FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII
Jason Takes Manhattan
Review by Chastity Campbell
Stars: Jensen Daggett, Peter Mark Richman, Scott Reeves, VC
Dupree, Sharlene Martin
Director: Rob Hedden
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 100 Minutes
Release Date: September 3, 2002
ďHeís come back and youíre all gonna die!Ē
Dearly departed, we are gathered here today to honor the
increasing number of casualties, attributed to one Mr. Jason Voorhees!
Ok, I do believe that Jason has officially passed Kenny South Park in
dying and coming back to life! Jason
Takes Manhattan is not my favorite movie in this fine slasher series, and it
doesnít quite literally take a bite out the big apple, but hey, itís JASON!
This last attempt by Paramount to capitalize on the Jason
franchise was not the best in the series, but despite what others are saying, I
found it to be pretty cool and a tad bit funny! To say it strayed from the normal formula of the series would
be lying, but the twist in terms of location makes up for that somewhat.
We have the usual bag of Crystal Lake teenagers who will
unfortunately, be fish food by the time their senior class cruise reaches
Manhattan. Itís a shame they
didnít add a few dimensions to these kids because I really feel some of the
actors and actresses in this installment could have done a great job had they
been given better dialogue to work with. Instead
we get the usual good guys, naughty guys, and nasty vixens.
Two performances that really stuck out in my mind were Jensen Daggett (Asteroid,
Major League) and Scott Reeves (Hot Shots, Part Deux, Young & The
Restless). Daggett takes on the smart-yet-shy heroine role of
Rennie and does a wonderful job bringing her to life.
The flashback scenes of Jason as a young boy allowed her to use a wide
range of emotional tools to bring a definitive sense of realism to it all.
The part of Sean was handled extremely well by Reeves, who shows us he is
more than the sensitive, sexy jock he was cast to play.
The boat ride to Manhattan takes up quite a bit of the
movie, and at one point, you canít help but laugh when, while killing a young
videographer, Jason sets the boat on fire.
Whatís funny about that, you ask?
Only the fact that our cold hearted, homicidal maniac takes time to be a
good citizen by setting off the fire alarm.
Who knew Jason had a heartÖthen again, itís probably not his own!
The death scenes on board the boat were originally pretty
gruesome, but I do believe that the cutting room floor got to see more of the
gore than we did. This was due in
part to MPAA regulating how much death and destruction could be shown in an
ďRĒ rated movie. Remember folks, these Friday The 13th
movies came out when things were a tad more restrictive than they are now.
Jason and whatís left of the senior class from Lakeview
High make it to Manhattan and upon arriving, the masked mad man sees a whole
world of opportunity before him. Not
to mention a giant billboard with a hockey player in full mask staring back at
him. Yeah, I can definitely see Jason needing some therapy after that one.
Unfortunately the writers chose to neglect the ax fodder readily
available on each and every street corner.
So, instead of taking a giant step away from a tired storyline and
stopping for a little murder and mayhem, Jason continues to hunt down the
remainder of his traveling ensemble and ignores quite a few possible blood
fests. We do get a higher
death tally in this movie versus the others in the series, but is bigger or more
The twist at the end of this one is pretty neat in my
opinion. This is another of those
movies that if I spend too much time detailing the twists and turns you wonít
get to enjoy what you see as much, so letís just say Jason is rejuvenated so
to speak and we get to see him dieÖyet again.
Kane Hodder once again steps into the roll of Jason and
does a wonderful job giving this terrifying soul the pep in his step that was
needed. The makeup FX for
this installment was rather bad, and definitely could have used a face-lift!
As for the few special FX we were given, well, letís just say Iíve
seen better and leave it at that!
When you have a good thing and you try to build upon it and make it even better, you have to accept the good with the bad. This entry in terms of a stand, alone movie would have been on my ďBĒ list. As part of the series, itís an okay addition to a wonderful franchise overall.
This DVD in terms of video quality was amazing in
comparison to the transfers of its earlier siblings.
All of the images were crisp and clear, with very few blemishes that I
could see. Given to us in
Anamorphic Widescreen format, this print goes a long way in showing that even
back in the late 80s attention to storing a clean copy of a film for future use
was taken seriously.
Iíve been noticing that most of the transfers from the
early to mid 80s have tended to be quite grainy and fuzzy. Seeing this come to digital fruition so beautifully gives me
room to hope that as much detail has been paid to some of my other favorite
movies from that time period.
Unlike the movie just prior to this one in the Friday
The 13th series, Part VIII takes a step back to a 2.0 Dolby
Digital Mix. I was a bit worried
due to the fact that Part VII in the series had very poor audio quality and it
was mix mastered in Dolby Surround 5.1. Fear
not, for I was blown away by the clarity and quality that the 2.0 mix displayed.
The soundtrack for this movie was quite cool as I am a fan
of late 80s hair bands. Fred Mollin
did a good job at mixing and matching songs for this movie.
Features Ĺ *
Come out, come out, wherever you are! The extra features
that I was denied in the previous movie have once again eluded me.
The only options offered for this DVD were the audio choices of English
or French stereo, and scene selection!