22 October 2015

October 22nd

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) directed by Rob Hedden
Kane Hodder as Jason
28 Jul 1989
Freddy vs. Jason XII: Jason Takes a Boat
Ah, the summer of 1989. What a time for a young film geek. Every week, it seemed, a classic was released. Jimmy Cameron conquered the ocean with The Abyss. Timmy Burton changed superhero films forever with Batman. Disney proved they could still make good live action movies with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Ghostbusters II featured the creepiest painting in the world. And the Man In The Hat returned to kick Nazi ass again in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. What was Paramount's contribution to this frenzy of awesome? The biggest rip-off in movie history, that's what.

Watch the trailer for this film below. It's really cool. Jason's standing there, looking at Manhattan, ready to tear it to pieces! What a great idea: put Jason into a completely new environment and let him run wild in New York City. I'm picturing Jason walking through a subway train, chopping dozens of heads off. I can see him throwing someone off the top of the Empire State building. You want a little humor in the picture? Have Jason hack someone up in the MET and later have patrons commenting on the corpse's symbolism, believing it to be a piece of modern art. It's gold!

Yeah, yeah, as we all know, Paramount didn't want to spend the money to shoot much in NYC and set most of the movie on boat. They didn't care. They were embarrassed by the character and were about to sell him to New Line, anyway. This not caring is stamped everywhere in the movie. The kills are lame -- except for one, mentioned below -- with Jason mostly just stabbing people with various items in a not-particularly gruesome manner. The characters are forgettable. There's a surprisingly mean-spirited scene where the main female lead is abducted by two scumbags who inject her full of an unknown drug as they discuss their plans to gang rape her all night. Some plot points are downright idiotic. The NYC sewers flood with "toxic waste" every night at midnight? What the hell?

Jason looks horrible in this one. His grotesque look from Part 7 has been abandoned. Now he simply looks soaking wet all the time. The guy is so wet, he squishes when he walks and wheezes when he breathes. It's actually quite annoying. Jason spends the last 10 minutes or so of the movie with his mask off. In the past, it was always sort of a treat to see what the guy looked like under that pillow case / hockey mask. He was a deformed child who later died and came back as a zombie, so he's always looked scary. In this one... check out the picture. He looks like someone dug up the corpse of an old man. Pathetic.

The only interest bit in this movie to me was that it somewhat validates my theory from yesterday: Crystal Lake is the actual source of evil. Jason is just a vessel. When the "toxic waste" washes over Jason, he begins to spit water out of his mouth. I would say that this is tainted Crystal Lake water: the evil that gave him his power. Once that has been forced out of him, he transforms back into the form he was when the evil lake got to him: a little boy. Makes sense to me.

Favorite Character
Charles McCulloch (Peter Mark Richman): whose idea of swimming lessons involves paddling to the deep part of Crystal Lake and pushing his 13-year-old niece into the water and then yelling at her for not instantly knowing how to swim.

Favorite Sin
Attempting to snort coke not in your locked cabin away from prying eyes, but out in the open in the middle of the ship where anyone -- including teachers -- could walk by.

Favorite Kill
Julius (Vincent Craig Dupree), who attempts to box Jason only to have his head punched clean off. As Julius' head flies through the air and lands in a dumpster, we get a nice POV shot of his dying vision. This is the only bit I like in the entire movie.

Jason's Mood
Going through the motions.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) directed by Stephen Hopkins
Robert Englund as Freddy
11 Aug 1989
Freddy vs. Jason XIII: Terror of the Dream Child
The biggest pro-abortion movie ever made? As in Part 4, the solution to this Freddy issue is the death of one person. As in Part 4, Alice doesn't have the gumption to kill that person and her passivity allows more people to die. In this movie, Alice's fetus has inherited her power to lead Freddy to new victims when it dreams. There's absolutely no way to predict or control when the fetus sleeps and it's going to be doing this for 9 months. Once they realize what is happening, Mark immediately comes up with the only logical solution: abort the thing and save everyone from Freddy. Ironically, after Alice tells him no and says she is determined to have the baby, Mark is the next person to die when the fetus naps. How Alice lives with herself, I have no idea.

If that weren't enough, it's clear that another abortion would've helped everyone as well. A child conceived by rape, who has one clinically insane parent, who was raised in foster care because it would be unseemly for a nun to raise her own child... yeah, big surprise Freddy turned out to be a serial killer. Had Amanda Krueger ignored her religious edicts and had gotten Freddy-the-fetus scraped out of her, hundreds (!) of deaths would've been prevented. Abortion: it saves lives.

Like the Friday series, the Elm Street series is clearly running out of steam in 1989. I think the spoon glove Freddy uses to force-feed Greta is symbolic of this. Here's a monster with an original, terrifying weapon: a glove with razors extending from its fingers. When's the last time he really used that thing? I'm not counting simply stabbing people in the belly (see: Nancy and Kincaid). That's boring and something Michael Myers could do with his regular butcher knife. No, I'm talking about the fear of being sliced open. That is what makes the glove so powerfully scary. The very first death of the series demonstrated this the best when Freddy invisibly tears into Tina's back. Since Part 3, the glove has been consistently neutered. When it's not being turned into spoons or syringes, it's not being used at all. When Freddy grabs someone with his right hand, there is no fear of the knives. No one ever gets cut when Freddy grabs their face or body. The glove is nothing to worry about anymore. I'm glad Craven personally fixes this in Part 7.

Favorite Character
Mark (Joe Seely): latest in a long line of slasher nerds. This one is actually very good at his geek hobby of comic book illustration and he comes up with the Dream Warrior idea on his own when he transforms into the Phantom Prowler.

Favorite Sin
Premarital, procreative sex.

Favorite Kill
Dan (Danny Hassel), who is merged with his motorcycle in what appears to be an homage to Tetsuo, the Iron Man, except that was released in Japan just a month before this film. Neat.

Freddy's Mood
Going through the motions.


  1. Jason not actually taking Manhattan was indeed quite the disappointment. I love the boxing scene, and the other moment I really like from this is when they're running away from Jason and go into some diner and say something like "Help, there's a homicidal maniac chasing us" and the waitress says "Welcome to New York." Excellent line delivery too. Also, I'm pretty sure a Francis Ford Coppola lookalike is eating at the same diner. Damn, why do I remember all this stuff?

  2. Dream Child is my least favorite of the Elm Street series. It's full of extended lameness. Every time the little boy opens his mouth, it's embarrassing. The effects are awful in the scene where the disembodied heads are tugging on Freddy. The one-liners go into overdrive. I wonder if the MPAA had anything to do with this. Both of these films are very low on the gore.