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Jason X (2002)
Director: Jim Isaac

review by Christopher Geary

The long running slasher movie series enters the realm of sci-fi for its tenth instalment, as Crystal Lake's indestructible madman, Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder), is awakened from cryogenic storage in the 25th century, only to find that his instinct for getting rid of horny teens is still required - especially in this Buck Rogers future where the poisoned Earth is uninhabitable, and capitalist scientists from orbital stations plunder the now dead world's history for items of commercial value.
   Opening in the near future, with Jason's attempted escape from an underground prison and research facility, the accidental freezing of lady scientist Rowan (Lexa Doig), and a brief cameo for David Cronenberg, Jason X sets the horror comedy tone for everything that follows. When cute Rowan is rescued from ruins by scavenging science students to be revived aboard a space station run by sleazy Professor Lowe (Jonathon Potts), she is concerned that a handful of laidback space marines are insufficient security measures to contain the long-dead corpse of Jason Voorhees. Somehow (just don't ask, okay?), the silent menace regenerates his frozen, half-rotted flesh and, with hockey mask in place, proceeds to chop up assorted dumb teens from the class of 2455.
   Jason also makes short work of the soldiers in monster hunting scenes obviously copied from Aliens, but finds himself matched for strength when the space lab's android (played with tongue-in-cheek enthusiasm by Lisa Ryder, formerly starship captain Beka in lacklustre TV space opera Andromeda) gets a commando babe upgrade, complete with new fetish gear. With her RoboCop style guns, and Matrix combat program, sexy Amazonian KAY-EM14 leaves Jason in pieces. However, the station is now badly damaged, the nanotech medical unit will treat even a killer's injuries, and the nearest rescue ship will probably arrive too late...
   If you don't mind the fact that its hokey plot is easily predictable and it blatantly rips off so many other earlier SF movies (in particular recombining Galaxina and Android, but also borrowing from the likes of Moontrap and Supernova), Jason X is good grisly fun. The cast do what's expected of them (scream, run, struggle, die), and there's chauvinistic pleasure to be found in Maxyne Baker's amusing costume designs for the numerous female victims. Jim Isaac's approach to the material is almost resolutely camp, but his direction of the stunts and special effects is nonetheless efficient (he's worked for Cronenberg on Naked Lunch, The Fly, and eXistenZ, and previously helmed undervalued shocker The Horror Show, aka: House III, 1989), and consistently entertaining, if largely unimaginative and entirely derivative.
Jason X

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