Friday the 13th: The Series - The Final Season
DVD | Box Set
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The suspense-drama series that brought back the serial horror genre to television features intense psychological terror and chilling suspense. Each eerie episode centers on an unlikely trio who run a shop full of rare and mysterious antiques whose previous owner was killed after making a sinister pact with the devil. The team must race against time and fate to retrieve each diabolically cursed item sold from the hexed store before it unleashes its deadly force.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES began with an antique store owner named Louis Vendredi, who sold his soul to the devil in return for wealth and immortality. In return, he peddled items which had been cursed by Satan, usually in horribly ironic ways, to his unsuspecting customers. When Louis tried to break his pact he was sucked into hell and the store inherited by two distant relations, the immature but likeable Ryan Dallion (John D. LeMay) and the reserved but passionate Micki Foster (Louise Robey). Shortly after the clueless cousins took over the store they met mysterious mystic Jack Marshak (Chris Wiggins), who informed them of what Vendredi had done, and of his intention to recover each of the 300-odd cursed objects before they could do any more damage. Ryan and Micki reluctantly joined Jack in his quest, enduring constant danger and terrible tragedy to set their family legacy right, and often questioning whether the cost was worth it. Toward the end of the show's second season, they were joined part-time by Johnny Ventura (Steve Monarque), a friend of Ryan's with more guts than brains, who had his own ties with Vendredi's cursed objects. This then was the setting for the show's third and final season.
It's helpful in reviewing this series to be honest with its flaws, if only just to get them out of the way. F13 had a lowish budget, wildly inconsistent dialogue, equally inconsistent acting, and spotty special effects. It suffers, at least in retrospect, from 80s-style cheesy melodrama, some of the stories don't work very well, and in this, its third and final season, it suffered the culture shock of swapping its male lead, John D. LeMay, for a new one of radically different personality, Steven Monarque. But none of that really matters, because this show was like sex, pizza and beer: even when it was bad it was good. For lovers of horror movies it had everything: terror, suspense, brutal plot lines, ironic curses, vicious villains and plenty of old-school Hammer-type atmosphere. Off the top of my head I can recall demons, killer dolls, werewolves, vampires, Nazis, covens of Druids, witches and Satanists, and a shocking array of antique items whose curses were fiendishly inventive and sadistic. More than that, however, it had a great, complex family dynamic between Ryan, Micki, Jack and later, Johnny, and a surprising number of plots that had real moral and ethical dilemmas -- not black and white but gray, gray, gray (with red splashed on it). Nor did it spare its characters from personal tragedy or pretend they were indifferent to all the danger to which they were constantly exposed. The bad suffer very badly in this series, but the good don't do a helluva lot better. Though it gets very little recognition for doing so, FRIDAY was obviously a huge influence on THE X-FILES and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and by extension, the shows that followed them, including ANGEL, CHARMED and SUPERNATURAL.
Obviously the big deal in this season is the departure of John D. LeMay's Ryan Dallion. Dallion is given a hefty two-part goodbye called "Prophecies" which has a lavish budget and a huge number of extras, and gets rid of his character in one of the most unique ways possible. Enter Monarque's Johnny Ventura, who appeared in several episodes at the end of Season Two and was thus in good position to replace Dallion as the male lead. I thought I would dislike the Ventura character, who is not the sharpest tool in the shed nor given the best backstory, but Monarque manages very swiftly to make his own mark in the series, amps up the sexual tension with Micki, and generally delivers the goods. Unfortunately, just when it seemed we'd get at least two or three more years out of this wonderful premise, FRIDAY was canceled very abruptly via some ugly backroom intrigue with the networks, and so is both shorter (16 episodes) than the other seasons and lacks anything that could be called a season finale. A pity, isn't it, how the best shows always seem to meet the most ignominious ends?
Some of my favorites episodes are:
"Demon Hunter" - A family of demon-hunters tracks a vicious hellspawn right to Curious Goods, where they naturally assume any house with a vault full of cursed objects sitting atop a gateway to hell must be run by some very wicked people. An action-packed episode with some effective twists, plenty of gruesome horror and even some backstory about Vendredi's shop.
"Crippled Inside" -- A girl flees a gang-rape attempt only to be hit by a car end up a quadraplegic. A cursed wheelchair gives her back use of her body, one dead rapist at a time. One of the series' best episodes, and very much a showcase for Steve Monarque, this one has everything: horror, revenge, wrenching moral dilemmas, and even the surprising appearance of a man who was very grateful he bought from Louis Vendredi.
"Hate On Your Dial" - A cursed radio puts the gang back in 1950s Mississippi, on the trail of a violent racist who finds himself in hog heaven in the Jim Crow South. This episode is well-written, well-acted and has one of the most brutally violent endings of any television show I've ever seen.
"Night Prey" -- One of the more unusual stories in the series pits the obsessed victim of a 1969 vampire attack against a coven of vamps which include his undead former fiance. A chilling and surprisingly moving tale about how love, immortality and revenge are all a matter of perspective.
"Femme Fatale" - A washed-up film director living with his elderly, invalid actress wife uses a cursed film to bring a sexy young version of his bride into reality. The cost? One dead young girl for every viewing. A terrific story with a clever premise and a moving finish.
"Repetition" - A "Twilight Zone"-style story about an investigative journalist of great repute who accidentally kills a young girl with his car, only to be haunted by her -- literally -- via a cameo broach that spurs him to commit murders in hopes of resurrecting her.
"Spirit of Television" - A celebrity medium possesses a cursed television set which allows her to extend her own life by feeding it the lives of others. Unfortunately for her, the TV has a hearty appetite and the curse operates under the law of diminishing returns.
"The Tree of Life" - A beautifully shot and produced episode which doesn't directly involve a cursed object, but rather a fertility clinic whose astonishing success rate is rooted -- literally -- in a dark and ancient secret.
"The Charnel Pit" -- The show's last episode is a fitting farewell to the series. A serial killer is feeding unsuspecting women into a cursed painting which sucks them 200 years back through time into Revolutionary France, where the bloodthirsty Marquis de Sade awaits them. When Micki meets this fate, Jack and Johnny must save her. But does she want to be saved from the charismatic sadist?
And with that, the door to Curious Goods closes...but thankfully, thanks to the magic of DVD, you can open it anytime you want, and, if you're feeling lucky and maybe a bit reckless, do downstairs...into the Vault. It's always Black Friday down there.
Don't expect the world from this series... and you will not be disappointed. Accept it for what it is, and measure it against the standards of it's day. What a perfect thing to watch on an october evening!