Boasting seven kills (including famed horrormeister David Cronenberg in a cameo appearance) in the first two and a half minutes and twenty-eight overall, Jason X delivers the goods to those of us who love nothing more than a good slasher film. While other mad serial killers, almost all of whom I like, worry about finding more innovative ways of inducing horrible death to those around them, killing only when they have a good dumb cliche to accompany the coup de grace, Jason prefers the good, old-fashioned, traditional methods of murder. Sure, he has been known to use some innovative implements of horrible death, but only because they happen to be handy. Jason's hands, even after being cryogenically frozen for four and a half centuries, still quiver for the feel of his trusty machete. Jason doesn't waste any time, either; he just kills people. Yep, with a total body count now exceeding 250, Jason Voorhees is an unstoppable killing machine that refuses to let such silly things as countless bullets, drowning, body-ripping explosions, head-obliterating kill shots, or anything else man can think of stand in the way of doing his job. Somewhere, even in the future, there are young people having sex, acting silly, or delivering sometimes awful dialogue in bad acting performances; adults are planning to sell him to the highest bidder in hopes of studying him like some lab animal; or Terminator-aspiring androids are making fools of themselves and just begging to be taken to his school of hard knocks; and Jason is there. He can't be stopped; he can't be reasoned with; he can't be bribed; he can be sidetracked, but nor for long; he is here to kill, without remorse, without any sign of emotion, and that is why some many of us love him so much.
Let's forget the script for a moment and look at what is really important. Jason kills a lot of people in this movie, as only he can do it. After a Houdini-like escape and quite satisfying instant bloodbath, he finds himself cryogenically frozen; he breaches the hull of his little unit in an attempt to kill again, leading our intrepid group of future student researchers into believing he is far beyond the help of the nanotechnology that revives his last intended victim. Yet, after 455 years of inaction, he has no trouble whatsoever adapting to the futuristic technology of the spaceship he finds himself on, making one of his most satisfying kills immediately after arising from his metal slab. Soon afterward, the ship's grunts are after him, hauling around the type of goodies that as yet exist only in the world of Duke Nukem and Quake, but we laugh for Jason (since he can't laugh for himself) as he makes mincemeat out of the tough men and women. That leaves only a disgusting professor, his silly and horny students, an android, a few of the ship's essential nobodies, and his cryogenic travel buddy Rowan left alive. You never have to worry about waiting long for each death, as the filmmakers rightly decided not to let some of the awful plot elements get in the way of the carnage. Eventually, Jason is upgraded to uber-Jason, and that only adds to the fun.
The special effects are generally quite impressive here; some of them are a little silly plot-wise, but they look pretty darn good. The super android whose upgrade goes to her head is a pretty stupid character, yet she does bring some new toys to the party, forcing Jason to rise to the occasion of upstaging her. It was quite interesting to watch the DVD featurette on the making of Jason X. This movie is fully digitalized, and all of the cutting edge work that went into this film makes me think I should have been a little more impressed than I was, but everything definitely looks and sounds pretty darn good. The acting ranges from the good to the bad. Lexa Doig is great as Rowan, Kane Hodder is perfect as Jason, and Peter Mensah wins high praise from me for his portrayal of Sgt. Bronski; he is the only worthy foe Jason faces here, and the man knows how to make an exit. The professor and students are just plain silly characters one and all, but since all that really matters in this type of movie is that they all die as quickly as possible, I have decided not to let the cliched, silly dialogue of these folks detract from my five-star rating.
Not only is the featurette on the making of this film a great addition to the DVD, the half-hour documentary on The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees is wonderful. It does my heart good to see both knowledgeable folks from the actual movies and horror fans express the true joys of watching slasher films. Best of all, the documentaries introduce us to the man behind the mask, the only man to ever play Jason in more than one movie, Kane Hodder. A former stuntman reveling in the role of horror's most productive serial killer in the last four franchise movies, Hodder is a credit to the character he so enjoys playing, boasting a special tattoo on his inside lower lip to prove it. Jason X is not a good movie script-wise, but don't let that stop you from watching Jason Voorhees do what he does best in this final sparring practice before his long-delayed showdown with Freddy Krueger.