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Jason X
2002 - - 93 Mins.
Director: James Isaac
Producer: Noel Cunningham, James Isaac
Written By: Todd Farmer
Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Chuck Campbell, Jonathan Potts
Review by: James O'Ehley
   
“Jason X” is Friday the 13th Part 10.

That’s right. That is the slasher movie series where the guy in the hockey mask kills off the teenagers one by one. The serial killer in question’s name is Jason, and after he has been killing off teenagers at a deserted camp site in nine movies for over two decades or so, the producers decided that it was time for something different. So this time around, Jason will be killing off teenagers in outer space instead.

Actually, having Jason kill off teenagers in space was a good decision. This “Friday the 13th” pokes fun at its own genre conventions and is probably the best of all the numerous installments.

The original films were cheap and nasty, a bit like a venereal disease I suppose. For some reason, I have seen the first three movies (yes, I know, I have a boundless capacity for self-torture). No, I don’t why I watched them. If you have seen all of them, some psychiatric help might be in order.

With the unexpected recent monetary success of two 1980s horror franchises to be revived (namely “Bride of Chucky” and “Halloween: Resurrection”), it was probably no doubt decided to give the granddaddy of them all a shot again. Whether “Jason X” is as successful as the two movies I have mentioned is debatable. The truth is, however, that while it may not sound like it, “Jason X” is a whole lot better than it has any right being.

A bit like Buck Rogers, Jason is revived in the far future after being cryogenically frozen for several hundred years. True to form, he starts killing off the teenagers manning the space ship he is on immediately.

It may be “Alien” rehashed with bits from “Terminator”, “Aliens” and “The Matrix” thrown in, but folks! This is a franchise that has been around for some twenty years and 200-plus dead teenagers! Were you really expecting any origionality here? Yes, the acting is bad and the special effects are cheap and achingly obvious, but what the movie offers, it delivers: teenagers being killed off in inventive and gruesome ways.

Now, I have always thought that teenagers like seeing other teenagers being killed in movies like this, but the truth is that they like seeing good-looking teenagers getting killed (there's something very unsocial about that). So roll on the body and breast count. Add to this some unexpected tongue-in-cheek humor (after all, how can anyone take this serious anymore?) and you have an unexpectedly fun time in front of the TV.

Much better than I thought it would be.

Regarding the Region 2 DVD:

The features are surprisingly quite good for such an el cheapo movie. My favorite is a documentary titled “The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees”. It clocks in at almost a half-an-hour and is like attending a geek convention of some sort. Lots of “internet critics” getting their fifteen minutes here.

The widescreen anamorphic transfer is flawless and so is the Harry Manfredini score. Manfredini apparently did the music for all the “Friday the 13th” movies through the years. How's that for guaranteed lifetime employment!
 
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

 
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