Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Film Review: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989, Rob Hedden)
Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Kane Hodder
Tag-line: "The Big Apple's in BIG trouble."
Best one-liner(s): "School... IS OUT, McCulloch! Okay?"
"It's like this... We live in claustrophobia, the land of steel & concrete. Trapped by dark waters. There is no escape. Nor do we want it. We've come to thrive on it and each other. You can't get the adrenaline pumpin' without the terror, good people... I love this town." THAT is the opening narration to JASON VIII. Damn heady stuff. I'm gonna let you in on a little Hollywood secret. This film was the driving inspiration force behind Paul Haggis' Oscar winner, CRASH. Don't tell anyone, though, cause there would be a barrage of lawsuits, Oscar tarnish, panic in the streets, and I really wouldn't want to put Hollywood through that. Regardless, everything one needs to know about this film can be ascertained from one scene. Additionally, the scene in question is entirely ripped off from NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 (released one year prior in 1988), though in JASON it is not karate-themed, but rather pugilistic. The character of Julius Gaw is introduced early. He's a young black man, and his only character trait seems to be that he unceasingly enjoys boxing, whether at sea or on dry land. Is he gonna box Jason? Well, I'm not gonna spoil it for you just yet. When the ominous stowaway-bearing ship lands in New York, Jason goes on the loose. Finally, Julius gets his chance. He gets to box Jason. He whispers to himself to pump up: "Just use the combos, and keep the feet light..." Okay. By gum, he's kickin' his ragged ass!
NOBODY gets the goods on Jason, and this guy is goin' to town! But he's tiring. He's tiring. He's running out of steam. 'Hit me with your best shot, Jason!' And Jason punches his head with such force it decapitates this poor fellow, the head plummeting into an alley dumpster which then shuts dramatically. So close. But good show.