Double Feature Friday: Friday The 13th: A New Beginning & A Nightmare On Elm Street: Freddy's Revenge

An ongoing series of horror double feature recommendations, today's Double Feature Friday offers up two gonzo 1985 sequels that horribly fail their respective franchises, yet remain wildly entertaining "standalone" slashers.
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An ongoing series of horror double feature recommendations, today's Double Feature Friday offers up two gonzo 1985 sequels that horribly fail their respective franchises, yet remain wildly entertaining "standalone" slashers.

BY LIONEL FRANKENSTEIN

Horror nerds that we are, Fun Size Horror would love to share with you some of our favorite genre films, but with a twist: instead of just listing off some favorites, each week we'll offer up a pairing of two horror films that complement one another in unique or fascinating ways: Double Feature Friday.

Today's entry features two of the most reviled sequels in slasher moviedom: the fifth Friday the 13th film and the second Nightmare On Elm Street, two entries which wildly misunderstood the mythologies of their respective franchises and are often seen as the twin nadirs of the Vorhees/ Krueger films...

...And yet, when separated from their original franchises and viewed as "standalone" horror movies, both films serve as insanely entertaining grindhouse slashers featuring mentally unstable (and possibly villainous?) heroes haunted by demons both literal and figurative.

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING (1985/ 92 minutes/ dir. Danny Steinman)

Look, we get it: A New Beginning is the "Imposter Jason" film in which franchise hero/ perennial Jason target Tommy Jarvis is forced to battle a guy who is equally deranged by grief and wears a Jason costume. So, yes, it's a bad Friday the 13th.

BUT! Under the helm of former pornographer Danny Steinman (seriously), A New Beginning is a gargantually-unhinged slasher film that finds fake-Jason chopping his way through a mental institution, hillbillies, horny teens, and 1950s greaser punks (again, seriously), all while making a genuine attempt to portray the psychological damage inflicted upon Tommy by the "real" Jason... so much so that a bulk of film (and the ending) blurs the line between Tommy and Jason, and infers that the film's murders may be committed a psychotic Tommy who disassociates himself as Jason.

Also, real talk, best musical score of the Friday franchise. COME AT ME.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE (1985/ 85 minutes/ dir. Jack Sholder)

OK, again, we get it: Freddy's Revenge is the film that dropped the ball in terms of the mythology of Fred Krueger, quickly dispensing with the nightmares and pulling him into the real world (which only worked when Wes Craven went meta in New Nightmare). So, we concede, it's a rotten Nightmare film.

Again, BUT! Once again, when separated from its original franchise, Freddy's Revenge becomes something else entirely. Much as been made of the film's rampant homoeroticism, and through that prism, the film can be seen as a young man's (Jesse's) fear of his burgeoning sexuality, with "Freddy" taking over his body when he's around attractive men or is aroused (seriously). With Freddy as an avatar for the lead's psychological issues, Freddy's Revenge also blurs the line between hero and villain, with the film hinting that Freddy's murders are being committed by Jesse himself, and that Freddy is simply an aspect of his dissociative personality disorder.

Plus, like A New Beginning, Freddy's Revenge is, quite simply, shithouse-insane, and together they form a perfect double feature for a crowd or party.