chucky has one of the coldest moves by any villain. Kyle, Andy’s foster sister, traps Chucky’s hand under a door in the toy factory, so Chucky cuts off his hand and then inserts the handle of his knife into the opening of his forearm, creating a blade for a right hand. He then proceeds to get stabbed approximately one billion times by the sewing machine and thrown into a box that binds all the doll’s appendages to the torso. Chucky comes out a melted monster, but an alive monster nonetheless. In the third movie, a robotic grim reaper cuts off half of Chucky’s face and it barely slows him down. Andy then shoots off Chucky’s arm and shoots him right in the chest, but Chucky still pops up and begins choking Tyler. Don’t worry, Chucky eventually gets thrown into an industrial fan and dies for good.
The issues with Chucky are two fold. First, as alluded to earlier, he literally can’t pin down a fucking six year old for TWO seconds despite getting an entire trilogy to do so. For every kill Chucky racks up, there’s a scene where he loses a wrestling match to either Andy or Tyler (the child Chucky tries to inhabit in the third movie), before ultimately dying at the end of each film.
But most importantly, I find it difficult to believe I can’t just punt a doll. I literally spent 4.5 hours of screen time yelling “JUST FUCKING KICK HIM!”
JUST FUCKING KICK HIM!
Nah, I ain’t gettin’ taken out by some doll.
Tier 3 – I Want My Mom
Real World Comparison: The 1980’s Washington Quarterbacks – Slasher franchises are built upon the villain, and professional football teams are built upon the quarterback. Each is the most valuable asset the franchise has. Yet, as Scream became incredibly successful, Ghostface changed with every movie. Washington won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. These franchises continually replaced their centerpiece and kept on achieving glory.
Scream, by far, is the best movie franchise represented on this list. The original Scream is a top five movie ever made (I said what I said). Wes Craven, who unintentionally ruined the slasher genre with Nightmare on Elm Street, pumped out the crown jewel of the genre 12 years after the Golden Age concluded. Scream is self aware. It openly talks about the unfolding sequence of events mirroring typical slasher films. The rules for survival are laid out in plain English. For God’s sake, Wes Craven even has the bravado to fucking *name drop himself* while referring to slasher films in the first Scream.
Set in the quiet town of Woodsboro, CA, Scream asks, “well what if the killer was just a normal person?” Ghostface, who changes every movie, spends five feature length films chasing around Sidney Prescott and her friends. The first time we meet Ghostface he shocks the world. Drew Barrymore, who at the time was the biggest star in the film and was front row and center on the theatrical poster, gets a creepy phone call while trying to watch a movie. Little does she know the call is from a serial killer who has her boyfriend tied up out back.
After Casey (Drew Barrymore) fails to complete Ghostface’s game, Ghostface guts her boyfriend. He then chases Casey all through the house, head-butting a window just to get a hold of her. After fleeing the house and running across the side yard, Ghostface tracks her down and brutally stabs her to death. He then hangs her mutilated body up from the trees for her parents to find.
Ghostface’s wheelhouse is placing a harassing phone call to his next victim while already being inside their house. He calls Sydney in the first movie and then pops out of the closet. After tackling Sidney he goes to stab her, but she kicks him off and runs up the stairs. Sidney flat out wins a foot race to her bedroom where she locks the door. As she goes to dial 9-1-1 she discovers the phone line is out. However, Ghostface disappears just as her boyfriend, Billy Loomis, shows up. Sidney is convinced Billy is the killer and therefore the cops bring Billy in for questioning. He is ultimately let go as there’s no evidence he is guilty.
The police force includes Deputy Dewey. Deputy Dewey’s sister Tatum is Sidney’s best friend and is dating Billy’s best friend Stu. The two couples are friends with Randy, another high school student who works at the video store. Gale Weathers, a reporter, is in town to cover the death of Casey Becker. Gale rose to prominence for her work covering the murder of Sidney’s mother and maintaining the innocence of the convicted killer Cotton Weary.
Ghostface’s next victim is the school principal. Ghostface pops out from behind his office door and stabs him repeatedly. He doesn’t strike again until the night of Stu’s party, but gee golly wilikers is that party a bloodbath. At the party Randy lays out the rules to surviving a slasher film, one of which is to never say “I’ll be right back.” Alas, Stu mocks Randy before disappearing into the kitchen.
The first to go at the party is Tatum. Tatum goes out to the garage to get a bunch of beer. As she tries to re-enter the house, she encounters Ghostface. She initially assumes it’s one of her friends just playing a prank. After refusing to move out of the way, Tatum says to Ghostface “oh you wanna play psycho killer?” before delivering this absolute gem of a line:
Sorry Tatum, you will not be in the sequel. Ghostface cuts Tatum’s arm at which point Tatum realizes this is the real killer. Tatum then hurls numerous beer bottles at Ghostface who just takes the punishment. Ghostface chases Tatum around the garage and Tatum slams a freezer door in his face. After another struggle, Tatum tries to escape through the doggy-door in the garage door. However, Tatum gets trapped in the too-small doggy-door and Ghostface opens the garage door. When Tatum and the door reach the top of the garage Tatum’s neck is snapped.
Later, after Billy and Sidney sleep together, Ghostface enters the bedroom and seemingly kills Billy. He then chases Sidney around the entire property. They run through the house, and Sidney eventually ends up on the roof as she tries to escape through a window. In a wrestling match, Ghostface just let’s go of Sidney, causing her to fall off the roof into the driveway. When Sidney stands up, she notices Tatum’s dead body suspended in the air in the doggy-door.
Earlier on in the evening, Gale showed up and planted a camera inside the party, then parked her van outside to watch the live feed. However, Deputy Dewey shows up and asks Gale if she wants to take a walk down the street with him as he goes to investigate a mysterious car believed to belong to Sidney’s father, as the police now have Sidney’s father as the prime suspect of the killings.
Gale ventures off with Dewey, leaving her camera man alone in the van. Sidney, fleeing Ghostface, runs to the van. While Sydney is sitting in the van, seemingly safe, Ghostface pops out of nowhere and slits the cameraman’s throat. Ghostface then stabs Sidney, but she is able to crawl through a small tunnel-esque portion of the van and escape.
Dewey and Gale return to the house, only to get stabbed by Ghostface themselves. Sidney then attempts to re-enter the house, but Ghostface appears in the doorway, wipes his knife clean, and chases Sidney. Sidney hops in Dewey’s police Jeep and locks the doors. There’s only one problem; Ghostface already stole the keys to the Jeep.
Ghostface then disappears under the Jeep and manually unlocks the doors, toying with Sidney as she frantically stretches about the car to re-lock them. After a moment of calm, Sidney tries using the police radio to call for help, unaware Ghostface opened the tailgate and is climbing over the backseat. He then chokes Sidney but she is able to hit him and escape and run back inside the house.
This sets up the finale to the movie, and also the greatest 10 minutes in cinematic history. Upon re-entering the house, Sidney finds Billy stammering down the stairs. He clams her down and takes the gun she’s holding. Billy then reveals the blood on his shirt is fake, and him and Stu were Ghostface all along.
After explaining their entire motive (Billy killed Sidney’s mom who was having an affair with his father, framed Cotton, and now wants to kill Sidney and frame her father for all the recent murders, and they’ve already kidnapped Mr. Prescott), Billy and Stu take turns stabbing each other to make it look like they are also victims. While Billy and Stu are distracted by a resurgent Gale Weathers, Sidney gets away. She hides in a closet with her father while Billy runs around in a blind rage trying to find her. She pops out and stabs twice Billy with an umbrella.
Stu then sprints at Sidney and they get into a full blow wrestling match. While Stu is pinning her down, Sidney grabs a vase and smashes it over Stu’s head. While he is subdued on the floor Sidney drops a television on his face.
A still alive Billy punches Randy in the face as he talks to Sidney, and then begins choking Sidney to death. A once-again resurgent Gale Weathers shoots Billy just as he is going to stab Sidney. He pops up one last time, just as Randy warns of a last second effort by the killer, and Sidney shoots Billy in the forehead.
While Tatum never got to see the sequel, those of us still alive were blessed with Scream 2. While Scream 2 itself might tell you that sequels suck, the second installment of the franchise does not disappoint. Similar to the original, Scream 2 wastes no time getting down to business. The opening scene involves a raucous movie theater crowd. Everyone is excited to go see Stab, a movie based on the events of Scream.
We follow a couple as they enter the theater and are handed the commemorative Ghostface mask and fake knife. The male goes to the bathroom, where the real Ghostface stabs him in the ear THROUGH THE WALL of a bathroom stall. Ghostface then poses as the boyfriend and sits down next to the girlfriend. Scared from the movie she grabs Ghostface and then notices a ton of blood. Ghostface then stabs her like 20 times in the middle of the theater, but no one takes it seriously as the entire crowd is running around pretending to stab each other.
Next time we hear from Ghostface he places a harassing phone call to Sarah Michelle Gellar. Cici, a sorority sister, is home as the on call designated driver while everyone else is out raging. Ghostface then busts out of nowhere and chases her around the house. They make their way upstairs where Ghostface throws Cici through a glass door and out onto the balcony. Ghostface then stabs Cici before throwing her off the balcony.
An attempt on Sidney’s life is up next. Ghostface pops out in the house and swings at Sidney, but misses. A chase ensues and Ghostface falls over a couch before Sydney successfully gets away. Ghostface doesn’t appear again until he abducts Randy into a van and stabs him repeatedly.
Gale, on campus at Sidney’s university where the murders are happening, finds herself in a lecture hall alone with Ghostface. She flees to a recording studio within the building. After successfully hiding, Ghostface finds and stabs now Officer Dewey on the other side of sound proof glass from where Gale is hiding. After failing to reach Gale, who barricaded herself in her part of the studio, Ghostface moves on.
Two police officers are driving Sidney and her friend Hallie to safety at a local police station. However, no one ever makes it to the station. Ghostface slits the throat of the cop who is driving and then beats up the second cop. He then speeds off with the car, with the second cop hanging onto the windshield for dear life. Ghostface eventually crashes the car, killing the second cop, but knocking himself unconscious. Sidney and Hallie, trapped in the backseat, climb out the driver side window over the unconscious Ghostface. Halfway to safety, Sidney insists she needs to go back and see who is under the mask. Upon doing so she realizes Ghostface is no longer there. Ghostface then pops out from behind Hallie and slits her throat.
Sidney gets back to the university where she finds her boyfriend, Derek, tied up due to fraternity hazing. Ghostface then shows up and reveals himself to be Mickey, Derek’s best friend. Mickey shoots Derek and has a nice chat with Sidney about his motive and how he is planning to get arrested and blame the violence in movies for his rampage. We think Sidney escapes, but wait! Billy’s mother shows up and is apparently Mickey’s accomplice. Mrs. Loomis betrays and shoots Mickey, and then has a nice chat with Sidney about her own motive.
Mrs. Loomis is seeking revenge against Sidney for killing her son. Sidney and Mrs. Loomis fight until Cotton, who was let out of prison for wrongful conviction, intervenes. Mrs. Loomis attempts to manipulate Cotton into murdering Sidney, but he chooses to shoot Mrs. Loomis in exchange for an interview with Sidney on Diane Sawyer, as Cotton is really just trying to figure out a way to secure the bag from his part of the story. Mickey suddenly resurfaces, but he is then promptly and viciously gunned down and killed by Gale and Sidney. Sidney then shoots Mrs. Loomis in the head to ensure she is dead.
You’re not gonna believe this, but Scream 3 gets straight to business. The movie opens with Ghostface killing Cotton’s girlfriend and Cotton. The premise of Scream 3 is Hollywood is making another Stab movie, directed by Roman Bridger. Jenny McCarthy, an actress in Stab, takes a call from Ghostface. He then chases her around the studio before hiding in a wardrobe closet and blending in with all the Ghostface costumes. Jenny, thinking she’s safe in the closet, then sees Ghostface and he begins to attack her. Ghostface slams her through the glass window of a door and stabs her in the back.
Later, Ghostface stabs David Puddy and then beats him to death with a pan. He unsuccessfully chases Sidney around the model house on the movie set. We fast forward to the end of the movie where everyone goes to Roman’s house for a party. Ghostface begins killing each guest one by one. He stabs two actress and kills an actor by throwing him through a glass casing and then off a balcony.
As he tries to kill Gale, Gale launches the two of them down the basement steps. With Ghostface unconscious, Dewey encourages Gale to run back up the stairs. Ghostface then comes to and snipes Dewey in the head with his knife, but it’s the butt of the knife that hits Dewey, causing him to fall down the stairs. Ghostface then ties up Gale and Dewey and calls Sidney, who is at the police station, and instructs her to come to Roman’s party.
The final showdown pits Sidney against Ghostface one on one. Ghostface reveals himself to be Roman. Turns out, Roman is Sidney’s half brother by the same mother. He sought out Sidney’s mother to get to know her better and she wanted nothing to do with Roman. Roman shoots Sidney, but she doesn’t die and hides behind a bar. Sidney then calls Roman’s cell phone, confusing him. While Roman is in a daze, Sidney pops out from behind the bar and stabs Roman in the back and then in the chest. Sidney then reveals she was wearing a bullet proof vest.
Dewey, Gale, and a police officer come rushing in. Roman then pops up and Dewey shoots him 20 times in the chest, which is rendered ineffective as Roman is also wearing a bullet proof vest. Sidney then screams for Dewey to shoot Roman in the head, and Dewey shoots Roman directly in the forehead.
Scream 4 is all about a copycat killer trying to recreate the original massacre. The stabbings become more graphic (and boy are there no shortage of stabbings) and a girl is even crushed under a garage door. There’s a struggle between Sidney and Ghostface where Sidney fights him off, this time by hitting him in the head with a painting, and escapes. Ghostface also wrestles Gale in a barn during a high school rager and stabs her in the shoulder.
Later, Ghostface kills two cops, one of which he stabs in the forehead right between the eyes. Jill, who is Sidney’s high school aged cousin, has a bunch of friends over her house. You probably didn’t see this coming, but the high school get together turns into a bloodbath. One by one Ghostface picks off all the teenagers.
Ghostface is then revealed to be Jill and her secret boyfriend Charlie. Jill, traumatized from growing up in shadow of Sidney’s fame, wanted recreate a Woodsboro massacre and then rise to fame as a survivor. She is planning to pin the murders on Trevor, her cheating ex-boyfriend, and kills Charlie since the media loves a lone survivor better. Jill stabs Sidney, who collapses, and inflicts a significant amount of bodily harm on herself to make her story believable.
Jill ends up in the hospital and is talking to Dewey. She tells Dewey she wants to co-author a book with Gale and bond over their matching shoulder wounds. Dewey then informs her Sidney isn’t actually dead yet and may just pull through.
Dewey goes to talk to Gale, also in a hospital bed, and mentions Jill wants to bond over the matching shoulder wounds. Gale then realizes the only way Jill would have known Gale had been stabbed in the shoulder is if Jill was the one who stabbed her. Dewey runs off to get to Sidney’s room and radios for backup.
Jill finds Sidney’s room with Sidney alive and conscious and says to Sidney “who are you, Michael Fucking Myers?” The two then wrestle and Jill beats Dewey unconscious with a bed pan upon his arrival.
Deputy Hicks and Gale show up next. Jill believes she has shot and killed Hicks dead and holds Gale at gunpoint. Gale stalls for time and then Sidney zaps Jill on the temples with a defibrillator. Jill then pops back up wielding a broken piece of glass and Sidney shoots her.
Scream (2022) is one enormous self-referential running joke. Due to the creation of the Stab movies within the Scream franchise, the characters routinely refer to the Stab franchise to blatantly speak about the Scream franchise. A large part of the plot is Stab fans are pissed the new movie is just called Stab, like the original, instead of Stab 8. For the sake of simplicity I’m going to just call Scream 2022 “Scream 5.”
Scream 5 is a “requel.” As Scream 5 itself explains, a requel is somewhere between a reboot, remake, and sequel. You can’t just reboot a franchise anymore, and you can’t make sequels that ignore all the prior canon. A requel always has to be tied in some way to the original. Scream 5 is all about a copycat Ghostface trying to recreate the original Woodsboro murders. The cast abides by the rules of surviving a horror film during the entire movie.
The gore and blood goes up like 10 notches from the Scream franchise standard. The movie begins with Ghostface attacking Tara in her house, but purposefully leaving her alive. Tara’s older sister Sam then returns to Woodsboro after having run away years ago upon hearing her sister is in the hospital.
Sam is revealed to be the daughter of Billy Loomis, a secret she had kept from Tara but then tells her sister as Sam believes Ghostface is really after her. Tara then demands Sam leave her room and Sam goes to the hospital break room where she has a hallucination of Billy, a recurring issue for her. Sam is then attacked by Ghostface but is able to kick him, throw a chair and table at him, and run away.
As for the characters, Tara has a big group of high school friends who systematically are killed or attacked. Tara’s friends include Amber, Chad and twin sister Mindy, Wes, and Liv (who is dating Chad), and Sam is dating Richie.
Now Sheriff Hicks is Wes’s mother. She goes to pick up dinner for the two, leaving Wes home alone. Ghostface calls her phone and says he’s going to turn himself in after he kills her son. She guns it back to her house and radios for all units to converge on her residence. As she’s sprinting to the front door of the house, Ghostface pops out and stabs her repeatedly. Wes, unaware, is setting up plates and silverware for when his mom returns. Hearing weird noises, he goes to investigate the front door. Noticing it’s a tad open, he closes it. As he turns around, Ghostface is right there, and Ghostface overpowers Wes and drives a knife completely through his neck.
With all the cops, including Dewey, at the Hicks’ house, Sam realizes no one is at the hospital protecting her sister. Sam and Dewey speed off and Sam calls Richie to have him go check on Tara. Ghostface cuts the power in the hospital and kills a guard. Tara, confined to a wheelchair, is hiding in her room and then hits Richie with a phone thinking he is Ghostface. He asks if she’s ok and then Ghostface appears behind Richie. He hits Richie but then Tara hits Ghostface with an IV tower and tries to roll herself to safety.
Tara, badly injured from the original attack, is moving incredibly slow. Sam frantically calls Tara’s phone to see if she is ok and Ghostface answers. He tells Sam if she chooses one of Richie or Tara to live he will only kill the other and not both. Sam, stalling for time, then shows up in the elevator with Dewey. Dewey shoots at Ghostface and Ghostface runs off.
Ghostface then returns and wrestles Dewey, who eventually shoots Ghostface multiple times in the chest. Just as everyone packs in the elevator to leave the hospital, Dewey says he’s going back to shoot Ghostface in the head because “you have to shoot them in the head or they always come back.”
Hovering over Ghostface with his gun ready, Dewey’s phone rings. It’s Gale calling to see where he is. Distracted, Ghostface pops up and stabs Dewey like 80 billion times and Dewey dies in a lake of his own blood.
Amber throws a Wes memorial rager at her house which turns out to be Stu’s house from the first movie. Oh, and randomly Randy is Chad and Mindy’s uncle (sure). Ghostface attacks Tara’s friends at the memorial. He stabs Chad after luring him outside, pretending to be Liv.
Back at the hospital, Sam tells Tara they’re “doing what no one does, getting out of Woodsboro.” Sidney and Gale attempt to change Sam’s mind, begging her to help them stop Ghostface once and for all. Sam refuses, and Sidney places a tracking device on Richie’s car.
As Richie, Sam, and Tara are driving, Tara realizes she doesn’t have her inhaler and needs to stop by Amber’s house to get her spare. After some strong resistance from Richie, he caves and the three go to Amber’s. Richie turns on the lights and kicks everyone out of the house, except for Tara’s inner circle of friends. Sidney and Gale realize that Amber’s house is Stu’s house and call Sam telling her the killer must have manipulated them into going there and to leave immediately.
Mindy is watching the original Stab by herself on a couch, specifically the scene that recreates Ghostface appearing behind Randy. Ghostface appears behind Mindy on the couch and stabs her but is then attacked by Sam and runs off. Then, everyone ends up in the living room, and Liv comes in a huge panic because she found Chad outside seriously injured. Amber then accuses Liv of being Ghostface. When Liv screams at Amber that she is not the killer, Amber says “I know” and pulls out a gun and shoots Liv in the face. Everyone then sprints out of the room.
Gale and Sidney show up and Amber comes out to the front porch, pretending to be injured to lure them into a death trap. Gale asks Sidney what she thinks and Sidney says “not buying it,” so Amber says “screw it” and shoots Gale in the stomach.
Sidney then gets in the house and gets a phone call from Ghostface. While on the phone Sidney says “I’ve seen this movie before, this is the most derivative of them all.” Sidney shoots Richie thinking he is Ghostface, but then Ghostface pops out and tackles Sidney over the bannister and they both fall off the second floor to the main hallway. As they struggle to move after the fall, Sam rushes down and grabs the gun. Richie then comes down to help Sam, takes the gun, but then stabs Sam.
Richie and Amber then take Sam and Sidney into the kitchen to recreate the ending to the original movie. They explain they’re upset that no one cares about the fans of the Stab franchise and none of the Stab movies have been good since the original anyway so it needed a fresh, quality installment. Richie and Amber explain they’re going to pin the entire thing on Sam, who went crazy from the stress of being BIlly’s daughter and lured Sidney back to Woodsboro to kill her. Richie shows Sam he stole Tara’s inhaler as a way to get Tara to pine to go to Amber’s.
Through a series of events, Gale and Sidney end up in the kitchen with Amber while Richie is chasing Sam and Tara around the house. Amber beats up both Sidney and Gale by herself. Amber thinks she’s about to kill them, but Sidney hits her in the head with a vodka bottle. Stammering around, Amber accidentally turns on the stove. Gale then shoots Amber who falls onto the fire and then ignites as she is drenched in alcohol.
Back in the main hallway, Richie is beating up Sam. Sam sees Billy in the hallway mirror who points out there is a knife behind the curtain. She crawls over and grabs the knife, but Richie pins her down and is about to shoot her. Sam then says “I’m adding a new rule, don’t fuck the daughter of a serial killer,” then then goes full psycho and stabs Richie 60 trillion times. A half dead Amber then comes screaming in and Tara shoots her in the head.
Ghostface has his strengths. Their murder plots are always intricate and brilliant. They toy with their victims, either on the phone or while killing them. But the shortcomings can’t be ignored. First, with the exception of Scream 3, Ghostface is always a tandem. Ghostface is clumsy, as he’s always falling over furniture and easily losing wrestling matches, getting left to watch his would be victims run away. He dies at the end of each movie.
But most importantly, Ghostface changes every film. Scream 5 even flat out says “the problem with Stab is there’s no Michael or Jason that just keeps coming.” Each individual rendition of Ghostface is better than the slashers in Tier 4, but due to the constant changing of who Ghostface is he just can’t be ranked any higher.
Real World Comparison: Jeffrey Dahmer – Just like Dahmer, Leatherface is a serial killer and cannibal. Dahmer’s reign of terror lasted from 1978-1991, while the original film lineage spans 1974-1995. When Dahmer was arrested, human remains were found all over his apartment, including four severed heads, seven skulls, two human hearts, portions of an arm, an entire torso, and a bag of organs, in addition to two entire skeletons. This is strikingly similar to a room in Leatherface’s house, where Pam stumbles in and trips (shown below at the 1:18 mark of the first clip).
The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is the most terrifying film I have ever seen. It “[has] a reputation as one of the best and most influential horror films. It is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons, the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure, and the killing of victims.”
Leatherface and his family of cannibals are jump-off-the-screen psychotic. Not like “nah dude he’s insane,” or “she’s just crazy, don’t worry about.” No, no. They’re not the throwaway slang “crazy.” They’re spend-five-minutes-with-them-and-YOU-end-up-in-a-padded-room-fucking-bonkers. All you need to know is Leatherface’s mask is made out of human skin. Well before John Travolta and Nicholas Cage starred in the greatest movie ever made, Leatherface was wearing other people’s faces for shits and gigs.
The entire premise, at least in the original film, feels overtly plausible. These psychopaths isolate themselves in a decrepit farm house. Their house is littered with bones and human remains. They kill anyone and everyone they can get their hands on, and then cook them. They have their organization down to a science.
After watching the original movie, I thought Leatherface might be at worst a Tier 2 villain. This dude is horrifying. His screams alone can induce a heart attack. The mere sight of his hammer and chainsaw wielding is debilitating. Oh, and also, HE IS WEARING A DEAD PERSON’S FACE AS A FUCKING MASK.
We first meet Leatherface about a third of the way through the original movie. A group of five teenagers are road tripping in a van and decide to spend the night at one of their uncle’s houses. Unknowingly, the uncle’s house is across the way from the cannibal factory. Low on gas for their van, Kirk and Pam knock on Leatherface’s farmhouse door. When no one answers, Kirk walks in to try to find someone and ask to borrow gas. Kirk walks toward a hallway decorated with bull skulls and out comes Leatherface who bashes Kirk with a sledgehammer. As Kirk lay on the ground convulsing, Leatherface hits him again before dragging him off.
Pam, wondering what’s taking Kirk so long, then looks about the house herself and finds an entire room filled with furniture made out of bones, a stockpile of skulls (animal and human), and the floor covered in bird feathers. Pam goes to run away, but Leatherface grabs her by the hair and drags her to his butcher room. Leatherface then throws Pam on a meathook through her back, and she is forced to watch as Leatherface takes a chainsaw to Kirk’s head.
A third friend from the gang, Jerry, sets out in search of Pam and Kirk after they’ve been missing awhile. Jerry comes across the farm house, finds his way to the butcher room where Leatherface is surprised to see him, and Leatherface promptly bashes him to death with a hammer.
Two teenagers remain; Sally and Franklin Hardesty. The brother and sister, concerned that their friends are no where to be found, venture into the woods to look for them. Along the way, Leatherface pops out with his chainsaw and dices up Franklin, who is confined to a wheelchair. Sally takes off running and Leatherface chases her. The ensuing chase demonstrates a consistent theme throughout the franchise; the absolute stamina of Leatherface to run down these teenagers on foot while toting a chainsaw.
Sally runs into the farmhouse and tries to hide upstairs. She then finds the CREEPIEST corpses propped up in chairs, a male and female, and understandably wants to relocate. With Leatherface in hot pursuit, she jumps out a window and runs back into the woods. Leatherface comes sprinting after her.
Sally reaches a gas station and tells the proprietor to call the cops. Turns out, the proprietor is Leatherface’s dad and he ties Sally up and brings her back to the farm house. Leatherface’s brother, a freak show who appears in the beginning of the movie as a hitchhiker, arrives back at the house at the same time as the dad and Sally.
Inside, Leatherface changed into drag and is “preparing” dinner. Another habitual occurrence in each movie is the ending involves Leatherface’s family getting dinner ready while the lone survivor of the group, always a girl, is bound and gagged at the dinner table waiting to be executed.
Fast forward and everyone has sat down for supper, and now Leatherface is wearing a tuxedo. The dad tells the brother to “go get grandpa” and we find out those corpses upstairs are the grandparents. The brother cuts Sally’s finger to draw blood in order to feed grandpa, and it turns out, HE’S ALIVE! He’s approximately 250 years old and starts drinking Sally’s blood.
The family then decides it’s time to kill Sally and stop tormenting her, but they want grandpa to do it. With the brother holding Sally, they give the grandfather the hammer, but he is too weak to do any damage. While the family is somewhat distracted trying to cheer on and energize the grandpa, Sally breaks free and runs away. The finale of the film is the most disturbing sequence you’ll ever see.
Unfortunately, the sequel makes Leatherface a doofus and introduces his biggest weakness; he keeps falling in love with the last girl still alive. Credit where credit is due though. The second movie is set 13 years later, and after the entire state of Texas went looking for this family upon hearing Sally Hardesty’s story, not a shred of evidence was found in order to corroborate it. They didn’t even find the farm house.
There has, however, been a series of chainsaw related deaths across the state of Texas during this timeframe, but obviously they’re completely unrelated to Sally’s story. No one believes her, except for one man; Lieutenant Boude Enright, also known as Lefty. Oh, and Lefty is Sally and Franklin’s uncle. He has spent the last 13 years trying to track down the Sawyer family (by the way, Leatherface’s family is the Sawyers) and is adamant they’re responsible for Rick and Buzz’s deaths.
Oh, so the sequel starts off with Rick and Buzz, who are these two annoying teenagers, continuously calling a radio host, Stretch, and screaming nonsense while driving. The first time they call, they play a game of chicken with a pickup truck headed toward them and run the truck off the road. The second time they call, at night, the truck is back and they begin to drag race. As the truck draws even, Leatherface pops out of the bed wearing a dead person as a costume, and starts dancing around. He then cuts through the car, sawing Buzz’s head, who is driving, and the car crashes.
Leatherface doesn’t actually record another kill for the rest of the movie. But he does spend like half the time gyrating with his saw brandished above his head.
Immediately following the GIF above, Stretch locks herself in the back room for the radio studio to get away from Leatherface and his new brother, Chop Top. Leatherface bursts through the wall with pure, unadulterated testosterone, and corners Stretch. He’s about to kill her, but she basically seduces him with dirty talk. He then creepily moves the edge of his chainsaw about her legs and privates, throws a rage fit, and leaves without killing her.
Insistent on stopping these people, Stretch follows Leatherface and Chop Top to their hideout. She falls down a trap door and essentially finds herself in the bowels of hell. The dad/gas station proprietor from the first film is back as Drayton Sawyer, who sells human meat chili all over Texas. He’s set up an entire secret lair for the family’s chili operation in what looks like the core of the earth.
Stretch finds herself in a room where Leatherface is cutting the face off of Stretch’s radio producer, CG. Stretch, while hiding, accidentally makes noise, and Leatherface finds her. She pleads with Leatherface to help her get out of wherever she is, and due to his crush on her, he obliges. Leatherface’s brilliant plan is to dress Stretch up like him so she can walk out, so he puts CG’s face on Stretch. The entire time Stretch keeps saying “oh my god, ew, it’s wet, please no, please no,” but Leatherface insists. He then forces her to dance with him.
Meanwhile, Lefty shows up with three chainsaws of his own, and Stretch attempts to escape. Obviously we progress to Leatherface preparing family dinner, with grandpa in attendance (he is now like 6 billion years old), and Stretch tied up. Leatherface repeatedly refuses to kill stretch because he’s in love with her. The Sawyers once again give grandpa a hammer so he can be the one to kill Stretch. Once again, it doesn’t work.
Bam, Lefty comes in wielding a chainsaw and then has a chainsaw sword fight with Leatherface on top of the dinner table. After awhile, Lefty drives a chainsaw through Leatherface’s stomach and out his back. With Leatherface’s guts exposed, the dad, hiding under the table, sets off a grenade to destroy all evidence of the operation. It detonates directly under Leatherface’s feet.
In case you were wonder, Stretch escaped the lair before the explosion, and kills Chop Top with the grandmother’s chainsaw. The closing scene is Stretch gyrating around with a chainsaw over her head.
But don’t worry! Leatherface didn’t die from being mutilated and blown to hell. He’s back for the third installment of the franchise without any explanation provided. His near death experience apparently messed with his psyche, as he’s no longer here just for comic relief. Leatherface immediately pops out of the darkness and attacks our new friends, Ryan and Michelle. As they drive off, Leatherface rips the trunk off the car.
Michelle and Ryan find this dude Benny, and they decide to wonder about the woods. Leatherface pops up and fights Benny, who manages to knock Leatherface’s chainsaw away from him. Not to fret! Leatherface came prepared. He pulls a mini electric blade out of his pocket and cuts Benny. He picks up his chainsaw and goes to kill Benny, but Sara, the sister of a previous Leatherface victim, yells at him from across the woods because she is also here for some reason. Leatherface chases after Sara, eventually catches her, strangles her, and then drives his chainsaw through her.
Michelle and Ryan, trekking through the woods elsewhere, notice all the booby traps laid on the ground. Given it’s night, they’re hard to see. Leatherface appears in the darkness, and as the two run away, Ryan gets caught in a bear trapped. As Leatherface comes over to murder him with his chainsaw, Ryan tells Michelle to just run for it.
This whole thing results with Leatherface having a crush on Michelle, the entire scheme being a family affair, and a final fight between Leatherface, Benny, and Michelle in a pond. Benny and Leatherface have a fist fight that they both kind of win. We think Leatherface is dead but then he pops out of the pond and grabs Michelle. Michelle then hits Leatherface in the head with a rock and he sinks back into the pond.
Benny and Michelle head for safety and the last frame shows Leatherface’s legs standing there. So, obviously, we’re onto the fourth movie. Leatherface is back to his roots, as he initially chases a high school girl, Heather. She locks herself in a bathroom and he punches through the door, grabs her, and after putting her in a meat locker at first, decides to throw her up on a meat hook.
Jenny, our new main girl, jumps out of a moving car driven by Leatherface’s new brother, Vilmer. She runs into the woods and is attacked by Leatherface. He chases her through the woods and a river, and she ends up at, you guessed it, the family’s farm house. She runs upstairs and then jumps out a window onto the roof. Leatherface follows her onto the roof, so Jenny climbs up an antenna. As Leatherface is cutting down the antenna, Jenny, in a feat achievable by only Simone Biles, flings herself off the antenna and grabs a wire suspended in the trees. Leatherface then cuts the wire and Jenny falls to the ground, so now we’re onto the second chase scene through the woods.
Jenny seeks refuge from Darla, who we first met as some innocent insurance agent, but turns out she’s part of the new family. Darla and E.W., another lunatic, beat Jenny with a cattle prod and take her back to the house. But first, Darla picks up some pizzas for dinner.
Once again everyone is getting ready for dinner while Jenny is basically preparing to die. Leatherface, who is now back to wearing women’s clothes, is just about to kill Jenny when she uses Vilmer’s cybernetic leg as a distraction. Jenny escapes, runs down an RV, and jumps on board while the RV is moving (seriously, get this girl on Team USA). Leatherface from the bed of a pickup truck terrorizes the RV with his chainsaw, causing it to capsize. Seriously, he literally *scared* an RV into flipping over.
As Vilmer and Leatherface close in on killing Jenny, a plane that’s about to crash land hits Vilmer and kills him. Leatherface begins to cry and Jenny hops in a limo that’s just magically there. He then flails about, screaming and shaking his chainsaw.
Leatherface, the hulking cannibal that wears human flesh as a mask, is macabre. His combination of brute strength, stamina, and desire to fucking cut you up and eat you is a package perhaps unrivaled by any entrant on this list. However, in classic idiot male fashion, he keeps getting distracted by the pretty girl that comes along. His kill count also lags behind the contestants that landed higher on this list. Perhaps most importantly though, Leatherface is always part of a multi-person operation, where as everyone in Tier 1 and Tier 2 is a lone wolf.
5. The Fisherman (Ben Willis)
Real World Comparison: The 2007 Patriots – Caught up in scandal and left for dead, the Patriots went on a revenge tour, murdering everyone who wronged them. After breezing their way to the final showdown, they narrowly lose to a rag tag team that never should have been there in the first place.
The Fisherman, avenging his daughter’s death, is presumed dead after being hit by a car and left to drown. He then returns to town and goes on a murder spree before ultimately losing to a rag tag bunch of teenagers that have no business prevailing.
If I was doing a superlatives section at the end, The Fisherman would win “exceeded expectations by the most extravagant amount.” When I first watched I Know What You Did Last Summer over a year ago, the entire time I thought to myself “this movie wishes it was Scream.” Turns out, I was spot on:
I Know What You Did Last Summer was a screenplay penned by Kevin Williamson several years beforehand, which was then rushed into production by Columbia Pictures upon the success of the Williamson-written Scream (1996).
Anyway, since the movie was terrible, I dismissed ole Ben as any good. Upon a rewatch, and then watching the sequel, The Fisherman is an absolute menace.
Trapped inside a slasher movie where they decided to cast every 90’s teen heartthrob, The Fisherman is significantly overlooked and underrated. Four teenagers – Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Ray (Freddy Prinze Jr.), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Barry (Ryan Phillippee) – run over Ben Willis by accident while driving like assholes. They then dump his body in the water in an attempt to get away with it. Oh, and for some reason Johnny Galecki is here.
A year later Ben returns to town to terrorize, taunt, and murder Julie and her friends. The Fisherman is incredibly stealthful, intellectually superior, inordinately strong, and has inscrutable perseverance.
The Fisherman sends Julie a letter saying “I know what you did last summer!” In her panic, she runs and tells the others that were there that night. Assuming it to be impossible the letter came from the guy they ran over, Barry points the figure to Max, played by Johnny Galecki, who was the only other person there. Max works down at the docks in a fish market, and Barry goes and threatens him. Barry and the group of friends then leave assuming the situation has been handled.
Back in the fish market, Max leaves a hook on an ice block as he goes to grab some fish. As Max is preparing the fish on a table, The Fisherman appears out of the fog, stabs Max in the throat under his chin with the hook, lifts him up, slams him down, and then pulls his body across the table as if Max was the weight of a piece of paper.
The Fisherman then leaves Barry a threat before attacking him. Barry is taking a shower at a gym, and when he gets back to his locker he finds a picture of a car sticking out with “I KNOW” written on the back. He then notices his jacket is missing and asks the front desk guy who else has been in the facility. Hearing a car start outside, Barry runs out and chases the car, which is speeding away backwards, assuming the driver stole his jacket. The car then stops, turns on the lights, and guns it toward Barry. Barry zig zags in an attempt to get away, but he eventually is cornered against a wooden wall. The Fisherman then rockets forward, hitting Barry and catching him on the hood, and then crashes through the wall.
With Barry injured and immobile, The Fisherman calmly gets out of the car, walks over to Barry, hovers above him, and flashes his hook. We then see Barry alive in the hospital.
Helen is up next. After returning home the next evening, Helen is grabbing a drink while her dad watches a baseball game. The Fisherman sneaks into the house by silently waltzing through the front door. He goes up to Helen’s bedroom and hides in the closet. Helen then goes into her room, where she gets into an argument with her sister, Elsa. Elsa needs help at the family store the next day, but Helen has to attend the 4th of July parade as the outgoing Pageant queen. Annoyed, Elsa jabs Helen for being obsessed with her hair, leaves, and Helen goes to sleep. When Helen awakes in the morning her hair has been chopped off and “SOON” is written across her mirror in lipstick.
The following morning, Julie finds Max’s corpse wearing Barry’s stolen jacket in her trunk and covered in crabs. When she goes to show her friends, the body and crabs are gone. Barry and Helen then go to participate in the 4th of July parade, which leads into the Beauty Pageant. While on stage, Helen sees The Fisherman lurking behind Barry up on the balcony. She screams for help as The Fisherman slashes Barry to death. With everyone paying attention to Helen, no one looks up at the balcony.
Helen finally convinces a cop to go up and investigate the balcony with her. When they get up there, The Fisherman, Barry, and any traces of evidence are gone. That is some quick work to cover up a bloodbath.
The cop then drives Helen home. However, along the way they come across a man having engine trouble. The cop gets out to offer assistance. From the backseat of the squad car, Helen realizes the man is The Fisherman and screams to the cop it’s the murderer. The cop gets distracted looking back at Helen, and when he turns back around The Fisherman kills him. Trapped in the backseat of the cop car, Helen breaks the window and runs away as The Fisherman pursues her.
Helen reaches town and runs to Elsa’s store. She bangs on the door for Elsa to let her in, then tells Elsa to lock the doors while Helen goes and calls the police. As Elsa is locking the backdoor, The Fisherman appears having already snuck inside. He then kills Elsa and moves her body by carrying her by his hook lodged inside her stomach.
Hearing the commotion, Helen goes to check on her sister. Slowly moving about in a terrified manner, Helen ends up by a row of mannequins covered in plastic wrap. The Fisherman, posing as a mannequin under plastic, then tackles Helen. She manages to get away, run upstairs, and escape out a window while The Fisherman is chasing after her. Once out of the store, Helen goes down an alley, sees fireworks and hears a parade, and goes to the parade to seek help. Just as she is about to reach the street, The Fisherman appears, having freaking teleported from the store to the alley, and kills Helen as the parade marches by, making too much noise for anyone to hear Helen’s cries for help.
While this is happening, Julie realizes the crazed Fisherman is Ben Willis, and that they ran him over moments after Ben had killed David Egan, as David had accidentally killed Ben’s daughter, Susie Willis, in a car crash. She goes to the docks to tell Ray, and Julie, Ray, and Ben end up on a boat together.
Julie does not realize who Ben is at first and thinks he is trying to help her. Once aboard, Julie finds newspaper clippings and photos of her and her friends in the main cabin, and Ben reveals himself to Julie as the killer. Ben then departs the dock, kicks the boat into high gear, and spends the rest of the movie fist fighting Ray and throwing him overboard in between chasing Julie around the boat. Julie at one point finds an ice chamber below deck and tries to barricade herself inside, which results in her finding Barry and Helen’s dead bodies.
Ray manages to climb back aboard after latching onto the fishing net, hits Ben with a sailing instrument, and helps Julie climb out of the ice chamber. Ben then punches Ray and begins choking Julie. As he draws back to slash Julie, his hand gets stuck in a rope. Ray hits a switch which pulls Ben into the air and subsequently has his hand chopped off when he reaches the top of the sail. Ben the falls, catches his foot in the rope, is swung out over the water, and then the rope falls off the pulley and Ben falls into the water as the boat speeds away.
But don’t worry. Once again Ben’s body is never actually recovered and we’re onto the sequel. Gotta love Hollywood baby.
The movie starts off with two important setups; Julie has vivid nightmares of The Fisherman, and Julie’s new best friend, Karla, wins a radio contest and receives four free tickets to the Bahamas. The M. Knight twist at the end is the contest was a hoax and this entire ordeal was a plot to get Julie stuck on a desolate island during hurricane season.
The Fisherman transitions into a full blown, indiscriminate serial killer. Yes, he killed Max and a cop in the first movie, but he mostly sought to kill those that wronged him. In the sequel, The Fisherman fully embraces the dark side and just murders everyone on the island.
First, he pulls the dockhand, Darick, into the water with rope. When Darick pops out of the water and grabs onto the dock, The Fisherman is standing over him, and kills him. Later, the innocent house keeper discovers some bloody sheets as she’s making her rounds, and The Fisherman kills her and drags her off using his hook while still lodged in her.
He then appears in Julie’s room, and vanishes into the closet. When Julie becomes suspicious and checks the closet, she notices a spot of blood on the floor and then Darick’s body falls from above, and is held up by a noose. Julie gets her friends, and the hotel manager Mr. Brooks, to look in the closet. However, when they arrive back at the room, there is nothing in the closet and it’s sparkling clean. This is the second time now The Fisherman taunted Julie with a messy dead body only for her to return with her friends shortly after and the entire scene is cleaned up, making her look crazy.
Jack Black, the resort’s resident stoner, is getting high in room when The Fisherman stabs his hand, pinning it to the table. He then uses hedge trimmers to stab Jack Black in the chest. The gang, having split up, begin to discover the bodies. Karla finds the housekeeper in a dryer, while Tyrell and Will, the two guys that accompanied Karla and Julie on the trip, find Jack Black sliced upppp in his room.
The Fisherman then locks Julie in a tanning bed using a zip-tie, and cranks the setting up to infinite maximum. Karla, Tyrell, and Will, having found each other after discovering the bodies, hear Julie’s cries for help and run to her rescue. Instead of turning the dial back down to a normal setting, or, I dunno, just hitting the off switch, Karla and Will look for something sharp while Tyrell tries to just break the zip-tie by hand. Tyrell is unsuccessful, but Will smashes the bed handles with a weight and they pull Julie out.
They then go to find the hotel manager to demand off the island. One problem, The Fisherman got to Mr. Brooks first.
If there is a single image to convey just how ruthless homeboy is, it’s how he kills off Mr. Brooks and leaves Julie and her friends a message:
Julie explains the backstory of The Fisherman to everyone, but no one believes her. They then suspect the murderer is Estes, this voodoo guy who works at the resort. They confront Estes who is like “no, I know who it is, let me show you something,” and brings them out to a graveyard in the pouring rain. At the grave yard there is a hole dug and a tombstone that has Julie’s name, date of birth, and year of death painted in red.
Will chases after Estes for more information while the other three go back to the resort to look for weapons. In the kitchen they grab knives and find the bar tender, Nancy, hiding in the freezer. Thinking they’re safe, Tyrell says they should find food because he is starving. While standing still, Tyrell begins to rant about how terrible this vacation is (no shit). As he’s complaining, The Fisherman drops down behind Tyrell and stabs him through the neck. He then chases Julie, Karla, and Nancy.
The three girls escape the compound and run to the storm shelter. There, they turn on the lights and discover a museum of dead bodies. An injured Will shows up and says it’s safe to go back to the resort and they need to hurry. At the resort, Nancy and Karla go off in search of first aid for Will, and Julie stays with Will trying to stop the bleeding. Only, Will isn’t bleeding. He tells Julie it’s actually Estes’s blood and Julie realizes Will is in on the scheme.
Elsewhere, Estes, impaled by a spear, falls on top of Nancy, trapping her. The Fisherman walks over and pushes the spear through Nancy to the floor. Karla runs away.
Ben brings Julie out to the graveyard, and, surprise, The Fisherman is there. Julie asks Will why he’s doing this and Will reveals himself to be Ben Willis’ son. Will’s supposed last name is Benson, and he says to Julie, “get it? Benson. Ben-son.”
As The Fisherman goes to kill Julie, Ray shows up with a gun. He tries to shoot The Fisherman but the gun won’t fire. Will then tackles and fist fights Ray. Will beats Ray and is holding him for his dad to kill. As The Fisherman swings at Ray, Ray hits Will in the face, moves out of the way, and The Fisherman stabs Will, killing his son.
In an absolute rage, The Fisherman rushes toward Ray. Just as this happens, Julie shoots him. He turns around and Julie then shoots the five remaining bullets into his torso, and he falls into the grave that he had dug for Julie. Julie, Ray, and Karla then leave the island alive.
The end of the movie shows Julie and Ray living together in a newly purchased house. Ray is brushing his teeth in the bathroom when the bathroom door closes. Julie hears weird noises, checks a window, and the camera sees muddy footprints that Julie does not notice. Julie then sits down on the edge of her bed, and a mirror shows The Fisherman under the bed, who then grabs Julie by the legs and drags her under as well. The movie then ends.
The audience is left guessing if the last scene was just another of Julie’s dreams from the beginning of the film, or if The Fisherman was wearing some kind of V for Vendetta metal plate under his raincoat and survived those gunshots. We’ll never know, but I really wouldn’t put anything past this fucker.
Tier 2 – Just Give Me the Cyanide Pill
Real World Comparison: The Zodiac Killer – Just like the Zodiac Killer, Billy preys on young adults and teenagers and has seven confirmed kills but presumably more. Billy constantly taunts his future victims with phone calls, similar to how Zodiac would taunt the police by sending them letters and ciphers. Neither of them is ever caught.
An entry from north of the boarder! Billy is the killer in Black Christmas, which is a Canadian film based on murders in Montreal. The film, released in 1974, is noted for being one of the earliest slasher films and praised for its influence on Halloween (1978). With the slasher Golden Age beginning in 1978, coinciding with Halloween’s theatrical release, a fair conclusion by the transitive property is Black Christmas had significant influence on the genre.
Billy, who is never fully seen by the camera, nor his backstory explained, sneaks his way into the attic of a sorority house. The house is having a Christmas party before most of the sisters head home the next day. Throughout the movie, Billy calls the house phone, terrorizing the sisters with wickedly evil and psychotic ramblings that at times include schizophrenic dialogue between Billy and himself. It is later pieced together by the audience that Billy calls on the phone after each of his kills.
Billy’s first on-screen action comes as Clare Harrison is packing her things in her room. Before Calre returned to her room from the party, Billy had snuck into Clare’s closet and hid behind her clothes. Clare hears noises coming from the closet and goes to investigate. After not finding anything she turns her back to where Billy is hiding and Billy uses a dry cleaning bag to strangle her to death. Billy then hides her up in the attic in a rocking chair, with the plastic still wrapped around her head, in full view of the attic window, as if displaying a gaming trophy.
As Billy moves about for the rest of the movie, he demonstrates incredible stealth and sneaking abilities. None of her sisters ever detect a hint of him being in the house the entire movie. He also displays an advanced intellectual ability to manipulate the evening as it progresses.
The morning after Clare’s murder, Jess, the main character, gets into a fight with her boyfriend, Peter, when she informs him she is pregnant and plans to have an abortion.
The town becomes aware that a teenage girl has gone missing and her mother has requested aid in a search party that evening. The sorority sisters who are still in town, concerned about Clare’s whereabouts themselves, volunteer to participate. The missing girl, Janice, is found dead in the park during the search.
With all the sister’s out of the house, this leaves Mrs. Mac, the house mother, home alone with Billy. Hearing rummaging in the attic, which she believes to be the cat, Mrs. Mac goes to investigate. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, Mrs. Mac discovers Clare’s corpse by the window. After nervously looking around, she spots Billy, who then uses an elaborate pulley system he designed to hit her in the head and repel her into the attic. Later in the attic, Billy rocks Clare’s dead body in the chair while cackling a laugh that would make Heath Ledger jealous.
After returning from the search party, Jess finds Peter already in the house. The two have a private conversation regarding the pregnancy and abortion. Peter is pushing for an abortion, and says to Jess “it’s just like having a wart removed.” Jess becomes upset, informs Peter her decision is final and asks him to leave. Peter leaves visibly angry just as the police Lieutenant arrives to tap the house’s phone to try to trace Billy’s calls. After tapping the phone, the Lieutenant Fuller tells Jess she needs to keep Billy on the phone for at least two minutes so they can trace the location of the call. They then show Jess there is an officer stationed outside the house so she and her friends can feel safe.
Barb, another sorority sister, is Billy’s next victim. He sneaks into her room where she had passed out drunk, but she begins screaming when she sees him walking toward her. Jess comes to check on Barb and Billy hides. Barb believes she just had a nightmare of a man approaching her. After Jess leaves, Billy re-emerges and stabs Barb repeatedly with the horn of a glass unicorn.
Billy then calls the house and Jess answers. In the middle of his psycho babble, Billy says to Jess “it’s just like having a wart removed” to throw the scent onto Peter. Independently, the cops are suspicious of Peter due to his hostile exit earlier in the evening. Lieutenant Fuller calls the house to tell Jess the call was not long enough to trace but he believes Peter may be behind all this. Jess and her other friend, Phyl, go around and lock up all the doors and windows. In the process, Phyl sees Barb’s door closed and goes to check on Barb only to meet her fate with Billy.
Billy calls the house again, and this time remains on the line long enough to trace the call. The police then inform Jess the calls are coming from inside the house and to leave immediately. Concerned for Barb and Phyl, Jess goes upstairs to get them before fleeing. As she looks into Barb’s room, she sees both Barb and Phyl’s bloody bodies, and then notices Billy’s eye peeping at her through a hole in the door. Jess slams the door into Billy and runs away. At the bottom of the stairs, Billy grabs Jess by the hair but she manages to escape and hide in the basement.
During all this, the cops rush to the house. Upon their arrival they realize Billy slit the throat of the officer stationed outside. They then begin to make their way around back. Meanwhile, Jess is hiding in the basement and notices Peter in the window trying to get her attention. Peter then breaks into the basement and finds Jess in hiding. Convinced Peter is the killer, Jess kills Peter with a fire poker. The cops find Jess barely conscious with Peter’s slain body on top of her.
Believing the incident is over, the police leave Jess alone in a bedroom asleep and head to the station to answer questions from the press. The camera then pans to the attic door, where Billy’s voice is audibly heard. We then see the bodies of Clare and Mrs. Mac in the attic, before pulling out to see a full shot of the house. As the credits roll, the house phone is heard ringing, implying Billy finally killed Jess.
Of all the slasher villains, Billy is easily the most terrifying. The mystery of his identity and ambiguity of how many murders he has is jarring. Billy is never caught, insinuating he is still at large. The creepiest aspect to Billy is how plausible the entire movie is. Billy is a murderous psychopath that stalks and kills young women and gets away with it. The realistic story arc is eery, and after binging like 6 thousand slasher movies in order to write this article, Black Christmas is the only one where after I watched it I went and made sure my doors were locked.
3. Freddy Krueger
Real World Comparison: Lindsay Lohan – Lindsay Lohan’s performance in The Parent Trap introduced the world to a child prodigy. Alas, instead of racking up Academy Awards for 60 years, Lohan’s career was knocked off course due to obstacles someone of her stature should have overcome.
Fred Krueger has unmeasurable raw talent, but, just like Lohan, absolutely fumbles the bag. He’s as if Vecna and Darth Vader were one disgustingly evil entity, but too often he is simply thwarted by some hapless teenagers. (By the way, I hate saying Fredy is “like” Vecna since Stranger Things basically stole their entire show from The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, except for Eleven, who they stole from Friday the 13th Part VII)
did Freddy Krueger write this https://t.co/S7W1rt6IYT
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 31, 2021
When we first meet Freddy we get an in-depth preview of his mystical powers. In the first dream kill, before murdering Tina, Freddy demonstrates his ability to control your dreams, teleport, and mutilate himself without consequence. When Tina is murdered we see it from the real world perspective. Tina is cut and sliced beyond recognition, and her body is suspended in the air and moved across the ceiling. Rod, her boyfriend, witnesses the entire development and then runs for it, knowing no one will believe his innocence.
Rod was right. Nancy’s dad, who is the police Lieutenant, arrests Rod for Tina’s murder. Freddy kills Rod while Rod is in jail. However, Freddy has the wherewithal to frame Rod’s death as a suicide. He uses a sheet to hang Rod from a noose in his jail cell. He controls all of this from the underworld. Freddy’s ability to hear and understand the real world is incredible considering he’s trapped in some sadistic purgatory.
Freddy’s supernatural and telekinetic powers are not his only traits foreshadowed in the first half of the first movie. So is his Achilles heel; fucking teenagers. Nancy, Freddy’s main foe in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, tussles with Freddy halfway through the first movie. They crash through her bedroom door and fight on the bed. Freddy has her dead to rights, but Nancy somehow escapes. Like, it’s literally inexplicable.
By the way, in the first movie Nancy is dating Johnny Depp, who lives across the street. Nancy and Johnny (his name in the movie is Glen) concoct a scheme to take down Freddy. Nancy is going to go into her nightmare and bearhug Freddy, at which point Johnny Depp is going to call Nancy’s phone and wake her up which will pull Freddy out of the dream and into the real world. One problem though, Johnny Depp falls asleep himself and Freddy strikes. Glen disappears into the abyss and a volcano of blood erupts from the underworld.
To conclude the original Nightmare, Nancy does pull Freddy out of her dream and into the real world. She then spends the rest of the moving besting him in hand to hand combat. She knocks him unconscious multiple times while screaming for her father and the rest of the police to come help her as they rummage about across the street at Johnny Depp’s house. The police do not, however, come to Nancy’s aid. Nancy leads Freddy into the basement where she hides. With Freddy’s back to her, Nancy springs up and bashes him in the head with a coffee pot. Nancy then douses Freddy in gas and lights him on fire. Freddy puts up absolutely no fight during all of this.
Freddy lives though and then chases Nancy around the living room but can’t catch her. He then falls over the railing and Nancy thinks he’s dead. Surprise! He’s totally fine and he runs up and kills Nancy’s mother. In Freddy’s final stand off with Nancy, Freddy is within striking distance to finish the job. Nancy simply tells Freddy she’s not afraid of him and turns her back to him. Freddy then eviscerates into nothingness.
Nightmare on Elm Street 2 shows us just how much Freddy can control the real world from the shadow realm. The opening scene shows Freddy hijacking a school bus and driving off into the desert. While zipping through the desert, Freddy summons clouds and lightening. The bus finally comes to a stop and is perched upon a pillar in the middle of a gaping hole in the ground. Freddy ripped apart the earth’s core and opened up a direct passageway to his alternate dimension.
Jesse, the new kid in town, moved into Nancy’s old house and is promptly tormented, and then possessed, by Freddy. Freddy terrorizes Jesse’s entire family. One night, Freddy turns up the heat in the house to 97 degrees, makes the pet bird go insane and fly about demonically, and then explodes the bird while airborne. Later that night, as Jesse stands over the sink, lightening strikes through the window with pinpoint accuracy to destroy the plates on the drying rack next to the sink. The next day, the toaster catches on fire despite not being plugged in.
Freddy uses Jesse to kill Coach Schneider and Jesse’s friend Grady. Each time we see an elaborate hallucination of the murder, before it’s reveal it was really Jesse. Coach Schneider is drug from his office to the locker room shower by jump ropes. In the shower Schneider is tied up by the jump ropes and whipped by towels before Freddy shows up and slashes him to death. The camera then pans and shows Freddy’s glove of knives on Jesse’s hand.
Towards the end of the film Jesse runs to Grady’s house begging Grady to let him sleep there that night. Jesse is worried he can’t control himself and will kill again. This goes exactly as you predicted. Jesse kills Grady. But first, Freddy EMERGES OUT OF JESSE’S STOMACH and heinously slaughters Grady as his parents listen through the door to his every scream.
Jesse’s girlfriend, Lisa, is throwing a rager at her house the night of Grady’s death. After Jesse rushes over to confess to Lisa what he had done, Freddy locks all the doors and windows in the house, explodes the TV, breaks the fish tank, explodes the lanterns over the pool, and then emerges from Jesse’s body. After showing himself, he attacks Lisa, who hits him with a lamp and just runs away. Don’t worry though, as Lisa is running around the house, she runs directly into Freddy and falls down. Freddy has her Dead. To. Rights. Instead of just killing her, he decides to start eating her leg. Lisa kicks him in the face and escapes.
Realizing she can’t go outside as Freddy has the doors locked, Lisa grabs a knife and begins to stab Freddy. EXCEPT YOU CAN’T EVEN FUCKING STAB HIM BECAUSE APPARENTLY HE’S JUST MADE OF COTTON???? Seriously, hit play and watch 3:20 of this video and make it make sense.
How does this dude lose? It should be impossible. But there’s a pattern developing here of Freddy just getting bested by teenagers as if we were watching Jiggly Puff just slime his way out of Donkey Kong’s crosshairs in Smash Brothers.
We’re going to move on to the next movie but we’ll be back to talk about the finale of the second installment of this franchise.
In Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Freddy is in his fucking bag. Oh you thought some cute nightmares and an exploding bird were cool? Nah homie, you ain’t seen shit. The opening dream sequence has Freddy displaying all of his kills to Kristen as a trophy case. He then has Kristen slit her wrists in her bathroom while hallucinating. Kristen’s mother thinks she is suicidal and has Kristen admitted to Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital.
The next time we see Freddy attacking Kristen in a dream he’s the fucking giant slug from The Empire Strikes Back.
Kristen escapes Freddy, and the dream, by pulling Nancy into the dream. Nancy helps Kristen fend off Slug Freddy and run to safety.
Freddy then terrorizes all of Kristen’s friends at Westin Hills (he’s also the reason they’re there in the first place). Freddy rips out Phillip’s tendons and starts controlling him like a puppet with strings. Phillip walks up to the roof of Westin Hills and jumps to his demise. Jennifer falls asleep in the break room and Freddy lifts her up and smashes her head through the television. Jennifer’s body is left hanging from the TV in the real world despite being attacked in a dream.
Freddy then lures Joey into a private room by pretending to be a hot nurse and shoots tongues at Joey to tie him to the bed. Joey then ends up in a coma. Nancy, at Joey’s bedside, tells Freddy to let Joey go. Freddy then cuts “Come and Get Him Bitch” into Joey’s chest in response.
The remaining friends at Westin decide their best course of action is to band together in a dream and fight Freddy, utilizing Kristen’s ability to pull others into her dream. Once all in the dream, Freddy is one step ahead and separates all the teenagers. He then uses trauma from their past to torture and kill them. Freddy stabs Taryn with 10 syringes of heroin he pops out of his figures. He straight up rejects Will’s wizard master, Emperor-like, lightening fingers and then stabs Will to death. He uses one of Kristen’s real memories in order to terrorize her.
Freddy then spends the rest of the movie simultaneously fighting off teenagers in dream land while defending himself against the lead doctor from Westin and Nancy’s dad. While Nancy is drop kicking Freddy in the dream (because of course he’s losing a fistfight with a teenager), Dr. Gordon convinces Nancy’s dad to bring him to Freddy’s remains so they can bury them and say a quick sermon. Freddy’s remains have been kept in the trunk of a car deep in a salvage yard this entire time.
While Dr. Gordon and Nancy’s dad are getting the remains, Freddy turns on all the car alarms from the destroyed cars in the yard to scare them off. As Dr. Gordon attempts to dump alcohol on Freddy and throw up some Hail Mary’s, Freddy pops up AS HIS OWN SKELETON, throws Nancy’s dad through a pole, buries Dr. Gordon, and then spins around as only Michael Jackson could in celebration.
Back in dream world, Freddy shows up as Nancy’s dad, tricking her into coming close. He then stabs Nancy. As he is about to stab Kristen, a half dead Nancy overpowers Freddy and stabs him with his own razor hand. Up the real world, Dr. Gordon climbs out of the dirt, throws alcohol on Freddy’s remains, and Freddy is then killed by “good.”
There’s two main points you need to know from Freddy Vs. Jason. First, Freddy brings Jason back to life through a death dream. Somehow, someway, Freddy made a dead person have a dream. Not just any dream, a dream jarring enough to get Jason’s heart pumping. Freddy then throws Jason into the real world to start murdering everyone in Springwood, Ohio, so they’ll once again fear Freddy and Freddy can then return.
Obviously all of this goes terribly wrong. In case you didn’t pick up on it from the title, Freddy and Jason have a face off (or several). Which brings us to the second main point. Freddy and Jason’s first battle, in Jason’s dream, displays Freddy as the most power Jedi in the history of the galaxy:
Palpatine fucking wishes.
Freddy’s powers are incomprehensible. He kills you in your dreams, knows your real life fears, can telekinetically control you from the shadow realm, can hear and see what’s going on in the real world, can start fires, boil water, and lightening strike with Seal Team 6 precision. With all these powers, Freddy’s kill count should rival the best of the best. However, his career ledger significantly lags behind our Tier 1villains. Despite all his abilities, Freddy loses every wrestling match with a teenager, is defeated by just fucking being ignored, and dies at the end of every movie, including melting away because Lisa kissed him (shoutout Lisa for the biggest “taking one for the team” in cinematic history).
Nothing encapsulates the essence of Freddy Krueger better than the pool scene at the end of Nightmare 2. Krueger, who can telekinetically control the temperature, summon lightening, start fires, electrify fences, and explode birds from an alternate dimension, could have killed 50 teenagers in one fell swoop. They were sitting ducks. Instead he immediately knocks over a snack table and claws like three people. I get he’s a slasher, but come on. Freddy blended the supernatural with the blade fetish, but instead of him going Super Saiyan and fast forwarding through like 25 years of cinematic progression, he is randomly stuck to the prior confides of being a slasher where you really only gut like a couple people.
Freddy should have slaughtered everyone at the pool the way Thor did when he descended upon the Bifrost in Ragnarok.
Instead, Freddy runs around like an idiot before deciding to just take his ball and go home.
Tier 1 – Absolute Units
2. Jason Voorhees
Real World Comparison: Barry Bonds – Despite being on track to be a Hall of Famer, Jason eventually enters his steroids era when he “officially” becomes supernatural, punctuated by him getting nanotech. It’s fitting Jason eventually ends up in space, as Barry Bonds was an alien god who destroyed space and time.
Similar to Black Christmas, Friday the 13th is partially based on a true set of murders. The original installment of the franchise sees Jason’s mom as the killer. The backstory is a young Jason drowned at Crystal Lake while the counselors weren’t paying attention. She seeks revenge for her dead son before ultimately losing. However, at the very end of the movie a sea-zombie Jason pops out of the lake and pulls Alice into the water. She’s later taken to the hospital and no one believes her that “a boy in the lake” dragged her under.
The sequel then shows us a full grown Jason for the first time. He somehow got out of the lake (and also survived drowning and living with Spongebob for a decade) and sneaks into Alice’s apartment and drives a knife through her temple, foreshadowing the brutal rampage that’s about to unfold over 10 movies.
Jason spends the Part II running around with a sack over his head that has only one eye hole. For a (hilarious) presentation of Jason’s evolution over the years, watch this video. He kills a cop with the back prongs of a hammer, slams a machete through one kid’s face, and impales a couple while laying on top of each other in a hammock by driving a spear through both of them all the way into the floor. He then hides under bed covers to trick his next victim into think he’s just one of the kids sleeping. The trick works.
Jason then chases around Ginny and Paul for the rest of the movie. Ginny escapes the cabin and finds Jason’s hideout in the woods. She locks herself in a room and discovers Jason’s mom’s head in a shrine. As Jason breaks in, Ginny puts on the mom’s sweater and speaks to Jason as if she is his mother. Jason, entirely detached from reality, falls for the slight of hand. As Ginny goes to axe Jason, he realizes what’s happening and defends him. Paul finally shows up and wrestles Jason. Ginny drills Jason in the neck with a machete, and Ginny and Paul head back to the cabin, thinking Jason is dead.
He ain’t dead, and he ain’t never gonna be dead for another like 450 years. Buckle up playboy.
Jason comes crashing through the window, attacking Ginny, to conclude Part II. Part III starts off with Jason sneaking into an old couple’s house/convenience store and killing them both. He then finds his way to the lake. Some of the teenagers pissed off a biker gang and the biker gang is trying to burn down the barn on the property. Jason systematically kills them all.
He first pins up Fox by the throat using a pitchfork, then stabs another with a different pitchfork. The final gang member tries to cut Jason with a machete, which Jason very simply dodges, and then just knocks the dude out cold.
One shot kid one shot.
Later in Part III Jason displays his insane sniping abilities when he hits a girl in the eye with a spear gun from DISTANCE:
He squeezes a guy’s head so hard his eye pops out:
And he one way or another guts everyone, except for Chris, who is the girl last left alive. They end up in the barn and she actually wins a fist fight with Jason. She wraps a rope around his neck and pushes him off the top of the barn. Then, the most demoralizing sequence of events takes place.
HE PULLS HIMSELF UP THE ROPE, EXPOSES HIS HIDEOUS FACE, AND SLIPS OFF THE NOOSE. He then takes an axe to the head but just keeps charging at Chris. Eventually he collapses, presumably dead.
Nope, Part IV starts with Jason being transported from the barn, where he is laying dead, to the morgue. He then is just alive. Jason decapitates a doctor and then kills a nurse by holding her up by the throat and then slicing opened her entire upper body. He leaves the morgue and comes across a teenager in the woods and drives a knife through the back of their throat and out the front.
He makes his way to, you guessed it, the lake and attacks a girl on a raft. When her boyfriend swims out not knowing she’s been killed, Jason stabs him in the leg and lifts him up over his head while standing in water.
Back at the house where everyone is staying, Jason wreaks havoc. Part IV truly is when Jason goes from rampage killer to absolute killing machine. He stabs a girl with a spear then pins her to the outside of the house. Next Jason slams a needle down on a guy’s hand then drills a machete into his forehead. He throws one girl out of a window. Jason attacks a young lad who is in the shower by punching throw the glass, penetrating his eyeballs, and crushing his skull through the shower wall. Jason then again shows off his incredible sniping ability. He throws an axe blindly through a door and absolutely nails a girl in the heart.
He later crashes through a window, grabbing Tommy, a young boy central to the plot. Tommy’s older sister Trish then repeatedly hits Jason in the head with a hammer, seemingly causing no damage. She eventually stabs him in the neck with the backside of the hammer and Jason releases Tommy. Don’t worry though, Jason is fine.
Twice in Party IV Jason chucks someone through a window with an incredible combination of speed, force, velocity, and distance. He takes a TV to the head, getting electrocuted, and then just wakes up. After chasing Trish around for like 20 minutes, she slices his hand in half with a machete. It’s fine though, he keeps coming at her.
He then pins her down and as she desperately tries to fend him off. Tommy then comes down the stairs after shaving his head in an effort to look like Jason as a child. Jason gets confused, isn’t paying attention, and Trish hits him in the head with a machete. He shrugs it off and goes toward her.
Tommy then drives the blade into Jason’s head, and Jason falls down face first and has his whole head slide down the machete and through his skull. Jason’s pinky finger then moves and Tommy goes full psycho and hits Jason 50 trillion times with the blade as Trish screams bloody murder.
After Part V bombed in theaters because Jason isn’t actually in it, Jason is revived in Part VI by having his corpse dug up by Tommy who then stabs Jason’s body with a metal fence post. Two lightning bolts strike the post, causing Jason to come back to life. In Wikipedia’s opinion, Part VI “made him an explicitly supernatural force for the first time in the series. This version of Jason, [is] an undead and more powerful superhuman.”
Now, I’m no paranormal expert, nor am I of any authority to argue with the great minds over at Wikipedia. But considering this entire franchise started with Jason not actually drowning in a lake, living down there for years, emerging later as a hulking adult, and withstanding an inhuman amount of physical abuse and traumatic injuries before “dying” in Part IV, I’m of the humble opinion Jason has always been supernatural. But I digress.
Anyway, after dying in Part VI by being chained and sunk to the bottom of the lake, Jason is accidentally brought back to life in Part VII by Tina, a young girl with telekinetic powers (who 28 years later would be ripped off and turned into Eleven).
Tina, while at the lake, tries to bring her dad back to life using her powers. Instead, she revives a dead Jason. Jason wakes up, breaks the chains, and heads to the surface.
Jason drills a dude in the back with a knife from distance, once again displaying his American Sniper super skill. He punches through a wall, grabs a girl, and then slashes her after punching his other hand through the wall. Jason then crushes Ben’s skull with his hands and impales Katie’s eye with a fucking birthday screamer.
But Part VII is really about the ultimate battle between Jason and Tina. Tina, who tilts her head when using her powers (seriously, indict the Duffer Brothers) ties Jason down in a puddle and then uses a power line she ripped off the pole to electrocute him. He’s alive though.
The two end up back at the house, and Tina begins to throw furniture at Jason and collapses the house on him. Still alive. She slams a light through his face and he falls down the stairs only to burst back out. She then crushes his mask by tightening it around his head. Tina uses the cord from a ceiling light as a noose to hang Jason. While Jason is suspended in the air Tina breaks the floor, opening a hole to the basement, and drops Jason down. Still alive.
In the basement Tina shoots screws at Jason, douses him in gasoline, and sets him ablaze. Tina and her boyfriend Nick make their way out to the dock where Jason appears because he’s absolutely fucking fine somehow. He throws Tina on the ground and Nick shoots Jason several times. Jason simple eats the gunfire and then throws Nick off the dock.
Finally, Tina summons her dad out of the lake and he pops up, throws a chain around Jason’s neck, and drags him to the bottom. Seriously, just watch this the battle between Jason and Tina (and OH MY GOD HIS FACE):
In Part VIII, Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason is just inexplicably alive and randomly ends up on a boat. However, he falls off the boat and then SWIMS TO MANHATTAN FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN. He goes on a killing spree, including punching Julie’s head clean off with one swift strike. The Final Friday is just unbelievably stupid, which brings us to Jason X.
I cannot believe Jason X is a real movie. The fact it exists is preposterous. But hey, canon is canon. Jason gets cryogenically frozen for 455 years and awakens in 2455. He ends up on a spaceship and proceeds to murder the others on board. An android unloads no less than 6 trillion space bullets into Jason, ON A SPACESHIP, and Jason is just fine. He eventually gets his arm and leg shot off.
As his mangled body is laying there some glitch happens and whoops! Jason is now half fucking nano tech. Bullets simply bounce off his new robot body, as if he even need this to begin with. The crew then blows up their own spaceship, but Jason survives (nano tech sounds great).
A sister ship sets up a hologram of teenage girls to lure Jason to try to kill them, and it works. Except that he kinda actually kills the holograms? Which might be the single most impressive feat on this entire list?
Anyway, there’s another explosion and Jason is just like floating in space and then one guy grabs him and jetpacks into Earth’s atmosphere where they both get burnt up and disintegrate.
In Freddy Vs. Jason, Jason attacks a party in the woods where the local youth went to rage. He easily twists a dude’s entire head around. He gets set on fire, is completely unbothered, and simply grabs his blade and snipes the next victim, because as we have established Jason has pinpoint precision. Jason stumbles into the main part of the party while on fire. He gets electrocuted and instead of giving a shit at all he USES HIMSELF AS A CONDUCTOR TO KILL A COP.
Most importantly, however, Jason wins the face off with Freddy. This is somewhat open to interpretation, but watch the ending to this movie and tell me you don’t get the impression Jason is the victor.
Jason is an absolute menace. He has super strength, an in describable pain tolerance, and is unrelenting. The few times you see Jason’s face it’s clear that he just genuinely enjoys murdering people.
There’s a few things keeping Jason out of the top spot. His kill count is elite, but it’s in large part due to him having 10 movies to put up stats. He also dies a lot and is reliant upon supernatural abilities. Most importantly, however, I just can’t get over the fact that homeboy sent his mom to do his dirty work in the original Friday The 13th.
Before we leave, I need you to know that this a real thing that happened in Part IV:
Since it is officially Halloween season, I’d like to bring to your attention that the worst shotgunning scene in cinematic history happened in Friday the 13th Part IV pic.twitter.com/52Acogpu69
— Jonathan Rosenberg (@frosted_takes) October 1, 2022
1. Michael Myers
Real World Comparison: If LeBron and Serena met and had a baby, and then meanwhile, Michael Jordan and Simone Bilas met and had a baby, and by some miracle those two babies met, and fuuuckeddd, Michael would be the shit that they birthed.
The ultimate haus. The one and only. The boogeyman himself.
The man dawning the blackest eyes, nay, the devil’s eyes, is the 1.01 of the slasher draft. In case you’re wondering how he does it, here is the secret in his own words:
Dawg this is one of the greatest tik toks Iv ever seen pic.twitter.com/v0yqi7v2Ui
— AGAPE (@MAG_Milli) October 20, 2021
The world is first introduced to Michael as a six year old boy. Wearing a mask, and showed from his point-of-view, young Michael grabs a knife from a kitchen drawer, heads upstairs, and brutally stabs his older sister Judith to death. Michael’s parents come home to find Michael holding a bloody knife, void of emotion, and refusing to speak.
Michael is sent away to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and placed under the care of Dr. Loomis essentially for the rest of his life. 15 years later, on Halloween eve, Dr. Loomis and his colleague Marion are driving to the Sanitarium. Encountering gate and security trouble (the patients are just roaming about on the grounds at night during a rain storm), Loomis gets out in an attempt to fix the gate. Michael then jumps on the roof of the car, smashes a window, and scares Marion into fleeing the vehicle. Michael then steals the car and drives off.
Loomis spends the ensuing hours telling everyone from Smith’s Grove to Haddonfield to East Tibet that Michael is going to return to Haddonfield and everyone’s life is in danger. No one believes him. He keeps one-upping himself describing Michael in an effort to get people to appreciate the gravity of the situation. Loomis explains that within Michael there is “no reason, no conscious, no understanding, no rudimentary concept of right and wrong. [Michael has a] pale emotionless face. Behind those eyes, is simply evil.”
Back in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) babysits a boy named Tommy. Her best friend is named Annie, who babysits the girl across the street from Tommy (Lindsey), and is dating a guy named Paul. They’re also friends with a couple named Bob and Lynda.
While Loomis is running around trying to alert the national guard, Michael goes to a cemetery in Haddonfield and digs up the grave of his late sister that he murdered, and steals both the casket and tombstone.
The movie is a slow burn, but Michael gets to his killing spree at the end of the film. Annie drops Lindsey off at Tommy’s house while Laurie is babysitting so she can have some alone time with Paul. While in her car, Michael pops out of the back seat and strangles Annie before cutting her throat. He also kills Lindsey’s dog.
Lynda and Bob show up to the house where Annie is babysitting to party. Believing no one else is home (actually Annie is just dead) they go upstairs and have sex. Afterwards, Bob goes downstairs to get them both beer and seals his fate as a goner by saying to Lynda “I’ll be right back” (Randy is so right).
While Bob is in the kitchen, Michael pops out of the pantry and starts choking Bob. Michael then lifts Bob up by the throat with one hand and then stabs him through the stomach, pinning him up on the wall. He then heads upstairs and opens the door to the bedroom where Lynda is, wearing a sheet as a ghost costume and Bob’s glasses. Lynda, having no idea it’s Michael, begins playfully teasing him. After nothing but dead silence from sheet ghost man, Lynda says she’s calling Laurie. After Laurie picks up the phone, Michael uses the phone cord to strangle Lynda to death, and Laurie hears the entire thing.
Laurie then leaves the kids for two minutes to go investigate what’s going on across the street. She finds her way upstairs and discovers Annie’s dead body on a bed, with Judith Myers’ tombstone placed above her head. In a panic, Laurie keeps knocking into doors and closest, popping them open, and discovers the dead bodies of Bob and Lynda. Laurie then encounters Michael, escapes the house, and runs across the street back to Tommy and Lindsey.
Michael gets into Tommy’s house, and after missing Laurie with his knife, Laurie stabs him in the neck with a knitting needle, causing Michael to collapse. Thinking Michael is dead, Laurie goes upstairs to tell the kids they’re safe. Tommy says to Laurie “but you can’t kill the boogeyman” and then Michael appears at the top of the stairs. The kids lock themselves in one room while Laurie runs off in another direction. She opens the door to the balcony to trick Michael into thinking she jumped down to the ground and then hides in the closet.
Michael ain’t no fool though. He breaks through the closet door, sensing Laurie is in there. Laurie uses a wire hanger to make a shiv and then stabs Michael. Again, Michael collapses. Thinking Michael is for real dead this time, Laurie tells the kids to run down the street to the neighbor’s and have them call the police. As Laurie sits there trying to catch her breath, Michael sits up. They both end up in the hallway, standing up, and Michael begins attacking and choking her. Just in time, Dr. Loomis shows up and shoots Michael six times, which causes him to stumble backwards and fall off the balcony. Then, the legend of Michael Myers is born:
After confirming that Michael is, in fact, the boogeyman, Loomis peers over the balcony to discover Michael is no longer laying on the ground. We’re onto the sequel baby.
Halloween II picks up exactly where the first movie left off. Michael stumbles away from the scene of the crime at Tommy’s house. He sneaks inside and elderly couples’ home and steals a large knife from the kitchen. He then goes next door, where a female teenage neighbor is home alone. During Michael’s slinking around, the events that unfolded in Haddonfield earlier in the evening are hitting the news waves. A blood bath in Haddonfield involving three dead victims and a fourth wounded. The nextdoor neighbor, listening to the broadcast, is then stabbed in the chest by Michael.
Laurie is taken to the hospital, and it is eventually revealed that Laurie is actually the younger sister of Michael and her birth parents gave her up for adoption at a young age. The rest of the movie is Michael killing everyone in his path while trying to kill Laurie at Haddonfield Memorial.
Michael sneaks into the hospital and cuts the phone lines and disables all of the cars in the parking lot. He drills the security guard, Mr. Garrett, in the forehead with the back of a hammer and then hangs him. His next two victims are Karen, a nurse, and Budd, her EMT boyfriend. Karen and Budd hook up in some treatment room where Michael sneaks in and first strangles Budd to death in a matter of seconds behind a door so Karen can’t hear. He then sneaks up on Karen, pretending to be Budd, and proceeds to mutilate her in a scolding hot bath.
Michael stabs a doctor through his eyeballs with syringes. The nurse who discovers the doctor in this condition suffers the same fate as Michael pops up and stabs her in the eye. The way Michael kills the main nurse, nurse Virginia Alves, is exceedingly sadistic. He knocked her out and stuck an IV drip in her arm, attached to nothing, and left her arm dangling to allow her to slowly bleed out. Jimmy, a different medic who has a mega crush on Laurie, finds Ms. Alves and an ocean of blood:
Laurie, roaming the halls half dead trying to to flee Michael, is called to by a nurse. Michael then appears and stabs her with a tiny little knife and still manages to lift her well off the ground with one arm (THE ABSOLUTE STRENGTH):
At the end of the movie, Laurie and Dr. Loomis are inside the hospital and Michael simply walks straight through a glass door to get back inside. Loomis then shoots him six times and Michael collapses. When a cop goes to check on Michael, Michael slits his throat.
Dr. Loomis and Laurie then hide in a room that Michael breaks into. Laurie shoots Michael in both his eyes blinding him (but not killing him). Michael then stammers around the room, wildly swinging his knife. Dr. Loomis and Laurie fill the room with flammable gas, and after Laurie runs away, Dr. Loomis lights the room on fire, causing an explosion.
After thinking Michael is dead, Laurie watches Michael walk out of the room, completely enflamed. Eventually, he falls face down and continues to burn. HOWEVER, Michael doesn’t die, he just ends up in a coma, which is revealed in Halloween 4.
Halloween 3 is similar to Friday the 13th Part V where as Michael Myers isn’t actually in the movie. The movie bombed, prompting the studio to bring Michael back for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. 10 years after entering his coma, Michael is being transported to a new location despite the protests of Dr. Loomis (somehow also still alive) to not take him out of a looked room. In the ambulance, Michael, while in a coma, hears that he has a niece and wakes up. He then kills the EMT by pushing his thumb through the EMT’s forehead.
Michael’s niece, Jamie, is the daughter of Laurie. Laurie gave her up for adoption and Jamie lives with a foster family, including a teenage foster sister Rachel. Dr. Loomis is back with another harrowing description of Michael; “evil on two legs.” Once again pleading with the authorities to make catching Michael their top priority, Dr. Loomis says “you’re talking about him as if he were a human being. That part of him died years ago.”
Michael kills a mechanic and gas station clerk and then steals a pickup truck while Dr. Loomis is trying to catch him at the station. Michael speeds away in the truck, blowing up a gas pump and power line in the process. He also kills his second dog of the franchise. He throws a utility worker into the power lines, ram sacks an entire police station and brutally murders the cop on duty.
Meanwhile, at the local watering hole, the news broadcast says there’s a town curfew due to a bunch of unresolved murders and all businesses need to close immediately. The bar owner, loving freedom way too much, calls the police station to see if this is true. Since Michael killed everyone at the station the phone just rings. A lynch mob then gets worried since “phones at the police station don’t just ring,” and four pick up trucks worth of Illinois’ overalls wearing finest head off to the station, each wielding a shotgun.
Upon arriving at the station, the mob finds Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Meeker. They ask what’s going on and Dr. Loomis says Michael Myers has returned. The mob decides to take matters into their own hands and go off on a man hunt for Michael. Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Meeker head to Meeker’s house. The house ends up with Dr. Loomis, Meeker, another cop, Rachel, Jamie, Rachel’s boyfriend Brady, and the sheriff’s daughter Kelly, who Brady is cheating on Rachel with (Rachel found out when Jamie rang Kelly’s door innocently trick-or-treating).
Anyway, Michael shows up and kills the other cop. Kelly discovers the dead body, and then Michael sits up out of a chair. He impales Kelly with a shotgun and pushes the barrel through her and into the wall, pinning her up off the ground. Later, he lifts Brady by his head and crushes his skull with his bare hands.
By some sequence of events, another cop is driving Rachel and Jamie to safety, with three members of the lynch mob in the bed of the truck for good measure. SOMEHOW Michael catches up to the truck (on foot???) and climbs aboard. He easily handles the mob members, and, well, this happens:
This man got slammed into by a truck, launching him off a mountain. The entire Haddonfield police department unloads their full arsenal of gunfire into Michael, causing him to fall into a mine shaft. So, you probably think he’s dead, right? NOPE. The beginning of Halloween 5 starts right where Halloween 4 left off. Michael labors his way out of the shaft seconds before the police blow the whole thing with dynamite.
(Before moving on to Halloween 5, you know that gunfire sound in Golden Eye for N64 that you hear every like two seconds. The one thats like really sharp and sounds like a ricocheting bullet? Well they must have developed the technology to create that sound electronically in 1988 because they used it FIFTY BILLION TIMES in Halloween 4 and it’s super fucking annoying)
After escaping the mine shaft, Michael makes it out to a river where he falls in a floats down for awhile. He grabs a net and pulls himself out then discovers a hermit’s living quarters. He goes to kill the hermit but then collapses. The hermit spends an entire year nursing Michael to keep him alive. Then, after a year, Michael wakes up, grabs his mask, and kills the hermit. Now, it’s off to kill Jamie!
Jamie is in a children’s clinic and it is revealed she has a telepathic connection with Michael. She knows when he is killing someone and can see where he is when he’s doing it, or about to do it. However, due to the intense trauma of Jamie’s life (oh, she attempted to murder her foster mom at the very end of Halloween 4 while wearing the exact same custom six year old Michael wore when he killed Judith Myers), she’s now mute (guess non-verbal psycho killer runs in the family).
So Michael stabs Rachel death. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Dr. Loomis (still alive!) drops another great quote regarding Michael; “I prayed he would burn in hell, but in my heart I knew hell wouldn’t have him.”
Our new gang of friends is Tina (Rachel’s friend), her boyfriend Mikey, Sam, and her boyfriend Spitz. Mikey is super into his car, so Michael kills him right next to it. When Mikey tries to hit Michael with a crowbar, Michael grabs Mikey by the throat and then slams a garden rake into Mikey’s head. Michael takes Mikey’s car and uses the Halloween mask Tina got Mikey as a disguise so he can go pick up Tina. Oh, Michael also dug up the coffin of a nine year old girl, sending a message for Jamie.
With Michael driving and Tina under the impression it’s Mikey, Tina demands Michael stop so she can buy cigarettes. Knowing Tina is in danger, Jamie speaks just barely enough in order to tell the cops where Michael and Tina are. The cops show up, secure Tina as she’s standing in the parking lot, and Michael drives off.
Anyway, Sam and Spitz end up having sex in a barn and Michael drives a pitchfork through Spitz. He then decapitates Sam with a scythe. Later, he’s about to kill Jamie but Tina sacrifices herself so Jamie can run away. Dr. Loomis convinces Michael to meet him back at Michael’s childhood home. Michael does but when Loomis gets too sentimental Michael stabs Loomis and throws him off the top of the stairs. We then see he has Rachel’s dead body up in the attic of the Myers house, proving that Billy really was that influential on the genre (yes I’m shamelessly ignoring Norman Bates’ influence on slasher films since Psycho isn’t actually a slasher).
So later on, Michael busts through a door while eating gunfire from a cop. Michael then beats up the cop and hangs him from a noose off the second floor window. He finally has Jamie dead to rights when she says “uncle” and Michael stops dead in his tracks. He actually takes off his mask. Jamie goes to touch his face and he goes absolutely ballistic.
Dr. Loomis (still alive) uses himself as a human shield to protect Jamie. A huge chain link net is dropped on Michael, and Loomis beats Michael up with a 2×4. Michael is then arrested and put in prison. After Loomis and Jamie leave the prison, the Man in Black (more on this later) is seen going into the police station and then the station explodes. Jamie runs back in to make sure Michael is there, but she discovers he is gone.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (which I’m going to refer to as Halloween 6) goes deeper into a story line involving the Man in Black, a Druid cult leader, and Michael’s connection to the Thorn, an ancient Druid curse that causes him to kill his bloodline on Halloween night. Tommy from the first movie is all grown up now and is played by Paul Rudd. Tommy has become a recluse and is consumed with understanding Michael’s motivations, and Tommy is the one that puts together the connection with the Thorn.
The problem is the film is a disaster and was even plagued by production issues. The movie bombed in front of test audiences so they reshot and edited a bunch of it. There’s also an alternate version to the movie. The original workprint of the film was discovered by fans of the franchise. This version has been dubbed the “Producer’s Cut” and has an alternate ending.
I know I said all original lineage of the franchises count and we weren’t going to arbitrarily decided movies just aren’t canon once they get too absurd. I’m still counting Halloween 6 but it’s hard to feel like it fully counts, and it’s debatable which version should be included.
Anyway, Jamie, now 15, has a child and Michael and the Man in Black spend the entire movie trying to abduct the baby. Michael kills Jamie and also like half of Haddonfield. One last time, at least in the Producer’s Cut, Michael shows off his number one trick; lifting someone up with one hand by their throat and then stabbing them so they’re pinned up on the wall.
But what I want you to be made aware of most from Halloween 6, which was released in 1995, is it has a scene where Michael murders a bunch of doctors in an operating room while the lights flicker and the doctors are staring through the glass petrified. Independence Day, released in 1996, ripped this scene off nearly shot for shot when the alien awakes in Area 51.
Don’t believe me? Judge for yourself:
Anyway, back to Michael. He turns on the Man in Black and his team of doctors, killing them all and proving not even a fucking cult can stop him. Tommy and Kara Strode chase Michael into a lab where Tommy injects Michael with corrosives and beats him unconscious with a lead pipe. Tommy, Kara, and some children flee the premises leaving Dr. Loomis (still alive!) to deal with Michael. Inside the lab, Michael’s mask lies alone on the floor, and Loomis screams in the background, leaving their fates unknown.
Michael is evil on legs. Hell doesn’t even want him. He has incredible strength and an inhumane ability to withstand punishment. What separates Michael is while he demonstrates super natural abilities, it’s never quite made clear he actually is super natural. There are undertones of it throughout the franchise, but they’re never fully developed. Michael Myers is, literally, built different.
It doesn’t matter if you shoot him, light him on fire, stab him, or throw him down a mine shaft. Michael is strong enough to just take it. The ending to Halloween 6 is ambiguous and open to interpretation, so it’s possible that Michael never actually dies. His kill count reigns supreme, and is in another galaxy than everyone else besides Jason. Where as Michael never dies, Jason dies all the time. Where as Michael is a mere human, Jason is some freak-alien-nano-tech-lake-monster.
He is the boogeyman.