There’s something great about a horror crossover. As much as fans like to say they’re above the gimmick of studios pairing up successful franchises just to make a quick buck, there’s still something amazing about watching these characters come together. It’s a celebration of fandom and a love of the genre to have these monsters come together and face off. Some of the first discussions we have about the genre as kids revolve around the question of “Who would win in a fight?”
It’s something that’s still fun to imagine as an adult. It will never not be fun. We get invested in these worlds, in these mythologies, and sometimes they’re deep enough for the crossovers to actually be meaningful and interesting. Sometimes putting two worlds together that completely clash can even make for interesting stories.
While there have been crossovers in film dating back to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, King Kong vs. Godzilla, The Monster Squad, Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys and so on, crossovers exist in many, many other forms. Some of them are surprising. Even more shocking: some of them are actually really good.
Admittedly, all of the crossovers on this list are out of print, but with a bit of digging they can all be tracked down. Most of them can be found fairly cheaply too.
Batman vs. Predator
This one surprised the hell out of me. But it winds up making sense. Both characters are hunters in their own way and they use similar techniques, too. They rely heavily on stealth and gadgets. There’s an interesting kind of respect between the two that you just wouldn’t expect from a crossover that sounds like such a gimmick at first, but it works.
Fair warning, you’re going to see Hack/Slash a few times on this list. That comic has made a regular habit of doing terrific crossovers with several different horror properties. Where this crossover succeeds in particular is by directly tying Herbert West into the origin of protagonist Cassie Hack. This connection makes for a more interesting rivalry.
Nightbreed vs. Rawhead Rex
This is one that never seems to get discussed. Even a lot of fans of both movies aren’t aware of it. It’s an arc from the 1990 Nightbreed comic series that saw the monster resurrected to do battle with the ‘Breed. It was based mostly on the original short story and featured a different Rawhead than we saw in the film, but it was respectful of both mythologies and was pretty cool to see in general.
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
While I’ve taken some shots at the follow-up comic Nightmare Warriors, the original Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash miniseries is a pretty decent example of what the movie could have been had it actually got made. What’s even more impressive is the three characters are balanced fairly well. On top of that, it finally gives us that Friday the 13th in the snow sequel we’ve always wanted by setting the events in Crystal Lake around Christmastime.
A great crossover all round, Jihad embraces the two worlds and their differences. It is a clash of ideologies. It’s a religious war. More than just a fight, this is Pinhead and the Cenobites and Boone and the Nightbreed going against each other due to their opposing beliefs. It’s a short, two-part series, but regardless it’s one of the better horror crossovers in comics by far.
Jason vs. Leatherface
Toss continuity completely out the window. It has no place here, it just won’t work. This is Jason set sometime during the middle of the series, but he looks just the same as when he appeared in Jason Goes to Hell. Yet the Chainsaw gang is made up of the family as they appeared in the original film. Still, the core concept of Jason being adopted into the family and that change of the traditional monster mash-up dynamic is truly interesting.
Aliens vs. Predator
I know, I know, there have been two movies already. And before that, there were video games and novels and comics. Some of them have been good. But the original crossover is still one of the all-time best. The setting, the monster action, the way the two types of creatures come together—everything feels original and organic. This feels like a crossover that was made because someone genuinely saw the opportunity to bring the universes together, and that’s why it’s still one of the very best.