When most horror fans think of Friday the 13th, the cute and cuddly killer, Jason Voorhees, probably comes to mind. If you happen to be a longtime fan you might even remember the antics of a chagrined Ms. Voorhees. Not many people remember that there was once a television show carried the name as well.
Despite being called Friday the 13th: The Series, the show actually has nothing to do with the hulking killer and his hockey mask. It didn’t even have anything to do with Jason’s potato sack.
The premise of the series was an antique store. Yes, I am serious. The owner of the shop, Lewis Vendredi made a pact with the Devil for immortality and wealth. In return, Vendredi would sell cursed antique items. These antiques had a tendency to be lethal to people. When Vendredi has a change of heart, Satan kills him and claims his soul.
The store is inherited by Vendredi’s niece and nephew, Mickey Foster and Ryan Dallion. These two had never met their uncle or each other before now and they ultimately decide to sell off the remaining store inventory. They later encounter Jack Marshak played by Chris Wiggins (who tragically passed away earlier this year). Jack was Vendredi’s boyhood friend and a supplier for the store and helps the cousins to realize the true nature of the cursed items. He joins the team and the trio recovers as many of the cursed items as they could throughout the series. The cursed antiques cannot be destroyed so they are stored in a special vault built within the shop.
There was a lot of creativity on the part of the writers when it came to the cursed items. Often they would give the user some type of benefit after killing someone. For example, one episode featured an antique tea cup decorated with vines. The vines could emerge from the cup and strangle a victim. When the owner sips from the teacup after it is charged from a kill, he or she would have their youth restored.
The show broke ground with the violence showed on broadcast television. It may seem a bit tame nowadays but back then there were protests around this series.
Friday the 13th: The Series was originally intended to run for five seasons but unfortunately, only three seasons were actually released. Even worse, we never got the entire third season as the show was abruptly canceled during production of the twentieth episode. There was not even any time for the producers to rewrite that episode to give any sort of closure to the show. The show creator reportedly had an idea that the final episode in season five would be about Jason’s hockey mask but that was not meant to be.
The show is absolutely worth checking out if you can dig up the DVDs.