You want a shared slashers universe? This was as close as we may ever get.
The year was 1988, and all of your favorite horror icons were dominating the box office. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Leatherface were all at the peak of their popularity, so it was needless to say a good time to be a horror fan. And 1988, well, it was a great year.
In that one calendar year, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master, Friday the 13th: The New Blood, and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers were released, and the slasher franchise boom wasn’t lost on the mainstream media. In November of 1988, People Magazine wrote a story about that year’s horror output, dubbing it a “bloody good year again.”
But what was so special about the People Magazine story wasn’t the article itself, but rather the photo shoot that took place for it. They managed to get Freddy, Jason, Michael, and Leatherface all in the same room for a couple truly epic photos; and yes, the horror icons were played by the actors who portrayed them on screen. Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, George P. Wilbur (Halloween 4) and Bob Elmore (Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2) were brought in for the shoot, and those photos were to be the first and only time that their iconic characters ever joined forces.
The full article, which you’ll find below, is preserved on People’s website:
They’re the reason that Hollywood accountants sleep well at night and American teens don’t. Averaging 20 victims per outing, these Hollywood horror hounds have laid a trail of death over a quarter-mile long (assuming a 5-foot skull-to-toe-tag span per corpse). The box office take from their combined 17 monstrous flicks has topped a bloody $500 million. So, for Halloween, it seemed ghoulishly appropriate that Jason, Freddy, Michael and Leatherface, the peerless princes of the pathological, gather to compare notes.
Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder, 33), the hockey-masked murderer of the Friday the 13th movies, which have grossed $172.5 million to date, groans about his teenage telekinetic adversary in Friday Part VII. “I chase her out onto the porch, and she causes the entire front of the house and the roof to collapse. About 700 pounds fell right on my head,” he moans. “Kind of rang my bell.”
George P. Wilbur, 46, the new endoskeleton beneath the other masked maniac, Michael Myers of the Halloween series ($168 million), is not to be outdone. Myers has just emerged from a 10-year coma to launch more mayhem in the new Halloween 4, and Wilbur is trying to number his latest cache of victims. “Oh, it’s countless,” he says despairingly. “A minimum of 15. I’ve got a massive body count on this one.”
Resting on the 45-inch blade of his insatiable chainsaw, Leatherface (Bob Elmore, 35) reminisces about filming the first sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre($100 million) in 1986. “It was 170°,” he moans. “But I destroyed a Mercedes, killed lots of people and cut a guy’s head off. So that was real nice.”
Freddy Krueger (the recently wed Robert Englund), 39, is the only actor here to have played his fiendish character in every sequel of A Nightmare on Elm Street I through 4, which have grossed $148 million. Now star of the new TV series Freddy’s Nightmares, he looks undead on his feet per usual. The char-grilled “bastard son of a hundred maniacs” is lazily skewering apple slices on his razor fingers. Sneering in perfect Freddy fashion and baring his rotting fangs, he raises his wineglass and hisses a toast: “This blood’s for you, sucker.”
Uh, thanks, Freddy, and Happy Halloween, guys.
Behold, the two greatest photos ever taken!