Jason X (2001)

(In theaters, June 2002) After two years on the shelves, the latest installment of the Friday The 13th series is finally unleashed in theaters, with a title change and what I guess is an attitude change. After years of derivative knocks-offs, Jason X offers something (slightly) new; a rampaging serial killer… in spaaace! Well, okay, it’s not new after Hellraiser: Bloodline and Leprechaun 4: In Space, but it’s certainly a step more original than anything the series has had to offer before. Alas, the irritating porn-like slasher film structure is still left untouched. But the film exhibits an amusing self-awareness (“Do you want to have pre-marital sex? We love pre-marital sex!”) and even (gasp) some degree of SF literacy (take your pick; cryogenic death, nanotechnology or a funny riff on the whole Alien/Terminator concept). For us guys, it’s a shame that three of the lead actresses look alike and that, alas, the nudity is limited to a few all-too-brief seconds. Even though I generally loathe that type of horror film, I found a few things to like in Jason X, enough to generally enjoy myself for the duration of the film. It’s no classic, but it may be worth a look.

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