First there was the original "Friday the 13th", a low budget exploitation quickie designed to cash in on the success of "Halloween". It was scary, it was nasty, and it was very, very bloody. Then came eight sequels, which replaced the original killer (Mrs Voorhees) with her dead son, Jason. They were even scarier - not because they were terrifying, but because they were just so terrible. Fortunately, "Jason X" breaks the franchise curse by offering something original - a fiendish sense of humour.
The story is a lazy rehash of the "Alien" series. After being cryogenically frozen in the early 21st century Jason (Hodder) is revived in 2455 on board a spaceship that's been salvaging material from Old Earth. With him is the girl who froze him, Rowan (Doig), but of course no one believes her when she explains that Jason's an unstoppable serial killer with a talent for regenerating dead tissue and a penchant for slicing and dicing. Next thing, Jason's all thawed out and killing off the disbelieving crew one by one. Where's Ripley when you need her?
With a series of hilariously yucky deaths, some very camp dialogue and a female android (Ryder) who's given a martial arts upgrade before being sent off to battle Jason, pumping him full of bullets and shouting "Who's your momma?", this makes a refreshing change to the usual slice and dice tedium.
Horror purists may complain that it flounces every rule of the slasher movie, isn't in any way scary, and it shamelessly sets itself up for the next sequel. Well, they'd be right, but as far as the "Friday" series goes, this is more fun than anyone had any right to imagine.