Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jason Etc., or: This whole post is basically a SPOILER so watch out if that means anything to you. Oh yeah, there are some gnarly screengrabs, too…

Today's movies are:
Jason X (2001)
Mirrors (2008)
Geoul sokeuro (Into the Mirror) (2003)

I should be embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t seen the original Friday the 13th. I’ve got it lined up on my Netflix queue, and do intend to watch the DVD eventually, but after I missed its initial theatrical run in 1980, I never managed to catch up with it on VHS.

There’s a new Friday the 13th movie (Retcon? Retrofit? Reimaging?) being released on January 13 (Friday, of course), but I’m not really interested in seeing it as of now. I liked the remakes of The Hills Have Eyes and especially the first 20 minutes of the new Dawn of the Dead, but most remakes I ignore because they seem really poorly made, latching onto a “brand” title for lack of anything else.

If the reports on the new Friday the 13th are good, and if my friend PK twists my arm, I might catch it, but we’ll see. I’ve yet to see any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre re-whatevers, and don’t intend to, and the ads for the new Friday the 13th routinely tout that it's from the people who brought you the new Texas Chainsaw Mass-ak-reez.

However, I have seen other Friday the 13th movies, like 3-D (that eye! Hoo-ha!) and the one that pretended that Toronto was Manhattan.

But I really enjoyed Jason X; it was nuts. A logical progression of sorts, bolting the Jason mythos onto an Alien rip-off. For me, Jason X felt a lot like a 1980s New World picture that had somehow gotten hold of a genius special-effects man nanoseconds before he broke out big.

The highly recommended blogsite Dinner With Max Jenke (run by Jeff Allard) is running a Crystal Lake Countdown in anticipation of the new Friday the 13th’s opening, and Tuesday’s entry was all about Jason X.

Allard's article is a good read, an in-depth look as well as a unique perspective, especially his “specialized action figures” comments.

I hope Mr. Allard doesn’t mind me linking to him—it gives me the opportunity to run a bunch of gross stills that have been cluttering up my poor, overburdened computer.

The liquid nitrogen murder gracing today’s post is gnarly stuff, and as Dinner With Max Jenke points out, definitely Jason X’s highlight.

But Mr. Allard, were you as disappointed as I that the “sucked through the grate in to space” death wasn’t gorier? Heck, even Saturn 3 had a more disgusting “splattered before being sucked into space” scene.

It’s too bad the liquid nitrogen murder came so early in the flick; the rest of the movie has a hard time competing. Sort of like Alexandre Aja’s semi-recent Mirrors.

Mirrors starts off well, then around the halfway mark, it burdens itself with the need to explain why these demonic mirrors are causing all sorts of gruesome mayhem. At that point, the flick gets bogged down with an overly complicated back-story when it should be roaring into overdrive.

This movie would have been better sparing us any overt explanations, and just giving us a few more gory set-pieces, like Amy Smart’s upsetting and grueling murder/suicide. Mirrors was a big disappointment from Aja; not that High Tension or his Hills Have Eyes were brilliant, but deliver the goods they did: Lots of FUBAR ultraviolent fun with enough smarts to keep things moving in an interesting manner.

But don’t think the Korean movie that Mirrors is based on, Geoul sokeuro (Into the Mirror), is some great piece of work, either. It’s actually kind of candy-ass, with inexplicable spirits that don’t seem to do much, and a dullard as the lead.

But Max Jenke! How could you forget to mention David Cronenberg’s inexplicable cameo in Jason X? He’s prominently featured in the trailer!

...and a tiny David Cronenberg's profile from Jason X! So distinguished. Dignity, always dignity!

UPDATE: Goshes! I can't believe I forgot to mention this: The absolute kicker to the liquid nitrogen murder is just how thoughtlessly Jason just dumps poor Kristi Angus' dead and smashed body. It's like she's less than disposable. Creeeeeeeeepy. (added Feb. 5, 2009)


  1. Hi Ivan, thanks for the link and the kind words! Not only did I forget to mention the cameo of Canada's greatest filmmaker but I also neglected to give a shout-out to the brief apperance in Jason X by Cronenberg regular Robert Silverman. All I can say in my own defense is that I'm under the gun trying to get a film a day in before the remake's big release so some details are bound to slip past me!

  2. Silverman! Riiiight! I forgot about his cameo.

    Don't let my gripes slow you down; you're doing a great job!