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.
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.
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…