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.
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.
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.
|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. |
|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 |
|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 |
|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 |
|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 |
|The Long Road Home |
|My Wife as a Dog ||A dog collar that turns its wearer into a dog. |
|The Spirit of Television |
|The Tree of Life |
|The Charnel Pit |
- 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)