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Friday the 13th: Part 8
Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
| Directed by:
Jason (Kane Hodder) embarks on a cruise
ship, kills lots of graduating "Crystal Lake" teens and chases
the remaining few into the fair city of New York. He also teleports on
The title of this 8th entry in the Friday the 13th legacy is very
misleading. The film should've been called: "Jason Takes The
first hour of the movie takes place on a cruise boat and only the last 20
minutes is in Manhattan.
The bulk of the film is
Jason by-the-numbers. The undead muscle-head goes from teen to teen and
proceeds to end their lives shortly. Being the huge Jason fan that I am, I
did get some joy out of seeing the madman at play on a cruise ship. I'll
always derive some pleasure out of seeing Jason kill...I just love the big
lug! Unfortunately, the murders themselves are beyond bloodless or creative in tacky ways. Sorry, but seeing a guy getting his head slammed
into a pole or some broad getting whacked with a guitar are not my ideas
of fun slash. Sure, we get a couple of keepers like the stone in the chest
but whatever happened to the more simpler yet brutal kills of the old
Instead, we get a drowning in a bucket of slime! How fucking novel (that
was sarcasm)! What's up with that garbage?
This sequel also slaps in new
"gimmicks" and they don't really work. Iíll start off with
the "teleportation" vibe. What was up with that? This entry has
Jason being able to materialize anywhere he wants. Itís almost as if
"Scotty" kept on beaming him up and down all the time. We all
know Jason always gets his man but this teleportation crap was BS. And
then there was the
"Jason kid" subplot. Rennie keeps having hallucinations or
visits from Jasonís spirit when he was a kid. Sure, this subplot made way for
many creepy "Elm Street" type scenes and I appreciated them on
some level, but in the end, they didn't mean shit! Why
slap in a supernatural subplot if youíre not going to do anything with it?
Itís never explained or dealt with and that frustrated me. Two last
"Jason" kid has hair (wasnít Jason a bald retard) and the more
"symbolic" inclined ending blew chunks. This is Friday the 13th dude...not
On a positive note, Kane Hodder
continues his badass Jason streak and is an aggressive delight. Although
the murders are low on gore, Hodder delivers them with such violent gusto,
that I couldn't help but enjoy them anyways. The scene where the token
slut is taught a "Voorhees" lesson via a broken mirror is a wonderful
example of that. The movie also gives us a classic Jason vs. black
dude boxing match on a rooftop that had me grinning with delight (incidentally, why does Julius keep
hitting Jason in the faceÖthe dude is wearing a goalie mask moron!)
I also dug the cruise ship setting; it gave this sequel a more
claustrophobic feel and although too brief and not milked to their full
the scenes in New York gave way to some funny "fish out of water" bits.
The change of location was greatly appreciated by this a-hole...you just
can't go wrong with Jason busting into a diner or making an appearance in a
Big Apple subway car. But in the end, Friday the 13th: Part 8 was mostly a
disappointment. The title promises something different, but we get the same
thing watered down and cluttered with new stupid ideas. Jason punches in
the clock and goes to work!
Jensen Dagget (Rennie) is good at playing the virginal heroine, I found
her likeable. Peter Mark Richman (Charles) excels at playing the a-hole
uncle, you'll hate him. Scott Reeves (Sean) does what he has to do as the
typical good hearted hunk. VC Dupree
(Julius) is amusing as the tough guy. Sharlene Martin (Tamara) plays the
one-dimensional slut to perfection. The acting is actually credible.
Sure, we get a stone in one's belly, a
stabbing with a piece of glass and a slick beheading but most of the kills
are either dryer than "Cindy Lauper" on a hot summer night or
idiotic. They tried to make up for the lack of gore with more "creative"
kills but it just didn't work. I still can't get over that drowning in a
bucket of slime, that dude deserved way worse...like a knife in the
forehead or something.
The opening victim shows a bit of boob/ass, but Iím saddened to say that Sharlene Martin (Tamara) follows in the footsteps of "Melissa"
in Part 7 and shows mostly nothing. Yes, she teases but doesn't reveal
much (if you don't blink, you see her butt crack). You know a slasher series is in trouble when the mega-slut doesnít
even overtly reveal the goods.
I was a bit surprised that this film actually looked pretty slick. Itís obvious
that they took way more time in lighting the scenes because they look way
polished. Hedden digs on "overhead" shots a lot, got me with one
"boo" scare and the occasional slow motion was a nice touch. This "Friday"
is one of the
better looking ones. Go figure.
The classic "Ki Ki Ki" always works, too bad the lousy side score or
the bad pop/rock songs donít.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen
image really makes this puppy look good. The image itself is tight with
spot on colors and brightness. We do get occasional grain though.
we get a disappointing (for me anyway) 2.0 Dolby surround but I must admit
that it still delivered in sound quality.
Paramount stays true to its
"Let's ignore the Friday fans and keep giving them squat" attitude
and they don't give us one EXTRA. Where's that kool teaser that played in
the theaters?? So damn typical.
Iím a big fan of Jason and his adventures, but this entry
was mostly a let-down. Yes, Kane Hodder still rules as the undead goalie
and that in itself is worth something. The flick is also well directed and
the New York scenes, although brief were also very kool! But Hedden
shouldíve kept his silly ideas (teleportation...come on!) out of the film
and he also should've stepped away from the formula a bit: "stock"
teens introduced, Jason walks in, paper thin teens die (suspense less) and
Jason gets defeated by virgin teen. With the gore gone, the ultimate payoff of
Jason killing a teen is absent, so to make it worthwhile they should go
back to the characters. How about making us care about the teens,
developing them, so that when they die...weíll feel bad! If we care, weíll
also feel suspense, get scaredÖI mean, this is a horror movie right?
The film was mostly shot in beautiful British Columbia with a few scenes
in New York. It was also heavily cut and here are the scenes that were
Jim's death was much gorier.
Originally, Jason shoves the entire spear gun through his stomach, then
rips it out, causing Jim's intestines to slide out along with a large
amount of blood.
Suzy's death was disturbingly
gruesome. Jason shoves the spear through her stomach and twists it
non-stop. There were close-up shots of Suzy's mouth gurgling blood and
blood rapidly oozing from the spear wound.
Tamara's death in the original print
was completely different. Originally, Jason repeatedly stabs her with a
mirror shard in a shower while she's completely nude. Blood rapidly oozes
from her stab wounds and Jason keeps stabbing non-stop.
The scene where the
boxer gets the hot sauna rock shoved into his chest cavity was a re-shoot.
Originally, Jason jammed two darts through his eye sockets, but it was
deemed too graphic in the final cut, and the MPAA forced the crew to
Arrow interviews Kane Hodder
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
back to the Arrow in the Head Homestead...
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