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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > TV > Friday The 13th – The Series: Season One (Paramount DVD)

Friday The 13th – The Series: Season One (Paramount DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: C+



Not many 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.


The 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.


The show 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.


The 26 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.


The 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.


To new 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


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