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Janessa clung on to the grated floor aboard The Grendel with
all her might. The gaping hole on the spaceship was pulling everything out with
tremendous force. Alarms were going off and the air was thin, every muscle in
her body was pushed to its limits to just hold on…Tsunaron tried to save her
now…and how did she find herself in this situation? She was smart, sexy and
talented, she’d avoided being chopped up by that frozen bag of pus that came to
life on board the ship, and for what? To die like this? This was stupid! No!
No! It can’t end like this…Hold on a little longer… Her ears started to bleed
from the pressure and she felt herself falling free.
“This sucks on so many levels!”
Her tight little body was crushed through the narrow opening
with such a force that her consciousness ended in an instant. Ejected into the
vacuum of space, like so much garbage, was the pink and red pulp that had once
The opening credits for JASON X (see previous Unlucky Days
entry here for the beginning of our JASON X discussion) ran over a montage of scientific
tests being performed on Jason himself, bound in chains. JASON X starts with no
exposition on how the Sultan of Slaughter escaped hell or was captured. The
only concession to THE FINAL FRIDAY was the brief reflection of flames in
Jason’s one good eye. Could that be memories of the flames of hell?
The year is 2008, and Jason is being kept under observation
at the Crystal Lake Scientific Research Facility. So the sleepy little town
that became famous for a killer has become the home to a government funded
research center? After numerous attempts to execute him failed, Jason is being
studied to determine what gives him his remarkable healing and regenerative
Jason himself has not looked this “alive” since before his
“death.” Gone is the bulbous, lumpy head of THE FINAL FRIDAY, and his skin has
an almost yellowish flesh tone to it and no exposed bone. The ax scar is still
there and he still has only one good eye (I like that consistency). The most
amazing thing about Jason’s new appearance is his hair. Not just a few strands
like in JASON GOES TO HELL, but fairly evenly distributed hair.
We are introduced to Rowan, the beautiful female research
scientist who insists that the only way to deal with Jason Voorhees is to
cryogenically freeze him until a way to finally destroy him can be discovered.
The head of the research facility, Dr. Wimmer (genre director David
Cronenberg), insists that Jason be transported to a military installation where
he can be further studied.
Naturally, Rowan is correct and Jason escapes from his bonds
and begins a slaughter spree of the installation’s soldiers and Dr. Wimmer.
Rowan leads the rampaging Jason to the Cryo-chamber to trap him for freezing.
Jason strikes one last time, breeching the freezing chamber, stabbing Rowan
with his machete and sending the entire facility into lockdown. Both Rowan AND
Jason are frozen for the long haul.
It all seemed very Captain America and Red Skull to me.
Our main story is set in the year 2455, when a group of
student scientists led by their teacher, Professor Lowe, exploring “Old Earth”
find the frozen bodies of Jason and Rowan. Right away the exploration goes
bad…in a freak accident, Jason’s frozen body falls forward and the machete he’s
holding slices the arm off of one of the students!! The android female that accompanies the group (Kay-Em 14)
determines that Rowan is still alive. She also makes a rather humorous
summation of the violent game of hockey based on the strange mask the big one
Both Rowan and Jason are taken back aboard the spacecraft The
Grendel for transport back to the Solaris Space Station and then Earth 2. The
amputee victim (Dylan Bierk) is made whole again by the amazing nanomites in
Lab 2 and the same technology is used to revive Rowan. Naturally, she’s stunned
to learn that it is now 2455, but the main question that she keeps asking is,
”Where’s Jason?” Meanwhile, Professor Lowe discovers just who the masked body
really is and realizes what a fortune he could make by selling the body of Old
Earth’s most notorious serial killer. Ah, greed… Nice to know that in 2455, it
Jason begins to thaw (as we knew he would) and kicks off his
slaughter spree once again with the brutal death of a young scientist named
Adrienne. Jason slams her face into a vat of liquid nitrogen, freezing it
solid, and then shatters it against the counter top. OUCH! The Sultan of
Slaughter was back!
The movie enters into VERY familiar territory with Jason
stalking victims throughout the ship. Even when the military team commanded by
the brave Sgt. Brodski takes up weapons and fight back, Jason makes short work
of them. The violence in the film (thanks to CGI) is done in spectacular ways.
Victims are impaled on giant screws, cut in half, gutted and crushed. There are
also a few classics like the throat slit and the head crush. Todd Farmer, the
screenwriter, cameos as the character whose head is smashed by Jason.
The Grendel reaches its destination, the Solaris Space
Station, but Jason causes the ship to fly into the station, destroying it. Up
until this point, a highly respectable body count of 17 was maintained, but
with the explosion of the Solaris, THOUSANDS are killed. Jason’s body count has
The remaining students are huddled in the main lab and Jason
attacks again, killing Professor Lowe. All seems hopeless until the female
android Kay-Em appears with a new battle program. She attacks Jason with
incredible ferocity, pumping his body full of bullets and blowing off his arm,
his leg and finally, reduces his head into pulp!!! Jason is spectacularly
destroyed! Of course, we all knew what is coming next…
As the survivors make contact with a rescue ship, Jason’s
remains are foolishly left in lab 2, and the nanomites go to work. Fabricating
a new metallic body for the missing pieces and reforming him into the new Jason
for the 25th century, Uber-Jason!!! Wisely, the designers of the Uber-Jason
didn’t change him so much that he was unrecognizable. The mask was still there
but silver, and he was bald once again. The body was mostly metallic, with
flesh and bone melded within. Jason must have felt better than he did in years.
With both his eyes intact once again and blazing red, the new upgraded Sultan
of Slaughter heads back to work.
Key-Em goes toe to toe with Jason again, but the outcome
this time is decidedly different. Jason punches her head clean off. Being an
android, Key-Em doesn’t die of course, but the only remaining student survivor,
her creator and love interest Tsunaron, carries around her noggin.
Rowan, Tsunaron and Key-Em (her head at any rate) attempt to
escape in the Grendel’s evacuation pod, but it needs repairs. Sgt. Brodski
(believed dead) returns and volunteers to don a space suit and repair the pod
from outside the ship. Uber-Jason is advancing and there is no stopping him.
Their only hope is to distract him.
What follows is one of most hilarious moments in all of the
FRIDAY THE 13TH films. Using a hologram program, they place Uber-Jason back
into Camp Crystal Lake circa 1980. The metallic, futuristic Uber-Jason suddenly
finds himself in a very familiar setting with trees, music, wind and familiar
Harry Manfredini music. It’s magic.
Uber-Jason pauses ever so briefly, but then continues onward
so a further distraction is needed. Suddenly two beautiful female camp
counselors are generated and say together in robotic singsong:
“We love to drink beer, smoke pot and have premarital sex!”
Then the counselors strip off their tops and climb into
sleeping bags giggling. This was too much! Uber-Jason immediately goes after
them…some temptations are too hard to resist. Jason picks up the sleeping bags
and bashes them together over and over then slams one against a holographic
tree. It is a classic moment.
The repair is completed and the survivors prepare to eject
to Earth 2. Uber-Jason attacks again, and Sgt. Brodski sacrifices himself by
holding on to him and launching them both into space. The result is a fireball
entering Earth 2’s atmosphere. The fireball lands in a lake of a summer camp on
JASON X had unspooled and my brother and I sat in the back
of the truck, stuffed with fried chicken and with big stupid grins on our
faces. That was so much fun! The film did not take itself seriously and that
was the only way it worked. Maybe it was the environment of the drive-in, but
JASON X was everything I hoped it would be. The entire cast of “scientists”
were hot young sexy model-types wearing lots of revealing belly shirts, the Grunts
were very reminiscent of ALIENS, and the hologram scene was just film-stopping
funny. In essence it was everything a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie should be. There
was nudity, blood, gore and a silly plot.
I was talking about the film for days after. Jason had been
revived once again! At the drive-in that night, I saw teenagers watching JASON
X, and kids not much older than I was when I first saw Mrs. Voorhees do her
thing in the original. Now Jason was being introduced to a new generation who
had only seen him on video. The one element that made me sad was Jason’s new
look. It was cool, but I was really going to miss classic Jason.
Wait a moment, what’s that sound? Scraping along a
pipe…sounds like…the fires of an ancient boiler room springing to life…and a wicked
Could it be?
TO BE CONTINUED
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