Hey there, fellow horror geeks and monsterphiles! Prometheus back with the next installment of FRIGHT FIGHT FRIDAY! Today is our Random Bracket semi-final round 1, and it’s going to be very… interesting. That’s because today I am pitting two characters against each other that are so wildly different, that it took every inch of my twisted imagination to pull this off. I present to you VICTOR CROWLEY (Hatchet) VS BRUCE (Jaws)! Let’s get weird!
VICTOR CROWLEY (Hatchet)
Let’s just put this right on the table… Victor Crowley is a beast. Picked on as a child for his appearance and then accidentally (and brutally) killed by his father, Victor has one hell of a chip on his shoulder. After some bullies set fire to his home in the swamps in the hopes of forcing him outside so they could laugh at him, his father rushes to the rescue. He planned to save Victor who was trapped inside by breaking down the door with a hatchet.
Unfortunately, when his dad swung the hatchet, Victor’s deformed face was pressed firmly against the door. His father never got over his son’s death and died of a broken heart soon after. Well apparently, Victor wasn’t over it either, because he now haunts the swamplands of his home, looking diligently for outsiders.
Being a revenant, he has superhuman strength, near invulnerability, and has shown himself to be quite clever in certain situations. On top of that, he is extremely aggressive and far beyond brutal. There’s also the fact that if and when you kill him - the son of a bitch just comes back! I’ve said this before though and I stand by it, there’s always more than one way to win a fight!
All this machine does is swim, and eat, and make little sharks - and that's all! He doesn’t care about you, or your story. You aren’t even a thought to this overly efficient killer, you’re just food. It’s that simple. It’s not personal, at least not until Jaws: The Revenge, and to be fair, that wasn’t Bruce. That was his son, Vengeance. I like to think of Bruce as more a conventional shark just bigger, hungrier, and slightly more adorable. (Come on, I’m not the only one who thinks that!)
Known as just “The Shark” in the novel, Bruce gained his name from the special effects crew on set. They would refer to the mechanical shark as Bruce, and it stuck. It’s also hilarious, and much better than “The Shark.” He has no superpowers, per se, but is extremely aggressive, powerful, and deadly. The pressure from his jaws has proven to be enough to snap a boat in half, and once this thing smells blood, forget about it. This is one persistent fish!
A major weakness, of course, would be the fact that he needs to always be swimming to intake oxygen. If he gets stuck, it’s sleepy time for Bruce. His other major weakness is that he can not leave the water, and if he is beached, it’s game over. Probably. With the right weapons Bruce can be killed, but you’re probably going to need a bigger boat…
The news report didn’t surprise her. Hell, she had been expecting it. What concerned her, was that it didn’t scare her. She should be terrified right now, but instead, she feels an overwhelming sense of calm and duty. She knows she should let it go, leave it to be someone else’s problem - but she can’t. Truth be told, she doesn’t want to.
She’d like to think that she’s heading to the swamp to prevent the ill fate that befell several of her friends from becoming a reality to anybody else, but that isn’t entirely true. This is personal. This is closure. This is revenge. No need to sugar-coat it or lie to herself. Not after everything she’s been through. She parks her car on the side of an unlit road, grabs the loaded shotgun off the passenger seat, and steps out - taking a big breath of air into her lungs.
The smell of the swamp instantly brings her past trauma front and center, swirling visions through her head like some macabre montage of her most painful memories. It’s woefully unpleasant, and she embraces all of it.
The air is cool, and fog rises aggressively from the wetlands as if trying to conceal the secrets inside from whatever, or whomever, is not. This is a place where it isn’t just the locals who don’t take kindly to outsiders. The terrain was just as unwelcoming and unforgiving. Almost like it knows that nobody should be here. Only death lives here. Death, and it’s unholy servant. She plans on changing that.
She moves quietly and methodically through the swampy marshes and soggy heaps of land. Ever so diligently she creeps through the water, knee-high at some points, listening intently. That’s when she hears it…
The ghostly moans of Victor fucking Crowley.
“Easy, Marybeth,” she whispers to herself as she slowly steps out of the murky, black water and back onto the saturated ground. “You got this.”
Of course, she isn’t so sure. She knows what she came here to face and has no delusions concerning her chances of survival, but she didn’t come here to survive. She came to end this abomination, once and for all. Everythingelse is trivial. Victor Crowley… dies tonight.
The moans and pained groans become louder the deeper into the darkness she goes, but she can’t pinpoint the direction they’re coming from. At times they seem to be coming from in front of her. Other times they sound like they’re behind her, and occasionally, coming from all directions. He knows she’s here.
Her heart flutters as she raises the shotgun, looking in all directions, ready to strike at the first sight of her would-be assailant. Her nerves are as heightened as her focus. Her adrenaline the only thing keeping her going. Her teeth bite down hard into her lower lip, drawing blood as she maintains her breathing. She welcomes the pain. Keeps her on her toes. Keeps her alive.
The rage builds as she thinks about the friends that she lost, the pain that they endured. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. That may be true, but she’s prepared to serve it to this fucker any way that she can. Preferably with a piping hot shotgun blast to the face. Let him eat that.
If that fails or proves impossible, she’ll just have to go with plan b. She pats her right pocket, as if for assurance, and presses on into the blackness. The moon only a minute, crescent sliver against the inky backdrop of the sky.
Suddenly, the sound of a branch breaking behind her spins her around…
She told herself she was ready. She had convinced herself that she was prepared. Yet, as she stares once again into the cold, unforgiving eyes of death, her knees buckle and that once found courage seems lifetimes away.
She manages to lift the shotgun, but Victor throws the hatchet in his hands, knocking the weapon to the ground. Wasting no time, he lunges forward and grabs a hold of her throat - lifting her into the air. Her feet kick wildly as she tries to break free, but Victor is too strong.
He throws her against a tree, the impact causing her to lose her breath and fall to the ground. While she struggles to get precious air into her lungs, Victor bends down and picks up the shotgun. With a loud, primal cry he snaps it in two pieces, then tosses it into the swamps.
The sound of his scream reverberates in her throbbing head as she regains her vision. She knows he’s getting close. Still, she waits, listening intently to the footsteps, for the perfect moment to strike. This is the moment she had been waiting for. She places her hand in her right pocket, and as Victor takes one last step in her direction - she rolls over.
She removes the cap of a syringe with her mouth, and as Victor pauses for one brief moment in surprise, she jams the syringe into his leg and pushes the plunger. Furious, Victor reaches down, rips the syringe from his leg as Marybeth rolls the side, and gets to her feet.
Victor runs toward her, his face the very definition of terror. His steps slow, then come to a stop a few feet from her. He reaches his arm out and nearly manages to grab her shirt as he falls to the ground in front of her.
She kicks him to make sure he’s out, then pulls her phone out of her pocket. The screen is cracked, but it still works. She dials out.
“It’s me. I’ve got the son of a bitch. Sending you my coordinates.” She hangs up the phone - and collapses on her ass.
An Unknown Amount of Time Later…
She wakes up with the worst headache of her life, and a welt to prove she earned it. She doesn’t recognize the room she’s in and as she tries to get to her feet, she loses her balance, as if the room was swaying back and forth. The door swings open, and a man walks in.
“Good. You’re awake. I was worried there for a while.”
Suddenly, it all comes back. She was on her friend John’s yacht. She hired him to help her if she captured him. Bring him out to sea and dump his ass for the sharks. See if he comes back from that.
“I’m fine. Just a little banged up. Where is…?”
“Victor?” John nods his head in the other direction. “He’s in the other room.”
She stands up instantly, her eyes wide. “You can’t leave him John! Are you crazy?”
He takes a step back into the doorway. “Relax, he’s tied up. Plus, I gave him another dose of…”
Without warning, Marybeth’s neck and face are doused in John’s blood, as the top of his head is violently removed at the hinge of his jaw from behind. She lets out a scream as her friend’s body falls forward toward her, revealing Victor standing in the doorway holding the top of John’s head. He cracks a twisted, awful smile, and tossed it at her feet.
She backs up against the wall, surveying the room for anything she can use as a weapon. As the boat rocks back and forth, Victor slowly comes closer. With her back pressed against the wall and nowhere to go, she closes her eyes, accepting her fate.
He reaches out for her, and there’s a loud bang as the boat jolts and shakes, knocking him to the ground. Seizing the moment, she jumps over him, and out of the room. She moves quickly to the main cabin, holding the rail of the boat in case of another impact. She doesn’t know what it was, but it rocked the boat good. She couldn’t afford to think about it now though.
Victor gets back to his feet and gives chase. Marybeth makes it to the cabin and frantically searches for a weapon. A second, harder impact knocks Victor back to the ground as he crosses the threshold into the cabin. Immediately a deafening alarm goes off and a red light flashes above the cabin door, causing an ominous strobing effect. The hull had been breached, and the ship was taking in water.
On the wall is a glass panel, behind it is a fire ax. She shatters the glass without thinking, cutting her hand open, and grabs it as Victor is getting back to his feet again. Fresh blood drips down her arm as she holds it up. Her hands tremble, but her grip is firm. She swings but the boat is shaken again, knocking both of them to the ground. The back end of the ship starts to become visibly lower than the front as it takes in more and more water each second.
Marybeth is to her feet first. “Die you son of a bitch!” she yells as she raises the ax. She brings it down, but Victor grabs it by the handle, ripping it from her hands. The boat was now at least at a 40-degree tilt, making it hard to stand, and it was only getting worse.
As Marybeth watches Victor raise the red fire ax into the air, she notices something that in normal circumstances - would be the last thing you would ever want to see. A large shark fin sticking out of the water near the front of the sinking boat.
She kicks Victor in the stomach, hitting him with just enough force to knock him off balance momentarily and then pushing him. He tumbles back, rolling down the angled deck of the damaged vessel. His lower body plunges into the water, but he manages to stick the ax into the wood before going all the way in.
Marybeth runs to the side of the boat, looking over. There’s a life raft tied to the side. Frantically she unties it and starts to lower herself down as Victor tries working his way back up the deck of the ship using the ax to help him climb.
Water erupts into the air as an overly large shark jumps from the ocean, and bites down on Victor’s leg. With no other choice, Victor pulls the ax from the ship deck and swings it as the shark pulls him toward the water.
Marybeth momentarily stops climbing over the side of the ship and looks at Victor. “Yeah, you son of bitch! Take that!” she yells as the shark drags him under the water. The shark resurfaces a few moments later with the ax sticking out of its thick hide, but no sign of Victor.
“Yes!” She cries out! “I did it! I beat you, motherfucker!”
Suddenly, she sees a muscular arm come out from under the shark. Victor drags himself up and on top of it and pulls the ax from its hide with a loud, determined grunt.
“Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” she yells as she watches her nightmare unfold. She quickly jumps down into the raft and starts paddling as hard as she can.
Victor brings the sharp blade down hard into the shark’s skin, near the gills. Blood pours into the water as he removes it viscously. He brings it down again, turning it as he pulls it free once more. The shark descends again, Victor holds on to its side fin as it swims forward, trying to shake him loose.
The shark swims for the now mostly sunken ship and at the last moment, turns its body hard, causing Victor to slam into the hull of the boat. This loosens his grip, and he comes afloat near Marybeth and the life raft. He swims for it, his speed unnatural and wrong. She paddles harder, ignoring the fire in her arms, but the faster she goes - the faster he comes.
As he reaches the raft and throws one arm over the side to climb up, the shark slams into him hard from below and knocks him into the air. Its massive jaws open wide, and Victor lands firmly within them. They clamp down with a sickening snapping sound as the monster’s teeth break through skin, cartilage, and then bone.
After a few bites under the immense body-crushing pressure, the writhing stops, and the night becomes still. The only sound is the ocean beating against the side of the raft as Marybeth tries to grasp what she just watched happen. The yacht is now completely submerged, and the ripples in the water die down, then calm entirely.
She did it. She has no idea how she’s going to get back to land, but damn it, she did it - and survived. Her heartbeat slows down a bit, and the adrenaline finally eases its grip on her emotions as she cries into her hands. It was over. It’s finally over.
Then suddenly… it hit her. She’s alone on this flimsy raft, and that shark is still out there. She turns and looks behind her. The small, crescent moon reflects on the calm, black waves of the cold ocean as a large, shiny fin emerges from its depths and slowly approaches the raft.
Yup. That just happened. I had to do it, and while I admit that Bruce is my favorite fish, that isn’t the only reason he won here. It felt right in the story. I had Victor as the original winner, and there are a few ways he could have come out on top.
However, in this scenario, Bruce was able to get the job done using those powerful… JAWS. (You see what I did there?) I’m a bit sad to see Victor go. I love his sheer brutality and power. What do you think out there? Am I way off? Yell at me in the comments and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next fight, PENNYWISE THE DANCING CLOWN (IT) VS THE SCORPIO DEMON (SPLIT SECOND)! Place your bets now. All bets are final! Be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates!
Until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi