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Encyclopedia > Friday the 13th: The Series

Friday the 13th: The Series was a television series that ran for three seasons, from September 1987 to May of 1990. The plot of the series was completely unrelated to the movie series Friday the 13th, although both the TV series and many of the movies did have the same producer, Frank Mancuso Jr.

Contents

Premise

An antiques dealer named Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the Devil to sell cursed antiques out of his antique store, "Curious Goods", in exchange for wealth and immortality. Once all of the antiques were sold, Vendredi was overcome by guilt and tried to reclaim them. The deal broken, the Devil came and claimed Vendredi's soul before he could recover the antiques.


The task then fell to the three inheritors of the shop:

  • Jack Marshak (played by Chris Wiggins) - Vendredi's friend, and a retired world-traveller who originally collected many of the antiques for Vendredi before they became cursed.
  • Ryan Dallion (played by John D. MeLay) - Vendredi's nephew.
  • Micki Foster (played by "Robey") - Vendredi's niece.

The series follows the three inheritors as they hunt down the cursed antiques, which are usually in the possession of people who have discovered their evil powers and are reluctant to give them up. Since the cursed antiques are completely indestructible, the ones that the group has acquired are locked away in a vault beneath the antique store.


Most of the stories in the series deal with people using the cursed objects for their own personal gain. All of the cursed objects either grants the user's deepest desire or grants the user some extroadinary power. For example, there is a cursed scalpel that gives a surgeon the ability to cure anyone and a cursed scarecrow that will guarantee a bountiful harvest. However, the curse always requires someone to die at the hands of the cursed object. For example, in order for the scalpel to work the surgeon will need to kill someone else with the scalpel. In order for the scarecrow to work, the farmer will need to pin a picture of someone on the scarecrow and the scarecrow will come to life and kill the person on the portrait. In most instances, the person using the cursed object ends up becoming a victim to the object's curse. Occasionally, there would be an episode where the trio would have to deal their uncle's spirit or the trio would fail to obtain a cursed object and would be continued in another episode.


Like the other sci-fi/horror shows in syndication in the late 1980s (including War of the Worlds and Freddy's Nightmares, most of which were produced by Hometown Studios), Friday the 13th: The Series constantly pushed the "acceptable content" envelope, regularly featuring violence on par with the R-rated horror movies of the time.


Second and Third Season

The second season saw the introduction of a fourth protagonist, Johnny Ventura (played by Steve Monarque), a friend of Micki's who would help them out from time to time. At the beginning of the third season, Ryan was turned into a little boy at the end of "The Prophecies", and was replaced full-time by Johnny Ventura.


Initially, the show received acceptable ratings because of its late night time slot. When the show became more popular, the network moved the show to prime time and was well received critically and attracted more fans. However, the new time slot also attracted activist groups attacking the show's constant depiction of blood, death, and general violence. Ultimately, the network cancelled the show and sold it to syndication.


Trivia

The only cursed item that the trio officially failed to obtain was called 'Shard of Medusa', which was being used by a sculptress to create statues of models she killed.


The status of a pair of cursed snowshoes is unknown because the episode never addressed the cursed snowshoes at the end. The episode was mostly about Micki and Johnny retrieving a cursed pool cue while Ryan and Jack went after the snowshoes.


Episode List

First Season

Title Antique Notes
The Inheritance A doll
The Poison Pen A pen
Cupid's Quiver A statue called Cupid of Malek
A Cup of Time A cup decorated with "borrower's ivy" where the ivy comes to life and strangles the person drinking from the cup. The possesor of the cup in return becomes younger.
Hellowe'en
The Great Montarro An escape artist cabinet
Doctor Jack A scalpel that can cure any disease, but only after it has been used to kill.
Shadow Boxer A pair of boxing gloves that summon a "shadow boxer" to kill a victim of their wearer's choice.
Root of All Evil A mulcher that shoots out money when fed a body.
Tales of the Undead A comic book
Scarecrow A scarecrow
Faith Healer A glove that takes any injury or disease from a person touched, but that must then pass the injury/disease on to another person, or else inflict it on the wearer. Episode directed by David Cronenberg
The Baron's Bride A vampire's cape that makes the wearer irresistable to women with a clasp attachment that allows the wearer to travel with time when blood is applied to it.
Bedazzled A lantern that shows sunken treasure
Vanity's Mirror A compact, when shined in another person's face, makes them lovestruck to the owner. The only way to end their suffering is to kill them.
Tattoo Tattoing needles where the images drawn become real.
The Electrocutioner An electric chair that grants powers of electricity but only after the owner kills someone with the chair.
Brain Drain A trepanator
The Quilt of Hathor (2-part) An Amish quilt that allows the owner covered in it to kill another person in their dreams. The Amish Episode
Double Exposure A camera that creates a clone of a person
Pirate's Promise
Badge of Honor
Pipe Dream
What a Mother Wouldn't Do
Bottle of Dreams

Second Season

Title Antique Notes
Doorway to Hell
The Voodoo Mambo Voodoo mask.
And Now the News A radio that fortells in a "news flash", and then inacts, the death of the listener.
Tails I Live, Heads You Die Gold coin that kills one person then can bring another back to life.
Symphony in B#
Master of Disguise
Wax Magic
Read My Lips
13 O'Clock Pocket watch, stops time for an hour after someone is killed.
Night Hunger
The Sweetest Sting
The Playhouse
Eye of Death
Face of Evil The compact from "Vanity's Mirror". It is used this time to restore a model's beauty by killing others. It is then determined that the compact gives people what they need.
Better Off Dead
Scarlet Cinema
The Mephisto Ring A 1919 World Series ring predicts the outcomes of sporting events but only after someone is killed.
A Friend to the End
The Butcher
Mesmer's Bauble
Wedding In Black
Wedding Bell Blues
The Maestro An old phonograph. When a person places their hand on it and says, "I dedicate my body and soul in the name of the dance" it will kill them while dancing. In return, it gives new musical material to its owner.
The Shaman's Apprentice
The Prisoner A kamikaze pilot's jacket that turns its wearer invisible when smeared with fresh blood.
Coven of Darkness

Third Season

Title Antique Notes
The Prophecies (2-part) A book of Satanic rites and prophecies (not explicitly stated to be one of the "Vendredi antiques") Ryan Dallion's last episode
Demonhunter
Crippled Inside A wheelchair that allows its user to walk long enough to kill those who crippled her, and permanently restores a little bit of her mobility every time she does.
Stick It In Your Ear A hearing aid
Bad Penny
Hate On Your Dial
Night Prey
Femme Fatale
Mightier Than the Sword
Year of the Monkey Individual statues of the Three Wise Monkeys, that advise their owners, and then kill them if they capitalize on the advice. Guest stars Tia Carrere
Epitaph For a Lonely Soul
Midnight Riders
Repetition
The Long Road Home
My Wife as a Dog A dog collar that turns its wearer into a dog.
Jack-in-the-Box
The Spirit of Television
The Tree of Life
The Charnel Pit

External links

  • TV Tome entry for "Friday the 13th: The Series" (http://www.tvtome.com/Fridaythe13th/)
  • The 13th Hour (http://hometown.aol.com/Fri14Hour)
  • Olaf Eichler's F13TS-Page (http://f13.olaf-eichler.de)

 
 

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