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

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
  • Time: 100 min
  • Genre: Horror
  • Director: Rob Hedden
  • Cast: Jensen Daggett, Todd Shaffer, Tiffany Paulsen, Kane Hodder, Todd Caldecott


The graduating class of the local high school is going on a luxury cruise with Jason Voorhees as a stowaway. The heroine Rennie Wickham believes she was almost drowned by Jason as a child. Jason eventually sinks the boat and kills many of the students on it, but many of them escape to Manhattan. A long battle with Jason ensues until Jason is washed away in the New York sewers by a midnight flooding of toxic waste.

One comment

  • Sandcooler

    Usually suspension of disbelief is one of my strong points, in the past it has helped me through plenty of cinematic stinkers. “Jason Takes Manhattan” however pushed me to the limit, because this one really doesn’t make a lick of sense. I know that’s a common go-to criticism for a horror movie, but I’m aware unstoppable zombie serial killers who get revived by electric jolts probably don’t really exist. I’m talking about the inherent logic of this movie.

    For one thing: I know the filmmakers have been playing around with Jason’s pace ever since the beginning, making him appear wherever they want him to. We’ve accepted that Jason is clearly a lot quicker once he’s off-camera, but this one doesn’t play fair. The worst offender is probably the scene where the stepfather is running from a strolling Jason, then enters a house only to find Jason waiting for him there. He can teleport now? If you’re going to make him teleport, what’s the point of all the chase sequences? There’s no suspense if Jason catches you whenever he wants to.

    Little things that don’t make sense, but just happen because the movie says so are a real plague here. The very premise is flawed. Jason boards a ship that’s supposed to bring a high school class to New York, but why would he do that? Why leave Crystal Lake now, after all these years/movies? And how on earth can you reach New York via a lake? Writer/Director Rob Hedden makes absolutely no effort in providing some kind of explanation to cover all this up, because he’s going to put Jason on Times Square by any means necessary.

    Any means necessary also includes Jason simply swimming to New York once the ship sinks, the remaining characters splitting up in New York’s worst neighbourhood because…Lord knows, vats of toxic waste that just stand around on the street, and Jason suddenly being able to walk past herds of people without trying to kill any of them. Killing everything that moves is just about Jason’s only character trait, and they couldn’t even get that right.

    All this would be somewhat forgivable if the movie was at least entertaining, but the kill scenes are just boring. We’ve seen this dude ripping people’s hearts out, so seeing him sorta kinda strangle a girl makes him look like he’s lost his touch. There’s one holy grail is this pile of dung though: at one point the token black kid engages into a long boxing match with Jason, with a predictable winner. This movie blows, but that is one of the highlights of the entire franchise.

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