Thursday, November 16, 2017

TORSO (1973) reviewed

Italian director Sergio Martino's work has been a major blind spot for me. One of the great things about streaming services and DVD/Blu Ray companies like Arrow and Scream Factory has been remedying a lot of my blind spots. My in road to Martino was the re-release of 1972's Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key. It was loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" (Arrow paired the film in a box set with Lucio Fulci's The Black Cat) and starred Edwige Fenech, Anita Strindberg, and Luigi Pistilli. It's a spectacularly sleazy romp, but also artfully directed and well worth tracking down.

Martino's 1973 film Torso is almost better in my opinion, but has some major issues that really bog it down in the second half. As a Giallo it hits all the major points; you have a mysterious killer, lots of suspects and red herrings, beautifully shot, with lots of bloody violence and eroticism. Torso is somewhat less stylish than Blood And Black Lace (1964, Mario Bava) or Deep Red (1975, Dario Argento), but has a grittier feel, closer to an American slasher film. The killer, which we fully see earlier than in some Giallos, wears a mask that's somewhat remeniscent to the proto-slasher The Town That Dreaded Sundown. 

Martino's shooting style is fantastic. The camera is always busy, but never distracting, giving many of the scenes a delirious momentum. I have to admit, I never had Torso very high on my watch list, assuming it was just an exploitation, lady-killer flick. Which it is, but artfully done. It stars Suzy Kendall (The Bird With The Crystal Plumage), Tina Aumont (Two Orphan Vampires), Luc Merenda (Le Mans), and John Richardson (Black Sunday) and was written by Martino and Ernesto Gastaldi (The Case Of The Bloody Iris).

The story centers on a series of brutal strangulations and mutilations, that are sexual in nature, around the University of Perugia. The story moves to a country villa, with four friends getting away for a holiday, but they're followed by the killer. Along the way we get lots of sex and nudity, brutal kills, and occasional doll imagery. The film, really, is all aesthetic with little substance, a charge that could be often leveled at Argento.

There is a cringe-factor with the level of misogyny present in the murders though, but nothing approaching Fulci's New York Ripper, which for me was a film that actually bordered on being anti-woman (I'm not calling Fulci a misogynist, based on what I've read about him, I don't think he was, however New York Ripper is fucking repugnant and represents the absolute worst that slashers and Giallo have to offer), for instance in the first kill of the film, after strangling a woman, who just finished having sex in a car, the killer takes his knife and carves off her breast, after feeling her up. He does this later, when he follows a woman in danger of being gang raped by two other men.

Honestly, these issues can't be waved off or simply ignored just because a film is thirty, forty, or fifty years old. A film like Torso is more than just sordid entertainment, it's the product of a culture of misogyny, as the later slashers were products of repression and conservative lock down. Unlike the slasher film, we don't have a "final girl," though Jane (Kendall) appears to be one, she's actually just the one that survived long enough for a man to show up and save her.

Jane is robbed of agency and justice. Compare her to Nancy in A Nightmare On Elm Street. Laurie in Halloween, or Jenny in Friday The 13th Part 2-Jane doesn't confront the killer and stop him, she's trapped and toyed with until a man from the village arrives and interrupts her murder. He's the one that pursues the killer, he's the one that ends the terror, while Jane stands by in shock being rescued. On the other hand, the women in the film are independent and sexually free. They don't go off on holiday with boyfriends, but alone and are confident in their own skin, but are they? The film is written by a men, directed by a man, and appeals to the male gaze in spades. We might excuse films that are less than sensitive when it comes to dealing with sexual politics, race, and/or homosexuality, but with Torso we're talking 1973 and within a year we get both Black Christmas and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both of which feature well written, believable female protagonists, that do have agency, that fight back.    

Though it predates the American slasher by either one year (Black Christmas) or five years (Halloween) depending on where you believe the slasher film really starts, it has a lot similarities to it's American cousin with the psychology of the killer. His murders are tied to sex, loss, and guilt, which would be the primary instigations in one combination or another for the entire sub-genre. Like Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees, Torso's masked killer shows up to dispatch women and occasionally men after they've had sex, or in the case of a shoe maker, who gets killed for voyeurism. The killer's sexual repression doesn't matter at all up to the point of the reveal, because the movie chugs along freely with little more than a thin murder mystery as it's engine. The raison d'etre is mostly after thought.

I honestly don't know what to do with the casual misogyny in many horror films. For years I shrugged it off, like I'm sure many fans have, and tried to focus my attention on films that had more to offer. I wish I could wrap up on a positive note, as I enjoyed the film while I watched it, but in the end I just can't not be blase about the fact that this is a misogynistic film and shouldn't be let off the hook just because it's old.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Halloween, as we all well know, is a holy day for fans of horror. Young and old alike revel in the holiday, either by creating new memories or drifting away in old ones, wrapping up tight in a safety blanket of enjoyable frights, candy, and all the darkly colorful accoutrements of the season. Jack O'Lanterns, ghosts, witches, monsters, black cats, and the like: these are our banners, our sigils, all our very souls on this most special day.

So what's better than celebrating it with one's favorite horror movies? Not much, if you ask me. Certain people go for their absolute top of the chart Best Of lists, some choose flicks that best represent the day to them, and yet others go straight to the nostalgia pile and watch the ones that made them feel as they did as a child. However you may choose to get down, I am here to tell you that there's no incorrect way to do it -- to commemorate Halloween RIGHT, all you have to do is love it. It's just that simple, cut and dried, end of story, period.

The different lists people come up with to watch Halloween always fascinate and please me, as do the reasons they have for choosing them. "This scared the piss out of me when I was 10, I had nightmares for weeks!" is a great one. "My (insert family member or friend here) showed it to me one year and I've been over the harvest moon for it ever since" is another. Just hearing all these personal testimonials is like filling myself up with Halloween love and it's a remarkable sensation that I'll never get tired of. Speaking of what will never get old, I'd like to share the three films that, over the years, have become my very own Must Watch Films on my most favorite holiday, and the order in which I've perfected the way I best enjoy viewing them.

First up: Tim Burton's 1999 film SLEEPY HOLLOW. I was lucky enough to catch this in the theater and you could never have prepared me for how deeply I would fall for with this love letter to the Hammer films of yore. In fact, it immediately shot to the top of my own list of favorite Burton flicks (pushing previous No.1 title holder
BEETLEJUICE aside with an ancient, gnarled hand) -- I had no inkling at the time that it would become a yearly staple of my Halloween viewing but I for damn sure had a blast watching it. I start off with this one because it's not only funny and gory and sports some top notch performances from a game cast (which is LOADED with heavy hitters and character actor legends, by the way), but due to the atmosphere it's literally dripping with. The way everything LOOKS -- dig that exquisite photography by legendary DP Emmanuel Lubezki -- is a sheer delight for my senses and gets me in a Halloween mood before the opening scene has concluded. You can all but feel the chilled mist floating in the air on your skin, hear the crackling of dead leaves under your feet, and smell the wafting smoke and scents of spice...maybe even a hint of coppery blood. It's like the flick inhales cinema and exhales Halloween, and that more than anything is why I now kick off every year's holiday in such style. (Plus, I am a total sucker for the too-bright stage blood used in the flick -- again, shades of old 70's horror pictures -- that reminds me of so much melted candle wax. It's fucking lovely.)

Second up: the new horror classic TRICK R' TREAT from writer/director Michael Dougherty. Between this and the Christmas themed winner KRAMPUS, this dude has staked a claim as being the reigning champion of genre holiday films, as he is 2-for-2 thus far. Now I'm wondering if he'll ever make one about a monstrous Easter Bunny (would watch, HARD) -- but I digress. Since its release 10 (!) years ago, this movie has become rightly beloved by the horror community, and you'll find it on many, many lists of people deciding to observe Samhain like the best kind of savages. Coincidentally, that's precisely why I choose this as the second flick to watch; while SLEEPY HOLLOW is all about immersing myself in the mood of the day, TRICK R' TREAT is how I truly memorialize it. My personal favorite flick set ON the day (and pretty much everybody's, at that) is coming up, but this is the movie that I'd say is the very best at being ABOUT Halloween ever made. The customs, the lore, the history, the fears -- it's everything we love all wrapped up in four interweaving tales, told with a terrific sense of humor and stellar eye (and if you need help with those just say the word, Billy Wilkins) for what makes the season so iconic. I'm talking about everything from the costumes to the decorations to all the things that go bump in the night, just outside your view...or perhaps right outside your front door, or maybe even your bedroom window. Why don't you go take a look? I'm sure it's just the wind.

Third and last up: I mean, come on now. It's GOTTA be John Carpenter's seminal 1978 slasher HALLOWEEN. This is a perfect movie; any and all arguments end there for me. What the greatest living director of horror films (and the greatest of all time, in this writer's opinion) did with this flick flat-out changed the game. There's definitely a case to be made that he was building upon the work that other films before him had laid out previously, almost as a roadmap leading Carpenter to creating this masterpiece (films such as PEEPING TOM, PSYCHO, and BLACK CHRISTMAS come immediately to mind) -- but it's HOW he did it that makes this movie remain ridiculously effective almost 40 goddamned years later. The simple yet insistently chilling score from Carpenter himself. The iconic Shape and his mask. The original Final Girl we all fell in love with, the one we rooted and were terrified for, Laurie Strode (played so memorably by soon-to-be-Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis). The way Michael Myers seemed to be fucking EVERYWHERE, ready to step out of any shadow, stand up from behind any object, and the steady, unstoppable intent of his approach when he was coming directly for you. This film is John Carpenter declaring "Pay attention -- there's a new sheriff in town, everyone." And all of us did. The master is just that phenomenal.

Even though this article may be about the three movies I've loyally watched as a concrete group for roughly a decade now, I would like to include as an honorable mention one newer flick that very recently has become one I've decided to end the evening with every year on out, and that's the WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL from 2013. This loving recreation of vintage 1980's Halloween night television is note-perfect, right down to the fake commercials that I would SWEAR I've seen before, and simply damn well done. It's like stepping into a time machine for those of us lucky to grow up and/or be of a specific age in that decade. Watching this actually feels like the exact thing that would be playing on my local station after I got home from trick or treating, sat down in the center of my living room floor in front of the TV, dumped my pillowcase full of candy onto the floor, and dug into a feast for my eyes, ears, and stomach. It's ALL treat.

There's probably somewhere in the neighborhood of one hundred or more killer flicks to watch on Halloween, but those are the ones I make sure I NEVER miss on that holiest of days -- after all, I'm a fan of horror and have been since I was probably 6 or 7, and as such I have my own Must Watch list. Every year I throw different ones in and around them, but even if I only have time for a few they're the ones that just HAVE to be seen, and they have yet to fail me. Loyalty born out of consistency can't be overrated, in my book.

So, in conclusion: may you all have your own special fright flicks to view and enjoy this and every year, and may you all have the very greatest of days and joyfully darkest of nights -- HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


@bloodandgourd spoke the truth on Twitter tonight; "Remember, Stem-Heads, celebrating #HALLOWEEN without The Cramps makes Satan cranky!" Well, I'm a bit more worried about making the spirit of Lux cranky, so the first Sound Attack in a long time is all about The Cramps... Now shut up and do The Ultra Twist!!
You better ask my mama how to make a monster!
Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon
Bikini Girls With Machine Girls
Tear It Up!
Mad Daddy
Like A Bad Girl Should
Can Your Pussy Do The Dog?
Heartbreak Hotel

Monday, October 16, 2017


The most successful remakes take the basic bones of an original film and builds, expands, and improves on the original. Carpenter's The Thing, Cronenberg's The Fly, Kauffman's Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and more recently Vogt-Robert's Kong; Skull Island are all perfect examples of this. The first three took classic b-movies and created modern classics that are more than remakes, but integral entries in each director's catalogue and I believe Kong;Skull Island will prove to be a durable, well-loved film for generations to come.

Another remake that nailed the formula was 1988's The Blob, directed by Chuck Russell, who also directed one of the best slasher sequels of all, A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 3; The Dream Warriors. Russell worked on adapting the screenplay with Frank Darabont (The Mist, The Walking Dead) and what they came up with is a funny, violent, gory, and entertaining under-rated horror film. It's been hard to see since the VHS days, as there hasn't been a proper domestic DVD or Blu-ray readily available the same way that The Thing or The Fly has never gone out of print. That may be due to the fact it only grossed about $8 million of it's $19 million budget. Frankly, I can't understand this at all.

Starring Kevin Dillon (The Doors) and Shawnee Smith (Saw II and III) and featuring Jeffery DeMunn (The Walking Dead, The Mist), Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre II), Joe Seneca (Malcolm X), Candy Clark (Blue Thunder) Jack Nance (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet), and Paul McCrane (Robocop, ER), The Blob had just as strong talent in front of the camera as behind. The original film starred Steve McQueen, but for me, didn't offer much else. It's a very slow movie and The Blob itself just doesn't feel threatening. It's so slow, you feel like people could just run away if it fails to sneak up on them. The '88 version on the other hand, is fast, corrosive, and strikes with a suddenness and an animal cruelty that leans more towards The Thing. 

The gore effects really sale the movie for me. The image of the melting corpses wrapped in Blob goo reaching for help is amazing. DeMunn's distorted face floating in the pinkish slime is awesome.
Melted bodies, limbs ripped away, a body eaten in half-it may not be near as gory as The Fly or The Thing, but it certainly has it's moments. I think perhaps it's stronger as a special effects film than a character film, like the other two are. Not to knock any of the performances, but The Blob simply doesn't have a MacReady or Brundle for us to latch on to and get emotionally invested in. That said, Shawnee Smith as Meg Penny is a great final girl-smart, resourceful, and brave-never letting fear or panic stop her from running headlong into danger. I'd put Meg up there with Jenny from Friday The 13th Part 2 or Kristen from ANOES 3. 

In the last several days I've seen a number people Tweeting or posting on Facebook about watching The Blob as part of their 31 Days of Horror and that is awesome. Those in the know have championed this film all along and I hope it's reputation continues to grow. I remember seeing some behind-the-scenes shots with some interviews on TV before it hit theater and it came out when I was jumping into horror with both feet. I was very excited. When it finally hit VHS and cable I watched it often. It was a lot of fun revisiting it this month with my kids. We all had a blast and I'm already looking forward to watching it again.

Friday, October 13, 2017

HALLOWEEN PARTY AT CAMP BLOOD a Friday The 13th fan tale

Written by Tim Murr
October 2017

Original artwork Copyright Stephanie Murr 2017

Friday The 13th, Jason Vorhees, and all related characters are property of the copyright holders. This is fan fiction, created with love, with no intention of profiting.

Summer had died and it had been a dead summer. Two hikers that had gotten lost, a surveyor, and a Youtube Jason-spotter, that tried to set up some wild life cameras. The ruins of Camp Crystal Lake hadn’t been touched in years and there hadn’t been a large group of people in the area since those feds set up that ambush. As the air turned chilly and the leaves died on their branches, Jason wandered the area around Crystal Lake less and less.
The most recent sighting that had gone on-line was from a drone that had captured him crossing a clearing. Drones routinely flew around the lake, some from law enforcement, some from private citizens. There were also a mix of security, CCTV, and wild life cameras that had been officially and unofficially set up in the last several years to catch a glimpse of the infamous hockey-masked mad man. The view count on that last drone sighting was in the millions as the eight seconds of footage spread across the news and social media. But as all seasoned and noob Jason-spotters alike knew, when the air turned cold, Jason became less active and would often disappear for months.
The Jason-spotter had been found mid-August, spread across a mile of Cunningham Road, just outside of the campground, well within the border of the official dead zone where citizens were banned from entering. A heavily armed state patrol unit rushed in after his remains were spotted on a CCTV camera. They scooped up enough to bury and got the hell out. As a general rule, cops don’t go near Camp Blood. Don’t bother calling 911 if you’re dumb enough to go out there.
Calculus. Sixth period. What was she thinking taking this class? Mr. Sawyer was the most boring man PJ had ever met. It wasn’t just her, everyone in class was half asleep. Accept Miss Michelle Miner, of course. Miss Michelle, sheriff’s daughter. Miss Michelle, most likely... Miss Michelle, top of her class. Miss Michelle, so…blah. The very fact that Miss Michelle even landed Dave Maguire really pissed her off.  Not to mention he insisted on Miss Michelle being invited to the costume party.
‘What are you thinking, Dave? Once she finds out where the party is, she’ll just tell her mom.’
‘Don’t worry, she has no idea where the party is. She thinks we’re going to your aunt’s cabin. If we can just get her there she’ll relax and you guys will see how awesome she is.’
‘Make sure you get her phone,’ she had told him. ‘so she can’t call her mom and give us away.’
PJ had been friends with Dave since fourth grade, she wanted him to be happy, but she didn’t believe for a second he’d be happy with ‘Miss Uptight Kill Joy”, Michelle Miner.
Thank god for the bell. PJ was the first on her feet and heading for the door. Mr. Sawyer said something about an assignment, but she was going to fail this class anyway, so screw it.
As she reached her locker, she heard that chirpy, chipper voice calling her name. She looked to her right and saw Michelle running up waving.
“Hey, PJ, I just wanted to say thank you again for inviting me to your party. I’m really excited, I finished my costume last night.”
PJ forced a smile.
“No prob. I mean, Dave’s my best friend, how could I not invite his girlfriend.”
Michelle blushed a bit. She wasn’t sure if she and Dave were really at that point or not, but the idea that other people thought so was exciting.
“Ok, well, I’ll see you tonight!”
PJ just smiled and nodded. As Michelle started to walk away PJ asked,
“What’s your costume anyway?”
“Alice…In Wonderland.”
PJ smiled and nodded again and rolled her eyes after Michelle had moved on. Of course, Alice In Wonderland, you fucking blonde stereotype.
Michelle walked quickly through the hall, not because she was in a hurry, it was just her natural way of moving. Head up, eyes moving, alert. It’s how her mother raised her. Be ready for anything, because in this world-in this town-anything can happen. Michelle had been told this since she was a young child and her mother always kept her close, never let her stray. Michelle was raised to be a fighter. Growing up in Crystal Lake, only a fool didn’t look over their shoulder.
As a result, Michelle could come off as uptight. She was a bit of a misfit, never getting to go to sleep-overs or on hikes. It was just this year that her mother finally agreed to let her start dating. Her father couldn’t handle how intense her mom was, how protective and stubborn. He eventually moved out. Michelle had gotten used to nights in. She knew the day would come that she could go away to college and never come back to this horrible town. In the meantime, why rock the boat? Her mom wasn’t wrong, after all. It was exceptionally dangerous here. They lived only mere miles from the hunting grounds of the world’s most notorious mass murderer, who apparently was also unkillable.
Michelle made her way across the courtyard of Crystal Lake High to the parking lot and spotted Dave and his friends Tyler and Dylan sitting on the retaining wall. Tyler was ok, but Dylan was obnoxious and loud and always telling off color jokes. Dave was no angel, but he was nothing like Dylan. To her, Dylan seemed like the type of friend you got stuck with rather than choose.
“Hi, guys.”
Dave jumped off the wall and gave her a big hug, literally sweeping her off her feet. She laughed and kissed him lightly on the lips. He was tall and slender with long hair and a goofy smile. He was almost a head taller than her, which she loved.
“Ready for to party?”
“Hell, yes,” she exclaimed.
“I can’t believe your mom is actually letting you go out,” Tyler said.
“Well, she knows she can’t keep me inside forever. She trusts me. Besides we’ll be on the opposite side of town from the lake, so she’s being cool about it.”
She caught Tyler and Dylan give each other a look.
“Nothing,” Dylan said, with a dirty grin.
Michelle turned to Dave and punched him in the chest.
“Seriously, if something’s up…”
“NO! No, Dylan is just being a dick.”
Dylan threw his arm around her shoulders.
“I’m just looking forward to smoking weed, drinking beer, sacrificing a virgin on the altar of my cock…and getting hacked up by Jason!”
Dave and Tyler smiled good-naturedly while Dylan cackled like an idiot. Michelle gently put her elbow in his chest and sharply pushed him off, never taking her eyes off Dave’s face.
“Why would Jason be all the way out there? Dave?”
As Dave shrugged his shoulders, giving Dylan the evil eye, Dylan grabbed her hand.
“I’m just joking around, Michelle…ya know, because your mom is all crazy.”
Michelle suddenly shoved him and cocked her fist, but Dave wrapped his arms around her. Dylan covered his face, ducking away.
Dave pulled her back.
“Michelle, he’s just being an asshole…”
“Sorry, sorry…”
“Fuck you, Dylan! You call my mom crazy? Well, fewer people have died on her watch than under any other sheriff in over forty years!”
Dylan rushed in and wrapped his arms around both Michelle and Dave.
“I’m sorry, Michelle! You’re just so fucking hot when you’re mad, I can’t help myself!”
At this she cracked up, called him an asshole, and hugged him back.
The house was a fortress. Steel doors, motion detectors, bars over the windows, a panic room, and enough guns stowed around the house to take down a small country. Sheriff Megan Garris knew though, none of it would really matter if he ever came for her.
Jason never did come for her though, even after he had somehow escaped from the bottom of the lake where she had helped Tommy Jarvis trap him. She thought of these things every morning when she woke up.
It was a night. A matter of hours. And her world was dashed upon the rocks. Her father was murdered. Her friends slaughtered. And Tommy. The boy who cried Jason and no one, but her believed him. That blind faith cost her everything. Deputy Rick Cologne testified that Tommy was the killer, since no one knew where Jason’s body was, and that he had manipulated Megan. It was Megan’s word against his, with no one to back her up but several traumatized children. There was enough reasonable doubt that she wasn’t charged as an accessory, and Tommy would avoid a death sentence and be sent to a high security mental hospital. But he ran that night. Minutes after sinking Jason to the bottom of the lake.
Don’t tell anyone where he’s at…He can’t be disturbed again. I have to go, I’ve…caused so much…suffering…Megan, I’m so sorry.
He stole her car and left her to take care of the children. For that, if she ever sees him again, she’ll shoot him in the kneecap.
A matter of hours.
Megan’s life was in a tailspin for years. She drank, she became semi-reclusive, she got involved with the wrong men, until one day she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror and didn’t recognize the person looking back at her. She said no. No. Fuck this. The very next night, Jason returned and slaughtered another group of people. She said no. Fuck that. It was a hard road to follow in her father’s footsteps, but she made a life for herself she could be proud of, aside from her daughter’s father who couldn’t hang. At least she never married him.
Megan was working late, because it was Friday the 13th with Halloween right around the corner and this stupid town was full of stupid people who liked to do stupid shit on Friday the 13ths and Halloweens. So, she slept late, woke up to a quiet house, worked out, showered, and ate lunch in front of her laptop. had the latest drone footage, which was still fairly recent. She’d watched the short video several times since it had been uploaded. A chill ran up her spine every time. She could still feel his hands on her head. She had been inches from those eyes. She knew he didn’t see her, he didn’t see anything, but rage.
In all her years with the Cunningham County Sheriff’s department she had never seen him again. She’s cleaned up a fair share of his messes, though. Containment. That was the policy she had pushed from day one. Contain him. Give him the camp grounds. Close off the area and just leave him alone. She was a rookie when the feds went in and ambushed Jason, blowing him to pieces, but the son of a bitch came back even from that. And massacred a lot of cops. That was followed by a massive incursion of state troopers, National Guard, and surviving local cops storming the forest intending to burn it all down to get him, but he was gone without a trace. Megan had picked up Jessica Freeman and fugitive Steven Freeman walking down the highway. They had a wild story about sending Jason to Hell. Megan believed them and was instrumental in clearing Steven’s name.
How Jason came back again, no one is sure. Crystal Lake had become Forest Green when Megan was still in school, and after a decade of silence from Jason, the town fathers decided to change the name back to Crystal Lake, to capitalize on the notoriety of the town’s history. Jason seemed to rise to the occasion and the killings began anew.
The difference this time, Megan was sheriff. She went to the state senate and got the area around the campground designated a dead zone. She wanted to get a massive fence surrounding an eight-mile radius, but there was no budget for that. Highways did get rerouted though, and several billboards went up warning people away. Those billboards all contained another ominous message. “Calling 911 will not get you help. Stay out.” Megan had seen enough good cops go in the ground. No more, not on her watch. 
She put on her uniform, filled her to-go cup with coffee and half and half and headed for the door. On the porch, she was about to lock up when Michelle’s car pulled into the driveway. Megan’s smile withered at the sight of Dave in the passenger seat. He wasn’t necessarily a bad kid, but he reminded her a bit of her old friend Cort. She couldn’t help seeing a knife jammed into Dave’s skull. She shuddered. Fuck October. Fuck Halloween.
“Hi, guys. How was school?”
“Hi, mom! It was fine.”
“Hi, sheriff Garris.”
“Dave. So, big party tonight, huh? Where was it again?”
“At PJ’s aunt’s cabin, over on Miller.”
“Will PJ’s aunt be home?”
Michelle turned to Dave, who stood there awkwardly not realizing the question was directed at him.
“Oh…uh, yea! I think so.”
“Do I have her number?”
“Here,” Michelle said, getting out her phone, “I’ll text it to you.”
Megan kissed her forehead and turned to Dave.
“I want her home at midnight. 12:05 and I’m running your ass in.”
“She’s kidding.”
“Be late and we’ll see if I’m kidding.”
Crystal Lake was brilliantly colored with fallen leaves and Halloween decorations. Most stores had worked a hockey mask motif into their window decorations, though Megan had banned the sale of hockey masks resembling Jason’s a couple years ago after a high school kid was shot by one of her deputies in the midst of a prank gone wrong. The tourists were here en masse. Crystal Lake was fast becoming the new Salem, Massachusetts. The town was full of goths and horror nerds, true crime fanatics and other weirdos.
Megan steered her cruiser down Main Street shaking her head at all these assholes. Real people were dead. More than two hundred. These morons were lined up taking selfies with the old camp sign that the diner hung up. Assholes. Would they be hanging around here if they could see Sissy’s mangled body?
She pulled into the parking lot of the police station and took a deep breath. She had a feeling this was going to be a long night.
Dave waited on the couch looking around the living room of the Garris/Miner household. The place gave him the creeps, to be honest. He knew Michelle’s mom was a gun freak and took a hard line on public safety, bordering on fanaticism, but there was almost no warmth to the home. Everything was utilitarian, kind of Spartan. Nothing said ‘family’ or ‘love.’ Just ‘survive’ and ‘fight.’
Most people in town knew Sheriff Garris, not just as a Jason-survivor, but as a Jason-survivor who didn’t leave town. Dave had tried to ask Michelle about her a couple of times, but Michelle kept it vague. Beyond surviving a massacre a little over thirty years ago, Michelle really didn’t even know much about it. Megan didn’t like to talk about the night, even though her entire career as a police officer was founded on protecting the town from Jason.
For anyone Dave’s age, no one was old enough to remember the last time there was a major Jason incident, he was just out there. Yes there were murders now and then and yes there was little snippets of footage, but he never left his little corner of Cunningham County, so the younger people didn’t grow up with the same sense of urgency and fear, and honestly, sneaking into the camp, even for a minute had become a rite of passage among the local youth. These sojourns were nearly always in broad day light, never alone, and ended with some teenager driving their daddy’s car at top speed on Cunningham Road away from the ruins of Camp Blood.
Dave was apprehensive about that night, it was a crazy plan. A costume party at the camp, broadcasting live on Facebook was ridiculous, but PJ had been planning this event for months. It was their senior year and she wanted to do something big and nuts and this was the nuttiest thing she could think of. She was able to convince ten of her best friends to go along with it and Dave’s two older brothers agreed to buy a couple of kegs and come along too.
Michelle was never a part of the plan. It was Dave that insisted on inviting her, but PJ made him promise to not let her know what was really going on until the very last second. If Sheriff Garris suspected anything, they’d all spend the night in handcuffs. They might anyway, but if all went well, they’d be world famous by the time they were caught.
Dave turned around to see Michelle dressed like a sexy version of Disney’s Alice. The dress bordered on too short and her legs looked amazing in white fishnets. Dave flushed a little at how incredible she looked. He jumped up and met her half way across the room. She twirled for him and he applauded.
“Holy shit, you look amazing.”
She blushed and gave him a coy smile.
“Thanks, babe. So, what are you wearing?”
“Let’s go to my house and I’ll show you.”
She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him. He put his hands on her hips and pushed his tongue between her lips. His technique was sloppy and over-whelming, lucky for him she really adored him. Putting his hands on her ass, under the dress was a line she wasn’t ready to let him cross though. She pulled back and wagged her finger at him.
“Careful, there. I’ll let you know when it’s time.”
He clasped his hands together and bowed apologetically.
“Here,” she said, taking out her phone.
He froze for a second. He hadn’t anticipated her just handing it to him.
“Take my picture.”
He took the phone from her and stepped back to compose a few shots, directing her how to stand, where to put her hands, etc. She did all his goofy poses playfully, but gave him the finger when he told her to get her tits out.
“I’m just kidding!”
“Mm-hmm. Let me get my jacket.”
When she turned, he put her phone on silent and put it in his back pocket and headed for the door.
Dave’s brothers, Robert and Michael, drove their mom’s van into the camp with the two kegs and pre-carved jack o’lanterns. They were both wearing pistols in their waistbands and there was a sawed-off shotgun on the floor between them. They weren’t worried about getting spotted on the security cameras entering the camp, since they’d already snuck out here at dawn and knocked them down. They weren’t surprised to see them still not put back up yet. They turned the van around so it was pointing at the road and quietly unloaded the supplies.
Neither of the young men were oblivious to the danger, but both had snuck out here dozens of times, stealing little momentos to sell on E-Bay. They’d never once encountered Jason, but they did find a headless body once. After that they stayed away for a year.
They were typical bored, small town boys, with too much energy and testosterone and not enough healthy ways to release it. They didn’t jump off bridges or get drunk, they walked the sacred killing grounds of a real-life monster.
They agreed to help Dave and PJ set up in exchange for free beer and the promise of available girls, not to mention internet infamy if they pulled this off without getting killed.  They certainly agreed it was a stupid idea, but Jason hadn’t been seen since he had crossed the clearing, headed for his shack. The chances of him coming back were thin, unless the party got too out of hand and they made too much noise. Michael had insisted PJ keep the guest list short and that everyone listened to them implicitly. This would be no drunken brawl, even if it was going to look like it on Facebook’s live feed. 
Robert had seen Jason’s shack in person once, not long before they found the headless body. It was about two miles away, down near a part of the lake that had been cut off by storm damage. It was closer than Robert liked, but he figured Jason must be getting pretty damn old. Could he really be as much of a threat? He didn’t want that answer, but that he and Michael might be able to turn a profit off this night, he was willing to risk it.    
They had brought fire wood and stones to set up a fire pit in the middle of the grounds and positioned the jack o’lanterns around on the far side of the pit from where the vehicles would be parked and the Go Pro cameras set up. As they worked Robert heard a twig snap and they both went for their guns, scanning the trees. Nothing moved.
Michael got his phone out and checked, which had multiple live streams from the camp running 24/7 with any new footage running on a constant loop. There had still been no movement. They themselves were only about twenty yards out of view of the nearest cameras.
“We’re ok,” Michael said.
“What time is it?”
“Almost five.”
The sun was already getting low and some unfriendly dark clouds were moving in.
“Shit, we might get rained out before we even start.”
Michael nodded.
“Should we move into one of the buildings?”
“We’d have to get everyone tetanus shots first,” Robert chuckled.
It wasn’t the first home he had built for himself. He had dragged scraps from the campgrounds and the various derelict houses to build his little shack. He didn’t need much, just a place to lie down and be at peace. He was tired all the time now. Those others, the ones that used to come again and again, had almost completely stopped coming. Maybe he’d finally killed them all, or enough of them. The rage and hurt had gone out of him and now he was tired.
He had been tired before. He had slept, long and deep, once in dirt, twice in water. He had been at peace in the dark, until mama’s voice started calling…Kill them, Jason…Kill them all… He always answered mama’s call and the power would surge through his body and he would tear through every faceless meat sack in his path.
He laid in a fetal position in his tiny shack that was barely big enough to contain him. His body growing cold and stiff. From across the cosmos came the tiny muffled voice of mama, Such a good boy…sleep, my special boy…
But she was interrupted by the sound of an approaching engine. He opened his eyes, but she whispered, Not yet, Jason, just rest…
Dave came out of bedroom wearing a white sheet with two eyeholes cut out and a pair of horn rimmed glasses on the outside. Michelle smirked from the barstool in the kitchen.
“Nerd ghost?”
“No, haven’t you seen Halloween?”
“Ha, no. We watch romantic comedies and Disney movies in my house.”
“I have so much corruption to catch up on!”
A horn blasted from outside. Dave pulled the sheet off and opened the curtains. Tyler was outside in his dad’s convertible ’58 Plymouth Fury, with the top down. He was wearing a Riddler costume. Dave and Jennifer were also in the front, he was just wearing a rubber pig nose (appropriate) and she was dressed like a sexy zombie. Tyler’s younger brother, Titus, was alone in the backseat, wearing a skeleton costume and a paper bag over his head.
“All right, they’re here.”
“I could just drive us,” Michelle said hopefully, not wanting to have a way out if this party didn’t go well. After all, these were Dave’s friends, not hers.
Dave took her hand, “Come on, we’ll hang out, it’ll be fun…”
She decided to go against her gut and not argue. Dave locked the front door and they got into the back seat with Titus, who didn’t greet them. As they pulled away, Michelle heard Titus mumble, ‘this is going to suck.’
Michelle didn’t bother asking him why. She knew him from school and he tended to be negative almost always about almost everything.
Dylan passed a bottle of Jack Daniels back to Dave, who took a small swig and passed it to Michelle. She took it reluctantly and had a sip before passing it to Titus. He pulled the bag off his head and had two big gulps before passing it up to Tyler.
At risk of sounding like a party pooper, Michelle said, “Be careful passing that around. Cops are everywhere tonight.”
Jennifer half turned around, “Oh, they’ll be too busy with tourists. When do they ever pull over townies?”
As an answer, a siren blasted behind them and they all looked back at the County Sheriff’s SUV suddenly trailing them with its blue lights on.
Tyler gritted his teeth, turning white.
“Hide that fucking bottle!”
Jennifer put it up her skirt with a grin. Tyler put on his right turn signal and pulled to the shoulder. The SUV sped past them and disappeared around the bend. Tyler put his head on the wheel and everyone chuckled. Jennifer pulled the bottle out and took another hit.
“See, Michelle?”
Michelle shrugged with a smirk.
PJ was dressed as a sexy witch and loading bags of snacks and her IPhone speaker system. She had made the perfect horror rock playlist for the occasion. Benny (punk rock vampire), Lori (sexy Freddy Kreuger), Wes (sadistic surgeon), and Rosy (Black Widow) were clowning around with some of the other party favors, like the brand new machete PJ had just bought from the hardware store after school. She knew Dave’s brothers were coming armed, but a little extra protection wouldn’t hurt anyone. Lori pulled her plastic Freddy glove off and sat down with a bag of weed and started rolling joints. Rosy started chasing Benny around PJ’s front yard with the machete.
“Fuck off, you crazy bitch! You’re gonna hurt yourself!”
“I’m gonna hurt you! Hahahaha!”
PJ’s dad, Dennis, came out on the front porch and crossed his arms disapprovingly and waited to be noticed. Lori saw him first and blocked the weed with her body, coughing loudly to get PJ’s attention. PJ turned around to yell at Rosy and saw her dad with his eyebrows raised.
“Oh, hi, dad!”
Rosy stopped chasing Benny and ran over to give Dennis a hug.
“Hi, PJ’s dad!” She chirped.
“Rosy, please put that damn machete down, before you chop off your foot and your parents sue me.”
“Yes, sir.”
She set it against the side of the porch and skipped over to Lori and sat down.
“What’s up, dad?”
“Don’t be later than one, doll, I’m serious. If you’re even a little…tipsy, call me. Do not drive.”
“Ok, dad.”
“I promise.”
“Ok. Wes, tell your mom I said hi.”
“I will.”
Dennis nodded and went back inside.
PJ slammed her trunk.
“Ok, let’s go. Dave’s brothers are already getting everything else set up.”
Wes started to get into the passenger seat, “Wait. You still haven’t told me how we’re going to get into the camp if there’s a road block.”
“Robert showed me an old dirt road hunters used to use, we’ll take that. It’s pretty bumpy, but it goes right into the camp.”
Benny drummed loudly on the trunk, “the cops will never know we’re there!”
Out on Trent Road, past the last of the farm houses, PJ drove past Gabby’s dusty Ford Escort that was parked and waiting on the side of the road. Gabby was dressed as Cat Woman and she had Liz (Harley Quinn) and Jamie (Poison Ivy) with her. Gabby pulled out behind PJ and followed her onto the narrow dirt road, passed the numerous warnings that they were entering the designated dead zone and that no help was coming if they got into trouble. Everyone felt a little sick in the pits of their stomachs.
Tyler sped through the back roads and neighborhoods, taking a left onto Trent, which is where Michelle looked around realized they were on the wrong side of town.
“Hey, what are we doing out here?”
They looked at each other, but no one answered, as they passed the first warning sign.
“Dave, what the fuck?”
“Michelle, relax, it’s a surprise.”
Titus scoffed. “More like a dumb stunt. We’re all gonna be internet famous tonight, Michelle.”
“Probably by getting hacked up-“
“Titus, shut the fuck up!” Tyler shouted. “I don’t know why you even came!”
“Because I was bound to be a teen suicide anyway, dick!”
Michelle went for phone and realized she didn’t have it.
“Dave, where’s my phone?”
“I don’t know, you must’ve left it at home. Look, let-“
“Don’t! Fuck you! Tyler stop this fucking car right now!”
He didn’t listen, just drove past two more signs, only slowing down to not miss the turn.
“Michelle, I begged PJ to let me invite you! So everyone would see that you’re cool to be around. We’re only going for a couple of hours, get some footage of us partying, and get the hell out. It’ll be all over the internet, we’ll be world famous!”
“And then?”
He turned to his friends for help.
Dylan fully turned around as Tyler steered on to the dirt road.
“Look, Michelle. No one likes you or wants you around. You’re stuck up and weird and your fucking mom kills everyone’s fun. Dave swears you’re cool and if you just do this stunt with us, then you’re in, you’re one of us.”
“Do you think that fucking matters to me at all, you fucking stooge?”
Jennifer held up her phone.
“Michelle, I get a text alert when new footage of Jason is captured-“
“So do my brothers,” Dave interjected.
“He’ll pass multiple cameras on the way to camp, we’ll get an alert, and we’ll get the fuck outta there. It’s totally safe. PJ, Robert, and Michael planned it all out. This road is our main escape route, Cunningham Road is our secondary, both are in the opposite direction of Jason’s shack.”
“We’ll be fine, Michelle,” Tyler added. “I promise.”
“My brothers are armed to the teeth. Besides, they’ve been coming out here for years and they’ve never seen Jason.”
Michelle had fire in her eyes.
“If we make it home alive, I’m never speaking to you again. We are so fucking done.”
Dylan was still turned around facing her.
“You gonna tell your mom?”
She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Maybe we’ll just leave you out here, bitch.”
“Dylan, shut the fuck up! We won’t leave you, Michelle, I promise.”
Tyler shrugged his shoulders, “Besides, there’s no actual law about not coming out here.”
Everyone was already filling red cups from the kegs, while The Misfits’ “Halloween” blasted from the speakers when Tyler pulled in. Robert directed him to park the car pointing back toward the road for a quick run. Michelle was the last out of the car, looking around, feeling something frigid in her chest. She felt as though she had landed on an alien planet.
Everything was different here, the air, the ground, It all felt alive and hostile. This dirt had absorbed so much blood. Michelle’s heart was pounding and everyone started to feel distant as she felt more isolated. This place was haunted. Cursed. A blood curse.
“Here,” Michael said, holding out a cup of beer to her.
She took it and gulped it down, hoping it would calm her nerves.
Wes’s dad went into his son’s room and opened his laptop. He had been in trouble several times in the last couple of years for public drunkenness and possession of marijuana. He had narrowly escaped reform school and expulsion and was on probation. This party at PJ’s was the first time his father had agreed to let him go out in almost a year. It was a showing of faith on his part and a reward for good behavior. That didn’t mean Walt wasn’t going to check his laptop history and messages regularly.
Walt opened the laptop and clicked the Facebook app. At the top of the time line was a live feed video marked Halloween party at Camp Fucking Blood. The video swung back and forth showing kids that Walt recognized immediately, even in costume. One of the kids was a petrified looking Michelle Miner. Walt knew where they were and he was horrified at their stupidity. Then the camera man turned the camera on himself and there was Walt’s own god damned stupid ass son, with a fucking beer in his hand, shouting, ‘come get me, Jason, you faggot!’
Megan got the call while helping Deputy Etchison separate a tourist and a towny.
“Sheriff, I’m putting a call through from Walter Sawyer.”
“Go ahead, June…Mr. Sawyer? Sheriff Garris here.”
As he laid out what he was seeing on the screen, someone shouted in the crowd, “Holy shit! Someone’s having a costume party out at Camp Blood!”
Megan looked around in horror as people started getting their phones out.
“No no no…”
“Sheriff…Listen…Your daughter is there. I saw her…”
People started running to their cars. Megan dropped her cell phone and grabbed a couple who were getting into a hatchback.
“Don’t go out there! You’ll die!”
But they just laughed at her.
She ran in front of another car.
“Stop, dammit! I’m ordering you to park your vehicle!”
They just drove around her.
Etchison wearily walked over and pulled her from the road.
“Jeezus, Megan, what’s going on?”
“Some damn kids are out at the camp…partying and broadcasting it on the internet.”
“Ho-leee shit.”
“Call Lieutenant Rick Cologne over at the State Patrol. We need a chopper over the camp.”
“What are you gonna do, boss? We aren’t going in there, are we?”
“Hell no. No officers are to step foot within the dead zone. I’m driving my Fuck-You-Jason in and saving as many people as I can. I want support and roadblocks on all roads and I want a chopper with a spotlight over the camp.”
Megan jumped in her cruiser and sped towards the station.
Thunder rumbled loudly and lightning crashed in the distance. Robert kept his eye on the black clouds overtaking the night sky and kept checking his phone.
Dave kept trying to talk to Michelle, who was having none of it.
The rest were either dancing or drinking.
Michael had convinced Gabby to follow him to the other side of the cars.
Tearing down Cunningham Road was a line of victims, er, tourists, who were too far removed from the reality of the real Crystal Lake, that had nothing to do with that little shit town.
And two miles away a voice rang in Jason’s ears…Now Jason…Kill them…Kill them all..!
Megan’s cruiser came to a screeching stop in front of the garage. Bill limped out from his office biting into an apple.
“Is it gassed up and ready to roll?”
He gulped, “Always…”
She hit the button on the garage door and the motor started loudly raising the metal door. The lights snapped on and there set the Army’s special gift to her; an Armored Huron Kenworth T370 personnel carrier, outfitted with gun ports and filled with full auto AR-15s.
She started climbing into the driver’s seat when Etchison and Cooper came running up.
“Sheriff, we’re coming with you.”
“Hell no. You know my rule.”
“You can’t drive and shoot, you need us and I’ll shoot you in the ass before I let you go without us. Right, Coop?”
“Damn right.”
She sighed and nodded.
“I bet you would, you old bastard. Saddle up, boys.”
 With every step, the stiffness loosened. With every step, the rage built.
Stronger, angrier, faster…They were back…again….Kill them…Kill them all…
Yes, mama…all.
Jason moved through the darkness with the winds picking up and every single camera failing to capture him.
As the Huron pulled out on to Main Street, Megan saw the mass exodus in full swing, several cars at a time, all heading in the same direction. Etchison was watching the video on his phone shaking his head.
“Damn, Megan. Word’s spreading fast…”
Megan picked up the radio.
“I need all units blocking any road leading into the camp, now! Turn everyone away, anyone gives you trouble, put them cuffs. And make sure I’ve got a clear path. I’m coming down Cunningham Road in the Fuck-You-Jason.”
Her deputies sounded off and got moving. Megan had the lights and sirens blaring, passing cars on the left. Etchison got on the loudspeaker.
“Attention! Do not approach the dead zone! You will be arrested! This is your only warning!”
Deputy Bunn came on the radio.
“Sheriff, I got the road blocked, but I’d say half dozen or more cars already got through. Should I start sending people back towards town?”
“Hell no. Keep those idiots parked where they are, I need the oncoming lane empty.”
This was only the second-time Megan had needed to take the Huron into the dead zone. It was to get that lost land surveyor after his wife bawled on her knees in Megan’s office to try and find him. She knew he had accidentally wandered into the dead zone, because he had called her when stumbled on to a badly decomposed corpse. Megan had felt awful for her and agreed to drive through, but didn’t tell anyone else, specifically to keep them from wanting to go with her. Of course, she was too late for land surveyor. She prayed she wouldn’t be too late for her daughter.
Lightning streaked the sky and the air felt alive with malevolent spirits. The Huron barreled down Cunningham Road, coming up on a line of stopped cars. Several people were on the side of the road with their phones out, taking selfies and filming the Huron as it passed by. Over the trees, she saw the lights of the state patrol’s helicopter heading for the camp.
 Michael was leaned against the front of the van with his head back. Gabby’s lipstick was smeared over his lips. She was down on her knees giving him a blowjob. He reached down and got a handful of her hair, but she smacked his hand away and mumbled ‘stop that.’
He moved his hands to her shoulders, moaning softly. He suddenly went very stiff and she expected him to finish, but instead he clamped his hand back on to her head and grabbed a fistful of hair. She got pissed and tried to jerk her head away, but she was yanked to her feet suddenly as Michael’s body shook against the front of the van. His head was gone and blood spurted from his neck like a fountain.
Gabby had no voice to scream, her mouth was just a horrified, silent O. She continued rising, her feet nearly a foot off the ground. She could feel hairs coming out of her scalp at the root as she was turned, coming face to face with the world’s most infamous masked face. Only one eye was visible in the light that seeped between the vehicles and it said only one thing; I hate you.
Jason put his other hand in her mouth and gripped her lower jaw, giving it a little tug to the left and right, before jerking it with little effort, right off her face. He let her body crumple to the ground as she drowned on her own blood.
Jason stood over her and Michael watching the life drain from their bodies while the others went on snapping pictures and dancing to head banger noise that hurt Jason’s head. He looked past the vehicles and through the cloud of pot smoke at their weird dress. He tilted his head, confused. Something was different tonight…but that passed. Nothing mattered except they all had to pay…kill kill kill…
Lori was taking a selfie with Wes, pressing the claws of the Freddy glove to his throat.
“Hang on, one more…”
She licked his face while he pretended to die. Then the sight of approaching headlights caught his eye.
“Hey, who the fuck are they?”
PJ held up her phone.
“Uninvited guests! We went viral, guys!”
A wave of fear passed over Wes.
“Lori, shit…maybe we should get everyone out of here. I suddenly have a bad feeling about this.”
“Look at that lightning. As soon as that storm gets to us we’ll have to split anyway.”
Suddenly a bright spotlight lit up the whole campgrounds as the helicopter reached them. When it did, it revealed Jason standing behind Lori. Wes fell backwards on his ass pointing, trying to warn her.
Lori spun around as Jason brought his machete down on the top of her head, splitting her through her crotch. He shoved through her two halves before they even had a chance to fall and came for Wes like a Mack truck, stomping on his stomach and bursting several internal organs before slicing the top half of his head off.
The others stood in stunned silence for only a second before racing for the cars.
Robert emptied his pistol into Jason’s chest, which Jason just shrugged off while looking around, watching where each person ran. As he fired, Robert was steadily walking backwards, by the time he was out of bullets he was by the van door. He yanked it open and grabbed the shotgun.
When Tyler reached the Plymouth, he found Gabby propped up in the driver’s seat with Michael’s head in her lap. He started to run toward the road, but ran into the path of an oncoming Toyota. He bounced off the hood and landed in a ditch.
Benny, Rosy, Jennifer, Dylan, and Titus were panicking by the cars realizing that the drivers had the keys. Rosy spotted Gabby’s purse and made a break for it, hoping the keys were there and not on her body. The shotgun’s blast echoed in the night, mixing with the crash of thunder as the first raindrops fell.
Rosy opened Gabby’s purse and turned to run with keys in hand.
Jason, while still advancing on Robert reached into the bonfire and threw a large burning hunk of wood, smashing Rosy’s skull and setting her hair on fire.
The Toyota driver, panicking after hitting Tyler, swung a u-turn and hit another car head on, blocking the road for two other cars that now couldn’t escape.
Titus dived for the keys pissing himself a little as the second blast from the shotgun went off.
Robert, knowing it was useless, tried to get in the van, but he wasn’t fast enough and Jason slammed the door on his head. And then again. Then a third time, only satisfied when Robert’s left eye popped out.
Dave had gotten himself tangled in the sheet and tripped, while trying to reach Michelle.
Michelle didn’t know when she had fallen to the ground. She was dizzy and dark streaks blurred the edge of her vision. All she could really see was Jason flinging Robert’s limp body through the air, knocking Dave off his feet, just as he was tossing the sheet aside. The rain poured down her face as she tried to shake off the terror that kept her on her hands and knees as Jason advanced on Dave.
Dave crawled towards Michelle, yelling for her to run, but his voice was lost in the storm and the helicopter’s engine. All around people were screaming, car horns were blaring.
Michelle saw what was almost relief in Dave’s face as Dylan and Jennifer yanked her to her feet. Jason locked eyes with her as he kept coming for Dave. In one fluid movement, Jason punted Dave in the head while throwing his machete. Warmth splashed across Michelle’s left side as the machete went almost all the way through Dylan’s neck. He staggered backward reaching for help as the blood spurted. Jennifer pulled her arm hard, screaming ‘run,’ but Michelle’s legs were rubber.
Dave was seeing stars and spitting broken teeth into the mud. Jason grabbed him by the back of the neck with his right hand and lifted him to his feet. Jason was backlit by the helicopter, he looked god-like as he punched Dave over and over, shattering his cheekbones and forehead, caving his face in.
Gabby’s car had started and Titus, Jennifer, and Benny were half in shouting for Michelle to run. There was another crash of metal as two more cars collided trying to get out and coming fast was a loud engine bearing down on them.
Michelle started backing away finally, starting to get her wits about her. Jason had paused to watch her, tilting his head to the side, as if trying to remember if he knew her.
Dylan had fallen to his knees, the machete slid out and fell to the ground. Michelle assessed her position. If she went for the car, Jason would overtake her in seconds, if she went for the woods, she would still be in his domain, and would only prolong her life by minutes. She only had one choice.
She picked up the machete and gripped it with both hands.
Gabby’s car wheels were spinning, stuck in the mud.
The other engine was even louder.
Jason seemed to sigh as he started coming at Michelle.
Michelle raised the machete, praying for one clear shot.
Two smaller trees went down as the Huron burst through the thick brush off the side of the road, sideswiping the Plymouth and smashing into Jason. Jason hurtled through the air, over the nearly dead bonfire and crashed into the building.
  “Holy shit,” Michelle whispered breathlessly, as Megan jumped out of the truck with an AR-15.
“Mom, I didn’t-“
“Later, get in the car! Coop! Help them get unstuck!”
“Right, sheriff!”
Cooper jumped out with his rifle and ran over to Gabby’s car, holding on to Michelle’s arm.
“One of you get out and help me push and then drive like hell back to the police station. Your parents are already there!”
With Titus behind the wheel, Benny jumped out and he and Cooper pushed as Michelle collapsed, still holding the machete, in the back seat beside Jennifer, who was shaking uncontrollably, chanting ‘go, go, go,’ in a hoarse whisper.
Megan turned around and could see Etchison slide into the driver seat and shut the door as Megan slowly circled around the bonfire. She could only see Jason’s feet and he hadn’t moved since smashing into the building.
“Mom, don’t…”
Jennifer spun around to look.
“What the fuck is she doing..?”
Megan was a full twenty feet from the Huron, the assault rifle, loaded with armor piercing rounds, heavy in her hands. She was controlling her breathing, she was listening to the sounds around her, and despite the rain in her face she kept her eyes on Jason’s still body.
Etchison gunned the engine as he inched the Huron forward, the helicopter hovered directly overhead, spotlight trained intently. There were horns blaring from cars trying to disentangle themselves out on the road, but a few idiots were wandering over to see the big, bad Jason for themselves.
Etchison’s voice boomed over the loud speaker, “Get back! He’s not dead! All of you get back to your cars and drive away, if your car isn’t drivable, ride with someone!”
Megan spotted a hipster running up, trying to shield his phone from the rain.
“Hey, asshole! Stop!”
He looked up at Megan to say something, but Jason was suddenly on his feet, grabbing him by the neck, squeezing the life out of him as he ran for darkness. Megan squeezed off only two shots, because Jason moved so fast.
The Huron and Helicopter pursued Jason, but they lost him between the ruins of the cabins. Megan followed him as far as he dumped the hipster’s body and then backed out slowly. He had escaped all their lines of vision and could now be anywhere.
“Why doesn’t your mom just leave…she’s going to die…”
“Shut the fuck up, you brain dead bitch. If she gets hurt, it’ll be all of your faults.”
“We’ve all snuck out here since we were kids…we never saw him…”
Gabby’s car suddenly leapt forward and came to a hard stop. Benny started to get in the passenger seat, as Deputy Cooper came to the driver’s window.
“Listen, I don’t feel real comfortable sending you down that old hunter’s road, looks like Jason got away, so you might be in more danger trying to leave. He’s killed people out there before. So, keep the windows up, doors locked, engine running. Don’t panic or do anything stupid. Wait for me and I’ll tell you where to go.”
Titus nodded dumbly and started rolling up the window as a few people approached Cooper.
“Excuse me, deputy, my friend went over there a minute ago, right before the gun shots, is he ok?”
“How the fuck should I know? I’m asshole deep in mud trying to move a fucking car! Get your asses back to town, before I arrest you!”
“What about our friend?”
“He’ll be properly arrested. Fuck off.”
Benny, who was still standing outside the car looking around, saw him a split second before all hell broke loose; out of nowhere Jason rose up behind the people talking to Cooper and punched through a man’s chest. Cooper was sprayed with blood. The woman beside the dead man tried to run, but Jason jammed his fingers into her eye sockets and swung her at Cooper as he dived for his rifle that had fallen in the mud. The force of her body knocked the wind out of him, slamming him against the side of the car.
All the kids inside the car began screaming. Titus tried to go from Park to Drive, but only hit Neutral and started gunning the engine, screaming at the car to move. Benny could see the assault rifle and ran for it as Jason grabbed Cooper by one arm and a fistful of belly fat. Michelle screamed at Titus that he was in neutral, but Jason slammed Cooper on the hood and then smashed him into the windshield. Benny aimed the rifle and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. He was inexperienced with guns and started looking for the safety.
Titus tried to crawl out of the door, but Jason had seen Benny and was coming for him. On his way, he kicked the door with incredible power, slamming it against Titus, shattering several ribs. Benny tried to swing the rifle like a club, but Jason caught it easily and yanked it from his hands before swinging it himself, caving the side of Benny’s head in.
Behind him, people were screaming. Jason spun around to see who would die next and felt his own machete sink into the side of his neck. He grabbed the blade and tried to pull, but Michelle had both hands on the handle and was trying to yank it back.
“Michelle! Get down!”
Over Jason’s shoulder, she could see Megan taking aim. She let go of the machete and hit the ground. Machine gun fire rocked the night and with the lights from the Huron and helicopter so brightly shining on them, it became sensory overload for Michelle as she tried to crawl away, but she was temporarily blinded and had lost her sense of direction and wound up with Titus gasping for air in her face.
Megan emptied her clip into Jason, ejected it and loaded a fresh one, as she had practiced dozens, if not hundreds of times. Rotted chunks of flesh had flown off Jason, but he was still on his feet. He staggered left and right and reached up for the machete, which is when Megan opened fire again, this time knocking him off his feet.
The remaining eight people who hadn’t or hadn’t been able to flee emerged from behind their cars and slowly approached for a closer look. Cooper coughed up blood and rolled off the hood and fell on his hands and knees in front of Gabby’s car. Etchison pulled the Huron around beside Megan and rolled down the window, looking back at Jason. Michelle cradled Titus’s head to keep his face out of the mud. Megan watched everything.
“I know.”
“I hate to be cold about this, but I think we should grab Michelle and Cooper and cut our losses. Everyone knows better than to be here…”
“I know. Shit. Get Coop and tell Michelle to follow you. I’ll cover you.”
Etchison climbed down with his rifle, leaving the door open. Megan had her right foot firmly planted behind her, barrel aimed straight at Jason, and finger slightly squeezing the trigger, waiting for even the slightest movement. The rain had slowed to a drizzle. People were inching closer and closer, snapping pics with their phones. Etchison waved at them to get back, but only two complied. Cooper was pulling himself up when he saw Michelle looking up at him.
“Go to your mom,” he whispered.
“I don’t think I can move Titus.”
Etchison took Cooper by the arm.
“I can walk, get the kid…”
Again, Etchison waved for the people to get back, but they continued snapping pics and videoing. He handed the rifle to Michelle.
“Careful, it’s ready to rock. Just point it at him and pull the trigger if he moves.”
She nodded, mimicking her mom’s stance. Etchison stooped down and lifted Titus to his feet. The kid coughed blood, leaning all his weight against the deputy. Cooper staggered past them, drawing his pistol. Michelle waited to move until Etchison and Titus passed then she moved sideways, covering them.
Megan whispered, “Good girl, don’t stop.”
As expected, Jason sat up, but as Megan began firing he flung the machete from his neck and through Etchison’s arm and Titus’s back. Michelle fired, but the AR-15 had a greater kick than the smaller single shot rifles she was used to firing, and her shots went wild, strafing Jason’s back as he got to his feet. Megan yelled for her to run between controlled bursts of fire, which Jason just shrugged off as he decided who was next.
Etchison staggered toward Megan with his arm hanging on by only a bit of fabric, he was losing a lot of blood very quickly. Cooper hooked his arm around his waist and started walking him to the Huron while blasting Jason with his pistol. The onlookers were scattering into the trees and Megan quickly lost sight of them. Michelle had stopped moving when Titus died and Megan could see she was picking her shots. Jason kept looking back and forth between them, standing his ground as the rounds punched fresh holes through his torso. Megan got off a headshot that blasted away a chunk of hockey mask over his left eye.
That was it, Jason charged Michelle. Michelle emptied her clip and ran towards Megan who was loading a fresh clip. Cooper let Etchison go and moved to get between Jason and Michelle. He leveled his pistol at Jason, aiming for his left eye. Michelle passed behind him while Jason came right at him, ignoring Megan’s gunfire. Cooper fired, striking the cheek of the hockey mask, and the next instant, Jason’s fist went through his chest.
Megan dropped her spent rifle and pulled her side arm.
“Hey, maggot head, over here!”
But Jason ignored her, flung Cooper to the side and kept after Michelle.
Michelle looked back and saw him gaining on her. She pivoted to the left and turned him away from the Huron, running back toward Titus. Without stopping she grabbed the machete.
“Michelle! No!”
Michelle could hear his thudding footsteps getting closer and closer. Michelle spun, with everything she had, and sank the blade into the side of his head, knocking off the hockey mask. Jason staggered to the side and went down to one knee. Michelle started to run, but saw an opening and kicked the machete deeper into his skull, knocking Jason to his side. She backed away as Jason got back to his feet, pulling the machete out.
He was feeling tired again. They were hurting him…ma…ma…
Kill them, Jason…kill them all…
Black goo oozed down his face. Shards of shoulder blade exploded out his back. Megan advanced on him, picking her shots carefully. Michelle kept backing away. Rotted meat began to stretch and stitch itself back together. Megan was close, but Michelle was closer. Michelle glanced at her mom and Jason broke at a run towards her. She ran toward the cabins. Megan ran for the Huron.
Michelle’s lungs were on fire and she was seeing black spots as her head pounded. He was going to catch her. It was inevitable…Then she heard the Huron’s engine roar.
Jason almost had heard as the Huron bared down on him, he turned as it struck him, cracking many bones in the process. He pulled himself up on the grill, locking eyes with Megan. She smashed him through one the cabins, putting the pedal to the floor. He reached for her, trying to free clothes and ribs that got stuck on the truck grill. Megan drove the Huron at top speed, aiming for the dock. Jason looked back and saw where they were headed and desperately tried to pull himself loose.
The wooden dock cracked and moaned as the truck hit it, with parts of it collapsing in the wake of the truck.
Megan screamed, “FUCK YOU!” as they went off the tip of the dock, plunging into the inky, black water. The spotlights on top burned all the way to the bottom and she was able to watch Jason get crushed and pinned under the weight of the truck, as the cab began to flood.
“Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you..! Get up now, fucker!”
He reached and pushed and pounded desperately before the rage finally went out in his eyes and he became still.
The truck was ass up, leaning partially on the collapsed dock that had sunk behind them. Megan swam out the window, heading for the spotlight shining down from above. She floated up, kicking her feet and watching Jason until he was too deep to see.
Michelle had collapsed on the beach, sobbing loudly, calling for her mom. Jennifer fell to her knees beside Michelle and put her arms around her.
“I’m so sorry…”
“Oh…fuck you…” but Michelle hugged her back anyway.
Megan came to the surface, gasping for breath and Michelle and Jennifer ran into the water to help pull her out and they all fell in the sand.
The helicopter landed behind them and Rick Cologne stepped out and called for them to move their asses. Once they were aboard, the helicopter rose straight up to avoid trees and then swept over the carnage below, over Cunningham Road, and on back to town.

Roll credit.