James Kuhoric’s Horror 3-Way

Posted on: September/9/2007 9:04 PM

Wizard posted an interview with Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash writer James Kuhoric:

The writer talks about getting paid to write fan fiction for DC and Dynamite’s Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash
By Brian Warmoth

Posted September 8, 2007  12:00 PM

The Internet is awash with more fan fiction than the world could ever hope to read, but James Kuhoric snagged many a horror junkie’s dream role when Dynamite Entertainment brought him on board to write the Army of Darkness series. This November, his geeky enjoyment gets cubed as DC and Dynamite launch their three-pronged horrorfest Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash by Kuhoric and artist Jason Craig, throwing two more icons onto the writer’s plate. And he’s ready to dive in like a starving Deadite.

Kuhoric explained the origin of the series by phone, recounting the story of its rise from a canned film pitch from Jeff Katz to finding a home in comics—and if one thing is clear, it’s that the book would have been hard-pressed to find a writer better versed in its three franchises of horror mythos.
WIZARD: How do you think you got matched up with this project?

KUHORIC: They looked me up because of my work on Army of Darkness. I’ve been on it for a couple of years now. We’ve had a number of adventures with Ash. We’ve really put him through the wringer so far, and I can’t think of a better way to test his limits than to put him up against somebody like Jason or Freddy.

What has the experience been like for you as a creator working with movie icons you were previously familiar with from the outside?

KUHORIC: It’s been great. “Army of Darkness” and “Evil Dead” have been some of my favorite films of all time, and getting a chance to play around with one of the most iconic characters of weird, goofy horror and humor movies with Ash has been a great experience. Anytime you get to play around with something you enjoy, it’s the best of both worlds.

Is there going to be any carryover from the Ash stuff you’ve done up until this point, or how did you jump into this new story? Or is it off in its own world?

KUHORIC: For this project, it all started with Jeff Katz a couple of years ago when he was looking at coming up with a sequel to “Freddy vs. Jason” and pitching the horror movie that everybody wanted to see—putting Ash in the “Nightmare” and “Friday” worlds, giving him a chance to fight some of the best monster movie guys that have been created over the last three or four decades. I was lucky enough to have my name brought up in the talent pool when they were talking about who would be a good person to fill in the blanks on Jeff’s treatment. And since they asked me, obviously I was very interested.

So did Katz originally come with the script to Dynamite? Or did Nick Barrucci just know that the script was floating around out there?

KUHORIC: I think he knew. When we talked to people over at WildStorm about dealing with New Line and the potential of doing a crossover for the comic books, it was fairly well known over at New Line that the treatment existed. I don’t know how well known it was in the general public, because I didn’t know it had gotten that far. I knew there was a lot of talk about the movie several years ago. It seemed like it was moving forward until all of the sudden, literally overnight it crashed.

But there was a treatment done, and Jeff did the treatment for it which was approved by New Line and MGM at the time. So it was in existence and we thought, “What a great place to start in a day when we’re seeing a lot of TV stuff done in comics, with Buffy and Angel and whatnot, to bring about a movie that because of some Hollywood problems will never get made.” We can make it in comics.

What’s the point of entry for the story in the comic?
KUHORIC: It’s kind of a direct sequel to “Freddy Vs. Jason.” It happens about five years after the movie. At the end of “Freddy Vs. Jason,” Freddy is dead for all intents and purposes, but he is still alive in a tiny little portion of Jason’s brain, and he essentially can only use Jason as his earthly means to try to come back. The story is Freddy’s gambit to try to get the Necronomicon to allow him to come back at full strength, and it just so happens that our boy Ash is being transferred to the Crystal Lake version of the Mega Super Ultra S-Mart and stumbles right into the middle of it.

So will there be one penultimate fight seen where all three of them rumble at the same time?

KUHORIC: There’s not going to be one. There’s going to be many. From issue #3 on it’s a rolling fight between these guys. It’s pretty exciting.

Who has the advantage over whom in the scheme of this epic altercation? How does that work out?

KUHORIC: Wow. [Takes a deep breath] How does that work out? They each have different strengths. Jason is this unstoppable force. Freddy is a finesse guy. And Ash is just a lead-with-your-chin kind of guy. If you look at the match-up of the three, the best of the whole series is seeing what these guys can do to each other. When you get to the end and see who finally wins—

Wait, so someone actually wins? As in one of the three of them will come out on top?

KUHORIC: All I’m saying is that someone will walk away. The fun of it is that these guys are classics when it comes to movie monsters. Even Ash is thrown in there. Having a chance to put them in the same world and see them duke it out and all the craziness that ensues is awesome. It’s definitely going to be a fan favorite.

In his original treatment, Jeff didn’t hold anything back. The stuff that happens is crazy!

What’s the setting for the series? You said it kicks off in Crystal Lake.

KUHORIC: It’s in Crystal Lake, which is where Jason is always at—unless he’s in space or in hell or in New York. Crystal Lake has had five years of peace since the “Freddy Vs. Jason” movie, and they think that they’ve moved on. They’re even renaming the town to Forest Green, which is a nod to “Friday VI” where they have the name changed. The whole area has been redeveloped, and they’re trying to move ahead, and Jason has been very quiet obviously when Freddy starts up the craziness again. That’s where we pick up the story—in that pre-holiday renaming festival atmosphere.
How widely does your familiarity go with the Freddy and Jason movies? There are so many.

KUHORIC: To be honest with you, I’ve seen them all about 10 times each.

[Laughs] Really? Even the outer space installment?

KUHORIC: Oh, that one is great! That’s probably one of the three best “Friday” films.

Which other movies make up your top three?

KUHORIC: Obviously the first one. That one is fantastic. “Jason X” is a lot of fun because it’s not serious at all. Just putting him into space, seeing the upgrade, the robot, and seeing the virtual destruction when he gets put into the virtual room with the Camp Crystal Lake girls—that’s just fun stuff. I’m not saying it’s one of the best movies of all time, but it’s certainly fun to watch.

Then, I’d probably say “Jason Goes to Hell.” It wasn’t a great movie, but the ending with the Freddy glove coming out was classic. That set up a lot of stuff.

I’ve watched all of them a bunch of times, and I own all of the DVDs, so I pop them in for reference all the time.

I knew you were a fan, but I did not know you were a superfan.

KUHORIC: I’m an über-geek when it comes to this stuff, and that’s one of the coolest parts about the whole project. Jeff is a huge fan. He’s the guy who was behind “Freddy Vs. Jason.” Jason Craig, the artist, is a real “Friday” fiend. He’s a guy who knows Jason backwards and forwards. Tom Mason’s a big “Nightmare” guy, and obviously I’ve been a huge fan of the “Evil Dead” stuff forever. We’re all acting as checks and balances against each other to make sure everybody acts right and does what they should do.