Wednesday, January 6, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII – JASON TAKES MANHATTAN DELUXE EDITION

Unfortunately, 1989’s installment, JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, is one of the worst in the series, with an even more nonsensical than usual script, no wit, no evident imagination, and plodding direction.

This one’s a head-scratcher. Once again, Jason (Kane Hodder) emerges from Crystal Lake to kill, this time catching a ride on an old cruise ship (!) that is carrying a bunch of college? high school? Students to New York City. So, now Crystal Lake (which is surrounded by lovely – and Canadian – mountains in this one) is connected somehow to the Atlantic Ocean? Anyway, Jason kills a bunch of uninteresting characters with uninteresting backstories for a while until the ship blows up. The few survivors manage to make it to Manhattan in a lifeboat, only to find that master Vorhees has followed them, and continues to stalk them through the city’s dirty alleys and sewers.

Okay. The franchise is clearly running on fumes at this point, with the tired formula being twisted into idiotic knots in a clearly desperate attempt to keep things fresh. Ultimately, though, Part Eight is just tired and stupid, and even Jason’s apparent new ability to teleport doesn’t liven things up. It’s no surprise that Paramount finally pulled the plug on the series after this chapter; it was actually a bit of a mercy killing.

The DVD is nice, though. Like the rest of the Deluxe Editions, the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is very sharp, and the 5.1 and 2.0 audio options are Crystal Lake clear (groan). A commentary with several cast members is provided, along with the obligatory "Making Of" documentary and some "slashed" deleted scenes. There is also a gag reel, which is at least shorter than the feature, if not much funnier.

Completists will want to pick this up, but everyone else should avoid.

BUY: Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (Deluxe Edition)