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The Perfect Storm Failure Of Jason X

Every once in a great while a film faces an uphill climb for which it will never reach the top of the mountain. Usually, such films either never get completed or get released into relative obscurity (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane). So when such a movie does eventually receive a wide release into major markets for audiences to see, many of the problems that plagued production are brought to the forefront. In the case of the tenth film in the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason X, numerous circumstances and events took a very promising concept and twist on Jason Voorhees and reduced it to a fan majority disappointment.

Talk about a hard sell to a distributor. Try pitching a ninth sequel in a twenty year old franchise with the same horror icon and say that you're now going to send him into Space! That's just what Sean Cunningham, son Noel Cunningham, and writer Todd Farmer did. The fact that they were successful in getting an approval for distribution is a testament to the script that was turned in and how ambitious the storyline was. The only problem with the ambitions of the script is that the budget was never going to allow for the designed concept of the film to fully come to fruition. Couple that fact with creative differences during production between Director James Isaac, Noel Cunningham, and Sean Cunningham, and the loss of Michael DeLuca as the Head of Distribution at New line Cinema causing the two year delay of the release of the film, and you had the perfect storm for failure of Jason X.


The question is occasionally asked among certain groups of fans in the community if any one of these circumstances were reversed would the final product of the film be better or would the audience reaction have been more well received? It's hard to say really, but if the original script was left intact, the fans more than likely would have been treated to a better character experience and got a lot of the Friday The 13th in-jokes that were prevalent and littered among the story. Budget would have allowed for a much more visually pleasing experience whereas some of the complaints of fans is that the movie looks cheap in certain areas for it being a Science Fiction film. The most talked about and controversial question, however, is if the release of of Jason X would have taken place in 2000, rather than 2002 (United States), would the reduced Internet piracy and numerous years of bad word of mouth helped raise the overall box office numbers?

It's a tricky concept to try and reinvent your franchise in such a drastic fashion, by taking it to Space. Before the current era of countless remakes and franchise reboots, creating Jason X was the only way Sean Cunningham and company could get another Jason Voorhees film into theaters. Some fans wish the film never happened, others applaud the different and fun tone the film brought to the overall franchise. However, in this case, the perfect storm of creative differences, limited budget, and the loss of the only backer of the project in Michael DeLuca, caused a sometimes disjointed story to arise with limited Special Effects and a loss of revenue at the box office due to a severely delayed release into theaters.

What do the fan think? If any of this changed for the better and more positive circumstances, would Jason X have been a better film within the Friday The 13th franchise?
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