I got a myspace bulletin today that read “*SPOILER ALERT* Repost because I woke up and Im still mad.” It was sent by California artist Alex Pardee and was an honest expression of his feelings about Michael Bay‘s latest attempt to remake and capitalize off of someone else’s classic film work. In reading the review, it was immediately clear to me that the style and tone was in the vein of the brand of content that we have tried to provide here on the site. Filmmaker, Michael Bay, has been a personal issue of mine lately so, it was refreshing to read someone else’s take on the work of the director/producer. Apart from disaster films (pun intended) like Armageddon , Bay has also been involved with the recent remakes of The Hitcher, The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the upcoming A Nightmare on Elm Street. I didn’t have the highest hopes for his version of Friday the 13th but, at the least, I can say that I had more faith in it than Will Smith‘s goal to remake Park Chan-wook‘s amazing South Korean film Old Boy or the wreckless casting of his son Jaden Smith‘s in the a new version of The Karate Kid.
Alex Pardee, on the other hand, is an artist who’s work I enjoy and do have respect for. I liked his review so much that I actually contacted him today and he gracially agreed to allow us to repost it here on Monster Fresh. For those who are unaware of Pardee‘s work, he is an accomplished illustrator, apparel designer and writer who has been featured heavily in publications such as Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose. As his bio state, “Alex Pardee’s unique style is one conceived through watching years of horror movies, writing graffiti, and listening to gangster rap. His work best represents that of a circus sideshow cemetery.” He has worked on toy series with Kidrobot and Zero Friends, done album art for The Used, Cage, and In Flames, and even has his own “cinematic” clothing line with Hurley called “Night of the Treeple“. We highly encourage you to check out his plethora of work, buy his wares, and to go out and catch one of his exhibits if you get the chance. For now, enjoy his review of the new Friday the 13th; I did.
(images below provided by Alex Pardee)
I’m serious about that. If you haven’t seen the new Friday the 13th and kind of give a shit, don’t read this….
I just spent the night gazing my jaded eyeballs on the silver screen watching the new Friday The 13th with my girlfriend and I now have the overwhelming urge to tell you about it. In an economy devoid of a lot of positivity I somehow seem to continuously still muster up a fistfull of hope every time I find out that a movie is coming out that I want to see. So naturally I was pretty excited to see Friday the 13th. Why, you ask? Actually, I have no fucking idea why. But nonetheless, I was excited, or at least hopeful.
Now, I’m not really against the “remake” idea. Hell, 3 of my favorite movies, John Caprenter’s “The Thing” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and even Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” are all remakes, so I would be kind of a hypocrite if I was outright against them. I DO feel, though, that to automatically default to doing a remake of something because everyone is lacking original ideas is a pussy way of making money, but whatever, it happens. And since i LIKE going to the movies, and those are a majority of what’s in the theaters, I still go, and i still have an equal amount of hope each time i enter that large room of strangers and uncomfortable seats where a kid probably shat himself during Madagascar 2 the prior week.
But if we were to compare my recent movie-going experiences to, let’s say, a religious practice, like going to church or Temple, it would be like walking into a church every Sunday, sitting down waiting to get enlightened, and by the end of the Sermon, the pastor tells you he fucked your girlfriend with a tire iron, or that Jesus was a liar, or just flat out punching you in the throat and taking your money and buying Coke for your little sister right in front of you, causing you to leave in a hurry and never go back to that church. Yet somehow during the week, you forget all about that and head right into a different Church to try again, only for the new pastor to slap you in the face with a huge crucifix-shaped shit that he pulled from his ass. I think that basically explains my recent trips to the movies.
So on to “Friday the 13th” I guess. It’s pretty tough watching this with unbiased eyes, basically because the major reason why the original Fridays are so dear to me are because they are nostalgic, not because they are good movies. I like them because when I first saw them, they were new, and raw, and other than JAWS i hadn’t seen movies where the musical score dictated just as much suspense as the first-person POV shots and the moonlit sets. They scared me. Since then I have seen all 11 of them countless times, and while some stand the test of time more than others, all of them generally follow the rules that were set in stone in Parts 1 and 2. Even when Jason fought a psychic with mind powers, or got resurrected by lightning, or took a cruise ship to Manhattan, there were extremely easy rules that were established in the mythology that most of them stuck to. And the ones that didn’t (like part 5, or Jason goes to Hell) were the most laughable of the series. It seems like an obvious choice that, if you are creating a remake of an established franchise, or even a “re-imagining”, then you need to at least stick to the one or 2 main rules that made the original such an iconic franchise.
Because if you are NOT going to do that, then just make a different movie, right? And the lamest argument that proves my point even more is this one:
“Well, everyone has SEEN the original and they know the twists and turns, so we need to change it around a little and make it FRESH. It’s going to be a LOT different but still have the same SPIRIT.
“Really? You’re adding some supposedly creative and original ideas and rules and shit into an idea that someone ELSE already did and you’re arrogant enough to butcher something that is already done because you want to USE the name that someone else already made great, but add your shit-for-ideas into the mix because you want some credit for making it COOL and DIFFERENT? Then make a fucking ORIGINAL movie. Shit even make the SAME kind of movie, call it something different, then when someone says you just copied this other old movie, THEN you can tell them its an HOMAGE. It’s simple.
Whatever. The new Friday The 13th wasn’t the worst movie in the world, and not even close to the worst remake as of yet (See BLACK CHRISTMAS for that one), but it sure as hell had some pretty bad dicks-to-the-faces-of-the-fans. Main case in point: What is the main motivation of JASON, as established in the first 3 movies? It’s simple. He KILLS camp counselors that work at Crystal Lake out of VENGEANCE for a camp counselor killing his MOTHER. Thats what Jason does. He DESTROYS camp counselors and sometimes other people if they get in his way of killing counselors. Every FRIDAY movie has camp counselors re-opening Crystal Lake, or working at a camp nearby, or whatever, but they are always camp counselors. With the exception of part 5, where “Jason” killed insane kids in an halfway house, but that wasnt Jason anyway, it was a copycat. So yah, Jasons mom gets killed by a camp counselor, and he in turn kills counselors. Easy.
Now lets look at the new remake version. Does Jason kill camp counselors? No. Instead, he is protecting his MAGICAL MARIJUANA CROP and killing PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO SMOKE OR STEAL HIS WEED. I am not fucking joking. At all. In fact, the premise was so absurd that I didn’t even let myself believe it until an hour after i left the theater. There is no active Camp Crystal Lake. The Camp was closed years ago and thats it. There are no camp counselors.
Instead, there is a hillbilly that steals weed crops and jacks off to mannequins, and a group of teenagers that like to smoke weed and hate each other so much that it’s obvious that going away on a weekend trip into the woods must have been some kind of punishment from the high school principal, where I imagine the sentencing must have gone something like this:
Principal: “Each one of you, on separate occasions, have been caught with marijuana, so i am sentencing you all to a retreat in the woods where you CAN smoke weed, but someone will kill you for doing so.
Black Rapper: “Damn, son, you KNOW i aint goin out there with this Honkey, he likes BASEBALL and shit! Look at his hair, he’s got HONKEY hair!”
Rich Jock: “Yah bro! And I am NOT letting that black guy next to me, he will BREAK and STEAL everything to pay back his drug dealer! I’m rich!”
Some Chick: “Youre gonna smoke weed in the woods??! Sick, i’ll blow all of you guys if you let me go.
Asian Silly Kid: “Does that mean you’ll blow me too???”
Some Chick: “No way, dummy, you’re just comedy relief, but you can bring the fortune weed cookies hahaha.
All together: “Great, let’s go, but remember i hate all of you.
And their adventure begins!
Almost every horror movie has insanely large holes in the plot and unbelievable action in it. But the GOOD ones dont let you notice that shit because you are too scared or having too much fun with the ride, like the original Nightmare On Elm St, or ALIENS. But this new FRIDAY has a HUGE hole that was overlooked so quickly i’m wondering if anyone even questioned it during production. They make another drastic decision to make Jason NOT supernatural. He isn’t a zombie, he doesnt get revived by lightening, he’s not a monster, he’s simply an aging survivalist that is revenging his mother’s death. OK, fine, i can accept that decision, make it more REAL and GRITTY. The filmmakers have gone to lengths saying that this new Jason ISN’T supernatural. However, in the beginning of the movie, Jasons mother says that Jason has drowned and he is DEAD. Then, an 8 year old, naked, retarded Jason is seen ALIVE witnessing his mothers death. So I have 2 questions that were bypassed like Mickey Rourke’s heart in The Wrestler.
1.) If Jason WAS dead, how the fuck was he standing there watching his mom die, and then AGE and GROW over the years.
And if he was really ALIVE, what kind of fucking mother would just ASSUME that her retarded and deformed son is dead just because she saw him swimming??!!
2.) After witnessing his mothers death when he was 8, standing in the rain, in all of his naked and retarded glory, how the fuck did he SURVIVE for 30 more years after that. He lived by a lake and he COULDNT EVEN SWIM! And he was mentally and physically handicapped??! Excuse the pun, but I find it retardedly hard to believe that a clueless mentally challenged deformed kid wouldn’t try to at least ask SOMEONE for help over the years, if he even survived that long.
Also, assuming that Jason DID survive, and grow up, how did he become trained as a Navy Seal, master the art of walking like a ninja unless its to be scary then he walks like a dinosaur, and study to become a contractor and architect who specializes in granite digging? They made Jason into a mix between Bear Grylls from Man vs Wild and a fucking FRAGGLE, who spent 20 years forging an intricate tunnel mansion underground and collecting way too many old bicycles to decorate his lair with.
Ahhhhh, oh well, it had some good kills, and i’ll probably go see it again because I’m just as retarded as Jason.
Now to get my hopes up about the Nightmare On Elm Street remake and the Pirhana remake.
To learn more about Alex and his work please check out the following links:
The video below is for Pardee‘s upcoming 3d animation project.