Okay, let’s get the biggest complaint out of the way first. Despite the title of this movie there is a distinct lack of New York flavour until the last half hour of the movie (as dictated by the budget, unfortunately). But that doesn’t stop this movie, the last straightforward Jason film of the original franchise to date, from being a hell of a lot of fun. Yes, there are many ridiculous moments, including repeated visions of the little vulnerable child that Jason Voorhees used to be, but it’s yet another movie that I can’t help absolutely loving. My brain tries to convince me that I should show better judgment and pretend to have disdain for such slapdash nonsense but it eventually gives up. Usually at about the same time I start singing along with the late 80s generic rock tunes used in the film.
Jason is resurrected this time with the help of an anchor and a power line, resulting in lots of flashing light, bubbling water and a dollop of dry ice (for some reason). He climbs on board a boat, kills a couple of frisky people engaging in pre-marital sex and then takes that boat along the water until he spies a bigger boat. A boat full of students going on a trip to New York. Why, it’s almost as if they are setting themselves up to be picked off by an unstoppable hockey-masked killer.
Writer-director Rob Hedden gets a lot right here. The many death scenes are very entertaining, the characters who may or may not survive until the end credits have at least one memorable trait defining their personality and this avoids that terrible pitfall that so many slashers (and so many from this very franchise) fall into by having the dead bodies discovered about halfway through the movie and then going on to show the ensuing panic and attempts at escape and/or fighting back. Much preferable to the many movies in which everyone disappears, one by one, and nobody notices until the last 20 minutes.
Kane Hodder returns to play Jason and is excellent. Jensen Daggett plays a young woman who has occasional visions of (unbeknownst to her) the child Jason and is afraid of the water for reasons that are revealed towards the end of the film, Scott Reeves plays the lad helping her and subsequently improving his own chances of getting to the final reel and Peter Mark Richman is a great authority figure and overbearing uncle. The rest of the cast includes Kelly Hu in her feature film debut, V. C. Dupree having a fantastic face-off with Jason that stands up as a highlight of the series and Sharlene Martin as the bitchy, pretty Tamara.
It still very much has that great 80s slasher vibe all over it (coming out at the tail end of the decade in 1989) but it also has some genuinely enjoyable humour throughout and is one of the few sequels to use the concept in a way that nods and winks to the audience while still providing the goods for the fans.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: ROB HEDDEN
STARS: JENSEN DAGGETT, SCOTT REEVES, PETER MARK RICHMAN, KANE HODDER, KELLY HU, V. C. DUPREE
RUNTIME: 100 MINS APPROX