Jason X is a 2001 American science fiction slasher film directed by Jim Isaac, written by Todd Farmer and starring Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Chuck Campbell, and Kane Hodder in his fourth and final cinematic appearance as Jason Voorhees. It is the tenth installment in the Friday the 13th film series. The plot follows Jason as he is cryogenically frozen and stays dormant for 445 years, until he is found and inadvertently awoken by a group of students in the year 2455, allowing him to stalk and kill them one by one aboard their spaceship. While other films of the franchise approach Jason as a human serial killer or undead monster, this movie views him through a science fiction lens (referring to his inability to die as a "regenerative" power that can be studied and perhaps replicated) and then has him transformed by future-technology into a cyborg. This cyborg incarnation has been called Jason X in tie-in media, but is also often referred to by fans as "Über Jason", a nickname the art design team and production crew used and which appeared in later comic books Jason X Special and Friday the 13th: Jason Vs. Jason X.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jim Isaac|
|Produced by||Noel Cunningham|
|Written by||Todd Farmer|
by Victor Miller
|Music by||Harry Manfredini|
|Cinematography||Derick V. Underschultz|
|Edited by||David Handman|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$16.9 million|
When conceiving the film, Todd Farmer came up with the idea of sending Jason to space, suggesting to the studio that it was the only direction left for the series. Jason X was theatrically released in the U.S. on April 26, 2002 to mostly negative reviews from critics, and grossed $17 million on a budget of $11–14 million. It was followed by Freddy vs. Jason, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, in 2003.
In 2008, mass murderer Jason Voorhees is captured by the United States government and held at the Crystal Lake Research Facility. After failed attempts to kill Jason over the following two years, government scientist Rowan LaFontaine suggests putting him in cryogenic stasis. Dr. Wimmer and Sergeant Marcus arrive with soldiers, hoping to further research Jason's ability to heal from lethal wounds, believing it involves rapid cellular regeneration that can be replicated. Jason breaks free of his restraints and kills the soldiers and Wimmer. Rowan lures him into a cryogenic pod and activates it, but he ruptures the pod with his machete, stabbing her in the abdomen. Cryogenic fluid spills into the sealed room, freezing them both.
445 years later, Earth is too polluted to support life and humans have moved to a new planet, Earth Two. On a field trip to Earth, Professor Braithwaite Lowe, his android companion KM-14, his intern Adrienne Thomas, and his students Tsunaron, Janessa, Azrael, Kinsa, Waylander, and Stoney explore the abandoned Crystal Lake Research Facility, finding the frozen Jason and Rowan. They bring them aboard their spaceship, the Grendel, and revive Rowan while leaving Jason in the morgue, believing him dead.
Adrienne is ordered to dissect Jason's body but Rowan warns them of the danger, revealing Jason's nature and superhuman abilities. Lowe, who is in serious debt, calls his financial backer Dieter Perez on nearby space station Solaris. Perez recognizes Jason's name and notes his body could interest a collector. While Stoney and Kinsa have sex, Jason awakens and attacks Adrienne, freezing her face with liquid nitrogen before smashing her head to pieces on a counter. Jason takes a machete-shaped surgical tool and kills Stoney in front of Kinsa. Sergeant Brodski leads a group of soldiers to attack Jason. Jason interrupts a projected holographic game, breaking Azrael's back and bashing in Dallas's skull. He tries to attack Crutch, but Brodski and his soldiers arrive. After Brodski splits up his team, Jason kills them one by one.
Lowe orders pilot Lou to dock at Solaris. Jason kills Lou and the ship crashes through Solaris, destroying it and killing everyone aboard. Jason breaks into the lab, reclaims his machete and decapitates Lowe. With the Grendel crippled, the survivors head for a shuttle while Tsunaron upgrades KM-14. After crew member Crutch is electrocuted to death by Jason, Kinsa panics and attempts to escape on her own, but forgets to release the shuttle's fuel line, causing it to crash into the ship and explode. Tsunaron reappears with an upgraded KM-14 who wields weapons and combat skills to stand a better chance against Jason. After having his right arm, left leg, right ribs, and part of his head blasted off by KM-14, Jason seemingly dies, and his body is knocked into a nanite-equipped medical station. The survivors send a distress call, then set explosive charges to separate the ship's undamaged pontoon from the main section.
The medical station nanites rebuild Jason, who becomes a cyborg. With his new strength, Jason easily defeats KM-14 by punching her head off. As Tsunaron recovers her still-functioning head, Jason is stopped by Waylander, who sacrifices himself by setting off the charges while the others escape. Jason survives and punches a hole through the hull, causing Janessa to die in the vacuum. A power failure with the docking door forces Brodski to go outside in an EVA suit to fix it.
To distract Jason, a holographic simulation of Crystal Lake is created with two virtual teenage girls. After killing them, Jason realizes the deception just as the door is fixed. Still in his EVA suit, Brodski confronts Jason so the rest can escape. As they leave, the pontoon explodes, propelling Jason at high speed towards the survivors; Brodski intercepts Jason's space flight and maneuvers them both toward Earth Two's atmosphere, where they are incinerated on atmospheric entry. Tsunaron, Rowan, and KM-14 escape as Tsunaron assures KM-14 she will have a new body.
On Earth Two, a pair of teenagers are by a lake when they see what they believe is a falling star. The teenagers go to investigate as Jason's charred mask sinks to the bottom of the lake.
- Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees / Uber Jason
- Lexa Doig as Rowan LaFontaine
- Lisa Ryder as Kay-Em 14
- Chuck Campbell as Tsunaron
- Melyssa Ade as Janessa
- Peter Mensah as Sergeant Brodski
- Melody Johnson as Kinsa
- Derwin Jordan as Waylander
- Jonathan Potts as Professor Brandon Lowe
- Phillip Williams as Crutch
- Dov Tiefenbach as Azrael
- Kristi Angus as Adrienne Thomas
- Dylan Bierk as Briggs
- Amanda Brugel as Geko
- Yani Gellman as Stoney
- Todd Farmer as Dallas
- David Cronenberg as Dr. Wimmer
- Robert A. Silverman as Dieter Perez
- Marcus Parilo as Sgt. Marcus
- Boyd Banks as Fat Lou
Development of Jason X began in the late 1990s while Freddy vs. Jason was still in development hell. With Freddy vs. Jason not moving forward, Jim Isaac and Sean S. Cunningham decided that they wanted another Friday the 13th film made to retain audience interest in the character. The film was conceived by Todd Farmer, who plays "Dallas" in the film, and was the only pitch he gave to the studio for the movie, having suggested sending Jason into space as a means to advance the film series.
The film made $13.1 million in the U.S. and $3.8 million internationally for a worldwide gross of $16.9 million, becoming one of the worst-performing films in the series, after Jason Takes Manhattan and Jason Goes to Hell, which made $14.3 million and $15.9 million, respectively.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 107 reviews and an average rating of 3.84/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Jason goes to the future, but the story is still stuck in the past". On Metacritic the film has a score of 25 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.
However, the film was better received in the United Kingdom, gaining positive reviews from the country's two major film magazines, Total Film and Empire. Empire's review by Kim Newman in particular praised Jason X as "Wittily scripted, smartly directed and well-played by an unfamiliar cast, this is a real treat for all those who have suffered through the story so far."
Despite the initially negative reception from critics, the film has recently seen a retrospective growth in popularity, particularly among younger fans of the series. Praise has been directed at the film's ability to poke fun at itself and the film series as a whole, as well as inventive death scenes; Adrienne's death in particular (head frozen in liquid nitrogen, and then shattered against a table) is often singled out as a highlight, and was even tested on an episode of MythBusters in 2009.
In 2005, Avatar Press published the comic book Jason X Special as a direct sequel to the movie, written by Brian Pulido, with art by Sebastian Fumara and coloring by Mark Sweeney. The comic reveals that a scientist named Kristen intercepted the Grendel's communications and became interested in learning the secrets of Jason's regenerative abilities so she could save her lover Neil as well as the human race, which is still an endangered species barely surviving. To trick the Grendel survivors into bringing Jason to her, she faked the rescue transmission and hacked into their system, using their own holographic technology to convince them they were escaping to Earth Two. This resulted in the deaths of all aboard the Grendel. Aboard her own ship, Kristen then attempts to study Jason X, referring to him as "Uber-Jason." Jason X's new cyborg abilities allow him to take control of Kristen's technology. When she attempts to pass on his regenerative abilities to Neil, the nanites in Jason X's blood corrupt's the man's mind and he stabs her. Kristen's ship then comes across a hedonistic pleasure spaceship called Fun Club. After docking, Jason boards the Fun Club and begins killing the hedonists, ending the story.
In 2006, Avatar Press released a licensed two-issue comic book mini-series called Friday the 13th: Jason Vs. Jason X, written and illustrated by Mike Wolfer, with Andrew Dalhouse as colorist. Advertised as a fight between Jason and "Uber-Jason," the mini-series is a continuation of the comic Jason X Special. While Jason X is aboard the Fun Club, the story returns to the Grendel drifting in space where a malfunctioning medical station attempts to revive the half of Jason's head that KM-14 shot off in the movie. Since the nanites cannot revive only "13%" of Jason's body mass into a full living being, it collects the remains of other dead bodies aboard the ship and uses them as raw material. As a result, another version of Jason is resurrected, one who resembles the traditional version. When scavengers board the Grendel, the traditional Jason attacks and then uses their shuttle to reach the nearest ship, the Fun Club pleasure cruiser. There, the revived Jason finds the cyborg Jason X and the two fight while also killing all passengers they come across. Each killer is revealed to have only part of the mind and memory of the original Jason. The battle ends when Jason X defeats and rips out the brain matter of the traditional Jason, merging it with his own and restoring his full memories and personality. The ship crashes on Earth Two and Jason X leaves the wreckage to explore a nearby forest.
After the 2017 release of Friday the 13th: The Game, it was teased that the cyborg Jason X incarnation would be playable in the game the following year. However, Victor Miller, screenwriter of the original film Friday the 13th, exercised his legal creative rights and served a lawsuit regarding residual profits he felt he was owed by the film franchise and tie-in media that resulted from the original movie. As a result, the game halted the release of new characters and features. Although a partial version of Jason X already existed in the game's files and could be activated with a hack, the fully playable version of Jason X was never released for the game.
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