Friday the 13th Part VIII
Production Notes for
Friday the 13th Part VIII -- Jason Takes Manhattan
When the macabre Jason boards a cruise ship taking teenagers on a grad night voyage to New York City, there's no place for the passengers to run. Beyond Crystal Lake, Jason will find new slaygrounds in the subways, sewers, and mean streets of Manhattan. Now New York has another problem.
A presentation of the Motion Picture Group of Paramount Pictures, a Paramount Communications company, "Friday the 13th Part VIII -- Jason Takes Manhattan" is a Horror, Inc. production. The new chapter of the hit horror movie series was written and directed by Rob Hedden. Produced by Randolph Cheveldave, the film stars Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves, Peter Mark Richman, Barbara Bingham, V.C. Dupree, and Kane Nodder as Jason. Special make-up effects were supervised by Jamie Brown; special effects were coordinated by Martin 3. Becker. Music for the film was composed and performed by Fred Mollin.
A ship, a rowboat, the streets and sewers of Manhattan; for the first time
the most terrifying killer of all travels to chilling settings beyond Crystal Lake in "Friday the 13th Part VIII -- Jason Takes Manhattan."
"In a new environment we see just how indiscriminate a killer this supernatural entity is," Randolph Cheveldave observes. "And for the first time we hear him speak."
The first seven "Friday the 13th" movies have a combined box office domestic gross of almost $200,000,000, making the horror film series one of the most successful in history. Lead roles in the films have been played by such well-known stars as Kevin Bacon, Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Ron Palillo, Betsy Palmer, and Amy Steel.
Since the start of the series, a talented group of directors and writers have contributed to what has become a horror epic. "Friday the 13th~t movies have been directed by filmmakers famous for their work in the genre, including Sean S. Cunningham ("House," "A Stranger is Watching") and John Carl Buechier ("Troll," "Cellar Dweller"). Steve Miner, who directed Parts II and III, recently has won acclaim as supervising producer and director of the television series "The Wonder Years."
Rob Hedden was selected to write and direct the eighth "Friday the 13th" film after writing and directing two episodes of the hit "Friday the 13th" television series. Prior to making his motion picture writing and directing debut with "Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan," Hedden directed "What is Brazil?," an award-winning television documentary about Terry Gilliam's movie "Brazil."
"In a horror thriller, sometimes what you don't see can be more scary than what you do see," Hedden comments. "Each aspect of the filmmaking process is carefully utilized in the making of a thriller: editing, the design of the shot, camera angles. Sometimes a camera moving slowly can be just as effective in creating a scary moment as a camera moving quickly.
"Taking Jason to new settings required this movie to be the biggest production of any in this series," Hedden says. "I wanted to make this 'Friday the 13th' film the one that's the most scary and suspenseful."
In the eighth "Friday the 13th" movie, teenagers from the last graduating class of Crystal Lake High School board the M.V. Lazarus for an evening cruise to Manhattan that soon becomes an excursion into terror. Among the passengers is Rennie Wickham (Jensen Daggett), who begins experiencing startling hallucinations of a drowning boy. Rennie's companions on the voyage include her concerned guardian, Charles McCulloch (Peter Mark Richinan); her English teacher, Miss Van Deusen (Barbara Bingham) ; and Rennie's friend Sean (Scott Reeves), whose father is the ship's captain, Admiral Robertson (Warren Munson).
Rennie and Sean's schoolmates include Julius Gaw (V.C. Dupree), an amateur boxer; debutante Tainara Mason (Sharlene Martin) and her best friend, honor student Eva Watanabe (Kelly Hu); J.J. (Saffron Henderson), an aspiring rock singer; Miles Wolfe (Gordon Currie), a skilled diver; and Wayne Webber (Martin Cummins), a video enthusiast who has brought along his camcorder to make what may become a trip shockumentary. Not all of these passengers will reach Manhattan, where Jason will take a bloody bite out of the Big Apple.
The filmmakers collaborating with director Rob Hedden for "Friday the 13th Part VIII -- Jason Takes Manhattan" include editor Steven Mirkovich, who has edited films directed by John Carpenter. Janiie Brown, who designed the special make-up effects, is an Emmy Award-winner for "The Three Wishes of Billy Crier," the telefilm starring Ralph Macchio. Special effects coordinator Martin J. Becker has worked on four of the previous "Friday the 13th" movies. Hedden selected Bryan England as director of photography after seeing his work in "I, Madman" and other movies.
The filmmakers were challenged not only by the intricate makeup effects and special effects required for the film, but also worked in darkness with filming occurring almost entirely at night during the seven-and-a-half week shoot.
Director Rob Hedden worked with director of photography Bryan England, special effects coordinator Martin Becker, and stunt coordinator Ken Kirzinger to achieve an array of point-of-view shots to increase the scream ratio.
Production designer David Fischer's work included the renovation of cruise ship interiors and exteriors. Some ocean scenes were filmed at the Ocean Engineering Centre of BC Research in Vancouver, British Columbia, where wind, wave and lightning machines were utilized within an enormous 100' x 100' tank to create an illusion of a storm on the open sea.