Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (DVD)
Reviewed by Heather Wixson
Starring Jensen Daggett, Kane Hodder, Peter Mark Richman, Vincent Craig Dupree
Directed by Rob Hedden
Released by Paramount Home Entertainment
Jason Takes Manhattan is the film I now lovingly refer to as Jason Takes Forever to Get to Manhattan (Or Friday the 13th: The I'm on a Boat version). Anyone who is a fan of the series knows the gist of the somewhat silly storyline - doomed ship filled with Crystal Lake graduates sets off for a trip to New York complete with the usual damaged teen (this time, played by Daggett) who has serious issues with water due to almost drowning as a small child because of her uncle (Richman, who also happens to be a chaperone on the trip).
However, what they don't know is that they have a deadly stowaway on board- Jason (Hodder). Mr. Voorhees starts disposing of the teens, as well as crew members, in his usual creative fashion. Unfortunately for viewers, that boat trip makes up most of the film and we get a little cheated out of seeing our favorite hockey-mask wearing psychopath reign destruction down on New York City.
Finally though, a group of survivors (which includes the entertaining Dupree as Julius) makes it off the ship alive on a rescue boat that takes them to Manhattan. Jason's not far behind, and the killer sets his sights on wreaking havoc in the middle of Times Square (and in dark alleys, sewers, pretty much any shady place in Manhattan).
Directed by Rob Hedden, Jason Takes Manhattan is the one installment that I have a love/hate relationship with. I hate that I love it because it's probably one of the weakest installments in the entire franchise but yet, there are so many great moments too including the rooftop boxing match between Jason and Julius, Jason knocking over the thugs boombox, the scene in the diner with a future "Jason", and sewer-face Jason at the end.
The bonus features for Jason Takes Manhattan includes a hilarious gag reel (if you've ever imagined Jason and a dildo, well your dream is about to come true!), a featurette on the slashed scenes as well as commentary with Scott Reeves, Jensen Daggett and Kane Hodder.
The featurette I think I enjoyed the most was the making-of because I will be very honest, I originally had no idea that the film had filmed mostly in Vancouver. It was really interesting to hear about all the challenges the crew and cast faced with filming in Manhattan as well because it was unheard of at that time to take an iconic character like Jason and put him in the middle of somewhere so public.
Overall, as a horror fan, even the weakest of movies can still hold a place in my heart and Jason Takes Manhattan is definitely one of them. I mean, taking the serial killer and putting him on a boat isn’t the silliest thing you could do -- you could always send him to space.
2 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
Discuss Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan in the Dread Central forums!