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Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Jason lumbers his way through the eighth Friday the 13th film here and after years in the woods around Crystal Lake he decides to embark on a holiday. There's no escaping his work though and as he sneaks onto a cruise bound for the Big Apple he finds plenty of teens who need slaughtering. Most of the movie is actually set on the boat but there is a short sequence at the end where he actually stalks the remaining teens through the city. This made money but it was the second lowest grossing movie of the series (after the awful Jason X) and Paramount sold the franchise to New Line shortly after the release.

As usual Jason Voorhees has to be resurrected at the start of the film and a couple on a boat oblige by dropping anchor in Crystal Lake. The anchor manages to cut through a power line which electrifies Jason back into life and he boards the boat and makes short work of the couple with a harpoon gun. For some reason he stays on the boat which drifts into a harbour where he climbs aboard a cruise ship full of school students on a trip to New York.

The usual blend of obnoxious teens clad in hideous eighties fashions manage to get picked off one by one. There's the bitchy girl and her sidekick snorting drugs which seals their fate, a rock chick who gets murdered with a flying v guitar, a geeky cameraman, a couple of boxers, a nice teacher, a sneeringly evil principal and the troubled heroine, Rennie, who keeps having visions of Jason as a child.

The film is super cheesy with some terrible music, an awful script, poor acting performances, weak special effects and, despite a high body count, not much gore. There are also a couple of cringingly awful moments including Jason staring at a billboard with a hockey mask on it, scaring off a thug in New York by showing his deformed face and worst of all the showdown with the boxer which results in Jason punching his head clean off. It gets worse, the head actually lands in a dumpster which closes itself.

The cast are terribly annoying and they all turn in hammy performances, especially the cartoon baddie, Charles McCulloch played by Peter Mark Richman. There is also an irritating deckhand going around predicting doom for them all. Kane Hodder plays Jason again and he is menacing and vicious looking but the murder sequences are lacklustre.

The ending completes this tidal wave of drivel with a tidal wave of toxic waste in a New York sewer which has the surprising effect of turning Jason back into a child. They make absolutely nothing out of the New York segment which had real potential for some enjoyable Jason mayhem. This is a low point in the series and it only gets beaten in the crapulence stakes by the next two sequels as New Line prove they can make worse horror films than Paramount.

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