Monday, November 21, 2016

Jason Fights Some Space Marines And Future Rave Teens, or Thoughts On Jason X

If you've ever watched a random episode of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Farscape or Battlestar Galactica and thought what this show needs is more un-killable serial killers and slasher violence, then Jason X (2001) is the movie for you.  There’s a tacit assumption on the audience’s part that people are better in the future, somehow different, or at the very least smarter, so it's inherently disconcerting and irritating to see 90s teens in space.  I think that’s the problem everyone had with young Wesley Crusher.  And make no mistake, although this movie was released in 2001 the costumes, art direction and especially CGI is very late ‘90s.
Jason Voorhees has come a long way since his first appearance rising out of Crystal Lake in a dream sequence in Friday the 13th (1980, with Kevin Bacon), and now finds himself at the Crystal Lake Research Facility, where much like Woody Allen in Sleeper (1973) he gets frozen in time so the franchise can conveniently reboot as a sci-fi horror movie.  Cryogenics are the ultimate pause button and make sense to an audience in the same crazy way that time travel makes sense.  It’s easy to suspend disbelief and once we’re on board so Jason get onto the business of murdering teens in space.
Stuntman and horror icon Kane Hodder returns to his most famous role, though ironically he came to the franchise relatively late in 1988 with Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.  There’s also a glorious cameo from David Cronenberg as Dr. Wimmer, a bureaucrat at the Crystal Lake Research Facility who is quickly impaled by some rebar.  From director James Isaac of Skinwalkers (2006), watch out for Peter Mensah Onemaus from Spartacus (Doctore!) as Sergeant Brodski, one of those space marines, Lexa Doig from Andromeda and currently Talia al Ghul on Arrow as Rowan LaFontaine and Lisa Ryder, Beka Valentine from Andromeda as KM-14, a sexy robot (of course there’s a sexy robot).
I’ve always considered Jason Voorhees to be a meaner, more violent Michael Meyers, however the really ironic twist is that Jason X actually works; it succeeds as a sci-fi horror comedy.  The supernatural element thrown out in the first five minutes with quick exposition when DavidCronenberg explains Jason’s “almost instantaneous healing ability”, and with that gone the audience and the movie can commit to the sci-fi premise and move forward.  With high production values (although that 90’s CGI is one step above traditional animation) and more space marines (there's always space marines) the movie is a surprising mashup of Aliens (1986), Starship Troopers (1997) and the Friday the 13th series.  One thing you can always rely on, no matter what time period he finds himself in, Jason will always have a violent reaction to teen sexy-time, and sometimes that’s all we need in a movie.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).