The Creepy Commercials Countdown!
October 10th, 2012: “Jason Takes Manhattan Movie Promo!” (1989)
Here’s an old TV commercial for Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
What a long title!
Now, here’s my story.
I’ve mentioned it before, this Jason Takes Manhattan was the first Friday the 13th movie I ever watched by choice. I’d caught bits and pieces of prior installments here and there, but as far as making the specific decision to sit and absorb a Friday the 13th movie, this was my virgin surgeon.
Sometime during 1991, or maybe ‘92, I went to Blockbuster with one of my sisters. My parents were out of town, so I was staying at her house. I guess I would’ve been 11 or 12? But it wasn’t like she was babysitting me or anything. No way. More like I was “visiting.” At least, that’s what I told myself.
So, what did you do with a “visiting” kid, back in the early ‘90s? You took him to the video store. You told him to pick a movie. Then you were off the hook for a couple of hours. My sister had a plan.
I had it in my head that I was gonna rent a horror movie. At the time, this was very unusual for me. I liked monsters and I sure liked sci-fi, but straight-up horror still wasn’t “my thing.”
To be honest, I think it was my sister’s bedroom. She and her husband had a great television in there, and the room was SO AIR-CONDITIONED. It was also really, really dark. I may not have been a horror fanatic, but I knew the right setting when I saw it.
So, I searched through Blockbuster’s creepiest offerings.
After eliminating all of the movies with too-scary box art, there wasn’t much left to pick from. I wanted a horror movie, but for me, this was really about getting my feet wet. It damn sure wasn’t time for Killer Klowns from Outer Space. You ever see the VHS box art for that one? JESUS.
Finally, I narrowed it down to two films. It was going to be Jason Takes Manhattan, or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’d later become a massive RHPS fan, but back then, I knew nothing about it beyond the big red Twizzler lips. At least Jason Voorhees was somewhat familiar. Hell, I’d been him for Halloween, several times!
Jason Takes Manhattan got the nod. Ch ch ch ah ah ah.
Soon after we got back to her house, I ran to the bedroom with a half-burned bag of popcorn, and slid the tape into the VCR. She and my brother-in-law were downstairs, in the “normal” TV room. For whatever reason, I decided that this F13 thing needed to be a solo experience. Maybe I thought it’d be awkward to watch a nudity-filled horror movie with my sister, or maybe I just wanted some “alone” time. I don’t know.
Turns out, I wasn’t quite ready for horror movies. I certainly wasn’t ready for Jason Takes Manhattan.
It took all of ten minutes for Jason Voorhees to violently interrupt a sex scene and yank a guy’s intestines straight out of his stomach. If you’ve never seen the movie, that’s no exaggeration. Jason was literally standing there with the guy’s guts hanging from a harpoon.
Well, that was about it for me. I could handle being scared, but I couldn’t handle being scared AND grossed out.
I only lasted long enough to finish my popcorn. Not even intestines could keep me from that.
Then I went downstairs, and watched whatever they were watching. Thinking fast, I explained my early arrival by claiming the movie was “too boring.” It didn’t seem like the right time to admit that I’d been turned off by a gory sex scene stuffed with shots of some dude’s intestines.
It was only a day later that I was bragging to my friends about seeing Jason Takes Manhattan. In full, of course!