Freddy vs Jason… kinda.
Not content with endless and ever more ridiculous sequels, Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees also spawned their own widely derided TV shows. After years of curiosity, I decided to find out for myself if either show is as ridiculous as one would expect. I watched the opening episode of each series in an attempt to get a handle on just why the hell they exist in the first place.
Number of Episodes: 44
Episode Watched: No More Mr. Nice Guy
We’ll start with Mr. Krueger. My personal favourite Hollywood monster. The show opens with a mustachioed newsreader telling his audience about Krueger’s arrest. In the middle of this announcement he starts to fade out and become white noise, he then fades back in front of the Springwood courthouse looking perplexed. This is never explained…
I always assumed that Freddy’s Nightmares would be a series of forgettable anthology horror with Freddy cackling over the top without ever actually becoming part of the story. Surprisingly though, the first episode (directed by Tobe Hooper of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame) is actually pretty important to the Nightmare on Elm Street canon. The episode explains why multiple child murderer Freddy Krueger escaped jail (the arresting cop didn’t read him his rights) and also shows Freddy being burnt alive by an angry mob of Springwood residents and the immediate aftermath.
No More Mr. Nice Guy is disappointingly short on truly ridiculous moments although at one point the protagonist has a dentist appointment and for some reason his dentist is an attractive woman wearing only a bra. Aside from that though this is a pretty straight laced episode that is surprisingly quite enjoyable. The thought of watching an episode of this show that doesn’t heavily feature Freddy is sobering, but generally I’m pretty impressed with Freddy’s Nightmares.
Friday the 13th: The Series
Number of Episodes: 72
Episode Watched: The Inheritance
This promised to be an all together different beast. While Krueger makes for a believable TV host what with his wise cracking and his lovely jumpers, Vorhees is much more unlikely to bound on stage wearing a sparkly jacket whilst cracking mother-in-law jokes. Alas, he isn’t the host of Friday the 13th: The Series. In fact, he literally doesn’t even feature.
I didn’t realise until I started watching it but in an astounding turn of events, Friday the 13th: The Series actually has no link whatsoever to Friday the 13th: the horror franchise. While that renders this article meaningless it is refreshing to know that TV companies were just as happy to rip off their audience in the glorious days of the 1980’s as they are now. This show somehow ran for 72 episodes. I couldn’t make it through ten minutes of a single episode. Rubbish.