FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII- JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. 1989. DIRECTED BY ROB HEDDEN. STARRING KANE HODDER. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
On remarking to a Facebook friend that I was going to watch this film, he rather wittily replied:
‘JASON TAKES MANHATTAN…? JASON TAKES A REALLY LONG BOAT TRIP TO MANHATTAN, more like!’ Indeed. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
The boat in question is filled with American high school students on a school trip to the Big Apple. Naturally, Jason Voorhees, recently reanimated by a surge of power from an underwater cable, has become a stowaway on said ship and is killing the teens one by one in different ways. That is so typically Jason…
By the time the cruise is over and the ship is littered with bloodied corpses- is there any other kind?- only a few passengers have managed to survive the cull. Jason disembarks when the others do and spends the rest of the film trying to kill the peeps he missed aboard ship.
These include a nice teacher and a mean teacher. The mean teacher has it coming, however, because years ago he pushed his ward Rennie into the lake where Jason drowned and told her that Jason would get her if she didn’t learn to swim quick-smart. What a meanie…!
Don’t worry, Jason sorts him out with a nice ironic come-uppance. He’ll think twice before he attempts anything so rotten again. Well, he won’t really be able to think twice, because he’s… ahem… dead now. He won’t be doing anything again.
That just leaves the nice studious Rennie, who’s been seeing visions of Jason as a drowning child ever since she got on board ship, and her nice boyfriend Sean. Jason pursues them both through the streets of Manhattan by night.
The chase ends in the sewers, deep down underground in the very bowels of the city that never sleeps. Who emerges victorious? Well, you can probably guess.
The ending is quietly poetic, though, and shows the waters of the sewer closing gently over the facial-covering of the man/ghost who never really had a chance at life. I liked the ending, and I actually really enjoyed the whole film.
There are one or two moments of quirky humour in it, like in the part where Jason is hauling himself up out of the murky waters of New York Harbour and the first thing he sees is a giant sports billboard with a picture of a hockey-mask emblazoned across it.
Then there’s the part where Jason is striding purposefully through the streets in pursuit of Rennie and Sean and he deliberately kicks over a boombox that’s blasting out discordant rap music.
The street punks responsible for the racket take immediate umbrage and threaten to pop a cap in his ass, or whatever the parlance of the day. Jason, unfazed, turns to face them and quietly raises his mask. The street punks scatter like mist on a sunny morning…
I feel quite sympathetic towards Jason by the time this film ends. It’s probably my maternal instincts kicking in. Yes, he’s a murderous psychopath but awww…! The poor little guy never had a chance.
I recommend this film to horror movie fans in general, and not just the Jason die-hards who’ll watch it anyway. It ain’t bad at all for an eighth sequel. Happy watching. Let me know what you think. I’ll be here waiting. Well, I might be doing some other stuff while I’m waiting- I mean, I gotta eat and sleep and pee and all that- but when I’ve done all that I’ll come back and I’ll wait right here just like I said. Promise.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: