One of the key elements of a horror movie is the hopelessness involved when the monster is in pursuit of his victims. These relentless murdering machines who are unbelievably indestructible and impossible to stop are a lot like the coming of night; it is something there is no escape from. Whether it is Jason Vorhees or Pinhead, or even little Chucky the talking doll, evil in a horror movie never quits until the body count is high and any hope of the victims being rescued is gone. Trying to stop someone like Michael Meyers is an exercise in futility as we see in Halloween 4 when Micheal attacks the sheriff's office and kills every deputy on hand .
Have you ever been watching one of these movies and wondered how it might be if the unstoppably evil villain were upon the target of his hellish desires and suddenly someone appeared who had the power to stand up to the murderous fiend? The girl is cornered, screaming for all she is worth for a savior and instead of the gurgling noise that signals she is drowning in her own blood from the knife wounds, a hero arrives who is an even match for the most terrible of creatures.
Batman vs Predator
The creature from Predator is not a horror film monster, that much is true, but the creature meets the criteria; he hunts victims and kills for the basic purpose of collecting trophies. I picked Predator because there actually was a comic book three-part series, Batman vs Predator and the creature stalked victims, killed without a logical purpose and then met an adversary who knew no fear and was a match for the monster.
Physically the Bat wasn't a real match and had to rely on heavy armor, suffered severe physical harm from the creature's attacks and at the very end of the third installment, the Dark Knight casts off his helmet, charges out into the darkened forest armed with a Louisville Slugger and hits a proverbial home run and puts the monster down. The story was thrilling because for the majority of the three episodes the monster had the upper hand and seemed unstoppable and then a swing of a baseball bat ended one monster's reign of terror.
Michael Meyers vs Captain America
I have always thought that John Carpenter's original Halloween movie was the best horror film ever made. Michael Meyers was the scariest thing ever imagined. He couldn't die for some unexplainable reason. He moved slowly, deliberately after his sister played by Jamie Lee Curtis and by the time Halloween 2 had played out he had been shot numerous times, burned in a fire and still wasn't dead and there was the never ending threat he would be back again no matter how badly he may have been wounded or even apparently killed.
The scariest scene is the one where he is lying prone on the floor, is presumed dead while she is breathing a sigh of relief and then he sits up and slowly turns his head to gaze at the back of his unsuspecting victim. That has been one of if not the highlight of the movie, in each of more than a dozen viewings. The scene we want to focus on, however is the one where he stands in the dark alley, a demonic silhouette in the glow of a street light and the victim sees him and screams in shear terror.
If Michael Meyers is the ultimate evil, a shadow beneath a street light, what if the girl started running, arrived at the next street light, bumped into another shadow, screamed to put viewers on the edge of their seats and this new shadowy figure has wings on its head and an oval object in one hand? Did our blood pressure suddenly skyrocket because now we have an excited expectation of a real fight, not a senseless slaughter of a helpless girl. We now have the irresistibly indestructible force face to face with a hero who knows no fear and will not run, and then the shield is hurled and Captain America charges from the shadowy darkness.
Godzilla vs The Incredible Hulk
When I was about 10 years old there was a weekly ritual on Saturday afternoon that involved my two younger brothers and I and a show on television called Monster Theater. Every Saturday we turned the coffee table into a blanket fort and put a row of toy soldiers and plastic tanks, trucks and howitzers between us and what ever monster was the star of the show that day. The funny thing is in a Godzilla movie the Japanese were using soldiers and tanks and rocket launchers to try and stop the gigantic beast but to no avail. You were left with the thought that nothing could stop the enormous creature and to a kid that equates with despair and hopelessness.
There is another big green monster out there in the world, and he has as much disregard for tanks and soldiers as Godzilla so what makes more sense than pitting one big green monster against another when one is a protector of mankind? In a movie it works: Dr. Banner is called in to investigate how Godzilla came into being due to his background in radiation but circumstances eliminate a Banner-Godzilla examination and instead anger over the destructive creature refusing to allow the doctor to run some tests causes the good doctor to defer to his more aggressive alter ego, the Hulk, who never takes no for an answer.
Freddie Krueger vs Wolverine
The first time I saw Nightmare On Elm Street I was at a loss for what was going on. It took a lot of thought and a second viewing to figure out that what was happening was taking place in a dream world, not in the wide awake state of consciousness. People don't die in their dreams, not unless you consider that a dream too frightening could cause a heart attack. But Krueger does kill in dreams which is where he dwells in death and must stalk his victims. Unless you can avoid sleeping ever again, there is no way to avoid a confrontation and the really bad part is he is in complete control, something like a computer program that has pre-set parameters to control what can happen or not.
Assuming that a tangible human form could challenge a dream, who would you consider the ideal dance partner for a guy with claws who prefers the slice and dice to a nice waltz or the two-step? Fred is dangerous because he inspires a severe and debilitating state of fear, cannot be killed because he is already dead and kills with razor sharp claws. Wolverine has his healing factor that almost make him immortal and what you would expect is an epic battle.
Dracula vs Wonder Woman
Like Freddie Krueger, Dracula is a dead creature, but with a difference: Dracula doesn't just kill people, he feeds off of them much like middle aged people do with pot pies and tv dinners. His preference is attractive young women whom he uses a hypnotic power over to gain control of before making a liquid-diet feast of the lovely lady. The only way to kill him is find his coffin, put a stake through is heart and then burn the coffin with him in it.
Ask yourself, could Dracula charm Wonder Woman into a life draining first (and last date), or even make her one of his forever mates? Assuming that she comes with any measure of invulnerability how does a dead guy flapping about like a bat bite a girl on the neck? With his hpno-gaze he could presumably put her under his spell but then what, chew on her until he either breaks all of his teeth out or punctures her neck. Now that she is going to be packing a sword around in the movies could he really stop her from piercing his heart?
The Zombie Apocalypse vs ?
There have been a lot of movies with a focus on the end of the world as it occurs when the dead rise up to destroy the living. Night of The Living Dead is a cult classic giant by which all others are measured. At the end of the movie there is no clear cut idea that the sun comes up the next day and all is well in the world, or what it was that made decaying bodies crawl out of the ground and go in search of the living for a little snack. Now ask yourself, how do you kill something that is already dead?
In a lot of movies on the subject, or in video games, turning the walking corpses into hamburger works, but in the original zombie apocalypse movie you shot them in the head and they go down. But what is to stop them from getting up again later, because they are still dead and that seems to be the single most important requirement for being a zombie.
There is a two book novel out there called The Regulators: Hell On Earth that begins as a story of super-powered vigilantes who pass extreme sentences on the more extreme criminals as a way of chasing crime from the streets. But a psycho with a terrible secret comes along and the idiot unleashes, yes you guessed it, the Zombie Apocalypse. It is an established example of what happens when horror meets super-hero, just as Batman vs Predator gives us sci-fi vs super-hero. Its monsters versus comic book types and in the novel there is one moment when several thousand of the dead things march upon the hidden home of the Regulators.
In that moment in the story the team's speedster, Silver Streak arms himself with a souvenir sword and using super speed cuts his share of the things to pieces in a 9 on thousands battle royal, It is exaggerated when you consider that a couple of resistance fighters with shotguns may kill a dozen or so in any one encounter and then there is one man with a blade and blazing speed slaying many more, but that is the nature of a world that includes super powered beings, or not.
Making A Movie
People love to go to the theater and scare themselves with a good horror movie. Those kinds of movies draw a crowd and are entertaining, but ask yourself, do they make as much money as a movie about a comic book hero saving the world. Of you take that moment in ever horror film when the killer/monster is about the kill the main character, is that exciting enough, or would it be better as I have described the various possibilities involving a variety of monster types? Would people enjoy a movie more if Michael Meyers proceeded unabated to the victim and committed his act of butchery, or would it be ten times as exciting if someone like Captain America interfered?
As always, please leave your comments, whether you agree or think I'm out of my mind, or have some ideas for movies like this and who should be in them. And please don't forget to cast your vote in the poll. Thanks!