Cheech & Chong Vs. Jason: The Friday The 13th That Got Away
Good evening, Camp Crystal Lake campers! Gather round the campfire; we’ve got a tale of what has got to be one of cinema’s coolest “could’ve been” concepts…
Long before slasher icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees went toe-to-toe, there was talk of another versus match that never got the legs to get up and running. That cinematic showdown would’ve pitted Cheech & Chong against Jason, a concept that may have perfectly married the stoner comedy with the summer camp slasher.
In a new interview on the Post Mortem podcast, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives director Tom McLoughlin shared his pitch for his Friday the 13th sequel, which would have been the follow up to his 1986 contribution — which is one of the franchise’s better installments. The film may’ve gotten off the ground, if producer Frank Mancuso weren’t such a spoilsport:
“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.'”
It’s unclear what McLoughlin had planned for the concept, whether it would’ve been an extended cameo (a la their appearance in Martin Scorsese’s underappreciated dark comedy After Hours) or something more in the vein of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. We can definitely see Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong as hilariously stoned camp counselors, and their comedic styling would’ve aligned with the franchise’s desire to go in an increasingly cartoony direction, which reached a breaking point in Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
Would a Cheech and Chong team-up have saved the Friday the 13th franchise from falling into its hardline slump? Would it have revitalized Cheech and Chong’s career or brought us more of their feature-length adventures? Though, perhaps the biggest question is: would they both survive?! I mean, everyone horror fan knows if you have sex and/or smoke pot (two of Cheech and Chong’s favorite things), you’re dead meat in the realm of the slasher. In our opinion, they’re too endearing and beloved to be killed off, which makes us curious about how this potential film may’ve impacted the tropes we all know today. I guess we’ll never know…
One thing we do know, is that Jason would go on to square off against a telekinetic teenager in Part VII: The New Blood — AKA Jason versus Carrie — instead of the infamous stoners. However, it’s not too late, right? Both Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin are still kicking, so maybe there’s still hope for this premise. Although, realistically, it’s probably a rights-issue nightmare at this point — a different kinda horror story — and it’ll probably always be the Friday the 13th that got away. Well, we can still light one up and dream though, man.
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