Directed By: James Isaac
Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Jeff Geddis
Tag line: "Evil Gets An Upgrade"
Trivia: In 2005, Black Flame began publishing a series of paperback books based on this film, all aimed towards young adults
The 10th entry in the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason X is one of those movies I’d call a “guilty pleasure”. That is, if I felt the least bit guilty about liking it.
The year is 2455, and the earth is no longer an hospitable place (the planet's entire population has relocated to “Earth Two”). A ship full of science students, under the guidance of Professor Braithwaite Lowe (Jonathan Potts), has returned to the abandoned planet on a field trip, and when they enter what was once the Crystal Lake Research facility, they make a startling discovery: two people, a female scientist named Rowan (Lexa Doig) and a behemoth in a hockey mask, aka Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder), have been cryogenically frozen for nearly 450 years! Rowan is easily revived, though it seems that Jason, whose body has degraded, is beyond their help. But (like he’s done many times in the past) the infamous killer surprises everyone by coming back to life, and goes on yet another of his patented murderous rampages. Not even a team of highly trained mercenaries, led by Sergeant Brodski (Peter Mensah), can subdue him, and with the bodies piling up, it looks as if Jason is going to finish off everyone on board. But Rowan, who’s battled Jason before, isn’t going down without a fight, and aided by Tsunaron (Chuck Campbell) and his android companion (Lisa Ryder), sets out to accomplish what people in the 20th century failed to do: kill Jason Voorhees once and for all!
Launching Crystal Lake’s most notorious son into space may strike some as a bad idea (or, worse yet, a stupid one), but Jason X manages to make it work, and, on top of that, is a hell of a lot of fun. The opening sequence does a fine job setting things up, showing us how Jason and Rowan ended up in the cryogenic chamber while also getting the story off to a bloody start (director David Cronenberg has a cameo in this scene, playing a doctor). In addition, Kane Hodder makes his fourth appearance as Jason, having portrayed him in the previous 3 entries (The New Blood, Jason Takes Manhattan, and Jason Goes to Hell), and his familiarity with the role definitely works to the film’s advantage (he’s especially strong later on, when the character undergoes a metamorphosis of sorts). The movie also has what I consider to be one the best kills in the entire series (death by liquid nitrogen), and a late sequence puts a new spin on the sleeping bag scene from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. More than anything, though, Jason X doesn’t chince on the special effects; along with the ship itself, which looks pretty damn good, the movie gives us a number of impressive scenes, including not one, but two set inside a holographic chamber (the first of which features the film’s writer, Todd Farmer, who appears briefly as a soldier named Dallas).
With a decent cast (Lisa Ryder stands out as the android who gives Jason a run for his money) and a story that borrows heavily from James Cameron’s Aliens, Jason X proves an entertaining entry in the Friday the 13th series, and is a good science fiction film in its own right.