Franchise Weekend – Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Director: Rob Hedden

Writer: Rob Hedden (Screenplay) Victor Miller (Characters)

Starring: Jensen Daggett, Kane Hodder, Todd Caldecott, Barbara Bingham, Alex Diakun, Scott Reeves

 

Plot: A boat of graduating high school students bound for Manhattan pulls Jason Voorhees along for the ride. Look out, New York – here comes Hell in a hockey mask.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Questionable Sequel

 

Story: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan starts as we follow two horny teenagers that give us the legend of Jason Voorhees (Hodder) before bringing him back from the dead once more with deadly consequences. Jason is back now and ready to build up his body count.

Moving onto the main characters which are the rest of the classmates going on a post-graduation cruise from Crystal Lake to New York City, teachers Colleen Van Deusen (Bingham) and Charles McCulloch (Richman) with students that include Rennie Wickham (Daggett) and Sean Robertson (Reeves), the cruise is a celebration but Jason tags along too.

When the bodies start piling up the students look to take on Jason heads on but Rennie’s connection to Crystal Lake and Jason proves to be a stumbling block for her and Jason. Arriving in New York things only get worse for the students but Jason gets to pile on the body count with fresh victims.

 

Thoughts on Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

 

Characters/PerformanceRennie is our leading lady that has been through a hard life but showing the promise of making it through with this trip being the final part of her therapy. Jason is the killing machine that gets to interact with his surroundings to find new ways of killing his victims. Sean is the potential love interest for Rennie that is also looking to prove himself to his father. The rest of the characters are all what you would have come to expect from the franchise.

Performance wise, Jensen is a good leading lady with the rest of the cast all doing the job they need to, it is Kane Hodder as the imposing Jason figure that dominates the screen.

StoryThe stories behind the Friday the 13th Films have been easy to follow even if slightly repetitive at times, Jason kills horny teenagers in Crystal Lake, this is all fine, but what if we took things away from the Lake, you know what sounds like a good idea, New York City where Jason only hunts down the few teenagers while ignore anybody else he could kill for fun. Where this film loses any creditability in the story is by having Jason walk by people like whatever only targeting the innocent students, it just doesn’t add up.

Horror/ThrillerSlasher fans will enjoy this because the body count is high but it also isn’t scary in any moments.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the boat heading to New York but once we are in New York you could easily forget it is the Big Apple.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag because the CGI is poor but the practical effects all come off great.

Final ThoughtsWhen you get to the 8th instalment of a film franchise you know you are not going to be having the strongest entry, this has plenty of kills without being one of the best but the boxing kill will be remembered as one of the more memorable ones.

 

Overall: Standard late franchise sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Gene Wilder Weekend – See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

Director: Arthur Hiller

Writer: Earl Barret, Arne Sultan, Arne Sulten, Eliot Wald, Andrew Kurtzman, Gene Wilder (Screenplay) Earl Barret, Arne Sultan, Marvin Worth (Story)

Starring: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Joan Severance, Kevin Spacey, Alan North, Anthony Zebre, Louis Giambalvo

 

Plot: Dave is deaf, and Wally is blind. They witness a murder, but it was Dave who was looking at her, and Wally who was listening.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Comedy

 

Story: See No Evil, Hear No Evil starts a we meet blind gambling addict Wally (Pryor) and the deaf shop keeper Dave (Wilder), Dave offers Wally a job in the shop but when the man Wally owes money turns up at the shop and gets shot by a mysterious woman Eve (Severence), the two find themselves accused of murder.

When the real criminals Eve and Kirgo (Spacey) try to release Dave and Wally, they plan to kill them but after they escape Wally and Dave must find the real criminals before they either get killed or captured.

 

Thoughts on See No Evil, Hear No Evil

 

Characters/PerformanceWally is the blind man who is trying to get accepted in the world but finds himself holding people pack, he is quick to defend himself with violence. Dave is the mild mannered deaf shop keeper who has only been deaf for the last 8 years. He works with Wally to prove their innocence. Eve and Kirgo are the main villains that both work for the story with Eve being the sexy seductive type and Kirgo being the British villain.

Performance wise, Wilder and Pryor have improved chemistry here and get to show their comedy range but it still feels like a show just for their comic timing. Joan is perfectly cast in the role of Eve looking stunning in a role that is meant to led men astray. An early role here for Kevin Spacey was a surprise for me and you can see his talent here.

StoryThe story works for comedy, a blind and a deaf man must work together to prove their innocence. We get the villains that are out for greed and the police trying to do their job but this does turn into a running joke about a blind and deaf guy routine.

Crime/ComedyThe crime story is routine enough but the comedy is the stand out here which is mostly blind man deaf man gags.

SettingsThe settings are used to show the comical situations the two find themselves in. this does work well through the whole film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy but does fall into the making too much fun of the disabled to the extreme rather than pulling it all off slowly which it should be.

 

Overall: Fun and simple to follow comedy.

Rating

 

 

Tango & Cash (1989)

tangoDirector: Andrey Konchalovskiy, Albert Magnoli

Writer: Randy Feldman (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Teri Hatcher, Jack Palance, Brion James, James Hong, Marc Alaimo

 

Plot: Two cops are framed and must clear their names.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Puntastically Fun Action Comedy

 

Story: Tango & Cash starts as we see smartly dressed Beverly Hills cop Lt Raymond Tango (Stallone) take down another drugs bust, as well as laid back street smart cop Lt Gabriel Cash (Russell) having someone try to kill him. The two have been taking down the same drug lord Yves Perret (Palance) who has a plan to get rid of the pair.

When the unlikely pair get framed for a murder of an FBI agent they both get sent to a maximum-security prison to deal with most of the men they have put away. The two must work together using both their sets of skills to bring down the biggest drug ring to have hit the city and clear their names.

Tango & Cash is an action comedy that brings us a buddy cop movie together with two of the biggest stars of the time Stallone and Russell. While the story is very generic odd couple cops must work together to solve a crime no one else believes risking their lives against seemingly endless amounts of enemies it does everything it needs to for the story. The comedy comes from the endless amounts of puns going on through the film which at times poke fun at what are used in serious film but in this are designed for the laughs.

Stallone and Russell are great together getting to poke fun at the characters they have played before with Stallone poking fun and Rambo and Russell getting an Elvis reference in once again. As for the villain, we don’t get too much time with him while the henchmen are what you would expect in these films. Hatcher is written to be tough but only their really to add an extra dimension to the relationship between Tango & Cash. In the end this is purely a great fun film that is easy to watch as long as you don’t want anything too serious.

 

Overall: 80s Fun all in one movie what more could you ask for?

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Halloween Weekend – Halloween 5 (1989)

halloweeenDirector: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Writer: Dominique Othenin-Girard, Michael Jacobs, Shem Bitterman (Screenplay) John Carpenter, Debra Hill (Characters)

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Jeffrey Landman, Tamara Glynn, Jonathan Chapin

 

Plot: One year after the events of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), the Shape returns to Haddonfield once again in an attempt to kill his now-mute niece.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing

 

Story: Halloween 5 starts by showing us what really happened to Michael Myers after the final showdown in the previous film as we see he is still alive and killing. We move forward one year where Jamie Lloyd (Harris) is inside child psychiatric home still having nightmares with her connection with Michael her Uncle.

With Jamie having a psychic connection with Michael knows when he is about to kill someone but it is only Dr Loomis (Pleasence) that is willing to listen to her warnings as Rachel (Cornell) becomes one of his victims. Can Dr Loomis put an end to this for good and save Jamie from becoming consumed by the power Michael got taken over by.

Halloween 5 comes back one year later to continue the theme of it all being set on Halloween. This time we still have no one believing Dr Loomis about the danger of Michael and we still have the kids dressing up like him for fun. We seem to be stuck in a world where plenty of people don’t know what really happened and where people are against what they once said. The jumps are nearly all false with the kills coming off plain as we see Michael seem to turn into a calculated killer who sets traps for people too. This story is really disappointing because it feels too late in the series for this to all happen in.

 

Actor Review

 

Donald Pleasence: Dr Sam Loomis is one of the few people that still believes Michael is still alive even after the last film he declared him dead and gone. He is trying to treat Jamie who is going through the same process Michael did but this time he wants and knows how to stop Jamie turning pure evil. Donald is starting to mail it in here with his over the top ramblings about saving the children when he is clearly right.

Danielle Harris: Jamie Lloyd is now in a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill her foster mother, she is also gone mute but she does have a connection with Michael that lets her know when he is about to kill someone. She just wants to be with her family but she has become too dangerous to be around them. Danielle is good with a change in direction for her character.

Ellie Cornell: Rachel is still visiting Jamie as often as she can but this time she might not be able to get away from Michael. Ellie is solid but kind of wasted in this film this time around.

Support Cast: Halloween 5 has a supporting cast which again are jut disposable with the laughable cops with comic sound effects around them too.

Director Review: Dominique Othenin-GirardDominique does solid job with the slashing side of the story but otherwise the false jump scares come off pointless taking away the actual ones.

 

Horror: Halloween 5 has good kills but otherwise the tension behind the horror is lost in this outing of the franchise.

Settings: Halloween 5 brings us back to Haddonfield but in the end leaves you wondering why the kids act the way they do.
Special Effects
: Halloween 5 has very basic slasher effects this time with it just coming off as your stabbed your dead.

Suggestion: Halloween 5 is watchable if you are doing the marathon of the Halloween films. (Marathon Only)

 

Best Part: The useless cops stating the obvious throughout the film.

Worst Part: Too many false jump scares.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $11.6 Million

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: He’s Back With A Vengeance

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel that seems to forget what the last film said.

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Shocker (1989)

casting card

 

Plot: After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Idea

 

Story: Shocker starts as we see high school football player Jonathan Parker (Berg) a young man that could have anything in the game but is easily distracted by the woman and Alison (Cooper) being the most notable. As Jonathan doesn’t go home he learns the terrible news his mother and sisters are killed by serial killer Horace Pinker (Pileggi) who is mocking his father LT Don Parker (Murphy) the man on his tale.

When Jonathan continues to learn of the whereabouts of Horace through dreams he helps the police finally capture him but not before losing Alison at the hands of the killer. After his execution doesn’t go well he continues to kill from beyond the grave with the Parker family being his main target.

Shocker brings us another twist that only Wes Craven can bring to the horror, while parts of this are just another take on Nightmare on Elm Street with the killer coming back from beyond the grave the side of the story that isn’t all work for the film. What if we did have a killer that could jump between bodies while trying to kill people well that is what this offers. It would be too hard not to see the moments that are the same to Nightmare though which is the reason this doesn’t get the love that one does.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Murphy: LT Don Parker has been on the trail of the killer for his whole spree and becomes the target once the killer takes out his family. He has to work with his son to find the killer and bring him to justice, but he simply won’t die. Michael is good in this role as your generic cop like figure.

Peter Berg: Jonathan Parker is a young high school football player with all the potential in the world, when his family are killed by the killer he has dream about the man and what his next kill will be making it possible to finally track the man down. When the killer is executed he finds himself the target of the man. Peter is good in this role as the leading character trying to make

Cami Cooper: Alison is the girlfriend of Jonathan who helps him after a sporting injury which is why he wasn’t there when his family was killed. She becomes one of the victims in an attempt at revenge against Jonathan after he learns of Horace’s location. Cami is solid but doesn’t get enough screen time for supporting lead.

Mitch Pileggi: Horace Pinker is a serial killer that has been killing families for years and now he has targeted the office after him. Once he gets caught he shows the powers he has come to control as he continues to kill from beyond the grave. Mitch makes for an intense but never too menacing villain but one you would be afraid to run into.

Support Cast: Shocker has a supporting cast which are mostly victims for the killer to take out with only a few making more than a couple of scenes.

Director Review: Wes CravenWes gives us a horror that does come off original with good elements being used throughout.

 

Comedy: Shocker has elements of comedy but I do think this works better as a serious film.

Horror: Shocker has a good mix of horror being used with a serial killer and one that doesn’t just stay dead.

Thriller: Shocker tries to keep us on edge through the whole film but doesn’t quite pull us to the edge.

Settings: Shocker doesn’t create any iconic settings which I feel is something Craven is always great at.
Special Effects
: Shocker has effects I feel were good at the time but have dated as the times have moved on.

Suggestion: Shocker is one I feel all the Craven fans will enjoy even if it isn’t his best. (Craven Fans)

 

Best Part: The concept is very interesting.

Worst Part: The special effects have dated.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Mass murderer Horace pinker was put to death. Then he really got mad.

Trivia: Was originally intended to be the beginning of a three part trilogy much like “A Nightmare on Elm street” but after the lukewarm box office reception the idea was dropped. 

 

Overall: Solid addition to the Craven film collection that isn’t his best but showed his skills.

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