Sunday, April 5, 2009

[Cryptopopology] Unused Freddy Vs. Jason Script #2

Jason Vs. Freddy
Written by Brannon Braga & Ronald Moore
Unseen Cinema Script Review

Remember when Wes Craven's New Nightmare first appeared in theaters, and in order to follow it you had to forget nearly everything you knew about Freddy Krueger? Remember how in that film, all the previous Nightmare On Elm Street movies were only movies? Well, keep that in mind for this early (1995) version of what later became Freddy Vs. Jason, because the premise is kind of a mindfuck from the very beginning.

In this script, the Friday The 13th series are movies, just like in our world. Only they're based on a real-life killer by name of Jason Voorhees. The real Jason did in fact supposedly drown as a child. A rash of killings in the real-life town of Crystal Lake were later attributed to the supposedly deceased Jason. His mother was never a killer, although she did have poor choice in men. She was not decapitated on the shoreline of Crystal Lake. She died of ovarian cancer in 1969.

Got it so far?

Did I mention that the town of Springwood, home of yet-another serial killer Freddy Krueger, is a mere 8 miles away from Crystal Lake? Freddy's mythology hasn't changed this time around. He still killed children, was still arrested and released on a technicality, still burned alive by an angry lynch mob of parents, still came back from the dead in the dreams of teenagers to kill them off in extravagant ways. But there's something else, something that happened a long time ago, way back in the late 'sixties.

Wrap your head around this: Freddy Krueger taking a day away from Springwood visits the small town of Crystal Lake, meets a woman, goes back to her place, ties her up to the bed and, in the words of the script, proceeds "fucking her hard enough to make the bed slam against the wall." The woman's screams of ecstasy attract the attention of her son in the next room, who, fearing for his mother's safety, comes in to take a look. The woman screams at her son, "Jason... what are you doing? Get out of here!"

Yes, that's right. Freddy Krueger pounding away on Mrs. Voorhees and caught in the act by poor, young Jason. Keep reading. It gets better.

Angry at the boy for interrupting, Freddy leaves Mrs. Voorhees tied to the bed and storms out of the room after Jason. Freddy chases him outside and through the woods, finally to the famous Crystal Lake...where he tries to drown him. And this, believe it or not, was Freddy's first kill.

Only Jason's not dead. He washes ashore and wakes up hours later, filled with a murderous rage. He runs into the woods where he lives the rest of his life alone, killing everybody he stumbles upon in a desperate attempt at vengeance.

Flash forward to modern day. Jason has slaughtered innumerable innocents and has been the basis for a long-running franchise of slasher flicks. After a telephone tip on his whereabouts (the house where he grew up. Big mystery there.) the FBI Tactical Response Team rushes in and captures him. He's taken to prison and...get this...put on trial.

When Jason's lawyer, the young Ruby Jarvis (a nod of the head to fan fave character Tommy Jarvis from the series), pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, a victim's angry parent pulls a gun and rattles off five shots into his chest. Jason is taken to the hospital where they have to operate immediately, and so the doctors give him a heavy dose of drugs to put him to sleep.

Now, Jason hasn't slept since he was a child. He suffers from, according to his psychoanalyst, insomnolesence, which is "a neurological disorder affecting the hypothalamus. The part of the brain that causes sleepiness is inactive...and has been known to cause psychotic episodes and delusions," which is partly responsible for his homicidal behavior.

Had enough yet?

While Jason is under, he has a nightmare and is attacked by Freddy. During their melee, Freddy discovers that Jason is somehow a gateway between the dream world and the real world. Eventually, Freddy climbs through Jason in the dreamland and emerges out of the sleeping Jason into the real world. And although Freddy is mortal in our world, he still retains his ability to give you deadly nightmares, only now you don't even have to be asleep.

Freddy brings mass carnage to the streets as he makes his way back to Springwood and Jason follows close behind. Their final battle takes place in a burning shopping mall and ends with Freddy, mortally wounded, putting Jason back to sleep using a tank of conveniently placed Nitrous Oxide and trying to crawl back into the dreamworld to heal. But Jason wakes up when Freddy is only partway through and the doorway slams shut, leaving Freddy and Jason bonded together in a monstrous, two-headed form. Jason, using the last of his strength, brings the roof of the burning building down atop both of them, ending both franchises forever.

In theory only, of course.

This script was quite a wild ride, and if properly tweaked, I think it could have worked out well. Friday Fans wouldn't have liked the fact that Jason's mythology had been altered, but that could have easily been fixed by simply nixing the idea that the events in the movies never actually happened. It seemed a bit too convenient that Freddy and Jason had been mortally linked since the very beginning, but I liked the idea of Freddy using Jason as an entrance into the real world. It's a variation on a theme used in Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2 and then quickly abandoned. The action scenes, starting with the knifing death of the real estate agent and ending in the mass nightmare carnage of the shopping mall, would have all looked great on film.

Interestingly enough, the theater in the mall is playing a film called Jason 2010, in which a cyborg Jason Voorhees wields a futuristic variation on his standard machete. This was obviously meant to be a kind of self-mocking joke, but it's amusing to note that the same concept actually did come into fruition some 7 years after the script was written, in a cinema travesty called Jason X. I think someone at New Line Cinema read this script a bit too closely and had trouble differentiating an obviously bad idea from a good one.


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