Jason X
2 out of 5 stars
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After nine years you may have thought the Friday the 13th franchise was dead and forgotten. If only! Now Jason returns in this post-apocalyptic thriller with the standard formula relocated in space. Oh boy. We start in the present day, when a team of scientists cryogenically freeze the murderous, unstoppable, mysteriously regenerative Jason Voorhees (Hodder). After a lab catastrophe (due to a greedy madman, played by Cronenberg), one of the scientists (Doig) is frozen along with Jason. Jump forward 455 years to a salvage crew searching the desolate remains of earth, where they find and then thaw out the duo. Bad move. Especially since their ship is full of those nubile early-20somethings Jason loves to eviscerate.

This film is only watchable because the cast and crew are fully aware of how silly it all is, and they go for a goofy B-movie vibe in the set design (think Alien on a budget), wink-wink acting and dialog, and effects that look like they were done on a home computer. But it somehow works. The characters are funny, the plot is relentless and energetic (although not remotely scary), and the gruesome killing is cruelly inventive, and often followed by a one-line groaner. The greedy professor (Potts) compromising their safety is more than a little unnecessary, as is the even more fiendish "Uber-Jason" that brutally bludgeons the film's final act. But there are decent performances throughout, some decent comic relief (Ryder's smart-talking robot is hilarious, as is a holodeck recreation of the lakeside camp from the early films, complete with topless coeds). As a thriller franchise film it's pretty terrible really. But as a comedy spoof, it's quite good fun.

cert 15 themes and innuendo, gruesome violence, language 6.Jun.02

dir Jim Isaac
scr Todd Farmer
with Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Kane Hodder, Chuck Campbell, Jonathan Potts, Peter Mensah, Melyssa Ade, Melody Johnson, Phillip Williams, Derwin Jordan, Dov Tiefenbach, David Cronenberg
release US 26.Apr.02; UK 19.Jul.02
NewLine
02/US 1h32

Hmmm, wonder what would happen if we thaw him out. A salvage team is intrigued by the frozen figure of Jason Voorhees.

A JASON VOORHEES FILMOGRAPHY
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D (1982)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason X (2002)
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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