Writer/Director Rob Hedden originally wrote more of the movie to be set in New York. He had written scenes at Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. But Paramount told him that budget would not allow him to spend that much time in New York, so he was forced to rewrite the film and spend more time on the cruise ship. Hedden says he agrees with fans who complain that not enough time is spent in New York, given the title Jason Takes Manhattan.
Kane Hodder says that one of the most fun parts of his tenure as Jason was the scenes in Times Square. He says that spectators were lined up and down the block watching the filming, and he didn't want to take off the mask to destroy their illusion of Jason. He said that every once in awhile, he'd turn his head and look at them, and watch them all go crazy.
Despite the nature of the film and adverse filming conditions, Kane Hodder provided several moments of levity which were appreciated by the cast. Following several death scenes, for example, once director Rob Hedden called "cut," Hodder would do a brief disco dance in full makeup, making the cast laugh.
The original posters for the film featured Jason ripping through an "I Love NY" poster. In the first poster, Jason is holding a bloody knife which was cleaned in a second poster for fear that the blood was too graphic. However, both posters were dropped following a complaint from the New York Tourism Committee.
In the original script, when Jason makes it to the dock, a dog starts barking at him and he kicked it. Kane Hodder, who was playing Jason, felt that kicking the dog was going too far and so the scene was dropped.
Of the female leads(all the girls are supposed to be graduated from high school), only Jensen Daggett was one of the few actresses who was actually a teenager and was 19 years old at the time of shooting.
After the disappointing results at the box-office, Paramount decided to sell the Friday the 13th film series to New Line Cinema, making "Jason Takes Manhattan" the last feature produced by Paramount, until the 2009 remake. Only two other sequels were released in between.
In the scene where Jason reaches through the porthole and grabs Rennie, Jensen Daggett was reportedly really terrified. Her face was just inches from a large and very sharp piece of glass that had become stuck in the window frame, and the actor who played Jason was (unknowingly) pulling her towards it.
Body count: 17 With 3 unconfirmed kills(The Thug smashed into the pipe, The cop dragged into the alley, and the Cook thrown over the counter in the diner) If you count these three as kills it would surpass the body count in Part VI Which holds the highest body count till Jason X.
On the DVD audio commentary the director said that the original version was over two hours long and he cut the following scenes for time *Several scenes with Miles, who is shown to have been an Olympic diver *A scene at the beginning where Sean hears that Rennie will not be on board and is disappointed *Several additional scenes with Tamara and Eva were cut *Before Rennie gets pushed into the water there was a longer conversation between her and Colleen *A scene of Eva meeting with the group on the bridge and then leaving to find Tamara *A shot of Rennie touching Jason after he is electrocuted on the railroad tracks
The movie was falsely titled "Ashes to Ashes" while filming in New York City to avoid fan interruptions. This fake title was also used in the script to prevent auditioning actors from knowing and revealing what film they were making. In the fake-titled script, Jason was renamed Ethan.