Friday the 13th: Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan should be titled Friday the 13th: Part VIII: Jason Takes An Hour Long Boat Ride During Which He Commits Several Horrific Murders, Continues To Murder People On Various Sets That Are Supposed To Represent New York City (I Guess) And Visits Times Square For No Longer Than Five Minutes. I realize that is much to long to put on a poster, so, Jason Takes Manhattan will have to suffice.
In Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Vorhees takes an hour long boat ride during which he commits several horrific murders, continues to murder people on various sets that are supposed to represent New York City (I guess) and visits Times Square for no longer than five minutes.
"But I thought Jason was dead," you're probably saying out loud to yourself or a nearby loved one. "How exactly does a dead guy do any of these things you've just described, Giant Electric Penguin Blog?" You're not wrong. Jason is dead when Part VIII begins. If you recall, Jason met his demise in Part VII when he was drowned beneath Crystal Lake by a psychic teenager's zombie father (Google it!). How does a dead man "take" an entire bustling metropolis like New York City? He doesn't. Only alive people can do that, so the first order of business is to jolt Mr. Vorhees awake from his current state of dead. This is accomplished by electricity somehow. Apparently there is this huge electric cable on the bottom of Crystal Lake. A horny teenage boy, who has borrowed his parents' yacht for some late night sex-having, and his more-than-willing companion, drop anchor in Crystal Lake, drag the aforementioned electric cable near Jason's corpse, and ZZZZZAP, Jason is alive and killing again. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
You know what else doesn't make sense? Lakeview High's graduation pleasure cruise. Yep, Lakeview High School's Class of '89 (Voted 'Most Likely to be Violently Murdered by a Madman in a Goalie Mask') has finally graduated, so they're all going on a cruise to NYC. And how many chaperones are overseeing this fun-filled jaunt up the coast? Two. Two adults on a cruise boat -- I hesitate to say "ship" because it's a pretty small vessel, although, oddly enough, it is chock full of almost ever amenity you'd find on a standard Royal Carribean cruise liner -- full of horny teenaged boys, coked up teenage girls, and a creepy deckhand who keeps reminding them that they're all going to die.
One the the boat's passengers is a psychologically damaged young woman, Rennie, who, as we learn later but you are going to learn right this very second, is afraid of water, because one time, when she was little, her Uncle Charles pushed her out of a canoe into Crystal Lake and she was attacked by the corpse of Young Jason Vorhees. She experiences creepy visions of Young Jason throughout the movie and it never stops being gross. Oh, Uncle Charles is one of the chaperones. He's Lakeview High's biology teacher. He's also a dick. He's the kind of character, like Dr. Crews in the previous installment, that you just can't wait to watch die. Unfortunately, Uncle Charles hangs on for a pretty long time. J.J., the punk rocker, isn't so lucky:
Jason hates punk rock. (Note: I'm fully aware that this is not punk rock.)
J.J. is the just the first of many students who are dispatched in increasingly uninteresting ways. I don't like the Saw movies -- to be fair, I've only seen the first one, but I've heard things -- but at least Jigsaw puts a little creative flair into his kills. Jason is simply going through the motions at this point. Harpoon guns, shards of broken mirror, a good old fashioned strangulation: these are the tools of Jason's trade. This section of the film is pretty dull, apart from a scene in which class hottie/total bitch, Tamara Mason, attempts to seduce Uncle Charles while horny class nerd, Glasses Guy (I don't remember his name and I don't care to look it up. IMDB it!), video tapes it. OH! And to be fair, Jason does get a little creative when he kills a jock in the boat's sauna room (???) by plunging a piping hot rock through his rib cage.
Like I said, this boat stuff is pretty boring. It's also the largest section of the film. Jason doesn't even to get to Manhattan until an hour in. By that time, the movie's got about thirty more minutes to go. How the hell is someone, even a hulking supernatural killing machine like Jason Vorhees, going to "take" the Big Apple in 30 minutes? Impossible.
I've been to New York City a handful of times. My wife and I spent our honeymoon there. We've been a couple times, in fact, to see Broadway shows and walk around and whatever. I'm no expert when it comes to NYC, but I think I've got a pretty good handle on it. Friday the 13th: Part VIII taught me some things I never knew about the City That Never Sleeps however. For instance, did you know that every night at midnight, the sewers beneath Manhattan are flushed out with toxic waste? It's true! Not only that, but open barrels of toxic waste are stored in random alleys all over the city. Weird, huh? I saw it in a movie, so it must be true.
That midnight toxic flushing of New York's sewers is very important, as this is how Rennie and her love interest ultimately kill Jason. Trapped in the sewer tunnels, Jason is drenched in a gushing torrent of toxic waste, that melts his face like this:
And then turns him into a little boy for some reason. For real. After the toxic waste, I don't know, makes its way out into the Atlantic Ocean, Rennie observes Young Jason lying motionless on the sewer floor. What? I don't know.
So, Jason has been melted into a little boy. There's no way he's coming back after this, right? Wrong, asshole! Jason Vorhees was back four years later in something called Jason Goes to Hell.
BUT...? HOW...? HUH...? C'MON!
So, join me next Monday when I don't discuss Jason Goes to Hell or mention Jason Vorhees, Camp Crystal Lake, or the number thirteen, because I'm not doing it. I love you guys, but I can't. Not now. I can however in October. Yep. This October, I'm bringing back the extremely popular
31 DAYS OF HORROR!!!
In fact, I'm working on it right now. I've got some doozies for you guys come October. Is that how you spell "doozies?" My computer has underlined it in red. I'm gonna stick with doozies.
Until October, let's give Jason a little break. Sleep tight, Little Vorhees. They're so cute when they're dead and melted.