ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 2002
I met Jason once. Back in ’89, they were filming Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan at an abandoned high school in Burnaby and I was covering the shoot for American horror mag Fangoria. During a break, stuntman-actor Kane Hodder came lumbering down the hall in the common Jason garb of work clothes, boots, and hockey mask. Because he wasn’t clutching a blood-soaked machete, I wasn’t that scared, although the thought did cross my mind that Jason might squeeze my head like a pimple between his mighty palms and pop my eyeballs out—like he did to that poor sap in Friday the 13th Part 3.
So I kept my questions friendly; for his part, Hodder was the perfect gentleman. He even signed autographs for some of the horror-loving kids gathered around the old school’s entranceway. But all the off-screen charm and PR skills in the world couldn’t save Hodder from serious scorn and derision once the shamefully inept Part VIII made its way to theatres. He must have impressed somebody with his hacking and slashing, however, because they brought him back for 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (yeah, right), and now he’s donned the mask again for Jason X.
The bad news is that crossing over into double digits—“Nyaah, nyaah, beat ya, Freddy!”—only means that the series’ films have gotten twice as terrible.
The brainiacs who own the Friday the 13th franchise must have woken up one morning and gone: “Gee, Star Wars was pretty good, why not send Jason into space?” Through a series of silly mishaps, he winds up aboard a spaceship in the year 2455, a time when only sex-starved bimbos and kinky nerds are qualified to be in charge of things. Suffice it to say that there’s much nipple-twisting, face-shattering, torso-skewering, and back-breaking—all sandwiched between volleys of excruciating one-liners.
Whatever they paid Canadian horror auteur David Cronenberg to appear in this godforsaken mess, it wasn’t enough. Lucky for him, his character dies early.