House of Horror: Jason X (2001)

Jason_x

Title: Jason X (2001)

Director: James Issac

Written by: Todd Farmer

Starring:

  • Lexa Doig
  • Lisa Ryder
  • Kane Hodder

Plot: Jason Voorhees returns with a new look, a new machete, and his same murderous attitude as he is awakened on a spaceship in the 25th century.

Review: In 2008 (five years after Freddy vs. Jason), Jason Voorhees is captured by the United States government and held at the Crystal Lake Research Facility. In 2010, a government scientist, Doctor Whimmer, decides to place Jason in frozen stasis after several failed attempts to kill him. A few soldiers attempt to move Jason, however Jason wakes up and breaks free, killing all of the soldiers and Whimmer. Rowan, the last scientist alive, lures Jason into an “ice” pod and activates it. Then Jason ruptures the pod with his machete and stabs Rowan in the abdomen, spilling ice fluid into the sealed room and freezing them both.

Jason X 14
Just leave the damn guy alone already.

Over 445 years later in 2455, Earth has become too polluted to support life and has moved to a new planet, Earth Two. Three students, Tsunaron, Janessa and Azrael are on a field trip led by Professor Brandon Lowe who is accompanied by an Android robot, KM-14. Lowe’s intern, Adrienne, is ordered to dissect Jason’s body, however Jason comes back to life and kills Adrienne. Jason then makes his way through the ship, killing anyone that stands in his way. After bodies start hitting the floor, a group of soldiers suit up to attack Jason. Of course, they’re no match for Jason who dispatches them one by one, including the pilot. The ship crashes into a nearby space station, killing everyone on board the station and causing the few survivors left on the ship to head for the emergency escape ship. KM-14, an android belonging to one of the students, shows up upgraded with weapons and new combat skills to fight off Jason. She takes him apart, literally blasting off his arm, a leg and most of his rib cage.

The survivors set explosive charges to separate the remaining pontoon from the main drive section. As they work, Jason is accidentally brought back to life by the damaged medical station, rebuilt as an even more powerful cyborg called Uber Jason. Jason easily defeats KM-14 by punching her head off. As Tsunaron picks up her still functioning head, Jason attacks them, but is stopped by Waylander, who sacrifices himself by setting off the charges while the others escape. Jason survives and is blown back onto the shuttle. He punches a hole through the hull, blowing out Janessa. A power failure with the docking door forces Brodski to go EVA to fix it. Brodski confronts Jason so the rest can escape. As they leave, the pontoon explodes, propelling Jason at high-speed towards the survivors, however, Brodski intercepts Jason in mid-flight and maneuvers them both into the atmosphere of Earth Two, incinerating them both.

It took twenty years, but we finally reached the end of the Friday the 13th series, at least the original series. This time, it’s Jason in space, and what a load of crap it is. This film was made only to hold people over until Freddy Vs. Jason, which was set to come out the following year, so after the franchise sat dormant for the majority of the 90’s, this was the best they could come up with. It’s really a shame, as fans had been waiting for almost ten years to get Freddy Vs. Jason, the next logical step, and even though New Line Cinema owned both franchises, I guess Freddy’s box office had dropped so low, the big wigs didn’t believe these two icons fighting would bring out the masses. So we get Jason X, which does set it’s timeline after Freddy Vs. Jason, so at least they were sorta trying to do the right thing.

jason-x-robot
Someone’s been watching too many action movies.

Let’s start with the biggest problem the film has, it’s set in freaking space. This is basically Alien (or Aliens, depending on which film you like). Only those films are better, and I really don’t even care for those movies, but they’re infinitely better then this. Once again there’s no explanation for how Jason came back from hell in the last film, I suppose that’s just asking too much at this point. I will give the film some credit, they tried to explain how Jason can’t seem to die, and it’s really not a bad excuse.

The film also has some decent looking set pieces, and some unique kills (face freezing), but the effects just look terrible. I don’t mean to say that, the film hasn’t aged well, I remember thinking it looked bad back in 2001. They did away with the practical way of doing kills, and tried to work in as much CGI as they could, and it shows. Jason turning becoming half Jason/robot at the end seemed like a good idea on paper, but quite frankly there was no point to it. He’s already a badass, he can’t be killed, what’s the point of making him a robot?

The film also drags on something fierce at the end. They must have faked out the ending at least three times. The first is when KM shows up and kills Jason, the second is when Uber Jason is blown out into outer space, and finally when Brodski (the worst character name in the history of cinema) shows up and drags Jason to Earth Two. Each time I’m thinking “okay, that’s enough already, good lord hit the credits!” I also found the simulation of Crystal Lake to be groan inducing, as the reference to premarital sex and weed is only funny when you’re fourteen.

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I’m sure someone chuckled over this.

Acting: Lexa Doig did a fine job as Rowan, but with so many characters she was pretty much lost in the shuffle.

Lisa Ryder played KM 14, she’s not easy on the eyes and has an annoying character to boot.

Kane Hodder at least gets to play Jason through the film, but it’s really moot as he’s doing the standard slicing and dicing.

Gore Factor: Let’s run it down: impalings, a scooped out eyeball, a frozen/crushed head, plenty of head bashings, a neck breaking, a slit throat, a severed head and a guy cut in half. Even with all of this, the kills look like crap thanks to the CGI.

Nudity Factor: We get some boobs from the computer generator campers, and the girls get some six pack abs.

Fun Facts:

  • The “virtual ’80s” scene was originally meant to be much more detailed, including a number of topless women playing volleyball. One idea even included the appearance of Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mother, and even went so far as to have Jason attack her, showing the extent of just how evil he had become. The latter idea was dropped.
  • The film only suffered a couple seconds of cuts/alterations to earn an “R” rating, making it the least censored entry in the entire ‘Friday the 13th‘ series.
  • Jason murders 28 people, more than any of the other Friday the 13th movies.
  • Screenwriter Todd Farmer based much of the film on Alien (1979), even naming one of the characters (whom he also played) Dallas, after Tom Skerritt’s character in the Ridley Scott film.
  • The first film in the Friday the 13th series to rely on digital effects for death and gore shots.
  • The music played during Jason’s first look at the virtual reality Camp Crystal Lake is the same musical score as the one in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981).

Overall: This is not the worst Friday the 13th film, I’d place it at number two (from the bottom) if I had to make a list. The pacing is slow and boring, the CGI is horrible and the characters are annoying. There’s no reason for Jason to get an upgrade as it means nothing for the character besides a new look. Skip this turd, skip skip skip.

Rating: 1.5/5

Author: Jeremy Nichols

Jeremy Nichols is regular writer for the Place to be Nation, a father of two and a full time gamer. He hosts a video game podcast at VGCE.podomatic.com and loves Super Mario Bros. Sweep the leg! Send Jeremy an email