Jason X (2001) review

Jason X posterDirector: James Isaac

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Derwin Jordan, Melyssa Ade

“Guys, it’s okay! He just wanted his machete back!” (Professor Lowe, Jason X)

I can just imagine the conversation that potentially took place when Jason X was originally conceived.

“We need to make another Friday The 13th movie boss, but we’re running out of ideas.”

“Running out of ideas? Are you mad? It’s a slasher movie. Put gore and tits in it and you’re good.”

“Yes sir, but Friday The 13th fans expect something more, some sort of twist. We’ve already had a 3D one, a copycat killer one, a zombie one, one shot in New York and a possession one. What now?”

“I don’t care. I couldn’t give a shit if it’s fucking Jason In Space, just get tits and gore in it and have it ready by the summer.”

Here, then, is Jason X, which is essentially about Jason in space.

"You're kidding me. I don't even like flying, mate"
“You’re kidding me. I don’t even like flying, mate”

Starting in the present day, Jason is captured by the US government and held at the Crystal Lake Research Facility (which suddenly exists now).

After two years of trying to kill him, the government decides to cryogenically freeze him instead, but naturally this goes baps-up and Jason breaks free, creating a typically sizeable bloodbath.

A scientist called Rowan grabs Jason’s attention and lures him into following her down to the cryogenic chamber.

Successfully tricking him into a cryogenic pod, Jason is turned into an (in)human ice lolly, but not before he smashes the glass of his chamber, letting out all the freezy shit and trapping Rowan too.

Keep an eye out for director David Cronenberg, who appears (and dies) in this early scene
Keep an eye out for director David Cronenberg, who appears (and dies) in this early scene

Fast forward 447 years (really) and both Jason and Rowan are discovered by a group of archaeology students. The pair are taken aboard their spaceship and Rowan is thawed out and brought back to life with their freaky future technology.

The problem is, Jason eventually thaws out too, and these futuristic dicks have no idea how to deal with a 1980s serial killing zombie. I smell a sitcom!

Actually, that’s not too far off the mark, because Jason X definitely has its tongue thrust further into its cheek than previous entries in the series. Before said tongue is pulled through said cheek and stapled to the wall, of course.

This is Kay-Em 14. She's a robot. She's probably the only really shit character in this film, sadly
This is Kay-Em 14. She’s a robot. She’s probably the only really shit character in this film

Some of the kills are played as downright comical, with one in particular seeing Jason going head-to-head with a generic meathead.

“It’ll take more than a poke in the ribs to put down this old dog”, he defiantly states as Jason stabs him in the chest with his machete. Jason responds by removing the machete and stabbing him again: “Yeah, that oughta do it”, the meathead says, dying.

A similarly cheesy chuckle involves a crewmember landing on a massive spike and sliding down its spiral-shaped shaft. “He’s screwed,” a co-member exclaims when she later finds him.

Then there’s the holoroom section, where Jason is filled into thinking he’s back in Crystal Lake. There he finds two promiscuous ladies in sleeping bags who promptly whip their tops off, offer Jason some pot and chuckle: “We love pre-marital sex!”

A couple of bloody slappers, honestly
A couple of bloody slappers, honestly

His response? To stuff the girls into their sleeping bags, seal them up and slam them repeatedly into a nearby tree.

Jason X is just bloody silly. Its deaths (whether funny ones or not) are brilliantly outlandish – how many times have you ever seen a horror film where a victim’s head is dipped into liquid nitrogen, instantly freezes, and is then crushed into a gory snowball on a nearby table?

Or how about the section where a seemingly dead Jason is found by little nanobots which both repair and upgrade him, turning him into a half-android killing machine?

In case you can’t tell yet, I have a soft spot for Jason X. It’s crazy that it took until the tenth film in the series for someone to say “you know something, we should have a proper laugh with this”, but finally someone did and it’s all the better for it.

And, naturally, it wouldn't be a Friday The 13th film if Jason didn't lose his mask at some point
And, naturally, it wouldn’t be a Friday The 13th film if Jason didn’t lose his mask at some point

As a serious horror film it’s a failure in every respect. It isn’t scary, it doesn’t build much tension and it just takes the piss at every opportunity. But it’s because of this third point that Jason X entertains – it knows it’s shit and it’s proud.

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Jason X‘s rating earns it a place in the hallowed That Was A Bit Mental Hall Of Fame. Click here to see which other films have made the grade.

HOW CAN I SEE IT?
Until recently Jason X was only available on DVD. Here’s the UK version and here’s the US version. However, if you want the definite Jason experience there’s only really one option: the recently released Friday The 13th: The Complete Collection Blu-ray box set. This is only available in America but I can confirm it’s region-free (I bought it myself). It’s also currently the only way you can get Jason X on Blu-ray.

SHOW ME THE TRAILER:

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