Posts Tagged ‘Friday the 13th’

The Final Friday of August, 1993

“You can’t wear that on a date!” Emily complained regarding her granddaughter’s black t-shirt. It’s white skull like image on the front underneath a Misfits logo didn’t seem very lady like.

“We’re just going to the movies grandma.”

“Times of changed!” Walt laughed while standing in the doorway of her bedroom.

“Tell her grandpa!”Clarice looked in the mirror putting the finishing touches on her makeup. Black lipstick was applied while Danzig’s melodic “Sistinas” played on her CD player.

Resigning to her granddaughters outfit, Emily looked her over. Finally giving her approval, her eyes welled up as she said “Out little girl’s first date. I wish your father were here to see this.”

Clarice’s own eyes grew moist as she replied “I wish my mother were here.”

This sweet moment was interrupted by the sound of a horn blaring. “Oh, that’s him!” Clarice said, quickly wiping her tears. “Shit, my mascara.” she looked in the mirror saw her makeup was slightly running.

“Here dear, I’ll touch it up for you.” her grandmother said approaching the mirror.

“No time!” Clarice said in frustration as she used a tissue to simply remove the makeup she’d just applied. The horn beeped again as she rushed out her bedroom door. “Sorry, I gotta go.”

Her grandparents followed her out of her bedroom to the living room, where out the window they could see the mustang in the driveway waiting to pick her up. “OK honey, have a good time and be safe.”

“OK I will, love you guys.” Clarice said as she rushed out the door.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Emily said as the figure of Clarice grew smaller as the distance between them grew.

Remembering his first date with Emily, Walter playfully smacked her bum and said “Honey, there’s not a damn thing you wouldn’t do.” His wife giggled in response.

Watching the car drive away Walter said “That’s a nice car.” Then, something just occurred to him. “You know, he didn’t even come in and introduce himself!”

“Times have changed!”

Darryl looked good with his shoulder length red hair and his Metallica shirt which fit tight to his body. “Hey Darryl.” She said excitedly while her eyes looked him over.

“Hey.” he simply said. He was so cool with his cigarette hanging out of his mouth, it’s glowing red tip bounced slightly as he drove. He removed the cigarette and asked “want some?” She immediately took it in her slender fingers and wrapped her black colored lips around the tip. Her lungs quickly filled with smoke and she coughed heavily. Her face turned beat read from the smoke as well as the embarrassment. Even worse was the sound of Darryl laughing, but it wasn’t a mocking cackling kind of laugh. He made more of a chuckle while taking the cigarette back. He then patted her on the back and asked if she was OK. She shook her head yes as she felt the heat from Darryl’s hand through her cotton made shirt. This sensation more than made up for her embarrassment. “Don’t worry about it, it’s cool.” Everything seemed cool about Darryl, from his jeans to his car to the Iron Maiden cassette tape playing in his stereo.

Naturally they sat in the back of the movie theater. Her body was excited to feel the caress of his hands, but she slowed him down occasionally, not wanting to go too far. When the film’s logo came on the screen, she did allow him to kiss her. His mouth was hot and tasted like ashes, but she didn’t care, she loved the feeling of his tongue inside her while his whiskers brushed against her cheeks. As the movie progressed they fooled around a little, she occasionally giggled which drew the ire of film goers in front of her.

Later during the film, as she again felt Darryl’s hand on her leg, something caught her attention. It was an evil looking tome, apparently bound in human skin with a horrific facial design on the front cover. Clarice was sure she’d seen it before but she couldn’t remember where, but when one of the characters from the Cult of Vorhees held the book up Darryl identified it.

“Cool, the Necronomicon.”

Clarice wasn’t dating Darryl for his brains, but she was impressed by his knowledge of this mythical book. “Oh, you read H.P. Lovecraft?” she immediately whispered.

 “Who?”

“Lovecraft, the guy that wrote about the Necronomicon.” Clarice explained, referring the the pulp writer who was a bedrock of American horror.

“You mean he wrote Evil Dead?” Darryl asked, thinking she was referring to the Sam Raimi horror flicks in which the tome also appeared.

“No silly, like Call of Cthulu and stuff like that.” This boy might have been cute, but she was getting annoyed by his ignorance as well as some one shushing them a few rows up. From here on out the two of them were quieter. She happily held his hand on her lap, but now her full attention was on the movie. Darryl also turned his gaze to the naked breasts that occasionally graced the screen before the Jersey Devil, the killer of this decade plus long franchise, disposed of the horny teenagers.

The climax of the film had the full attention of both Darryl and his date as the Devil got stabbed with what both Clarice and Darryl recognized as the mythical Kandarian dagger from Evil Dead 2. Clarice cheered the Devil on as it fought off demonic hands that now reached up from the ground trying to pull it down to hell. Then, the whole theater erupted in applause as that familiar bladed glove burst from the dirt. Actor Kane Hodder made a surprise cameo, leaping up from the earth in the role of Freddy Kruger from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film ended with Kruger pulling the Devil down to the depths of hell.

Riding in Darryl’s car after the movie, Clarice was a chatter box. “Wow, I can’t believe they put the Necronomicon in that movie. Do you think that means the Devil is really a Deadite?” she asked, referring to the zombie like creatures of the Evil Dead franchise. Darryl said nothing as he parked the car.

Clarice looked around, realizing her date parked in a secluded spot, she looked at him with a devilish grin saying “Perfect place to get slaughtered.” He then planted his lips on hers, his tongue pushed its away into her mouth again, and in no time they hopped in the back seat.

She was so hot for him, but he was getting a little rough. His lips wandered her cheeks and his teeth grazed her neck when she said “Could you slow down a bit.” He continued kissing her roughly as he lay on top of her, and it was getting hard to breath. Her hands tried pushing against his shoulders trying to make some space between the two of them but he grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the seat cushion.

Now it was getting even harder for her to breath. “Darryl.” she panted as he continued pressing against her body, her head moving down to her chest. “Darryl stop I can’t breath.”  He did not stop as she wiggled underneath him. Finally, in a panic, she kneed him in the groin. He cried out in pain and his body slightly rolled to her right. Her arms frantically reached for the door handle and, while still on her back, she managed to push the door open. Darryl leaned forward towards her and she kicked him in the chest, sending his body back to the opposite door. Tilting her head back she saw a man standing outside the car. It was Ed. Her brain didn’t have time to register why her childhood imaginary friend was here on her first date. She just knew he was standing there, his hands waved in a gesture suggesting “come on.” Her body wiggled out of the back seat of the car. She turned around as her skin hit the damp wet grass below. Brushing herself off as she rose to her feet, she saw Ed walking away, continuing his hand motions suggesting she follow her.

She took a few steps forward when she stopped at the sound of Darryl’s voice. “Fucking bitch.” he said, “You can walk home.” His laid against the back door rubbing his aching crotch when he said what would end up being his last words. “I should have stayed with Diane instead of a cocktease like you.”

Ed shook his head in sorrow as he witnessed the rage boiling in her face. He faded away into nothingness while Clarice turned around and dove back into the car. Lunging towards Darryl, just for a moment he looked excited, perhaps thinking he was about to get the fuck of his life. Her eyes were crazed as she wrapped her hands around his neck, the pain in his crotch was gone, replaced with the aching excitement of adolescent lust. That was the last moment of pleasure he would feel as her teeth sunk into his flesh. Darryl screamed in pain as blood splattered from his body just as it had in the movie they just watched. The car rocked back in forth for the next few minutes. Had there been any witnesses, they would have presumed that what was occurring within that vehicle was pure ecstasy. Ironically, they would have half presumed correctly, it was incredible ecstasy, for one of them.

Back at the homestead, Walt and Emily sat on the porch in separate rocking chairs. Emily, her nose in a book, said aloud. “Clarice was right.”

“About what.” Walt asked. 

“This is better than that Bloch novel.” Emily answered, turning a page of American Psycho.

Walt was not reading a book like he did many nights with his wife. Instead, he sat on his porch and watched the stars. “I hope Clarice is having fun on her date.”

“I’m sure she’s fine. If anything happens, well, she’s feisty like her father was.”

Walt, like his son, was often a man of many words, but this time he replied with a simple, “Yeah.”

Looking up at the stars, Walt figured Frost was up there somewhere watching down on her, on all the family. He missed his son, but he knew full well with the life they chose, some disaster was bound to happen sooner or later. Still, it had been almost twenty years now and he and his wife both still missed him so terribly much. He looked down to wipe his eyes when he noticed the two beams of light approaching; and approaching fast. “Who is that?” Emily asked. 

The engine roared louder as the car approached, it appeared to swerve slightly on the road, as if it were driven by someone behind the wheel for the first time. Feeling this looked like trouble, Walt head for his front door. “I’m gonna get my gun.”

“Wait.” Emily said as the mustang became more visible. As it pulled up to the house Walt heard his wife exclaim “It’s Clarice.” Now parked in the driveway they could both see their granddaughter at the wheel. She leaned over and opened the passenger door. Emily squealed in excitement as the dead teenager that was once Darryl plopped onto the macadam. Walter grinned from ear to ear as the engine shut off. Clarice emerged from the car and said one thing. “I brought home dinner!”

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This story is a spin-off of my No Gein series, the premise of which is what if real life murderer Ed Gein never got caught. These stories are an experiment I call Pop Culture Alternate History. To understand the background, it may be helpful to read my first story here.

Hallow-Con, October 24th, 1992. New York City

Rita Mae had a love hate relationship with these shows. When she helped found Hallow-Con years ago, she envisioned it as an opportunity to interact with fans and creators in the horror community. During the last few years of this show, Rita witnessed so many wonderful people coming together to share their love of all things scary. Unfortunately, like most any other type of fandom, there was also that portion of the crowd that was, let’s just say problematic. While adjusting her microphone she looked out over the crowd and saw a few familiar faces. There were the usual cosplayers; people dressing up as characters from the Halloween films, classic monsters, and a few random others. Many of the costumes were really elaborate and she could tell people put a lot of effort into them. There was one, however, that turned her stomach. “Too soon.” she thought to herself, spotting someone cosplaying as Jeffrey Dahmer. A questionable costume was the least of her concerns at the moment. As the convention room filled up, she wondered if she was about to be in the hot seat. Rita was sitting on a Friday the 13th panel, and she was the director of the fans least favorite entry.

At least Tom Savini was up here with her. The crowd gave a big cheer to the master of gory special effects who’d worked on several 80’s slashers. The rest of the panel got applause as well, and Rita couldn’t help wonder if the MC, who was a publicity rep from the studio, purposely introduced her last. As Rita heard her name being spoken, she cringed as there were some boos in the crowd. Of course, not everyone was so rude. Looking out in the audience, she saw author Robert Bloch applauding her. Next to him was a big heavy set guy who stood and applauded too. Tom Savini tried to assist, saying. “Hey come, on Part Five is my favorite!” When some in the crowd laughed Tom added “No, I’m serious.”

The panel opened with a Q and A. in which the panelists talked about the early development of the first film. Initially inspired by 1978’s moderately successful Halloween, early drafts went through a few ideas before settling on the villain being the Jersey Devil. One of the early ideas for the first movie was to have a female killer. “Thank God we didn’t go that route,” the publicist chimed in, “Friday the 13th never would have went anywhere then.”

Savini took a few questions about designing the Devil’s new look for Part Three, as per the film’s story the Devil got burned in a fire. Finally a question came to Rita Mae. She was almost hoping to get through the whole panel without having to say anything. What she got was a fair question though. “Give the supernatural elements introduced in Part Six like the Cult of Vorhees; do you ever wish you would have used those elements for A New Beginning?”

“That’s a good question.” Rita took a deep breath as she looked out at the audience. “When they ‘killed off,’” Rita spoke using air quotes, “the devil in the ‘final chapter’” she then paused to give the MC a snarky look. The audience chuckled to his response, which was motioning his fingers to mimic the holding of cash. “Anyway, as I was saying,” Rita Mae went on to explain, “the studio told me they wanted Part Five to have a more realistic tone in the vein of the the first film.” Looking again at the studio rep, she added, “Plus, the studio only gave us a budget of about 2 million.” The audience laughed again while she now mimicked the holding of money. She thought for a moment maybe this session wouldn’t be so bad after all. Finishing her thoughts, she concluded, “This meant we couldn’t go too over the top with supernatural stuff. That’s how we came up with the idea of a human killer. Like they said,” she explained, referring to the other people on the panel, “that was one of the first ideas for the franchise.”

Some in the crowd, but not all to be fair, booed again at the mention of the actual killer in Part Five, a disgruntled special effects worker who impersonated the Jersey Devil to avenge the death of his daughter. This creative choice was not received well by the fans, which in turn had them direct their ire toward Rita during moments like these.

Next, Rita saw a young gothic-looking girl near one of the mics set up for fan questions.  She looked kind of familiar. Rita recalled that she’d just been sitting next to Bloch and that big guy. Next to her was a guy in a Halloween shirt that seemed to be her husband or boyfriend. It almost looked like he was consoling her as she looked really anxious approaching the mic.

“Hi,” the woman said nervously. “My name’s Vicki and I want to direct someday too.”

“Alright!” Tom Savini said, clapping his hands which led to some light applause from the audience.

“Maybe this panel stuff isn’t so bad after all.” Rita thought to herself.

After the brief applause the young fan sounded more confident and asked, “I know your movie isn’t the most popular in the series but I was wondering what you are the most proud of from that film?”

Perhaps partly due to the backlash her film got, that was a question she never really considered. “I’m proud of a lot of what we did actually.” Thinking aloud she said, “While you’re right, it’s not as popular an entry, I am proud that we continued the story arc of the adult Tommy Jarvis.” Referring to the fan favorite character introduced in Part Four played by Corey Feldmen, she went on to explain, “In fact, I would dare say by the time you get to Part Six with the Cult of Vorhees kidnapping Tommy and forcing him to bring the Devil back, you understand him more as a character. I think that is, in part, thanks to what we did in Five.”

“Your movie still sucked!” the Dhamer cos-player yelled from the audience.

“No, you suck asshole!” Vicki taunted back on the mic causing some in the audience to cheer.

“Wow!” Rita thought to herself, “hear me roar.” Then she said aloud to her adoring fan, “Thanks.”

“Thank you.” Vicki said before walking proudly back to her seat.

Savini then got on his mic and said to the audience “Guys just a reminder, let’s be respectful please. We’re all here to have fun.”

Following this, on the other side of the auditorium a guy was laughing while he got on the mic and asked, “Is it true that originally there was going to be more nudity?”

“Yeah, they wanted me to shoot a fucking porno in the woods.” Rita answered, recalling her clashes with the studio who wanted more sex. The crowd reacted even more viscerally this time. Loud boos were followed by chants of “porno porno porno!” What was once a fun horror convention turned into Animal House.

“Your feminazi bullshit almost killed the franchise!” someone else from the crowd shouted.

“Great,” Rita again thought to herself, “Rush Limbaugh made it to the horror show.”

“I knew we shouldn’t have let that woman on here.” Rita heard the publicist mumble as he took the mic. “Alright everybody,” the publicist said, standing in front of her, oblivious to the glare she gave him. Her feelings were a cocktail of shock and anger as he asked the crowd “who wants to hear about the next movie!” the crowd erupted while Rita could see the white light from a projector in the back of the room. Partially blinded by this sudden burst of light, but she didn’t bother turning to see the image that apparently made this crowd so happy. Most of the audience didn’t notice and probably didn’t care when Rita got up and left. As she exited, she heard the publicist say something about some deal with a new studio resulting in a new Devil movie that will be out next year. Rita didn’t care, it’s not like she’d be directing it anyway. She just wanted to go to the bar, then go back to her hotel room and curl up in her pajamas.

Tune back in after a few days to see what Rita encounters next at the horror show.

Part Nine: Yours Truly, Robert Bloch 

October 26th, 1990. Hallow-Con New York City

George browsed a book vendor while waiting for the auditorium to open for tonight’s panel. A blue covered book caught his eye, on the cover of which was the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolfman. Flipping through its pages, he remembered reading this book as a kid; which was titled Movie Monsters by Alan Ormsby. Placing it back on the table, he noticed a few movie novelizations and spin-off books. George spotted a Halloween novel; it wasn’t an adaptation of one of the movies though. The title read, “Halloween: The Return of Michael Myers.” by Nicholas Grabowsky. This book also brought back memories of film school, back when he borrowed this book from Dan. George recalled those early days in the student dormitory arguing about the novel, which was an original story where both Michael Myers and Dr. Gavin survived the explosion at the end of Halloween II. Myers awakens from a ten-year coma to wreak havoc on Haddonfield, and Dr. Gavin returns to again save Laurie Strode, who now has a daughter. George thought this would have been a much better movie than what the fourth Halloween movie turned out to be, especially with that incredible twist ending. Myers is legitimately blown up in the climax, but the novel ends with Laurie Strode getting killed by her now psychotic eight-year-old daughter, who has inherited her uncle’s madness. Dan didn’t agree though, as he loved Carpenter’s vision for the franchise. That disagreement didn’t matter anymore now. Looking down at the book, he realized that was the first time in a while that he’d thought about his film school days.

Putting the book back on the table, he wondered if Dan read the novel sitting next to it. Judging by the cover, Halloween: The Revenge of Britti Loyd, apparently followed the exploits of the child psychotic from the previous cool. He began to browse the book sitting next to that. Halloween: Child’s Play, was a crossover novel where the killer girl gets with Chucky, the evil doll from the Child’s Play series. The vendor told him a new crossover novel was coming out soon, mixing the two aforementioned series with the new Puppet Master films. “That sounded fun,” George thought to himself.

He then spotted a book he’d recognized. American Gothic was a novel he’d read as a teenager. It was about this guy named H. H. Holmes who had a literal torture chamber in his house. The thing was this case was actually real. Dr. Holmes Murder Castle was a factual account of the real-life case by the same author of American Gothic, the same author he was going to meet tonight. He hadn’t read the factual account and decided to buy both books. After paying and putting both books in his bag, he went into the now open auditorium. 

The special topic tonight was the history of the horror film, hosted by the man George sought to meet, Robert Bloch. George was growing to like his work, but he wondered why Bloch was presenting on this topic, since he had little if anything to do with horror movies. As the author was introduced, George now realized, per the MC’s introduction, that Bloch wrote television episodes for shows George liked, such as Monsters, Tales of the Unexpected, and Darkroom. Not only that, but he also wrote episodes of the original Star Trek, Night Gallery, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. The MC joked that Robert Bloch had the heart of a young boy, which he keeps in a jar on his desk. This elicited laughter from the audience and Robert Bloch took the stage.

After receiving a warm reception, the author graciously thanked the convention for having him, then jested “You were too cheap to ask Stephen King and you knew I needed lunch money.” The audience laughed some more. George did not expect to find the master of psycho tales to be cracking jokes, but there he was.

Naturally Bloch began his lecture with the golden age of horror of the 1930’s and 40’s. He pointed out how the classic monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman were all foreigners, and/or characters from European folklore. Then in the 50’s you had the nuclear monsters in the wake of the atomic bomb. George remembered watching those movies. His dad and his sister liked them too. He remembered one time he covered himself with a blanket trying to scare his sister while they watched The Blob. He rolled over to her in his disguise and Helen just laughed hysterically.

There wasn’t as much to cover in the 1960s, but Bloch noted that the 1970s brought a pronounced change. George cheered ferociously at the mention of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Hearing such an exuberant response, Bloch pointed to George and said, “I bet you loved the sequel, the Tennessee Slumber Party.” to which George and everyone else howled in laughter. Bloch went on to explain how the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a 1974 film about a group of hillbillies in rural Texas. The lead villain, a deformed character named Saw-man, dispatched random motorists with his trusty chainsaw. George wished with all his heart that that movie could have turned into a series. In his mind it could have stood up there with the modern franchises like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Unfortunately, in the real world, a sequel never came.

Bloch’s point about Chainsaw was, while it was not a big hit, it marked a new trend of homegrown American horror, scary stories of not a foreign or alien menace, but about your neighbor, the guy next door. Other movies mentioned included Last House on the Left, and The Hills Have Eyes, which Bloch joked was followed by the sequel the Woods have Noses. Bloch theorized that in the wake of the Manson murders and the social unrest of the 1960s, audiences were developing a taste for real life and brutality in their horror. George was never academic about his fandom, but he was unsure of Bloch’s theory. After all, as the author himself had said, the aforementioned films were not big hits.

Halloween was mentioned, which brought about a big cheer. “If you remember, the first two Halloween movies were not about ghosts and werewolves,” Bloch reminded the audience. “It was about a boy, Michael Myers, who was a psychotic killer. Michael Myers wasn’t from another country or from outer space, he was from any-town USA. Now, hearing the cheers in this crowd, assuming you’re not cheering for me,” to which the audience laughed again, “these movies obviously found an audience.” Another cheer erupted as Bloch continued, “but the truth was these weren’t very successful movies when you look at the box office. Now if you look in the last decade, we seemed to have taken the idea of the home-grown threat and brought it back to the monster. If you look at Halloween, it did inspire a sub-genre known as the slasher, with movies like the Burning and Sleepaway Camp, but they weren’t huge hits like 1980’s Friday the 13th with its Jersey Devil, or like CHUD, or Critters, or the Thing remake. You did have ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, with Freddy Kreuger being slasher-esque, but he’s also like a ghost, more supernatural. Halloween itself got away from the slasher genre it helped create in its later installments, bringing in witches and ghosts and werewolves. Reportedly the next entry of that series is going to involve vampires. I have an idea for the following one though.” He then suggested, pointing his finger up in the air, “It should be about Jack the Ripper!” Again, the audience laughed, especially from those familiar with Bloch’s frequent works involving the infamous London serial killer.

“What will the 90s bring to horror cinema,” Bloch asked as he reached the end of his speech, “who knows? Sequels for all the big franchises are still in the works, but undoubtedly a new generation will come along with new characters that will make us Scream.“

After dinner Dan and Victoria sat in on a presentation on entertainment law. The presenter was a young woman, a lawyer who specialized in the entertainment business. Dan wouldn’t say it out loud, but she looked like she could be a movie star herself. She was quite attractive, with a special poise and intelligence about her, similar to what Dan saw in Victoria.

When the presentation ended the woman stayed to take questions from the audience. As Dan and Victoria approached, the woman greeted Dan with a smile and said, “Nice shirt.”

Dan looked down at his Halloween shirt that he totaly forgot he was wearing. “Thanks.” he said. Then looking back up at her he asked. “Are you a Halloween fan?”

“Yeah, I got a soft spot for the original.” The lawyer revealed. “Actually, I auditioned for a role in it.”

“Wait what!?!” Dan and Victoria were both surprised as Dan asked. “You were an actress?”

“Well, my mother was.” The woman said. “You probably never heard of her. Janet Leigh?” 

Dan drew a blank, but Victoria recognized that name. “Oh, I know her, she was in the Manchurian Candidate and Angels in the Outfield!”

“That’s right!” The woman said, pleasantly surprised.

“And she was in Touch of Fear!” Victoria added enthusiastically.

“The Orson Wells classic.” The woman said, then pointing at Victoria, she said to Dan. “That’s a smart girl you have there.” 

“Thanks,” Dan said, “she’s the best.” 

“Aww that’s so sweet.” The woman said, admiring the young couple’s affection for each other.

“So, you tried to be an actress?” Victoria asked.

“Well, when I was young the acting bug got me, so I dropped out of law school to give it a shot. My big break never came through.” she explained, revealing no remorse over her path in life. “Eventually I went back to school, became an entertainment lawyer, and here I am!”

“That’s really cool.” Victoria said. “Do you ever regret it, not getting to act?”

“Sometimes I think about it, but I like what I’m doing.” she answered.  “Who knows, maybe someday I’ll take another stab at it!” she said laughing while thrusting her hand in a stabbing motion. “In the meantime, if you ever need representation here is my card.”

Both Dan and Victoria took her business card. Dan looked down to read it. “Jamie Curtis.” Looking up he said, “Well it was nice to meet you.”

“Nice meeting you too!” Jamie Curtis said. She smiled as the young couple walked away. The lawyer then turned to chat with the last few people remaining in the room.

Part Seven: The Master of Horror

October 26th, 1990. Hallow-Con, New York City

Victoria, like most everyone else at the convention, was excited to meet Tom Savini, the master of gory special effects. Savini did effects work for such classics as Dawn of the Dead, Maniac, The Burning, Creepshow, and Friday the 13th, hence the long line at the Friday the 13th booth for his autograph. While waiting with Dan she rolled her eyes as George bragged about the all the times he’d already met him.

Strategically adjacent to Savini was the booth for the current Friday the 13th TV series. Dan and Victoria were happy to meet Chris Wiggins, Eliaz Zarou, and Steve Monarque while moving along in line. Talking to the cast of the series, they got to look at a few props from the show, which was about cursed items from a pawn shop and had nothing to do with the films. Dan took Victoria’s picture while she tried on the cursed apron, which was worn in an episode by a distraught camp cook whose son drowned in a lake. George picked up a hockey mask laying among the props, making Victoria remember another episode where a guy got ahold of that mask and turned into an unkillable psychopath. Victoria and Dan both agreed that would have made a good movie.

The hockey mask fit perfectly over George’s face, and through the eyeholes he could see across the aisle to the Nightmare on Elm Street booth. Its star, Kane Hodder, who played Freddy Krueger, was present signing autographs. As usual, unable to contain his excitement, George screamed “Kane Hodder!” Kane laughed as he looked across the aisle to see this big man wearing a hockey mask waving at him. Kane waved back and smiled politely as he continued signing autographs for his fans.

Victoria and her fiancé were both glowing as they finally reached the end of the line. “Hey big guy!” Tom seemed to recognize George from past conventions and happily shook his hand. Victoria was afraid George would yap with him forever, but fortunately he did not, and her and Dan were next.

“I’m so thrilled to meet you!” Victoria blushed. Tom graciously shook her hand as she felt a rush of excitement. She flashed back to all those times as a young teenager, watching horror movies on her dirty couch, never even daring to dream that someday she would be here before him. To Victoria and her fiancé, this moment was like what meeting Michael Jordan or Joe Montana would be to people outside these convention walls. The couple were absolutely thrilled to talk with Tom, who could not have been more friendly.

To George, meeting Savini may have become old hat, but he was still excited due to what was standing right next to the horror effects master. There it was, decked out in full costume straight out of the movies, what was considered to be Tom’s greatest creation. It was massive, lumbering, evil. While her fiancé made small talk with Tom, Victoria noticed George looking over the creature the way most men would look over her. His eyes went up and down the monstrous body, appreciating every little detail, from the fangs and claws down to the last little bloody scar. There before him, stood the Jersey Devil of the Friday the 13th series. 

Naturally, Dan and Victoria admired the beast as well. “I always wanted to ask you this.” Dan said nervously.  “Is it true there was a different story in mind for the first Friday the 13th film?”

“Well, I didn’t write the script, but most of the people on the crew were big fans of Halloween.” The master explained while pointing to Dan’s Halloween shirt. “From what I remember, the original story was going to have a human killer.” Looking at Victoria he added “If I recall they were even thinking of a female villain. Thing was, Halloween wasn’t a huge hit, so the financiers were a little gun shy.” 

“Really!” Dan wondered aloud. “I thought Halloween was awesome!”

“Sure, I mean the people that come to shows like this love it,” Tom said, “but remember it wasn’t really a successful movie. Some of it was great, but they needed a better lead actress.”

“I loved that red head!” George interjected, refering to the actress from the first Halloween. Victoria’s eyes rolled as he motioned with his hands. “She had that nice big rack!”

“Uh, yeah,” Tom nervously laughed. “She couldn’t act though, they needed someone to play Laurie Strode with some vulnerability. Michael Myers was such a great villain, and Donald Pleasence was pitch perfect as Dr. Gavin. If they’d just cast a good lead that could have put the movie over the top.” George continued admiring the creature while Victoria and Dan nodded in understanding.

“Anyway, Sean Cunningham got a new group of investors for the film,” Tom went on to explain, “and these new investors pushed for a monster. There hadn’t been a good monster movie in a while, and we thought, hell since we’re filming in New Jersey anyway, why not make it the Jersey Devil?”

“Too bad about not having a female killer.” Victoria thought out loud. “We don’t get too many of those, aside from Carrie I guess.”

“And Mary Lou from the Prom Night Sequels.” Dan added.

“That’s why I love you dear.” Victoria’s eyes twinkled at her fellow horror nerd.

“It’s probably all for the best though.” George again interjected. Pointing to the Devil, he said “That thing is awesome. Who’s under the mask? Is it C. J. Graham or Dan Bradley?”

“That’s the one and only Tim Mirkovich.” Savini revealed.”

“Oh sweet, straight from Part Eight.” George said excitedly. “I wasn’t sure if you were going to be here!”

The young couple then got their pictures taken with both Tom and the Devil. George also got his Friday the 13th Part 8: The Devil Takes Manhattan poster autographed. “This is the best Friday ever!” George said. “I loved that chase scene on the Brooklyn Bridge, and that scene where the Devil dives off the Statue of Liberty was so cool!”

“Thank you.” Tom said. “Those were really hard scenes to shoot; we’re sure glad you appreciate them.”

“So, what’s the next movie going to be about?” Victoria asked.

“Well, we don’t know where else to take him.” Tom started thinking on his feet. “We did Jersey, we did New York,” Tom laughed while speculating, “Maybe next the Devil should go back to hell!”

“That would rule!” George said, his eyes still on the beast. More fans were gathered around to meet Savini, so the trio and Tom made their final greetings. Walking away with the autographs and pictures, Victoria could have gone home right then and there and would have been happy.

October 26th, 1990. Bethlehem Pennsylvania

The Second Street Tavern was filled with music as Henry watched her daughter take a shot. He’d long dispatched Phil from the pool table, who was now on stage jamming with Steve. Henry was growing to like the local music scene. He liked it more when an attractive red head walked in with a guitar slung around her back. He gave her a quick smile as he heard her daughter say “Shit!” after the sound of the cue ball hitting the side of the pool table for a scratch. “Your shot dad.” 

He remembered his daughter being a better player than this as he looked over the table. She’d missed an easy corner shot that set him up to knock one of his own in the side pocket.  Looking at her while he set up his shot, she seemed annoyed.

“What’s wrong hon?” He asked while easily making the shot.

“I don’t know, I’m still upset George didn’t come out.”

“You’re here, that’s what counts.” he said while eyeing up his next shot.

“But it’s our family. I guess I just expected him to be here, because, well you know.”

“Well, he probably doesn’t remember Aunt Sally too much.” Henry reasoned as he sank another ball. “Do you remember her?”

“Yeah, a little. I remember going to see her in the hospital, and I remember when she stayed with us for a while. She would let me and George watch cartoons when you wanted us to do homework.”

“Yeah,” Henry laughed while looking over his next shot, “she was a free spirit. Our parents were really tough on both of us, and she just had it in her so much to rebel.” He went on to reveal, “Sometimes mom and I knew she was letting you watch movies or sneaking you treats. We let her go, figured she should have some fun with you while she could.”

“Were things really that bad for her?”

Sinking another solid Henry said, “She was in and out of trouble as long as I could remember.” Looking over at the bar’s Age of Purchase calendar he added, “Once she was gone, I mean it was devastating, but nobody was really surprised.” He then looked at the table to set up his final shot. “None of this is on George though, he’s got to go his own way.”

“When’s the last time you even talked to him?” Helen asked.

Eyeing up his final shot, about to win another game he answered, “I don’t know, it’s been a while.”