Friday, October 1, 2021

Franchise Marathon: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

 * Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

* spoilers *

Tina Shepard after her telekinetic abilities emerged years ago resulting in the death of her abusive father by Crystal Lake. Now a teenage, she is struggling with guilt and her mental health. Her psychiatrist prompts her and her mother to move back to the lakeside cabin as a way to access her powers, but she ends up awakening Jason Vorhees who was left chained at the bottom of the lake. The partying teens next to Tina's cabin don't stand a chance.

The New Blood is one of my favorite of the franchise. It stops trying to make sense or be plausible in the world and just has fun. Tina is an amazing character and it's nice to have a final girl again with the back and forth of Tommy's state as victim/hero or villain. I feel for Tina and immediately felt for her when she was verbally abused by Dr. Crews, the dubious psychiatrist. She of course falls for  Nick, which causes a bunch of teen drama next door. 

Jason is a full fledged zombie in this installment, revealing a horrific, rotted face. His kills are fun with some unique weapons and his fight with Tina is a welcome change to the slasher formula. Another change is the secondary villain in Dr. Crews. He was awful from his very first scene and even used a teen as a human shield to save himself. Usually the secondary villains are well meaning police, so it's nice to have a true human villain to go against both Tina and Jason. It's disappointing that Tina never returns in subsequent installments, but this is top tier in the franchise. 

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins 

* Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Jason is back! He is resurrected on Crystal Lake where the SS Lazarus happens to be leaving with the senior class of Lakeview High School. Most of the teens are more concerned about drugs, having sex, and blackmailing the chaperons, but Rennie is more concerned with her aquaphobia. As Jason slices and dices through the distracted teens, Rennie and her boyfriend Nick try to save everyone before it's too late.

You might wonder why this is called Jason Takes Manhattan at all since it's essentially Jason on a cruise ship. Apparently actually filming the whole movie in Manhattan would have been too expensive, so only the ending has the iconic scene with Jason in Times Square.  The title is super misleading and it's no wonder why so many don't like this installment.

The cruise ship part is actually better than I expected. The kills are still fun, a mainstay in the series. However, the destined to die teens are flimsiest, most unlikeable characters that feel more like parodies of teens. Even with all its flaws, it's a fun, cheesy film perfect for movie nights with friends. It's not the greatest in the series by far, but worth a watch. 

My rating: 2.5/5 fishmuffins

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