6 Films Where Space Makes Slasher Movies Bloody Fun

Jason X space

In space, no one can hear you scream. Or smoke. Or have sex. In fact, in space, no one can hear you do anything. That’s a tragedy for hapless folk onboard any number of commercial or private space vessels, but also great news for anyone, or anything, looking for a little outer space slicing and dicing. As adroitly noted in the wickedly clever, movie-within-a-movie Scream 4 opening, horror movies, especially slasher movies, often leave the stratosphere when earthbound carnage yields diminishing returns. It’s hard to say what, exactly, makes space such an enticing venue for any number of horror monsters, but it works, adding inimitable wrinkles to what might otherwise be an exercise in tired tropes and routine carnage. In honor of Jason X’s forthcoming anniversary, we’re taking a look back at six space-bound slasher movies worth watching, though Alien—which, yes, is a slasher movie—is excluded for obvious reasons. Everyone knows Alien.

1. Jason X

Jason X is arguably the best in the small, though admittedly larger than one might think, subgenre of slasher franchises moving to space canon. Between the Krueger claws of Jason Goes to Hell and the full-borne showdown in Freddy vs. Jason, Jason had a lark out among the stars. After his cryogenically frozen body is discovered by a crew of students on vacation from Earth 2 (yes, that’s where they live), he is swiftly brought back to life aboard their ship. There, Jason does as Jason is wont to do– he slaughters everyone and anything in his way. Midway through, Jason X earns its title when Jason, ostensibly killed, is resurrected via organic nanotechnology as a hulking android. It’s an admittedly cool sight, even if Jason’s abilities aren’t all that different from his zombified form. Far from a “great” movie, Jason X is still heaps of fun, a mainstream slasher entry brazen enough to live among the stars.

2. Saturn 3

Saturn 3 Review | Movie - Empire

No one involved in Saturn 3 liked being involved in Saturn 3. Harvey Keitel reportedly remarked it was the “nadir” of his career, while stars Farrah Fawcett and Kirk Douglas had the unique pleasure of receiving Razzie nominations for their performances. It’s a shame, really. Mainstream performers are perhaps too often willing to discredit their horror jaunts—looking at you, Rooney Mara. But Saturn 3, while not good, is still a ton of fun. Keitel’s homicidal space captain arrives at Saturn’s third moon, occupied exclusively by Fawcett and Douglas. Their placid existence is shattered because Keitel’s Captain Benson brings with him a robot, Hector, powered by brain tissue. Given his violent proclivities, Hector develops a few unnerving traits of his own. Soon Hector is wearing severed heads and trying to annihilate anyone in his path. It’s deeply silly stuff, sure, but it’s an early precursor to the likes of Jason X and deserves credit for being so wildly, wickedly out there.

3. Sunshine

Sunshine (2007): Danny Boyle's Visually Stunning Flop | Bomb Report

Danny Boyle reunited with 28 Days Later scribe Alex Garland for Sunshine, two movies in one. The first is a dour, existential reflection on the meaning of life and the viability of human existence as a crew of technicians and engineers travel to quite literally reignite a dying sun. It’s got Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, and even Michelle Yeoh. There’s hardly a better cast earthside, let alone in the outer limits of the solar system. Yet, Boyle and Garland, the perennial tricksters, actually turn Sunshine into a slasher movie in its latter half after a stowaway boards the Icarus II and starts killing everyone. The twist and shift in tone won’t work for everyone, but it’s Boyle and Garland working firmly in slasher territory. The odds of that happening again are less likely than the death of the sun.

4. Leprechaun 4: In Space

How Leprechaun In Space Hilariously Reinvented Alien's Chestburster

The year is 2096 and Warwick Davis’ nefarious, dastardly little leprechaun has tired of earthbound homicide and shifted to space. After courting an alien princess in a bid to take control of her planet, some hapless space marines arrive, intending to kill the leprechaun for having the unmitigated gall to screw with their mining operations. They ostensibly do so. But one urine stream and act of intercourse later, the leprechaun is resurrected, now aboard the marines’ ship. Replete with graphic violence and heaps of sheer stupidity, Leprechaun 4: In Space is an inimitably bad movie whose sheer badness renders it, in fits and spurts, pretty dang fun. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is likely just full of VHS copies of Leprechaun 4: In Space.

5. Life

Life (2017) | Admit One Film Addict

This entry is kind of cheating, but Daniel Espinosa’s Life is worth making an exception for. Successful critically, though not so much financially, the contemporary disregard for Life is one of modern filmmaking’s biggest sins. Life is very, very good, anchored by two incredible performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson. Extraterrestrial being Calvin, a specimen whose cells can change their form at will is being studied by a crew on the International Space Station. Of course, this being a horror movie, Calvin soon develops into a full-borne monster. He starts picking the crew off one by one, including an early death that brazenly kills off one of the movie’s biggest stars. It’s a clear riff on Alien, though it adapts its best elements. A space-set slasher with alien soil instead of a man with a machete, Life works on more levels than one. It’s also really, really good.

6. Hellraiser: Bloodline

Underrated Sequels - 'Hellraiser: Bloodline' - Bloody Disgusting

The leprechaun went to space. Jason Voorhees went to space. Sigourney Weaver has been to space more times than she can count. It was only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite Cenobite Pinhead (Doug Bradley) made the trip, too. Set across disparate timelines, Hellraiser: Bloodline, in part, follows the efforts of Bruce Ramsay’s (in multiple roles) Doctor Paul Merchant and his conception of a space station that can allegedly trap and destroy the Cenobites. A notoriously difficult and contentious production, Hellraiser: Bloodline isn’t strictly speaking a good movie (a trend here among space-bound slashers). But it’s a curious exercise in transplanting the series’ enduringly mature themes to the outer reaches of space. An oddity like the Lemarchand Configuration being supplanted the vast of space is worth a look on its own.



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