Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!
Jason X (2001)
Worst episode EVER! - Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons
Production of the tenth (!!!) installment in the indefatigable Friday the 13th series wrapped in my hometown of Toronto late in the summer of 2000. The film was to be released a couple of months later for Halloween, then bumped to March 2001, then summer, then Halloween, then Spring 2002... Is it just me, or does this suggest to you that maybe - just maybe - the producers are in a serious panic, desperately re-shooting or re-editing in vain before admitting defeat? Even if you haven't seen the unmitigated disaster that is Jason X, the multiple postponements of its release should help you do the math.
Don't get me wrong - I'm actually something of a Friday the 13th apologist. Sure, these films are about as predictable as Liz Taylor's next failed marriage, but there's a certain tacky charm to them that almost always wins me over (exceptions being the anemic Part 7 and the abominable Part 8). After all, junk food is comfort food. Unlike a lot of fans I actually quite enjoyed 1993's Jason Goes to Hell, and Aaron Edgell's recent review of it reminded me of exactly why: the plot may have been a pretty radical departure, but it succeeded in breathing new life into a very tired concept without completely abandoning any of the template's important components, i.e. ridiculously elaborate and gory murders interspersed with sporadic nudity. How unfortunate, then, that the same approach backfired so miserably when the people behind Jason X let their ambition get the better of them.
Jason in space, 400 years in the future? Yep, it's a pretty stupid concept that gets worse after the opening credits and continues to plummet down the s**thouse hole for the next ninety-odd minutes. I'll not waste time on minutiae here: Jason's cryogenically-frozen ass gets thawed out by some space dweebs, then he runs around killing them, then he accidentally gets a cyber-makeover as Uber-Jason and kills a few more of them. As bad as this may sound, it's actually worse when you're watching it. If the dreaded Jason Vs. Freddy ever sees the light of day, it'll have at least one thing in its favour: no matter how bad it is, the odds are against it sucking quite as badly as Jason X.
I know better than to expect too much from these movies. The Friday the 13th films - or pretty much any slasher films, for that matter - are usually nothing but very pale imitations of Halloween and/or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. And I'm okay with that. Give me my gore, give me my skinny-dipping teenage girls and I'll go away happy. But it takes a special brand of all-encompassing incompetence to leave me as dumbfounded as I am by the peerless ineptitude of Jason X. In space, no one can hear you suck.
The character of Adrienne is named after Adrienne King, the star of the original film.
Homages (to the point of out-and-out copying) Alien.
Gaming fans will recognized the BFG (Big F**king Gun), as coming from id Software's Doom and Quake II.