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13 Days of F13: Day Nine – Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Today we take a look at Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which would ultimately become Paramount’s swan song with Jason, as future installments would be handled by New Line. But Jason definitely goes “out” with a bang, racking up some of the craziest (and numerous) kills in the whole series. But how does BC feel about the whole movie? Keep reading to find out!
13 Days of Friday the 13th

For a horror fan, there is no escaping Jason Voorhees or Friday the 13th. Even if you have never seen a single movie (for shame!), you know who he is, what he does, and what he looks like. But that’s from my perspective. I grew up in the 80s, played the video game on a system known simply as Nintendo (now referred to as “The 8 Bit”), and suffered the indignity of that comic where he fought a talking Leatherface.

But what about those who grew up in the Jason-starved 90s? The only Jason films they might remember in theaters are the ones where he fights Freddy or goes off into space. The remake may be their first real introduction to the hockey masked behemoth that stalks teenagers at a place known as Crystal Lake. So for them, Bloody Disgusting and Horror Movie A Day would like to present this retrospective series: 13 Days Of Jason. Each day leading up to the remake’s theatrical release, BC will be showcasing one of the original films, with trivia, factoids, thoughts, and his own full blown review.

Bloody will also be presenting a few other articles that highlight some of the series’ traditions, such as the lovesick nerd character and Jason’s habit of using unique weapons. Because even if you don’t agree with BC’s assessment of each film, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Jason fucking rules.


AKA: “The one on the boat”
RELEASE: July 25, 1989 (1,683 theaters)
GROSS: $14,343,976

PLOT: After being resurrected in the least coherent manner ever (something involving an anchor and a power line running through the lake), Jason hops on a houseboat and takes it from Crystal Lake to the Atlantic Ocean, where he transfers to a cruise line and does his thing for an hour. Then the survivors make it to New York’s Vancouver borough, where they are pursued by Jason until he is done in by NY’s nightly toxic waste flood.

THOUGHTS: If nothing else, it’s a step up from part VII, in my opinion, thanks to some creative kills (a guitar! A heroin needle! Sludge!) and some actual blood to boot. Plus, finally, a new location. Sure, we’d all love more NY stuff, but the boat parts are still fun, and Kane’s performance is terrific. Also, at long last, a new composer, as Harry Manfredini’s score, while great, was starting to show its limits 3 films ago. It has its problems, but I’ll take it over any of Kane’s other entries.

(Read BC’s full review at Horror Movie A Day)

BEST KILL: A lot of good ones here, but Jason punching the guy’s head off is just that much better.

MOST “HUH?” MOMENT: The final 20 minutes of this movie make absolutely no sense. Jason ignores hundreds of potential victims while chasing after two dull folks you know he won’t kill anyway, and then they all end up in the sewer, where a flood of toxic waste (a nightly occurrence, so says a doomed sanitation worker) turns Jason into a child. Then the Final Girl’s dog demonstrates his ability to find his way from New York harbor to Times Square.

FUTURE STARS: Kelly Hu went on to appear in a few blockbusters, including X2 (she played Deathstrike), making her one of the few “future stars” to appear in an alltime highest grosser.

TRIVIA: This film was released in the middle of what was known as “Sequel Summer”, due to the then-inordinate number of franchise films being released over a span of about eight weeks. By the time Manhattan hit theaters, it was competing against Lethal Weapon 2, Ghostbusters 2, Indiana Jones 3 (Last Crusade), Bond 16 (License To Kill), and Karate Kid III. Also, it lost the weekend to Turner & Hooch, which means that people would rather watch a dog die than see Jason schmuck around on a cruise ship.

Check back tomorrow for Jason Goes To Hell!

Click here to keep up with all of our 13 Days of Friday the 13th coverage!



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