Review of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

14 Mar

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and you guessed it, the eight film in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by Rob Hedden (Boxboarders! (2007), The Colony (1995)).

Written by Rob Hedden (Clockstoppers (2002), The Condemned (2007)).

Starring: Kane Hodder, Tiffany Paulsen, Kelly Hu, Peter Mark Richman, Jensen Daggett and others.

So we’re back again with the world’s most powerful retard in a hockey mask, played once again by Kane Hodder, who does bring some personality to Jason, especially in one of my favourite moments of the whole series, where some “punks” are listening to hip-hop and Jason walks past them and just fucking kicks away the radio, followed by him showing his disfigured face to scare the punks away. In a way it’s odd that Jason is self-conscious enough to know his face would scare people.

But this is way into the movie so let’s go back a bit. The idea of taking Jason out of the woods is ok, I mean haven’t we seen him slashing unsuspecting campers enough? But even though you can take Jason out of the woods, you can’t take the woods out of Jason as he still is pissed with random teenagers, just because one teenager years ago back at the lake chopped his mom’s head off. Geez, get over it, Jason. But he has not in fact got over it and he decides to get out of that damned lake again and go on with his usual routine.

4 minutes in we get some tits and ass, usually a good sign, both in an aesthetic way and meaning that somebody’s going to die real soon. So two teenagers are killed, because they decided to take a little boat trip on that same lake. Of course Jason gets a new hockey mask, because the boat owner had one on the boat, because who doesn’t?

So we meet our incredibly forgettable heroine, since the only thing I remember about her is that she got a gift from her teacher. To be fair it was a pretty cool gift – Stephen King’s pen. Useful fact: you can make Jason leave temporarily by stabbing him in the eye with it. And then she gets on a cruise ship with her classmates and teacher who is also her guardian.

After a short while it turns out that Jason is just floating somewhere in the water nearby New Jersey and he gets on the cruise ship – hilarious hijinks ensue.

We meet the only sort of interesting character J.J., played by Saffron Henderson, playing a guitar. No, not actually playing, movie-guitar-playing, which is the equivalent of lip-synching. Although she seems to have at least a slight idea of how to play. And of course she is the first one to die.

There’s a nice kill in the sauna involving a chest and a hot stone. Talking about hot, there is Kelly Hu and you might think that this movie helped to start her career, it might, but certainly not as much as her being, as previously mentioned, hot.

Jason’s habit of killing people one by one is greatly helped by the fact that the teenagers mostly hang out in ones and are the only people on the ship. I can tell from my experience that teenagers like to hang out in small groups at least and get drunk, but here there’s only one chick that’s doing coke. And wouldn’t having the whole ship to just the teenagers cost a shitload of money? I guess it’s cheaper because on this Titanic the crew consists of about four people, including the janitor.

After a while you start wondering if they’ll ever get to Manhattan, which allegedly Jason is taking. Does the trip from New Jersey to New York really take that long – forever in movie time?

When we get to NY it is actually pretty fun. Jason kicks a radio, gets from place to place in about a second and fucking punches a head off a guy’s neck!

This time Jason’s make-up is just awful, nothing like what it looked like in the previous film and it culminates in maybe the dumbest ending possible.

Overall, of course, it’s not good, but it is watchable and even though I said you should skip to this one in my previous review, I’d say skip this one as well, and if you have to choose from the two, then maybe you’re better off choosing Jason vs. Carrie instead.

Pictured: C-3PO as a zombie.

3 Responses to “Review of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)”

  1. alohamisterhand March 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    I must be a complete alien because all of the movies people hate I love, and most of the movies people love, I hate! It’s so weird, lol. But I loved your review, very funny, and accurate, definitely made me laugh! Nice job, man 🙂

    • karlails March 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking Friday the 13th movies, they’re entertainment. But I don’t think anyone should consider them to be the best examples of the art of filmmaking.

  2. Eva Halloween March 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Ha, classic!

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