Every year plenty of movies come out that are quickly dismissed as not being worth your attention, but sometimes all a movie needs to succeed is a second chance. In "Defending the Unloved" we look at some movie's that were critically panned, but are a lot better than they were given credit for. Without further ado, we begin (our special Nerdoween edition):
Critics Score – 19%
Audience Score – 24%
"Jason gets a futuristic makeover and annihilates someone using a giant screwing tool. After sitting through Jason's latest exploits, the audience may find itself identifying with that victim in particular."
"This film manages the extraordinary, almost mythological feat of surpassing all that came before it to stand proud as the worst of all ten Friday the 13th movies."
"A protracted and only sporadically imaginative menu of ways to be murdered."
If you headed out for the night to get a few drinks with friends and you all decided to go to a dive bar, how absurd would it be if one of your buddies then started complaining about the lack of artisanal snacks and vintage cocktails on the menu? Well, those are the people that complain about the 10th movie in the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason X, the one where Jason Voorhees goes to space.
"Jason in space" is exactly the type of insane, ludicrous, absurd premise that someone comes up with for a barely breathing horror franchise desperate to make one last buck before they can reboot everything with a sincere remake. The people that made Jason X knew all of that, and that's why the movie is perfect.
Jason X starts with a ludicrous premise and commits to executing it better than almost any other intentionally silly horror movie ever made. It's somehow a parody of horror movies and the franchise itself (or at least what it had become by that point), while still remaining an homage to all of them. Nothing about the movie is scary, but it never tries to be, because again, it's Jason Voorhees in outer space, and that's too stupid a foundation to build true horror on. What it is though is gory, over-the-top, and tons of fun. It never tries to be something its not; it isn't trying to be some fancy hipster bar of horror, it's perfectly content with being a grimy dive with greasy food and cheap beer. It may not be good for you but it makes for a great night out.
But what about the plot? Basically, Jason has been frozen in a cryogenic pod on a now abandoned earth, and five hundred years later he's found by a group of visiting students and brought back on a spaceship, along with his last victim who froze him in that pod. Because he is a famous killer, he could be worth money, so they keep him on the ship despite the protests of the woman who knows he is unstoppable. And honestly if you are still reading this paragraph you know way more than you have to, because "Jason in space" was good enough.
From there he engages in some of the funniest, best gory, psycho-monster-killer movie deaths ever. Including one that I think might be the best of all-time.
Did I say the best movie death of all-time? That might be the greatest movie scene of all-time, period. He wakes up on a spaceship and doesn't blink an eye. He then kills her by putting her head in liquid nitrogen and smashing it like a ceramic mug. But how the hell would he know that sink had liquid nitrogen in it? Or how liquid nitrogen worked? It's so stupid and inane and it doesn't make any sense and I love everything about it. Any expectations you have for a movie about Jason Vorhees on a futuristic spaceship get shattered immediately, in the best way.
And that's the rest of the movie too, just pure, mindless fun. Jason stalks the ship, killing people in hilarious ways, and then things get really out of hand. First, he fights an android, who actually manages to defeat him (like, really kill him kill him).
Except, he ends up in a nanite-reproduction medical station that brings him back to life, all while upgrading his entire body in totally illogical ways, including his non-organic hockey mask! It upgrades his hockey mask and he becomes Uber Jason!
He punches the android's head off.
He punches the android's head right off her body!
At this point the movie has already given you everything you could want (and that's before his body ends up outside in actual space). But the filmmakers aren't done, not even a little bit, as we then get to see Uber Jason, in an attempt to slow him down by confusing him, put in a holographic simulation of Camp Crystal Lake in the 1980s.
Look, there are some terrible Friday the 13th movies (like the painfully un-fun and not scary Jason Takes Manhattan, which is both unwatchable and doesn't even take place in New York--it takes place on a boat), but Jason X is not one of them. It's really a comedy dressed up like a horror film that's just as much in love with Jason Vorhees as we are.
So no, you shouldn't expect foie gras and 1920 Prohibition cocktails when you watch it, but what's wrong with a night filled with cheap beer, cheap whiskey, and greasy mozzarella sticks?
Not a damn thing. Jason X deserves love because it's really just a perfect dive bar.
What do you think of this movie? In need of some serious love, or are we out in space on this one? We'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.
Featured Image: New Line Cinema