Before hocking up demon lugees and jacking bodies (shakes head) in “Jason Goes to Hell”, Jason went on a carnage cruise, and stopped by the Big Apple to paint the city blood red in “Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan.”

Jason is snoozing at the bottom of Crystal Lake, when whatta know he gets jolted awake by an underwater power cable. Now, wait a second… When did Crystal Lake get underwater power lines? And wasn’t Jason already brought back to life once before using electricity? Well, I guess writer/director Rob Hedden figured that it did the job in “Jason Lives”, so why not use electricity to bring Jason back again in his movie. Though the ironic thing is that later on in the movie Jason gets “killed” by electricity. But I’m pretty sure it was a different kind of electricity.

Well, it isn’t long before a fully charged up Jason comes to the surface, hops on a boat, conveniently finds a new hockey mask (because remember he lost his other mask in the New Blood) and quickly kills two horny teens. He then takes their boat for a short joy ride and uses his ninja-like skills to sneak onto a cruise ship that is filled with (surprise) more teens. Once aboard Jason quickly turns the high school senior trip into a death cruise. The soggy slasher is on his way to racking up a personal best in body count department when, oh, snap!, he botches a kill that causes the ship to start sinking like the Titanic. Of course the remaining survivors freak out and jump into the nearest lifeboat. As they are rowing away, ol’ Jason stays with the ship for some reason. He probably thinks he’s the captain. After Rennie and Co. row for what seems like forever (actually, about a minute) they finally reach the land of high crime rates, pollution, and graffiti covered subway cars, otherwise known as NYC. Not long after docking their boat they receive a very warm welcome from a couple of street thugs who waste no time robbing them using the IRS’s method of collecting money. And to make things worse they kidnap Rennie. Typical horror movie bad luck isn’t it? But that’s not their only problem because guess who tagged along? Yup, Jason. This is a Friday the 13th movie, so who else did you expect? Anyway, he didn’t use his much rumored teleporting ability to get there either. More on that a little bit later. While everybody was busy escaping, the J-man jumped ship and hitched a ride underneath of their rowboat. So much for him going down with the ship.

After the shakedown the rest of the group splits up to look for help. Man, that was a HUGE mistake as Jason manages to find and kill everyone in the group with no problem at all until Rennie and Sean are the only ones who are left. The recently reunited lovebirds are sharing a tender moment in a back alley filled with garbage (how romantic) when third wheel Jason shows up and ruins the smooch-fest. Not surprisingly, they high tail it outta there. Meanwhile, Jason follows them at a distance, strolling at his usual leisurely pace enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. And just when I though they had given him the slip he catches up to Rennie and Sean and follows them into an underground sewer where he quickly ends up getting lost. You know, it’s funny how Jason had no trouble tracking everybody down in city he’d never been to before earlier but now he can’t even find his way around a small underground sewer. I guess his SPS (Slasher Positioning System) couldn’t get a good signal down there.

Now before I forget, I have to mention this whole teleporting phenomena. In the movie Jason has two speeds. Slow, and warp speed. One minute he’s there, the next he’s not, especially when he’s getting ready to kill somebody. At first I was wondering if he had somehow learned a new ability since the last movie. But I’ve seen JTM several times now and I personally think it’s how the film’s edited to make it seem like Jason could be anywhere at any given time? Though towards the end of the movie Jason really starts to slow his pace for some reason. And I wasn’t sure what was going on until I saw the goofy makeup design they made him wear and then it hit me, Jason was dragging his feet because he was dreading his face reveal. And who could blame him. Sadly, he ends up looking about as menacing as the Cookie Monster which was a big letdown, especially after makeup effects effects wizard John Carl Beuchler set the bar so high with his awesome take on Jason in The New Blood. Remember the propeller damage, the machete slash and the ax wound? Well, you won’t see any of that attention to detail this time around. Jason’s once exposed bones are now amazingly covered with skin. I’m guessing no one was supposed to notice that he put on some weight in between sequels. Another thing that bothered me is when little Jason is shown in the flashback sequences he looks cartoonish with his Beetlejuice-like teeth, droopy eye, and long hair. Hmmm… That’s odd, I always remember young Jason having an algae covered Charlie Brown type noggin when he jumped out of Crystal Lake in the original Friday the 13th. Quick, someone call the continuity police! From what I’ve read the makeup “supervisors” who were working on JTM didn’t even bother watching any of the previous movies for research to see how Jason looked in the earlier sequels. But, hey at least they got the part about Jason being dead right.

The walking corpse behind the mask is again played by Kane Hooder. Though I liked his version of Jason in The New Blood a lot better. With the New Blood, Jason just had such an intense on screen presence. He was this pissed off, relentless force who killed anyone that got in his way, that is until he faced off against telekinetic, hottie Tina and ended up getting his butt kicked big time. In Jason Takes Manhattan a vacationing Jason is more concerned with sight-seeing and making us laugh, like when he shows his rotten face to a group of street punks who were playing their music too loud. Apparently, they didn’t know Jason’s not a fan of rap music. Now don’t get me wrong I can appreciate humor just as much as the next person but when it comes to horror movies I really prefer straight-forward scares or at least some kind of suspense. If I want a good laugh I’ll pop in a Jeff Dunham DVD.

Jason Takes Manhattan tried some different things like sending Jason on a cruise and having him visit the Big Apple. However, there were ideas that didn’t work very well like when Rennie was having random hallucinations of a young Jason attacking her as a young girl. Problem is it doesn’t fit within the Friday the 13th time line that was established in earlier movies. And besides that the explanation that’s given for why she was having these “visions” of little Jason won’t make any sense, even if you’re stoned out of your mind. I know this sequel is filled with plenty of flaws and missed opportunities, but I still give Rob Hedden a lot of credit for taking some much needed creative risks with his entry because by this time in the series, fans as well as Jason were suffering from a serious case of cabin fever.

roadside attractions

  • A Deck Hand gets the ax, quite literally
  • 1 harpoon to the back
  • A couple of impalings
  • 3 stabbings
  • A guy gets killer heartburn via a hot sauna rock
  • 2 electrocutions
  • 2 drownings by toxic waste
  • 1 Jack ‘O Jason face reveal
  • 1 slit throat
  • Jason gets a jump start via an underwater power line
totals

2

blood
BLOOD

Maybe, a half gallon of the red stuff. The gore in this sequel was pretty tame for a Friday the 13th movie.

4

blood
BREASTS

One boobie in real time and 3 skeeter-bites that you can only see if you click the slow-motion button.

4

beast
BEASTS

This sequel has 4 monsters, Jason, Rennie’s Uncle Charles, and a couple of street thugs

8.1 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan”

trailers

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