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Credit: New Line Cinema

49 thoughts we had while watching Jason X

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May 4, 2019, 2:31 PM EDT (Updated)

I'm a complete and total weenie. Cabin in the Woods gave me nightmares, and you’re looking at the woman who shrieked out loud at that moment in the actually-a-Gothic-romance-and-not-horror-at-all Crimson Peak where somebody gets knifed in the face. So it's no surprise that I have avoided a great deal of horror. I’m marginally aware of the major players in the greatest hits — Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and, of course, Jason Voorhees — but I’ve never seen a single frame. Growing up, the kind of spooky movies my friends and I watched at sleepovers were things like Snakes on a Plane.

But I really, really love bad movies. My college friends and I started an all-ladies’ Mystery Science Theater 3000-style movie riffing troupe. I have seen Dungeons & Dragons more times than I have seen films I legitimately believe are great. I voluntarily went to go see Batman v Superman on my actual human birthday one year. (Afterward, dazed, I walked by a comics shop and suppressed the urge to bang my arms on the glass and scream “SAVE YOURSELVES!” I had to go home and watch The Force Awakens just to remember what joy felt like.) For someone like me, there’s something gleefully delicious about desperate late installments in long-running franchises. Franchises like, say, Friday the 13th.

In the late '90s, production had ground to a halt on Freddy vs. Jason, the epic, fan-driven confrontation promised at the end of Jason Goes to Hell. Friday the 13th series creator Sean S. Cunningham decided that they needed a new Friday the 13th movie, just to keep audiences interested in Jason. He turned to first-time writer Todd Farmer, who pitched Jason in spaaaaaace. Farmer was so gung-ho on the idea that, according to an interview with IGN, he hoped it would start a trilogy.

It, uh, didn’t. The next Friday the 13th film was Freddy vs. Jason, and then the series got rebooted, leaving Jason X as an early-aughts high-concept experiment that fizzled out. Which makes it the equivalent of a dog’s platonic ideal of a juicy hambone to any bad movie lover. So, despite my status as Queen of the Weenies, I ripped open a package of Peeps and heeded the siren call of Jason X. These are my thoughts.

  1. Seeing the New Line Cinema logo at the beginning of this film reminds me of the magical fact that New Line put out The Lord of the Rings and Dungeons & Dragons almost exactly a year apart. Thanks for making my childhood magical in two radically different ways, New Line!
  2. We open in what I assumed was Hell, given the events of the previous film (thanks, Wikipedia!), but is quickly revealed to be the rotting innards of one Jason Voorhees as he is examined by scientists.
  3. You could tell me every single person on here was a featured player in a late season of Smallville and I would believe you.
  4. And there it is, the iconic Halloween noise … which Jon Cryer described as “Jif jif jif … pop pop pop …” on I Love the '80s once and which I can now never unhear. It’s really taking the edge off of the impending chills, so I appreciate it.
  5. Our location is revealed to be the Crystal Lake Research Facility. I guess when the camp fizzled out due to the extreme numbers of dead teens, scientists got to snatch up the property for a steal!
  6. Jason is being held in a vast warehouse of a room, tied up so he can’t get up to his usual murdering ways. They let him keep his hockey mask, though, which is nice. He seems, honestly, really contained, until a soldier comes along and puts a blanket over his head like a canary. Spoiler alert: Jason will not be disrespected! He might be a deranged, undead murderer but he is a person!
  7. Outside, we meet Jason’s … doctor? handler? emergency contact? Rowan, who is at risk of drowning in her billowing early-aughts power suit. She bumps into oh my god that’s David Cronenberg, who tells her that the procedure to put Jason into cryostasis has been postponed in the creepiest way possible. “I don’t want him frozen, Rowan, I want him soft.” First: Ew. Second: If you don’t think Jason isn’t all just gristle, bone, and murder at this point, you are fooling yourself, buddy.


    Credit: New Line Cinema

  8. Up to this point, Jason has apparently been a very good prisoner, but when Cronenberg goes to collect his “soft” (yurgh) prize, he finds Blanket Boy murdered in his place! Dun dun dun! Now, in order to pull this trick off, Jason had to a) remove his restraints, b) murder Blanket Boy, c) get naked to swap their clothing, and d) put Blanket Boy back up the same way he was, all while not making a peep while Rowan and Cronenberg converse outside. This means that Jason’s power set must include supernatural stealth abilities.
  9. Or maybe just straight-up teleportation, because after Jason lays waste to all the scientists and soldiers in the room, he sneaks up behind Rowan … who is looking into the only door into the room. Rowan, to her credit, grabs a gun off of a dead soldier and turns it on Jason. Who, since we immediately cut to Rowan in the cryostasis chamber, just kind of … followed at a safe distance, I guess?
  10. Rowan and Jason struggle in the cryostasis chamber — she successfully tricks him inside, he successfully stabs her — and the whole room ices up.
  11. We then cut to a boy band’s worth of Star-Lords descending down the stairs. There is some light damage and cobwebs to helpfully inform us that time has passed.
  12. The boy band remove their helmets to reveal that they are a pack of raving dumdums. Turns out, they’re teens from space! on a field trip to Earth One, and they treat this cryostasis chamber the same way I treated the tasting room at the World of Coca-Cola when I was in eighth grade. The dumbest of the dumdums, white-boy-with-dreadlocks Azrael, immediately gets his hand frozen to a coffee cup that someone just kind of left in the cryostasis room. Which you would think would compromise the cryostasis, but Rowan turns out just fine, so I guess science is a lot simpler in the universe of Friday the 13th.
  13. We also learn in this scene, as the kids don’t know what a hockey mask is, that hockey was outlawed in 2024. Why? By which country? For the entire world? For what reason? I cannot imagine Canada taking this without a fight. Oh, gosh, is this why Earth One is uninhabitable? Did the Hockey Wars devastate the planet?
  14. Jason was so kind as to freeze in a stabbing pose. Keep in mind he stabbed Rowan in the gut, so this was a definite choice on his part. He lifted his arm and held it there while he froze to death. Azrael, solidifying his position as the dumbest space teen, smashes the cup against Jason’s open pod, sending Jason flying forward to slice his arm off. Excellent choice, Jason, excellent choice.
  15. At this point, we learn that the Space Teens are a part of the Lunar United States. It appears to have a military branch that also does scavenging in space, because the space teens dissect their finds and hand them over to their professor.
  16. Upon being told that the space teens are bringing back a man to dissect and a cryogenically frozen woman to revive, one of the pilots starts making gross noises about wanting to have sex with her. I will enjoy his death the most.
  17. We are then introduced to Janessa, the Space Teen characterized only as “bitchy,” who is wearing a shirt I can only describe as incomplete in ways that I never knew shirts could be. It’s like she bought a two-toned velvet vest at the Renaissance Festival but it didn’t fit across the front, so she just pinned it together with three of the world’s longest, most golden pins. And also it’s mesh somehow? And accessorized with a bolero choker? It is a stunner of godawful future fashion. I am legitimately impressed.


    Credit: New Line Cinema

  18. Oh, the Space Teens have access to nanobots who can fix snatched-off limbs if you manage to Saran Wrap the wounds fast enough. The five-second rule of mortal wounds, if you will. They put Rowan on the slab to defrost her. Rowan was wearing a matching bra and panty set when she got murdered, a confluence of events that, if you are someone who needs two pairs of undergarments, is literally impossible.
  19. Oh God, somehow Azrael’s white boy dreadlocks are so much worse in the back. It’s a white boy dreadlock mullet — abort every mission.
  20. Three students are assigned to dissect Jason, which is when Jason X introduces the core conflict of the movie and, if I understand correctly, the entire Friday the 13th: Jason vs. Horny Teens. If you’ll recall, the first Friday the 13th is about Jason’s mom taking revenge on the camp counselors who decided to hook up instead of watch after baby Jason, who drowned, and somewhere along the way, it became the resurrected Jason’s mirthless mission to root out all practitioners of premarital sex.
  21. Said horny teens start making out right next to Jason’s steaming, defrosting corpse like it doesn’t smell like a wet subway in August. Oh, God, I’m nauseous and I’m not even in the room!
  22. Adrienne, the student who is not a horny teen, is smart enough to send her misbehaving peers out of the room, but not smart enough to not wear natural fibers to a dissection. The smell is going to get into this layered knit crop top situation, and you know? She deserves it, because that outfit is dumb.
  23. Also dumb: the chainmail kitchen towel they put on Rowan while they defrost her. What purpose does that serve?

    Credit: New Line Cinema

  24. It turns out that Professor Lowe is in such deeply incredible debt that he’s willing to sell Jason’s remains to the highest bidder. I guess in the year 2455, student loans have just gotten worse. The moral of Jason X: wait until marriage and drop out of school, kids.
  25. Janessa and her vest roll into Professor Lowe’s quarters with champagne and a pair of forceps to discuss her grades. The less said about this sex scene the better, to be totally honest.
  26. KM-14, the team’s helpful gynoid, shows off her nipples to student Tsunaron, who is her creator? boyfriend? emergency contact?, which then promptly fall off with a horrifying metal clatter, implying that her nipples were magnetic, which boggles the mind. Tsunaron tells her that she doesn’t need nipples, but she protests that Janessa has nipples, which raises so many questions. How does she know Janessa has nipples? Why does she want nipples? What level of autonomy and sentience does KM-14 have? Who approved Tsunaron’s application to make a robot girlfriend as a school project?
  27. But oh no! We don’t have time to ponder that, because somewhere, two of the students are having consensual, surprisingly equitable premarital sex! And if there’s one thing Jason hates more than premarital sex, it’s WOMAN-POSITIVE PREMARITAL SEX!


    Credit: New Line Cinema

  28. I guess Adrienne isn’t as smart as I thought she was, because she doesn’t notice Jason sit upright on the slab. For her ignorance, her head is dunked in the cryogenic fog machine and shattered. Jason then picks up a cleaver that seems more designed to carve a turkey than delicate lab work, and does what he was put on Earth to do: murder people having sex.
  29. At this point, I’m pretty sure Jason makes the Jiffy Pop sound himself, like a Pokémon or something.
  30. The reawakened Rowan is introduced to the Space Teens, where we learn that Janessa makes incredibly creepy dolls. We never see them again or address this again, but it does add to the bizarre mystique surrounding Janessa.
  31. Suddenly, a crappy early-aughts CGI dragon fills the room, making me think I’ve briefly blacked out and surfaced in Dungeons and Dragons, but no, it’s a VR simulation that Azrael and one of the grunts are playing. Jason lumbers in, kills the dragon, and then slices both of them apart in the VR sim. Wait, how did Jason get into the VR sim? All he did was open the door and stumble in machete first! He’s not a tech guy, movie!
  32. Oh, God, Azrael is like Xander and Joxer had a baby just for me to hate. I definitely cheered when Jason just straight up broke his back like Bane. But seeing Jason kind of just slam the grunt’s head into a wall until he dies made me realize that I live in a post-Saw world. I started this movie sure it would give me nightmares; now, I’m wondering if I can even be scared by it. Even I, Weenie Queen, will sleep well this night.
  33. Okay, the Space Teens are distraught to hear that Azrael has been sliced to pieces. You’d think that they’d bust out the nanobots again that they’ve established can regrow limbs and heal mortal wounds, but nope! Guess they aren’t that distraught over him.
  34. Jason is on the loose, so the grunts and commandos have been dispatched to take care of him while the Space Teens hole up in the lab. You know they’re serious business, because even the long-haired commandos have battle pigtails.
  35. The grunts and commandos pursue Jason into a room on the ship that appears to just be an unused meathook and nightmare factory. What purpose does this serve? Is this supposed to be, like, the compartments on the Titanic that were built to store any water that the ship took on, except instead of water, it’s things that can kill you if you’re clumsy?
  36. As I wait for Jason to just murder all of these commandos, I have to wonder: what is Jason’s goal in life (or unlife)? Yes, I know that he kills sexually active teenagers to avenge his mom, who was killing sexually active teenagers to avenge him. That’s kind of the Voorhees thing. But does it give him purpose? Does it give him joy? Or does it just perpetuate an endless cycle of violence — oh, good, Jason shoved a commando directly onto one of the giant screws and is just watching the body slowly descend downwards in confusion.
  37. The commando that discovers the body tells her commanding officer that the dead commando “is screwed.” This is clearly meant as a joke, but isn’t played like one, which is kind of this entire movie in a nutshell.
  38. Jason murders the pilot (hooray!) and decorates the cockpit with his guts, in such a way that tells me that Jason took a break from murdering teenagers in 1997 to play the original Fallout.
  39. The Space Teens had counted on docking at Solaris Station and letting the commandos take care of Jason, but without a pilot, their ship just… runs directly into the station, killing thousands. Jason! Whatever happened to artisanal handcrafted kills that lend themselves to terrible one-liners?! I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
  40. With nowhere to run, the Space Teens flee the lab, leaving Professor Lowe to Jason. He tries to bargain with Jason, offering him money, but he forgets one key detail: Jason cares only for the murdering of teenagers who have premarital sex! But in this case, he will make an exception for a professor who sexually exploits his students, and he chops Lowe up.
  41. Tsunaron and KM-14 make a supply run, where KM-14 tells him that their odds of survival are very slim. Tsunaron kisses her, and she raises the odds, which—it seems like really bizarre programming to have your robot girlfriend’s math get weird when you make out with her? Also, there is no time for making out, Jason is on the loose and that just makes him more likely to kill you!
  42. Crutch, the engineer, goes to the cockpit with one of the Space Teens to prepare the escape shuttle. Upon seeing the, uh, decor, he remarks, unimpressed, “Hey, you're lucky you weren't alive during the Microsoft conflict. Hell, we were beating each other with our own severed limbs.” I suddenly need to know all about this. What was the Microsoft conflict? It must have occurred in the last 40 years, if Crutch was a participant, so did Microsoft outlast all other tech companies in the future? Doesn’t the presence of severed limbs being wielded as weapons kind of escalate it past “conflict” into all-out war? Is it taught in Space Teen history books as “The Hockey Wars, But Worse?" I would watch an entire movie about this. But I’m watching Jason X.


    Credit: New Line Cinema

  43. The Space Teens and Rowan are cornered by Jason, but are suddenly rescued by KM-14! Tsunaron gave her an “upload” and KM-14 has suddenly become an unhinged version of Milla Jovovich’s Alice from Resident Evil. She is dressed like a martial arts dominatrix, but it’s the early aughts, so she’s wearing straight-fit fake leather pants. She unleashes all hell on Jason, including actual quips, and it is so gleefully absurd that I’m calling it right now — KM-14 wins the movie. She certainly wins the fight against Jason, because she pushes him back into the lab and blows off most of his limbs and his head.
  44. Unfortunately, KM-14 managed to push him back directly onto the nanobots slab, but since nobody thought to use the nanobots on any of Jason’s victims, that’s probably fine, right? Of course not, the nanobots see the eggshell of skull left on Jason and go “I can fix that.” Not only do they fix Jason’s whole “not having a head” problem, they also give him super strength, a silver hockey mask, and silver limbs, as if that was part of Jason’s DNA? These nanobots are a textbook example of book smart but still dumb. Read the room, nanobots.

    Credit: New Line Cinema

  45. During Uber Jason’s — yes, that is his official name — rematch with KM-14, he decapitates her, but, since she’s a robot, Tsunaron just starts toting her quipping head around. It’s really obvious which shots are Lisa Ryder and which shots are a cold, unfeeling prop head. Now I’m just wondering who decided that it was imperative that the prop head blink, just for us to look at the prop head and realize how fake it looks. Maybe they were trying to sabotage the production. Maybe they succeeded.
  46. Janessa, who has survived up to this point, finally perishes, getting sucked out of the air lock. But not before locking eyes with the survivors and screaming, “THIS SUCKS ON SO MANY LEVELS.” I can only agree with you, Janessa, you weird, shining diamond. Rest in peace. Or pieces, as the case may be.
  47. Tsunaron and KM-14 realize that they need to distract Jason in order to get onto a rescue ship, and so they come up with a VR simulator featuring the one thing guaranteed to distract Jason: SEXUALLY ACTIVE TEENAGERS AT CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE! Setting aside the big question of “How on earth did they get a data file containing information on Camp Crystal Lake in 2455?” it’s actually an effective tactic. Seriously, two girls roll up to Jason and ask if he wants drugs or premarital sex, and then we cut to Jason beating one to death with the other one in sleeping bags.
  48. Unfortunately, it doesn’t distract Jason for long. Rowan, Tsunaron, and KM-14 manage to get on the rescue ship before their ship explodes, but the explosion propels Jason into space. But Sergeant Brodski sacrifices his life to save them, grabbing Jason and hurling both of them towards Earth Two, ensuring that they’ll be vaporized. Together they make a comet too beautiful to look upon directly.
  49. And, naturally, a pair of horny teenagers on Earth Two by a lake see the comet and make a wish on it. The comet lands in the lake, and the teens go off to investigate. Jason’s mask sinks to the bottom of the lake, his natural habitat, and the cycle begins anew as his natural prey draws closer…
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