Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Jason in Space 

You'll bust at the comic, cosmic carnage of Jason X.

From the get-go, there has been an appealing pugnacity to the Friday the 13th horror movies. Sure, this enduring franchise was launched in 1980 as a marginally clever knockoff of Halloween and Black Christmas, but in the annals of American pop cinema, the sequels revealed a devil-may-care brattiness all their own. Narratively nonsensical, obscenely violent, and splattered with lethal dialogue, these nasty nuggets consistently flipped the ever-lovin' bird to critics and such lofty folk. In turn, the great unwashed hastened to witness the ultraviolent, hockey-masked Jason Voorhees butchering his victims.

We're fortunate in many ways, because in the nine years since the last installment (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday -- as if!), producer Sean S. Cunningham (director of the first one) has teamed up with his crackerjack development team at Crystal Lake Entertainment to rethink the whole dipstick mythology he created with screenwriter Victor Miller over two decades ago. The result is Jason X, a happily self-aware body-count flick that's as brutally funny as it is plain-old brutal.

Screenwriter Todd Farmer clearly understands that when people go to hell, they come back transformed, and so it goes with Jason (played for the fourth disturbing time by Kane Hodder). Things start off obvious enough in the year 2010, as Jason's original stalking ground has become the Crystal Lake Research Facility. Naturally, within the requisite dark halls of the industrial complex, the big, ever-rejuvenating galoot is the research. Although he's chained and restrained, it's only moments before he dispenses with a control-freak doctor and carnage ensues. The only survivor is a spunky lab tech called Rowan (Lexa Doig), who manages to lock the unstoppable killing machine in a carbon-freeze chamber, but not without being mortally wounded and frozen herself.

In a fun and functional combination of invention and genre thievery, the story lurches forward to the year 2455. Of course, four and a half centuries of SUVs have rendered the planet a toxic, uninhabitable craphole, now called Old Earth. Under the guidance of a lecherous archaeology professor, a rag-tag group of flippant, horny students land there in a very cool-looking spaceship and discover -- dum-dum-dumb -- the meat locker. ("It's like a big, kinda frozen storage thing!" announces one valedictorian.)

There's no mystery to the rest of the movie, but director Jim Isaac makes this the most audience-friendly and visually generous chapter in the series. The sets and costumes sometimes look cheesy, but with tongue firmly gouged through cheek, Isaac uses everything at his disposal to deliver comic book kicks. Jason is revived and does his stalking and slaughtering thing, and then, thanks to an incredibly silly coincidence, he is destroyed and rebuilt as -- wait for it -- Uber-Jason. Loads of people die horribly but amusingly as Jason discovers the wonders of liquid-nitro facial peels and hot-wired circuit boards, and Isaac cheerfully crafts the best B movie since Virus.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Screens

More by Gregory Weinkauf

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Casablanca 80th Anniversary Presented By TCM (Film)

    • Wed., Jan. 26
  • 19th Annual Standing Rock International Shorts Festival @ The Kent Stage

    • Sat., March 5
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Cedar Lee Theatre

    • First Saturday of every month

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation