Friday, October 31, 2014

Jason X--The Live Review

On Halloween of 2012 I posted a "live" review for one of the most overlooked horror films ever made, Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  Although I had no intention of a repeat performance with the limiting format, I was politely asked to give the same treatment to Jason X.  After some time, I decided it would be poor form to let down a friend.

Oh, Jason X.  Released in 2002, the tenth installment in the legendary Friday the 13th schlock-scare series belly-flopped at the domestic box office.  I can't imagine why; after all, this is essentially JASON IN SPACE.

Why in the hell would JASON IN SPACE ever get the green light?  Well, with the long-awaited "Freddy meets Jason" movie foundering in development hell, Hollywood "creatives" wracked their pellet-sized brains to think up a movie that would fill the gap while not also screwing continuity in the ass.  And if it ended up real loss.  Freddy vs. Jason would forgive all sins.  But is the sin known as Jason X mortal?  Or just venial?

0:00  Instantly I can tell Jason X is not a monumentally shit film worthy of a cult following.  This will be a tepid bloodbath.

0:40  As the words "A JIM ISAAC FILM" appear onscreen, I swear I hear the garbled chorus on the soundtrack repeating "Isaac, Isaac."

0:49  Are those supposed to be flames?  Am I looking at CGI Hell right now, literally and figuratively?  Black and white footage of Arthur Brown scampering around a soundstage with a candle-covered crown on his head is scarier.

0:59  If only they'd cast DMX in the role of Jason instead of this Kane Hodder!  "He's back...and he's barking mad!"  "GRRR...arf arf!  It is not! A! Game!"

1:10  These flicks have never been renowned for their star power, but I'm pretty sure 55% of the cast are related.

2:11  Music by Harry Manfredini, whose style has been likened to a cross between Henry Mancini, Harry Nilsson and Manfred Mann's Earth Band.  (By me, just now.)

3:12  The year is 2010.  The place is Crystal Lake Research Facility.  Scientists have decided that since Jason Voorhees is an unkillable bastard, the only sensible course of action is to place him in frozen stasis.   Until they can transport him to some flash freezing doo-hickey, they have him in a room all Houdini'ed up.

4:10  Jason and the young security guard are kinda eye-fucking each other.  Sexual tension not yet thick enough for a butter knife, but give it time....

4:27  Yes, young man.  Walk towards the homicidal maniac.  Follow the bright, flashing trail of your basest impulses.  Let your seedy curiosity transport you to a side of life that has always been verboten.

5:36  They're coming to take him away, ha ha!  Jason will be moved to the Scranton facility after freezing?  Dwight Schrute will have several field days.

6:10  Weak rehash of one of the more macabre moments from Silence of the Lambs.  Love hurts, kid.  Jason requires a ride or die bitch.

8:17  This "Rowan" woman is young(ish) and a racial minority.  This indicates to me that she will be integral to the plot.  (Also, if you look again at the movie poster, you can see her horrified expression reflected in the machete blade.)  Here, as she tries to elude the newly-freed Jason, we are subjected to another close up of her face, a shot that is intended to stir up feelings of dread and drama.  In a better movie, I'm certain it would have.

8:38  Rowan traps Jason in a pod.  You fool!  A fly skittered in there with him and now he'll emerge as a dastardly dipteran deathmongerer!  Wait...that would have been a much more enjoyable movie!  Damn my imagination.

8:51  Said pod, as it turns out, was the means by which the scientists were going to freeze Jason.  This Rowan woman smacks some buttons and boom, the cryogenic process begins.  None of this stops Jason from thrusting his machete through the pod door, right into her gut.  Ice fluid leaks from the pod into the room, meaning both killer and victim end up iced.

10:03  The good news:  the research facility is being searched by a group of folks that dressed up as Mortal Kombat characters for Halloween.  The bad news:  they all picked Kabal.

10:40  Except for the asshole who wore the Tusken Raider costume.

11:08  This is the crew of the spaceship Apache:  Professor Lowe and his students Jessica, Tsunaron, Azrael, Kinsa, Stoney and Waylander.  They locate the chilled-out corpses of Jason and Rowan and decide to tote 'em back to their vessel.  Fucking brilliant idea that won't go even a scintilla of wrong.  One of those brats even goes, "I'm so cold," a line which could not have been for the benefit of the audience, as visual evidence of freezing is everywhere around the room.  So either the character is being a dick, or is unable to keep any thought unspoken.

11:46  Ice Ice Jason looks rather like frostbitten Swiss cheese.

12:12  This Azrael kid gotta die first.

14:29  But then cowboy pilot is introduced into the plot, and I am now torn as to who I want to see bear the bloody brunt of the blade first.

16:10  Well, perv-o cowboy pilot just had a moment of rueful self-deprecation.  He is allowed to die later on in the film.  Doesn't mean I'll feel sad when he's slaughtered in some comically gruesome manner, but I'll no longer feel good about it.

17:00  How can Azrael look like a cross between young Frank Zappa and old Weird Al yet still manage to be crazily uncool?

17:46  In my head, I have recast Jason X with Zeljko Ivanek, Bonnie Wright, James van der Beek, Anna Paquin, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Garner and Usher.

19:30  Ah, love between the young and witless.  Stoney and Kinsa are getting hot and bothersome talking about the mass murderer lying on the slab, due to get sliced up by the ship's doctor any second now.   Gag me with a machete.

21:01  Rowan's body has been regenerated--the magic of the future!  Meanwhile, the doctor--a nonsense-free blonde woman who weighs 'round about 75 pounds--tells her horny young charges to take it elsewhere.  This is Jason X, not Cronenberg's Crash.

22:43  It's the year 2455.  Man is still alive, woman has survived, but hey--Jason still has 70 years to kill everyone!

24:00  Prof. Lowe calls up his sugar daddy, who hints that the preserved body of a notorious killer just might have great value for a collector.  After all, someone paid half a million dollars for Mark David Chapman's copy of Double Fantasy. 

26:15  You won't hear me saying this often, but wow, this autopsy is gross.  Whenever the doctor slices into the skin it produces a sound like two people screwing on a queen size bed made out of maggots.

26:21  Jason's hockey mask is quite gay-friendly.  I'm not sure how to feel about that, context considered.

26:32  The Professor really shoulda sent some reinforcements to the doc upon discovering that she was dissecting a freak of super-nature.  Didn't-a, though.

26:56  I could deal with the Prof fucking one of his female students that I can't tell apart.  Or even fucking one of his male students that I can tell apart.  But this cross-dressing masochism jamboree is resolutely unsexy in its erotic laziness.  Nipples twisted with tongs, eh?  Livin' on the edge, muthafucka.  2455, and you're telling me no one's invented a device that can induce instantaneous orgasm when placed anywhere on the body?  'Cause that would be pinnacle.

28:11  Jesus, doc, take a lunch.  Take a couple.  I can see every single bone in yer body jutting out from underneath the skin.

28:30  Our first look at KM-14, female android built by Tsunaron.  We see her showing off a pair of fake boobs that she's just so proud of, 'cause now she looks more like a real live girl!

28:56  Ah, here we go--teens shagging in the bed and Jason twitching on the slab.  No matter what, no matter where, the hormones of morons penetrate Jason's senses and jump start him into action most vengeful.

30:37  Jason awakes and attacks the poor emaciated doctor, sticking her head down into some liquid nitrogen (think Huey Lewis near the start of the "I Want a New Drug" video) and then bringing it back up only to smash it down onto a counter, sending chunks of ice everywhere.   He grabs a machete-esque surgical implement and now the magic is gonna happen.

31:28  The crew are explaining to a still-discombobulated Rowan that they hail from the planet known as "Earth Two."  What happened to the first one?  Stunningly, human beings made it uninhabitable.

31:31  The hell with this composer and the "Bernard Hermann 101" class he keeps failing.

32:34  Freezing Jason was never a good idea, simply because it's a humane solution.  Apparently no one ever thought to just cut Jason in half.  Then cut each half in half.  Then, pour acid onto the remaining chunks.  This cryogenic crap was destined to flush.

33:07  The only thing less appealing than teenager sex is old person sex.  Inexperience and anxiety versus gravity and atrophy.  Either way, my vagina lips virtually seal themselves shut at the mere thought.

33:41  These two aren't fucking, but they sure bitch at each other like they do.  Get 'em outta this movie and put 'em on the set of a Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? remake directed by Betty Thomas.

34:40  Jason X qualifies as a good horror film in that I want to watch every one of these people get murdered.

35:09  That motherfucker Voorhees has style!  Post-coital blade to Stoney's gut, and Kinsa takes a jet of liquid to the face--again.

35:51  I will never forget where I was when I learned of Stoney's death.  Sitting in front of a MacBook, sipping a cold latte, wondering how I ever got so lucky.

37:19  Fare thee well, Azrael.  It's nice that in 2455 we still have white guys whose lives were changed forever by The Marshall Mathers LP.

38:52  Beat his head against the nearest wall?  How can Jason X hope to have any drive when the kills are so pedestrian?

41:22  The Brooklyn Brawler is in his cubby, fiddling with some gadgetry, as his earbuds vibrate with the classic sounds of OMD.  Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark?  Nah--Oblivious Motherfuckers Die.

43:37  I like it when Jason's victims go out en masse.  Sure, picking 'em off one by one is truer to the spirit of the series, but it also stretches out the running time of the film.  Which is not at all bueno.  I'm only 43 minutes in, and already I've lost all feeling in the left side of my body.

45:43  Apologies to the most ungracious Oscar loser of all time.  This Brodski character is actually more visually reminiscent of Seal minus the unfortunate facial scarring.  He's also the leader of an elite squadron of well-armed blah blah y'all gonna die.

46:09  "What's his condition?"  Um...hmm.  Is "impaled" a condition?

47:40  So much blood.  You know what would have greatly improved the final episode of True Blood?  If they'd shown Sookie's husband, and it turned out to be Tommy Wiseau.  And he had a single line of dialogue.  You know what it would have been, too.

48:03  Some schmuck goes all "Reb Brown in the jungle" on Jason, a plan of attack that boasts a similar rate of effectiveness as using vaseline as suntan lotion.

49:51  Seal L. Jackson not only gets killed, he makes sure to go out on a shitty joke just before he breathes his very last.  I guess since Jason is unable to toss off ripostes of his own, the onus is placed on the victims.  Sure, the grunts are all dead, but the groans have never been more alive!

51:42  And there goes the pilot.  This is my first time ever watching Jason X, yet it's my tenth time seeing this movie.

52:04  As there is no one at the controls, the Apache's plan to dock on the Solaris is up the shittest of creeks.  The two vessels crash into one another, and terrible special effects ensue.

55:31  DMX as Jason as the Kool-Aid Man!  "Y'all gon' make me lose my mind!  OH YEAH!"

55:54  Android KM-14 is like the short dude in the white suit who just stands there as warring mob factions do battle.  Sure, he ain't done shit yet.  But he will.  And it will be quality.

56:36  Machete retrieval.  Hell come soon.

1:00:44  Well-lit walkways, aw yeah.  I wanna see some corpses flying over the railing of those bitches, and soon.

1:01:20  Jason vs. 007 would be the bouncing tits.  Especially if Jason set up a Scaramanga-style funhouse maze of murder.  Maze.  Of.  Murder.  Mom.  Mom?  Mooooom!

1:01:50  Holy crap, Seal is still with us!?

1:03:17  Jason must resent his muteness after decapitations.  "Looks like you won't be heading home after all."

1:04:16  Death by panic attack, eh?  Well, at least Kinsa died as she lived--hopeless and hysterical.

1:05:35  KM-14 is ready to take on Jason, now that Tsunaron "gave 'er an upload."  Dude, ew.  Everyone wants to bang the new and improved android, even Jason, whose penis surely by now is but a two-inch long strip of rotted flesh dangling between his legs.

1:05:40  KM-14 2.0 speaks her first words.  Lamentably, they are not "Tell me about it, stud."

1:05:44  Jason vs. Robobitch.  I can dig it.  I can dig a grave for these hoary zingers, too.  The first Jason flicks had a dearth of trailer-made one-liners and a wealth of gnarly gore.  That is why I love them.  Or at least like 'em a good deal.

1:06:42  One does not kill Jason Voorhees.  One merely causes Jason Voorhees to move backwards, slowly.

1:08:11 An arm, a leg, and now Jason's head is toast!  What weapon is she packing anyway, a pumpkin gun?

1:09:50  Jason's dead--naw, for real this time--and the Apache's remaining crew sends off an SOS.  This Jessica chick sets women back ten years with every vacant sentence that escapes her dumb mouth.

1:13:15  The futzy medical station that brought Rowan back to life now works the same miracle on Jason.  CYBORG JASON!  (I feel like "Guilford Fall" by Fugazi should be playing right now.)  He even has body armor, because if there's one thing an invincible freak needs, it's body armor.  He busts through on some "I should be dead!  Now you're gonna be!" steez, and proceeds to knock KM-14's head clean off her shoulders. 

1:17:24  Whiny bitch is about to die, and all she can say is, "This sucks on so many levels!"  Who would say that while staring death directly in the taint?  Painfully self-aware scriptwriters and who else?

1:17:30  And yes, those were the last words Jessica spoke before her flesh was sliced to ribbons.

1:21:29  Tsunaron has a eureka! moment, creating a simulated Crystal Lake for Jason to frolic 'round.  A pair of bubbly teen girls are on hand to lure Jason with promises of drugged-out sex and sex-ed out drugs.  They even proclaim, "We love premarital sex!"  Of course they wind up dead.  In a sense.

1:22:05  Kane Hodder's heavy breathing is without peer in the (non-porn) film industry.

1:22:23  Brilliant plan gone awry.  This I could not have foreseen even if permitted a fortnight worth of consideration!

1:25:00  Help is here!  But while Rowan, Tsunaron and the remains of KM-14 are clambering aboard a rescue shuttle, Jason and Brodski are still on the Apache.  We don't actually get to witness this ostensibly epic showdown between two men who steadfastly refuse to die despite the best efforts of mice and men.

1:25:45  I shan't bitch too much, however, because when the Apache explodes, and Cyborg Jason flies toward the rescue shuttle containing Rowan and Tsunaron, I let out the kind of laughter usually reserved for video clips of a large dog knocking over a small child.

1:25:48  And then Brodski sideswipes Jason like an eighteen-wheeler smashing into a Prius!  Nothing about that makes any gravitational sense, but it's a Jason movie.  The pair hurtle towards Earth, disintegrating upon re-entry into the atmosphere.  Pyrrhic victory fer sure, Brodksi.

1:27:04  Two teens sitting by the lake.  Two hearts.  Two souls.  One...holy shit, what's that?

"A shooting star.  Make a wish."

"It landed in the lake."

"Let's go check it out."

Jason Voorhees will return in Friday the 13th, Pt. XI:  Stupid Fucking Campers.  I will not be live-reviewing that one.

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