Tuesday, 22 May 2012


‘We’re all in this together.’

That’s the line so often used in a horror film when the shit hits the fan, the bodies start piling up and each of the characters starts to eye everybody else as if they might be the axe wielding maniac/shape-shifting mutant/undead fiend in their midst.

But I wonder if they have any idea just how many other horror characters are in this together?

You see, their are a number of very cool links between horror films that suggest these films take place in the same shared ‘universe’.

That's right, the teenagers in this universe REALLY have a lot to worry about.

So where to start? A good jumping on point would be Friday the 13th IX: Jason Goes To Hell.

While the film is pretty ropy, it’s got a couple of lovely references. One of the best is that when Steven goes poking around in the old Voorhees house, we catch sight of a certain book that should be all too familiar to horror fans: the Evil Dead’s Naturan Demonata AKA Necronomicon Ex-Mortis AKA The Book of the Dead! (This is already a direct reference to the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the greatest horror authors in history)
Quite what it's doing there isn’t exactly explained.

Fans of completely unfounded conjecture (and who ISN’T?) have suggested that maybe the cabin in the woods that housed Professor Knowby’s research into Kandarian demons isn’t too far from Camp Crystal Lake. Another rather cute theory suggests that Pamela Voorhees herself may have used the resurrection incantations within the book to bring back her son after he was drowned as a child.
These are both beautiful theories, but unfortunately neither has a shred of evidence to support them!

In fact, the Voorhees house seems to be kind of a dumping ground for horror artifacts. The rather decrepit basement is shown to house a large packing crate. On the side you can read the words ‘ARCTIC EXPEDITION JULIA CARPENTER HORLICKS UNIVERSITY’.
‘So what?’ you may ask. Well, it just so happens that this is the same box from the story ‘The Crate’ in Creepshow. A nice touch here is that in Creepshow, Professor Northrup disposed of the crate by throwing it in a nearby lake. Could that lake have been Crystal Lake?
The stories in Creepshow all take place in the same cinematic world (that within the pages of the Creepshow comic book). In this case, it’s worth noting that in the segment ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’ a road sign can be seen to Castle Rock, one of Stephen King’s trademark fictional towns (alongside Derry). Any fan of King knows that all of his work seems to be interlinked via a complex threadwork of connections, shared appearances and characters (not least of which his frankly SUPERB Dark Tower series). So how’s that for a cool link, people? This horror universe is also home to the master of modern horror's nightmarish creations!

Of course, King’s work has already provided links to other creations. In smash TV show Lost a parachute is seen emblazoned with the logo of Nozz-A-La, a fictional brand of soda from The Dark Tower series. JJ Abrams, Lost’s creator, is known for tying in links between his works. The fictional brand Slusho appears in a number of Abram’s works: Alias, Cloverfield, Fringe, Super 8, his Star Trek reboot and even in the TV show Heroes! The Lost character Charlie’s band, Driveshaft, can be heard playing their hit song ‘You All Everybody’ at a birthday party in Alias; the logo for Lost’s mysterious Dharma Initiative is viewed on the screen in Cloverfield. Furthermore, Oceanic Airlines, the airline of Lost’s crashed plane makes an appearance in a number of programmes, including Abram’s own Fringe (the specific flight 815 is name-checked in Chuck while the airline is also referenced in the film Executive Decision, Joss Whedon’s comic book season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even the computer game Dead Island. However, I am not going to open this list up to games, as it will become never ending! I’ll just give honorable mentions to the two Saw games which actually help to fill in some plot gaps and perfectly complement the films and the fact that a certain Freddy Krueger has appeared as a downloadable player in the Mortal Kombat series). A superb horror/sci fi hybrid, Fringe boasts links to two of its greatest predecessors.
One of the very coolest occurs in the episode ‘Firefly’ Walter is seen wearing a pair of very distinctive sunglasses. When asked about them, he replies: ‘They were sent to me by a Dr. Jacoby from Washington State.'
The classic series Twin Peaks took place in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington. The town’s resident psychiatrist Dr Lawrence Jacoby wore these very same glasses. It appears the two were once in correspondence!

And in the season 2 episode ‘New Day In An Old Town’ Senator Schell tells head of Fringe Division Chief Broyles that ‘The old X designation, and your Fringe investigations, have been indulgences in the Federal budget for over half a century’. A Federal investigation team dealing with paranormal and unusual cases? With the X designation? Who ever could they mean?
Of course, this is a none-to subtle reference to The X Files. The X Files itself was linked to multiple other shows, most notably spinoff The Lone Gunmen and LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN’s Millennium. The character of Jose Chung appears in both series while LFH’s Frank Black took a decent guest appearance in the X Files episode Millennium.
Coincidentally, online rumours persist that photos of Laura Palmer, the murder victim who sparked the events of Twin Peaks, have appeared in The X Files (most notably on Mulder’s noteboard in the Pilot). I’ve never been able to spot them, but if any of you do, let me know!

Anyway, enough of this distraction let’s head back to Jason Goes To Hell, where a key plot point sees Duke present Jessica with a mystical dagger to finally kill Jason. This dagger was the same Kandarian dagger that put in an appearance in The Evil Dead II.
As a neat aside, I’d like to point out that outside the Voorhees house we see a rickety old climbing frame. This is the same frame from the Alfred Hitchcock classic, The Birds.

At this point I need to take a little break to tell you guys I LOVE THIS SHIT.

Ahem, anyway, moving on, while this world of brilliance may already seem crazily busy, we have a couple more cool connections. One you probably already know, the other, well, it’s a little subtler.
You see, after Jessica kicks Steve out of the car Sheriff Landis asks where about on Lake Road she did it. Her reply? ‘I don’t know, out past the Myers’ place.’
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, I’m sure you all know that the psychotic Michael Myers was the villain in the Halloween films. While Camp Crystal Lake clearly isn't in Haddonfield, Illinois (the setting of Myers’ Halloween rampages) perhaps Mikey has family in Mr Voorhees old stamping ground?
The final (and most obvious) connection to another horror film takes place in the final moments of the film. While Jason’s mask lies discarded on the ground, a hand bursts through the dirt and snatches it before dragging it down to hell. This hand is wearing an all too familiar glove with knife blade claws.

In much the same way that an Alien xenomorph’s skull hanging on display onboard a Predator spacecraft in Predator II leads to Alien vs Predator, from this scene the surprisingly great Freddy vs Jason was born.

Now the Alien and Predator series are huge kings of the crossover. First off the numerous comic book match ups — including 2000A.D’s Judge Dredd and DC heroes such as Batman and Superman — open up a huge world of cross overs including Image Comics’ Spawn, rivals Marvel and tonnes more! 

Perhaps the most exciting of these though, is the link to the works of Joss Whedon. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel featured a demonic law firm by the name of Wolfram and Hart. During a corporate video shown on the episode Harm’s Way it is revealed that Wolfram and Hart have a number of large corporate clients. Listed among these are Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems, first mentioned in the Thomas Pynchon’s novel V, then referenced again in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. Another company listed with ties to Wolfram and Hart is Weyland-Yutani. That’s right, the self same company that sent the Nostromo into space in Alien and went looking for the crashed ship on LV-426 in Aliens. The company founded by Peter Weyland as seen in the upcoming Prometheus.
HOLY CRAP, right?
But it doesn’t stop there. Whedon’s work continues to embrace this connection. In the pilot of the criminally short-lived sci fi show Firefly, Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds uses a UA 57-D Ground Sentry (an anti-aircraft cannon emplacement) at the Battle of Serenity Valley. When the gun’s HUD is displayed onscreen we are clearly shown the corporate logo of Weyland-Yutani. The Company created the cannon. BOOM!

Yet Joss Whedon toys with us and horror continuity even more. This is some thing we shall return to later.

Anyway, back to F vs J, and if ever there was evidence that these films are taking place in the same world, a film in which two of the most popular antagonists in horror go head to head is the greatest example.

Seeing Voorhees and Krueger face off was a dream come true for many horror fans... and things nearly got so much better.

After the film proved to be a tremendous financial success, writers went to work on ideas for a sequel. This sequel? Freddy vs Jason vs Ash.


BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE CAMPBELL's character from the Evil Dead series.

Things even got so far that a treatment was drawn up, describing exactly what would happen in this horror mega mash up. A quick look online will probably turn it up in just a few seconds. I'll wait here while you do.

Back? Good.
Unfortunately the film was never made, but this treatment was adapted into a comic series and even spawned a sequel. It was pretty good fun too!

Of course, this isn’t the first horror property to head to the pages of funny books. Voorhees, Krueger, Ash and Myers have all had their own individual efforts, but some familiar faces join them. One more big name bad guy to feature in comics would be the Goodguy doll formerly known as Charles Lee Ray. That’s right, Child's Play's Chucky.
As well as featuring in his own limited series, Chucky also guested in probably THE greatest horror comic out there, Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it features Cassie Hack, a girl who was forced to kill her own psycho mother, the ghoulish Lunch Lady, and her hulking partner Vlad. These two tough as hell heroes travel from town to town taking on and vanquishing Slashers, the undead and seemingly invincible villains that all too often stalk the screens in horror films. The series is excellent and features it’s own links to other horror icons. As well as Chucky, Cassie and Vlad have thrown down with another horror comic star, Edgar Dill from the short-lived Fangoria Comic's BUMP. In terms of silver screen villains, the dynamic duo have also crossed swords with the Hatchet films’ Victor Crowley and, perhaps even more exciting, Dr Herbert West from the Re-Animator series (as an aside, West also battled the Evil Dead’s Ash in Army of Darkness vs Re-Animator while Ash has found himself battling undead superheroes in the Marvel Zombies series).
Of course, if comics aren’t your thing, Chucky also has onscreen links to more of his contemporaries. These all occur during his fourth outing, Bride of Chucky.

This mainly comes down to one key scene at the beginning of the film. In the police evidence storeroom that holds Chucky’s remains, we are also treated to a number of key distinctive props: Jason Voorhees’ hockey mask can be seen alongside Freddy Krueger’s trademark glove. Elsewhere you can spot a huge chainsaw, the killing weapon of choice of Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and a customised white William Shatner mask... as worn by Halloween’s Michael Myers.
As if this treasure trove of links wasn’t enough, after brutally slaying one victim with a nailgun, Chucky looks at the corpse and asks out loud: ‘Why does that look so familiar?’ With his head pierced by multiple nails, John Ritter’s victim bears a striking resemblance to the lead Cenobite from the Hellraiser films, Pinhead.
The implication here is clearly that Chucky has seen Pinhead before. Perhaps Charles Lee Ray's soul received some personal attention from the Cenobites in the underworld? (Coincidentally, an earlier draft of the script for Freddy vs Jason saw the two horror villains dragged down to Hell where they still attempted to continue their battle... right up until a number of hooks and chains drag them apart and Pinhead steps between them to ask: ‘Gentlemen, what seems to be the problem?’)

But Bride of Chucky isn’t the only film to write itself into the big boys’ league. Perhaps the most awesome and comprehensive young pretender to do this would be Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. If you haven’t seen it, WATCH THIS FILM!
A kickass deconstruction of the slasher genre, the film follows a documentary crew as they film the title character Leslie Vernon as he plans his rampage to join the ranks of his idols: Myers, Voorhees et al.
The film takes place in a world where these horror film monsters are real and gives us plenty of links to prove it. These include (but aren’t limited to): Leslie standing outside the Rabbit in Red Lounge — in the original Halloween when Dr Loomis travels to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium with Marion Chambers, she lights her cigarettes with matches from the Rabbit in Red Lounge (In Rob Zombie’s remake the bar is revealed to be a strip joint where Michael’s mother Deborah worked. Quite what this says about Nurse Chambers is entirely up to you to decide…); in her documentary, Taylor name checks Haddonfield, Illinois; 1428 Elm Street (Nancy’s address), Springwood and Crystal Lake; the Lament Configuration (Lemarchand’s puzzle box from Hellraiser) can be seen in Leslie’s mentor, Eugene’s house; in fact Eugene’s car is a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 — the same car used in the Evil Dead and all the rest of Sam Raimi’s films; when Leslie is stalking his prey outside the school the three Elm Street skipping girls can be seen in the background; a bottle of ‘Stay Awake’, the medicine from A Nightmare on Elm Street can be seen in Leslie’s home; Leslie’s pet turtles Church and Zowie are an allusion to two of the pets in the Pet Sematary films; and in a deleted scene from the film Leslie mentions that he has ‘spent some time in Texas, helping a friend kind of reinvent his thing’ — this is a reference to the remake of Texas Chain Saw Massacre (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, see what they did there?) and suggests that Leslie and Leatherface are friends.

Phew, let’s take a breath while you take all of that in.

Back? Good, because it doesn’t end there! In Hatchet 2, one of Reverend Zombie’s hunting party reveals that his hometown had it’s own psycho killer, much like their intended target, Victor Crowley. This killer’s name?
Leslie Vernon.


But that’s not the only connection in Hatchet 2. For those of you who haven’t seen Green’s Frozen, the film about a group of friends who become stranded on a ski lift, look away now…
SPOILERS: Parker, the sole survivor of Frozen is shown recounting her ordeal on a news programme on the TV in the background.

Of course Green isn’t the only director to deliberately link his films. With interconnectivity and crossovers in everything from Charles Band’s numerous Full Moon titles, including Puppet Master, Doll Man and Demonic Toys, to ‘Bloody’ Bill Pon’s Dollboy and Circus of the Dead sharing characters, this is a very common practice. A quick link can be spotted between the Saw series and writer and director Leigh Whannell and James Wan’s Dead Silence. In the theatre that the terrifying, tongue-stealing witch Mary Shaw made her home, Billy, Jigsaw’s creepy ventriloquist’s dummy is quite clearly shown nestled among Shaw’s collection of puppets.

Furthermore Billy the puppet’s face can be seen in graffiti on a wall in Wan’s Death Sentence, while in the creepy Insidious Billy can be seen drawn on a blackboard in Josh’s classroom. Insidious also depicts a certain mask used to travel into the dream world… this mask is the very same worn by the title character in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic series. Now, if we’re allowing the comic connections, Sandman has links to Hellblazer’s John Constantine and Swamp Thing. Of course Swamp Thing has his ties to the Justice League, who, featuring Batman and Superman can now link us back to the Alien/Predator world and their link to Joss Whedon’s work.
A-ha, THAT man again. And don’t worry, I hadn’t forgot. Soooo… this is where I’m going to discuss some spoilers to his recent Cabin In The Woods.
If you haven’t seen this film look away! You do NOT want it spoiled.
Still here?
Sure you’ve seen it and are ready for the discussion to come?
On your head be it…

SPOILERS: the main plot of The Cabin In The Woods follows a worldwide conspiracy in which all major and common horror stories are part of an elaborate conspiracy to pacify Lovecraftian (him again!) Ancient Gods and prevent them from destroying our world.
The climax of the film features all manner of hideous horror filmesque bad guys running amok. Among these you can see a Reaver, the insane space wildmen from Whedon’s own Firefly… bringing this film into that world too.

Now this is all well and good and under this framework you could argue that ALL the other horror films tie into it.
But that’s not enough for you? ‘None of the actual horror villains are mentioned!’ I hear you cry!
WRONG. The employees of the mysterious conspiracy take bets on what form the sacrifice will take each year. As part of this pool all the creatures’ names are jotted down on a whiteboard.

Among the Vampires, Merman and Dolls there are a couple of other interesting names… Angry Molesting Tree and (even more specific) Deadites.
The very same name given to the possessed villains of the Evil Dead.

The same Evil Dead that boast BRUUUUUUCE CAMPBELL’s Ash character, plus the Necronomicon I mentioned that made a guest appearance all the way back at the beginning of this piece in Jason Goes To Hell.
So that’s just about EVERYTHING drawn together. Thank you, thank you very much.

Before I wrap up, I’d just like to point out one more connection. Not a link, so much as a crazy paradox. In the first Scream, Randy’s character is clearly seen to be watching Halloween on TV. In the world of Scream, Halloween is fiction… yet in the Halloween sequel H2O, the characters are shown watching Scream 2. So Scream is fiction in the world of Halloween? But events in Halloween are commented on in the previous film? Or maybe both worlds are viewing each other through the TV screen!


Anyway, of course with the links I’ve listed it’s entirely possible to dismiss some or even find a few that I have undoubtedly missed. The ongoing continuity of such epic, ongoing stories is BOUND to cause problems trying to balance each timeline.
But that’s the fun of these films. Of course they don’t exist in an actual, physical universe. Their home is the imagination of the people that create them and the people that love the genre: us, the fans.

So what do you think? Have I missed anything obvious? Reached a little too far with some? Drop a comment or two and I’ll update this regularly.
If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.


  1. This is AWESOME.

    BTW: "The Bride" appears at the bottom of that whiteboard too. Do we think that takes in Kill Bill? If all Tarantino's films are linked together as I suspect they are, that's ANOTHER huge can of worms/branch of the tree.

    Now all you need do is find a link to the View Askewniverse and publish your thesis!

  2. I can tell you that Kill Bill has a DIRECT link to Grindhouse's Planet Terror AND From Dusk Til Dawn. Gold star if you get it...