While we each have our favorite entry in the Friday the 13th franchise – and Kane Hodder actually has one of his own as well – I must admit that mine is Jason X. Sure, there may be the purists among you that scoff at the idea of sending Jason Voorhees into space, but I believe there’s a beauty in the absurdity of it all – and there’s also the fact that I believe it contained some of Jason’s best kills overall.
Having lied dormant for a number of years, you could probably imagine the shock shared by us all when the franchise made its comeback in spring of 2002 with an offering that toed the line between horror and science fiction. Plus, there was the introduction of the Uber Jason look that factored heavily into the film’s marketing, something that remains a talking point to this day. Really, it’s no wonder that a series of novels was spawned from this idea.
When I had the chance to speak with Kane Hodder himself this past weekend at Astronomicon, there was no way I was going to let Jason X go ignored during our conversation. Unsurprisingly, I learned that he was at first perplexed by the premise, just like the rest of us:
“When they first told me, ‘hey, we’re doing another one and we want you to do it again,’ I was very happy and they said, ‘it’s gonna be Jason in space.’ I said, ‘that’s pretty funny. What is it, really?’ They said, ‘Jason in space.’ I was like, ‘oh, I thought it was a joke.'”
But, as he continued, I realized that he didn’t have to change too much on his end as an actor, even if this was something radically different:
“So, I was a little hesitant about the idea, but I thought it really doesn’t matter where Jason is as long as he’s consistent with what’s he’s always been. So, I figured I’m in space, but I’m still gonna be the same character: Brutally violent to everyone within reach and it’ll just be the setting that’s different. That’s how I approached it. It was an interesting movie, different ideas and stuff, of course. The Uber Jason look was pretty good.”
Looking back at Jason X, I’m glad that Hodder decided to take the role because his reprisal probably gave diehard fans that approached this picture with hesitation some incentive to check it out. And while it remains but a small corner of the illustrious Friday the 13th franchise, at least Jason can lay claim to having taken one small step on mankind.