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Jason and the Astronauts

Jason goes to space, and the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise is reborn

By Scott Collura     April 30, 2002

To the horror fan's delight, FRIDAY THE 13TH's traditional Jason will undergo an upgrade in JASON X
© 2002 New Line Cinema

It's a grand tradition in horror films that dates back to the genre's earliest years. Once a movie monster hits it big in his/her/its first film, sequels inevitably follow eventually with diminishing returns both creatively and financially. As a result, it soon becomes necessary to imbibe some new life into these movie monsters. When Universal's Dracula got long in the tooth, so to speak, he joined his fellow grotesques in the so-called monster mashes, culminating in a semi-change in genre: the comedic ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. Hammer Studios also reinvented their monsters from time to time, relocating them to exotic locales like Hong Kong (LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES) and the mod '70s (DRACULA A.D. 1972), and drastically rethinking new variations on the original theme (DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE). While occasionally veering into the ridiculous, there's no denying that such fresh takes on classic characters have usually proven more entertaining and memorable than the often-tired retread sequels that preceded them.

Now this age-old notion of rethinking a character is being applied to one of the all-time great modern monsters of the slasher movie genre, which dominated horror films throughout the '80s: Jason Voorhees, the hockey mask-wearing serial killer featured in the FRIDAY THE 13TH films, is returning in style after a nine-year rest. This April, the 10th picture for the revered maniac places Jason and his hapless victims in an entirely new setting, while updating the character big time along the way. As the film's director, Jim Isaac, explains, JASON X is not your father's (or big brother's) standard-issue FRIDAY THE 13TH movie.


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