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The 100




Jason X
(2001)
Reviewed by Steve Crow
Rating: 7 Beans

ason X starts with Rowan (Lexa Doig - the TV series Andromeda), a nervous scientist who is about ready to have her pet project, the indestructible Jason Voorhees, taken away from her by a snarky government type (director David Cronenberg, slumming in fine style). Rather than dissolve him with acid, incinerate him to ash, or cut him in a thousand pieces, they have him hung up in a big damp basement somewhere. He escapes, kills everyone, and chases Rowan into a cyrogenic chamber where they are both frozen...

...until 400 or so years later, when a team of students on an outing to the remains of Earth find them and revive them. Rowan is relatively coherent, but the greedy head scientist leading the students has an in with...somebody and plans to sell Jason's body. Things go amiss when Jason decides he has other plans and proceeds to wipe out everyone aboard the spaceship.

And...that's basically it. People die. Lots of people die. There are a few "cute" killings (if you like that kind of thing), but usually Jason just chops and crushes his way through the cast. Oddly, this time around we get quippy one-liners from the victims, or people witnessing other people getting killed. Jason himself (Kane Hodder - Friday the 13th movies VII - IX) shambles along without much personality. He does get a nanite upgrade in the last few minutes of the flick, but other then give him a slickly metallic look and make him even more indestructible, doesn't really add much to the proceedings.

If you saw the humorous scenes in the commercials, well...you'll see them eventually, but you have to wait until the last third of the movie for the comedic ball to get rolling. Which is part of the problem with the film. Writer Todd Farmer (absolutely nothing else) doesn't seem to know if he's producing a serious entry into the Friday the 13th series or a parody of that series. The film transplants the cliches of the first nine movies into the first half of the flick. There are skimpily-clad incredibly beautiful women, a doofus guy, and a scheming older professor/teacher type. Transplanted onto _that_ are a bunch of Marine types "borrowed" (as writer Farmer even admits in various interviews, and the fact he names his own on-screen character "Dallas" after Tom Skerritt's character in the first Alien movie) from the second Alien movie. We also get a "human" type android, the Kay-Em 14, played by Lisa Ryder (also of Andromeda).

The android is actually the funniest part of the movie, and leads to the movie's longest extended laughs. Upgraded from a scientific model by her programmer/boyfriend, Kay-Em dons a leather dominatrix outfit (do they keep those in ship's stores?), grabs all the guns that the Marines seem to have forgotten to carry with them before they got slaughtered, and takes out Jason pretty much single-handedly. This gives Lisa Ryder a chance to pretty much outact anybody else in the cast, including her Andromeda co-star.

The only other vaguely interesting character in the cast is Sergeant Brodski (Peter Mensah - Bruiser), a veteran Marine who manages to survive one of Jason's attacks (while quipping about it!), gets healed with nanite technology, and then manages to get killed _again_ in fine heroic style.

In any case, the android destroys Jason and the movie finally seems to find it's sense of humor a bit. This leads to the last sequence where the survivors use what is basically a holodeck to distract the upgraded Jason by projecting a stereotypical serial-killer-style summer camp. Unfortunately, this sequence is a bit shorter than it should be, since it's tossed in on top of a "countdown to disaster"-style emergency that will destroy their spaceship.

The only other funny part is the final scene, which is a neat "what comes around goes around" kinda moment. Overall, though, these three comedic bits and a few one-liners scattered throughout really don't make this movie any more entertaining than the previous efforts.

Nor does Jason X really seem to set up a franchise or future sequels. Presumably the "Freddy vs. Jason" match-up (_whenever_ we get that!) will be set in the past anyway, before Jason went into cyrogenic suspension, so nothing that occurs in this movie will have much effect anyway. So in a sense Jason X really seems to write finis to the series - Jason probably won't live again except as a supporting character with Freddy. Watch it for the few brief moments of humor and parody, but basically you'll probably be disappointed if you're expecting either a horror or comedic masterpiece.






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