10.29.2009

Fridays in October Part 8



When I first started doing Fridays in October, I watched a whole bunch of Fridays at once and then I realized “Wow, I have the whole month. I better slow down.” Now, it’s suddenly nearing the end of the month and I have some work to do. I’m actually pretty good with time management, but I’m not very good with temporal relations. For instance, I can never remember if something happened 5 or 2 years ago, 2 months or 8 months ago, 1 week or a couple days. Some days I will be involved in what I’m doing and not realize that I have spent 8 hours in the same position without food or drink. But I digress from…

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan


As we’ve been going through the Fridays together, many of us have revealed “soft spots” for unpopular entries. Although I feel like saying I have soft spot for the series as a whole, I guess you could say Part VIII is my soft spot. Manhattan is so damn gimmicky and so self-aware that it is a Friday the 13th film it makes some people sick. However, I just love it. The gimmicks of Part VII didn’t work for me because it took itself seriously. The self-reflexivity of Part VI seemed to use its awareness as an excuse not to try at times. In contrast, Manhattan, knowing exactly what it is, throws the Friday series around like a beach ball. It delivers on some unique kills and actually shows them occurring onscreen. It brings us a new location—I love Camp Blood, but this is numero ocho and the idea of Jason in Times Square is so suiting of the postmodern attitude that the Fridays developed. While the film spends most of the time on a cruise ship, it provides an excellent variety of set pieces for Jason to explore. Hot coals through the stomach in the sauna. A young Kelly Hu thrown on the colorfully-lit dance floor like a rag doll. Nightmare-style steamy machines rooms for teenagers to explore. What’s not to love?



There are three scenes in particular that make Jason Takes Manhattan so damn loveable in my eyes. When Jason first arrives in New York, he spots a billboard that has a large hockey mask on it. He tilts his head and then turns towards the camera, juxtaposing the billboard and his masked face in such a blatant way. Another scene I adore is when Jason is chasing Rennie and Sean through Times Square and he kicks the radio of a group of punks. They get pissed and pull out switchblades on Jason. He stops, turns around, lifts up his mask, and they stumble away, petrified of the monstrous sight before them. The fact that we don’t see Jason’s face here makes it even better. Although we all would have loved to see Jason rip the street kids apart, this was a welcome comedic change of pace.


Even Jason hates rap

I left my favorite scene for last...quite possibly one of my favorite scenes of all movies of all time. Julius’ fist fight with Jason is amazing. On the rooftop, Julius, who is a talented boxer, takes on Jason hand-to-hand. In tenth grade I wrote a report on the Friday the 13th series and for some reason, I felt the need to include exactly how many times Julius punched Jason in the essay. I can’t remember for sure, but I believe it was 87 punches. 87!!! Damn. And Jason just lets Julius go at it until he has exhausted himself and tells him to takes his best shot. BAM! Jason punches his freaking head off. End Scene. Done. Greatest thing ever.



This is also an incredibly quotable film. There are two cast members in particular that give us the best lines: Julius—the badass boxer aforementioned, and Charles—Rennie’s jerk of an uncle who is out to blame everyone about anything that goes wrong. Let’s have a quote-off between the two to determine the greater orator.




Showdown:

CHARLES:
(suspicious and appalled simultaneously)
“Are you girls using drugs?”
JULIUS:
(after asked which weapon he will take to fight Jason)
“Nothing…but this gun.”


I have to give this point to Charles. There’s something about the delivery of his line that makes it so incredible. Julius may have been even cooler if he stopped at “nothing.”


CHARLES:
“I think we’ll be more productive if we split up”

JULIUS:
(to Jason)
“Go ahead…take your best shot, motherfucker!”



While Charles’ line is beautifully trite, Julius proves that he is the ultimate badass by standing up to Jason even though his happens...


CHARLES:
(not wanting to hear other people plan’s of survival)
“No conversations please.”

JULIUS:
(talking to himself before he fights Jason)
“Just use the combos, and keep the feet light."


Julius may have some good advice for himself, but Charles douchebagness wins here. It’s lines like these that make you want him to die so badly.


"I'm a douche...tell everyone."

So far Charles is in the lead. To settle this quote-off once and for all, I think we need to put Charles and Julius in the same scene to see who is the ultimate victor.


JULIUS:
I say we regroup, and find this motherfucker before he finds us. Now who's with me?”
CHARLES:
“Watch your mouth, young man! And you'll do no such thing. I'm in charge here!”

JULIUS:
“School... is OUT, McCulloch! Okay?



PWNED!!!1 Julius gets double the points for smacking Charles around with his verbal banter. Julius reigns as the champion of Jason Takes Manhattan and the primary reason why you should love this movie as much as I do.

Other Contributors:


DECK HAND: “This voyage is doomed.”
There’s a Crazy Ralph on every ship.



EVA: “He is soooo good looking.” (referring to Julius of course)
Not hot? Not sexy? Not even handsome? “Soooo good looking.”



Who could have done this to my hair?

RENNIE: “You don't understand, there is a maniac trying to kill us!” 
WAITRESS: “Welcome to New York”
Not contrived at all.



Most expensive shot in a Friday the 13th ever?
Conclusion:

I’m well aware of the many faults and horrendous moments in this film. The half-assed revival of Jason, the random visions of a young Jason, the question of Crystal Lake being connected to the Atlantic Ocean, the toxic waste fiasco, etc. These lame moments are more than overshadowed by some great scenes, campy kills, and a terrific performance by Kane Hodder. Whether you like the film or not, it’s a fun play on the iconography of Jason Voorhees and certainly marks the end of a fine decade for horror films. 

6 comments:

  1. Brilliant write up! This is by far my favoritest in the series.

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  2. Great review Becky. I also have a major soft spot for this entry - hell, for the whole damn series if I'm being honest. I liked the fact that most of this one takes place on a boat. Certainly didn't see that one coming - a genuine effort on the part of the filmmakers to do something 'different', non? Like you said - it has just the right amount of comedic intervals and memorable set pieces to go down well with a nice bottle of the red stuff.

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  3. Lol. I love this one, cept when Julius dies, cause he would have taken down Jason and there would be no more Friday's cause there would be know way to top a funky boxer hard ass whooping the shit out of Jason till he was a bloody pulp... not every movie is perfect tho. Also love the sauna stone through the stomach part lol

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  4. Haha! You are so good at this! I don't even have to re-watch the movie.

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  5. Definitely one of the most favorable reviews of this film! I have watched it quite a few times, myself. :)

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  6. Its so easy to hate this one, but truth be told, this was the only F13th I ever owned on VHS lol.. I think it is an important film in the series for the sheer fact that its so ridiculous. I love the fact that barely any of the film takes place in NY, because I wasnt one of the suckers that went to see it in theaters only to be hella disappointed =D

    While I am a huge fan of the Julius scene as well, nothing beats the sheer force of the boom box kick. Next to the sleeping bag gag in 7, this is my favorite Kane moment in the entire series. Love it. LOVE. IT.

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