Home > Jason Voorhees Movie > Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

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 deals with Jason Voorhees stalking a group of high school graduates on a ship en route to (and later in) New York City. It was the last film in the series to have been distributed by Paramount Pictures in the United States (the 2009 reboot of the first film was distributed by Paramount in non-US countries). According to New York Has A New Problem: The Making of Friday The 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, this was going to be the final film, in the series. The film’s tagline is, “New York has a new problem.” It took in just $14.3 million at the domestic box office, making it the lowest-grossing film in the series.


One year after the conclusion of the last film, a boat’s anchor hits an underwater power line cable, causing a short circuit at the bottom of Crystal Lake, the undead serial killer Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) is resurrected once again. He immediately finds the boat’s occupants, a high school couple named Jim Miller (Todd Shaffer) and Suzie Donaldson (Tiffany Paulsen), having sex. Obtaining a new hockey mask from the boat (which Jim had previously used to scare Suzie), he kills Jim with the barrel of a harpoon gun. Suzie attempts to hide in a storage hatch, but Jason discovers her and jams the harpoon into her chest.

The next morning, the SS Lazarus, containing the senior class of Lakeview High, is bound for nearby New York City for the school’s graduation. The trip is chaperoned by biology teacher Charles McCulloch (Peter Mark Richman) and Colleen Van Deusen (Barbara Bingham), who has also brought along Charles’ niece, Rennie (Jensen Daggett). Before the ship sets sail, Jason grabs a hold of the ship’s anchor and climbs aboard. As the night continues on, Rennie keeps having visions of Jason as a child (Timothy Burr Mirkovich) when he drowned. Jason then starts murdering the people on board, starting with a wannabe rock star named J.J. (Saffron Henderson), whom he kills by bashing her head with her own electric guitar. He then ambushes a young boxer in a sauna and kills him by jamming a hot sauna rock into his chest. Tamara Mason (Sharlene Martin) goes to take a shower. Jason breaks through the door and strips Tamara, leaving her completely naked. She begs for mercy as Jason shatters the bathroom mirror and impales her with a broken glass shard. Her dead body is later discovered lying on the floor.

Jason then kills the captain of the Lazarus, Admiral Robertson (Warren Munson) and the chief engineer Jim Carlson (Fred Henderson), leaving the two chaperones, Rennie, and the remaining students to try to track down and kill Jason. They fail, after Jason strangles one of the female students, Eva Watanabe (Kelly Hu), on a dance floor, then throws one boy, Miles Wolfe (Gordon Currie), over the captain’s quarters and onto the deck post. After Wayne accidentally kills another passenger, he is attacked by Jason and thrown onto a control panel, causing a fire that burns the fuel tanks and blows a hole in the ship’s hull. Jason then nearly kills Rennie by choking her to death but she manages to stab him in the eye with a pen and get away. Charles, Rennie, Colleen, two other students, Julius (V. C. Dupree) and the captain’s son, Sean Robertson (Scott Reeves), as well as Rennie’s dog, Toby (Ace), abandon the ship in a row boat, but not before finding the dead deckhand.

As the group continues to row to safety, they finally arrive in New York City. However, Jason has followed them there. The group is almost immediately mugged by two gang-bangers who take Rennie and chase off Toby. Charles suggests the group split up to find help. Meanwhile, the gang-bangers take Rennie to their hideout and forcibly inject her with heroin. Jason then shows up and stabs one with the discarded needle and bashes the other one’s face into a pipe. Julius finds a phone and tries to call for help, but is immediately attacked by Jason, who chases him onto a rooftop. Julius confronts Jason and punches him repeatedly until he is exhausted. Jason then decapitates Julius with a single punch, his head falling into a nearby dumpster. Colleen is walking around looking for help when she runs into Charles and a cop (Roger Barnes) who also run into Rennie and Sean. The cop puts them all in the back of his car and they see Julius’s head in the front. Jason kills the cop and Rennie gets in the front seat and runs him over. She sees an hallucination of a young Jason and tries to run it over and smashes into a brick wall, causing the car to explode. Colleen is killed in the explosion as she was still in the car. Rennie has a flashback to an event from her early childhood where she was learning how to swim in Crystal Lake and was almost killed by a younger Jason, who had already drowned, looking as he did in the original Friday the 13th. She remembers that Charles was the one who pushed her into the water in the first place, trying to get her to swim. She and Sean run from Charles, leaving him for dead and Jason soon attacks him and Charles is dunked in a barrel of sewage and suffocates. Rennie tells Sean that her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young, leaving her in the care of Charles. Jason shows up making Sean and Rennie run for their lives.

The infuriated Jason is now on the warpath. Rennie and Sean run onto the New York Subway system, but are trapped by Jason. Sean pulls the emergency brake and the two escape, followed by Jason. Sean tackles Jason and Jason is electrocuted by the ground wires, seemingly killing him. The two leave the subway and come up into Times Square where Jason, still alive, follows. The two run from Jason. While chasing them, Jason disturbs four punks, who want to fight him, but Jason merely lifts up his mask to show them his face and they flee. Rennie and Sean run into a diner but are forced to run when Jason crashes through a wall to get to them. They run into the sewers, where Jason follows and kills a sanitation worker (David Longworth). Rennie attacks Jason with toxic waste, much of his body melting as a result. After an ensuing flooding of the sewer that Rennie and Sean manage to avoid, all that is left of Jason is a young boy lying at the bottom of the sewer, with a hockey mask floating away on the water. Rennie and Sean reunite with Toby on the streets above, and set out to start a new life. Though it seems that Jason has finally been defeated, he does return in the next movie.


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