Kane Hodder

Jason X (2001, James Isaac)

Jason X is wonderfully bad. I don’t think it’s intended to be camp, but who knows. It certainly plays as high camp, possibly the best camp at the expense of the Friday the 13th series. Maybe if it were just a little less gory….

Todd Farmer’s script borrows a number of set pieces and dialogue exchanges from Aliens. And he forecasts it at the beginning, when Lexa Doig’s present day protagonist gets cryogenically frozen trying to escape killer monster Jason. It immediately feels like Aliens and then the similarities just continue, complete with a Burke character in Jonathan Potts and even Apone with Peter Mensah.

Would the film be at all amusing to someone not well-versed in Friday the 13th, Aliens and eighties movies in general? No. Farmer’s script is exaggerated and most of the actors can’t sell the lines. Melyssa Ade does rather well with her lame one-liners, giving them a proverbial eye roll on delivery.

The problem’s director Isaac. He can’t direct. The movie could even get away with the cheap (and derivative) special effects if Isaac and photographer Derick V. Underschultz were better at their jobs. Harry Manfredini turns in a surprisingly okay score and editor David Handman gets in a couple rather solid jump scares.

By turning slasher movie monster Jason Voorhees into Alien, Jason X erases all expectations. It’s too stupid to consider taking seriously. And has some success. Doig’s likable and Manesh’s good.

It’s truly too bad Isaac’s not a better director.



Directed by James Isaac; screenplay by Todd Farmer, based on characters created by Victor Miller; director of photography, Derick V. Underschultz; edited by David Handman; music by Harry Manfredini; production designer, John Dondertman; produced by Noel Cunningham; released by New Line Cinema.

Starring Lexa Doig (Rowan), Lisa Ryder (Kay-Em 14), Chuck Campbell (Tsunaron), Jonathan Potts (Professor Lowe), Peter Mensah (Sgt. Brodski), Melyssa Ade (Janessa) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees).

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993, Adam Marcus)

Jason Goes to Hell is terrible. It’s terribly made, it’s terribly written, it’s terribly acted. It’s so terrible I wish the word “terrible” was in the title just so I could continue to make terrible jokes instead of trying to write about the movie.

There’s something interesting about it. And not just how the movie implies Jason Voorhees is a Deadite, which would have been far cooler, or he’s a leftover from New Line Cinema’s previous effort, The Hidden. Tying it into either of those franchises would have at least been imaginative. Well, not the second. Director Marcus apes The Hidden more than enough.

But the other interesting thing is disturbing. Marcus makes a big deal out of torture scenes featuring Steven Williams and Richard Gant. Both have big scenes where they torture white guys. The first one, with Gant, is a ritualistic BDSM thing with a naked Rubenesque male. The second has Williams gleefully torturing geeky but secretly a great fighter white guy John D. LeMay, all while whispering softly to him.

Marcus is similarly creepy when it comes to women in the film. He sexualizes Erin Gray while she’s injured, while her daughter–female lead Kari Keegan–escapes any objectification.

It’s not competently perverse enough to give pause, but Marcus seems to wish he could be that perverse.

Really bad photography from Bill Dill; he and Marcus are the incompetent duo on this one. Though Harry Manfredini’s score’s atrocious this entry.

Hell is tired before the opening titles.



Directed by Adam Marcus; screenplay by Dean Lorey and Jay Huguely, based on a story by Huguely and Marcus; director of photography, Bill Dill; edited by David Handman; music by Harry Manfredini; production designer, Whitney Brooke Wheeler; produced by Sean S. Cunningham; released by New Line Cinema.

Starring John D. LeMay (Steven Freeman), Kari Keegan (Jessica Kimble), Steven Williams (Creighton Duke), Allison Smith (Vicki), Steven Culp (Robert Campbell), Billy Green Bush (Sheriff Ed Landis) with Erin Gray (Diana Kimble) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees).

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989, Rob Hedden)

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan has a number of significant problems. Director Hedden can’t direct actors or compose a shot well, the actors aren’t any good (even experienced character actor like Peter Mark Richman can’t seem to figure out what Hedden wants him to do), Bryan England’s photography is lousy, Fred Mollin’s music is lousy, the whole thing looks cheap, but none of those problems are what drain any interest from the film.

It’s Hedden’s inability to decide what he wants the movie to do. He doesn’t go for gore, he doesn’t go for scares. Okay, sure, Hedden couldn’t deliver scares, but he could have at least tried. For a while, he compensates for the lack of gore (and scares) by subjecting characters to absurdly long fearful suffering sequences. Poorly acted, but the actors deserved better. They’re already giving lame performances; being further embarrassed just because Hedden can’t figure out what to do is too much.

Lead Jensen Daggett is bad. She has a huge story arc–complete with flashback–to explain her importance to the movie (and the franchise). Hedden has no sense of scale, not when he’s directing scenes onboard the cruise ship (sorry, the commercial freighter converted into an Elks Lodge-inspired luxury ship), not when he’s trying for big moments in the screenplay. He’s bad at the whole filmmaking thing.

The film’s real long at 100 minutes; it gets intensely boring around the thirty minute mark. The rest is just excruciating.

Bad stuff.



Directed by Rob Hedden; screenplay by Hedden, based on characters created by Victor Miller; director of photography, Bryan England; edited by Steve Mirkovich and Ted Pryor; music by Fred Mollin; production designer, David Fischer; produced by Randy Cheveldave; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Jensen Daggett (Rennie Wickham), Scott Reeves (Sean Robertson), Barbara Bingham (Colleen Van Deusen), Peter Mark Richman (Charles McCulloch), Martin Cummins (Wayne Webber), Gordon Currie (Miles Wolfe), Vincent Craig Dupree (Julius Gaw), Kelly Hu (Eva Watanabe), Saffron Henderson (J.J. Jarrett), Sharlene Martin (Tamara Mason) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees).

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988, John Carl Buechler)

Let’s take Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood at face value and not assume it’s a soulless corporate production with no ambition other than to separate the 18–24 year old demographic from some cash on Friday night of pay day.

With that consideration in mind, the film is about this evil psychiatrist (Terry Kiser) who brings this girl with telekinetic powers (Lar Park-Lincoln) out to the woods in order to develop her powers. Why isn’t important. In the woods, Park-Lincoln releases this monster who apparently thinks he’s in charge of maintaining the forest and the way to get plants to grow is with human sacrifice and decorating trees and other plants with the corpses.

Kind of gross, but far more interesting than the utter laziness of New Blood. Park-Lincoln’s terrible; director Buechler seems entirely unfamiliar with Kiser as an actor and wastes him as a non-comedic weasel. The only performances of note are Kevin Spirtas as the male lead (just because he’s not atrocious) and maybe Kane Hodder as Jason, only because he’s got so much to do physically. Just not as a character.

Buechler’s approach to New Blood is to turn the monster into the audience’s entry into the film. Not for empathetic reasons, of course–Buechler uses it to give the audience wish fulfillment with the graphic murders. It’d be disturbing if it weren’t all so ineptly done.

Atrocious production design from Richard Lawrence makes every scene somewhat unpleasant.

Lousy stuff.



Directed by John Carl Buechler; written by Daryl Haney and Manuel Fidello; director of photography, Paul Elliot; edited by Maureen O’Connell, Martin Jay Sadoff and Barry Zetlin; music by Harry Manfredini and Fred Mollin; production designer, Richard Lawrence; produced by Iain Paterson; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Lar Park-Lincoln (Tina Shepard), Kevin Spirtas (Nick), Susan Blu (Mrs. Amanda Shepard), Terry Kiser (Dr. Crews), Susan Jennifer Sullivan (Melissa), Elizabeth Kaitan (Robin), Jon Renfield (David), Jeff Bennett (Eddie), Heidi Kozak (Sandra), Diana Barrows (Maddy), Larry Cox (Russell), Craig Thomas (Ben) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhee).

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