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Unk & Mickster’s Top 13 Reasons To Love Friday The 13th: The Series

August 5th, 2009 by unkle lancifer · 18 Comments

What has been my favorite part of hosting Kindertrauma? Meeting folks like Mickster. If you follow these pages at all you are probably familiar with her contributions in the field of traumafessions, her frequent comments and her undeniable prowess with horror trivia. Along with her hubby Professor Von Whiskersen, she has become a true friend.

One of the first things that I learned about our Mickster is that she is a die-hard fan of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES. I remember seeing episodes back in the day and I remember liking them but I never followed it faithfully. Upon her advice, I decided to catch up with it on DVD because a T.V. show that is my friend’s friend is my friend too.

Mickster and I now present you with our thirteen personal favorite things about the series, which will simultaneously give you the viewpoint of both a devoted fan and a wet behind the ears newbie. Our ultimate point being, you should be catching up with this classic too. Mickster, take it away…

MICKSTER’s TOP SIX:


(Actor) DENIS FOREST
Frequent guest star, DENIS FOREST is one of many reasons I love FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES. He appeared in four episodes during the show’s three seasons. From the moment I laid eyes on him, he made my skin crawl. In “Cupid’s Quiver,” he is the epitome of the sleazy stalker. In “The Brain Drain,” he even makes a mentally disabled character creepy. His compulsive gambling character thinks he has found the solution to his mounting debts in “The Mephisto Ring.” In “My Wife as a Dog,” he portrays a divorced firefighter that wants to switch his ex-wife’s life with the life of his beloved, dying dog.


JACK MARSHAK (actor CHRIS WIGGINS)
What would FRIDAY THE 13th: THE SERIES be without Jack? Well, there wouldn’t have been a show without Jack. Ryan wanted to keep the store, but Micki insisted they sell the store and its contents. After the big sale, Jack arrives and discovers the manifest. Ryan and Micki were getting ready to go back to their old lives before the revelation they had unleashed cursed objects into the world. Jack’s vast knowledge of the occult and magic saved Ryan and Micki on numerous occasions. I have a soft spot for older characters that kick butt. You just don’t have many of those nowadays.


TIME TRAVEL
Awesome cursed objects used for time travel makes me love the Series even more. Four episodes involved objects used for time travel: season one “The Baron’s Bride,” season two “Eye of Death,” and season three “Hate on Your Dial” and “The Charnel Pit.” My favorite of the four is season one’s “The Baron’s Bride.” This episode has a vampire traveling back in time via a diamond broach and inspiring Bram Stoker to write Dracula. The sequences of the episode taking place in the past were filmed in black-and-white, which I think was a nice touch.


(actor) ZACK WARD ( aka A CHRISTMAS STORY‘s Scut Farcus )
One of my favorite episodes from season one, “Vanity’s Mirror,” features ZACK WARD. You may be more familiar with ZACK as Scut “Yellow Eyes” Farcus from the classic holiday film A CHRISTMAS STORY. After he falls under the spell of a cursed compact, ZACK meets his doom in a trash compactor. Ralphie, Flick, and Schwartz would have cheered Helen on as she turned Scut Farcus into a bloody stain at the bottom of a dumpster. The poor guy was trying to be a gentleman by retrieving Helen’s handkerchief she purposely threw in the dumpster.


RYAN DALLION (Actor JOHN D. LEMAY)
As much as I enjoyed checking out Micki’s hip styles each episode, I think I enjoyed making fun of Ryan’s interesting fashion choices more. For my money, Ryan’s worst fashion choices were featured in the fantastic season one episode, “Scarecrow“. The cardigan and cap he sported for the majority of the episode were simply atrocious. Bad fashion choices or not, I still had a crush on him. I think there was something about him that reminded me of Duckie from PRETTY IN PINK.


(Actor) R.G. ARMSTRONG
Whenever I see R.G. ARMSTRONG it is a safe bet he is going to be a bad guy. His turn as Uncle Lewis Vendredi is no exception. During the first episode called, “The Inheritance,” it appears Uncle Lewis reconsidered by deciding not to sell an evil doll to a little girl. By doing this, the Devil promptly drags him to Hell. During the rest of the series, whenever Uncle Lewis appears he is up to no good. He attempts to make his way back to earth in the season one episode, “Hellowe’en” and the season two episode, “Doorway to Hell.” R. G. ARMSTRONG is the quintessential bad guy.

UNK’s TOP SIX:


(actress) SARAH POLLEY
The series is off to a great start by featuring one of my favorite actresses (DAWN OF THE DEAD’s SARAH POLLEY) as a young child in its very first episode. The fact that this series opener also involves a very kindertraumatic haunted doll, makes it just that much more awesome.


(actress) LESLEH DONALDSON
How happy am I to see scream queen LESLEH DONALDSON in the episode “The Great Montarro”? In the early eighties LESLEH consecutively starred in FUNERAL HOME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, DEADLY EYES and the inimitable slasher classic CURTAINS!


MICKI FOSTER (actress ROBEY)
You can not underestimate the supernatural allure of ginger goddess (LOUISE) ROBEY. For my money she may be one of the most under appreciated eighties icons of all time. Everything about her emits the neon glow of the decade of excess from her fire alarm mane to her off stage new wave rocker persona (Just check out her singing cameo in THE MONEY PIT). Wherever you are ROBEY, come back we miss you!


EVIL DWARF LADY
I’m a sucker for Halloween episodes but F13:TS’s “Hellowe’en” takes the pumpkin cake by resurrecting Lewis Vendredi (the uncle responsible for the cursed antiques) and giving him an evil shape shifting dwarf lady for a sidekick. I’m officially hooked now.


CANADA
X-FILES fans need to give this show some props. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES not only has a level headed redhead as a protagonist but like THE X-FILES, is also filmed in Canada. That might not seem like a big deal except for the fact that the great white north has a very distinctive (barren, cold) feel on the small screen. (The above image is from that outstanding WILLIAM FRUET (KILLER PARTY, FUNERAL HOME) directed first season episode “Scarecrow.”) Damn, Canada’s greatest export DAVID CRONENBERG even directed an episode (Between THE FLY and DEAD RINGERS no less)!


KOSHER ROMANTIC SPARKS
One of the things that used to confuse me about this show when it originally aired was the sometimes romantic interplay between the two main characters who happen to be cousins (My brothers always informed me that if I had a baby with my cousin Allison it would be born with its thumb stuck to its nose). As it turns out Micki and Ryan are only cousins by marriage, which means they can pretty much knock themselves out and not have any mutant babies. (As it turns out though, they have much more pressing concerns, what with all them cursed antiques they have to wrangle.)

REASON #13: WE BOTH SAY

THE THEME SONG
Mickster and I agree that the theme song rules in all sorts of ways, check it out below…

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Meep ParkerNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Love all 13 reasons, and I totally agree. I tend to watch episodes before bed, and it puts me into a weird deep sleep where i’m lost somewhere in Canada, and I never want to be found…
    I think there should be a whole other discussion about Robey’s hair. It was often the star of the show!
    love,
    CinemaDuMeep
     

  • 2 wings1295No Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 9:27 am

    13 GREAT reasons to love a GREAT show!

    I would also add the store itself. The outside was an actual building, but the inside was a set and it was just wonderful. So much care went in to creating a realistic “antique shop/home” that it felt like a REAL place. I would love to actually be able to walk through it.

    I know, but hey, one can dream, can’t they?

    Love the show. Just awesome all around. My favorite.

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Wings,

    What a great addition to this list! The store was an amazing “home base” and it really did seem like a real concrete, lived-in, space.
    I think the Magic shop from Buffy owes a bit to the antique shop in F13TS!

  • 4 mickelodeonNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:06 am

    This was one of my favorite shows when I was in college and in fact, I would use the theme song as the opening music to my radio show each week, which was very aptly named, “Robey’s Edge.”  =) Great article!! Makes me want to find all my old VHS tapes and have a marathon!

  • 5 jaakkoNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Holy crap, this show was on Finnish tv, too, but clearly they aired only the first season. I loved it back then, now I just gotta find a way to see the rest of the seasons!

  • 6 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Nice list!

    The one that comes to mind for me is the scarecrow episode.

    I remember this show used to come on at midnight in my town. It was a very exciting Saturday night for us locals!

  • 7 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Whoops! The Scarecrow one is one there. Sorry, I’m cooking breakfast and missed the most important part of the article!

  • 8 Father MerrinNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    This was shown at 2:00 AM in several of the places I lived. (Made me glad to own a VCR.) It was a much better show than it got credit for being as the reasons you point out well illustrate.
    With all the times I have seen that episode, I can’t believe I never recognized Scott Farkus!

  • 9 Jeff AllardNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Mickster, Unk – you’re singing my song!! I love, love, love Friday the 13th: The Series. This was a late-night staple during my college years and I loved it from the start. Great concept, great cast – it could’ve gone on for much longer, in my opinion. I did miss Ryan in Season 3 but I also think that Season 3 featured some of the strongest and darkest episodes of the series’ run.

  • 10 Dorian GrayNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the awesome list- it’s great to see Friday the 13th: the Series get the love it deserves! This was my favorite show back in junior high-when I was first starting to get into horror-and I remember being really bummed when it got cancelled. I’m so glad that it’s available on DVD after all these years, and I can’t wait until next month to get the third season to complete my collection. Oh and thanks Mickster for mentioning Zach Ward and the “Vanity’s Mirror” ep from Season 1 because it’s one of my favorite episodes too (not to mention the girl in the wheelchair ep from Season 3)!

  • 11 micksterNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Jeff, I couldn’t agree with you more about season three. I hated when Ryan left, but at the same time one of my all-time favorite episodes, “Crippled Inside” is from that season. Johnny just never measured up to Ryan in my eyes.

  • 12 Dr. AculaNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I absolutely loved this show! It’s one of the things that influenced me to want to be a writer.
    Gave you guys some props on my Facebook update since I just wrote a column about the show not too long ago too…
    Great minds think alike!

  • 13 E11evenNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Ah Man, Robey!  What a sweet memory of my misspent adolesence. In an interview she did in either People or US back then a there was a photo of her running topless through a field.
    Yum.

  • 14 NiNiNo Gravatar // Aug 6, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Oh hell yes. I watched this series religiously when I was in junior high! Some of the later episodes got surprisingly graphic for network television, I particularly recall the episode with the rattle as being kindertraumariffic for me. Another one that stuck with me was the one with the obsessed fan who decides that what he really wants it to BE the object of his desire….
    Also, Camp Blood did an amusing tribute to Robey’s truly awe-inspiring mane.

  • 15 eskimoposhNo Gravatar // Aug 6, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Holy blast from the past! Mickster, just going through your list of Friday the 13th Series favourites took me straight back to the tender age of 11 when I used to cozy up on the couch every saturday night and prepare myself for a fun filled ride of Comedy and Horror; all rolled into one beautiful hour!
    The hour would begin with the always hilarious and voicebox-damaged Super Dave Osborne! By the time his body became a pulp at 9:27, I would start to get butterflies in my tummy; wondering what kind of terror lurked in the next episode of Friday the 13th the Series…..
    Mickster thanks so much for your review on such a great show….it also makes me proud to be Canadian!

  • 16 micksterNo Gravatar // Aug 6, 2009 at 8:07 am

    NiNi, Oh yeah, the episode you are talking about is “Mesmer’s Bauble” from season two. The singer was played by Vanity. Very creepy!
    eskimoposh, thanks so much for the kind words! I am just pleased to find folks that love the show as much as I do!

  • 17 ericNo Gravatar // Aug 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    This show is finally getting some attention it seems,I’ve always dug it.Some episodes don’t work but it’s a hell of alot better than ‘Tales from the Darkside” as far as more good episodes.The most horrifying one I’ve seen was the KKK episode and I watched it recently! The message was there yeah but at what cost? It was very unsettling.

  • 18 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Aug 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Loved that show back in high school, loved it again in re-runs on SciFi (I REFUSE the use the odious SyFy). That scarecrow still haunts my dreams.
    We used to have a running joke, in what way will Ryan get his ass kicked in this episode and who can come up with the most absurd object to be cursed… ie the toilet brush of doom! 😉

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