Monday, April 6, 2015

Why “Jason X” is a Guilty Pleasure Film Instead of an Abomination

I recently had a chance to contribute to The Shock Chamber's Friday the 13th retrospective back in March. I wrote an article there on why "Jason X" is a guilty pleasure film than a complete failure. Here's my article from March 13th of this year.

What is a guilty pleasure film? It’s a film that is bad in many ways that you don’t want to see it, then somehow it catches your attention. Then, you watch the film and come out feeling that you’ve watched a train wreck but I can’t help but like this for little or no reason. “Jason X” is one of those films for me. The first time that I saw this film was around 2006, when I was flipping around channels and came upon this film. I was watched the last bit of it and liked it for no reason. So one day, I decide to check it to see how absurd this was. It was that for the most part but I couldn’t help liking the film for its train wreck qualities.

The film is directed by the late Jim Isaac (The Horror Show, Skinwalkers). It takes place in the 25th century where a group of students are going to find out that you don’t unthaw people like Jason Vorhess, when they take the frozen bodies of him and a beautiful doctor on their spaceship after visiting Crystal Lake. Now, Jason Voorhess is finding out the future is more advanced than his trademark machete. Can the students find a way to stop his reign of terror, before he obliterates them all in the final film in the original Friday the 13th series?

I was asked to participate in Shock Chamber’s Friday the 13th retrospective because I did this before back in October for their Halloween retrospective. I jumped at the chance at this immediately because I liked some of the films in the Friday the 13th series. When I was asked which Friday the 13th film that I wanted to review, I knew immediately that I wanted to tackle “Jason X” because I have a lot to say about this film. But I never knew this would feel more like an article than a review.

You might be thinking to yourself, how I’m going to rip this film to shreds because this is one of those films that I have no business liking. But I’m not going to do this here, as “Jason X” one of my favorite guilty pleasure horror films of all time.

I’ll start out with what I liked. I thought Jim Issac’s direction wasn’t that bad given the circumstances that he had. Whether it’s the way that he directs to the action to how he tries to make the material work, he does enough to make everything somewhat entertaining in Todd Farmer’s overly ambitious screenplay. I wished Issac’s had a better screenplay that was more grounded in the present than in space. It would’ve made the film better and not liked so much for its train wreck qualities. The other thing that I liked was the fact this film has some good death scenes. It was creatively done well on both the screenplay and directing ends. There was some actual thought into those scenes, as they use this futuristic setting to be creative with that aspect. It manages to get my interest enough that I continued to watch the film. I wished that there was actual thought into the film’s screenplay and dialogue as well.

But ultimately, this film is a very bad film. One of the reasons that this film should be a complete failure was its cheesy effects. The spaceships feel the ones that you would see in an eighty’s science fiction film and VR effects didn’t blow me away either. I know this film cost 11 million dollars to make. I can’t understand why they could’ve added better effects, as it tells you how much New Line really cared about this film to begin with. It’s not asking much to spend an extra couple of million dollars to make them look passible because the effects in this film were lazy and cheap. They should have set this film in the present. At least, I wouldn’t have had to endure the cheap lazy effects that this film has. The other thing that I didn’t like was the dialogue. It was kind of annoying at times. I know that he was trying to make these characters feel like college students, but it made me want to shut these characters up myself. This should’ve been the point that I turned off the channel, but it took this film into train wreck territory.

The only characters in this film that would be interesting in another film were the film’s main character, Rowan and Sgt. Brodski. I wished there were better characters for this film for these characters to deal with. Everyone else were so annoying that I wish this film only had a final girl.

“Jason X” might be the most hated entry for most Jason fans, but this film strangely becomes a train wreck that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. That’s why this film falls under a guilty pleasure film.

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