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You Can't Make Fun of Jason

Banes at 12:00AM, Oct. 13, 2022

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You Can't Make Fun of Jason
A Horror Comedy Recipe?

When the writer/director Tom McLaughlin was approached to make the SIXTH Friday the 13 movie back in the eighties, he watched all five previous films and told the Producer he could do it if he could make it funny.
The Producer Frank Mancuso Jr, in charge of the franchise at the time, said, “Well, you can't make fun of Jason.”
McLoughlin already knew that, and said no, of course not - Jason has to be played seriously.

Now, ‘Jason has to be taken seriously’ is a funny thought, but in the context of his movies, it matters! Jason Lives was and is one of the most popular chapters in the franchise to this day.

It's sort of a recipe for Horror/Comedy. This is apparently a challenging genre to get right. A handful of exceptions that are massive successes, regardless.

It reminds me of one of my old favorites, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The A see you next time!


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Banes at 3:22PM, Oct. 14, 2022

@Hapoppo - Close as we could get to that special day this October. Clever plan or happy accident...i'll never tell!

Banes at 3:21PM, Oct. 14, 2022

@bravo - The only one you've mentioned that I've seen is Saturday the 14th. Well, Love At First Bite is a title i remember, and I know I've seen it, but i have no memory of it.

Banes at 3:20PM, Oct. 14, 2022

@plymayer - Same!

Banes at 3:20PM, Oct. 14, 2022

@InkyMoondrop - wow, that's a wild description of Hausu. Never heard of it; I may have to try and find it!

Hapoppo at 9:00AM, Oct. 14, 2022

I choose to believe it was a very clever meta joke that you made this post on Thursday the 13th.

bravo1102 at 10:57PM, Oct. 13, 2022

There were any number of "old dark house" spoofs where the killer is played straight, but only the protagonist is funny. Any number of Bob Hope films, Martin and Lewis, even the Topper series. I've always been amused by how someone will see one of these and say it's hokey and shows its age and then sees a recent piece with similar jokes and that's funny and fine. Another vampire film with the vampire as a funny character was "Love at First Bite " with George Hamilton. Richard Benjamin also did Saturday the Fourteenth which has its moments.

plymayer at 6:39PM, Oct. 13, 2022

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein will always be one of my all time favorites.

InkyMoondrop at 1:31PM, Oct. 13, 2022

Heh. I'm actually making the third chapter of my comic to be partly survival horror. Of course it's still gonna have lots of jokes, but I intend to keep most of the horror aspect serious. My favorite horror comedy is probably Hausu from 1977. It's genius, experimental, trippy and quite insane. I mean not many live action horrors remind me of Looney Tunes. The director asked his 11-year old daughter for ideas on what she thinks would be scary and worked them in the script, the story is so simple, that it often acts like its own satire, the special effects are childishly bad and ridiculous... the whole film is a massive WTF? And yet it still works pretty well as a horror. But the burlesque of The Fearless Vampire Killers also has its charm. And of course The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which isn't really scary at all, but only a B movie can be such a shamelessly great tribute to B movies.

Banes at 7:25AM, Oct. 13, 2022

@PaulEberhardt - Agreed, and I like some of those things as well. They're more like parodies, or comedies with a horror-themed paintjob. I've seen "My Name is Bruce", too; it was good. Another horror comedy with Bruce is "Bubba Ho-Tep". I liked that one. I like the Mel Brooks monster movies too, though I'd agree that they're comedies and not horror comedies. Even the Addams Family movies from the 90's, which I really like, and have a darker, more gothic tone, and would be scary to little kids -- they're great, but they're not horror/comedy.

Banes at 7:19AM, Oct. 13, 2022

@Andreas_Helixfinger - thanks, I'm very glad to hear that. For an ongoing horror/comedy there would be a constant juggling/balancing of tones for sure.

Banes at 7:17AM, Oct. 13, 2022

@Commissar_Tarkin - Well my take on it is, FREDDY makes fun of Jason a couple times. The movie itself doesn't. There's a book about the various writers/screenplays that were written for that movie in a book called "slash of the titans". Not a book for everyone, obviously, but a good read. There were a few drafts that, if they didn't make fun of Jason/Freddy, certainly deconstructed/retconned them in one way or another.

PaulEberhardt at 4:02AM, Oct. 13, 2022

I'm a bit in two minds about this. I have a soft spot for whimsical horror parodies in a Monster Mash or Addams Family vein, and as long as you go all in with the silliness they do work properly. But they possibly shouldn't be called horror but rather horror-inspired. In "Dracula - Dead and Loving it" Leslie Nielsen did a great job in portraying the count in the required Mel-Brooks-silly way but still threatening enough... But yes, on the whole those with the monsters played straight are the best. The Abbot and Castello movie is a classic I've always liked, and I can warmly recommend "My Name is Bruce" as an example where a basically ridiculous B-movie monster makes the film great fun to watch precisely because it is played absolutely straight. It kind of ties in with a comedy topic we had here on the Duck: a lot of comedy works best because the characters don't realise they're in a comedy. I can see how a monster that can pass for an actual threat may be helpful in establishing that.

PaulEberhardt at 3:55AM, Oct. 13, 2022 - Yep, you're right. The basic gag is too forced to be funny (and repeated too often), even if they're pros in every other respect.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:36AM, Oct. 13, 2022

Being someone who just so happens to have a Horror/Comedy comic running, this article is very helpful I feel. Giving me ideas how to balance out the wacky comedy part with the serious horror part. If my attempts will succeed remains to be seen though, obviously^^

Commissar_Tarkin at 1:58AM, Oct. 13, 2022

I can't recall if Freddy vs. Jason made fun of Jason...

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