The last of the original Paramount series, this movie suffers from a couple of things.
First of all, the budget for the movie was drastically cut, and so many scenes that were to be set in New York, such as Jason in Madison Square Garden, Jason in Central Park etc, had to be cut, and more scenes of Jason on the cruise ship were included. So for the bulk of this movie it is basically Jason takes the Love Boat (which has it’s own special charm to it).
When he finally does get to the Big Apple though (after half the teenagers have already been diced) there are some fun scenes such as Jason vs. some would be rapists, and Jason scaring away a street gang.
All the usual stock characters are back, and they are dispensed with in brutally creative ways such as a guitar to the head, flaming sauna rock through the gut (ouch, ouch, ouch) etc… For the most part I found this movie fairly solid for the genre and the change of setting worked to break up the monotony of the premise, this time on its eighth trip around the barn.
The weak parts for me were the dream sequences featuring young Jason haunting the main character Rennie (Jensen Daggett) who had apparently been nearly pulled underwater by Jason when she was a kid on Crystal Lake.
Kane Hodder is here in his second outing in the role and again he absolutely nails it. His version of Jason is the most nuanced. Everything from the way he breathes to the brutal way in which he snaps a person’s neck gave me chills as a kid. Whenever I had nightmares of Jason Voorhees as a kid, it was the Kane Hodder version to be sure.
Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan gets a three out of five: SATISFYING.