The Friday the 13th movie franchise still sits dead in the water as a legal battle over the rights continues, but many filmmaker fans of the series are still keeping his spirit alive. For anyone unaware, the director of the original movie, Sean Cunningham, sued screenwriter Victor Miller when the latter utilized a provision of U.S. copyright law which allows him to reclaim the rights after 35 years. After a judge initially ruled in Miller's favor, Cunningham and his company appealed, keeping the rights battle going for the foreseeable future. With no near end in sight to the lawsuit, at least two filmmakers will be releasing anticipated Friday the 13th fan films on the same day: Sept. 13, which is, of course, a Friday.
From director Cody Faulk, the fan film Voorhees promises the most brutal version of Jason Voorhees yet. The story follows a group of dangerous criminals with hostages in tow who hole up in the abandoned campgrounds of Crystal Lake to evade the police. Of course, the boy from the lake finds them soon after, picking off the thugs one by one. For fans of the original movies, the movie will only consist of practical FX, and the movie is expected to be incredibly violent. What's interesting about Voorhees is how Jason's victims will mostly be hardened thugs able to hold their own against the police, but how well will they stack up against Jason? We'll find out when the movie is uploaded to YouTube for everyone to watch on Sept. 13.
Another exciting fan film to keep an eye on is Friday the 13th: Vengeance, which is also set to have its world premiere next month on the 13th. As a real treat for fans, the movie will include multiple legends of the franchise, which includes Jason Lives actor C. J. Graham as Jason's father Elias Voorhees. Friday the 13th Part 2 Jason actor Steve Dash also appears in the movie in his final role, portraying a police officer. Its plot focuses on Angelica Jarvis, Tommy's daughter, seeking vengeance when her father turns up missing in Crystal Lake. Courtesy of Event Brite, the filmmakers are offering a meet-and-greet experience for the premiere in Blairstown, New Jersey, and the movie will be uploaded to YouTube soon after.
And that's not all. Womp Stomp Films, the team behind the popular fan film Never Hike Alone, is also teasing a special announcement for September of next month. Along with images of the movie's "Ghost Jason" version of Jason Voorhees, the date Sept. 13 is highlighted, although no other details are present. Previously, we reported how the team was planning to bring back franchise star Thom Mathews for an official follow-up to Never Hike Alone, and this will more than likely be the official announcement. Perhaps Womp Stomp Films will be releasing some sneak peek footage of the project as well.
We're all waiting with anticipation for this ugly Friday the 13th lawsuit to finally be over with so Jason can make his inevitable return to the big screen. For now, it's nice to know the horror icon will still be racking up the body count in these well-made fan films, and better yet, they'll all be free to watch on YouTube. Certainly, next month's Friday the 13th is going to be the most exciting for Friday the 13th movie fans in quite a while. The special occasion is just a matter of weeks away, so start counting the days down now.