Slasher movies are weird so by proxy so are the killers that inhabit them. You try living in a world of constant death, dismemberment and pain, and tell me that your behavior wouldn’t leave a lot of be desired. However, despite how maladaptive Jason, Freddy, Pinhead or any of the other slasher-centric characters are on this list, they have actually been allowed to spread their weapons in other areas of entertainment. Much like the franchises from which these characters have come from, where they started is ultimately different than where they have ended up.
Where have they been allowed to bring their special brand of fun? How about music videos, late night TV, and politics just to name a few. Okay, I’ll just say it, this is list is odd. In a lot of the slasher cameos the slasher in question really doesn’t need to be there. However, they are there and that fact alone means that their contribution needs to be dished on.
One could also wonder if stepping into more homogeneous landscapes hurt these slasher’s screen cred? In that case it probably depends on where the Slasher appeared. If it was day time TV with Ellen then that probably would mess things up in terms of a scare quotient. If it was in a music video with a heavy metal act then not so much. Ultimately, these iconic slashers were probably at a place in their careers where their celebrity probably hurt their scare factor more than anything.
Maybe the bigger question is why are the career changes these slashers tried so music-centric? I figured if I had this question I am sure that you will as well. Freddy Krueger, probably because of his bigger than life personality, seems like a natural for music videos. However, some of the other slashers appear in music related performances and you will be highly surprised at who these slashers are. Maybe the underlying theme is that music and murder make the strangest of bedfellows?
Or, perhaps the Slashers mentioned in this list were always meant for bigger and better things beyond horror movies. Maybe Elm Street, Camp Crystal Lake, and even Hell just couldn’t contain these baddies? Try as they might movie-goers couldn’t help but find these slashers endearing and, in some cases, even lovable. Maybe the reason why these Slashers have turned up in these weird places is some form cinema-Stockholm Syndrome. We love these killers… even though we know they don’t love us. Ultimately, that is enough to make us want to see them branch out.
Freddy Krueger Gets Mortal
Interestingly, Freddy broke new ground in the Mortal Kombat game that was released in 2011. As a downloadable character he attempts to take out Shao Khan in a dream. This makes sense as Freddy is the master of the dream realm. Armed with his trusty razor gloves, Khan proves too strong and in facts takes Freddy into his world. It is here that Freddy takes part in Khan’s tournament, and, if you play in story mode, you will also see that a shaman realizes that Freddy is one mean mother and ultimately takes care of him. After this, Mortal Kombat X would come out and we would get characters like Alien and Predator (among others). Truthfully, in the all the video game slasher crossovers that I have ever played, most of them haven’t been that great. It’s nice to see that Freddy and his ilk have found a home in this hyper violent world. These characters need an outlet that captures their ability to be supremely evil. What better one could there be than in the Mortal Kombat world?
Freddy Also Gets Political
In the 1980s there was a very odd show created by Sid and Marty Kroft (Land of the Lost) called DC Follies. It was a send up of the political landscape of the day (lord knows what it would be like in 2018), and one of the more interesting things about it was that it used puppets. Now, Freddy is sprinkled throughout a half-hour of one of the shows. There is a spot with him wanting to kill then president George Bush. He is aided in this endeavor by Fred Willard (Remo Williams?), who is quick to point out that if Freddy kills Bush, then we’ll get Dan Quayle as our Commander In Chief. Freddy thinks better of it and decides to leave things as they are. Again, what might be the knifed-hand crusader’s take on today’s current President be? Freddy also appears with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker in a segment that is probably more talky than it needs to be. Sadly, this whole affair peters out by the end as Freddy takes stock of the life he’s led as killer of young people. He and Willard talk about some of Freddy’s other accomplishment and that is essentially where the proceedings end. Overall, this DC Follies jaunt is one of the more interesting things you’ll see Freddy do, however, I am not too sure how memorable it is.
Freddy Sings (Sort Of)
In 1987 there was album released titled Freddy’s Greatest Hits. The reason for this release is still mired in mystery. What we do know is that there was a group seemingly created for or about Freddy. The album featured a bunch of 80s sounding, up-tempo songs that are clearly not in the Freddy Krueger wheelhouse. Truthfully, Robert Englund/Freddy doesn’t actually sing on the proceedings. Rather he can be heard sprinkled throughout the songs laughing and yelling in the classic Freddy rumblings that we have all come to know and love. There isn’t anything too special about this album other than the fact that the master appears on this record. It might have been cool to have Jason, Michael, and Freddy team up to do some sort of group under a name like “The Cut-Ups,” “The Hacks” or “The Slashers.” Freddy would also do musical-themed projects with none other than DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince as well as everybody’s favorite rockers Dokken.
Chucky Joins the WCW
If you are still reading this article and not laying on the ground laughing because of that headline then I applaud you. As odd as it seems, Chucky’s stint with the WCW actually presages such things as Borat and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. In what had to be a promotional stunt for Bride of Chucky, the evil doll appears in a pre-taped segment to argue with Rick Steiner. They banter back and forth and it is during this tit-for-tat that Chucky ultimately plugs (what else?) Bride of Chucky. Probably the coolest thing about this “appearance” by Chucky is he interrupts an interview Steiner is doing with none other than Mean Gene Okerlund. Okerlund gets in on the fun but truthfully, there isn’t too much more to this charade. As I prepared to write this portion of the list I racked my brain trying to think of ways Chucky’s foray into the WCW could’ve been better. Dressing some random wrestler up as Chucky might’ve worked if they had had star power of some sort. However, Chucky was the focus (as he was certainly there to promote his movie), so perhaps going to the pre-taped route was the best way to go? Whatever the case, Chucky on the WCW didn’t kick-off a lot imitators so maybe that is a good thing.
Pinhead shows up in “Hellraiser” Music Video with Motörhead
Hellraiser and Motörhead seem like a match made in… hell, don’t they? Given the band’s artwork on most of their albums, the iconic skull with the saber-like teeth, glowing eyes, and hanging chains seems like it was unleashed by the devil himself. Lemmy, the groups iconic frontman, certainly appears like he could hold his own with the best of the slashers and in this case it’s Pinhead that makes the perfect foil. In this instance, Motörhead is performing the song “Hellraiser” in which Pinhead is with some of the other Cenobites at a Motörhead show. Things should be copacetic but of course they’re not. Pinhead finds some metal-dude that he has to kill, and of course Lemmy being Lemmy isn’t going to let that happen. A battle ensues in which Pinhead and Lemmy play a game of cards. Yes, this is basically how the action concludes in this odd slasher/music video mashup. It seems the whole reason this thing happened was to create a promotional tool for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. If you love Motörhead and Hellraiser you are probably stoked beyond belief that these two characters shared the small screen together. While it would’ve been great for this thing to have been better, that could just be my 2018 hindsight balking at 1992’s production values. Maybe this is one of the reasons that MTV got away from music videos?
Jason Takes On Alice Cooper
Jason Voorhees and Alice Cooper also makes sense as a cinematic pairing. Cooper always presented a version of himself that didn’t seem to be scared of the dark side. Jason, as a slasher, is the dark side personified. So the fact that these two met for Cooper’s song, “He’s Back,” seems to again advance the idea that slasher movies and hard rock music were meant for one another. In this video with somewhat of a French New Wave flair, a young teen takes his lady friend on a date to see, what else, a Friday the 13th movie. During this viewing experience, a man dressed as Jason jumps through the movie screen and turns out to be Alice Cooper. After some convoluted moments, the teens actually end up in the movie (a nod to The Purple Rose of Cairo, maybe?) with Alice Cooper tormenting them. Then they are out of the movie and as they walk home they are stalked by Alice Cooper until Jason saves them. The video concludes with the male teen talking about the movie with his father. At this point we see that his dad is Alice Cooper which is probably the scariest idea of all. As badly done as this music video might be, it does have a certain degree of charm to it. MTV is kinda sad now. Out of the music video business, early pioneers of the channel like myself are left to remember how Music Television used to be. Sure, it was filled with songs and videos that, upon further review, weren’t that amazing. That doesn’t mean that we wanted the videos stop. Eventually, they became their own art form and that more than anything probably explains their demise. After all, who wants art when they can simply rewind and remember such monolithic video moments as Jason Vorhees battling Alice Cooper in the “He’s Back” video?
Jason Does Late Night TV with Arsenio Hall
Just like when Chucky appeared with the WCW, let the title of this next entry marinate for a bit. In what has to either be the worst moment in the history of The Arsenio Hall Show or a publicity stunt of Warholian proportions, Jason Vorhees appearing for a sit-down with Arsenio Hall is the stuff of legend. In an effort to promote Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, the hockey masked slasher takes the stage and really doesn’t do much but sit around and stare menacingly at Arsenio. Arsenio tries to ask some questions but Jason is having none of it. Eventually, this whole bit grows tired and it’s time for Jason to go. There are many ways to look at this bit of stunt publicity. Maybe the people behind this iteration of the Friday the 13th franchise saw it as a way to make Jason mainstream? He was taking Manhattan after all. Perhaps after seeing Chucky and Freddy cozy up to audiences, Jason’s keepers felt that it was time he get in on the action. Whatever the reason one can only wonder how in the hell (no pun intended) Jason Vorhees ended up on The Arsenio Hall Show.
The Crypt Keeper Gets Funky
This last offering is certainly not least as it features the host of Tales From the Crypt, the Crypt Keeper, in a music video of his own. In 1991, there was a soundtrack album put out that showcased music that had appeared in various episodes of the show. However, there was also a rap infused gem called, “The Crypt Keeper Jam.” Now, I am using the term rap fairly loosely here but this cut was further immortalized by the fact that it had a music video. As you might recall from the late 80s early 90s, the rap that was served up on TV all pretty much sounded the same. The beat was straight forward, the lyrics were weak, and overall the best thing about this song inevitably ended up being the music video. With shots of the Crypt Keeper, gold chains, baseball caps, images from Tales From the Crypt, and random body parts doing some dancing, this video opens itself up to rampant laughter. All that said, look at what we’re talking about here. Somebody thought it would be a good idea to have the Crypt Keeper rap!! They also thought it would be a good idea to have them make a music video about it. Maybe the slashers showing up in all these odd places isn’t really that odd. After all, by their very nature these guys are meant to appeal to the masses. These guys took their shots at the big time and the results are what they are.