Friday The 13th Part VIII – Mama, Just Killed A Man

I’ll be honest with you – I wasn’t supposed to watch this film this week. In honour of the glorious Hallmark festival where you all get given a heart shaped pizza or whatever and I get a nice text off my mum, I was going to watch My Bloody Valentine, cos I saw it when I was small by accident and threw a teddy with a heart on it away after because it stressed me out. What I ACTUALLY wanted to watch was Valentine, the wanky teen slasher starring Angel off Buffy as a handsome lunatic, stalking girls who made fun of his thick specs at school, but it came out in 2001, and that puts it largely outside of our calendar catchment area. I’ll obviously still watch that when I’m done here.

Instead of any of that, I settled on Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. I love this film. I really do. There’s so much wrong with it, mainly because it sacrifices any sort of reasonable plotline or sympathy you might feel towards the actors, to have them behave like total saps and kill as many of them as it’s possible to in an hour and 45 minutes.

Not only is this the first Friday The 13th movie I ever saw, but the first time I saw it was Valentine’s Day, 1995. I was 10, and my mum had gone out with her big perm for a nice dinner and left us with my Grandad Harry. Grandad Harry AKA The Best Babysitter. The “yes you can have this ice cream but wash up your own bowls and don’t dob me into your mother” sort of babysitter. The “I’ll pop out and get chips if you don’t answer the door” babysitter. And so of course the “you’re not going to get scared if you watch this are you?” babysitter. Which is how we found ourselves settling down to an evening of violent death, high cut knickers, and bad acting. I think we somehow convinced Grandad it was a violent sports movie about an angry hockey player covered in dirt and by the time he clocked on, it was too late. I’m sorry Pap.

You don’t need me to run you through the origin story, you can’t possibly need that in 2018, so let’s not waste your time. Jason is still pissed about having a melted face and never getting laid, and his batshit mum is still posthumously whispering in his ear about how everyone who flashes their ankles is a horrible slag that must be dispatched post haste. A couple just trying to have a snog on a boat accidentally drop anchor into a powerline and electrocute him back to life, so obviously he comes aboard and jacks their romantic evening by killing them both with a harpoon gun. Shortly before this, the dude had pretended to be Jason and stuck his chick with a joke shop hunting knife, for which she forgives him and lets him pash her up regardless, so it’s feasible they both deserved what they got.

Despite the fact that neither time nor sanity has allowed me to go back and watch every film before this one in order to have any real basis for what I’m about to say, I’m gonna say it anyway – surely this movie has to have some of the worst acting in the franchise? Surely? Even including that one in space. If you’ve got contrary information for me, I’d love to hear it. But from the word go, well, it’s taken me 5 minutes to decide how to finish this sentence, but “I WAS AGHAST” would probably do it.

We’ve been doing this a while folks. You know me now, and I say it every time we drop a clanger. You know I adore terrible garbage for any number of confusingly specific reasons, but this is MADDDDD. There are so many weird mental bloopers, so many continuity errors, and so much bad acting, I’m not sure if they did a Michael Bay and ran out of money, or they never had any money in the first place. Probably second one, right?

So to the script written by a 14 year old boy who watches MTV every morning whilst eating crystal meth and Frosties for breakfast – a bunch of graduating teenagers are taken on a celebratory cruise from some nowhere coastal town to NEW YORK as a special treat. You got your usual suspects – coked up blonde prom queen, asian maths nerd lady, a film school dude attached to a camera at all times with a loud shirt and a bob, poor man’s Nancy Wilson with a crimped shag hair do and a pink flying V one shaka away from being actual Ted Theodore Logan, a single black guy who says motherfucker a lot, boxes, and is drenched in soul glow, uptight headmaster, useless teacher woman, and finally, overly sensitive/saving herself type obvious final girl who sees slimy baby Jason drowning in all the portholes, and her crap boyfriend who I honestly can’t think of anything witty or cutting to say about, cos he is just wet as old tits and wears a fisherman’s jumper. Sorry, I also forgot to mention the omnipresent and probably very correctly assumed drunk deckhand who crops up every 5 minutes to interject cryptically that “HE WALKS THIS SHIP” and “YOU’RE ALL GONNA DIE”, but obviously then goes back to sweeping up invisible debris until it’s time for him to say something unhelpful and confusing about how they’re all fucked.

Once Jason gets on board, the first to go is Jem off the Holograms. After making her way down to to the basement to shred along to her own damn song, Jason creeps up behind her before bashing her head in with the aforementioned flying V. No one notices she’s missing.

Would do Barracuda down karaoke with her for sure.

Next goes a boxer who, in the credits, doesn’t even have a name. How rude is that? With a towel on his face, he mistakes Jason for Julius the black guy. Jason takes a hot rock off the pile and plunges it into the kid’s belly. He dies instantly, obviously. No one notices he’s missing.

Coked up head girl is up next. After stepping out of a shower DRY (one of a thousand goofs), Jason smashes her head into the bathroom mirror and stabs her up. Given that earlier she was, in the words of acceptable era Metallica, chopping her breakfast on a mirror, a hilarious irony. Drugs are bad guys. Machetes are okay, but just say no to the drugs. No one notices she’s missing.

Next go the captain and his first mate, ensuring that no one left alive is able to steer the ship through the inexplicable storm. Then, without attempting in any way to avoid her own death, alert anyone to her whereabouts, or RUN AWAY FROM THE BIG GIANT MURDEROUS HOCKEY PLAYER, asian mathlete Eva Watanabe runs into the cruise liner’s night club complete with flashing neon dancefloor, playing that late 90s synth pop metal at excessive volume. To no one. Jason strangles her and chucks her on the floor. The music stops, obviously. No one notices she’s missing.

That’s not how you wear your braces, you little boffin.

Next we have the second most ridiculous death, in my humble opinion, of film school and his loud shirt discovering lady Kirk Hammett with her dome stoved in. Jason discovers him discovering, and throws him on to a control panel. Just chucks him on to a big computer desk. His legs are on fire before he even hits the fucking desk. Even as a 10 year old I found myself wondering if I’d missed something, if perhaps I’d blinked or nodded off with my eyes open like you do when you’re a kid trying to stay up, or he’d been flung at the speed of light, which might have explained why he was ON FIRE FOR NO REASON. Doesn’t matter anyway cos, yep, you guessed it – no one notices he’s missing.

Anyway, I know you’re getting bored. But I can’t help that, because this film still has 300 people to kill off. Honestly to this day I’ve never seen a horror film that tried quite so hard to ensure you got your money’s worth in teenage homicide. But I’ll try and keep it brief.

It’s only now that they realise the best idea might be to get off the boat. Julius has rallied the troops with his cutting one liners, spitting in the face of authority, and of course using the word “motherfucker”, and then been chucked into the sea, so everyone decides now is the time to board a lifeboat and quite literally abandon ship. As soon as they get on the boat, Julius climbs aboard. I’m not sure that anyone had noticed he was missing, but he’s there now, so great. They row, gently, and without use of a compass through a storm and sea fog in the dead of night, and the next morning, they can see New York. CONVENIENT. At this point, I very genuinely remember thinking “is it done already, it’s only been on an hour?” But of course it’s not done. Because there are still teenagers alive.

This is where it gets really fucking ridiculous, which is a shame, because we are banging on the door of a reasonable word count. Please stay with me, I promise it’s worth it.


They think they’re safe, obviously, but Jason has followed them all the way to The Big Apple. You don’t know how, as they’ve probably run out of time to explain it. Anyway, they all get of the lifeboat, and the first thing that happens is sappy visions girl is kidnapped by two grubby gang members, and taken to a nearby wet couch to have heroin injected into her so they can have their wicked way. Seems like a waste of heroin to me if I’m honest, because the chick wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but I guess they don’t know that. Doesn’t matter anyway, cos Jason turns up and stabs one with his own dirty needle, and then bashes the other one’s head against one of those omnipresent steaming pipes until he is brown bread. Good that the pipe was there. That a steaming pipe is always present in a New York City fight scene. For no real reason that I can understand.

Next is the whole reason I went on to watch this film as many times as I did, and never with any less disbelief than the tiny girl in the dinosaur nightshirt sitting 3 inches from the TV screen, whilst her well meaning grandfather snores on the sofa behind her.

Julius the boxer runs up on to the roof of an abandoned building to flee Jason. The first actual fleeing we’ve seen, so that’s quite novel. He throws punch after punch at Jason. Jab, cross, overhand, uppercut, the lot. He throws them for about 30 seconds at which point he becomes far too tired to go on. Julius is a professional athlete, reduced to a quivering wreck by some mild cardio, and 30 seconds of hitting the heavy bag (Jason). Apparently he’s an undefeated boxer, so I have no idea why this combined effort of approximately one minute’s work would put man on his arse. Finally, at the end of his rope, he looks up at Jason and tells him to “take your best shot…motherfucker”. Jason takes his best shot and the punch takes Julius’ head very cleanly off his shoulders, at which point it rolls off the roof and into a giant bin, which closes it’s own lid. That’s all true, look:

There’s no way to top this, and if you actually want to go and watch this film after reading this, fair play to you.

Random teacher I forgot about, such is her wet countenance, gets blown up in a car. And in the last death that matters (BECAUSE THERE ARE 3 MORE), Headmaster gets drowned in a barrel of dirty rain water, complete with a dead rat floating in it. Prior to this, we see Jason enjoying a subway train, wandering in Times Square, and lifting up his mask to a bunch of unsavoury youths with butterfly knives just to get rid of them. He’s got a sense of humour, who knew? Shortly after visiting all the tourists attractions, Jason gets drowned in the sewer by toxic waste, his mask slipping, revealing what appears to be a Boglin crossed with the Cryptkeeper. Gutted mate. These truly are some magical moments, but please enjoy them at your own convenience, as I am unable to write about this any longer.

It’s gone on long enough. But basically, Valentine’s Day is all about love. What I’m saying is I love Friday The 13th, my Grandad loved me enough to let me watch this mad exercise in cramming a thousand deaths into 2 hours of film, and Jason loved his mother so much that even though she’s been dead for 7 movies, when she tells him to go out and kill, that’s exactly what he’ll do. Shout out Pamela Voorhees.

I hope you got a nice card and someone told you they loved you, and if you didn’t, just do that shit for yourself, because self loathing is obviously how Jason got started. And do you really want to be drowned in toxic waste, two metaphorical life movies away from taking your franchise to space? No.

I’m going to watch Valentine. Peace.