Nine Times Horror Icons Engaged in Epic Battles

A massive summer blockbuster by way of March, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice flies into theaters this weekend, bringing together the two most beloved heroes for an epic battle that is sure to obliterate the box office and put huge smiles on the faces of comic book fans across the country.

Well. Hopefully.

Of course, Batman v Superman isn’t the first film to unite two franchises, as the horror genre has been doing it for several decades now. From Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man to Freddy vs. Jason, “versus” films have provided some pretty fun mash-ups over the years, but those fights have also spilled over onto the pages of comic books.

While we wait for Batman and Superman to duke it out, let’s take a look at those times horror icons engaged in similar battles!

frankenstein meets wolfman

1) FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN

The very first battle between iconic movie monsters took place way back in 1943, when Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man satiated fan desires to see monsters fight. Directed by Roy William Neill, the black and white film served as a sequel to both The Wolf Man and The Ghost of Frankenstein, and it starred Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot/the Wolf Man, and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein’s monster. Near the end of the film, the monster comes back to life and Talbot transforms into the Wolf Man, and their battle culminates with both monsters being swept away in a flood. A follow-up film, The Wolf Man vs. Dracula, was at one point planned, though it of course never came to fruition.

kong vs godzilla

2) KING KONG VS. GODZILLA

I suppose neither are quite considered “horror icons,” but it simply wouldn’t feel right not including King Kong vs. Godzilla on this list. Released in 1962, the monster mash-up was produced by Japanese company Toho, and it was the third installment in the long-running Godzilla film franchise. Ishiro Honda, who directed the original Godzilla, returned to the director’s chair for King Kong vs. Godzilla, which saw both monsters wreaking havoc in Japan. In the end, Kong and Godzilla are forced to fight in the hopes that they’ll kill each other off – Kong, hilariously, is delivered to Godzilla with giant balloons – and the battle culminates with both monsters falling off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. Only Kong emerges, suggesting that he has won the battle. A sequel was planned, but never happened.

jason vs leatherface

3) JASON VS. LEATHERFACE

Though they never clashed on the big screen, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface did do battle in a comic book miniseries that was put out by Topps back in 1995. Jason vs. Leatherface, which spanned only three issues, is non-canonical to both the Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises, as it doesn’t play by the rules established in the films – Jason’s mother, for example, is named Doris. In the first issue, Jason travels to Texas after toxic waste pollutes Crystal Lake, and he ends up befriending Leatherface and the Hitchhiker. Jason temporarily moves into the twisted family’s home, though the friendship turns sour in Issue #3. As the title promises, Jason and Leatherface eventually do battle, and the series ends with both villains surviving – Jason ultimately returns home to Crystal Lake.

freddy vs jason

4) FREDDY VS. JASON

A full ten years after the battle was first teased in the final moments of Jason Goes to Hell, the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises finally collided in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. The film, literally decades in the making, was directed by Ronny Yu, and the storyline primarily centered on Freddy’s loss of his dream power. No longer capable of murdering the teenage residents of Springwood, Ohio, Krueger essentially resurrects Jason Voorhees as a means to bring fear back to the town, regaining his own power in the process. Of course, Jason ends up killing the teens Freddy had planned on killing, which inevitably results in the two trying to kill one another. In the end, Freddy is decapitated, though he’s shown to still be alive when Jason emerges from the lake holding his severed head.

alien vs

5) ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

It only made sense that the Alien and Predator franchises would eventually collide, and that first mash-up actually happened way back in the early ’90s. Before they clashed on the screen, the franchises were united in a long-running comic series from Dark Horse that began in February of 1990, and the live-action battle was teased in that year’s Predator 2 – a Xenomorph skull is briefly seen in a Predator trophy case. It wasn’t until 2004 that Alien vs. Predator came to life in theaters, and the film saw humans caught in the middle of an epic war between the two species. The much-maligned mash-up spawned sequel Alien vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007, which gave rise to the hybrid Predalien. The humans ended up winning, but one could argue that us viewers all lost.

puppet master

6) PUPPET MASTER VS. DEMONIC TOYS

Another no-brainer in the world of horror franchise mash-ups was Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys, which premiered on Syfy back in 2004. Oddly enough, though both are Full Moon properties, the film wasn’t actually produced by Full Moon, and it’s for that reason that Charles Band considers it non-canon. In the Ted Nicolaou-directed film, Corey Feldman stars as Andre Toulon’s great-grandnephew Robert, who brings the dastardly puppets back to life. Meanwhile, an evil toy manufacturer re-animates the so-called Demonic Toys, and a fight ensues. The puppets prevail, though not all the toys are killed off.

freddy vs jason vs ash

7)  FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH

Not only did Jason Goes to Hell tease a battle between Freddy and Jason, but you may have also noticed a quick appearance from the Necronomicon – suggesting a connection between all three universes. Four years after Freddy vs. Jason took over the box office, Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment brought the three franchises together for the six-issue comic book series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, which picked up five years after the events of Freddy vs. Jason. The basic gist of the story is that both Freddy and Jason are trying to gain possession of the Necronomicon, and the final battle sees Ash banishing Freddy to Hell and entombing Jason underneath a frozen Crystal Lake. The three icons resumed their battle in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors, another six-issue series that saw release in 2009.

army

8) ARMY OF DARKNESS VS. RE-ANIMATOR

Dynamite Entertainment’s still-running Army of Darkness comic book series has gone in some pretty crazy directions over the years, putting Ash in space and even seeing him do battle with Dracula. Launched in 2013, the four-issue arc Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator pit the chainsaw-handed monster hunter up against Dr. Herbert West, and in it Ash finds himself locked up in Arkham Asylum. His doctor, of course, is West, who is using the Necronomicon to perfect his trademark serum. West re-animates the dead and opens up a portal to another dimension, which eventually causes the destruction of the asylum. Both Ash and West survive, and West heads off to continue his research elsewhere.

sadvskay

9) SADAKO VS. KAYAKO

At the time of writing this post, it hasn’t yet been released, though we simply must mention that Sadako vs. Kayako is headed our way later this year. The Japanese film, directed by Koji Shiraishi, unites similar franchises The Ring and The Grudge for the very first time, and the story centers on a young girl who becomes trapped in a deadly conflict between Sadako Yamamura and Kayako Saeki. Funny enough, the film initially began its life as an April Fools’ joke, though fan reaction to the idea was so strong that production commenced shortly thereafter. The mash-up is set to hit Japanese theaters on June 18th, 2016.

LET THEM FIGHT!

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John Squires

I have a beard. And three cats.

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