There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun.
So far we have seen Jason Vorhees get vengeance for the murder of his mother, get killed after murdering multiple campers, rise from the dead, kill some more and finally get pwned by a girl with psychic powers. What could we possibly see Jason do that he hasn’t done yet? How about go to the Big Apple? Okay then, the Muppets did it, so why not a murderous vengeful angry killing machine in a hockey mask? This is Jason Takes Manhatten.
Today’s Key Movie:
Jason finds himself on a boat full of highschool seniors on a field trip headed to New York City. There he kills his way to New York until he reaches the city and kills some more.
Why this movie?
I’m fairly certain that I never actually ever watched this film in the theaters or even as a kid. By the time this one came out I had moved on from Jason Vorhees having been bitten by the superhero bug with the advent of Michael Keaton’s Batman, plus the releases of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Licence to Kill and even more ‘serious’ horror such as Pet Sematary and Warlock. So, it would be years later, into my adult hood that I would finally sit down and watch what really should have been (and was originally planned to be) Jason’s final outing.
I really don’t remember much about this film which tells me either it wasn’t memorable at all or it was so bad that I wanted to forget about it so watching it for this review will almost be like watching a new film. So lets discuss what turns out to one of the most bizarre Jason Vorhees films in my journey so far.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
I am not sure exactly what I just watched. Somehow a slimy waterlogged Jason hitches a ride on a boat from Crystal Lake into the ocean where he kills a bunch of kids on a boat and then makes it to the city. At least I think that’s what happened because it was just a strange story to say the least.
Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Some graduating rich kid teens share a night on a boat on Crystal Lake when their anchor awakens Jason when it tears open a power cable. Jason then kills them and, knowing that he can kill more teens he sneaks aboard a ship bound for New York City. Somehow the ship is docked on Crystal Lake that somehow has a tributary or a route that leads to the ocean? Actually, no. You see this is a massive plot hole the really derails the film as the real Camp Crystal Lake is in New Jersey with no connection to the Ocean in any form. In fact, this movie would have probably been better as a road trip or a plane ride. I mean, Snakes on a Plane meets Jason. Jason on a Jet? Nah, let’s just pretend this is an alternate universe where this rando lake connects to the ocean somehow. Don’t ask too many questions right? I mean, it’s not like the other films had all that much of a plot so why would I expect more from this one?
Okay, so, the story then involves Jason stalking through the ship killing the teens. At this point the movie continues to devolve until they finally reach New York which really took far too long with a name like Jason Takes Manhattan. In fact, about two thirds of the movie takes place on the ship with Jason only reaching New York in the last act. So, I guess he took this film should have been called Jason Takes a Ride instead of Takes Manhattan but I digress. When we finally reach the docks of NYC via lifeboat, we are treated with Jason killing in the Big Apple but then the film takes another really strange turn with Jason somehow devolving into a child? I really don’t know but somehow it has something to do with a girl that keeps having visions of him(?) as a kid or something… or….ugh. I don’t know.
Forget it, the reason anyone watches these films is to see how Jason pulls off the numerous kills and how he is eventually defeated. So, looking at it from that light, this actually has some rather impressive kills including death by Sauna Rock and the first kill by strangulation in the franchise. With a kill count of 20, on and off screen, this movie marks the most kills in the franchise at the time although that record was quickly dwarfed by the last two sequels in the franchise.
This movie makes absolutely no sense, even for a slasher film and that is saying a lot. Going into this I had heard that this was a complete atrocity of a movie but I had thought that maybe, just maybe that was just people being hard on it. No, no, not at all. This is a terrible sequel that is an absolute struggle to get through. I found myself dozing off time and again as I tried to make my way through whatever this movie wants to call itself. That being said, I did enjoy Jason’s brief time in NYC until it reached a even stranger point where Jason somehow melts back into being a kid or something. Having been to NYC a few times myself it was fun seeing places where I have walked knowing that I stepped on some of the same ground that Jason himself walked on.
Bottom line, I can’t in good conscious recommend this one. In fact, I would stay as far away from it as possible. This is the literal ‘bottom of the barrel’ when it comes to this franchise and, unless you are determined to watch every Friday the 13th movie like I was, then just ignore that it even exists. I get wanting to take Jason out of the woods letting him roam through the concrete jungle, but seriously, this is just bad in every way possible. It almost feels like they just gave up while making the movie and filmed whatever came to mind with little to no script to guide them while doing it. In fact, it’s about on par with Gremlin’s 2 the New Batch but even that is better than this complete atrocity. I mean, it is so bad that Paramount sold the franchise to New Line soon after. That, in and of itself, should tell you something.
OK, where do I get this movie?
Don’t. Just don’t. If you have to have it, get it with the boxed set I have talked about in the other reviews. It is the only way I could ever recommend owning it so, yeah, do yourself a favor and avoid this one unless you absolutely HAVE yo watch it. File this under Jason Wastes Your Valuable Time.
The thing is, this is not Jason’s last stop, in fact he has another place to go to….Hell.
Late To The Game 4/21/2022
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
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