Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is a slasher film released on July 28, 1989. It is the eighth film in the Friday the 13th film series and the last film in the series to have been distributed by Paramount. The film's tagline is, "New York has a new problem." It took in a mere $14.3 million at the domestic box office, making it the second-to-lowest grossing film in the series.
After being resurrected once again, this time by an electric charge from an underwater cable snagged by a boat anchor, Jason Voorhees
rises from Crystal Lake and kills a couple having sex. The next day he boards the Lazarus.
On its way to New York
and full of high school
graduates, Jason has plenty of time and people to kill before he eventually chases his prey into the streets of the Big Apple. After Jason kills several passengers and sinks the Lazarus, only two adults, three students and a dog remain. They take refuge in the streets of New York, where their pursuer eventually makes his way as well. Jason kills two of his victims (with another dying accidentally) until he leaves only two students running into the sewers of Manhattan, where he follows. Jason's face is burnt by toxic waste, forcing him to remove his mask. At an attempt to kill the last two survivors, the sewers are washed out with toxic waste, in which the unfortunate Jason Voorhees becomes submerged. The two surviving teens crawl out from the sewers and reunite with their dog in the middle of Times Square.
The film opened in 1,683 theaters making $6.2 million its opening weekend. Domestically, the film was a flop only making $14.3 million, making it the second lowest grossing Friday movie, even though it made back its budget.
The film was temporarily placed on IMDb
's Bottom 100. Though it has since risen out of that list, it is the lowest rated Friday the 13th
film. Perhaps the biggest complaint was in the film's faulty promise of letting Jason take Manhattan
. On his commentary track
for the film in the box-set, director Rob Hedden acknowledges the faults and even agrees that more of the film should have been set in Manhattan. The film failed to generate a substantial amount of money at the box office, which continued the decline in grosses the series had been suffering, and Paramount
sold the franchise to New Line Cinema
soon afterwards. Entertainment Weekly
labelled it the eighth worst sequel ever made.
- There is a now sought after poster featuring Jason ripping through an "I Love New York" poster (seen to the right). It was released in some theaters but was quickly withdrawn due to complaints from the New York Tourism Committee.
- The scenes set in Times Square, and in the ocean looking at the Statue of Liberty, were the only scenes actually filmed in Manhattan; the rest was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. This made the film the first in the series to be filmed mainly in Canada, a practice that would continue in Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason.
- Kelly Hu made her feature film debut in this movie, playing the character Eva.
- At 100 minutes, this is the longest film in the series.
- Ken Kirzinger appears uncredited as the man Jason (Kane Hodder) throws over the counter in the New York diner. Kirzinger would replace Hodder as Jason in 2003's Freddy vs. Jason.
- The Subway Entrance in the middle of Times Square at the end of the movie is fake. The prop was placed diagonally on top of street grates.
- As of 2008, this would be the last film to use "Friday The 13th" in the title, the next movie (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday) would only have the "Friday" in it.
- The machete is only present in the scene where Jason kills the ship's captain.
- Jason's mask was destroyed in the last movie. The young man who scares his girlfriend in the beginning has a similar mask which Jason takes to replace his old one before he kills them.
- Many scenes were cut or entirely trimmed in order to avoid an "X" rating: Jim's death originally had his intestines spilling out of his stomach after Jason stabbed him with the spear gun; Suzy's death was longer and more disturbing, with Jason repeatedly stabbing her with the spear and twisting it around in her chest; Tamara's death originally had Jason continuously stabbing her with the glass shard (she was also fully nude when this occurred); When the boxer is killed with the sauna rock, there was more blood and steam coming from his chest; The captain's throat-slashing originally had far more bloodshed; Wayne's electrocution was a little longer with foam coming from his mouth; Miles' death showed him actually landing on the antennas rather than just showing the aftermath. Also edited was a subplot involving a shiphand spying on several of the undressed teenagers.