In Defence of…Jason X!


Paul Downey

So whilst sifting through my expansive DVD collection (more vids than friends I hear you say), I stumbled upon one of my fondest purchases, Jason X.

I can still vividly recall the day I purchased it for the paltry (pre-recession) sum of £5.99 from the now-defunct MusicZone. At that point, I had the majority of the Friday the 13th films, and being quite collectivist I decided to complete my collection. I had previously seen the film at a friend’s house on a drunken Saturday night and found it amusing, gory and strangely entertaining.

The reasons behind the creation of the film are freely admitted by producer Sean Cunningham in the aftermath; basically, they needed to test Jason’s marketability to a post Millenium audience in preparation for Freddy vs Jason, which was to follow a couple of years later.

It was a bold move, and one of the big no-no’s of the horror (especially slasher genre); don’t put your villain in space. But of the slasher villains such as Michael Myers (Halloween), Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street) Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), it made so much more sense putting Senor Voorhees in the big black.

Positives from the film – some cracking one-liners, some genuinely gory deaths (frozen head smash anyone?) and a much-needed makeover for Jason.

I for one actually really enjoyed the (patchy) evolution into Uber Jason; I’m sure one of the rules of space movies is you make your own rules.

Plus the best kind of slasher movies, are those that don’t take themselves too seriously. The Scream series set the bar for the self-referential horror film, basically, you are allowed to play it a little tongue in cheek; something that Jason X succeeds with, with flying colors.

Plus as a fan, I have a lot to thank Jason X for, as it prolonged the series for Freddy Vs Jason, and whilst a sequel to that never materialized it did pave the way for the very decent remake in 2009. Also, it was the final time Kane Hodder donned the infamous hockey mask, and although I enjoyed Derek Mears’ take on the character in the remake, Hodder is still the fan’s number one overall I’d say.

So nostalgia aside I have dusted it off now, so I might as well put on, right?

Happy Friday the 13th!


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