Awfully Good: Jason X
From one Jason to another, Happy Halloween from Awfully Good!
Jason X (2001)
Director: Jim Isaac
Stars: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder
Jason Voorhees' machete still works just fine in space. In case you were wondering.
You know a franchise has run out of steam when it decides to inexplicably send its characters in to outer space. I mean, nothing says quality like a track record that includes LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE, CRITTERS 4, HELLRAISER IV and DRACULA 3000. However, against all odds, and despite not having history or common sense in its favor, JASON X manages to be one of the series' better sequels, chock full of fun kills, a tongue-in-cheek vibe, deviant sex, and robots with and without nipples!
After taking Manhattan, Jason was finally ready to take DAT ASS.
JASON X was allegedly made just to keep the FRIDAY THE 13TH series afloat while FREDDY VS JASON was lingering in development hell. Thankfully writer Todd Farmer is clearly a fan of the franchise and understands the movies and what people like about them. What could've been a lazy, studio hack job ends up as a fairly clever script, an ALIENS homage that switches out the Xenomorph for Jason Voorhees. It's maximum cheesy, but Farmer keeps it entertaining with a quick pace, lots of familiar references for fans, and some truly great lines. (My favorite: the crew discovers a man impaled and spinning on a drill bit: "We found him. He's screwed.") And somehow they even manage to make the deep space setting work, despite having a clearly limited budget.
Jerry really should've quit while he was a head.
The idea is this: After nine movies, everyone finally figures out that no matter what they do and no matter how many horror protagonists they throw his way, Jason Voorhees cannot be killed. Their brilliant solution? Cryogenically freeze the serial killer so he can no longer hurt anyone. Of course, this being 'Murica, the government decides they first want to exploit his Wolverine-like regenerative powers, so they send in scientist David Cronenberg to turn him in to a weapon. (Yes, that David Cronenberg.) Jason of course manages to escape and kill everyone for old time's sake (THE FLY director included) before they manage to flip the frozen switch. Cut to four hundred years later and a group of scientists scavenging the now-abandoned Earth stumble upon Popsicle Jason and take him on board their spaceship for further study. (How good is the psycho killer at his job? He manages to maim a guy while still frozen.) As one might predict, Jason of course wakes up in space and immediately starts doing what he does bestkilling young people who just had sex.
Todd knew his girlfriend was a fan of Marilyn Manson, but this was ridiculous.
Those young people are made up of a relatively unknown cast, but everyone gives surprisingly solid performances for this kind of movie. The film doesnt really follow one main protagonist, so pretty much everyone is fair game for Jason and it's fun seeing who survives and who becomes machete meat without too much predictability. And amazingly enough, JASON X also boasts some of the best deaths of the franchise. There's plenty of expected killsstabbings, impalements, electrocutionsbut there's definitely some enjoyably inspired murdering, such as the liquid nitrogen face smash or the double homicide by sleeping bag. The movie boasts Jason's highest kill count at 28 people; however, at one point he also manages to somehow blow up an entire space station, so you can probably add a few thousand to that total on a technicality.
"Let it go! Let it go! I can't hold it back anymore!
As with most films that take place in space in the future, you can expect lots of high-tech weaponry, holodecks, and of course robots. In the case of JASON X, you get Kay-Em 14, a female leather-clad, kung fu cyborg who fights Jason in one of the most gloriously goofy scenes in the series. It's like something out of a late 80s Hong Kong action movie and it ends with the android literally blowing Jason to pieces and killing him once and for all. That's right; they kill Jason Voorhees midway through the movie.
Why was the robot so angry?
And if it ended there, JASON X would be a solid entry in the franchise, but the film truly goes for the gold in the final act. When Kay-Em kills Jason he just so happens to land near a smashed medical pod. The healing nanobots not only repair Jason, but they turn him in to a souped-up cyborg version of himself dubbed "Uber Jason." With his chrome hockey mask and hulking size, it's essentially Jason on cybernetic steroids. It's both one of the stupidest and one of the greatest things I've ever seen and it turns the ending in to something truly special. (I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but it involves a delightful return to Camp Crystal Lake.)
BECAUSE SOMEONE KEPT PUSHING HIS BUTTONS!
Some solid zingers and one-liners. (NSFW)
Jason's best kills, as well as his fight scene with kickass cyborg Kay-Em 14. (NSFW)
Lucky you; you topless female humans and robots. Huzzah!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- Jason kills someone
- There's a reference to a previous movie in the franchise
Thanks to Mikael and Brandon for suggesting this week's movie!
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|Extra Tidbit:||The show Mythbusters actually tested the frozen face smash kill from this movie. It didn't work in real life.|