It's back!!! I knew it'd been a while, but I was actually kind of angry to discover that it's been over a year (!) since I've done a Minute by Minute, which is unacceptable. When I quit HMAD it was partially to have the extra time for stuff like this, and I failed to take advantage. My apologies!
But I've been wanting to revive it for a while, eying my Hellraiser DVDs a couple of times... however I finally got my butt in gear this week to do Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Why this week, you ask? Very simple - SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION! I'm hosting a 35mm screening of the film this Saturday, July 19th at the New Beverly Cinema here in LA in order to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary, and I'd like to make sure the fine readers at Badass knew about it. Also, as there will be a Q&A with actor VC Dupree (Julius) and possibly others, I knew I had to give the film a quick rewatch (of sorts) to prep some questions, and figured this would be a fun way to do it. Now I can be like "So, Mr Dupree, at 1:02:00 you have an emotional moment with the hero, talk about that..."
But to be honest, I didn't need to refresh this one - I've probably seen it more than any other entry in the franchise. Not that it's my favorite one or anything (it, fittingly, ranks 8th), but it was one of only two movies in the series I had on tape as a younger lad, before I began buying them on VHS (and then DVD, and then Blu-ray...). The other one was Final Chapter, which scared me too much to watch when I was home alone, so I'd go with this one, which didn't terrify me as much.
At least, JASON didn't terrify me as much - the scariest thing about the movie was its depiction of New York, which had me believing the city was a terrifying hellhole until I visited it for myself in 1998 (for a Fangoria convention, natch) and saw that it was actually quite lovely for the most part. For years I thought it was the sort of place where I'd be mugged the second I entered the city or drowned in a barrel of toxic sludge, which is even funnier when you consider that most of the New York section of the movie was shot in Vancouver.
And that leads me to my other reason I wanted to do this one (even though unlike many other MxMs I've seen it enough to remember everything that's going on) - people like to complain that Jason is "only in NY for 5 minutes at the end" or some other exaggeration, and I wanted to set the record straight with SCIENTIFIC PROOF of how long the New York part is. One minute they'll be on the boat, and the next they will be in NY for the rest of it - let's see exactly how long Jason truly Takes Manhattan, shall we?
00:00 The Paramount logo, topping a Friday the 13th film for the very last time (until 2015 anyway - thanks, Interstellar!)
01:00 Shot of the punk kids hanging out in Times Square, during the film's lengthy opening sequence that foreshadows all of the places Jason will visit later.
02:00 The diner where Jason will "attack" later. One of the more valid complaints about this entry is that Jason is bizarrely focused on killing our two heroes while ignoring hundreds of others on the way, but at least he (possibly) kills one guy here.
03:00 New York.... Newwwwwwwwwwww Yorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk! (and the credit for a very gallant sounding producer!)
04:00 Shot of our first two victims, Jim and Suzi, making out. Suzi has possibly the only normal haircut of any female in the film. Unfortunately, Jim has the same style for his own.
05:00 Jim climbing back into the boat's cabin.
06:00 Closeup of Jim and his glorious perm.
07:00 Suzi telling Jim that she heard/saw something.
08:00 A very scared Suzi making her way around the boat.
09:00 Jason's very wet legs. It makes sense here because he just got out of the water, but he's slimy/wet throughout the movie. I kinda dig it even though it doesn't make much sense. Dry off, dude!
10:00 Jason taking a spear out of the wall. I guess he missed.
11:00 Always thought this death was a bit grimmer than usual - he slowly pushes it into this poor girl. Very Italian-y.
12:00 Closeup of a pen given to our Final Girl, Rennie, played by Jensen Daggett. Colleen (Barbara Bingham) claims that Stephen King used it.
13:00 Medium shot of Peter Mark Richman, who plays McCulloch and also Rennie's uncle. He's the biggest asshole in the entire series, and that includes the thoroughly hateful people in the previous film.
14:00 It's pretty much the same shot, but with Richman facing the other way now. This allows us to see those glorious New Jersey (or Connecticut) waterside mountains behind him.
15:00 A shot of the ship's admiral, who is also a bit of a cock.
16:00 Cutaway to the ship's horn blowing, signaling their departure.
17:00 Rennie approaching Sean, the movie's Final Boy. While the first three films killed off the male leads near the end (well, it's unclear if that REALLY happened in 2, because no one understands that one's ending), the "Tommy Jarvis trilogy" kept it from ever happening again - the boyfriend (or in the remake's case, brother) would also be left standing at the end of all subsequent entries. Sometimes that's fine, but this guy's a boring tool that could have been killed first and no one would care.
18:00 Rennie watching Sean walk off.
19:00 JJ (and yes, she looks like Joan Jett) and her bitching guitar.
20:00 Rennie and Charles looking at something. Not at those mountains behind them, though. I'd be more impressed if the northeast part of the Atlantic Ocean suddenly had a fairly breathtaking mountain range on its coast, but these two are all "Whatever". Speaking of the background, this movie could have helped determine if Crystal Lake was in Connecticut or New Jersey by the direction the boat was heading to New York (if in CT they'd be going south, if Jersey, north), but the boat is seemingly anchored most of the time.
21:00 JJ checking out the lower decks, looking for a cool place to shred.
22:00 JJ running from Jason.
23:00 Rennie getting changed, letting her hair down in the process. The hairstyles in this one are the most horrific in the whole series, I think.
24:00 Tamara, the film's obligatory slutty/bitchy girl, checking out Julius, the obligatory athletic black guy. Slasher stereotypes are drawn to each other, you see.
25:00 Tamara chatting with Eva, played by Kelly Hu. Hu would prove to have one of the more prolific careers of any Friday actor after Final Chapter (the series' "Future Star" high point - Crispin Glover, Corey Feldman, and Police Academy regular Bruce Mahler), as she appeared in X2 and Scorpion King, and now provides voices for several shows and appears regularly on Arrow and Warehouse 13.
26:00 Tamara peer pressures Eva into snorting some blow. I like how you can track the escalation of drug of choice - the first few movies just had pot, then cocaine got introduced in part 5 and reappears here before heroin addicts show up a bit later on.
27:00 The cocaine is gone and the girls are getting ready to move on to their next unlikable behavior.
28:00 Tamara boasting about her plan to ruin McCulloch.
29:00 Jason grabbing a hot sauna rock. This is one of the more "controversial" kills in the movie, as stories differ about the nature of its existence. The version of the story I believe is that the guy boxing Julius (at 24:00) was originally killed via two darts to the eyes - a still of this kill exists, but it's never surfaced as a deleted scene or whatever. Anyway, the MPAA vetoed it in its entirety, so rather than have an off-screen kill, this one was added in - however the original actor could not return, so this guy is a standin who wears a towel over his face the entire time, muttering something about the boxing match in order to sell the ruse (even though his body type is nothing like that guy's). Sort of a Bela/Plan 9 thing, which should please this movie's critics.
30:00 Rennie falling into the water. As I was saying at 20:00, the boat doesn't appear to actually be going anywhere - she goes over and just treads water while they toss her a life preserver.
31:00 The rescue continues.
32:00 Charles, yelling at Colleen re: Rennie going overboard. As we'll learn, this is hypocritical!
33:00 Rennie trying to calm down after a hallucination.
34:00 I actually found this hot when I was younger. Now I'm just kind of embarrassed for her.
35:00 Charles, reacting to Tamara's blackmail scheme.
36:00 Nerdy Wayne, walking off after Tamara rejected him. The actor is Martin Cummins, who showed up on Bates Motel's 2nd season and even got a guest star credit at the top of the show, but I don't think ever actually said a word or even had a closeup (he played the husband of that socialite lady that took a liking to Norma).
37:00 Tamara listening at the door for Jason.
38:00 Admiral Asshole looking out at the storm. Never realized it until I had to keep writing their names down - this entry had a lot more adults in it than usual.
39:00 The 2nd in command captain peering through the rain-covered windshield (or whatever you call the boat equivalent). I think he's about to get it.
40:00 Jason, right after killing the Admiral.
41:00 Julius and some of the others listening to Sean's emergency radio broadcast. Again, I like this entry more than most people do (though it only ranks 8th for my list, which isn't exactly high praise with only 12 entries), but one thing that doesn't work for me is how quickly everyone goes on alert after Jason starts killing. JJ was the first on-board death and that was less than 20 minutes ago - it would have been fun to have more traditional stalk n slash on oblivious idiots before they all went into panic mode. Since the script was a combo of two ideas (Jason on a boat/Jason in NY) I assume that Rob Hedden was forced to basically skip that sort of thing in order to move on to the "we gotta get off the boat!" aspect that would have been the finale of a non-NY movie.
42:00 McCulloch comforting Sean re: his dead dad. It's the only time in the movie he acts like a human being.
43:00 Julius rallying the troops (random students) to go after Jason. When they first boarded there were several dozen students shown on the boat, but apart from a few that Colleen leads to the disco later on, we never see them again. And now they're all dead.
44:00 Rennie running around in the engine room. If memory serves, she's trying to find the anchor to drop it, though I have no idea why as the boat DOESN'T MOVE.
45:00 Yup! Rennie saying "Sean said we needed to drop the anchors!"
46:00 Eva spinning around in the disco as Jason stalks her. This scene was the first example of this film's teleporting Jason, as he manages to appear in 3 different doorways simultaneously. Later in the movie he'll be chasing a guy on the street, the guy will run into a building and up some stairs, and somehow Jason will already be in there on the 2nd floor in order to throw him out a window.
47:00 It took a full minute for him to strike?
48:00 Julius and the others kick off their Jason hunt.
49:00 Wayne making his way around one of the ship's dark corridors. Never realized, there's a lot of this film's DNA in Jason X, which was also a Canadian production. X is ALSO technically Jason on a ship, and also has everyone finding out about his presence rather early in the proceedings, at which point a bunch of guys go out hunting him, only for all of them but the black guy to get killed in the process (in both, said "survivor" dies near the end instead). They're also the series' two lowest grossing films, incidentally.
50:00 If nothing else, I'm getting awesome shots of Jason for this one.
51:00 McCulloch, muttering about something. Why does it take the entire movie to kill this asshole?
52:00 Another one! Most Minute by Minute-friendly movie ever?
53:00 One of the "hunters" making his way down a ladder. This one's played by Gordon Currie, who would go on to star in a couple of the Puppet Master films.
54:00 Julius running through the ship with his giant ass rifle.
55:00 Jason headbutting a porthole. Honestly I could screenshot this too but you guys are getting spoiled.
56:00 A framed photo of the boat on the wall, shaking.
57:00 A knife coming into frame.
58:00 Shot of water flooding one of the lower levels. The shot would be ripped off 8 years later in another Paramount film.
59:00 Four of our five survivors (I forget where Julius is) walking through the boat.
1:00:00 Everyone going down the ladder into the lifeboat. Now I remember where Julius is - Jason tossed him overboard (presumably in between 54:00 and 55:00). He'll reappear in a bit.
1:01:00 The group rowing the lifeboat away from the sinking ship.
1:02:00 Julius comforting Sean as he tries to figure out the GPS tracker thingie.
1:03:00 Colleen and Rennie waking up from their doze.
1:04:00 Charles, with the others behind him, walking along the dock. So for all those "They're only in NY for 5 minutes!" assholes, they arrive with 36+ minutes left in the 100 min movie, so let's say exactly a third of its runtime since a couple of those are credits.
1:05:00 Shot of the two lowlifes that rob our heroes and kidnap Rennie. See why I was terrified of visiting the Big Apple?
1:06:00 One of the junkie muggers harassing Julius and the others.
1:07:00 The muggers leading Rennie down an alleyway.
1:08:00 One of the muggers talking to Rennie.
1:09:00 Another great shot of Jason, who inadvertently being a hero here, saving Rennie from potential rape.
1:10:00 Jason watching Julius run away from his phone booth attack.
1:11:00 Crane shot (!) of Jason getting punched over and over by Julius. I love this sequence, but always wondered if Jason was just fucking with Julius by staggering back from the hits, or if Julius really was doing well here. My guess: the former, even though it's out of "character" for Jason to humor his victims.
1:12:00 Aw, Julius still has his head. Guess we're gonna miss it.
1:13:00 Rennie's blurry POV as she staggers around.
1:14:00 Medium shot of McCulloch, doing what he does best (scowling).
1:15:00 Rennie starting up a car.
1:16:00 'SPLOSION! The police car (with Colleen in it), if memory serves.
1:17:00 Idyllic shot of Charles and young Rennie in a rowboat on Crystal Lake, during the flashback that explains her fear of water. She encounters young Jason, which must be a hallucination as according to the Friday timeline* this movie takes place around 2003, so young Jason would most certainly not have been in the lake in the mid 90s.
1:18:00 McCulloch smiling! Only time in the movie, I think.
1:19:00 Closeup of Rennie and her amazing hair. If you've seen the Crystal Lake Memories doc, you know that Ms. Daggett is still very attractive but also exercises much better judgment at the salon.
1:20:00 McCulloch, laying in some trash for reasons I can't recall, realizing that Jason is still alive.
1:21:00 Hah, yes! McCulloch finally gets offed, in one of the (I assume) many barrels of toxic sludge that are just laying around on the streets of New York.
1:22:00 Rennie and Sean having a heart to heart.
1:23:00 Shot of Rennie and Sean running down the escalator to the subway. This might be a legit NY scene, I forget. If faked, they got the right font for the sign showing the subway stop, so that's good.
1:24:00 Rennie screaming for help to the subway passengers. This scene was the biggest missed opportunity in the movie if you ask me - Jason's in a contained area with a bunch of victims but doesn't slash a single one of them. Hedden could have at least gotten a stunt guy to play an anonymous would-be hero that gets instantly butchered.
1:25:00 Shot of Jason frying on the subway track's 3rd rail. Unlike most slasher villain fake deaths, this one kind of works as it's long enough into the movie that it could be over (as opposed to others which occur at like 72 minutes or something).
1:26:00 Start spreading the news...
1:27:00 Jason standing by the subway entrance.
1:28:00 Rennie and Sean running into the diner we saw exactly 86 minutes ago.
1:29:00 A very dark shot of Sean trying to open a locked gate.
1:30:00 Rennie and Sean running through the sewer. One thing about this movie compared to many others I've done for Minute by Minute - Hedden appreciates long takes. Obviously as I'm scanning around for the exact minute marks I end up seeing the 10-15 seconds before it/3-4 seconds after it, and there's usually less than 4 shots in that amount of time. Some of the ones I've done cut every 1-2 seconds, bumming me out as it will seem like I'm gonna get a good shot and then there will be a quick reaction at the "00", ruining it. This is probably why I was able to get so many shots of Jason.
1:31:00 Rennie and Sean being led toward the sewer exit by the maintenance worker, who has just informed them of the impending nightly toxic waste flooding. I love that he was working until the last minute.
1:32:00 Rennie running through the tunnel alone. I know the maintenance guy got offed, but I forget where Sean went.
1:33:00 Shot of the tunnel. Here comes the toxic waste!
1:34:00 RADIOACTIVE! RADIOACTIVE!
1:35:00 Lightning over the NY skyline as Jason dies. I guess Zeus wanted to lend a hand?
1:36:00 With Jason now dead (or turned back into a little boy, as toxic waste is wont to do), Sean and Rennie walk along happily.
1:37:00 One final shot of Times Square before the credits roll.
1:38:00 Credits for grips and props guys, none of the names stick out.
1:39:00 2nd unit credits. There's a John Merrick but it's probably not the same guy (and that would be the pro golfer, not the "Elephant Man" as his name was Joseph).
1:40:00 I usually don't screenshot the credits but all of these are kind of fun. The GPS got a credit! Victor Miller's "based on" gets shoved to the very end of the titles! I am reminded that Harry Manfredini thankfully didn't compose this one or else there wouldn't be a credit for the "Ki-ki, Ma-ma" (somewhere in the world, at this very second, Manfredini is currently telling someone how he came up with this sound)! And finally they stress that they really did go to New York. Good stuff.
And that's it, the final run time is 1:40:21 - the longest entry in the series.
Look, it's hardly a classic Friday film, but I'll go to my grave defending it as a step up from New Blood, and you'd have to be insane to think it was worse than Jason Goes To Hell - he might not be in NY as much as you'd like, but at least he's IN THE FUCKING MOVIE. I'd also put it above X (barely) and VS, another one where the promised title didn't occur until the 3rd act (yet no one gives that one shit for the delay). Kane looks/performs great, the kills have a good variety (the machete only makes a single brief appearance), and - again - they put him in new environments throughout the movie (even the opening two, at Crystal Lake, occur on a houseboat, which is new for the series). It's NOT THAT BAD, in other words, and if you're in LA this weekend I hope you fork over a couple bucks to see for yourself. For more details on the screening, head HERE, or buy tickets HERE - and check out this sweet artwork Jacopo Tenani designed for the event!
*It's an impossible endeavor to get exactly right as various directors would screw things up or there'd be a shot of the year somewhere. But roughly: parts 2-4 all take place during one week in 1984 (5 years after the first film, said to be 1979 per Pamela's tombstone). Tommy ages around 10 years by Jason Lives, putting that one around 1994. Young Tina (in New Blood) encounters Jason in the lake where he died in Jason Lives, and then she ages about 7 years (being generous - the actresses were SEVENTEEN years apart), making it sometime in the early 00s, with Manhattan being at least a year later.