With a subtitle like Jason Takes Manhattan, you should know what's in store for you, as an audience: Jason Voorhies
|Who happens to also be a mutant|
What makes Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan bad enough to stand out from the crowd of bad Friday the 13th sequels? For starters --- but just for starters --- the movie spends only a few scenes in New York City. With a subtitle like this, you might expect to see Jason scaling the Empire State Building or dropping bodies in Yankee Stadium, but all you see of the Big Apple is the Statue of Liberty and a brief shot of Times Square. That's it. The rest is on the stupid cruise ship or filmed in Vancouver, which looks a lot more like Detroit than it does Manhattan.
Perhaps the stupidest (and thus, my most favorite) thing about this film is the fact that Jason reaches New York City and hunts down the Crystal Lake survivors. Imagine that...a city full of sinners, especially with all the gang and drug activity in the late 80s, and Jason decides to spare the sewers of humanity in an effort to track down five people --- who have split up, mind you --- in the biggest city on the planet.
|He doesn't even take a swing at these punks!|
It is also worth noting that in Jason Takes Vancouver, we are given some of the least likable heroes in a series known for making you hate the heroes enough to root for the killer. For starters, there is the charisma-free Suzi (Tiffany Paulsen), who is afraid of water, wears a "stylish" vest, and takes her dog with her on her senior cruise.
|Above: Nancy Grace's inspiration|
Luckily, Jason provides. There are an impressive nineteen kills in this film. My favorite kill in Jason Takes Vancouver has to be the boxing scene. Not only does it have the unprecedented choice of a character trying to out-punch Jason without a weapon, even though he knew damn well that Jason is an unkillable zombie, but Jason takes the Rocky approach to boxing; he simply blocks his opponent's punches with his face until his enemy gets tired. Then, Jason punches his head clean off.
|It's like Rocky vs. Apollo Creed, but prettier|
The movie isn't all bad, though. For instance, this is the film where Kane Hodder famously (and I use that term loosely) refused to kick a dog, because Jason wouldn't do something like that. Except for the time when he maybe did.
|The true hero of Jason Takes Manhattan|
|Like this, but effective|
|Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck yoooooooou dot dot|
I would also like to point out that the inept screenwriting, editing and direction of Rob Hedden kept him from directing another feature film for eighteen years. I'm sure this film suffered some drastic budget cuts, since the Fridays had been losing steam for a while now, but this is a classic example of how not to make a movie look like it is a big budget film. The acting is pitiable, the direction is nonexistent (if you want to be kind) and the editing makes little to no sense. Is the heroine hallucinating, or does she have an unexplained psychic link to Jason? Um...yes. Do the Crystal Lakians manage to find the only police officer in New York who has a Canadian accent? Of course. Does Jason explode through every door he encounters? Why not? Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination and is, in many ways, the low point in a series that never set the bar very high. And yet I love all that this film does wrong. Objectively, this movie definitely deserves a