Jason Voorhees, the hockey mask-wearing villain of the Friday the 13th horror franchise, is back for a 10th installment, but this time, his vendetta goes beyond Earth's atmosphere.
The year is 2455 and Earth has become a contaminated toxic wasteland called Old Earth. A group of student explorers from a new colony, Earth II, revisit the once-vibrant planet for an archeological trip and stumble onto the abandoned Crystal Lake Research Facility where mass serial killer Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) and a scientist have been cryogenically frozen since 2008. Elated at their discovery, the team takes the two bodies aboard their ship and blasts off, hoping to cash in on their new finds. But before Rowan (Lexa Doig)--the newly thawed scientist--can warn the group that Jason is a force not to be reckoned with, the frozen cryo-gel melts off him and he is soon roaming the ship with his trusty machete. What follows is an hour of head smashing, body impaling and limb cutting--basically Jason Voorhees at his best--except now he's been modified into a super-reinforced killing machine. Sure, there are some elements to the story that don't add up, like why a small little sleepy town like Crystal Lake would have such a huge research center, but let's face it: no one is going to see this story for its plausibility.
Fans of the sci-fi series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda will be familiar with at least two of Jason X's heroines, Lexa Doig and Lisa Ryder. The interesting thing is that in their jump from the TV to the big screen, their roles have reversed: Doig went from playing a hologram named Rommie to a flesh-and-blood human, while Ryder went from flaxen-haired human to tech-droid KAY-EM 14. Doig's performance, however, is rather rigid, and it didn't have anything to do with the fact that she has in cryogenic hibernation for more than 450 years. As an android, Ryder's performance is fitting enough, and her dialogue and body language make the part believable, if not a little corny. And what can you say about Kane Hodder? Although it wouldn't have been the same without the star of the last four Friday the 13th series, Hodder's performance is not that relevant, considering he never talks and remains hidden behind a hockey mask the whole time.
Equipped with a background in special effects, first-time director Jim Isaac doesn't skimp on the blood, gore and six million imaginative ways to die violently in outer space. Even though the film was set some 475 years after the happenings at Camp Crystal Lake and takes place in a completely different setting, Isaac remains true to all of Friday the 13th's tacky elements that have since become the series' trademark. The teens in Jason X are still constantly running around having sex--except they're doing it in a space ship rather than at summer camp--and they're still getting bludgeoned in the middle of it. For the most part, the film never takes itself too seriously, which saves it from being completely ludicrous. In one scene, for example, the students try to distract Jason by projecting a holographic image of Camp Crystal Lake, complete with two '80s-looking camp counselors in their panties drinking beer in their sleeping bags exclaiming, ''Hey Jason, want to have some premarital sex?'' And all this is set to the infamous ''Ch-ch-ch-ha-ha-ha.''
Die-hard fans of the Friday the 13th series will definitely be happy that their villainous horror icon is back and will probably forgive the film's pure lunacy. However those not so nostalgic for the '80s horror franchise will probably know not to pick this flick at the movies this weekend.