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How 'Jason X' Saved The Friday The 13th Franchise

 After the release (and subsequent failure) of Jason Goes To Hell in 1993, the landscape of the Friday the 13th franchise seemed scorched beyond repair. Critics and fans seemed to agree, for once, that the film was nothing short of an abomination. I, however, am not among them..but that is another article all together(which you can read here). And, while I cannot agree that the film is without it's merits, I can openly admit that it certainly didn't do us any favors. In fact, it put the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Voorhees family for nearly a decade.
You're welcome.
9 years. That's a long time, as far as sequels are concerned..long enough for mainstream audiences to forget all about every one's favorite masked maniac. Die hard fans like us were left with nothing else to do but speculate. Would we ever see another 'Friday' film? Would it pick up after JGTH? I mean, they TOTALLY meant to pick up with Jason and Freddy going toe-to-toe in the depths of Hell, right? And speculate, we did.

During the time, right at the birth of the internet, most folks turned to these new things called 'message boards' to share their interests and Friday the 13th fans were no different. F13 forums popped up all over the place, and each one had a special section dedicated to where fans thought the series should(or would) go next. I'm talking everything from theories to bonafide fan-fiction, all dedicated to the Big-Bad-J. They were rife with all sorts of wild rumors and crazy 'leaks'. There was one topic, though, that always came up..and it's not what you'd think. Three words. Jason. In. Space.

It was everywhere, too. Some sites even had whole sections specifically dedicated to fan-art for a cyborg version of Jason. No lie, and some of it was good stuff. Mostly, this was just because fans wanted more and we didn't necessarily care how we got it.

I won't bore you with all the incidentals, but eventually those forums slowly died out. As the years ticked by, everyone sort of just moved on. That was, until 2002. I'll never forget, I was sitting in the theater waiting on Blade 2 to start. The theater was mostly empty, and the very first trailer appeared on screen. Jason. In. Space. HOLY SHIT. Mind = Blown.
You loved it. I know you did.
Now, I'm not here to convince you this movie is good(maybe some other time). What I am here to say is this: Jason X single-handedly brought back this franchise from the brink of extinction.

What dreams we may have previously had about the glorious future of the series were all but dead, dragged to hell along with Jason in 1993. Jason X brought it back. Leaked set photos began pouring across the internet like wild fire. The TV-spots were all over the place. The hype was strong with this one, and when it opened nationwide the numbers were there to back it up. Sure, it may have tanked with critics, but the fact is Jason X made money. Not a whole lot by today's standards, but it made nearly it's entire budget back opening weekend alone. That is a feat that even the strongest blockbusters struggle with today.

More importantly, it proved to the executives that Jason still had a ways to go before he was done; that there was still money to be made, and fans to enjoy it..no matter how crazy it got. It told them to hurry up and put another movie on the fast track. Hell, we barely had to wait a year after Jason X for Freddy VS Jason. That's right. And to think, without Jason X, we may never have gotten that gore-fest.

It may not be the best, but without it we may have never gotten our hockey-masked best friend back. So, love it or hate it, just make sure to give it some credit.
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