The Rube’s Review: Jason X (2002)
So after Jason Goes to Hell, why make another sequel before the “grand finale” that would be Freddy vs. Jason? Well, there were a lot of reasons why this film exists…
At the time, Wes Craven (who was rumored to be retired from directing) was still in negotiations with New Line to make one more “new” Nightmare film. Even though New Line held the rights to both horror icons, Freddy was still their box office gem and demanded more attention than Jason (due to it’s previous flop, Jason Goes to Hell). So, in the meantime, New Line put a pin in Freddy vs. Jason until they could work with Wes Craven to reinvent their previous money-making icon for a current audience. New Line had already spent $6 million on 18 unused scripts for the project and because of lack of support, budget cuts, and overall company restructuring, chances were becoming slim that we would ever see the clash of these titans on the big screen.
While that “nightmare” was going on, Sean S. Cunningham (producer/director of F13th Part 1 and Part 9) convinced New Line that they should revive the F13th franchise one more time with a more futuristic setting… WHY?! Well, it’s simple… kids like future stuff (laser guns go *PEW!*PEW!*) and it won’t upset the current timeline needed for a Freddy vs Jason script. Cunningham got the greenlight from New Line and with a whopping budget of $14 million dollars, Jason X was born.
Instead of doing the whole walkthrough, which I’ve done in my previous Friday the 13th reviews, I’ll just give a brief Rube’s Review summary because, well, I think this film is actually pretty damn good and I really don’t want to ruin it (too much) for the first time viewer. The only reason why I gave you guys the whole play by play of the previous movies was because I assume that you have either seen them by now or just wanted The Rube to fill you in so as not to waste your time by watching the shitty ones.
Jason in space… really, what else is there to say but AWESOME! This tale opens in the near future of 2010 at Crystal Lake Research Facility where the government isn’t fucking around anymore. Finally, after 200+ killings, they have the masked juggernaut sedated, under lock and key plus 24 hr surveillance. After two years of countless attempts of to knock Jason off (including death by FILL IN THE BLANK), Dr. Rowan LaFontaine get’s her paperwork in order to have this “prisoner of the state” put into indefinite cryogenic status. As Jason is being prepared for the big sleep, Uncle Sam decides to send in a transfer team lead by Dr. Wimmer (played by David Cronenberg) to ship the big boy to a more secure facility, reasoning that his spontaneous regenerative capability requires more scientific study.
After a heated argument about jurisdiction, Sgt. Marcus and his men take over only to be choked, stabbed, and skewered by everyone’s favorite goalie. A cat and mouse chase with Rowen begins, but not without a plan. Rowen successfully lures Jason (with machete – where the fuck did he get that?) into the cryogenic status chamber, but sustains a brutal injury in the process. Due to the attack, the facility goes into lockdown mode and the “beauty” is now destined to slumber with her “beast” for all eternity… well, until a stupid stoner from a 25th century class trip opens the door and get his arm accidentally (no, really, I swear on a stack of bibles) machete’d in the process.
Turns out that in the year 2455 Mother Earth is now a barren desert shithole incapable of sustaining life. While on a college field trip, Archaeology Professor Lowe and his students randomly find the frozen duo (Jason and Rowen), who they both take back to their “Magic Schoolbus” to meet with their mothership. After reviving Dr. Rowen and putting her mind at ease that there’s no fear of the “other specimen” getting up anytime soon… well, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out what comes next. Before you can say HOLY POPSICLE BATMAN!, Jason is back doing what he does best, murdering the shit out of teens and marines… IN SPACE!
Even though this feature is Rated-R, it still feels like you’re watching a teenage romp fresh from Canadian television. The killings are too clean and aren’t really as brutal enough compared to Jason’s other big screen outings. Also, nudity isn’t always required, but there’s just too much sexual innuendo and half shirts in this movie for the common Joe. Not showing any no-no parts is just a cocktease and a total letdown. Did New Line forget what type of audience goes to see these movies: ravenous horror fans and hormone-ridden adolescent boys, duh! With very little gore or naughty bits, it’s no wonder that this chapter barely made a $2 million. Thank God it made it’s money back with $12.6 million in VHS/DVD sales.
But, after The Rube’s bitching of what could be considered as tame as an episode Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s still a fun film that has a lot of action, suspense, and comedy. Not a true splatterfest, the story is well written (yeah, even for a Jason movie) and makes as much sense as a Jason movie needs to be without going all Part 8/9 on us with bullshit legends and such. Trust me, there’s no slow parts and it’s definitely worth owning on DVD.
Other than horror favorites David Cronenberg, Robert Silverman, and Boyd Banks most of the cast went into television obscurity. Lexa Doig (Rowen) went on to numerous Sci-Fi Television series such as V (2010), Stargate, Andromeda, and Continuum. Peter Mensah (Sgt. Brodski) is doing double series duty on True Blood and Spartacus.
If you find a frozen giant with his machete-gripped hand in attack position, maybe you should leave it alone.
Don’t leave the most important job to the most emotionally unstable person (especially a crying teenage girl) in your group.
Space Station go Ka-BOOM!
Jason Vs. Robobabe
Holographic Valley Girls
“Guys, it’s ok… all he wanted was his machete back!”
“Hey Slappy! Got a little some’n for ya!”
“Whats a bike?”
“Hey do you wanna a beer? or you wanna smoke some pot?…”
“This sucks on so many levels!”
Jason X took 2 months to film, cost more than any (past) F13 film, and was the least profitable film of the series (The Rube blames Spider-Man)… but still is considered a fan favorite.
25 confirmed kills, 2 female holograms and 100+ if you count a space station.