Directed by James Issac. USA.  2001.

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This - the tenth Friday the 13th instalment - is best approached with tongue firmly in cheek, and best appreciated if youíre familiar with this long running horror series.  If youíre not, hereís a quick summary: Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) is a mass murderer with the uncanny ability to come back from the dead, no matter how - or how often - heís killed.  As this film begins, Jason has been captured and is imprisoned - Hannibal Lector-style - in a top-secret research facility, but itís not long before he escapes to continue his killing spree.  However, research assistant Rowan (Lexa Doig) outwits Jason and manages to trap him in a cryogenic chamber and freeze him. Unfortunately, Rowan is accidentally locked in the chamber with Jason and frozen as well.  Fast-forward to over 400 years later, where Rowan and Jason are thawed out on a spaceship!  Although the shipís crew assures Rowan that Jason poses no threat, itís not long before the hockey masked killer is up to his old tricks again, slaughtering the spaceshipís crew one by one.  

Jason X is frequently ridiculous and plays like a parody of the Friday the 13th films, with many jokes aimed at aficionados of the long-running series.  This time, Jason is ridiculously indestructible: being riddled with bullets and even blown up - twice! - doesnít stop him!  The murders, in true slasher movie style, are varied and elaborate, (including death by stabbing, decapitation, impalement and even liquid Nitrogen!), but because the film is played for laughs, the gory murders are more ridiculous than repulsive.  Although funny, itís a shame that the film mostly aims for easy laughs, when some sharper humour at the expense of the Friday 13th films would have been refreshing.  Nevertheless, thereís still plenty to enjoy, including some neat little jabs at the Alien series, some inventive moments involving virtual reality and even a cameo appearance by David Cronenberg!

Martyn Bamber
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Material Copyright © 2003 Nigel Watson