I think we all knew this would happen some day. After all, B-Movie Enema likes slasher movies from the 80s. I like Jason movies in particular. Twice before, I’ve tackled the exploits our of maniacal hockey fan. In October 2017, I wrote about my favorite of those exploits when I covered, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Then, three years later, on November 13th, 2020, I looked at the little movie that could, the fan-made (by teenagers I remind you) Friday the 13th Part X: To Hell and Back.
I think I proved I like the undead modern monster. But now… Oh yes, my lovelies. It’s time to tackle one of the two films in the Friday the 13th franchise that sticks in a lot of people’s craws. The time has come to look at Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
Yup… That one with the promise to be truly fun and interesting, but settled on a misleading title instead.
Let’s take a trip back to the late 80s, shall we? Reagan was leaving the White House. A recession was looming and only a couple years away. The Eastern Bloc was breaking up. Cheers was one of top TV shows, Batman was about to hit it big, and the current most influential decade, generally, was about to take its final bow soon.
What was also on its way out were slasher films as we had seen in the early part of the decade. 1978’s Halloween was incredibly successful. While many small film companies immediately tried to jump on the bandwagon to make a stalker film like that as quickly as possible, it really wasn’t until 1980’s Friday the 13th that the slasher genre was cemented into the popular culture and overtook the horror genre as a whole.
A movie that Paramount was scolded for releasing and began a wave of critics and parents bitching and moaning about mindless horror entertainment, the original Friday the 13th was two things – cheap to make and very profitable. Again, film companies big and small wanted to order up one of those types of movies as quickly as possible. That’s really when the slasher era dawned. There were plenty that came before it, but it was this small Paramount production that made it a real phenomenon.
It’s funny because, all through the 80s, Paramount was downright embarrassed by the franchise. Yet… They still made the movies. Why? Because why wouldn’t they when each entry would cost somewhere around an average of $4 million and rake in 5 to 10 times that in box office receipts? Then, they were also big hits on home video as well. Paramount would publicly both admit to embarrassment AND admit to cashing in on the film by making eight movies in 10 years (1983 and 1987 the only gap years). Most of these movies were released in months that would be considered part of the summer movie schedule (even the ones released in May). They were clearly targeted to younger audiences.
Paramount knew what they were doing.
What’s more, despite being embarrassed, they didn’t really care – until 1989. For the first six films in the series, it was mostly standard kids go to campgrounds, have sex and/or do drugs, and they were slaughtered in quick order. The seventh film, released in 1988, added something else to that mix – a girl who had telekenetic powers like Stephen King’s Carrie. It was the first time Jason went up against someone who didn’t just brute her way into winning by seemingly killing him. This time, the final girl was actually formidable.
That seventh entry did well enough – at least on average with the other previous entries. Yes, Paramount wanted a little more in profit, but honestly the numbers weren’t that bad. The director of that movie, John Carl Buechler started developing an eight entry that would have had Tina Shepard, the aforementioned Carrie-like final girl, return to take on Jason after she was released from an asylum to deal with her powers and her father’s death, etc. The actress who played Tina, Lar Park Lincoln, wrote a different version in which she worked with troubled girls (a might better and stronger fate for the character). The final guy, Kevin Spirtas, wrote another version in which Part VII was a dream and he was actually a killer.
Paramount didn’t like any of that and gave Part VIII to first time director Rob Hedden.
Hedden had other ideas (obviously). He had two ideas – Jason in a claustrophobic setting like a boat or a space ship (drawing on Das Boot and Aliens as inspiration, respectively) or Jason in a major urban setting like New York City. Paramount liked both of these ideas. So he combined them into one script, thus, Jason Takes Manhattan was born.
However, trouble arose when budget and filming locations proved to be a problem. Yes, Paramount made this the most expensive film in the franchise to date by basically doubling the budget of the previous entry. Yet, New York City is a very pricey town to shoot in, so that made it extremely limited in what they could show of Jason roaming the streets of the city. This did not go unnoticed by the audience.
Finally, when Part VIII proved to be a massive disappointment to fans and had the least amount of return on the budget, Paramount was finally done with the series they were already embarrassed by. Repeated tongue lashings from critics and parents and being a running gag for how many entries they made in the 80s and the flat stupidity of Part VIII led to Paramount deciding to unload the franchise to New Line Cinema (owners of Jason’s monster rival Freddy Kruger) where, arguably, the series would do no better.
But that’s a story for another time. I think we better hop this ferry to the Big Apple and see what Mr. Voorhees is up to!
The movie opens with shots of New York City. There’s voice over about how the guy loves the town, but it’s also claustrophobic and kind of terrible. I believe the voice over is provided by a late night shock jock DJ, because of the music that plays after it (which doubles as the theme song for the movie). We see punk kids lounging about in Times Square. We see muggers rip off a guy in a business suit who was stupidly walking alone in a dark alley. We see a rat emerging from a barrel of toxic waste. Working class shlubs are in a dingy diner. Homeless druggies are getting a fix next to a trash can fire. The subway looks like shit and probably smells worse.
This is Pre-Giuliani New York City, kids. I love old New York City before it was cleaned up. This is the NYC of 42nd Street and the grindhouses that lined it. Of course, those theaters would have played the movies we specialize in around here. I don’t like to think about New York as it exists today. I prefer to remember it in its pre-90s form.
Anyway, the setting shifts to Crystal Lake and a pair of lovers in what appears to be a motorboat or a houseboat. They are part of the graduating class of the Crystal Lake high… school? Is there a high school in Crystal Lake or Forest Green or whatever they are calling it? Does it matter? These kids aren’t going to survive through college because, you know… Jason.
Anyway, the guy is a bit nervous. He tells Suzi, his girlfriend, that this is around the place where Jason Voorhees drowned some 30 years ago. His mother blamed the counselors and went on a killing spree. But then after she was beheaded, Jason came back to avenge her. As he tells this story, the anchor holding the boat in place drags toward a power line. When the power line is snapped, the electrical current revives Jason. Real quick catch up, Jason is under a portion of the dock that Tina collapsed on him back at the end of the previous movie.
By the way, Suzi is hot, very hot, and played by Tiffany Paulsen who would later go on to write the screenplay for a live action Nancy Drew movie. So… there’s that. But she’s totally cute.
Anyway, her boyfriend, Jim, is going out to check on a noise she heard. We know Jason is creeping around because 1) we saw his hands grab the rail of the boat and 2) of course he is because his “teenagers having sex” radar went off. Jim tricks Suzi by jumping out with a hockey mask and a fake knife. They go back to the sex. Jason takes his mask because, well, why change things up now after so many movies of using that as your disguise, am I right? He also grabs a harpoon and, less than 10 minutes into the movie, we see our protagonist that we somehow always kind of root for in these movies.
Jason’s a little out of practice because he misses Suzi with the harpoon. She escapes through the window and Jimmy boy gets the firing mechanism right in the gut. Suzi hides in a compartment under the deck. Jason is wise to this immediately. He just opens it and stabs her with the harpoon. But he doesn’t just jam that harpoon down into Suzi. Oh no. He slowly lowers the harpoon into her. That’s kinda rude, dude. They were just celebrating their graduation.
Whatever. The next morning, we meet Rennie, played by Jensen Daggett. She’s going to be our final girl. More about her in a moment. She’s being taken to the docks to hop a ferry or a whaling boat or an oil tanker… I don’t know. I don’t know boats. Anyway, it’s the floaty thing that is going to go to New York and serve as our primary setting of this movie. Anyway, Rennie wants to be a writer. Her teacher gifts her an old calligraphy pen that she claims Stephen King used in high school.
I kind of like Jensen Daggett in this movie. Previous girls in this series didn’t seem to have a great deal of ambition. They were almost played so young and living in the moment that you didn’t know much more about them unless they told you. Daggett’s Rennie kind of does have an ambition. I don’t know if it was the era toward the end of the 80s that necessitated her having some sort of life goal or what, but here we are.
Daggett beat out Pamela Anderson and Elizabeth Berkley for the role. However, She was not the first choice either. Producers offered the role to Lisa Wilcox the part after she was coming off A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Interestingly, Wilcox would be in the fifth installment of that franchise just a few weeks later in the summer of 1989. Jason Takes Manhattan would be Daggett’s first acting role. She didn’t end up doing too much, but did appear in the 1996 television movie Project: ALF starring everyone’s favorite fuzzy alien. So that’s pretty cool. Outside of this movie, her most popular television series she had a semi-recurring role on was as Tim Allen’s character’s sister-in-law on Home Improvement.
Anyway, back to the movie and Rennie and the other graduates. They are getting on this floaty thingy. Rennie’s teacher was the one who came up with the senior trip to New York City plan. Rennie’s ward, biology teacher Mr. McCulloch is chaperoning the trip and he doesn’t think Rennie should be there. Her teacher, Ms. Van Deusen, tells McCulloch that she will be fine with the trip and everything will be just fine. McCulloch is a bit of a jerk. He’s the type who always thinks he is right.
But, hey! There’s a bitchin’ dance floor on this boat!
One of the main problems with this movie is not what you might think I will say. Sure, while the title says Jason is gonna take Manhattan, probably by storm, a storm of death and blood splatter, you have to get him there. How are you going to do that and have something to give him, and the rest of the characters, to do? I’ve thought long and hard on this movie since the last time I watched it. Yes, the less-than-truthful marketing hurts this movie, but when you really peel back the surface, it’s more than that.
Rennie is apparently damaged, which I think is meant to play off the Tina character from the previous movie. She was damaged. Tommy Jarvis from the three movies before was also damaged. It’s kind of a thing now with these movies. I’m fine with that. But we only know surface stuff about her for a vast majority of this movie. She apparently lost her parents, okay. She’s a ward of this dickish teacher (who I think is her uncle) and she seemingly sees Ms. Van Deusen as a mother figure. We could have spent some of the time that was spent on killing Jim and Suzi on that. Or, I dunno, and just hear me out on this, cut out the dance party on the boat?
After all, I’m pretty sure the boat is a fishing boat or some sort of tanker or something so why is there a dance hall on this boat?
She’s not the only one with a curious familial relationship dynamic. No. We also have her love interest in this movie, Sean, played by Scott Reeves, and his father, the captain of this boat, and their problems. It seems Sean’s father is determined to make his son into a captain as well, but Sean clearly doesn’t want that. This is all fine and dandy if you want to do something with it, but it falls flat once Jason starts slashing his way through this boat because once Sean takes over for his dad, it doesn’t really go anywhere because Ronnie’s teacher uncle just berates him and calls him stupid.
The movie feels like it wants to do something with characters. However, it falls back on just introducing the teenagers who are lined up to be hacked to bits instead. For example, we’re going to meet a series of different types of kids who range from a preppy girl who wants to seduce a teacher for better grades to Kelly Hu (in her first appearance in film) to a rocker chick and her best friend music video camera boy. It reveals the delicate balance that the movie wanted to have by having this older generation/younger generation dynamic (plus a kid who wants to be a boxing champ) sparring over what’s right and what the kids should be allowed to choose for themselves. Instead, though, this is the eighth Friday the 13th movie. You can’t spend time trying to do anything interesting. You gotta hack up people… and fast!
That’s not even mentioning the shit that will come up later once everyone gets to New York!
Our first victim on this boat is our rocker chick, J.J., who has a sort of Pat Benatar look to her. She just got a new guitar for graduation and her friend, Wayne, is planning to shot a music video for her. However, Wayne’s got some business of his own to take care of with his crush, the popular Tamara. It seems as though that maybe J.J. likes Wayne herself, but Wayne is too into the sexy popular girl.
J.J. goes into the bowels of the ship where she feels it has some serious potential for a music video. So she does her rock chick thing, not realizing that Jason has followed her. Jason sneaks up behind J.J. and she screams when she sees him. She runs away, but, somehow, she runs right into Jason in another part of the engine room. He smashes her head with her own guitar. I’m not sure about the physics of how this worked out, but whatever. It’s cool. It’s fine. It’s a Jason movie.
Jason peeps into Rennie’s cabin and sees her changing her shirt. She hears a little boy call out for his mommy and she goes to the window to check it out. She sees a specter of a little boy drowning. Rennie’s dog, Toby, also apparently sees this and he decides to book it the fuck out of there and runs away into the ship. By the way, Jason’s visage that appears before Rennie is not of a deformed boy or a kid with disability as we’ve always seen him. He’s just normal. I don’t know if this is on purpose or a fuck up on the part of the people making this movie.
We finally really get a good look at both Kelly Hu as Eva and the aforementioned Tamara, played by Sharlene Martin. They are watching the school’s undefeated, champion boxer Julius spar with another kid. Tamara would like to fuck the shit out Julius. Eva is probably into it too. Clearly, Eva is the hanger-on of the duo while Tamara is the dominant one. Tamara peer pressures Eva into doing a line of coke with her.
Jason continues to stalk around the boat. We think that he’s closing in on the two girls, but it’s actually Mr. McCulloch. He tells Tamara that he’ll be in her cabin in 15 minutes for her biology final or he’ll keep her on board while the rest of the students take a look around New York City. Tamara tells Eva she’s got the old prick covered. But she thinks that Rennie ratted them out so they need to get some revenge on her. Tamara is remembering that Rennie’s afraid of the water. A scheme is afoot.
The guy that Julius knocked out in the sparring match earlier decides to relax and take a load off in the sauna. Jason decides that he too will take a load off… as in make the ship’s compliment of living teenagers one less than it was… before… I don’t know where I was going with that. It sounded a lot better in my head than it looked on screen. Anyway, Jason grabs one of the hot rocks from the sauna and crams into the kid’s torso.
Up on the main deck, Ms. Van Duesen and Rennie are talking. Rennie seems a little clammed up about something and the teacher wants her to confide in her. Before she can, Tamara comes by and body checks her off the side of the boat. She tries to get to the lifesaver Van Duesen tossed her but she’s grabbed by that little boy who totally doesn’t look like Jason but is apparently Jason. Sean jumps overboard and saves her.
McCulloch does what a character like him always does, makes things worse. He grabs Rennie and towels her off and yells at Sean and Van Duesen telling them to leave Rennie alone – BOTH OF THEM! Bro, Sean saved Rennie’s life. Go fuck yourself, ya old fuck.
Anyway, there aren’t many moments in this movie that are terribly memorable from the human side of things. Oh, oh yes there is a big one coming later, but about the only other one probably this moment when McCulloch goes to get that final report from Tamara.
Of course, this is what Wayne had going on with Tamara that he couldn’t shoot J.J.’s video quite yet. This was all used for blackmail. Tamara drops that robe, and tries making out with McCulloch. Wayne films it, and it’s used as leverage. Pretty simple. McCulloch threatens that Tamara will repeat the 12th grade and Wayne will never go to film school – ANY film school. I love those kinds of threats like that one toward Wayne. I don’t know if a biology teacher in some podunk New Jersey school with a VERY high mortality rate would have that kind of power.
Tamara has power though. Wayne tells her how he had the major hots for her since 10th grade, but she tells him that’s really sweet and ushers him out the door saying they will talk about it another time. Wayne leaves feeling like a total tool.
Tamara showers to get rid of all the body paint used for her report. Meanwhile, Jason sneaks into her cabin. She sees him through the crack of the door. She stays in the bathroom to see what this weirdo is going to do next, but SURPRISE, BITCH! Jason comes through the door to get her. After tossing her into the mirror, he grabs a shard of glass and stabs her with it.
Jason then makes his way to the bridge, the control room, the cockpit… whatever it’s called on a boat like this, and he kills not only the first mate who just talked about having a 19-month old son, but also Sean’s dad, a guy who claims his title is “Admiral”. It’s also pretty rough that it’s Sean and Rennie who finds the “Admiral”. The jig is up now. Sean radios for help and tells everyone to come to the bridge. Jason, though, he’s pretty wise. He cuts the line from the radio so they can’t get help.
Oh, yeah, and there’s a storm raging outside.
Julius has a great plan… “Let’s go out there and find this motherfucker and get his ass!” McCulloch doesn’t like this idea. The other students like the idea more and decide that, yes, indeed, they will find this mommahumper and get his butt! Rennie goes out to drop the anchors, but that’s where Jason is. In yet another fake out, we think Jason is sneaking up on Rennie, but, again, it’s McCulloch. He raises the anchors because he thinks the lowering of the anchors is a real bad idea in a storm. That’s probably right. McCulloch actually has a couple good ideas. He just delivers them poorly.
Meanwhile, Eva goes looking for Tamara who didn’t show up in the bridge when everyone else did. She finds her body and then finds Jason. Jason corners Eva in the dance hall and plays a game of teleporting slasher villain around the room until he appears suddenly and throttles her to death. Oh and then spikes her onto the floor like he just scored a touchdown.
I really wish he had been a little more interesting or clever and smashed the disco ball over her head or something.
The guys who are planning to get the muthalover Jason split up looking for him. Wayne goes into the engine room and a spray of steam from the pipes knocks his glasses off. He’s pretty blind without his glasses. Someone jumps in front of him and he fires his gun, but it’s one of the deckhands. Then Jason shows up. He knocks the camera out of Wayne’s hand which was the only way he could see after losing his glasses.
Wayne runs and trips over J.J.’s body. Jason catches up and tosses the A/V nerd into a control panel and lights up the engine room. Which also sets the whole damn boat on fire.
Sean’s bud, carrying an axe, runs into Jason and seemingly is going to swing that axe at him, but Jason catches it and tosses it away. He’s killed someone with his bare hands now… He’s hungry for more personal killing.
Nah, I’m kidding. He chases the kid up the mast and tosses him onto the radio antenna. He then throws Julius overboard. Probably because Jason Voorhees is from a time in which he probably assumes black kids can’t swim.
Jason then headbutts Rennie’s cabin window and tries strangling her while she’s stuck looking at the ghostly image of his younger self. Now, that younger version suddenly has a goofy eye like we might think Jason had as a kid. She’s able to use that Stephen King pen to stuff it in Jason’s eye and get free. Sean comes in and gets Rennie out of the room to join the rest of the people left on the ship.
Thanks to the storm and the fire, the boat is sinking. Sean tells McCulloch that if they want off the boat, they have to listen to him. Van Duesen has lowered the lifeboat and says that she left everyone in the restaurant. That was a mistake because, as Sean puts it, there is no more restaurant. They are on their way to the lifeboat when the doomsaying deckhand appears with the axe in his back. They are able to get on the boat with Jason looking down from the deck. As they row away from the ship, Julius pops up out of the water to get onboard.
That’s because he has a much better death to come.
So we’ve come to the thing that most people complain about Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. We are now just past the 60-minute mark of this 100-minute movie. By the way, this is the LONGEST Jason movie of them all. Even the one with Freddy Kruger in it wasn’t this long. That’s kind of shocking. However, yes, we have not yet seen Jason in New York City. We saw New York City during the opening credits but that’s it. We’ve not yet been given the big money shots as it were.
Well, yeah, I can understand the frustration. I have also, in the last 33 years since the release of this movie, been guilty of joking about how this should have been called Jason Takes a Ferry. I’m not even going to say they shouldn’t have attempted this if New York was too expensive and they would have to settle on shooting mostly in Vancouver. Shit, that’s pretty commonplace these days to shoot American city scenes in Canadian cities.
But let’s face it, Enemaniacs. We’re an hour into the movie that has Manhattan in the title and we’ve not yet gotten there. Did Jason have to wait until the Muppets finished taking what they wanted before he could go in and take it too? Again, I totally agree you have to have a reason to take him to Manhattan. You can’t just have him show up there. They needed some sort of normal slasher movie AND THEN the gimmick of Jason in New York City. So, I’m going to cut this movie some slack.
The reason why this movie isn’t very good is because it’s not very good. I believe the elements that could make a good movie in the franchise are there. That concept of the younger kids clashing with their parents or guardians is not a bad one to explore. The idea of trauma, both in Rennie’s case of a horrific experience we’ll find out about soon and in Sean’s father’s expectations for him leading to a troubled relationship, can be explored in a different way than we’ve seen in the more recent entries. I don’t think there’s ever been an entry in this series before this movie that had such a high number of victims who are dispatched so quickly after being introduced. It kind of cheapens this movie by lining up so many people to be slaughtered like this movie shows. Maybe the choice to do that was to mitigate the problem that Manhattan would only be seen in the final act. That would make sense, but it compounds the problem here.
Anyway, let’s get back to what’s left of our cast.
Of course, as soon as I hit play, McCulloch makes a snide remark to Sean about how he doesn’t know what he’s doing and they are going to drown or die of hunger before they find shore. Now, there’s a lot of fog. And this is just a row boat that Sean and Julius are rowing alone. But the good news is that Sean does know what the fuck he’s doing. They are headed toward New York.
They dock at what appears to be a warehouse. Again, McCulloch is a dick by snarkily saying that Sean picked a marvelous place to dock – like they had much of a fucking choice. Also coming ashore is Jason. He immediately feels welcome in the city…
Jason is absolutely zeroed in on our remaining cast, but the first problem our survivors have is a couple muggers who want their money… and Rennie. They decide to kidnap Rennie as well as rob them. They also nearly killed Rennie’s dog. So these scumbags take off with Rennie and tell the rest that if they follow them, they’ll blow her head off. McCulloch is right in this instance to tell Julius to not follow after them. He suggests they split up to find the police.
Meanwhile, the muggers decide to do something we all assumed bad guys did in the late 80s, they don’t just do drugs themselves, they also make their victims do drugs too. So one of the guys shoots Rennie up with smack and decide to start in with the rape. But Jason shows up because his “people are having sex” radar goes off. He uses the needle to stab the guy in the back and, then, THROUGH the guy. The other mugger shows up and tries shooting Jason. This allows Rennie to get away while Jason kills the other mugger.
Jason appears to chase after Rennie, but it’s not Rennie he finds. Instead, he finds Julius who is in a phone booth calling for the cops. He goes on top of a building where Jason follows. Julius decides to use his boxing training to face off against the killer. This is the one thing this movie is best known for…
You know, it’s not so much that Jason knocked his block off. It’s not even that said block went rolling down the stairwell thing. It’s that it went into the garbage on a bank shot that closed the lid behind it. Damn, Jason. You really missed out on a really pretty good career.
Rennie wanders around stoned off her ass. She finds Sean and they decide they need to go find the others. Meanwhile, Van Duesen and McCulloch are reunited with the cop he found. Sean and Rennie meet back up with them. The cop, who clearly has a Canadian accent by the way, puts the four of them into the back of his car and calls for backup to help with their story and finding Julius.
But Julius is already there with them.
The best part of this scene? Julius’ head falling off the dash. Jason kills the cop and Rennie decides to take the car and hit Jason with it. But, remember, she’s high as fuuuuuck. She thinks she sees a much more usual looking kid Jason and tries to run him over too. This just leads to her smashing into a wall. Van Duesen is knocked out and not able to be pulled from the wreck before the car explodes.
Great job, Rennie!
Rennie now has a flashback of her and McCulloch going out on Crystal Lake when she was little. Her uncle is going to try to teach her how to swim, but she’s nervous. I get it. I don’t know how to swim and I have never been able to learn. I freeze up and it gets messy. I’m glad Charles McCulloch isn’t my uncle because his plan to teach her how to swim is to tell young Rennie that she doesn’t want to become like that Voorhees boy. He then tells her that Jason is still down there ready to pull anyone down who doesn’t know how to swim. So he pushes her overboard where she does, indeed, have a vision of young Jason pulling her down underwater.
Uncle Charles doesn’t deny that he pushed her into the water. He claims he only wanted to teach her how to swim. He even says that he saved her life when she struggled. Anyway, Rennie’s had enough of his ass and storms off. Sean pushes him into the garbage and tells him to stay away from her.
Jason wakes up and chases after McCulloch. He goes into a building to avoid the killer, but Jason’s a master of teleportation. He tosses him out of the window and goes to the street where he picks McCulloch up, and throws him into a barrel of toxic waste to drown him. My favorite part of this is that McCulloch, begging for his life, shouts, “No! I’ll pay you!”
Jason doesn’t want your money, bro.
He’d rather break up a tender moment between Sean and Rennie.
Rennie and Sean escape into the subway and get on the train. They think they have gotten away. In fact, there’s a funny outtake that should have been kept in the movie. They are booking it down the escalator and Jason follows behind and tosses someone out the way. Anyway, they think they got away while on the train, but Jason made it to – probably by way of teleportation. They make it to the last car where Jason is about to get them, but Sean pulls the emergency break which gives them a chance to get out of the car.
Jason follows, looking for them, but Sean tackles him onto the track where he’s seemingly done in by the massive amount of electricity that courses through the tracks. Rennie and Sean emerge from the subway in Times Square. Everything seems pretty a-okay, but… Nope. Jason is still kicking. He comes up and continues to follow them. Rennie and Sean run away and this is where we see some more of the Jason in Manhattan stuff. They run past a gang of youths listening to their ghetto blaster. Jason follows and kicks over said ghetto blaster.
The youths don’t take this too well and tell Jason that he’s dead meat, but he’s got a way to show them that he, too, means business.
Then Jason follows Rennie and Sean into a diner where he is confronted by a cook played by Ken Kerzinger who would play Jason in Freddy vs. Jason, famously replacing famed Jason guy Kane Hodder. Hodder tosses Kerzinger into a mirror killing him. Hodder, er, I mean Jason then follows Sean and Rennie into the sewer.
They run into a very helpful sewer worker who says he’ll help them get out of the sewer but they don’t have any time to spare. Every night at midnight, the sewer floods with toxic waste….
He leads the couple down a corridor where, surprise, Jason teleports in and kills the helpful worker by caving in his fucking head with a wrench. Sean is knocked out and goes for Sean, but Rennie distracts him by shining the flashlight in his face. She tells him that he didn’t get her in the lake and he ain’t getting her now. She runs away and he follows. She conveniently finds a bucket of toxic waste and dumps it on Jason’s face.
Rennie grabs Sean while Jason follows as if he’s about to turn into that melty guy from Robocop. Rennie gets Sean up the ladder toward the exit of the sewer and she follows. Jason tries grabbing at her legs but the midnight toxic dumping (probably due to everyone in New York City suddenly having Taco Bell Syndrome all at once) roars through and submerges Jason.
When the waste subsides, no shit, Jason has melted into being his child self again. A sudden electrical storm hits New York and I think Jason is dead. You know what? I’m calling it. Jason Voorhees died in the sewers of New York City as a child again. Don’t ask me to explain it because I can’t.
I will stick to it that, to me, this isn’t just the literal conclusion of the movies with the title of Friday the 13th, but it’s the symbolic end for me too. Yes, I know there are three more Jason Voorhees movies after this one, but they mostly suck pretty hard (I’ll give you a pass, Freddy vs. Jason). I mean, shit. Jason didn’t end up back at the bottom of Crystal Lake at the end of this movie as he did in the last two entries. He’s in a sewer as a small child again and apparently dead. By the way, nobody look into that. Don’t worry about it.
To me, that’s a conclusion.
And you know what? That’s a pretty good place to put a lid on this article too. Next week, I have something new for the site – a Steven Seagal movie. A friend of mine said I should check out this flick called Sniper: Special Ops. I’m going to take his word for it that this is worthy of our attention here at B-Movie Enema Industries.
Speaking of things that are worthy of our attention around these parts, tomorrow, we continue Season 3 of B-Movie Enema: The Series. This week, the Italian/Spanish zombie horror flick Let Sleeping Corpses Lie. The best way to watch would be to, first, follow B-Movie Enema on Facebook and Twitter. That way, you can find out when the episodes drop. But then, subscribe to B-Movie Enema on YouTube and Vimeo. There, you can watch the episodes. If you have a Roku, download the free B-Movie Enema channel and watch everything there as well! While you’re there at Roku getting channels, get OtherWorlds TV too! My show is there on Sunday afternoons and they show lots of fun and good flicks with hosts on the weekends.
Until next week, when Steven Seagal comes to the site to kick our asses pretty lazily, stay cool, my Enemaniacs.
5 thoughts on “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)”
Surprised you didn’t call out the most glaring inconsistency in the film: Julius finding a working payphone in 1989 Manhattan.
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Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is kinda awful as a horror movie sequels go, but must admit I’ve a bit of a soft spot for it, probably because it was the first Friday 13th film I ever saw back in the day on video. I remember having such a laugh watching it, so guess that’s why it still sticks with me. The films that followed certainly weren’t much better, but I kinda liked Freddy Vs Jason – if only for the novelty factor.
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Yeah, sometimes the “bad” ones are exactly what you need. Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X, not so much.
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Yeah, that’s right. That’s often the case with horror movies, some are just so bad you can’t help but love them!
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