Friday The 13th Vs George Romero's Dead Series – The Greatest Horror Franchise Ever [Round 12]

Welcome to the Tournament of Terrors, a /Film bracket where we argue about the greatest horror franchise of all time, and you, the readers, get to decide the winners. The rules are simple: two iconic horror movie series enter the ring, each represented by a /Film writer ready to champion them. And you — yes, you, the person reading this right now — will vote on which one gets to move forward.

You can find all the details, including a schedule for all the showdowns, right here. And here is the complete bracket, so you know where things stand.

As "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" battle it out, we now turn our attention to another showdown. You can't find two more different horror franchises than these: the gory, smart, satiric, intensely political zombie films of director George A. Romero (including "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead") versus the popcorn-flavored slasher fun of the immortal "Friday the 13th" series. Both have lodged themselves deep in the hearts of horror fans all over the world. But only one can move to the next round.

Which one wins? That's up to you. First, the arguments. And then, you vote!

Friday the 13th

We're at the point where any arguably bad horror franchises are out of this thing, and we're weeding out the best of the best. There is no denying that "Night of the Living Dead" is not just one of the greatest horror movies ever made, but one of the greatest movies of any kind ever produced. I love George A. Romero and thank him for his contributions to cinema. That having been said, as we are attempting to determine the greatest horror franchise ever, "Friday the 13th" retains an edge here.

"Friday the 13th" is a bonafide slasher classic, yet it's one that doesn't even truly feature Jason Voorhees, who would come into his own in "Part 2" and "Part 3." Those movies birthed one of the true icons of the genre. Where would horror be without Jason and his trusty machete? Yes, "Night of the Living Dead" birthed the modern zombie genre as we know it and, as an individual film, there is no denying its impact. However, outside of "Dawn of the Dead," things are less firm in my view. "Day of the Dead" and "Land of the Dead" easily have their equals, if not multiple equals, within the "Friday the 13th" canon. It's, at best, a shot-for-shot exchange. All due respect, but when we get down to "Diary of the Dead" and "Survival of the Dead," they get trounced by Jason. Even the so-bad-it's-good "Jason X" has a place on the hill that is horror history far higher up than either of those movies.

The fact of the matter is that horror fans have been clamoring for a new "Friday the 13th" movie while a messy lawsuit holds things up. It's hard to say as many folks are as excited about "Twilight of the Dead" or "Night of the Living Dead 2." The choice is clear. Vote Voorhees. (Ryan Scott)

George Romero's Dead Series

Give me a beer and a bowl of candy corn and I'd happily watch any "Friday the 13th" movie. Even the bad ones have their charms. And perhaps that's the word for the adventures of undead redneck serial killer Jason Voorhees — charm. Those movies, often tacky, often cynical, made as fast as possible to make a quick buck in during the golden age of slasher cinema, are a good time. But when you measure them against the work of George Romero, their inherent cynicism becomes obvious. Starting with "Night of the Living Dead," Romero made horror movies that truly meant something. They represent a singular vision, an artist using zombies to explore the sins of America and the human race. They're a gory good time, but they point a blood-soaked finger directly at you, asking the audience to consider their very beliefs.

Some would argue that the "Dead" movies peaked early with "Night of the Living Dead," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Day of the Dead." And they'd be right. Romero's later films never quite reached those highs. But they were always ambitious, always interesting, and always reflected a singular vision. That cannot be said of "Friday the 13th," which sacrificed any kind of integrity at the drop of a hat just to get another sequel out. I'll happily watch those bad Jason sequels, but I have little to say about them. Romero's work, even the worst of it, will keep you talking. (Jacob Hall)

And Now It's Time to Vote

So there you have it. The arguments have been made. The defenses have been mounted. The attacks have concluded. The ball is now in your court, folks. Using the Twitter poll below (which will close 12 hours after publication of this article), vote for which movie franchise you want to see advance. Will it be "Friday the 13th" or Romero's classic zombie movies? Whoever wins will return this week, facing off against the winner of the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" showdown.