5 Things “Jason Takes Manhattan” Taught Me

It’s Friday the 13th and once again I thought it’d be fun to take another look at one of the most widely derided and mocked entry in to the iconic horror series “Friday the 13th.” In 1989 Paramount promised Jason would be visiting New York, and promoted it heavily as a stand out entry in the series. I fondly remember the teaser blowing me away when my dad took my brother and me to see “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Sadly the studio cut most of the film’s budget big time, and in a one hundred minute movie, Jason is only in New York for a grand total of fifteen minutes. And a majority of that time Canada blatantly doubles for New York. Because, you know, New York has a ton of Hockey billboards around the city. In either case, here are five things the deliciously terrible “Jason Takes Manhattan” taught me.

5. No One Ever Checks the Bottom of Crystal Lake
So no one ever checks or cleans the bottom of Crystal Lake. Like ever. No one fishes out the bodies of deformed boys during summer camps, there are probably dozens of dismembered body parts and wreckages of boats, there’s Tina’s father who she murdered as a child they seemingly never fished out, there’s the old “Crystal Lake” sign that is in the bottom, as we can see in the opening of “Jason Takes Manhattan,” and yes, there is Jason. Even though the majority of the movies are supposed to take place during a very short time span, some time has passed from “The New Blood” to “Jason Takes Manhattan.” You figure they’d have at some point drained the lake and taken out all the skeletons and whatnot.

4. Jason Has Been to New York Before
Think about it, for a guy who spent most of his life on the bottom of a lake, the man sure seems to know how to travel around New York. He knows how to get to Times Square on foot, he apparently walks along the bottom of the ocean to the docks of New York, can stand in the middle of a sidewalk in Times Square without getting pushed over, and even knows what paths to take to track down his victims. He even finds Julius in a phone booth conveniently, and begins stalking him. Jason seems to know how to get around the city, that’s for sure.

3. Crystal Lake Opens Up into the Atlantic Ocean
It’s very possible to sail your yacht and park it right in the middle of Crystal Lake, as Jason is prone to either hibernating, or waiting for lone lightning bolts to strike and revive him once again. In either case, it’s also very possible for massive cruise ships to enter in to Crystal Lake attracting Jason’s ire, allowing him to stalk and murder a bunch of hapless students going on a cruise. So all this time rather than Alice drifting on the lake, she could have simply floated away to New York or another city to safety.

2. Toxic Waste is the Only Thing That Can Kill Jason—Because, Why Not?
So everything has been thrown at Jason, but no one has ever thought about toxic waste. Thankfully New York is filled with it to where barrels are just sitting around, and Jason is finally defeated in the end by being splashed with it and drowning in a massive tidal wave of it in the sewer. This, of course, turns him in to a child again? What’s depressing is, if you think about it, there is the fact that our heroes survive Jason’s attack by narrowly dodging the flood of toxic wastes while he gets washed away in it. I wonder if they died of cancer not long after that from exposure to the hazardous waste flood from the inhalation or splashes of waste contacting them on that ladder.

1. New York is Nothing but a Series of Alleys, Subways, and Toxic Sewers
If you didn’t know better, you’d swear New York was something like the underground city in “Demolition Man.” Watching the movie, you literally see nothing but desolate back alleys, boring side streets, empty subways filled with spray paint, and of course, sewers filled with toxic waste, that overflows with toxic waste, and has bins of toxic waste just sitting around. Our characters head to New York, and are desperately trying to escape Jason so they do what any normal person would: They go to places where there are the least people around, and they completely avoid places like police stations. Because who needs all that hassle, amiright? When Jason finally does enter in to Times Square, he’s not impressed, and according to the film it’s only about a short block long. Nothing to see there, folks.

P.S. Man, how lame is the movie’s theme song “Darkest Side of the Night”? After Alice Cooper, I don’t know why they opted for bland soft rock to open and close the movie.