Jason X

Evil gets an upgrade.

Year of Release: 2001
Also Known As: Friday the 13th Part X
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
Rated: R
Running Time: 93 minutes (1:33)
Director: James Isaac


Lexa Doig ... Rowan
Chuck Campbell ... Tsunaron
Lisa Ryder ... Kay-Em 14
Peter Mensah ... Sgt. Brodski
Jonathan Potts ... Professor Lowe
Melyssa Ade ... Janessa
Melody Johnson ... Kinsa
Derwin Jordan ... Waylander
Philip Williams ... Crutch
Kristi Angus ... Adrienne
David Cronenberg ... Dr. Wimmer
Kane Hodder ... Jason Voorhees / Uber-Jason


In the year 2455, on a routine training mission, a team of students is about to learn a terrifying lesson. Through the years, Jason Voorhees has claimed over 200 victims. Now, the legendary killer from Crystal Lake is back, hurtling through space and hunting new prey.


Jason X, remindin' us that when a woman gives ya the cold shoulder, the quickest way to 'er heart is through the titanium cryo-storage container door.

Speakin' of ice queens though - I try my best not to get political about things cause I know how divisive it can get, even beside the fact that that's exactly what the Commies want, but I can't hold my tongue any longer: the fascist in the governor's mansion is destroying the American way of life. $5 for a goll-danged Christmas tree permit?! Ya know, some of us hafta WORK for a livin', lady.

I guess if you wanna get technical about it the law's been in place for decades an I only found out about it after gettin' away with what the herbosexuals call "Kringlous Arborcidus" for years, but the woman knew about this injustice all along an never once made an effort to do away with it, so she can go squat in a frozen outhouse as far's I'm concerned.

I wasn't about to take it layin' down either, so I got up off the hide-a-bed, called up 'er office an screamed "I'm takin' back control of my life!" before she could say anything. She tried claimin' she was only a secretary but that's exactly how they getcha, so I just hung up after she'd put me through to voice mail.

Course it wouldn't be Christmas without Shankles buildin' a fort in the tree an eatin' gaps in the popcorn string til it looked like a set of x-rays from a West Virginia dental clinic, so I still hadda come up with a plan to save Christmas an my last Abraham Lincoln. First thing I did was watch this documentary Kirk Cameron made a couple years back about Saving Christmas, but all that did was explain why he's barely worked since Growing Pains, an so after that I hadda really buckle down someplace quiet where I could gather my thoughts.

Unfortunately I got kicked outta Walleye's Topless Dancin' & Bait Shop for suckin' all the Christmas cheer outta the strippers with my sob story about not bein' able to get a tree, but thankfully this gal by the name of Bazooka Joan gave me an idea while Tetnis was windin' up to pitch me into the snowbank. I'm not gonna go into the details cause it was pretty danged embarrassin' for Joan, but it involved a 10,000 watt speaker, Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me," an the cascading of a coupla snow-capped peaks. See, the state may be able to stop me from *cutting* a tree, but if one was to say, fall on its own, well, makin' use of it after the fact'd just be what a good steward of the land does.

Anyway, once I'd extricated myself from the snowbank I skidded on over to Billy Hilliard's place to tell 'im about my plan an, bein' the good friend he is, he was real supportive about it.

"Yeow a fuckin' mo'rah. You know vah, righ'?" he mumbled through an enthusiastic facepalm.

"This'll totally work dude - we'll borrow Cleave's snowmobile, hook an inverter to the battery, blast somethin' with a lotta bass through my old 3-disc changer, an BOOM! Avalanche knocks over a whole slug of trees, trust me! It worked perfectly in Blood Tracks! There ain't been a thing this sure since Donna Driscoll under the bleachers in junior year," I insisted.

"Ah remembow B'uh Twackth - vey gah thnow'd ih ah ea'uh by a cahibow," he cynically reminded me.

"Okay fine, but I'm 90% sure there're no snowbound cannibals on Bearcrack Mountain - we'll just shake a little snow loose, gun it outta there, an scoop up a tree as soon as everything settles back down. Just think about Shankles an his sad, beady little possum eyes man, you don't really want that kinda Scroogitude on your conscience, do ya?" I coerced.

"Yeow a manipwafiv athow," he declared as he examined last year's Christmas photo with Shankles' little head pokin' up outta Sadie Bonebreak's shirt. "Geh ih vuh twuck an thuh up."

Convincin' Billy to help was the hard part - Motorhead would do the rest.

Anyway, once we'd gotten the details settled we pulled Cleave Furguson's Scorpion outta his garage (he was over at Roxanne Bigelow's place at the time, but I'm sure he'da wanted us to have it), put the tire chains on, an cruised along at a steady 8 mph til the Sierra couldn't go any further.

From there it was just a matter of gettin' up the hill to unleash the good vibrations, an the plan was workin' out just like I'd planned until the Scorpion died about six seconds after the snow started rollin'.

I guess "running" for your life's not entirely accurate in this particular scenario, but I can tell ya that wadin' through 4' of fine powder for your life can really make ya reassess your priorities. For instance, I learned that if you're buried under 15' of snow an condemned to an afterlife of bein' carted from carnival to carnival to be gawked at by rubes who paid 75 cents to see the "Eastern Oregon Iceman," your possum's gonna have a pretty lousy Christmas; tree or no tree.

Fortunately Billy managed to climb a good-sized Lodgepole an then dig me out before I ended up a frozen dinner for the coyotes come Spring, but Cleave's snowmobile's prolly gonna have some problems by the time the mountain thaws.

I don't really remember much after the world disappeared, but I have a strong suspicion the tree that'd appeared in my livin' room by the time I came around was purchased outta the back of a horse trailer from a wimp named Wally.

It's kinda embarassin', but I guess it'll hafta do since I'm under house arrest until we find out whether or not my toes're gonna fall off. Still, we struck a blow against an insidious regime AND I beat the check, so as soon as I'm sure everything's gonna stay where it belongs when I stand up, I'ma party like it's 1989.

I gotta tell ya though, as many times as I've identified with Jason Voorhees over the years, feelin' the cold creep in under that mountain of unprocessed snowmen, just like he musta felt in that frosty gas chamber, made me feel even worse for the guy than I did when I first heard he was gettin' blasted into outer space. Apparently New Line Cinema never had a mother, otherwise they'da known how stupid it was to do something just because their friends at Trimark (Leprechaun 4), Dimension (Hellraiser: Bloodline), and Lion's Gate (Dracula 3000) were doin' it. Sure's heck wasn't the send off Kane Hodder deserved either, but it's cold outside, it's Friday the 13th, and I've put this one off for too long already, so let's take a look at the last three kernels of wisdom Sean Cunningham saved for us in the bottom of his popcorn tub. First, in the year 2455, female scientists will finally be appreciated for their minds, as well as their slim, sexy waistlines accentuated by crop top casual wear from the MIT Signature Collection. Second, common courtesy dictates your female android be fully equipped with synthetic nipples, lest she become self-conscious about 'er automatitons. An third, in space, no one likes your green screen.

The movie begins at the recently eminent domained Crystal Lake Research Center where Jason's tied up like Harry Houdini about to perform the water torture escape routine awaitin' cryogenic stasis cause every time the feds try executin' 'im he just cocks his head to the side like a confused bulldog. Only before this lady scientist (Rowan) can flash-freeze 'im into a perpcicle, David Cronenberg shows up to spring 'im cause he wants to saw little pieces off 'im an grow tiny Jasons in petri dishes for scientific purposes. Unfortunately by the time Dave gets to the room where Jason's been hung up like a side of gangrenous beef the J-man's already gotten loose, an he proceeds to turn alla Dave's storm troopers into the next contestants on The Price is Life before makin' like Ahab an chuckin' a harpoon 100 yards through the air, gorin' David through the gutbucket an completely devasatin' the Canadian Horror film industry. Course Jason's still pretty P.O.'d about bein' poked an prodded like produce at the farmer's market by cosmetic engineers from Bath and Body Works tryna figure out the secret to immortality so they can bottle it to sell to suburban housewives, so he chases Rowan into the room where Walt Disney's head's bein' kept under lock an key to perform a little facial deconstructive surgery. She's a sneaky one though, an when Jason steps in front of this giant ice maker she shoves a lab table into his hockey pucks an sends 'im stumblin' back into the stasis chamber, where she cranks the knob all the way down to the "Melania Trump Christmas Display" setting an freezes Jason into a Slaughter Pop. All she's gotta do now is not get cocky, but instead she takes a moment to press 'er face up against the glass an give Jason the stink eye, givin' 'im the last gasp of retard rage he needs to ram his machete through the chamber door, puncture 'er pancreas, an cause the emergency exit to slam shut so the taxpayer ain't on the hook for coolin' the entire summer camp.

Next thing it's 455 years in the future where not even four centuries worth of evolution has managed to produce a person capable of stayin' the hell outta Jason's camp, an a team of undergraduates dressed in M. Bison hazmat suits've flown down to the ruins of planet Earth in the Vince Lombardi trophy of spaceships to root around for antiques. Cept pretty quick this slacker-of-the-future starts screwin' around with the containment unit Jason's been condemned to chill in sans Netflix, an purt'near becomes the first person ever to be murdered by a twice-dead serial killer when Jason's body tips over an lops the dope's arm off with the machete someone failed to pry from his cold, dead hands. Then the space-age chunkheads haul Rowan, Jason, an their one-armed manchild back to their ship, blast off, an start thawin' 'em out like frozen turkeys so they can ask 'em what idiot ordered the construction of a 2000 mile border wall around the United States when the world was only 50 years away from an irreversible climatological cataclysm. Meantime though, the guy leadin' the field trip (Professor Lowe) decides to call up a descendant of Sling Blade to tell 'im what he found on Earth, an fortunately Sling Blade the XVIth happens to be an expert on 500 year old serial killer cold cases an tells Lowe that Jason's corpse could be priceless to the right sociopath. Then one of Lowe's students (Janessa) dresses 'im up in pink lingerie an tweaks his nipples with BBQ tongs while some nerd (Tsuneron) tries attachin' fake mammary monocles to his android (Kay-Em) so she won't feel weird in the communal shower, leavin' Jason alone with forensic pathologist Bombshell, an allowin' 'im to shove 'er face into a vat of liquid nitrogen before smashin' it into a 1000 piece jigjaw puzzle.

Course when Rowan finds out Jason's on board she tries to explain about the whole regeneraty, immortality, stabby slashy 100+ body count trail of teenage carnage, but Lowe has a degree from the University of Arrogant Greaseball College Professors an so he don't hafta listen to her. Thankfully the ship comes equipped with one of those real hardass marine sergeants that everybody's secretly a little afraid of an who kinda looks like the Candyman (Brodski), an he takes his crack team of unemployed stunt men out to find Jason an return 'im to the penalty box where he belongs. 17,000 rounds of automatic weapons fire later, one guy ends up with his head swiveled around like a barn owl, another gets clotheslined over a rail an impaled on an auger big enough to drill to Hong Kong, a third gets 'er throat opened up, an one real unlucky son of a bitch gets sliced in half at the waist after he thinks he's got Jason tacked to a giant meat hook, only Jason just slides off like discount cheese off a Little Caesar's pizza an makes 'im eligible for a Little People of America scholarship. Then Jason rams a coupla spears through Sergeant Candyman's torso like toothpicks through a deli department ham sample an parts the pilot's hair with his machete, causin' the ship to botch its approach into the Orion Interplanetary Airport an shear the roof off the Epcot Center space traffic control tower, causing a chain reaction of explosions that don't stop until the entire station's been reduced to Death Stardust. So by now Jason's body count has basically reached the point where only NASA could possibly calculate it, but he's still got unfinished business with his alien abductors, an so he goes bustin' through the window of the science lab an hacks Lowe into sleaze's pieces despite bein' offered the guy's teaching pension an a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

You might think things're lookin' kinda grim, but Tsuneron improves the group's odds of survival by havin' cyborg sex with Kay-Em an shroudin' 'er with belt-fed hollow point rounds til she looks like your crazy uncle's Facebook profile photo, while everybody else makes a run for the little space dinghy that all these ships have layin' around in preparation for the day when they're inevitably attacked by hostile alien crud monsters. They woulda gotten away too, what with Jason bein' too busy tearin' the face offa the engineer to notice what was goin' on, 'cept this grieving bimbo whose boyfriend got his vertebrae smashed into a set of jacks earlier tries to blast off in the life raft while its umbilicus is still attached an ends up turnin' the shuttle into a Roswell Army Airfield reverse engineering project. By this point the fan's pretty well inundated with butt dumplins, but just as Jason's about to smoosh the rest of the crew into Velveeta cheese dip, Kay-Em shows up an goes all Rambot on 'im an causes a galaxy-wide ammunition shortage til Jason's missin' half his limbs an mosta his brain after gettin' photon torpedoed by the S&M ninja cyborg dominatrix. Unfortunately, science can rebuild him, better, stronger, with even greater hockey enthusiasm than before, an that's basically what happens when the ship hits some clear space turbulence an all its little nanobots spill out an start crawlin' in an outta Jason's gooey corpse cavities, replacin' the missing pieces with titanium ship components until he transforms into MechaVoorhees: Destroyer of Space Bimbos. After that it gets kinda silly so feel free to check out the conclusion for yourselves - just don't don't bring this one up to Kane when you're gettin' an autograph at Monster Mania.

Alrighty, I think we just lost cabin pressure here. Kinda seems like after Part VII was given a gimmick to differentiate it from all the previous flicks, it was apparently determined that every subsequent sequel had to have a gimmick too. I guess by the late '80s it wasn't enough to just mutilate disillusioned Gen-Xers with farm implements anymore - you had to have a HOOK, and I don't mean one of those heavy duty numbers Leatherface used to hang whiny brunettes on - we're talkin' somethin' fresh that'd get the butts back in the seats. Now don't get me wrong, Part VII actually had a good gimmick with its Jason vs. Carrie concept, but after that they just changed the venue and then ripped off the plot to The Hidden, which was all well and good until the space fad happened and *everybody* started sendin' their franchise into space because we were UFO crazed in the '90s, or something. I dunno what the deal was exactly, but I do know that all the franchises who partook never recovered from it. Even as bad as Leprechaun 4 was, Jason X is the most upsetting entry in the trend, and I think that's because the Friday the 13th franchise (at least under Paramount) was this steady, dependable monolith where you knew exactly what was going to happen before the movie even started, and that each new sequel felt like visiting an old friend. They were simplistic and loaded with cliches, but they were comfortable - like that pair of ratty old house slippers that you could never bring yourself to throw out. Plus there'd only been three entries in the Leprechaun and Hellraiser series up to that point, so even though their space voyages stunk up the joint too, there wasn't this bizarre feeling of betrayal when *they* went into space. Needless to say, the fans of the series knew what a Friday the 13th movie should be by the time New Line took over, and although Jason X is certainly closer to the original formula than Jason Goes to Hell was, it was not what people wanted. To this day I still find it strange that New Line Cinema, a studio that did great things with its own Horror franchises, really never figured out what to do with Jason -- and that Paramount, the studio that never cared much for its golden goose, actually did better by the franchise and its fans in terms of giving us what we wanted.

I suppose you prolly know what's comin' now, so if you somehow managed to enjoy this sucker, you may wanna close the window before things get ugly. The plot, I believe, we've already established was neither what the fans wanted nor a wise departure from what got Jason to the dance to begin with, and while that is utterly damning on its own, I have a couple additional observations that I think warrant examination. For instance, I guess we're to assume that after Jason and Rowan have been locked in the cryo chamber, the Crystal Lake Research Center lost its funding and nobody ever dropped in to see how things were going. Essentially, they get flash frozen, the door shuts, and that's it - Rowan was the only employee of said research center, and nobody ever checked in on either her, or history's most notorious serial killer after that point. Further, as the years and eventually centuries pass with no concern about said facility and the destruction of the planet, *somebody* is still paying to keep the lights on, otherwise Jason's cryo chamber eventually thaws out and he goes back to doin' what he does. So in essence, as a means of actually getting Jason into space, it would literally have been more logical for him to have been abducted by aliens. Now, I know that sounds nit-picky, and it probably is, but this's what I'm gonna do if you're gonna take our favorite maniacal zombie hockey slasher out of his simple, predictable routine. I'll buy the regenerative properties of Jason's cell structure as an explanation for why he's so dang hard to kill, and I'll even accept the nanites puttin' Grumpty Dumpty back together again with aluminum siding, but the thing they failed to realize where it concerns the plot to a Friday the 13th movie is that there isn't supposed to be one! Cute call-back to DeepStar Six with the hijacking of the escape pod, though.

As for the acting, it's comparable to previous entries in the sense that there's very little character development and most of the cast is there strictly to pad the body count, but these folks are even duller than what we're used to getting. The only really likeable character is the hardass Sergeant Brodski, and he's not only put out of commission for much of the proceedings, but also doomed to play the heroic tough guy who must sacrifice himself for the good of his compatriots. What's more, the writers totally dropped the ball with our final girl, as Lexa Doig has very little to do once she's been hauled aboard the ship - so much so that her character isn't really even necessary once she's sealed Jason in the cryogenic chamber. It's all really unfocused in the same way Part V is, which can partially be attributed to having too many characters, but is also due to allotting so much time to our next point of interest.

Here's who matters and why (less Kane Hodder and David Cronenberg): Jeff Geddis (Monster Island 2004), Lexa Doig (Fireball, Teen Sorcery), Markus Parilo (RoboCop 2014, Red Lights, Aliens in the Wild Wild West), Jonathan Potts (Rupture, Devil 2010, Resurrection 1999), Dov Tiefenbach (Parasomnia, Wolf Girl), Chuck Campbell (In the Mouth of Madness, Deadly Descent: The Abominable Snowman, Possessed 2000, Urband Legend 2), Melyssa Ade (Visitors of the Night), Boyd Banks (Dawn of the Dead 2004, Land of the Dead, The Hexecutioners, Hellmouth, Silent Hill 2, Dead Before Dawn 3D, Left for Dead, Diary of the Dead, Jekyll + Hyde, Phil the Alien, American Psycho 2), Barna Moricz (Aliens in the Wild Wild West), Dylan Bierk (Terminal Invasion), Todd Farmer (Don't Kill It, Trick, Compound Fracture, My Bloody Valentine 2009), Peter Mensah (Avatar, The Scorpion King 5, The Incredible Hulk 2008, Bless the Child), Philip Williams (American Psycho 2, Resurrection 1999, Trilogy of Terror II), Kristi Angus (Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep), Derwin Jordan (Shadow Zone: The Undead Express, Visitors of the Night), Yani Gellman (47 Meters Down, Urban Legend 2), Robert A. Silverman (Scanners, Naked Lunch, Waterworld, The Ruining, eXistenZ, 984: Prisoner of the Future, Prom Night 1980, The Brood, Rabid), Steve Lucescu (Whiteout, Cyborg Soldier, Bugs, Top of the Food Chain), Amanda Brugel (Suicide Squad), Roman Podhora (Final Destination 5, Fireball, Sea Beast, Savage Planet, Skinwalkers, Resident Evil 2, Bless the Child, Trucks, Night Visitors, Quarantine 1989), David Cook (The Butterfly Effect, Urban Legend 2).

And for all you degenerates out there who wanna know about all the mainstream stuff these folks've been in so you'll look real smart when you tell your friends in the Starbucks internet cafe, here ya go: Lexa Doig (Sonya Valentine on Continuum, Dr. Carolyn Lam on Stargate SG-1, Andromeda Ascendant on Andromeda), Jonathan Potts (voiced Link on The Legend of Zelda, and Troy Jeffries on Beverly Hills Teens), Lisa Ryder (Beka Valentine on Andromeda, Detective Tracy Vetter on Forever Knight), Chuck Campbell (Chuck the Technician on Stargate: Atlantis), Peter Mensah (Lemuel Bridger on Midnight Texas, The Hidden One on Sleepy Hollow, Doctore/Oenomous on Spartacus), Philip Williams (Thomas Lynde on Anne), Yani Gellman (Garrett Reynolds on Pretty Little Liars, Rafe Torres on The Young and the Restless), Amanda Brugel (Rita on The Handmaid's Tale).

The special effects are what really destroy any chance the flick had at achieving the traditional Friday the 13th aesthetic; after all, certain aspects of the story have been ridiculous since the very beginning, and we've always been able to turn a blind eye to those on the condition that Tom Savini, or John Buechler, or whoever delivered the gory goods... well, hope you guys like early 2000s digital viscera. Now, obviously the special effects in the series hadn't always been top notch, but they had at least always been *real*, and these Sci-Fi Original Feature computer effects are about as far removed from an '80s Friday the 13th flick as you could possibly get, and it is this, even more than the film's premise, that tanks it. No disrespect intended to the crew working the conventional side of things, cause the gooey eyeball, shattered frozen face, severed arm, slashed throat, and Jason's continued decomposition are all excellent, but for every one of those you've got four or five computer generated spaceship sequences or digital blood splatters, and this kinda stuff pulls you right outta the movie... to the extent that you were ever in it. The virtual reality sequence mimicking an '80s summer camp is, admittedly, pretty funny, but after about five seconds the humor dies and you're just left with an image reminding you of what a Friday the 13th movie ought to be.

The interior sets are pretty decent, particularly the big flashy science lab and the cryogenic freezing room in the opening sequence. The rest of the ship takes a minimalist approach that's actually somewhat logical based upon the assumption that as technology advances people stop caring about superficial things quite so much. And of course, in the movies, no spaceship threatened by hostile goo creatures would be complete without a huge, irrationally placed industrial section filled with catwalks, railings, and steam. As for the soundtrack - the studio saw fit to bring back Harry Manfredini, and, as he is wont to do, he successfully composes a score that's perfectly in-tune with the general atmosphere of the movie... which unfortunately means it bears little resemblance to the Friday the 13th scoring of the past. There are three tracks that bring back that manic Friday the 13th feeling, but the rest could play over just about anything suspenseful and not sound out of place. I suppose you could rightly point out that those old string pieces from the '80s flicks would be out of place here, but I would then refer you to the Jason Goes to Hell score, which successfully took an old sound and made it fresh again with only moderate tweaking. Overall, Jason X is one of those sequels you either consciously or subconsciously try to wipe from a series as punishment for having strayed too far from the original idea - and that's coming from someone who actually likes Jason Goes to Hell. In a perfect world, they'd have stopped at Part VIII, but if the idea of computer generated machete splatter doesn't make you sick, you may still get a kick.

Rating: 40%