A Friday Full Of Fridays: Friday The 13th Part VIII : Jason Takes Manahttan

Welcome to a Friday Full Of Fridays! In celebration of Friday April 13th, 2012, here at DreadWorld we are going to take a look at each film from the franchises initial run (meaning we are going to ignore Freddy v. Jason and the Remake). I'll be posting a short review, a reviewette if you will, every hour on this momentous day. The posts will be in reverse order of awesomeness, meaning we will be counting backwards from, what I believe to be the worst film in the series, to the film I believe to be the best. Welcome and enjoy the ride!

We continue our journey with:

Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The first film on the list to actually star Jason. It's also the last film produced for Paramount Pictures, as they would sell the franchise to New Line shortly after this film hit theaters. And truthfully, had Jason appeared in any of the other films we've already profiled, this would have probably been ranked even lower. In a word, this film is a mess.

The concept of Jason Voorhees laying waste to lower Manhattan is awesome. Unfortunately for a film with a budget of 2 million bucks, what you get is Jason on a shitty boat for seventy minutes and in NY (really Vancouver except for a few key establishing shots) for 20 minutes or so. Granted the twenty minutes in New york are for the most part, great. The biggest problem with this film is really the seventy minutes before hand.

The series again asks us to take another huge leap in logic, although by now it's something we should be used to. A high school senior takes a "cruise" from Crystal Lake to New York City. Now forget the fact that Crystal Lake is supposed to be in Connecticut, or at worse (definitely worse) New Jersey, so a cruise to New York, really only a few miles away, would make no sense. Ask yourself, what lake has a direct nautical path to the ocean? Logic aside, said cruise ships anchor drags a still sunken Jason with it as it leaves the cozy confines of camp Crystal Lake.

Jason works his way through the various class members, some of whom are actually pretty good actors, most of who are not. We get future star (?) Kelly Hu in one of her first appearances here. For the most part, the boring kids are dispatched on the ship before any sign of the big apple can be seen. Once Jason hits new York hilarity ensures, most of it unintentional. Although it is pretty cool when Jason has a boxing match with the boxing team kid and punches his head straight off. Director Rob Heddens reveal of Jason in Times Square has become one of the iconic moments of the series.

Although the characterization was first set forth in Friday Part VII, Peter Mark Richman is perfect as the douche bag adult who you can't wait to see Jason knock off. But the real powerhouse of this entry into the series is Jensen Daggett as Rennie. Ahh...Jensen Daggett, by far my favorite "Friday End Girl," beating out Friday Part II's Amy Steele by a healthy margin. Daggett is not only gorgeous (she still is, just check out "His Name was Jason"), but she does a great job with the clunky, disorganized script.

Despite there being some decent parts, the film as a whole is a failure. Heddens vision while grand is something that just gets crushed under the weight of the budget. He was forced to shift most of the action from New York to the ship and sub Vancouver for New York. New York comes off as such an awful stereotypical characterization its beyond laughable. Which leads us to the most insulting ending of the entire series. Jason chases Rennie down to through the subways until Rennie pours "toxic slime" on him. Yup, toxic slime. So the toxic slime kills him right? Nope. See this is some magic toxic slime. It turns Jason back into a little boy, the same little boy who drowned however many years ago back in Crystal Lake. Beginning to understand why Paramount wanted nothing to do with the franchise? Sadly, as we've already seen the series would even get worse before it got better.

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