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

And by 'Takes' we mean visits for about 20 minutes! Mooahahahah! Evil!
And by 'Takes' we mean visits for about 20 minutes! Mooahahahah! Evil!

Genre: Slasher Horror Serial

Starring: Jensen Daggett, Gordon Currie (The Dark Hours; The Pedestrian)

Directed By: Rob Hedden

Overview: When Crystal Lake High grads go on a boat ride to Manhattan, Jason tags along for the ride.

Divider Slasher

Performance:

The director of this one also wrote it. The actors did a better job than this director ever could have. Where this man took Jason was a complete betrayal of Jason's archetype. Why that was done, I'll never know, but he's not getting a fan in me.
Rating: 4

Cinematography:

This opens with a nice gory montage, showing the underbelly of a dank city. Then we revert to the same old stuff. There's a couple hallucination scenes that are well done, but ultimately the gore wasn't there either, though I'm starting to suspect that this is due to censors, as the outtakes of Part 7 proved.
Rating: 6

Script:

This revisionist and imbecilic movie ruins everything Jason was, including his history. From his evil cackling laugh (that he's never had before) to vast archetypal changes in his very character, Jason is now a farce, made into a comic caricature for the whims of the vision of someone out there who's career truly should have suffered for doing this to a well-loved maniac. Luckily, that was only a small part of the otherwise common, lame (but lovable) 80s victim chat.
Rating: 3

Plot:

Jason saves the life of a victim in this one. This goes against all previous principles of his character. Never did they (nor should they have) present any sort of moral dilemma to an axe wielding psycho zombie. Why they added personality, I'm unsure, yet in every other film he seems to have a pole long enough to kill two people at the same time, which is what he should have done, rather than pick up the rapist and watch her run away. Oh and they're only in Manhattan for 15 minutes of this falsely advertised movie.
Rating: 2

Mood:

I've always basked in the glow of the big hair, the overt sexuality and the typecasts. Sure I may have said from time to time that it was too much, but this one did a great job for the victims. Sadly, introducing this Darkwoods Slayer to New York City transformed too much about him. They even added consciousness to him in one scene where he stops, shows kids his face, and continues on his way. Reprehensible. Oh and worst music EVER.
Rating: 3

Ahahaha! Silly pig! You can't take Jason! (Yet another proof that Jason only goes after sinners.)
Ahahaha! Silly pig! You can't take Jason! (Yet another proof that Jason only goes after sinners.)

Overall Rating: 36% (Couldn't Make It Here, Couldn't Make It Anywhere)
Aftertaste:

Well there you have it, a terrible end to a mediocre series (the next film was shot 5 years later, and seems more like a franchise revival rather than a genuine continuation). The most upsetting part of this movie is not that our typical stalking murder music used in every previous film was cut right out, but that it was replaced with some soft-cock-rock band hammering mild riffs, singing about the ills of our times. This throws everything out of whack. This should be burned.

| | | |

this was cut again. fucking paramount pussies.

 

  • German video version was cleaned of some of the violent scenes and runs 99 instead of 100 mins (calculated NTSC running-time)

  • As described by the director on the DVD commentary, the following shots were cut or altered in order to receive an MPAA rating of "R" instead of an "X":
    • Jim's death was much gorier. Originally, Jason shoves the entire spear gun through his stomach, then rips it out, causing Jim's intestines to slide out along with a large amount of blood.
    • Suzy's death was disturbingly gruesome. Jason shoves the spear through her stomach and twists it non-stop. There were close-up shots of Suzy's mouth gurgling blood and blood rapidly oozing from the spear wound. J.J.'s death was an alternate shot. In the original shot, we actually see Jason smashing J.J.'s head with the guitar.
    • Tamera's death in the original print was completely different. Originally, Jason repeatedly stabs her with a mirror shard in a shower while she's completely nude. Blood rapidly oozes from her stab wounds and Jason keeps stabbing non-stop. Later on, when Eva finds Tamara's corpse, the original shot was one featuring Tamera's fully nude body with dozens of shards of glass protruding from it.
    • The scene where the uncredited boxer gets the hot sauna rock shoved into his chest cavity was a re-shoot. Originally, Jason jammed two darts through his eye sockets, but it was deemed too graphic, and the MPAA forced the crew to re-shoot it. Even with the re-shoot, the scene had to be trimmed. Originally, there was more blood and steam, but the MPAA found even that to be too graphic.
    • The scene where the captain gets his neck sliced by Jason's bowing knife was shot five different ways. The director's desire was a shot of a huge gash wound spurting blood, but the MPAA made him choose the least gory shot, which is what appears in the final cut of the movie.
    • Wayne's death originally featured him being electrocuted for a few seconds longer.
    • The full version of Miles' death scene actually saw him land on the spikes, rather than just showing the aftermath as we see in the "R" rated version.
    • When Jason kills the first gang banger, the uncut print featured Jason's hand and the needle going all the way through the gang banger's body.
  • On the DVD commentary, the director stated that the original version of the movie was over two hours long, and he cut the following scenes for time restrictions:
    • Several scenes with Miles, who is shown to have been an Olympic diver.
    • A brief scene at the beginning in which Sean hears that Rennie won't be on the cruise, and is disappointed.
    • Several additional scenes of Tamera and Eva together were cut.
    • Before Rennie gets pushed into the water, there was originally a longer conversation between her and Colleen.
    • A brief shot of Rennie touching Jason after he is electrocuted on the subway tracks.

 


Well it just goes to show you that when the best parts of a movie are cut, it movie suffers for it.  Sucks.

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