Halloween Scene: Jason X (2002)

jason-x-poster I should have solid, deep, fond memories for the first time I saw Jason X, but I’m sad to say I don’t. I remember enjoying the movie, thinking it was more tongue in cheek and funny than straight-ahead scary, but I can’t recall the specifics around actually seeing it. Usually none of this would be a big deal, but I’m fairly certain that Jason X was the first old school slasher film I saw on the big screen. It came out in April of 2002, so I would have been down at Ohio Wesleyan towards the end of my freshman year of college. A lot was going on, but I know I saw it in theaters. As a horror fan, my timing is pretty crappy because I was a young kid for most of the good slasher movies in the 80s and was only able to see entries like this one, Freddy Vs. Jason and some of the remakes in theaters. To be fair, though, there was a nice little horror revival that kicked off around the time I turned 16, so that was good timing.

Anyway, I know a lot of people don’t like this film, but I’m not one of them. I completely get being disappointed by the movie’s tone after waiting nearly 10 years between Friday The 13th films and getting this one. Add in the fact that the previous entry was the terrible Jason Goes To Hell and that the entry before that was a let down by not living up to its title and you’ve got a fanbase that was itching for some classic Jason and didn’t feel like they got it.

Jason X also fell into that strange subcategory of horror sequels that take a lead character and inexplicably put them into space. It happened with Hellraiser and with Leprechaun and then it happened with Jason. Luckily for me at the time, I hadn’t seen any of those other movies and probably wasn’t all that familiar with the Alien films either, so a lot of this stuff was relatively new to me. I’d also probably only gone through a few of the original Jason films once, maybe twice each, so I didn’t even have that good of a Jason knowledge or fandom to disappoint. Basically, when I watched Jason X in 2002, it was the perfect storm of what I thought was a fun movie with pretty great kills mixed with an almost complete ignorance of what this movie was following, referencing and commenting on.

Even today, though, after seeing a lot of those movies, I can still enjoy this film and not on a completely nostalgic level either. I love that this movie actually pits Jason against soldiers and shows that he can take out even well-trained people and not just half naked teenagers. I also enjoy how they get him on the ship even if the initial escape makes little to no sense. Hell, I love that there’s a friggin’ warrior robot in this movie! Oh, and cyborg Jason? Yeah, I like that too. Before he got his upgrade you actually thought they might be able to kill him forever by shooting him into the sun or something, but now the already scary guy who can’t die has technology working on his side which makes him even more difficult to defeat!

Again, though, I get why people don’t like this movie. Even though it’s set in the future, everyone looks super 2001. The sets are fairly well done, but still look like something out of a Si-Fi show from that era. While Jason is portrayed perfectly by Kane Hodder, there’s not much more in the way of depth when it comes to the rest of the cast. Uneven dialog delivered by so-so actors does not a great film make.

I’ll tell you what, though. There’s still some pretty great moments like anytime Jason appears in a corridor and the kids scatter. There’s just something about that presence bursting into a well lit room that still gets under my skin a little bit. It almost makes it more realistic. And how can you not love that bit with Jason smashing the sleeping bag against the tree in the VR room? I laughed pretty hard at that the first time (maybe I do have some memories ratting around in my head) and I didn’t even get the specific reference at the time. I’ve since watched Part VII several times including once in the past few weeks and like that gag even more.

At the end of the day, I know that Jason X isn’t a good movie and yet, I can look past the bad and just enjoy the good. Plus, this movie has one of my all time favorite kill scenes and it comes pretty soon after Jason wakes up on the ship. That bit with the head in the super cold water or ice or whatever still gets me! Plus, even for a guy with a faulty memory bank, there’s still a lot to be said for nostalgia.

Friday Night Fights: Freddy Vs. Jason

*Friday Night Fights presents crazy fight and battle scenes from movies with little-to-no context. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll probably want to skip the clip. *

 Freddy-vs-Jason

In honor of Friday the 13th, it seemed ridiculously appropriate to present the epic throw-down between two of horror’s biggest icons from the 2003 flick Freddy Vs. Jason. This fight is pretty much what we wanted the entire movie to be, but apparently you need scared teenagers for these kinds of things to work and not mutilated monsters trying to murder each other for 90 minutes.

Casting Internets

Whew, it’s good to be back, but I do admit, I skipped a lot of the news I missed while on our journey to Ohio. I’ve gotten mostly caught up, but here’s the things I saw today that interested me.

First up, some self promotion. I did a piece for Marvel.com about giant collectibles called Muckle Mannequins.

There’s a new teaser for Wimpy Kid 2! (via /Film)

I am very excited about this collection of Carl Banks Disney duck comics I read about on Robot 6. I’ve never read any of that stuff, but have heard great things.

Robot 6 also informed me that Stan Lee got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Congrats to him!
Stacie Ponder recaps Friday the 13th parts one and two. Great stuff.

It’s about damn time.

CliqueClack noticed a 50 to 1 countdown on last night’s How I Met Your Mother which had one of the saddest moments I’ve seen on TV in a long time. I didn’t notice the number aspect of the show whatsoever. (via Pop Candy)

Go check out the custom Medusa over on The Fwoosh. You won’t be disappointed.

Commercial Commentary: Dr. Dre Looks Kind Of Like Jason X & Mr. Terrific

The missus actually noticed that Dr. Dre looked kind of like the JSA’s Mr. Terrific in this HP Beats laptop commercial. Good call, I say, but I think he looks like a cross between Mr. Terrific and Jason X, what do you think?

+

=

Halloween Scene: Friday The 13th Part VI Jason Lives (1986)

As faithful readers might remember from my review of Friday The 13th Part VII, I’d never seen Part VI even though I’d seen the next two and the previous installments. I can’t really account for this occurrence aside from guessing that my local Family Video didn’t have all the movies (I’ve also never seen Jason Goes To Hell, but that’s on the Netflix list for when I finish what’s in the box set).

Anyway, I remedied this embarrassing oversight last night after realizing the copy of Near Dark I got from Netflix was cracked (it looked like someone hit it with a ball peen hammer) and Battle Royale only came with subtitles (I can’t write and read a movie at the same time, so back it went). I really dug this installment in the F13 franchise. It starts off with TV’s Horshack which is already a step in the right direction (Welcome Back Kotter is one of my all time favorite sitcoms). We then get a series of kills that don’t really matter because they’re just random people who happen to be hanging out in the woods for the most part, many of which take place during the day which is kind of a nice change of pace.

Story wise, we’re back at Crystal Lake, though it’s been renamed to try and put the Camp Blood era in the past. There’s a lot of people hanging around without fear. Jason’s been dead for a while, but the timing for these movies has always been really wonky, so I’m not sure exactly how long it’s been. Horshack and Tommy Jarvis head to the graveyard to make sure Jason is dead and inadvertently bring him back to life (which is kind of a classic part of a hero’s journey). Jarvis spends the rest of the movie trying to warn the cops who don’t take him seriously (you’d think they would considering the kid has put Jason down more times than anyone else). The plot revolves around the newly opened camp (not a good idea) and the counselors there trying to make things work even though the bosses haven’t shown up (Jason killed them in an awesome scene early on). For the most part, they’re a very likable group who doesn’t completely treat the campers (yes, there’s actually campers in this one) like a disease. I especially like Cort, a dude who’s never without his walkman and ripped jeans (unless he’s having sex in a camper–the vehicle). His explanation of Native American tracking methods is hilarious. Sure he’s vapid and stupid, but in a likable way.

Though I dug the movie overall, I guess it could have been more violent. I read that there were some more violent scenes filmed but not put into the movie (or at least the box set version I have). Does anyone know if the latest Jason Lives DVD has those scenes added back in? That could make an already solid slasher even better.

Crossovers I Want To See: Jason Vs. Wolverine

I’ve only done one of these before, but have been meaning to do more. Frankly, this is the kind of stuff geek dreams are made of right? And even when the long awaited crossovers do happen they’re either lopsided towards one franchise (Freddy vs. Jason) or depending on fan votes for fight results (DC Vs. Marvel) or just not good at all (Alien Vs. Predator). I’ve been pitting slashers against superheroes in my head for a surprisingly short period of time considering how long I’ve been a fan of both (just the last year or two, really). The idea of pitting two seemingly indestructable killing machines against each other actually came from a figure pairing on my desk when I still worked at the old ToyFare offices. Here you have a 3 3/4-inch Hasbro Wolverine in Jacket from the Wolverine: Origins line and a 3 3/4-inch Jason Voorhees from Mezco’s Cinema Of Fear series facing off on my kitchen tables. On my desk, they went from fighting to riding the bulldog that came with the DCUC Lobo SDCC figure from a few years back. In my imagined crossover, though, they would spend the entire comic or movie just slashing the shit out of each other getting angrier and angrier the entire time. Here’s how I see it going down. Wolverine’s on one of his many cross country trips when he finds himself in Crystal Lake. After a day or so of fishing and hunting, Jason shows up to politely ask Wolverine to leave. The pair throw down, but Wolverine doesn’t know what he’s dealing with, so he assumes Jason dies at the end of the battle and heads back to New York. Of course, it’s not nearly that simple, as Jason heals and goes on a trip to New York to exact his revenge using those crazy tracking skills he used to hunt down and kill the Final Girl from the first Friday The 13th in the first sequel (continuity!). Bam, huge fight in NYC between two crazy men with healing abilities. If it’s a comic book, it would only make sense for the rest of the NYC local heroes to get involved and help put a stop to Jason (shouldn’t be a problem for the Avengers–especially if Thor’s around, how friggin’ cool of a few panels would that be? Mallet for machete!–or Fantastic Four). But, if it’s a movie (a boy can dream), they’d continue their fight until the X-Men finally show up to help and probably drop Jason in some freshly poured concrete. Marvel and WildStorm, feel free to contact me. I can easily flesh this story out or come up with a brand spanking new one.

Halloween Scene: Jason On The Arsenio Hall Show

I have no idea how much this has made the rounds, but I stumbled across it today and just had to share it with you guys. Jason went on the Arsenio Hall Show to help promote Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and here’s what happened.