Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Genre: Slasher Horror Serial
Starring: Jensen Daggett, Gordon Currie (The Dark Hours; The Pedestrian)
Directed By: Rob Hedden
Overview: When Crystal Lake High grads go on a boat ride to Manhattan, Jason tags along for the ride.
Acting: The director of this one also wrote it. The actors did a better job than this director ever could have. Where this man took Jason was a complete betrayal of Jason's archetype. Why that was done, I'll never know, but he's not getting a fan in me.
Cinematography: This opens with a nice gory montage, showing the underbelly of a dank city. Then we revert to the same old stuff. There's a couple hallucination scenes that are well done, but ultimately the gore wasn't there either, though I'm starting to suspect that this is due to censors, as the outtakes of Part 7 proved.
Script: This revisionist and imbecilic movie ruins everything Jason was, including his history. From his evil cackling laugh (that he's never had before) to vast archetypal changes in his very character, Jason is now a farce, made into a comic caricature for the whims of the vision of someone out there who's career truly should have suffered for doing this to a well-loved maniac. Luckily, that was only a small part of the otherwise common, lame (but lovable) 80s victim chat.
Plot: Jason saves the life of a victim in this one. This goes against all previous principles of his character. Never did they (nor should they have) present any sort of moral dilemma to an axe wielding psycho zombie. Why they added personality, I'm unsure, yet in every other film he seems to have a pole long enough to kill two people at the same time, which is what he should have done, rather than pick up the rapist and watch her run away. Oh and they're only in Manhattan for 15 minutes of this falsely advertised movie.
Mood: I've always basked in the glow of the big hair, the overt sexuality and the typecasts. Sure I may have said from time to time that it was too much, but this one did a great job for the victims. Sadly, introducing this Darkwoods Slayer to New York City transformed too much about him. They even added consciousness to him in one scene where he stops, shows kids his face, and continues on his way. Reprehensible. Oh and worst music EVER.
Overall Rating: 36% (Couldn't Make It Here, Couldn't Make It Anywhere)
Aftertaste: Well there you have it, a terrible end to a mediocre series (the next film was shot 5 years later, and seems more like a franchise revival rather than a genuine continuation). The most upsetting part of this movie is not that our typical stalking murder music used in every previous film was cut right out, but that it was replaced with some soft-cock-rock band hammering mild riffs, singing about the ills of our times. This throws everything out of whack. This should be burned.