Friday The 13th – The Series: Season One (Paramount DVD)
C Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: C+
horror themed television series have been very memorable over the years
(besides Buffy); but for some
strange reason Friday the 13th:
The Series with its unique brand of strange was unforgettable to many
fans. Though most people associate the
title Friday the 13th with
the hockey masked slasher from all those 80’s films, the truth is the series
and the films have nothing to do with each other (save one producer). Apparently a lot more bad things happen on Friday the 13th than people
realize. I had honestly never heard of
the series prior to reviewing it here and once you get past the sometimes
‘hokey nature’ and the strong ‘80’s vibe’ of much of the series, it is quite
entertaining. The series uses a mix of
supernatural themes to propel each episode forward. There is a certain mix of Scooby-Doo mystery, Buffy horror, and X-Files paranormal with an added dash of dramatic action to every
episode, making the series very interesting to watch. The series evolves into a whirlwind of
secrecy as it is set in a spooky antique shop.
series starts off with two distant cousins inheriting an old antique shop from
their recently deceased uncle. The uncle
was a man named Lewis Vendredi (played by R.G. Armstrong) who had sold his soul
to the devil in exchange for endless riches and immortality. The only catch was that Vendredi was damned
to sell cursed antiques out of his shop for all eternity. Growing tired of being a pawn in the devil’s
wicked game, Vendredi breaks his deal with the devil and in turn the devil
claims Vendredi’s soul. Vendredi’s niece
Micki Foster (Louise Robey) is the well educated socialite who arrives with big
red hair and a very stuffy demeanor.
Vendredi’s nephew Ryan Dallion (John Lemay) by contrast is loud mouthed,
wise cracking, brightly dressed man who wants nothing more than to be an
artist. The distant family members soon
realize they made a mistake ever coming to the shop when an old friend of
Vendredi’s arrives (Jack Marshack played by Chris Wiggins) and explains their
uncle’s devilish deal. Since the cursed
antiques can not be destroyed (due to the devils dark magic), the trio vows to
track down each and every demonic antique their uncle ever sold. With the shop’s name now changed to “Curious
Goods” Ryan and Micki each episode track down a new cursed item (sometimes
using fake names) from some possessed, obsessed, and badly afflicted
owners. In hopes of stopping the devils
evil misdeeds, one by one the cursed items are tracked down and locked away in
the shops vault.
overall is as certainly cheesy; but once you get past that fact and the first
few ‘overacted’ episodes Friday the 13th:
The Series is more than engaging.
The special effects are laughable and the acting is overdone, but the
concept of tracking down cursed items is classic and enthralling. The stories are very detailed and take a lot
of time to give back story to the characters and items (maybe too much at
times); though the writers seem to just make things up as they go. Some explanations seem sporadic or out of
synch with other explanations, but the series ends up being pure fun as it
gives the audience a taste of both mystery and the paranormal.
episode DVD set holds the charm of the original series; too bad it has the same
picture and sound quality as well. The
picture is presented in its original 1.33 X 1 full screen format and has many
issues. Each episode is full of grain,
bland colors, and a good deal of noise.
The quality is almost as though the episodes were transferred from a bad
quality analog VHS with no restoration effort, likely shot on film and finished
on professional NTSC tape. The picture
is overly dark much of the time with a constant presence of debris. Overall, the picture is disappointing. The simple Dolby Mono sound is not much
better than the picture as it is muffled and off balance throughout. It is no where near as bad as the picture,
but still underwhelming to say the least.
extras are just as sad as the picture and sound with their minimal
offerings. The special features and
include some small promotional spots, trailers, and a sales presentation, but
nothing else. In the end, the extras feel
more like a television ad for the series than bonus features for fans to enjoy.
comers this series may not be too interesting; but for old fans who have waited
years to see Friday the 13th:
The Series hit DVD, now is the time to buy.
With Season Two certainly on
the horizon it is the perfect time to experience the horror all over
again. Though the picture, sound, and
extras are very disappointing; the series’ content is all there to dive into
again. Once this cursed series goes back
into the vault, who knows when you will see it again.
- Michael P. Dougherty II