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Jason X
DVD disk
10.05.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Jason X order
Jim Isaac

Kane Hodder
Lexa Doig
Jonathan Potts


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After a near escape from a Crystal Lake research facility, Jason Voorhees (Hodder) is cryogenically frozen along with one of his victims. Over four centuries later, in 2455 A.D., a group of student archeologists recovers his body and puts in on a ship destined to the new Earth. Need I say what comes next? You got it. Jason starts hacking away at people on the ship.
Jason Voorhees, for those who have been asleep for the past two decades, is one bad motherfucker. The king of the body count is back once again and you sure don't have to wait too long for heads to start rolling. Despite the ludicrous plot, which badly unravels an hour into it, the film delivers quite well on chills, thrills, kills and blood spills. The story is tough to stomach at best: Jason is trapped in some secret military facility and manages to escape until he's trapped in a freezer and sent to join Walt Disney in the land of Popsicles. I can live with that. But as I mentioned, the plot takes a serious leap from fantasy to ridiculous two thirds of the way in and sort of loses you right before the end but it stands to reason that if you want to immerse yourself in a deep twisted plot with developed characters and a sense of intrigue, you'll probably have passed this by on the video store shelf so as long as you know what to expect, you're okay.

The characters in this puppy are the usual ones you'll find in any other horror movie. Hot chicks in tight clothing, gung ho guys who think it's gonna be a piece of cake to get rid of the bad guy and some greedy professor who wants to preserve the nut alive for observation. The main hottie, Lexa Doing plays Rowan, a scientist who gets transported through time along with Jason, only to find him alive again when she wakes up 400 years later. She's fine but for a horror flick, I was hoping to see her totties a bit. The rest of the cast is also decent, granted no one in this production will be appearing on a London stage, reciting Shakespearean lines any time soon but hey, they're there to get chopped into bits anyway so what the heck, why not trot out a few second rate Canadian actors?

The movie has a pretty good look overall, the special effects are a lot better than I would have expected for a horror flick with a $12 million budget, especially when you consider the considerable expense they must have incurred to purchase all the blood. It was pretty pleasant to watch but like I said above (I think I even said it twice!), I had a blast for an hour and then spent a half hour rolling my eyes.
There's a fair amount of material here to keep Jason fans busy for a little while, beginning with a full-length commentary by director Jim Isaac, wrote Todd Farmer and director Noel J. Cunningham. The track is well-paced and the three men are entertaining enough to keep you going for a good little while (I rarely listen to an entire track in one shot) and overall rates as reasonably solid. Isaac kicks in with a very good theory about kids watching violent behavior in both cinema and television. Farmer, who also plays the part of Dallas in the film gives us a bit of insight about the way the three came up with this idea. He doesn't really go into details about the unraveling plot but is still interesting, as is Cunningham, the son of the original Friday the 13th writer/director Sean Cunningham.

The commentary is followed by a half-hour long documentary entitled "The many lives of Jason Voorhees". I don't suppose this will teach anything new to die-hard Jason followers but for casual viewers like myself, the documentary trots out lots and lots of info about Crystal Lake's favorite mass murderer. With comments by film critics, filmmakers, cultural historians and more, it develops into a rather solid discussion about several topics such as the entertainment climate at the time the first film was released, the follow-up to it and even delves into the topic of violence in cinema, which although interesting, is covered by Isaac in his commentary. The die-hard fans will at least get to see some footage of older versions of Jason.

Next up and clocking in at a solid 18 minutes, "By any means necessary: The making of Jason X" is an extremely satisfying look into some of the more technical aspects of the film such as the film-to-digital-to-film transfer, CGI effects and some of the more standard "making of" topics like production design, costumes, makeup and more. This is a real featurette that discusses the physical making of the film and not some canned studio feature in which everyone pats each other on the back. Good stuff, as they say.

The last substantial tidbit, and a pretty cool one is the "jump to a death" feature. This allows you to navigate through all of Jason X's gory deaths using an index that lists all of them. If you're the kind of person who watches horror movies just to see people get impaled, sliced, dice or otherwise butchered, then it's perfect for you. You can watch them individually, all in a row or for the more creative and sickest minds, you can play them all at random and get surprised!

Aside from that, the theatrical trailer is obviously included, and kindly enough the producers of the DVD also tossed in the trailer for the original release of "A nightmare on Elm Street". Freddy? yes... Freddy...
This is definitely not something I'll be watching over and over but it did keep me happy for 90 minutes. If you're really into horror/action movies you'll probably dig this but you'll only want to keep it forever if you're a die-hard fan of Mr. Voorhees. For the rest of us, a quick trip to the video store will satisfy our thirst for blood.
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