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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Friday the 13th 8: Jason Takes Manhattan

Well, the last time we saw Jason, he was battling a low-budget version of Carrie. This time around, he's taking a vacation in Cana--uh, I mean, "Manhattan". Yeah, Manhattan. Definitely NOT Canada! Start spreading the newwwws, I'm watching Jason Takes Manhattan! SPOILERS follow!

The opening scenes are like an anti-tourism montage. There are junkies sharing drugs; we see street punks mugging someone; a grungy diner is depicted; and, of course, the rats and trash. If I had to take a drink for every cliche that I spotted, I'd be dead of alcohol poisoning now. The irony is, this shit makes CANADA seem pretty gross, since none of it looks like New York...

Anyway, as the cameraman drowns himself, the scene shifts to Crystal Lake/Forest Green/Whatever You Want To Call It. We meet Jimmy and Suzi, a couple of high school seniors preparing to graduate. They're on a yacht, preparing to have sex, when Jimmy decides to tell his girlfriend the legend of Jason. As he relates the tale, we can see that the anchor has snagged onto a power line underwater. As cartoony lightning bolts zigzag through the line and into Jason, the water around the boat lights up in several places.

Suzi hears something, so Jimmy has no choice but to go topside and have a look. Jason starts climbing aboard at the same time. Boy, I'll bet THIS will be surprising and original! Nope. Jimmy gets stabbed in the gut with the harpoon gun, giving Suzi time to run to the upper deck of the boat. She hides in a smallish crawlspace, where Jason swiftly finds and kills her. Big whoop.

Now the that Un-Dynamic Duo are out of the way, we meet our main group of victims. There's Rennie, a pretty girl who suffers from hydrophobia--for a very good reason; her uncle Charles, and her teacher Colleen, both of whom are chaperoning the graduates; Sean, whose dad is the captain, and who doesn't want to follow in his dads' footsteps; Rennie's bitchy nemesis,Tamara, and her lackey Eva, ; JJ,a wanna-be Joan Jett; Wayne, a geek who carries a video camera everywhere he goes; Julius, an athlete(specifically, a boxer) with a surplus of confidence; a weird old man who takes on the "Crazy Ralph"-type role that makes it into most of these films; and many, many more.

Right off the bat, there are a few conflicts, mostly involving Charles. He makes a big deal over Rennie going on the cruise, and tries to talk her into staying home. Lucky for us, she refuses to leave. Also, Charles finds Tamara and Eva smoking a joint, and tells them that they will be confined to their cabin once the boat arrives in Manhattan.

JJ and Wayne are busy filming the goofiest music video EVER. Wayne gets bored and takes off to find Tamara(he has a major crush!), and JJ decides to explore the ship for an isolated area with good acoustics. She ends up in the engine room, and sets up her electric guitar for a jam session, while Jason arrives, eager to request "Freebird" or something. JJ is so lame, she doesn't even actually plug in her guitar: she pops a cassette into a boombox, then mimes playing the guitar. Jason, kill her swiftly, she deserves it.

When she sees Jason walking her way, JJ screams. Crazy Ralph II hears her screams, and decides to stop working so he can listen. Jason chases the girl, then teleports himself in front of her(a gimmick that occurs a few times in this film, and stupid every time it happens.) Jason corners JJ, smashing her face with the guitar. YAY!!!!

Back in Rennie's cabin, she's having a deep, soulful, meaningful conversation with her dog. Upon further contemplation, she's probably the least-cute of the franchise's "Final Girls". Her hair is a mile high, her clothes make her look like Ducky from Pretty in Pink, and her body is "meh". Anyway, while Rennie is contemplating bestiality, Jason is watching her with great interest.

While dressing, Rennie hears a sound coming from outside. It sounds like a child, calling for help. Her little porthole-window turns into a view of Crystal Lake, and she sees Jason drowning as a child. Her dog has more common sense than her, and leaves to explore the ship.

Well, that scene went nowhere, so let's abruptly switch to an impromptu sparring match between Julius and a doofus with a sweat problem. While Julius pounds on the poor guy, Tamara and Eva watch from an overhead window. The 2 girls discuss whether or not Julius has a "hot bod", until Tamara gets distracted by an attractive deckhand. When he leaves, Tamara tells Eva it's time to get high.

Wayne nearly collides with Uncle Charles, who is looking for Rennie. Charles behaves like a prick, then moves on. Wayne barely seems to notice.

Tamara and Eva drag out the cocaine. Eva hesitates to snort it, but Tamara bullies her into it. Before they get a chance to get high, Rennie walks in on them. She's looking for her dog, and they offer her a hit. She refuses, and they worry that she'll tell others what she saw them doing. When she leaves, Rennie just barely avoids seeing Jason lurking around the corner.

The girls get high, unaware that someone has found them. The unseen person watches them, then steps forward. Jason? Nope, it's stodgy old Charles, who threatens them with expulsion. He reminds Tamara that he will stop by her room later, to see a late biology assignment she needed to complete. When Charles leaves, the girls worry that Rennie will tell him what she saw, so they decide to play a mean prank on her.

We then meet the poor guy whose face was just used as a punching bag by Julius. He's resting up in a steam room, lying down with a towel covering his face. Jason waits for him to add some water to the hot coals in the center of the room, and enters after the poor guy lies down again. Jason picks up a heavy-looking, steaming-hot rock, and shoves it into his stomach, holding it there will the boy writhes in agony. When the kid stops wiggling around, Jason leaves.

Rennie is now with Colleen, talking about the trip so far. While trying to get Rennie to open up a bit, Colleen fails to notice Eva and Tamara coming up beside them. Tamara body-checks Rennie, sending her sailing over the railing, into the ocean. Colleen throws Rennie a life preserver, and Tamara uses the distraction to slip away with Eva.

Rennie's hands miss the preserver, and she slips under the water. She feels something dragging her under, and sees Young Jason grabbing her ankle. She eventually fulls away, just as Sean dives into the water to save her. Together, they make it to the boat, and climb a ladder back up to safety.

Tamara and Eva get away, and Tamara laughs at the thought of Rennie's suffering. Eva sees what a bitch her best friend is and refuses to go anywhere else with her. The 2 split up, although Tamara can't quite figure out why. Even though I'm rooting for Tamara to die a horrible death, I'm sort of rooting for Eva to survive. She's rather cute, and has inexplicably become one of the good guys.

Back on the top deck, Rennie is collapsing in exhaustion, while Colleen orders all of the bystanders to get more towels and medical supplies. Uncle Charles shows up, sees his niece and Sean both looking like drowned rats, then yells at Sean and Colleen about leaving Rennie alone. He wraps her in a towel and stomps off with his arms around Rennie. Before they go back to their room, though, Crazy Ralph 2.0 delivers a dire prediction of death and doom.

Rennie runs away from all of the chaos and goes back to her cabin. She wearily washes her hands, not noticing that the water has become blood. When she screams, Young Jason reaches through the mirror, covered in ice, and wraps his widdle-bitty fingers around Rennie's neck. Rennie stumbles back, sits on the floor, and the mirror becomes normal once more.

We then switch over to the "action" in Tamara's room. Charles enters and finds her wearing a kimono-style bathrobe and drinking champagne. When she offers him a glass and he refuses, Tamara disrobes, revealing that her "biology project" consists of her half-naked body marked with labels for all of the, uh, "parts". While Charles sputters and stammers like Dr. Smith on "Lost in Space", Tamara jumps his bones.

It doesn't last long. Charles kisses and caresses the teen, then pushes her off of him...but not before Wayne sneaks in and films them in bed. Charles threatens to expel them, but Tamara threatens him with the videotape, and he ends up leaving in a hurry. Alone at last, Wayne confesses to Tamara that he has a crush on her, and she pretty much grinds his balls to dust with her rejection. He slinks away while she decides to take a shower. Jason watches Wayne as he strolls out of Tamara's room.

In the shower, Tamara uses the most frustrating shower curtain in cinematic history. She towels off and puts her robe back on, just as Jason arrives at her door. Tamara hears him, and catches a glimpse of the killer as he steps into the main room. She then stands at the bathroom door like a doofus, giving Jason the time he needs to sneak over, and slam his fist through the door. He grabs her by the throat and throws her across the bathroom, and she slams into the porcelain shower wall
Tamara grabs a towel to cover up with and starts to cry, while Jason smashes the mirror over the sink. Selecting a particularly huge shard of glass, Jason murders her. The sound of her screams is covered by the boat's whistle.

The captain and his first mate discuss a massive storm rolling in, and how to proceed. The captain expresses his regret that he alienated Sean by pushing him too hard to be perfect, and tells his friend not to do the same with his newborn son. Then the captain leaves the other man steering awhile, probably to find and apologize to Sean.

The second he leaves, Jason arrives. He sneaks up to the poor guy steering the ship, and stabs him in the back. He stabs the guy several more times, then admires his handiwork. Jason hears someone coming and hides.

It's the captain again. He sees his friend on the floor and rushes over to help him, then sees all of the blood. As the captain leans over the dead shipmate, Jason walks behind him. He pulls the captain's head back, makes a long cut across his throat, then watches as the captain's head tilts back further, opening the gash wide. Blood streams through the wound, which looks pretty impressive and real.

Anyway, Rennie and Sean show up mere moments later, looking for Sean's dad. They want him to either turn the ship around or call the Coast Guard, so that Rennie can go back home. When they find the captain's corpse, Sean has an emotional meltdown.

Below deck, most of the students we've met before hear Sean announce that he's making a distress call. By this point, my mind is getting boggled. Why are there only about 10 kids seen? What happened to all of the teens shown when the boat left Crystal Lake? Or how about all of the dancing kids seen during the "social activities" montage right after that? There's no way in Hell that Jason killed 95% of a high school's graduating seniors without people falling over corpses every five feet!

I can't believe I'm complaining about logic in a "Jason" movie. Okay, let's move the storm gets worse and Sean tries to radio for help, Jason breaks the antenna. At that point, Charles and Colleen arrive, followed by Ralph 2.0. Crazy Ralph 2.0 starts spouting off about how the kids are the last students to graduate from their school, how doomed they all are, etc. Even when Charles tries to accuse the nut of murder himself, he won't shut up. To further complicate matters, Julius gets his jock friends to go off with him to find weapons and attack Jason themselves. Wayne and Sean's stoner friend also take off. The scene ends with Charles realizing that Rennie is missing, until Sean assures him that she's just dropping the anchors.

Rennie IS dropping the anchors, completely unaware that Jason is right above her. She finds the lever that controls the anchors, but it barely moves. As she struggles to push the lever in the right position, Rennie senses someone right behind her. She spins, only to come face-to-face with good ol' Uncle Charles. He easily pulls the lever back into the original position, before yelling at his niece and dragging her back to be with the others.

Eva goes to Tamara's room to see if she's safe. She sees the damaged bathroom door and opens it to see if Tamara's been hurt. Man, this sucks. She redeems herself by trying to do the right thing, then she goes the extra mile to help her friend, and all it's going to get her is a brutal death at the hands of Jason. We should start a petition, right now: no hot Asian chicks can die in horror flicks. EVER. Who's with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Eh, you're all heartless bastards!

Where was I? Oh, right. Eva. She finds her BFF dead on the bathroom floor and runs away. Jason meets her out in the hall, blocking the exit. Eva runs the other way, find a staircase, and decides to see where it leads. Oh, she found that disco lounge from the beginning of the cruise. Eva runs to the center of the dance floor, panics, and spins around to scan the exits. Get ready, because it gets weird in a moment.

As Eva tries a couple of doors and finds them locked, she runs to the center of the room again. She begins to spin around again, and Jason is at every exit. There are, like, 6 Jasons. As she scans every door again, the Jason's disappear, and she starts to back up...right into Jason, who lifts her by the neck with both hands and lifts her off the floor. She eventually dies, and Jason throws her body across the dance floor.

Back with Julius and his "posse", they sit on the floor in a circle and place their "weapons" in the middle. Each person grabs a weapon: crowbars, clubs, harpoon spears, you name it. As they realize that Julius hasn't grabbed a weapon, Wayne asks him what he'll choose. Julius hesitates, before grabbing a gun. Then they all go Jason-hunting.

Wayne winds up in a room filled with metal pipes and steam. As he walks deeper into the room, a sudden blast of steam hits him in the face, and he drops his weapon. And his glasses. OOPS! As Wayne stumbles around in the dark, a figure jumps in front of him, and he quickly fires at the blurry person.

It wasn't Jason. It was one of the generic no-name kids in the posse. Wayne uses the close-up feature on the camera to see the kid, and a pair of feet walk up and stand next to the body. Wayne pans up to see that it's Jason, who promptly swats the camera out of his hands. Wayne looks pissed, but he runs.

In his hurry to get away, Wayne trips over JJ and her stupid pink guitar. Jason grabs him from behind and throws him into a control panel, electrocuting Wayne. Hey, at least it wasn't another strangulation or neck slash. As Jason watches, a fire ignites.

Charles returns to Colleen and Sean, and insults them both. Then he mocks Sean for not knowing how to operate the ship. You know, if Jason doesn't murder Charles, I just might.

Sean gets the ship back on course, but Jason sets off an alarm, making Colleen worry. Charles takes a flare gun, planning to confront Jason with it. Meanwhile, Jason kills another generic dope, and Julius hears the scuffle. He finds his friend dead, and then Jason hurls Julius into the water. Bye, Julius.

Back in her room, Rennie leans against a wall, RIGHT NEXT TO a porthole. As she sees another vision of Young Jason beckoning to her, the real Jason smashes the porthole and--what else?--grabs Rennie by the throat. She grabs her pen and shoves it into one of Jason's eyes.

Sean comes back, and the couple hug. Colleen lets some of the survivors stay in the club, and Charles explores the kitchen. As he walks through again, he fails to notice that a large knife has just gone missing. Charles is attacked, but not by Jason. The knife-grabber is none other than Ralph 2.0 He runs away before Charles can stop him.

the ship starts taking on water, and Rennie and Sean nearly drown trying to get to a higher deck. Charles finds them, and again accuses Sean of being the cause of all the bad luck. As Sean tells him off, Colleen arrives and announces that she has lowered a lifeboat. She hears about the lower decks flooding, and realizes that she just killed the teens she left below. Whoops.

As Charles, Colleen, Rennie and Sean make their way to the railing on the deck, Ralph 2.0 shows up, staggering and waving a knife. Charles tries to shoot him, but the flare gun jams. Doesn't matter, though--Ralph 2 falls over, revealing an axe in his back.

They all climb down the side of the boat on a rope ladder, and Jason gets there just as the last person gets off the ship. They push away from the sinking boat, and Sean and Charles start rowing. Before they get more a foot away, Jason pops up out of the water!

Oh, wait. It's just Julius. They pull him into the raft, along with Rennie's dog(!?), and resume rowing. Before long, a heavy fog sets in. Charles tries to belittle Sean again about his navigation skills, but Julius encourages him. That royally pisses off Charles.

Sometime during the night, the fog lifts. Almost everyone is asleep, but Julius sees the Statue of Liberty and gets excited. They all wake up and smile as if a mass-murdering zombie hasn't just murdered most of their friends.

As they dock the boat and get back onto dry land, Jason also starts to emerge from the water. He takes a few steps, the stops. Directly overhead, he sees a massive billboard featuring his mask. He does one of those doggy head-cocks, admires it, then walks away.

As the survivors start to look for a payphone or a police officer, the pair of muggers seen during the opening credits show up. One of them admires Rennie and decides to take her, too. After they leave, Julius tries to go after them, but Charles chickens out. He proposes that they all split up to find help.

The thugs take Rennie to a secluded-looking alley, and inject her with something that looks like Herbert West's re-animation fluid. One of the thugs leaves to get some more drugs, and the remaining guy starts to tell Rennie what he plans to do with her. Right about then is when Jason shows up. He picks up the discarded syringe and plunges it into the rapist's back, with such force that it emerges from his chest.

The second thug returns to get some money, and he and Jason have a showdown. The street guy whips out a handgun and fires several bullets into the masked killer. Jason shrugs off the wounds, and bashes the guy's face into a steaming-hot pipe. Rennie starts running, and Jason follows.

Oddly enough, he encounters Julius instead. Jason chases him up to the rooftop of a nearby building, and the young boxer decides to try sparring Jason to death. He lands a dozen or so punches while Jason just stands there and takes it. When Julius wears himself out, he tells Jason to give him his best shot. Jason does, and decapitates the teen with one punch. Idiot. His head rolls off the roof and lands in a dumpster, whose lid slams shut.

Rennie is wandering the streets when the injection kicks in. As things get all blurry and wavy, Sean comes to the rescue. They meet up with Charles and Colleen, who also have a cop with them. The cop gets them to his car, but when the interior light come on, they all see the severed head of Julius stuck to the car's dashboard. So what, his head has the ability to levitate and plant itself in weird spots now???

While everyone in the car screams, Jason grabs the cop and drags him away into the shadows. Rennie quickly gets behind the wheel and puts the pedal to the metal. She mows Jason down with no hesitation, and just keeps going. The ghost of Young Jason appears, and causes Rennie to crash into some kind of fusebox. Soon, the car is engulfed in flames, and only Colleen fails to escape.

Okay, I don't get Young Jasoin. Is he helping her, or trying to get her killed? I mean, if he wants her to help him get laid to rest, then why does he seem to screw with her safety? And if he just wants her dead, why not just let Zombie Jason do his thing unhindered? Seriously, does the whole "vision" thing make any sense?

Well anyway, the exploding car triggers a flashback for Rennie. As a young girl, Charles tried to get her to learn how to swim. How? By shoving the little girl into Crystal Lake! While drowning, Rennie sees Jason as a child, trying to pull her to the bottom of the lake. Which makes no sense, since he didn't drown as a child, he survived the first several movies before becoming a zombie.

Well, who cares? The flashback ends, and Rennie and the others abandon Charles. Good for them! Jason gets up after they leave, and chases Charles. After throwing him through a window first, Jason finishes Charles off by drowning him in a steel barrtel filled with sewage.

Jason then interrupts the first kiss between Rennie and Sean, who seek refuge on a grungy subway train. He chasees them from car to car, and in the movie's funniest joke, no one seems to even notice Jason. Getting frantic, Sean pulls an emergency brake.

When the teens depart from the subway car, Jason follows. They manage to get him electrocuted on the tracks, but we know better, don't we? Yup. As the teens emerge from the subway tunnel into Times Square, Rennie spots Jason following them. She and Sean run past a gang of tough-looking teens, and Jason kicks the gang's boombox while following his prey. The gang of kids threaten Jason, and, in a scene right out of Beetlejuice, he frightens them by lifting his mask briefly.

The teens run into a small diner next, and after a funny bit of dialogue with a sarcastic waitress, Jason interrupts by destroying the diner's entrance. He kills a cook, then continues his pursuit.

Rennie and Sean run out of ideas, and climb down into thev sewer system to hide. A city worker tells them that he is about to exit the sewer, because a large gush of toxic waste is scheduled to flow through the tunnel, so they follow him to safety.

Jason finds them first, and kills the sewer worker. When he knocks out Sean, Rennie distracts him long enough to get Jason to chase her. She gets toxic waste om him face, and when he removes his mask, he appears to be melting before her eyes. She takes off before he recovers.

Rennie wakes up Sean, just as Jason catches up. While the teens climb up a ladder to a manhole cover, Jason hears the wave of toxic sludge coming. The gunk overtakes him, melting him into a grey, monstrous lump. As the stream of waste flows away, a small boy's corpse replaces Jason on the floor of the sewer. His hockey mask floats away. The movie ends with Sean and Rennie embracing, right before being reunited with Rennie's dog. THE END Sheesh!

When I was youinger, I thought this one was pretty cool, but it has a ton of faults. The lack of teens seen during the cruise, the stupid stuff about Young Jason, the 2000 or so neck just ran out of steam. FAST. But at least most of the people in this one could act, so that's a plus. 3 and a half killer trees out of 5 for this one.

And what did I learn from Jason's journey to Faux York?

-Toxic waste makes you young.
-Jason can not only teleport, he can also clone himself.
-Canada is a scary place!

No idea what's coming in next. It'll be a surprise for everyone, me included! TTFN...