For all of Halloween-themed October, ComicsVerse is creating magic. By magic, we mean analyses of Halloween films, shows, music, and anything else we can find. If you want to keep posted on the newest and greatest content in this particular series, you can check it out here. Stay tuned for more ComicsVerse series coming your way, Spoopy Ghostoween and beyond! Now, let’s talk about FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES!


Welcome back, fright fans. We continue our trek into TV land, with an unusual series. It has a name you all know, from one of the greatest slashers of all time.

That slasher never appears, but we get plenty of blood and some unique methods of getting it. Open the vault and avoid the talking doll, as we take a look at FRIDAY THE 13th: THE SERIES.

The Plot

Cousins-by-marriage Micki and Ryan inherit an antique shop from their uncle. They decide to sell the shop and start selling off many of the items inside. However, their uncle’s friend Jack Marshak arrives and reveals some disturbing news: Their uncle made a deal with the devil.

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He received wealth and power for selling cursed objects in his shop. These artifacts perform gruesome feats in exchange for personal gain, and cannot be destroyed, only locked away. The uncle died trying to escape the deal, and now Micki, Ryan, and Jack must recover all the objects and lock them away in the shop’s vault.

The Show

FRIDAY THE 13TH is not what fans might expect. Links between the show and film do exist, though. The creator of the show, Frank Mancuso Jr., produced nine consecutive FRIDAY THE 13th films (starting with PART II). Actor John D. LeMay (Ryan) starred in JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY as well.

The series title came to be because the show deals with cursed objects and Friday the 13th is a “cursed day.” Despite not being a direct link, the series survived as its own entity. Jason failed to show, but the show was never afraid of blood and dark subject matter.

Though there were familiar elements

The creators pushed the limits of gore and blood on TV quite often. There was a wood chipper that would pump out money equal to the wealth of a person fed into it. A magician’s box that would kill a random person so the magician could survive a knife trick. These objects caused at least a few gruesome deaths before being recovered, far more than similar shows like WAREHOUSE 13 (which was accused of borrowing from this series).

The nature of the show attracted a variety of people to the series. David Cronenberg (of THE FLY and SCANNERS) directed a particularly gruesome episode about a glove that absorbed sickness, which then had to be transferred to another person. FRIDAY THE 13th: THE SERIES did more than present gore, though.

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Certain episodes dealt with elements like time travel and mind control. “The Baron’s Bride” transports the cousins to a black and white 1800s London. They track a vampire with the help of an Irish author named Abraham.

FRIDAY THE 13th
Yes THAT Abraham

These episodes helped add a gothic texture to the show, one of the major reasons for its success.

The Characters

Another major force driving the show was the characters. Each member brought a unique element to the trio, which had an almost Freudian feel to it. Ryan acted with more ease and humor (like the Freudian id), enjoying the purpose hunting the objects gave him. He showed knowledge of fantasy and horror as well, giving him an edge when it came to discovering the purpose of the object. At the same time, he could also be impulsive and childish, rushing into situations without thinking.

He enjoyed the work seemingly because he had had little going on in his life. His cousin Micki acted more maturely, curtailing Ryan’s nature and allowing their work to proceed in the modern world (a la the superego). She sacrificed the most, as well, often bemoaning that the store kept her from her life and fiancee. Micki’s rational mindset did not always fit their mission, though she adapted over time.

Jack functioned as the glue holding the team together (the purpose of the ego). His years of experience made him indispensable to understanding and containing the objects. He showed understanding for the cousins’ situations as well as reminding them of the consequences of inaction. When either cousin left for a period, Jack was sad but happy for them. He also consoled them often about the deaths caused by the objects, often saying they could only do their best in the face of evil.

Final Thoughts On FRIDAY THE 13th: THE SERIES

Overall, FRIDAY THE 13th works on a premise allowing many different avenues while keeping solid characters at the forefront. Fans of the movies will be surprised, but should readily enjoy the mix of blood and storytelling.

While the series did not receive a proper ending, the episodes are all enjoyable and would be a welcome addition to a horror fan’s library. I’ve left a list below of some personal favorite episodes. Happy antique hunting!


FAVORITE EPISODES (so far): “THE INHERITANCE,” “FAITH HEALER,” “SCARECROW,” “TATTOO,” “BRAIN DRAIN,” “TALES OF THE UNDEAD,” “SHADOW BOXER.”

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One Comment

  1. caffeinatedjoe

    October 13, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Great piece on the show, with some in depth analysis I have not seen before. It has been a favorite of mine since it first premiered and I am glad it is still finding new fans to this day.

    Reply

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