Much of the film's score (credited to Harry Manfredini and Fred Mollin) is recycled music by Manfredini from previous Friday The 13th films. Manfredini was given credit for the use of his music, and Fred Mollin composed the rest of the score.
During filming, the dressing room for Kane Hodder was a quarter of a mile down a dirt road. One night filming ended at at 2 a.m. and he was still in the Jason costume, and he decided to walk through the woods on a path to his dressing room. As he was walking someone approached him and asked if he was with the movie. He didn't reply, because he thought it was a pretty stupid question to ask, as he was standing there in full Jason costume. The man asked again, Kane took a little lunge for the guy and grunted. The guy took off, tripping and running. The next day director John Carl Buechler told Kane that the local sheriff was supposed to stop by, but he never showed.
This film was originally intended to bring Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger together onscreen for the first time. But when Paramount Pictures (at that time was holding the rights to the "Friday the 13th" film series) and New Line Cinema (who holds the rights to the "Nightmare On Elm Street" series) couldn't agree behind the scenes, the script was rewritten to pit Jason up against the telekinetic Tina Shepard instead.
Director John Carl Buechler has publicly fumed many times over the years about the number of edits required by the MPAA to avoid an "X" rating. The film had to be submitted nine times to the Motion Picture Association of America before being granted an "R" rating, and it stands as arguably the most heavily censored entry in the 'Friday the 13th' series.
At the start of the film, just before the camera pans up and we see the younger Tina and hear her yelling father, Jason is seen inert and chained to a rock at the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake, where Tommy Jarvis left him at the end of the previous film. His clothes have discolored to a blue hue, but remain otherwise intact. When we see, during the main action of the movie, Jason just before he is revived, his clothes have turned to rags, and his gloves and tool belt are now gone, presumably having rotted away. Some viewers debate how much time Jason spent inert at the bottom of Crystal Lake before his revival at the start of this film. They prefer to think that the establishing shot did not take place in the past but rather near the present of the main action of the movie. However, in the documentary Friday the 13th Chronicles (2004) included with the Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set, the director John Carl Buechler hyperbolically stated that Jason spent "ten years" chained and inert before the main action of this movie, although the film does not ever specify how long Jason was underwater.
John Carl Buechler was so impressed with Kane Hodder when he ate live worms on the set of Prison (1987), that he pushed for Paramount Pictures to let him cast Hodder in the role of Jason. If it had not been for Buechler's persistence, the role of Jason Voorhees would have been reprised by C.J. Graham.
During filming producers hired Leslie Buzbee, the local 'gator man'. They paid him to be the alligator wrangler so he was supposed to keep gators away from the actors. But alligators are not active in the winter when they were filming (October and November, 1987). So basically they paid him to do nothing but watch the lake.
Jason's mask in this film was cast from the same mold as the original mask from Friday the 13th Part III (1982), but was modified slightly; in addition to the damage seen in the mask (the axe cut and propeller damage), the edges of the mask have been trimmed to make it smaller, to allow more of actor Kane Hodder's head to be seen around the mask.
After turning down Marta Kober (who appeared in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)) and Kerry Noonan (who played in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)), John Carl Buechler originally wanted Paula Irvine to play the role of Tina Shepherd, because she was 19 years old at the time and had the perfect teenage look and the personality he was looking for. Unfortunately, Paula already made commitments to star as Liz in Phantasm II (1988) so John was unable to cast her for the role. John was running out of time and was not able to find a real teenager between 18-19 years old to play the role of Tina Shepherd, he had no choice to cast Lar Park-Lincoln who was 26-years-old at the time. Lar Park Lincoln had to wear a lot of makeup to look approximately eight years younger than she looks, so the audience will think she's a teenager.
Original writer Daryl Haney was sacked after his agent contacted executive producer Frank Mancuso Jr. and told him that Haney would not do any more work on the project unless he received a large pay increase (even though Haney had never told his agent to do any such thing). The screenplay was completed by a second, unknown writer, who was credited as Manuel Fidello.
Marta Kober, who played Sandra in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) (a fact unknown to the casting directors), was offered a role in this movie and ended up getting the job, but when she eventually told the directors about being in Part 2 she was replaced.
The opening monologue which shows a dolly cam zoom of the cemetery on a rainy night and a lightning bolt striking Jason's grave, and an exploding tombstone is from the teaser trailer to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.
William Butler (Michael) was also part of the makeup effects team and he helped Kane Hodder with his prosthetic appliances. Because Kane would sweat in his latex makeup appliances, which would often be removed and later reused, Butler gave him the nickname "Stinky Voorhees".
Friday the 13th Part VI came out in August of 1986. Paramount then spent the early part of 1987 negotiating with New Line. Once that failed, Haney was hired to write the screenplay in June, but his initial draft was trashed sometime in the fall. John Carl Buechler was hired as director in November meaning they didn't begin pre-production until December. So, they had to prep, cast, shoot, edit, and score the film in the span of about five months to make their May 13, 1988 release date. Even by Friday the 13th standards, that was pushing it pretty close.
In 1989, it was the first Paramount film to have its pay-cable debut on HBO and sister channel Cinemax in the United States, as part of an exclusive first-run deal signed between the studio and network a year earlier. It was the first film in the series since Friday the 13th Part III (1982) to air on the channels, as Paramount's prior exclusive deal with Showtime barred the three installments in between from airing on HBO and Cinemax.
Barbara Sachs made her producing debut with New Blood, and according to screenwriter Daryl Haney she had some very non-Friday the 13th ideas, devising a preliminary story outline which borrowed heavily from Jaws. There was a corporate guy who was going to build these condos at Crystal Lake. The community was saying, 'You can't do that because all these murders happened here and Jason will come back.' But the corporate people were like, 'No, we don't care. We just want money.' It was great to take some jabs against capitalism and all that, but I never believed in it. It took a long time for Jason to re-appear. The climax she came up with had this girl trapped in a boat or helicopter while Jason closes in.
After Freddy Vs. Jason failed to materialize Paramount was still so high on the "Jason Vs. Blank" marketing angle they substituted Stephen King's telekinetic, troubled teenager Carrie in for Freddy Krueger, right? Um, kind of. According to New Blood's screenwriter Daryl Haney, it more came about due to a last-second idea thrown out during a story pitch.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Kane Hodder said he had difficulty with the scene where he kills the camper in the sleeping bag by bashing her into the tree because the dummy inside was heavier than he thought it would be. The scene required a number of retakes because he kept swinging as hard as he could but no matter how hard he swung the sleeping bag he couldn't get it to look right. By the final take, he was so fed up with the situation that after he dropped the bag he kicked it angrily. This is the shot that appears in the final film. In retrospect, Hodder said that was one of his favorite "kills" and he later recreates it in Jason X (2001).
(at around 1h 17 mins) On the Special Features of the DVD, Kane Hodder talks about a near-fatal take that's in the movie. When Jason falls through the stairs, only a certain amount of the steps were meant to give way. Hodder's head narrowly missed one of the actual steps as he went through.
Director John Carl Buechler stated that he clashed with associate producer Barbara Sachs continuously over many ideas that he had for the film. This included showing Jason unmasked for quite a bit of the movie. She vetoed the idea, but he ended up going behind her back and filming it anyway. He also stated that the final sequence of Tina's father coming out of the water was to be more elaborate and feature full prosthetics and a life size dummy. That sequence was completely over ruled and he ended up filming what he considers an inferior version of the sequence.
This film set a record for longest uninterrupted on-screen controlled burn in Hollywood history. To accomplish this effect, they used a rigged apparatus to actually capture the ignition on film. In that moment, you are actually watching Kane Hodder truly being set on fire, an effect which normally accomplished at the time via trick photography. Hodder stayed on fire for a record-setting 40 seconds.
There were numerous filmed scenes that were edited out of the final cut in order for the movie to gain its R rating including: Maddy's face getting stabbed in the wood shed, Dr. Crews' body being cut in two in the woods, a longer death-in-sleeping bag scene, Russell's axe in the face by the lake, Jason holding David's head, and an ending scene of Jason jumping out of the water and grabbing a fisherman.
Elizabeth Kaitan's death scene had to be reshot after principal shooting on the movie had wrapped in Alabama. Kaitan was originally killed by Jason by having her stomach cut open with a machete. However, the make-up appliance underneath Kaitan's shirt was noticeable, so the scene had to be reshot in Los Angeles with Kaitan being thrown out of a window by Jason instead.
The "sleeping bag kill" was inspired by the screenwriter's urges to kill his own sister. According to Haney, "I used to shove my brother into a sleeping bag when I was a kid. I once had a fantasy of killing my kid sister that same way. I guess that's why it became so popular - people can really relate to it."
Daryl Haney now admits this conclusion was a stupid mistake, but it was there in his very first draft of the screenplay, except at that point the climax was in a condo. John Carl Buechler thought if they were going to do it then Tina's dad needed to come up out of that water looking almost as gnarly and decayed as Jason since he was supposed to have been dead at the bottom of the Lake for just as long. Buechler was overruled by Sachs, who thought it looked equal parts disgusting and silly. So, instead they threw some traces of mud on the guy's face and called it good.
The only Friday The 13th in which primary Jason Voorhees Kane Hodder murders characters on Camp Crystal Lake Grounds, in the final of the Friday The 13th original series bearing the title: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) he murders Crystal Lake High School seniors aboard a yacht positioned on the lake facing Camp Crystal Lake grounds, the cruise ship carrying the Crystal Lake seniors to New York City and on the Manhattan streets.
In an interview for the documentary "Jason's Destroyer: The Making of Friday the 13th Part VII" (available on the DVD), director John Carl Buechler said that, if ever given the opportunity, would want to create "Friday the 13th Part VII: Volume 2". His proposed sequel would ignore Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) and follow the characters featured in this movie after they were rescued. Tina would be in a mental institution having been blamed for the deaths that occured, and Jason would be stalking her, killing doctors and nurses along the way.
Elizabeth Kaitan'a death resembles a similar death in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in which both characters are thrown out a second story window by Jason, except Tina in The Final Chapter lands on a car, (which possibly added to her death) and Elizabeth Kaitan lands on the ground (which theoretically and medically speaking might not have actually been enough to kill her.)
At the time of its release, this was the first Friday the 13th film to have a "peaceful" ending that doesn't hint to Jason or some other killer returning for a sequel. The first six films all had some sort of ominous/scary ending that foreshadowed more killings in future films. This film's sequel, "Jason Takes Manhattan," ends in a similar "peaceful" way.
Fatal Attraction ruined New Blood's original ending. In that same spirit, New Blood was originally meant to end with Jason emerging from his watery grave, upsetting a peaceful sequence involving a Crystal Lake fisherman, clearly ignoring the "No Fishing-Beware Homicidal Zombie" sign. Fatal Attraction, released while they were making New Blood, took the "one last scare" trope mainstream. Audiences ate it up, but the film's popularity and Friday the 13th-esque ending brought unwanted ridicule to Frank Mancuso, Jr., who was still struggling to be taken seriously in Hollywood after having built his career producing Friday the 13th sequels. So, he decided to drop the business with the fisherman entirely, sensing that maybe the last second scare trope was a bit played out.