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Jason X (2002)
 
   
 Directed by: James Isaac
 Starring: Kane Hodder/Jason
Lexa Doig/Rowan
Lisa Ryder/Kay-Em
Peter Mensah/Sergeant Brodski
     
RATING

PLOT-CRUNCH:


In the year 2455, a group of students on an expedition visit “old earth” and find two cryogenically frozen bodies. One is a hot chick (Doig) and the other looks like a mangled reject from the NHL (Hodder). They bring both bodies on board their spacecraft, where both subjects eventually thaw out and the one wearing the goalie mask goes on a murder marathon (everybody needs a way to unwind). He’s Jason “freaking” Voorhees, people...and he means business! YEAH!!!!!!
  

THE LOWDOWN:


“In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Get Slaughtered By Jason Voorhees”

Having read the Jason X script beforehand and considering that I’d been waiting forever to see this baby, my expectations were quite high for this film. Well, I’m happy to say that they were mostly met and that Jason X lives up to the positive hype that it's been getting.

This 10th chapter in the "Friday the 13th" franchise retains the same energy as the previous entries but delivers it in a spaceship setting. You want to see Jason put “Rambo” to shame as he hunts down some ex-grunts? Right here, a-holes! Or how about Jason going mano-a-mano against a leather-clad, gun-toting female Android? You got it! Jason X has its fair share of slash and crash, but at the same time, it emanates an “Aliens” (an obvious inspiration) type of vibe. Some purists might say that’s a negative thing, but I believe that after nine films, Jason needed a change of scenery like I needed a new “bootie call”. They slapped old hockey-puss in space and managed to pull it off. Props to all!

Production value-wise the film is okay (it is still a low budget film). The CGI goes from solid to average but is always used appropriately; the spacecraft sets are simple yet effective and the costumes are colorful. I particularly enjoyed the S&M-like outfit that Kay-Em (Ryder) sported after getting her robotic cherry popped. Nice! Our boy Jason hasn’t changed much. He felt more human this time around though (he has hair!) and doesn’t look like the zombie he was in part 6-7-8-9. I found Jason less menacing than he was in “Friday The 13th Part 7”, but he still got the grisly job done. The “Uber Jason” get-up is mucho impressive. Think “The Terminator” on steroids. I adored the piercing red eyes as well! Spooky shite!

On the negative tip, the film doesn’t always milk the kool ideas that it sets up to their fullest. The Uber-Jason thang, for example, looks slick but not much is done with it. I wanted to see Jason get down and dirty in robo-mode yo! Seeing him breaking through doors wasn’t enough to quench my slaughter craving. I also begged to witness a battle of the badasses between Mr. Voorhees and Brodski (Mensah) but alas it never really went down. But my main beef with the film are its characters and their lack of development. Now I know what you’re going to say: “This is a slasher flick Arrow, who cares”. Well, I care! Friday 6 and 7, for example, had strong characters and the relationships between them had meat. Here, the relationships are barely hinted at (Kay-Em and Tsunaron are the best example), the characters spit out bad lines constantly and even our heroine Rowan (Doig) doesn’t wind up doing much except looking great in a cleavage-heavy tank top. I wanted to see her whoop some bootie! All I got from most of the players here is that they were way horny and somewhat idiotic! I guess in space, your libido goes sky high and your IQ level hits the bricks. The sexual energy in the film is fortunately not as overbearing as it was in the script. They toned it down and it isn’t too distracting. 

On a positive note, I had the sultry Kay-Em (Ryder) and the macho Sergeant Brodski (Mensah) to keep me anchored to the “good guys”. Both characters steal the show every time they pop up and Kay-Em’s edge of your seat main battle with Jason is definitely the highlight of the film. As for the tough-as-nails Brodski, he’s very likeable and is responsible for the film’s best line. Jason stabs him and he says: “It will take more than a small poke in the ribs to put down this old dog” JASON STABS HIM AGAIN and he says: ”That’ll do it”. Freaking hilarious! Man, I wanted to see more of that tough guy!

Overall, "Jason X" is just a good slasher time at the movies and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else but that. Yes, the good guys are weak and the film doesn’t always capitalize on its groovy situations but we still get lots of explosions, kills, fights sequences, some occasional funny dialogue, some humorous situations (loved the Virtual Reality sequence) and Jason even gets to re-visit “Crystal Lake” to entertain two female campers in his own charming way. FUN STUFF! What else do you want from a Friday The 13th sequel? JASON LIVES! AGAIN!
    

ACTING:


Kane Hodder (Jason) gives Jason more of a human personality this time around, but I didn’t find him as threatening as he was in the previous entries. Lexa Doig (Rowan) handles her “Ripley” wannabe part well, but I would’ve liked to see her kick more ass. Lisa Ryder (Kay-Em) steals the show as the sexually curious, Kung Fu android. She has fun with the role. Jonathan Potts (Professor Rowe) does the “slimeball” thang well, but yes, he irritated me. Melyssa Ade (Janessa) is cute and her delivery is on, but her character didn’t do it for me. She’s kind of despicable. Peter Mensah (Sergeant Brodski) charmed the shite out of me as the resilient Marine. I loved every second that he was onscreen. Chuck Campbell (Tsunaron) bored me as the geek and he had his moments of “weak” acting.
 

GORE:


Jason is mucho PISSED OFF here! We get a couple of impalings, a scooped out eyeball, a frozen and then crushed head, lots of head bashings, neck cracking, a slick slit throat, a severed head and a guy cut in two and more! Even Jason himself gets blown to smithereens. He gets a hard beating.
   

T & A:


We get some “gratuitous” displays of melons courtesy of two pre-marital sex loving campers (you’ll see)…funny shite. The ladies also get Peter Mensah (Sergeant Brodski) shirtless. The dude is cut!
   

DIRECTING:


I loved the wild camera movements inside Jason’s body during the opening of the film. Way kool! The rest of the flick is expertly handled with the occasional stylish shots, a couple of effective “boo” scares and well choreographed action set pieces. Good job, Mr. Isaac.
   

SOUNDTRACK:


The score by Friday The 13th veteran Harry Manfredini needed more edge. It’s too soft and we don’t get enough "ki ki ki" for our bucks. I also would’ve slapped some hard rock tunes in there to boost the energy level of the picture.
   

BOTTOM LINE:


Being a hardcore Friday The 13th fan, I probably got more out of this than the uninitiated will. I had a rollicking good time watching Jason causing all kinds of ruckus in space. It's too bad that most of the characters were as annoying as hell though; if the cast would’ve been a bit more endearing (like in Friday 6) the movie would’ve been so much better. But overall, I can’t deny that I dug this flick a lot, even with all its faults, it was way awesome to see the big guy “let the bodies hit the floor” on the screen again. Jason fans should enjoy this varied dish, others might hurl. As for me: LONG LIVE JASON!
 

BULL'S EYE:


Screenwriter Todd Farmer has a small part in the film. He plays “Dallas” (a nod to "Alien").

Director David Cronenberg ("The Fly") has a cameo.

The film was shot mostly in Toronto, Canada. Four hours away from where I live (Montreal, Canada).

One scene I really dug in the script, didn’t make the cut: The Zero Gravity fight sequence. I was waiting for it and it never happened…bummer…

Hottie Kristy Angus plays a character named “Adrienne”. Her name is an homage to the original “Friday The 13th” heroine “Adrienne King”. Too bad they waste her so soon, she was way hot!

READ ARROW’S INTERVIEW WITH TODD FARMER HERE

READ ARROW’S JASON X SCRIPT REVIEW HERE

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The Way The Arrow Points...

   
 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

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