FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII – JASON TAKES MANHATTAN is the weakest of the original 8 (the Paramount years) and my least favorite of that series. Being such a big fan of the Part 7, I was interested in how they were going to pull off such a crazy concept? Still to this day I remember seeing the trailer in the theater and everybody laughing. So clearly these film had run their course.
When I finally saw the film on HBO the slasher genre was still something new to me and I had only the previous film to judge it against. On first viewing I liked it. Yeah it was silly but at the time I got wrapped up in the story of the movies main character. Her sub plot of when she was a little girl learning to swim at Camp Crystal Lake (of all places) and a young Jason grabbing her leg from underwater. Watching it now it's a pretty terrible film but back when I was 12 or 13 I didn't know any better. Sometimes I still don't.
The graduating class of whatever high school is in the same city as Crystal Lake is going on a cruise to NYC. So apparently Jason's favorite watering hole is adjacent to a river that flows into the ocean? Okay, I'm sorry but that's just dumb. Anyways. The Class of '89 aren't the only ones who want to party down in the city that never sleeps. Machete wielding manics need vacations too, so Jason climbs aboard the doom cruise.
Get comfortable because we are not going to see Long Island anytime soon. That's right, the films majority of run time takes place on the ship. And it's boring. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII – JASON TAKES MANHATTAN has some of the most uninspired kills in the history of the franchise. It's as if they were tired of being bullied by the MPAA so they took it upon themselves to ease up on the gore.
But the lack of interesting kills is nothing compared to how terrible Jason looks. In the last film the make-up effects for Jason were amazing. The best the character has ever looked. Here they screw it up by having him just covered in slime. It just looks so cheep compared to what he looked like before.
When it comes right down to it, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII – JASON TAKES MANHATTAN has only one good scene in it. And that's the one in Times Square. Jason is chasing his prey through the city and comes across some punks and their ghetto-blaster. He smashes the stereo into a million pieces. The punks yell at Jason with one even pulling out a butterfly knife. Jason just turns to face them and lifts up his hockey mask, and they run off. It's awesome! Seriously, check it out on youtube if you can.
My final thoughts on FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII – JASON TAKES MANHATTAN are that it does not hold up very well or if it ever did at all. I watched it again for this blog and I can safely say that I'll probably never watch it again. Revisiting the film made me appreciate Parts 3 and 5. Heck. I love those films compared to this train wreck; however, come to find out this isn't my least favorite Jason Voorhees film. No sir. That would be the film I recently like to call the “anti” Friday the 13th movie, the piece of crap that is JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY.