Friday the 13th: The Complete CollectionJason X Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Directed by James Isaac
Written by Todd Farmer
2002, Region A, 93 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on September 13th, 2013

Starring:
Kane Hodder as Jason
Lexa Doig as Rowan
Chuck Campbell as Tsunaron
Peter Mensah as Sgt. Brodski
Melyssa Ade as Janessa
Melody Johnson as Kinsa
Jonathan Potts as Professor Lowe
Lisa Ryder as Kay-Em 14
Dov Tiefenbach as Azrael
Kristi Angus as Adrienne
Todd Farmer as Dallas
David Cronenberg as Dr. Wimmer

 

Review:

In the not too distant future, Jason has been apprehended and is being prepped for cryogenic stasis at the Crystal Lake Research Facility. A last minute attempt to interfere with this process results in several deaths and a breach in the freezing system that locks down the chamber. There are apparently no other employees and nobody bothers to look for the missing staff for the next four centuries until a team of science students discover the building while on assignment. Inside they find the frozen remains of Jason Voorhees and a woman who was trapped in the room while keeping him from escaping. The kids decide to bring both specimens back to their spaceship for further study.

It is quickly discovered that the woman, Rowan, can be revived using modern technology. Upon awakening she warns the group about the maniac they have brought aboard, but they ignore her pleas and resume their usual activities of research, holographic video gaming and good old fashioned sexual escapades. The latter activities awaken Jason and soon he is up to his old habits and facing off against both horny teens and heavily armed soldiers. Neither is a match for Jason, but there is someone else on board who might prove to be a worthy opponent.

 

Jason X was shot in 1999 (but not released until 2002) with the intention of keeping interest in the character alive long enough to sort through the assorted legal and creative tangles blocking the path to Freddy vs. Jason. The franchise had long grown cold since New Line Cinemas had done nothing with the series after sending Jason to Hell six years earlier. Determined to revive the franchise he started, executive producer Sean S. Cunningham listened to countless ideas for what direction to take their cash cow and ultimately decided on the high-concept idea of "Jason in Space". Several other franchises had taken their jump into orbit, including Hellraiser, Leprechaun and James Bond (Moonraker).

Screenwriter Todd Farmer (My Bloody Valentine 3D) delivers a fast-moving, action-filled script loaded with nods to everything from Beowulf to Alien and mixes in a dose of video game sensibility for good measure. By setting the tale so far into the future, the filmmakers were able to milk the concept for all it was worth and hopefully spring a pair of third act surprises that would leave audiences more satisfied than the previous two installments combined. Director James Isaac (The Horror Show) handles the material well and successfully brings back some of the comedic elements from Jason Lives. His ace-in-the-hole, however, was bringing back fan favorite Kane Hodder in the role of Jason Voorhees. The rest of the project relied on familiar scenarios and a generous use of computer generated images.

Critics were less than kind to Jason X when it was finally released after two years of studio delays. There may have been too much time since Jason Goes to Hell (1993) or perhaps it was just a case of franchise fatigue because audiences stayed away from what was Friday the 13th Part 10. This film is really no more guilty of beating a dead horse than the previous three installments, which were obvious cash grabs. 'Jason in space' really is the best way to describe this picture since nobody is going to confuse it with Lawrence of Arabia.

 

Reflections from Behind the Mask (may contain spoilers):

Over the course of ten films, Jason is stopped cold in a variety of ways, starting with a basic drowning. In the sequels he is stabbed, shot, set on fire and blown to pieces, but he keeps coming back. Jason is usually only slowed down, but his heart keeps beating. He has suffered his worst defeats at the hands of a twelve-year old boy, a bunch of emotionally fragile women, a SWAT team and a sexy robot lady.

Jason wipes out a military team and causes a cryogenic leak in the facility, so why does nobody come to investigate either development in the four centuries before the students find Jason and Rowan?

Hundreds or possibly thousands of people are killed when the space station Solaris explodes following our heroes' failed docking attempt. Nobody comments on this idea, but everyone reacts to the sound of the explosion – in space.

It would have been a nice surprise to keep the reveal of Über-Jason a secret, but instead the new design is featured prominently in both the trailer and poster art.

The holo-deck recreation of Camp Crystal Lake 1980 is the highlight of the film and should have come earlier in the story and lasted much longer on screen. The idea is brilliant and could have been expanded to include characters essentially playing hide-and-seek with Jason.

When a character about to be forced into space screams "This sucks on so many levels!" and another observes that several bad ideas in history have been as a result of greed, several catty critics praised the filmmakers for being so self-aware.

 

Video, Audio and Special Features:

Video, audio and special features for this collection will be discussed on the final page of this review.

 

Grades:

Movie: Grade Cover
Video: Grade
Audio: Grade
Features: Grade
Overall: Grade

Which Friday next?

 

 

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