With Halloween, John Carpenter established a lot of what would later become slasher-flick conventions, though they weren't codified as such until a few years later -- after the wild success of Friday the Thirteenth proved that the horny-doped-up-teenagers formula would work fine even without plot, characterization, decent acting, star power, or humor. (For a really interesting analysis not only of Friday the Thirteenth but of the whole gory genre it spawned, go here.) But while Rule #1, Have Sex and Die Messily, has been much remarked upon in the past two decades, there has been very little discussion (if any) about Halloween's striking overall gender-consciousness.
Michael, silent, expressionless, graceless, and prone to expressing his emotions through violence, is like a lumbering caricature of traditional American masculinity, complete with unholy physical strength and a foot-long butcher knife that might as well have the words "phallic symbol" engraved on it. Laurie "Final Girl" Strode, on the other hand, is gregarious, expressive, domestic, and nurturing. She is a babysitter, which puts her squarely in the feminine context of home and children -- both of which are threatened by Michael, himself the homeless ghost of a shattered childhood. When he comes after her, the first thing Laurie does is make sure the children are safe. Having done that, she: seeks refuge in the recesses of the house; tries to get help from her neighbors; stabs Michael with a knitting needle; hides in a closet; and finally, in desperation, jabs at him with an unfurled coat hanger. I don't feel that all of this is totally coincidental. I don't know why they did it, either, but they did.
If I were still in college and writing a paper about this movie, I might proceed to discuss Laurie's weapons in greater detail. Mentioning a knitting needle and an unfurled coat hanger in the same breath inevitably calls up the specter of back-alley abortions; and the manchild Michael, in his nondescript mask, perpetually half-formed and stalking after his family, is not entirely unlike an unwanted fetus. After all, in the now time-honored tradition, he gets everyone but the virgin.
But I don't really want to go any further down that road. I don't want to analyze a fluffy horror movie to a pulp, especially not one I like as much as I like Halloween. So in conclusion, I really like that one part where he pins that dude to the wall with a big knife.
As for Jason Voorhees, all I know about him is what I learned reading geeky fan websites, because as I mentioned earlier, he doesn't freaking appear in the first movie. But apparently his spirit can occupy the body of anyone related to him -- meaning that he has consequently been a number of different people, including his own mother and his own sister. I think that this would give a person a refreshingly unusual gender identity, but something tells me they don't explore that theme in Jason Goes To Hell.
As for Myers/Voorhees crossover porn, there are many questions. The first one is, How to get them in the same place? That's easy: Just make Josh Tate, Laurie's teenage son, one of those horny counselors at Camp Crystal Lake. That way Michael and Jason will both want to kill him, and will probably run into each other in that vast expanse of spooky woods near the lake. (The two of them fighting over who gets to kill Josh would actually be a great setup for a movie.) Another is, If they do indeed do the wild thing, would they then have to try to kill each other in accordance with Rule #1?
This is where a weaker mind would have Freddy Krueger pop up and kill them both, and it would turn out that the whole thing was a product of Josh's nightmare; I, however, will take no such easy road. I shouldn't actually take any road at all. For one thing, this is a transparent attempt to distract myself from the task at hand, that being my book; for another, it's incredibly stupid. But neither deterrent has ever stopped me before. I may be shot, stabbed, decapitated, set on fire, or shoved out a window, but I keep writing gibberish.
I should get a copy of Naked Lunch, though. Catholicism I can fake, but I know next to nothing about heroin culture. And my book, like all great works of literature, features both.
Total word count: 22,308