Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is a 1989 slasher film directed by Rob Hedden and starring Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves and Kane Hodder. It is the eighth film in the Friday the 13th film series, and deals with Jason Voorhees stalking a group of high school graduates on a ship en route to, and later in, New York City.
Two teenagers, Jim Miller and his girlfriend Suzy Donaldson, are sailing Jim's boat on Crystal Lake when they pass by the abandoned camp. As Jim tells Suzy the legend of Jason Voorhees, the boat's anchor catches onto a power cable which it drags onto the comatose body of Jason, shocking him back to life. After scaring Suzy with a replica of Jason's hockey mask, Jim is killed when the freshly revived Jason eviscerates him with a harpoon gun before taking the mask for himself. Though Suzy tries to hide in one of the boat's cargo holds, Jason finds her and fatally stabs her with the harpoon.
The next day Charles McColloch and Colleen Van Deusen take their students Rennie Wickham, Sean Robertson, Julius Gaw, Tamara Mason, Eva Watanabe, Wayne Webber, Miles Wolfe, and J.J. Jarrett on the S.S. Lazarus for a cruise to New York City. Unbeknownst to them, Jason has stowed away on the boat as well and begins a new killing spree when he stabs J.J. in the head with her own electric guitar.
Rennie and her dog Toby see a vision of the young Jason in the window, and Toby runs off. Rennie goes looking for him and walks by Tamara and Eva, who are doing drugs. Shortly after they are caught by Charles, and Tamara thinks that Rennie told on them. As revenge, she pushes Rennie (who is afraid of the water) over the side of the boat. She is nearly drowned by the younger Jason before she is rescued by Colleen and Sean. The ship's deck hand (who is quite similar to Crazy Ralph) is constantly talking about Jason (and that everyone is doomed).
After a fight with Julius, a boxer goes to a sauna to relax, and is killed by Jason, who uses one of the sauna rocks and plunges it into his abdomen. Later, he kills Tamara with a mirror shard, and then murders Jim Carlson and Sean's father, Admiral Robertson (killing Jim by stabbing him with a harpoon and killing Admiral Robertson by slitting his throat). Charles does not believe that Jason has returned and is aboard the ship, but Julius does, so he takes charge and splits up with several students, armed with weapons and searching for Jason.
Jason strangles Eva to death. While Wayne is searching for Jason, he loses his glasses, and accidentally shoots a crew member before Jason comes and electrocutes him. He then triggers the fire alarm. Charles thinks it is a false alarm caused by the deck hand, whom he blames for the murders, suspecting that he wants to cause panic. So he takes a flare gun and searches for him.
While Miles is searching for him, Jason pops out of nowhere and gives chase, which leads up to a ladder. Jason then pops up on that ladder and throws Miles onto the radio antennae (which he disabled earlier), killing Miles. Julius then comes up to find Miles dead, while Jason catches him off guard and throws him into the ocean. When Charles finds the deck hand, he collapses to the ground dead with an axe in his back. Rennie, Sean, Colleen, Charles, and Toby get on a lifeboat and go away from the ship. Julius also gets onto the boat.
Soon they finally reach New York. Jason reaches New York shortly after they do, and sees a giant hockey billboard with a hockey mask on it. Looking at it, he tilts his head to the side as if to say "Is that me?". While they are wandering a deserted area, two gang bangers named Homes and Jojo rob them, scare Toby away, and take Rennie away from them, threatening to kill her if they follow. They inject her with heroin, then start trying to rape her, but Jason kills Homes by stabbing him with the empty heroin syringe. Jojo then comes, stating he forgot his money, then gets approached by Jason. He then tries to fend him off by shooting him, but Jason keeps approaching him, as if the bullets were nothing. Soon after, Jason grabs a hold of Jojo and bashes his skull against a pipe, breaking the pipe and killing Jojo. Rennie then escapes while Jason looks on and starts after her.
While Sean finds Rennie and takes her back to Charles and Colleen, Julius encounters Jason on the roof of a building and fights him with his boxing skills. Julius throws punches at Jason for exactly one minute and sixteen and a half seconds, before tiring himself out. Jason suffers no damage at all, and punches Julius's head off. Rennie, Sean, Charles and Colleen find a cop, who places them in the back of his car. But, when he gets in the front, the light comes on and they see Julius' decapitated head in the front. The cop then tries to call for backup, but he is quickly killed by Jason. Rennie drives the cop's car intending to hit Jason, but steers away when she sees the younger Jason ahead and crashes the car into a brick wall. Rennie, Sean and Charles manage to get out just in time, and the police car explodes right after, killing Colleen.
Rennie remembers Charles pushing her into Crystal Lake, trying to teach her how to swim, and she was pulled underwater by a younger Jason. Rennie runs away and Sean goes after her, demanding Charles to stay away from her. Charles briefly stays behind and Jason gets up, and only now does Charles realize his true identity before Jason chases after him, throws him through a window, and drowns him upside-down in a barrel of toxic sewage.
Jason then chases after Rennie and Sean, and they enter the subway, where Jason is electrocuted on train tracks, but survives. While chasing Rennie and Sean, he kicks four punks' boombox radio over, and they get aggressive toward him, but he turns around and lifts up his mask (he is facing away from the camera so the audience does not see his face), and the punks all run off before Jason resumes his chase after Rennie and Sean. The chase then leads to a diner, where Rennie tells a waitress that a maniac is trying to kill them, but she brushes it off, saying that people are like that in New York. Just then, Jason breaks through the door Rennie and Sean escape. The diner manager then approaches and gets aggressive toward him, but Jason throws him against a mirror. While some people flee, Jason then passes by the terrified waitress and continues after Rennie and Sean.
Eventually the chase leads to the sewer, where a sanitation worker tells them that at midnight every day (in this case, in 10 minutes) the sewer floods with toxic waste. Before he can show them out, Jason kills him with his own wrench. Jason then walks up, not noticing Rennie, about to kill Sean with the wrench, but Rennie shines a flashlight in his face, stating “You didn't get me in the lake, and you're not gonna get me now!”. Jason then chases after her, to which she runs away, trying to hide from him. She then notices a small barrel of toxic waste, opens it with the flashlight, and throws it into Jason's face. The monster pulls off his mask, showing his horrid face melting away (the sludge penetrated through the mask's eyeholes and ventilation orifices, thus hitting his face anyway). Rennie and Sean keep running and Jason chases them over to a ladder. The sewer galleries then flood with toxic waste, dragging Jason away and presumably killing him. Rennie hallucinates that Jason reverts to a child but actually he was washed away into the ocean.
Afterward, Rennie and Sean go to explore New York and are reunited with Toby.
- Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees
- Jensen Daggett as Rennie Wickham
- Scott Reeves as Sean Robertson
- Barbara Bingham as Colleen Van Deusen
- Peter Mark Richman as Charles McCulloch
- V. C. Dupree as Julius Gaw
- Kelly Hu as Eva Watanabe
- Sharlene Martin as Tamara Mason
- Martin Cummins as Wayne Webber
- Gordon Currie as Miles Wolfe
- Saffron Henderson as J.J. Jarrett
- Alex Diakun as Deck hand
- Warren Munson as Admiral Robertson
- Tiffany Paulsen as Suzie Donaldson
- Amber Pawlick as young Rennie Wickham
- Ace as Toby
List of DeathsEdit
|Name||Cause of Death||Killer||On-screen||Notes|
|Jim Miller||Speargun in stomach/innards ripped out||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Suzy Donaldson||Speared in chest||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|J.J. Jarrett||Head bashed with electric guitar||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Boxer||Hot sauna rock driven into chest||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Tamara Mason||Mirror shard in chest||Jason Voorhees||No|
|Jim Carlson||Harpooned in back 3 times||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Admiral Robertson||Throat slit with machete||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Eva Watanabe||Strangled to death||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Crew Member||Shot in chest with shotgun||Wayne||Yes||Accident|
|Wayne Webber||Thrown/electrocuted on control panel||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Miles Wolfe||Thrown off ladder/impaled through back on deck post||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Deck Hand||Axed in back||Jason Voorhees||No|
|Homes||Syringe through back||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Jojo||Head bashed against steam pipe||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Julius Gaw||Decapitated by punch||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Irish Cop||Dragged into alley, killed (offscreen)||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Colleen Van Duesen||Immolated in exploding car||N/A||Yes||Accident|
|Charles McCollough||Drowned in barrel of sewage||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|New York Cook||Thrown to diner mirror||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
|Sanitation Worker||Head bashed with wrench||Jason Voorhees||Yes|
The film's musical score was composed by Fred Mollin, who worked with longtime Friday the 13th series composer Harry Manfredini on the previous installment. On September 27, 2005, BSX records released a limited edition CD of Fred Mollin's Friday the 13th Part VII and VIII scores. The song "The Darkest Side of the Night" performed by Metropolis plays over the opening and ending credits to the film. Rob Hedden specifically wanted them to write a song reminiscent of Robert Plant.
Box office Edit
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan opened on July 28, 1989 in 1,683 theaters, placing at number 5 for the weekend with earnings of $6.2 million. The film faced strong competition at the time of its release from such high profile genre fare as Pet Sematary, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Shocker, and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Ultimately, it would go on to gross a total of $14.3 million at the U.S. box office, ranking at number 70 on the list of the year's Top 100 earners.
Critical response Edit
On his commentary track for the film in the box set, director Rob Hedden acknowledges the faults and agrees that more of the film should have been set in Manhattan, citing budgetary and schedule problems. Rotten Tomatoes details that 9% of the critics who reviewed the film gave it positive reviews, making it the poorest-received film of the series. It holds an average score of 3.9/10. Entertainment Weekly labeled it the eighth-worst sequel ever made.
- The original posters for the film featured Jason ripping through an "I Love NY" poster. In the first poster, Jason is holding a bloody knife which was cleaned in a second poster for fear that the blood was too graphic. However, both posters were dropped following a complaint from the New York Tourism Committee.
- Kane Hodder says that one of the most fun parts of his tenure as Jason was the scenes in Times Square. He says that spectators were lined up and down the block watching the filming, and he didn't want to take off the mask to destroy their illusion of Jason. He said that every once in awhile, he'd turn his head and look at them, and watch them all go crazy.
- In the original script, when Jason makes it to the dock, a dog starts barking at him and he kicked it. Kane Hodder, who was playing Jason, felt that kicking the dog was going too far and so the scene was dropped.
- Writer/Director Rob Hedden originally wrote more of the movie to be set in New York. He had written scenes at Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. But Paramount told him that budget would not allow him to spend that much time in New York, so he was forced to rewrite the film and spend more time on the cruise ship. Hedden says he agrees with fans who complain that not enough time is spent in New York, given the title Jason Takes Manhattan.
- This was the final Friday The 13th film to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. Due to low box office, Paramount sold the franchise to New Line Cinema. However, they did distribute the 2009 remake outside of the United States.