Saturday, December 11, 2010

Underrated Movies: Jason X

Naturally, as all those of you who follow Feng Shui know, this is the story of renegade Buro supersoldier Jason X and his struggles to overthrow the tyrannical government of 2056. They took a few liberties with the source material, but--

No. Wait. This was the movie that actually got parodied before it got made, on MAD TV. The concept of "Jason In Space" was so inherently silly that most fans didn't even watch it. The few that did, though, got a surprisingly sly and silly horror comedy that gleefully sends up the tropes of the science-fiction genre by sending them up against Jason, one by one.

For those of you who haven't seen it, the basic premise is as follows: Having gotten thoroughly sick of trying to shoot, stab, incinerate, detonate, and strangle Jason Voorhees, the government decides to freeze him until someone can figure out why he's so damned unkillable and finish him off. Due to a wacky accident in the cryogenics process, a top expert on Jason's mutant physiology got frozen along with him. (And let me say that I just love this straight-forward, common-sense extrapolation of what we've seen in all the previous movies. Oh, and David Cronenberg makes a cameo in the beginning.)

Fast forward a few hundred years, and a group of Archaeology students are taking a field trip to the ruined world known as Earth. They find Jason and the expert, take them on board, and revive her...little knowing that Jason is pretty self-reviving. Just as soon as two teenagers start having sex, he's off and running!

What follows is a hilarious sci-fi slasher mash-up. We get holodecks, Space Marines, sexy lady androids (the sexy lady android gets all the best lines and the second-best moment in the film) and basically every sci-fi cliche, all of whom get hacked, beaten, and in one spectacular scene, frozen solid in liquid nitrogen and shattered. And speaking of holodecks, the holodeck does provide the single best moment not just in this movie, but the entire Friday the 13th series. There are times when you're not sure that you're supposed to be laughing at what you see on the screen--the film boldly straddles the line between "camp" and "so-bad-it's-good"--but you will have fun the whole time.

Given that it has a Rotten Tomato rating of 21%, I'd say it definitely qualifies as "under-rated".


Kal said...

I actually enjoyed this movie. It's like they finally got him cleaned up and gave him a sleek new combat look that actually would make it an honor to be killed by this super soldier. And it had a lot of Canadian actors. I dug it.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

When I saw this in the theater, my friends and I were the only ones laughing at the great holo-deck sequence. Definitely an underrated film, and one that I bought as soon as it came out on DVD.

Voodoo Ben said...

I love the hell out of this film. Good to know I'm not hte only one who gets a kick out of it.

Fred said...

Probably not a great film, but definitely underrated.

Grazzt said...

I didn't think most of the film was all that good, but you are right about one thing: the holodeck sequence was brilliant, and possibly the best moment in the series. I'm laughing just remembering it.