Movie Review: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Review: When the graduating senior class of Lakeview High School celebrates by taking a cruise ship to New York City, a newly revived Jason Voorhees tags along as a stowaway and, before too long, is slaughtering the students and the ship's crew.

Who's in it? The movie stars Kane Hodder, Jensen Daggett, Barbara Bingham, Peter Mark Richman and Warren Munson.

Review: After recording this film off of one of our movie channels earlier this month, my wife and I finally got around to watching it this week. I did this with some reluctance because, so far, I have been pretty unimpressed with the majority of the movies from this franchise. But, I figured I would give it one more chance. As it turns out, I was right to be reluctant.

Let me start out by saying the title of this movie is kind of misleading. Yes, Jason (Hodder) does, eventually, visit Manhattan. However, the majority of the the film takes place on the cruise ship to Manhattan. Then, when he finally gets there, it was a pretty big let-down. Instead of taking advantage of the city's huge population and going on a massive killing spree, he largely ignores dozens of potential victims.

Just to give you an example, there's a scene where Jason is on the subway and, other than shoving one person down, just walks by the other passengers without giving them a second thought. This is a guy who is supposed to be a killing machine and he doesn't take advantage of a crowded subway car? What was the point of having him come to the big city then?

I also was not a fan of the ending, which I thought was dragged out quite a bit and was kind of confusing. In fact, the only thing that ending did for me was confirm what I've been saying for some time, Jason Voorhees is kind of a wimpy serial killer who is way too easy to defeat.

Probably the only halfway interesting thing about this movie was the mystery surrounding the one student, Rennie (Daggett), and why she kept seeing a young Jason (Tim Mirkovich) in flashbacks and hallucinations. However, that also proved to be disappointing because, rather than be something much more meaningful (such as her being the daughter of one of the camp counselors that allowed him to drown or maybe a long-lost relative of his) the truth behind them was actually kind of lame to the point it really seemed like a waste.

Final Opinion: I gave this movie a chance mostly because I already had it recorded. After seeing it however, I have officially given up on the franchise and have no intention of watching any of the other Friday the 13th films.

My Grade: D


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