Movies I Watched Recently #13: Friday the 13th Part VIII Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Friday the 13th 7 and 8 on DVD

When Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan opened in theaters back in 1989, I was a young kid who didn’t know his roman numerals that well. So I thought that this movie was the ninth movie in the series (haha!).

Sure, if I took all the Friday the 13th movies that had been released at that time and counted them all, without knowing my roman numerals, I could have figured out that Jason Takes Manhattan is the ninth movie. But at that time I wasn’t too familiar with the Friday the 13th movies and we didn’t have this “internet” thing back then where I could easily look up all the movies.

So Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, of course, is the eighth movie in this slasher film series. That means they released eight Friday the 13th movies in the 80s! Eight movies in one decade! Wow! That’s just one reason why the 80s are so awesome! (haha!)

In my “DVD/Blu-Ray Pickups #9: Eight Friday the 13th movies!” blog post, I mentioned that I’m not the biggest fan of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. A big reason for this is that the movie title is a bit misleading…

So the movie starts up and there’s all these shots of Manhattan, and I’m thinking, “Wow, this is going to be pretty cool!”

Then the movie shows some teenagers with their adult supervisors boarding a cruise ship to go to New York. So I’m thinking, “Okay, they’ll spend a little bit of time on the cruise ship and then we’ll be in New York.”

They’re on the cruise ship and I’m waiting for them to get to New York. So I waited…

… and I waited…

… and I waited…

… and I waited…

All this time I’m thinking, why the heck are they still on this cruise ship?

Well, that’s because, instead of New York, most of the movie takes place on a cruise ship! Who’s bright idea was it to call this movie “Jason Takes Manhattan“ and then have most of the movie take place on a cruise ship? (haha!)

Now they do get to New York in the final part of the movie and there is some cool stuff that happens here. There’s a scene with Jason in Times Square that was actually filmed in Time Square. That scene was really cool, but it was short. Another cool scene took place in a dinner.

Anyway, the entire time they spent in New York was too short. When a movie is called “Jason Takes Manhattan” I expected the entire movie (or at least most of it) to take place in New York. Heck, they could have had most of the movie being Jason chasing people through Times Square and I would have been fine with that.

I remember being really hyped up for this movie. I thought the Manhattan setting could potentially make this movie my favorite out of the series. Needless to say, I ended up being very disappointed.

But despite that, this is a good slasher movie. Kane Hodder returns as Jason and he has some really cool kills. What he does to the boxer teen who’s fighting him is one of my favorite kills of the series. It might even be my favorite kill. That was just freaking awesome!

In the end I think this movie should have been called “Jason On A Cruise” (or “Jason Takes A Cruise To Manhattan”). As a “Jason On A Cruise” movie, it’s a good Friday the 13th movie. As a “Jason Takes Manhattan” movie, it’s a disappointing movie.

With that said, I know now that the Friday the 13th movies have always been low budget movies even though they were released by a big movie studio, Paramount. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was also low budget (although I think the budget was slightly higher than any of the previous films), so perhaps the budget dictated that the entire movie could not take place in New York. And that’s understandable.

But if that’s the case, then I kind of wished they ditched the Manhattan thing and just focus on being on the cruise ship. They still would have made for a good Friday the 13th movie.

Or at least they could have changed the title of the movie.

As for Special Features, there’s a commentary track from Kan Hodder along with the lead actor Scott Reeves and lead actress Jensen Daggett. The director is not listed for this commentary, which I found to be a bit odd, since for all the previous Friday the 13th DVDs (that had commentaries) have had the director talk in the commentaries.

The director of the film, however, is in the featurette called New York Has a New Problem – The Making of Friday the 13th Part VIII Jason Takes Manhattan. This has interviews with the director, cast, and crew. What’s really neat is that most of the main cast is here.

I found three really interesting things to me here. First off, some of people do say that the title “Jason Takes Manhattan” is misleading. Daggett also wishes they could have filmed more in New York.

Second there’s a neat and funny story of how the director got one of his actresses to feel comfortable filming a nude scene. The actress who did this nude scene is also here talking about this.

And finally, Kane Hodder talks about how he really enjoyed when they were filming him as Jason in Times Square and all the people were watching him (behind barricades). Man, I really wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time and go to Times Square to watch Hodder as Jason when they were filming this. That would have been super amazing!

Slashed Scenes are the deleted/extended scenes from the film, including the extended kill scenes, and you can choose which scenes you want to watch. The footage that was cut out of the final film has pretty decent picture quality, much better than the quality for the deleted scenes in previous Friday the 13th DVDs.

There is also a Gag Reel, which has outtakes of some the actors/crew messing up or goofing off. Some of the stuff is pretty funny, but there is nothing I found super hilarious.

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