dir. James Isaac
[Hey, readers, if you want to read about the best entry in the Friday the 13th franchise, check out this piece my friend Matt Jordan wrote for my blog some time back.]
I’ve gone and did it to myself again. I went into a movie I knew would suck just so I could write a scathing review of it. Yeah, I feel slightly guilty about being such a dick but, then again, some shit has it coming. Take that, older movie everyone’s already driven into the ground with criticism, I’ll give you what for. In all sincerity, though, I actually didn’t want to do this again. I prefer to defend less-than-reputable movies because, you know, it’s more challenging than just attacking shit. The truly hard task is finding a movie most other people would consider poopy, and making a convincing argument why the supposed poop-movie is something of value. Apparently, though, I just wanted to take the lazy man’s route this week and review Jason X, the tenth entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.
Believe it or not, Jason X was the only Jason movie I hadn’t seen until this week. Obviously I’m a fan of slasher films, and the Jason movies are an important part of this genre. Previously, though, I just never had a desire to watch Jason X. True, there are some stinkers in this series (cough Friday the 13th: A New Beginning), but I always felt I should give the other entries a fair shot. Who knows, there might be some good things in such and such an entry. Jason X, however, announced its awfulness right up front. With a shitty premise, unappealing trailer, and just an all around air of suckitude, I thought it wasn’t worth my while to watch it even ironically.
Unfortunately, Netflix had to go ahead and make this title available on its streaming service. Whenever I skimmed through the titles, Jason X kept beckoning to me. "No," I thought, "I can’t do this. I can’t do Jason X to myself. I can’t give in to my lazy, mean-spirited, this-will-be-an-easy-way-to-churn-out-a-quickly-written-review-with-some-humorous-one-liners side. I won’t do it. I won’t watch it."
But watch it I did. And get everything out of it I thought I would, I did as well. This is one book whose cover you can judge the fuck out of. Of course, the makers of Jason X anticipated potential backlash to its awfulness and included plenty of winking, self-referential, exceedingly unfunny humor. Although I’m not a huge fan of this kind of horror movie, it can be done well (see the sixth Jason movie). This time, however, was not one of those times. As I’ve stated before, nothing is more painful than unfunny humor. But unfunny, we-know-this-sucks, ironic humor? Damn, that shit is soul-draining on a whole other level. "Hey, look, all you stupid viewers who gave us money for this shit, it’s ok that this movie sucks because one of the characters made a shitty joke. All better."
Needless to say, as I expected, Jason X was nothing more than a mercenary, soulless, studio group-think project based on flimsy ideas intended to pander to multiple fan-boy obsessions, with no regards to turning out an entertaining picture. Because of this, I will churn out an equally soulless, thoughtless review in the form of alternate taglines for Jason X (as if the preceding bile-filled paragraphs weren’t enough):
“Movie theater ticket price. Made-for-Syfy channel movie value.”
"Come for David Cronenberg's cameo. Stay for nothing else."
“Unfrozen 1980s cash-cow.”
“It’s just like one of those Brendan Fraser movies, except, you know, shittier.”
“Jason in space. Why not?”
"Yeah, we just up and made a movie out of a Mad TV sketch."
“Jason and robots—two great tastes that equal herpes.”
“All the killings of the Jason movies, none of the anything else.”
"No boobs 'til the last few minutes."
[Exhibiting all the worst aspects of late nineties/early aughts, nu-metal-and-"coolness"-filled, vomit-inducing horror trailers, this is the trailer for Jason X:]