My apologies for this taking a bit. It’s been kind of strange during this time of the Coronavirus and patterns inevitably become disrupted. I finally found time to get some writing done for Haunted MTL (which I love doing, but this has not been a very productive month for me). Hopefully, you’ve already read the three prior outlines in this Friday the 13th reboot miniseries proposal. If you have not, I suggest you stop here and check them out: Chapter One: Camp Crystal Lake, Chapter Two: The Woman in the Woods, Chapter Three: The Crystal Lake Massacre.
I will outline the final chapter here, as well as a little writing about the choices I made in this reboot.
Let’s dive into Friday the 13th, Chapter Four: Camp Blood Forever.
Friday the 13th, Chapter Four: Camp Blood Forever
The episode begins with two counselors late at night enjoying the last dying embers of a fire. They were left behind to keep an eye on the kids while the rest of the counselors were out searching for the unfortunate victims of the previous episode. They’re somewhat nervous about what is going on, but they’re talking tough to psych themselves up.
Then Alice comes stumbling out of the woods, screaming and bloodied. Alice arrives at the camp in a panic and begins rousing counselors to evacuate the kids. The two counselors are confused and call Eddie Jarvis, who is already on his way. The counselors manage to hold off Alice from disturbing the kids who are sleeping until Eddie arrives and tries to defuse the situation.
Eddie has arrived with one of the Crystal Lake deputies. The deputy asks for Alice to make a report and Alice lets them have it. She talks about the dead counselors, Sheriff Savini, Ms. Voorhees, and the approaching Jason. Eddie and the deputy aren’t sure how to react.
Back in the woods, we watch as Jason makes his way toward the camp. He is sticking close enough to the road for a deputy to see him. The deputy pulls over and loses track of the gigantic Jason, only for Jason to almost supernaturally show up behind him and smash his face into a tree. Jason watches the body drop, stares at it for a moment, and pushes forward.
The deputy at camp makes a call to the others and finds out about the death of Savini, Cunningham, and Hodder as well as the dead Ms. Voorhees and the child from Crystal Lake. He asks for everyone to regroup at camp as something is on the way, believing Alice about Jason. Most of the counselors are still missing, so Eddie, Alice, and the remaining support staff start securing the kids and get ready to put them on the bus to leave camp.
It’s too late, however, as Jason has already arrived. Alice heads to one cabin to secure the kids, narrowly missing Jason who is heading another direction, not noticing her. Jason smashes into a counselor cabin and attacks one of the counselors who tries to defend himself with a hockey stick. Jason grabs the stick, snapping it, and repeatedly stabs the counselor with the broken end.
Eddie enters the cabin trying to see what the holdup is and is pinned to a wall by Jason’s ax. Eddie’s wild death motions knock down stuff off a shelf. Jason rips Eddie from the wall and kills him by crushing his eye sockets. Jason looks at his handiwork and lifts the sweater sleeve he is wearing as mask enough to eat some of Eddie’s blood.
He spies on a hockey mask on the floor and looks at it curiously.
Meanwhile, Alice is in the girls’ cabin getting them to pack up what they can into their bags. The deputy knocks, he tells her to get them to the bus. She gathers them and heads out the door. Screaming grabs her and the deputy’s attention and they see a group of boys fleeing a cabin. The deputy heads that direction and urges the kids to follow Alice.
Alice leads the kids to the bus but the driver is already dead. She tells them to get into the mess hall and hide. She manages to secure the building and has the kids hiding under the tables. She runs off to the kitchen and grabs the biggest knife she can find.
She crouches on the floor next to a group of kids but the sounds of screaming outside of the mess hall pierce the silence. Alice peeks over a table only to see the deputy’s body come crashing through a window. She begins to move toward it, but Jason steps into the frame and he is wearing the hockey mask.
Alice dives back out of sight and Jason peers into the darkened building, unable to see anything. He lifts his tremendous bulk through the frame and broke glass and begins walking around the mess in the dark. Alice gestures to the children to remain silent. Alice creeps around, hiding just out of sight as Jason wanders between the rows of tables and chairs. A child begins to whimper and Jason pauses. He looks around.
Alice quickly stands up and bolts for the window, shouting for Jason. He begins following her as she climbs out the window. She is out of the building when one of the kids accidentally scuffs a chair across the floor. Jason turns his attention back to the mess hall.
Alice realizes Jason isn’t following, so she climbs back into the window and sees that Jason has turned over one of the tables and is approaching a pair of cowering children. She screams and berserker-rushes him, jamming her knife deep into his back. He stumbles backward on top of her and she struggles to escape his weight as she screams for the children to run for a cabin and lock it. The kids unlock the mess hall door and stream out, screaming.
Alice manages to worm her way out from under Jason’s body and nearly escapes until his tremendous hand grabs her ankle and crushes it. Alice screams and kicks at his fingers. He finally lets go and a hobbled Alice limps out the door. Jason rises to his feet, snapping the knife out of his back.
Alice tumbles into the dirt in the common area and can barely walk. She doesn’t see the kids. She tries to put distance between herself and the mess hall, but it is virtually impossible. Jason stumbles out of the building and his masked face looks at her direction. He begins a slow walk toward her and pauses at a memorial pole in the common area; a wooden beam with a couple of placards. He rips it from the ground and approaches Alice.
Three cars come screeching into the camp area and six deputies draw their guns on Jason, who doesn’t seem to notice or care. He just wants Alice. They tell him to stop and drop the weapon, but he keeps walking toward the crawling woman. They open fire. Jason’s body is rocked by a hail of bullets and after a couple dozen shots he finally falls to the ground. Alice, unsure, keeps crawling as one of the deputies runs over to secure her. The others approach the apparently lifeless body of Jason Voorhees.
Jason, not dead, nor alive, really, snaps up and grabs a deputy’s leg, digging dirty, thick fingers deep into his thigh and dropping him. Jason begins to rise to his feet and any attempts by the deputies to bring him down simply results in their deaths. Alice screams as Jason approaches. The deputy next to her attempts to help her up and take her toward a car. Jason is gaining, however, so he tries to unload a clip into him. Jason simply grabs the gun and shoves it through the deputy’s skull.
Alice limps into the car and manages to drive it into Jason, who holds onto it, rather than simply bouncing off the hood. Alice screams and drives Jason and herself into one of the cabins. The crash is spectacular and Jason appears to be crushed between stone, tinder, and a car. Smoke is spilling from the car.
Alice blacks out.
She wakes up in a hospital surrounded by state police. They ask her what she remembers. She tells them the story and she asks if they found Jason, but they reveal there was no sign of him. They also reveal that the cabin she crashed into was where the children were hiding and that they are dead or missing.
About three years later we see Alice is in a mental hospital. She looks terrible and she is sitting across from an attorney who informs her that at this point all her appeals have failed. Her attorney leaves and she is taken to the activity room where she gets back to an art project… a paper mache hockey mask. She stares at it a moment and tears it in half, scowling.
Back at Crystal Lake, a young Tommy Jarvis, about 12 or 13 now, wanders around the abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. He enters the cabin where his father died. His memorializing is cut short by a van arriving at the campgrounds. He watches, hidden, in the cabin as a new group of people spill out of the van. They begin talking about what they could do with all of this land. Perhaps a resort?
Tommy slips out of the cabin as they approach and watches from around a corner. The camera pulls back in a long take as he listens to them. Further back now, the camera is in the woods. It gets darker.
The infamous Jason Voorhees riff plays.
So why did I go with the route I went? As I mentioned in my first post in this series, I do love Friday the 13th, but it is a nonsensical series. It was never really planned out and the fact that Jason doesn’t become a thing until the second movie just strikes me as bonkers. I feel that the series was ultimately successful in spite of itself because it delivered boobs, gore, and a great, imposing killer from the 3rd film on.
So, when I thought about how I would want to reboot the series, I had a couple of things I wanted to make sure I did:
- Have Pamela and Jason in the same story
- Bring in the hockey mask
- Establish Jason as supernatural right away
- Give Jason a reason to kill beyond simple vengeance or territoriality
- Actually kill some damn kids
Ultimately, I think I was successful in these regards, but your mileage may vary. I’d love to know what you thought of this series. My proposal is a mini-series for cable television, 4 episodes at around an hour and a half to two hours each. Would this be something you would watch? Does it respect the established series enough?
Eventually I would like to take this outline that was spread across four posts, pull them together, and edit them. I recognize there are elements I can probably establish earlier on and set up for later. That’s the challenge of writing these things piece by piece.
Anyway, have at me, folks. Let me know your thoughts and if you’d like for me to reboot any other horror classics.
A horror author goes to Nebula Con
The Science Fiction, Fantasy Writers Association is one of the most prestigious organizations in America for speculative fiction writers. While horror is not specifically mentioned, we all know that it’s nearly impossible to discuss fantasy and science fiction without the shadow of horror creeping in.
Each year, SFWA hosts a convention for writers called Nebula Con. I have virtually attended the convention for the past two years. And if you’ve never attended, you might want to consider it. Even if your writing, like mine, is long in the shadows and short on the elves.
First off, I do want to be clear that Nebula Con is a convention for speculative fiction writers. There are some fan panels, like the one on the works of Robin McKinley, this year’s Grandmaster. But the majority of the panels and events are for writers.
That being said, there are panels for writers at every stage of their careers.
For writers interested in crafting better stories, craft panels abound. My favorite panel was the one titled For The Love of Short Fiction. This panel started with a reading of some of the best short works from 2022. Then, each panelist dug into what made that piece work for them.
There were several other terrific panels, including one all about constructing a realistic legal system in your fictional world and writing fictional podcasts. (Like I do.)
But, you might say, these are panels for sci-fi and fantasy writers. No, these are panels for speculative fiction writers. Horror authors who want to have any kind of career would do well to master the short story. And if you don’t think there’s room for some legal horror in the market, you are wrong.
While the craft panels were wonderful, the career and marketing panels were probably the most useful and valuable of the whole convention. Are you, like many other online creatives, worried about the effects AI-generated writing is going to have on our field? There were two informative panels regarding that. Are you wondering how writers’ relationships with agents have changed now that self-publishing is so prevalent? There’s a panel for that.
A lot is going on in the publishing world. It’s confusing as hell, my friends. And one of the ways we keep each other up to date is with conventions like this. What I got out of the panel most was that having a career in writing is possible. My fellow participants and I learned from writers who are doing the thing. It’s hard, but it’s possible.
Of course, a convention is more than just panels. There’s the chance to meet with other authors. This might be where a virtual convention seems to have a deficit. And while I’ll admit that meeting online isn’t the same as meeting in person, there are certainly perks. I was able to meet, chat with and share stories with other writers in a Zoom chat room. And I came away feeling much like I did as a kid, having met new friends at summer camp. Even if I wasn’t sitting across from them, it was great to be surrounded by other people who want to make a living scaring the hell out of other people.
All of this writing joy culminates with the Nebula Awards Ceremony. If you’re interested in catching the awards but didn’t make it to the convention this year, you can watch it all on Youtube. Each year speculative fiction authors of all kinds of honored, from written work to gaming to television. This year’s toastmaster was Cheryl Platz, an author, and actress. As a critic, awards ceremonies are usually something I usually force my way through. The Nebula Awards are a rare treat in that scene. Partially because there’s a chance I’ve met the people up for the awards. But also because the people involved are, first and foremost, writers. It’s amazing how much more entertaining events are when the people being honored are, you know, talented storytellers.
If you’ve been on the fence about attending Nebula Con virtually, I suggest giving it a try. The world certainly needs more stories that go bump in the night.
Crashin’ in Roswell NM: Road Trippin’ with Jennifer Weigel
So on my recent road trip to Miami AZ USA for my menstruation art installation, we decided to detour to Roswell NM en route home. To be honest, this was one of the best decisions of my life, up there with road trippin’ from Arizona to San Francisco along CA-Highway 1, and I will go into the details of why here soon.
Roswell NM USA has totally embraced its alien history of the UFO crash in the late 1940s and subsequent government cover up. The whole town is alien-happy with beautiful hand carved wood totems, murals and statues everywhere celebrating otherworldly denizens of all types, though predominantly the gray aliens of the crash (and their green counterparts). Even the city logo features a flying saucer as the center of the letter “R”. It really is kind of incredible.
One of the biggest draws is the International UFO Museum and Research Center, housed in the wonderful old theater building. This museum details the crash history as well as celebrating aliens in movies and media and examining newer alien sightings and abductions. It is very thorough and includes maquettes, statues, written accounts and an extensive research library, as well as an interesting art collection of various items.
And there are TONS of fun alien themed curiosity shops. I will give a shout out to the newer Invasion Station north on Main Street where there had once been an old car dealership. I love the quirky nature of this particular store as well as their strong desire to promote local artists. Most of their wares are hand-painted in NM and feature designs by prominent local artists including one of the lead muralists in town (I bought a magnet of his). They also feature really alternative kitsch like KISS and Ace Frehley alien bobbleheads, marijuana and anal references, and such. All in all, our own Haunted MTL’s kinda folks…
And the city is a huge tourist draw internationally, so you can meet some amazing and interesting folks from all walks of life who have caught the alien bug or at least want to check out all the hype. As a result of the tourism, the residents seem really laid back and accommodating (kind of like Hawaii but not quite as much) and there is a thriving art scene. And it’s totally my kind of art – weird and a little creepy. Anyway, I feel like I’ve finally found my peeps and am eager to return someday.
If you’re feeling a bit extraterrestrial, I invite you to also check out some of my alien-themed stories here on Haunted MTL: LTD UFOs among us; my Drive-By short story; and LTD Abducted.
American Horror Story Season 12, Delicate
Killer Queens, I wasn’t expecting to be back so soon with American Horror Story info. But yesterday we were blessed with a teaser for the intro of Season 12, which we believe will be titled Delicate.
We are looking at a Summer release for season twelve, but won’t know for sure until June, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s what we know right now.
First, yes Kim Kardashian is starring alongside Emma Roberts in a role that was written specifically for her.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that AHS favorites will also be involved. According to IMBD, Charlie Carver, Rebecca Dayan, Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, and Denis O’Hare will be included this season.
AHS Delicate is different from other seasons in many other ways. It’s the first season to ever be written by just one writer, Halley Feiffer. This isn’t a writer most of us as horror fans will be familiar with. She’s written episodes of shows like Kidding, SMILF, and American Crime Story. The last one can at least be seen as a sister show to AHS.
As far as I have found, Feiffer has never written horror content. She is now the sole writer for an entire season of the most popular horror show in America. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s just not what I would have expected. Most AHS writers are staff writers, actors from the show, or at least people I’ve heard of. So as we don’t have any former work to look at, we can only wait to see how she does.
We also know what the source material is for this season. It’s a book called Delicate Condition, by Danielle Valentine. This book will be released in August of this year. Which also seemed strange to me. Normally a book would be, you know, published before it inspires additional work.
Even so, Delicate Condition seems like a fascinating story. According to Goodreads, it’s the story of a woman named Anna. Anna is trying to get pregnant but starts to believe that something dark is working against her. Her doctors don’t believe her. Her husband doesn’t believe her. Is she losing her mind?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply interested in this book. And I have to assume that Feiffer and Murphy already have hands on it, to jump to this sort of decision.
By the way, Valentine at least is not an untested writer. Her first novel, How To Survive Your Murder, also made it right on my TBR pile. With a rating of 3.7 out of 4 on Goodreads, I think we can assume Valentine knows what she’s doing with the written word.
This is all that we know about American Horror Story Delicate so far. What follows are my thoughts and opinions only.
My first thought is that this season is going to be dealing heavily with women’s reproductive rights. This is a topic a lot of us are concerned about right now, as it feels like every day women lose more and more rights to our bodies.
(By the way, if you want to help fight the good fight for body autonomy and get some spooky stories, we have an anthology for that. I have a story in it, as does the horrifyingly talented Jennifer Weigel. All proceeds go to support organizations that help women make their own health decisions.)
American Horror Story has handled important political issues before. Last season, AHS NYC discussed the AIDs epidemic that went largely ignored in the 80s and killed hundreds of young gay men. They did this in the best way possible, in what this critic believes to be the only way fiction should handle heavy topics. They rooted the issue in a good story. A story that was pure fiction, but also true.
However, this season has a lot of red flags. Never before have I seen the guest star be the main focus so early. Never have I seen any franchise bank so much faith in an all but untested writer, basing work on a book that isn’t even published. And frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of Kim K, or anyone else who’s famous seemingly just for being famous.
I’m not rooting for this season to fail just because I don’t like the guest star. If Kardashian is good at this, I’ll be thrilled. I’ll be the first one singing her praises. But when everything we know so far is added up, I’m a lot more concerned about AHS Delicate than I am excited.