Sunday, December 20, 2009

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

A true camp classic.  Originally slated to take place mostly in Manhattan, it's budget ran short and the plot of Jason Takes Manhattan was relegated mostly to a senior cruise boat.  You know, sorta like Terror Train in the water.

It's damn good to see the New York City of the late 1970s/early 1980s.  They say with the recession and all, we're headed back to the days of rats running free and people shooting up on corners so this is like getting a free preview.

So in true F13 fashion, we've got a young couple in Daddy's boat floating around on Crystal Lake.  Are we meant to believe that Crystal Lake is close enough to Manhattan to get NYC radio stations?  Where is this?  Jersey?  Westchester?  I need to plan a trip.  These horny teenagers are dealt with about as you would expect and we're onto the senior cruise!

Personally, I've never heard of such a thing, but this sounds like a pretty badass time.  The senior class of 198-whatever is gearing up for a cruise to New York City on a funky looking boat.  There's an English teacher and curmudgeonly principal-type aboard ready to keep any fun from happening.  And off they go.

They really need to start Friday the 13th sequels off with a "previously on" as I can never remember how Jason died in the prior installment.  Apparently, the last movie had him chillin' out at the bottom of Crystal Lake, and he grabs the anchor like a stowaway (seriously) and comes along for the ride.

This boat is pure 80s, complete with skeet shooting and a rad neon dance club.  There's even a boxing ring up in this piece...what kind of boat is this?!  We've got all of the F13 players: the pretty shy girl, the sensitive hunk, A/V geek, Joan Jett wannabe, and the blonde bimbo.  Even a waterlogged crazy-Ralph type is thrown into the mix. ("This voyage is doooooommmmeeedd!")

Much like his nemesis, Freddy Krueger, Jason has gotten pretty creative by the seventh sequel.  We've got death by harpoon (complete with intestines), murder by electric guitar, and burning death by hot stones in a sauna.  Predictably enough, as the high schoolers sail on towards New York, Jason terrorizes the vessel.

Some are able to escape (of course) and reach Manhattan in a rowboat.  Now I'm not entirely sure you can just roll up on the docks of Hell's Kitchen in a little dinghy but apparently these folks are able to pull it off.  Of course, the scenes in the city portray New Yorkers as jaded narcissists who would pretend to sleep as a hockey mask clad murder stalks the subway chasing screaming teenagers.   We get to see a full view of the ghetto Times Square of the 80s, complete with junkies, rats floating in toxic waste, and graffiti everywhere.  It is pretty cool to see, considering that Times Square is currently Manhattan's Disneyworld.

This is one of my more favorite installments of the F13 series, purely for its fantastic camp value.  Everyone knows that Friday the 13th stopped being scary after the first movie, but Part VIII is the best thing next to Mouth shaving his head and going all creepy lake child on all of us.


megzytay said...

OMG its nice to finally find another person who loves Jason takes Manhatten,

this has got to be my number one fave F13 movie, oh its so bad its good, to the point that Jason can LITERALLY punch someones head clean off in one punch !! i laugh and cry with joy everytime that part comes on !!!

loving the blog great read :)