Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Sign

The first really interesting thing that happens in "Friday The Thirteenth Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan" is when Jason himself climbs out of the water and sets foot on land. There's a touch of humor that does work, but that badly undermines the menace of the character, and not for the first time. Jason looks up and sees a billboard for a hockey league. He cocks his head ( as a dog might if it saw itself in the mirror) before stalking off to kill the survivors of the ship.

It's a funny moment. It's a kind of clever contrast with the sinister persona that Jason has, and chances are it's one of the things from this movie that people are going to remember, and more likely than not, they're remembering it fondly. The problem is what cost that comes at. A character you can laugh at is a neutralized character. He's scary never if he's funny ever, and the effect is cumulative. By the end of the original run of films, Jason is a joke. It's too bad it happened that way.

Also, I find it kind of interesting that it is (I assume) a minor league billboard. Are they competing with the multiple NHL teams in the area? If that sign was there for real, then I guess so, although I'm not sure that league was even in operation at the time. Let's say that part makes sense, though. Does it make sense that you're promoting hockey out on the docks? Who's seeing that? I guess it would have to be boats out in the water, right?

And why even get into the question of whether the style of goalie mask Jason wears and the billboard features was recent enough that you would use it in advertisements? Anyway, it's a funny little interlude that probably shouldn't have happened and that provokes in me a lot of little nit-picky questions that no one else has, I'm sure. That's fine. My whole identity is tied up in being the only one who thinks things. It would leave me fumbling for someone to be if anyone felt the same way I did about this billboard thing.

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