Following an ambush by Federal Agents, Jason gets his undead keister blown to pieces. After a 13-year murder spree, it’s about damn time the authorities wised up and brought in the heavy artillery. Unfortunately, it turns out that Jason Voorhees is actually a Soul Slug™ (say whaaaaa?) capable of transferring his evil essence into a series of hosts. Thus, throughout the movie, we get Coroner Jason, Cop Jason, and Angry Diner Patron Jason.
I asked for well done! That steak wasn’t a shade over medium!
The downside to this is that Kane Hodder’s intimidating presence is sorely missed: Hodder only shows up for the opening sequence and a few minutes at the tail end of the flick. While Jason Goes To Hell is entertaining if viewed as a separate entity from its cinematic brethren, there is so much foolishness going on here that its inclusion in the canon seems questionable. Still, it has a bigger budget than the last several entries, the cast is decent and the humor is considerably toned down. Also, this is the movie that got horror fans salivating for a crossover between two of the genre’s biggest icons. Jason Goes To Hell’s final scene? A clawed glove reaching through the ground to grab Jason’s mask. Fans would have to wait 10 years for this teaser to pay off in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason.
BEST KILL: Your tax dollars at work. A full 13 years after the killing started, the Feds finally decide to get off their asses and do something about it. Jason gets tricked into following a very naked undercover agent into the woods and ends up on the business end of something explosive.
BEST BABE: To be fair, he was following this chick.
I guess they’re recruiting FBI agents at the Playboy Mansion these days.
Or: Friday The 13th… IN SPAAAAAAACE!
Unless your franchise started off there, paying a visit to outer space would appear to be ill-advised. See: Leprachaun 4. I know, I know. Jason X has its share of fans, but as a lifelong Friday The 13th fan I can’t for the life of me understand why. While certain previous entries have dabbled in self-awareness, Jason X plunges headfirst into parody and humor. It completely neuters Jason as a convincing threat, removes him once again from his home environment and is mostly a vehicle to poke fun at the slasher genre. There’s nothing wrong with making fun of established horror conventions, but could you please do it in your own movie and not ruin our franchise? Truly, there was nowhere for the series to go after Jason X. It was off to crossover world next (Freddy vs. Jason) and a complete reboot of the franchise was inevitable soon afterward (2009’s Friday The 13th)
What’s on display here feels more like a direct-to-video-budgeted flick than a true Friday The 13th movie. The sets are cheap, the cast is even cheaper, despite the presence of a pair of decent enough Andromeda actresses (Lexa Doig and Lisa Ryder) and the humor and knowing winks come at the viewer fast and furious. Admittedly, Robo-Jason is kinda, sorta cool to look at for a few minutes, but this is the movie’s only enduring contribution to the Voorhees canon.
We can rebuild him! We have the technology!
BEST KILL: Jason just woke up from a centuries long sleep and he’s awfully cranky. Luckily, there’s a nubile blonde nearby and a tank of liquid nitrogen handy. You do the math.
BEST BABE(S): Ok. I’ll admit it. This was a nice touch. Needing to divert Jason’s attention for a few minutes, the crew trick him into entering a Holodeck where a pair of very naked co-eds await. Jason can’t resist indulging himself and we even get a do-over of the infamous sleeping bag kill.