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The 1988 People Magazine Photo Shoot That United All the Slasher Icons

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!


30 Comments
  • nowaygetreal

    I get that this photo was released the same year as Halloween 4, but Michael Myers without the original mask is just….lacking. Still a cool photo though.

    • John Squires

      Myers looked horrible in 4 & 5. Masks were so bad.

      • nowaygetreal

        Especially part 5. I still can’t believe how bad it was. And anyone can talk crap about Zombies versions, but at least they had a good mask.

  • Saturn

    So I wonder how many of us now have the black and white image as our desktop….

    • Bouncy X

      i do! and it took doing that to realize Freddy had his gloved hand on his knee…i was wondering what was up with the “un-male’ pose it seemed to have. lol

    • the usual suspect

      I do

  • sweetooth0

    if only it didn’t have the seam from being spanned across two pages in the magazine, this would’ve made an awesome picture to print/frame/hang

  • Blade4693

    Yeah that Myers mask is derpy lol they were all kind of derpy after Halloween 2 until the Zombie remake.

    • Adam Paquette

      the H20 mask wasnt too bad.

      • sblast13

        Which H20 mask? There were at least 4 in total used in the movie. The opening scene used the mask from H6, than there’s the original one which was dropped half way through shooting and than there’s the one that pretty much was seen for most of the movie.

        Annnnnd finally there’s that craptastic CGI mask.

    • Flu-Like Symptoms

      Agreed. Part 4’s mask is absolutely awful. A glorified Don Post ’85. Very lazy attempt at remaking the face of fear.

    • Boydon

      this will forever remain a mystery to me how they manage to fail at recreating the original time after time with the excuse always being “well the first mask burned in the fire”. like, the original was literally made for 10 bucks out of a captain kirk mask by simply widening the eye holes and painting it white. why the need to cast a new mold and dick around with your FX buddies when you can do the same for less than 10 bucks.

      • Blade4693

        Yeah I don’t get it either. It literally looked like they went to the local costume shop in October and bought one of those cheaply made Myers look a like masks and used that for the movie lol

  • Rob Babe

    Freddy and Jason look like good buds in that B&W photo. Wonder what caused the rift later on down the road?

  • dukeblues

    Amazing year for horror. Halloween 4 was awesome. The tone and feel of the movie was super creepy. And Wilbur (while better in H6) was a great Myers, despite the shoulder pads.

  • Modok

    Fun article. Thanks for posting it. Elmore’s quote is perfect.

    This also shows why slasher movies are a dead genre. The originals are so iconic and so well-known that more recent slashers are viewed as pale imitations or forced attempts to create “the next Jason” or “the next Freddy” or whatever. The astonishing success of ’80s slasher franchises has made it all but impossible to successfully develop new ones.

    I’m fine with that. That genre had its day. It was fun, but horror sensibilities change and things don’t need to be constantly revised, repeated, re-booted or re-imagined.

    • shawn lawson

      What?! No matter how many times Hollywood ruins them, I will give every one of these cinematic gods’ new offerings a shot. A world where Freddy, Jason, Leather, etc. Are truly dead? I’ll join em!

  • John Connor

    It was The Dream Master in 1988.

  • Sam Beckett

    There was another photo taken of this I remember cutting out of a magazine back then. Freddy was leaning on Leatherface and raising his mug. Loved it then, love it now.

  • Prince Of Darkness

    Personally, I think Wes Craven hurt horror as much as he helped it. A Nightmare on Elm Street was a raw, honest horror movie. After that, Freddy became a wise cracking buffoon with his own record album and 1-900 number. Elm Street 3 was the beginning of horror movies revolving around just how clever the make up artists could get while Freddy made some lame, Arnold like comment as they died. Scream finished it off and sent horror into the slick, starring hot new tv teen stars trying to make the jump to movies, epic orchestral soundtrack that tells the audience how to react type of horror. We’re still there, only now everything is CGI and rated PG-13. That’s just my opinion though.

    • shawn lawson

      Personally I think youre an asshole. Freddy is awesome. My opinion

      • Prince Of Darkness

        You probably do. And you probably once went to the emergency room after you stupidly forgot and scratched your balls while wearing your genuine, authentic, Freddy glove.

        • shawn lawson

          Nah. It was a quick heal

  • Halloween_Vic

    God these are amazing!!!!! The 4 true slasher icons all we need is for 4 new films to come out next year and have a 30 year anniversary photo shoot with the tag line ” After 30 years these horror icons are back and ready to create a new legacy to put fear in a new generation ” something like that lol would be great and then for 2018 we have all new Halloween,F13th,leather face and NOES films coming out. God that would be EPIC!!!!

  • the usual suspect

    Found my new desktop wallpaper

  • Mark Lepine

    In the late 80s I had that poster on my wall.

  • AdamX

    Just missing Doug Bradley and a Doll voiced by Brad Dourif but very awesome.

  • KennyThaKilla

    I’ve always questioned if that was really Kane in the costume. He’s 6′ 4″ and Robert’s 5′ 10″, yet in that pic, they appear to be almost the same height. Also, George P. Wilbur is 6′ 2″, but appears to be slightly taller than Kane. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3fa534c7bbf8072d4472437e19a9b67832f4e238c7a6aaa7e377d57be4dd9c8a.jpg

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