Ahh...Jason Voorhees, I have to admit for many years I've loved this guy. Ten movies on and I still get excited about watching his single minded solemnly violent antics. Since his brief first appearance in the stunning 'Friday the 13th', poor Jason has bludgeoned, sliced and gouged his way through a variety of hit and miss schlock horror sequels. The good (Jason Lives), the bad (Jason Takes Manhattan) and now the downright absurd with his latest appearance in 'Jason X', or should that be 'Jason Goes Into Space'?
Let's get things straight first off, at no point has anyone ever expected a Jason film to be a thought provoking masterpiece, let's call a spade a spade - Jason/Friday the 13th flicks are all about hormonally challenged dumb ass teenagers and everyone's favourite untalkative zombie wielding his machete violently in their direction. Nothing clever, just gory beer and popcorn fun for our receptive pleasure! So ok now we've got that straight how about this latest excursion into the splatter field?
Well, the film kicks off at the Crystal Lake Research Facility where a chained Jason is being held awaiting cryogenic suspension. Y'see the authorities have tried everything to knock this guy off (see the previous movies) with no success, so they reckon they may as well just freeze the guy until someone can work out how to get rid of him once and for all. But the plans go awry when Dr David Cronenberg arrives with some military troops demanding access to the ever popular Jason, these guys want him fresh and alive as they're keen to try find out why he's so good at the regeneration process. Seizing the moment, our man Jason gets free and tears his way through the useless soldiers but our heroine (for this movie at least) research team leader Rowan tackles Jason into the cryogenic chamber - but not before our main man slices into poor Rowan and traps her in suspended animation alongside him.
Cut to four hundred and fifty five years later (the year 2455 to be exact) and a reconnaissance team stumble across their frozen tomb, so they dig them out and take them back to their awaiting space ship...and so the fun begins!
Right, so here's where you really don't need to know any more plot really? Well you know the build up and no doubt have every idea where this one is going! Basically as I mentioned earlier, this is pretty much Jason in Space (read Jason plonked into a 'Alien' environment and you're half way there) - but is it any good? Well hell yeah! Let's see what we've got...well there's the prequisite amorous teenagers (that are so obviously marked to die, check), there's the token super android babe (like a Star Trek's Data but with tits - a point they make sure to let you see!) and there's the obligatory gung-ho tough as heck soldiers led by a mean mother who obviously went to the Ken Foree school of acting). Chuck all this lot into the mix and throw in a) lots of gratuitous titty shots and b) lots of trademark Friday the 13th gore and you know you're guaranteed a great nights mindless entertainment.
Of course the whole there's a lot to cringe about - for one I was never a fan of the Aliens type trapped in scary space scenario thing but it's actually a lot of fun here. Also, I'm still undecided about the whole new space age Jason look that he picks up here, but when you stop laughing you'll realise that with franchises like this they'll easy enough dump it without a care when ever the next sequel states so (Jason Vs Freddy?)
So kudos to writer Todd Farmer for delivering a suitably absurd but thoroughly engaging storyline. Readers should be familiar with director Jim Isaac's work from the vastly underrated gory gem 'The Horror Show' (aka 'House 3') so you know this ones in competent hands also. The cast in general are of the standard Friday the 13th league, solid and reliable but no Oscars will be on offer, decent stuff though (and hey, there's some fine firm babes!) Of course, I can't forget to mention the gore! I've no idea how this one looks at theatrical screenings (i.e. from R rated cuts etc) but this Spanish DVD release looks very much to be fully uncut - well the Spaniards dropped any censorial hang ups a long while back so nudity and bloody violence for entertainment purposes are fine nowadays! And there is plenty of delicious bloody eye candy to keep most splatter fans sated throughout the films running time, but there's no point in dissecting (ho ho) all the gore here as these are what you want to watch the film for and not have some harpy like me ruin for you!?
The Spanish DVD release is likewise an absolute cracker and I can absolutely no reason why any fan of the series would want to wait until later in the year for their regional variation. It might not say special edition on the cover but it pretty much is. Firstly, the anarmorphic widescreen print is simply delicious and faultless throughout, just perfect. Audiowise there's a choice between 5.1 Spanish or English stereo surround, the English track sounds great and is very vibrant and hassle free, again nice one. For those that need them, there's optional English and Spanish subtitles also. But now onto the extras...
First I'd like to point out that although this is a Spanish release, all the visual extras are in English so there's no gripes about burned subtitles or dubbed audio here. There's four (yes four) variant trailers for the movie here, short but sweet they are too! Then there's a on set behind the scenes segment, not a documentary as such but just some on set larking around with the cast and crew which is fun. But then there is five (short) interview sections, made up of chats with director Jim Isaac, producer Sean Cunningham, Jason guru Kane Hodder and two of the cast leads. Finally there's a selection of brief bio pages for the key players of the production. Now when you consider Paramount have been palming off fans of the series with nothing but a trailer then Columbia in Spain truly have to be commended.
If you're a fan of the Friday the 13th series then you know exactly what you're getting here - some mindless good bloody fun! This release from Columbia Spain has set a new standard for future Friday releases. Great stuff - check it out!
Review by Alan Simpson
|Released by Columbia Tristar (Spain)|
|Region - 2 (PAL)|
|Rated - 18+ Uncut|
|Ratio - Anarmorphic widescreen|
|Trailers (4), Behind the scenes, Crew interviews (5), Filographies.|