‘New York has a new problem.’
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is a 1989 American slasher horror film written and directed by Rob Hedden and starring Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves and Kane Hodder.
It was the last film in the series to be distributed by Paramount Pictures in the United States until 2009. The film grossed $14.3 million at the domestic box office, making it the second lowest-grossing film in the series.
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A year after Tina Shepard’s deceased dad chained Jason to the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake, two graduating high school students are aboard on a houseboat. Jim tells his girlfriend Suzy the legend of Jason Voorhees; the supernatural while aboard undead psychopathic killer before playing a prank on her with a hockey mask and a fake knife. The boat sails over some underwater cables, which electrify Jason’s corpse and cause his resurrection. He sneaks on board and stabs Jim with a harpoon barb before impaling Suzy.
The next morning, the SS Lazarus is ready to set sail, bound for New York City with a graduating high school class, chaperoned by biology teacher Charles McCulloch and English teacher Colleen Van Deusen. Jason sneaks on board and kills rock star wannabe J.J. with her guitar before hiding in the bowels of the ship.
That night, after a boxing match, a young boxer who lost to champion Julius Gaw is killed when Jason slams a sauna rock into his abdomen while Rennie, searching for her dog Toby, discovers prom queen Tamara and Eva doing drugs. McCulloch nearly catches them moments later and Tamara pushes Rennie overboard, suspecting she narced them out. She then uses video student Wayne to record McCulloch in a compromising situation with her, but rejects Wayne’s advances afterward. Tamara is killed by Jason when she goes to take a shower.
Rennie begins seeing visions of a young Jason throughout the ship, but the others ignore the deckhand’s warnings that Jason is aboard. After more killings, the ship finally reaches New York City…
‘ … Jason Takes Manhattan is competent and professionally made, but in a TV-movie way. There is no tension and the shocks are all well telegraphed. Harry Manfredini’s score is replaced by nondescript synthesizer chords and bland rock songs from unknown bands. Fans of the series are likely to be highly disappointed although its good to see Kane Hodder donning the mask once again.’ Jim Harper, Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies
‘I’m not sure why people seem to forget that a ship was a new environment as well. This gave him many new implements to use (sauna rock! guitar! antenna!), a wealth of victims (Jason gets one of his highest on-screen kills counts in this one – and his 2nd biggest overall after Jason X, since a ship full of anonymous students is sunk), and a welcome change of scenery…’ Horror Movie a Day
‘Perhaps the series nadir … took a fun idea – putting Jason Voorhees in New York City (the joke being that he fits in) – and had it scuppered by budgetary limitations; most of the film takes place on the boat journey there.’ Teenage Wasteland: The Slasher Movie Uncut
Cast and characters:
- Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees
- Jensen Daggett as Rennie Wickham
- Scott Reeves as Sean Robertson
- Barbara Bingham as Colleen Van Deusen
- Peter Mark Richman as Charles McCulloch
- Martin Cummins as Wayne Webber
- Gordon Currie as Miles Wolfe
- V. C. Dupree as Julius Gaw
- Kelly Hu as Eva Watanabe
- Saffron Henderson as J.J. Jarrett
- Sharlene Martin as Tamara Mason
- Alek Diakun as Deck hand
- Warren Munson as Admiral Robertson
- Tiffany Paulsen as Suzie Donaldson
- Amber Pawlick as young Rennie Wickham
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