Let’s Go Camping Part 8 (Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan, 1989)
Yep. Jason Takes Manhattan. Again, Kane Hodder makes Jason very entertaining to watch. Anyways, the movie starts on the Streets of Manhattan where a voice talks about the gritty city…eventually, after the credits are over we get to Crystal Lake and a small houseboat on which two high school seniors are getting it on. The anchor drags along the bottom and picks up a powerline. Juice jumps to the body of Jason, who is chained to the bottom of the lake, yet again. The boyfriend hears a noise. He leaves the girl, and she starts to get predictably nervous. Suddenly a guy in a hockey mask pops in and stabs her! Oh wait, it’s just a retractable knife. She gets so mad at him that they get back into bed to have sex. I gotta remember that…making a woman think you are a mass murder and she could have been your next victim is a turn on to the ladies. Of course, if you are paying any attention when you popped the disc in the player, you know Jason is on the boat and ready to kill, kill, kill. And so he walks in grabs the hockey mask and a spear gun. The girl sees him, freaks out causing her boyfriend to turn a few shades of white as he turns around. Jason shows the tried and true aim of a Stormtrooper from Star Wars and misses the two kids that he is five feet away from. Don’t worry, he remedies the situation and manages to kill them both.
The next morning we meet the senior class of Crystal Lake High…all fifteen of them. Just like any high school class there are your basic stereotypes. The Jock and his friends. The friendly Black Jock. The Hot, Self Absorbed Blonde and her follower (in most movies she has more than one, in this film it is just Kelly Hu). The video nerd. The rocker chick. The nice geek. The nice teacher. The creepy principal and then there is the Troubled Heroine and her dog. She is scare of the water. And is getting on a big boat. She has waking nightmares about a young boy calling for help. Sometimes? Its a young boy with a full head of hair. Other times, its a deformed boy who looks like young Jason. They are both supposed to be Jason though. Go figure. Jason grabs onto the side of the boat. Then there is the ominous deck hand who keeps saying everyone is going to die. Every ship should have one of those. Maybe the Titanic would not have sunk.
Jason wanders the boat, killing just about everyone. For some reason, he thinks it’s better to kill the captain and it’s crew first, ensuring that the ship start to have technical difficulties forcing the survivors to jump ship in a life raft. Real smart Jason. So the Nice Geek, Nice Teacher, the Friendly Black Jock, the Creepy Principal and the Troubled Heroine (without her dog) all float along until they reach New York. But Jason gets there as well. And lucky for Jason, people are not faced by walking corpses wearing Hockey Masks in New York, so he is not phased.
Some druggie gang members kidnap the Troubled Heroine and shoot her up as they get ready to rape her. Her friends all split up to try and find cops. Well, before the gang members can rape her, Jason steps in to save the day. Jason isn’t so bad after all, right? So, our now high and Troubled Heroine runs away and meets up with the Nice Geek. They go looking for everyone else. The Friendly Black Jock turns a corner and meets Jason, well, that’s not good! Being a minority is bad news in a Friday the 13th film. If you want to live. He runs from Jason and climbs a fire escape. But apparently, Jason is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The Friendly Black Jock starts punching Jason. Jason just stands there until the Friendly Black Jock is so tired he is missing Jason (who is one foot away-I did not say he was a Friendly Black TALENTED ATHLETE Jock).. Then, all tired out he says to Jason one of the stupidest things you can say to an undead serial killer. “Go ahead…take your best shot”. So, with one punch, Jason knocks his block off. Literally.
In the meantime, the other four have met back up and found a cop. He makes them get into the back seat. When he opens his door the dome light reveals the head of the Friendly Black Jock on the dashboard. Everyone screams and the cops starts calling for help…rather in vain as Jason grabs him and drags him away. The Troubled Heroine jumps to the front seat, apparently, the cop cars in NY have no screen dividing the front and back seats. She speeds the car down the alley and Jason steps in front of the car. Suddenly she sees little deformed Jason soaking wet…and she runs him over and crashes the car…everyone but Friendly Teacher get out before the car explodes. Suddenly, the Troubled Heroine has a flashback to the Creepy Principal (her uncle, did I forget to mention that?) pushing her out of a boat to force her to swim, where she gets pulled under water by deformed young Jason. Seven and eight really mess with the Chronology of the series with these flash backs, but if you don’t try and make a logical timeline you will be okay.
So the Nice Geek and the Troubled Heroine run away from Creepy Prinipal. Jason wakes up and starts chasing him. The Creepy Principal runs into a building. It’s here that Jason displays his ability to teleport as suddenly the Creepy Principal flies from the second floor window. Jason looks at him and disappears from the window. Suddenly he is on ground level and grabs the Creepy Principal, carries him over to a barrel full of grungy looking rain water and drowns him in it.
Jason goes after the last two survivors. They duck into the subways and he follows. Oddly people are more annoyed by the kids pulling an emergency break on the Subway than the Homicidal Maniac in the Hockey Mask. Jason appears to get electrocuted by the train tracks. This allows the Nice Geek and Troubled Heroine to say, “It’s all over!” Its not of course…and They see Jason in the middle of Times Square. They run through the streets. Jason passes some punk rockers listening to rap. Apparently, Jason doesn’t “feel” hip hop, as he KICKS their boom box in stride. They of course start to make threats. Jason stops, turns around and lifts his mask and the punks have a change of heart. Jason lets them live and walks away. Best gag in the entire film. He follows the two remaining kids into the sewers.
But the Troubled Heroine throws a bucket of toxic waste in Jason’s face. And it burns. But Jason does not give up. He stumbles down the Sewer. Well, the Trouble Heroine and the Nice Geek hit a dead end, but there is a ladder. They climb to the grate at the top, but it won’t budge. They are stuck as Jason reaches the ladder. OH SHIT! WHAT WILL THEY DO?! Did you know that at midnight, NY floods the sewers with Deadly Toxic Waste? Me neither, but according to the movie, they do. You would think they would not want us to hear about that. The NY Film Commission is just stupid. Or maybe they are just greedy. I don’t know.
So, anyways, the deadly toxic waste floods the hall. Jason sees it and starts vomiting water as the wall of toxic waste tumbles towards him. Not sure why. It’s just what Jason does. The toxic wastes hits Jason and he starts to disintegrate. Luckily, the toxic waste is odor and fume free, so our two survivors are not at risk of being knocked out by the fumes and falling into the waste. Then the toxic waste recedes. Leaving a normal, non-Jason looking little boy lying dead in his swimming suit. They killed Jason’s true spirit…or something like that. The two survivors find a way out and walk onto the streets at sunrise. Now they can say “It’s all over”. As they hug, something catches the Troubled Heroine’s eye. Whoa, is it Jason? Nope. It’s her dog, who we last saw on the boat. What a relief!!!! And then the credits role.
This is not a good film. The story is muddled, the characters are light sketches even by slasher movie standards.
You might think Jason going to Manhattan is as an absurd concept as a franchise can get. Just remember…Jason has been to space.