[box cover]

Jason X

After surviving untold numbers of unsuccessful attempts on his life, notorious killer Jason Vorhees (Kane Hodder, in his fourth go-around in the role) is about to be cryogenically frozen when dumb scientists (lead by — of all people — David Cronenberg) decide the fiend requires further study. Unfortunately, Jason breaks free, but the reasonably intelligent Rowan (Lexi Doig) freezes him, only to be cryogenically imprisoned as well. Cut to 400 years in the future and a group of students on a field trip to Earth thaw them both out, only to set bloodthirsty Jason loose on the ship's crew. That's the plot for 2002's Jason X (or, as it should be affectionately called, Jason in Space), and it's a pretty thin string to hang a picture on — but the series has never been exactly plot-heavy in the first place. Few franchises (outside of the Bond series) have produced ten theatrical efforts, and the Friday the 13th series is all the more impressive for inspiring a ninth sequel, as the sole purpose of the franchise entire is to kill horny, drug-addled teenagers in creatively gory ways. Fortunately the filmmakers for Jason X went in the only real direction left — comedy. Though the film plays it mostly straight, it includes enough amusing jokes about Jason's behavior (what wakes him up from his cryo-sleep is the sounds of teenagers having sex) to keep the story moving at a fast pace, and it saves the best joke for last. The picture does gets bogged down in the middle by the "bug hunt" for Jason. However, as long as the pints are kept frothy and the expectations kept low, it makes for fun viewing. New Line's Jason X: Platinum Edition presents the film in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) with audio in DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby 2.0 Surround, all of which are sub-thumping tracks. For extras there is a chatty audio commentary by director James Isaac, writer Todd Farmer, and producer Noel Cunningham. It's followed by two documentaries: "The Many Lives of Jason Vorhees" (30 min.), which covers the history of Jason and talks to such scholars as Joe Bob Briggs and Drew "Moriarty" McWeeny; and "By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Jason X" (18 min.), which is most interesting in its discussion of how the film was shot on film but then directly transferred to digital. Also included is the theatrical trailer, and the "Jump to a Death" feature (which can also be played randomly) that was initially used on New Line's Nightmare on Elm St. discs. Keep-case.

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