Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jason Visits Manhattan: Looking at Friday 8

22 years ago today, the "final" movie with the title Friday the 13th was released to the masses(at least till 2009, but more on that later); months before the trailer was popping up before movies with much glee, featuring our favorite killer goalie scaring the hell out of folks in a brand new setting! Horror fans rejoiced, as it looked as though we were getting a familiar premise in an unfamiliar territory, which is something this series desperately needed. Sadly what we got was The Love Boat followed by 15 minutes of Jason and the gang running around New York City Canada. This was a major disappointment when I was 12 years old, and I have to say, despite the movie having a fun "cheese factor", is still a bit of a disappointment today.
Now I understand NYC is one of the most expensive places to film, and using Canada as the faux NYC was just a way to save on that cash, but they had to figure that Jason tearing through Times Square would've been gangbusters, making the studio oodles of cash. The film went on to make $15,000,000, three times the budget. Imagine if the movie actually got good word-of-mouth, by actually taking place where the movie's title promised? It probably would've made 30 mill easily.
According to IMDB, the film was supposed to take place all over NYC; like Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building. It was the studio that refused to allow this to happen because of budgetary reasons.
If the movie was not originally advertised to take place in NYC, with that scenario being a surprise for patient movie goers, Jason part 8 might be looked at with kinder eyes in hindsight. Maybe calling it Friday the 13th Part VIII: Blood Cruise and then having the destination of the boat be the something the audience is not expecting. Then not having most of the movie take place where it was originaly promised would not be a source of horror-fans complaints.
Believe it or not, this IS fixable, but that all depends on how you feel about... *looks around* R-E-M-A-K-E-S. I know, "remake" is a dirty word these days, but it doesn't have to be.
Not every remake is a blight upon mankind; The Thing, Night of the Living Dead and The Hills Have Eyes are remakes that we all agree really turned out well.
In 2009, Platinum Dunes released the Friday the 13th remake to much fan-worry. After a viewing, though, you see that as far as remakes go, this one wasn't that bad. It cleanly combines the first three films into a tidy package, as well as having a great cast of "kids" to kill and in this author's opinion, some of the best nudity ever in a slasher film. My only problem with Friday the 13th 2009 was that most of the killings in it were very uninspired. I mean, even the original film had the great scene of Kevin Bacon getting a skewer through his throat from under the bed, which was totally revolutionary back then.
The Friday remake did just well enough to have rumors of a sequel bounce around the internet for a few years now, this time taking Jason into the winter, which is a simple yet brilliant direction to take the series. Considering that movie IS a hit, the chances a third movie are likely, which is why I propose this:
Friday the 13th Part 3-D: Jason Takes Manhattan!
Now, I know what you're thinking "You, of ALL people, are suggesting a movie be released in 3D?!". Yes yes I am an outspoken hater of the way 3D has been shoved down our throats, but I loved it in My Bloody Valentine 3D, and since the O.G. F13th part 3 was 3D, I believe this would be a solid "homage", as long as it's kept simple. But more importantly, this movie would be perfect place to take Jason Voorhees and have him reign terror on NYC the way he was supposed to back in 1989.
New York has a much, MUCH different look now than it did back then. It was much more dangerous. It was grittier and dirtier. Today it's very "disneyfied" and a lot more family friendly, so Jason running rough-shot all over the most famous city on the planet would make a much bigger impact.
If this were to happen, and if it was done right, I have no problem saying that a Jason Takes Manhattan remake would be one the most anticipated horror movies in a long time.