Dir. James Isaac (2001)
Jason Voorhees is cryogenically frozen and unthawed on a space ship four hundred years later. Hilarity ensues.
Goddamnit, Jason went to space.
For a franchise full of shark-jumping moments, it's the final frontier that really takes the cake. Jason is somehow captured in a government lab, where they are performing experiments on him to determine why he is unable to die. Naturally, he escapes, and the last survivor manages to trap him in cryogenic containment, freezing the two of them together until they are eventually unthawed (thawed? Unthawing something would actually mean freezing it again) by a group of scientists in the 25th century in order to wreak havoc on a spaceship traveling to a different planet. In a bold move for the series, the filmmakers decide to use the worst CGI ever recorded almost constantly as Jason begins to rip through a group of well-armed soldiers and a bunch of decidedly less well-armed scientists.
I really enjoyed certain parts of this movie. There are some decent kills, though much of the gore is computer generated as well, and it's genuinely funny through most of the runtime. It's self-aware to the highest order, seemingly very cognizant of the fact that it operates under an absolutely ridiculous premise. We've got a cameo from David Cronenberg, a nanobot-infused Uber Jason, computer-generated naked teens used to entice Jason away from the survivors... there's a lot of self-reflection here, and most of its appealing. It is, however, impossible to truly explain how terrible the CGI is, a constant barrage of digital space footage and VR monsters that the film could've used without.
It's actually impressive how fake looking the film is compared to a film like Alien, despite that movie coming out 22 years earlier. The interior of the ship looks cheap as hell, a cardboard castle that more closely resembles a laser tag arena than a space cruiser. The CGI looks like a bad Syfy Channel movie from the 90's. Jason X is a big dumb popcorn movie, which I suppose is all that it needs to be, but there was, once again, so much potential here that was squandered. As we close out our Friday the 13th coverage of the series, that's the theme that really seems to encompass the entire franchise: good opportunities wasted on bad ideas and even worse execution.
Uber Jason really is badass, though, and well worth the price of admission by himself.
Who this movie is for: Franchise movie lovers, Sci-fi action fans, Special effects people looking for what not to do
Bottom line: Absolutely chock-full of terrible CGI and some horrific acting, the last Friday film with Hodder behind the mask is nevertheless an action-filled film with some decent kills and a badass redesign for the legendary Voorhees. It's a serious upgrade from Jason Goes to Hell, but to say that's not an achievement would be a massive understatement. Uber Jason is probably the second best look of the entire series, however, and if you can look past all of the film's shortcomings, it's a fun watch that is a decent addition to a series that has some major stinkers.