Sunday, June 3, 2012
Place Your Bets: Michael Myers Vs. Jason Voorhees
Two big names in horror. Two different franchises. Two ultimate evils. Who would win in a showdown?
It's been a while since I've placed two horror icons against each other in a battle to the death where winner kills all. But today, I return to the horror dome with two big bads that still cause audiences to wet their pants.
In this corner, the Granddaddy of all slashers. First picking up a butchers knife in Haddonfield, Illinois on October 31, 1963 when he was just six years old (yes, he started young), this villain hasn't looked like slowing down, despite getting on in years. He's been called everything from The Shape to “Evil on two legs” and has slaughtered dozens of innocent people all over the United States of America. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Myers.
And in this corner, the horror icon with the biggest body count to date. His career has spanned more than 30 years and he doesn't look like slowing down at any moment. He's a goalie with an axe to grind....and a machete, weed whacker, fence paling....well, whatever he can get his hands on will do. Just don't call him a Mama's boy. Ladies and gentlemen, Jason Voorhees.
Let's get ready to rumble...
Michael Myers: A young boy at the tender age of six picks up a knife and stabs his seventeen year old sister to death before being committed to an institution for fifteen years. At the age of 21 (not 23 as listed in the credits of the original film) Michael Myers, who was affectionately known as The Shape, broke free and began his reign of terror, striking 16 people dead on Halloween night, 1978. (Four deaths occurred in the first film, while the rest appeared in the second movie which was set during the same night as the first) His body count ranges from 60 to upwards of 160 depending on who you ask. Either way, you don't want to mess with this guy.
Jason Voorhees: A deformed young boy drowns at age 11 in 1957 at Camp Crystal Lake. Saw his mother begin the reign of terror one Friday the 13th in 1980 (or 1979 if you look closely at her tombstone in Part 4). He saw her decapitated by a machete, then proceeded to take over the series, returning to the camp to finish what she started. Jason has an impressive ten sequels plus a remake and a body count that’s number jumps from as low as 80 to sometimes over 200 depending on the stats. Needless to say, you won't be wanting to visit Camp Crystal Lake any time soon.
So why should these two movie madmen go head to head? And more importantly, who would win?
When it comes to strength, these two are pretty evenly matched. Don't believe me. In Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers, Michael dug his fingers into Earl's neck and practically ripped his head off. Jason in Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan punched Julius's head clean off on the rooftop after the high school boxer encountered our favourite Mighty Duck reject. Both killers have been known to return numerous times, although only Jason is confirmed dead. (I have actually written a thesis on how and why Michael Myers is still alive) Both have some form of supernatural element about them, but mostly I view them as a crazed madman vs. an uber zombie.
Their weapons of choice are easy. Michael has a preference for a large kitchen knife that is about 13 inches in length. Jason, on the other hand, often is spotted with a machete. However, both killers have been known to stray from their set weapons, often using items that they find lying around. From scalpels to corkscrews to bottles and bare hands, regardless of what they use, their victims aren’t coming back.
Body counts are debateable when you’re dealing with most horror icons, and Jason and Michael are no exceptions. Michael has often been credited with having the second highest body count in horror history (although some sources will state that The Tall Man from Phantasm has the silver medal) however finding an accurate account of his kills is almost as impossible as finding meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. Same applies to Jason. From reports as low as 80 to accounts over 200, Jason’s body count fluctuates depending on what Friday the 13th fan site you visit. So, for the purpose of this argument, we’ll say that Jason is reigning in the kills with Michael hot on his heels.
When it comes to height and build, there’s no separating the two. For their original appearances, Michael Myers (Nick Castle) was 5’10 while Jason Voorhees (Warrington Gillette) was 6’1. Since that original appearance, they have both grown with Michael’s average height being 6’2-6’3 while Jason’s average is 6’3-6’5.
As for sequels, these two have had their share of movies. Michael began his reign in 1978 and followed that up with his first sequel in ’81. Ironic that Jason would start his reign of terror in ’81. (The original Friday the 13th was made in 1980, but Jason’s killing spree didn’t start until the sequel) Jason continued his spree year after year, chalking up eight more sequels plus a remake. After the initial Halloween in 1978, Michael came back six times plus a remake and a sequel to the remake. In grand total of films: Halloween: 10. Friday the 13th: 11. For the purpose of this article, I’m looking at their initial appearance.
So, what can we take from all that? Both villains are tall men with strength beyond their means. They fight with whatever they can get their hands on, although they do have a preference when it comes to sharp, pointy objects. They’ve killed unmercifully for the best part of three decades and chalked up more victims then some of the most well known serial killers in history.
So if these two were to come face to face, who would win?
Matched equally in strength, this battle will come down to a battle of wits. Out of the three big villains of horror Freddy Krueger is known for being the brain while Jason is the brawn. As for Michael? He’s the deadly combination of both. He has the strength to match Jason, but he also has the brain power to execute a plan to trap Voorhees and therein take control of the fight. (Think back to Freddy Vs. Jason, for most of the film, Freddy had Jason on the ropes. It was only after other factors – Lori and Will – that helped Jason in the end)
For this showdown where winner kills all, it’s the boy from Haddonfield, Michael Myers, who stands triumphant. While he can be physically matched by Jason, when it comes to smarts, Michael is the winner. His ability to think his way through situations gives him an edge, and let’s face it; he first picked up that knife when he was just six years old. His bloodlust has even labelled him as pure evil. He was the first of his kind and he’ll be standing long after his villainous counterparts are buried.
Winner: Michael Myers.
This could be argued for years to come about who would really win in a showdown between these two. But something that can’t be argued; this will be one hell of a fight.