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Thread: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

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    Default A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series



    For as initiated into the cinematic world of Jason Voorhees as I am, I’ve never delved too deeply into Friday the 13th: The Series. I remember seeing episodes of it growing up along with Tales from the Darkside and the 1980’s Twilight Zone, but it was never something I purposely tracked down; Tales from the Crypt was my anthology show of choice as a youngster. However, one element of Friday the 13th: The Series has stayed with me all these years—the theme song. Every so often I would find myself humming that creepy and unsettling tune. Around 2011 or so, I happened across the show’s second season for $5. It was so cheap that I couldn’t pass it up. I enjoyed it. In fact, I had such a good time for it that I eventually picked up the other two seasons where they’ve sat on the shelf collecting dust ever since. Too many shows, too little time.

    That’s all about to change. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a watchthrough topic for Friday the 13th: The Series. It’s similar to the watchthroughs I created for The X-Files and Millennium. Hopefully, it’ll be more like the latter and I’ll complete it. This isn’t going to be an in-depth analysis of the show, but a place where I’ll post my thoughts and reactions to the episodes. If you want to know about the history of the show, you may wish to look into a particular book that I’ll be spotlighting.



    A new development with this watchthrough is Curious Goods - Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series by Alyse Wax. It’s a tome full of interviews with various cast and crew members sharing their insight into the making of the television show. It also serves as a viewing guide of sorts with summaries of every episode.

    I’ve had a copy of Curious Goods - Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series for over a year now, but have only skimmed through sections, waiting for the right time when I could read through it while viewing the show. No better time than now. While watching and commenting on the episodes, I’ll also comment on the appropriate sections of the book.

    It’s best to start off with the introduction that leads into the first season. I understand that many readers are eager to jump into the heart of the book and dig out any juicy bits of information. All I can say is that nobody should skip the introduction as Wax talks of what it was like to be a young child discovering this show for the first time. She goes on to mention how she taped the episodes as she came across them, the disappointment of learning it was cancelled in her area, the joy of visiting a family friend out of state and finding the show still playing in a far-off corner of the country, and pleading with her parents to let her watch horror movies. It’s a relatable tale to anyone reading this although more so to those born in the 1980’s or prior, before the advent of youtube and the advantages of the internet. I love reading and hearing these types of stories despite how many are similar and few seem to deviate. I can relate to some degree. Wax also gets points from me for mentioning how inspired she was by Marc Scott Zicree’s Twilight Zone Companion, the example on how to write a television show guide even if I find myself disagreeing with more often than not with his opinions at the time.

    After the introduction is a set of interviews with the following:

    Frank Mancuso, Jr. (Creator, Executive Producer)
    Tom McLoughlin (Director, Story Editor)
    William Taub (Executive Story Editor)
    Marc Scott Zicree (Story Consultant)
    Rob Hedden (Director, Writer)
    J. Miles Dale (Line Producer)
    Jim Henshaw (Executive Story Consultant)
    Tim Bond (Director)
    Rodney Charters (Director, Cinematographer)
    Fred Mollin (Composer)
    Louise Robey (Micki Foster)
    John LeMay (Ryan Dallion)

    From what I’ve skimmed in the book, this isn’t even close to the entire list of cast and crew interviewed for the book. I’m not going to give away all the details from the interviews, but I will point out how nobody seems to agree with the actual reasoning as to the show’s cancellation. Mancuso Jr. believes it to be a result of a writing campaign to the advertisers boycotting their products (no advertisers, no money). Wax’s investigation uncovers that Paramount publicly denied this to be true and cited low ratings. The advertisers stated viewer complaints were the cause, but it seems unlikely as they claimed they received few letters about it (one a week for one advertiser). The television show’s crew placed the blame on Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association and his letter campaign, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence suggesting the campaign ever mentioned Friday the 13th: The Series specifically. It’s interesting that there’s a trail as to the cause of cancellation, but each new reasoning seems only to lead into another possibility. I suspect the truth is a culmination of all the above—low ratings, resistance from conservative groups, advertisers using the (limited) boycott viewership as an excuse to withdraw.

    The ratings I'll post are only summarize my thoughts and reactions to each episode versus the expectations I have for the show. If you see a 5 / 5, it doesn't mean I think that episode can stand toe to toe with something like the best episode of, I dunno, Game of Thrones. This is a late 80's, low budget, Canadian production show made for network television. As such, my expectation are kept in check. Over time, I'll have a better understanding of what the show can offer and my reactions will use that as well. And that's exactly what this topic is--my initial, off-the-cuff reactions. When I watch an episode, I blurt out whatever thoughts come to mind. I'm not researching the show or dwelling on it.

    That should be enough to get an idea of what to expect from this topic. I have no set pattern for when I’ll post. Once a week, twice, five times; no idea. It’s just a fun side project. With that said, feel free to watch along, comment, and discuss the show.

    Overall Rating
    Season 1: 3.15
    Last edited by Chex; 06-17-2017 at 05:29 AM.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    I bought the complete series set when it was on sale at Best Buy back in October. Watched the first episode, fell asleep, and whoops, it's still just sitting there mostly untouched. Maybe I'll give it a shot this summer. I don't remember much about it from when I used to watch it on Sci-Fi way, way back in the day.

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x01 – The Inheritance



    On a dark and stormy night, a man, his wife, and his young daughter take shelter in “Uncle Lewis Vendredi’s Antiques”, a store described perfectly in its name. Uncle Lewis, the proprietor, isn’t thrilled at letting in customers, but he gives in. The little girl, Mary picks up a doll named Veda. Veda isn’t just any old antique doll—she can talk. Oh, and like all talking dolls, Veda is downright evil as she’s soon slashing the throat of some poor guy whose car had broken down outside the store. Nobody else realizes this and the doll is taken away from Mary. Uncle Lewis eventually kicks the family out of his store and mumbles about how he’s tired of working for Satan as he carries various knick-knacks into the basement vault. Satan doesn’t take too kindly to such talk and traps Lewis in a burning elevator before knocking him down a bottomless shaft, presumably to Hell.

    Six months pass and Lewis’s store now belongs to his niece, Micki Foste,r and nephew, Ryan Dallion, who decide to sell off all the inventory in a sale. Most of the goods are purchased including Veda who is bought by Mary’s father. Later that night, Jack Marshak appears and gives Micki and Ryan the scoop—Lewis was in league with the Devil, tried to back out of the deal, was sent to Hell for this, and the antique items in the store are cursed by demonic power. Because Jack supplied Lewis with the inventory, he takes a keen interest in the store and its inventory.

    That includes Veda who is already at work persuading Mary to kill her step-mother. Like any kid would do, she listens to the evil talking hunk of porcelain and complies. By that, I mean she lets Veda do all the work. Turns out Veda possesses telekinetic powers because, hey, why not—she’s demonic. Veda sends the step-mom crashing the stairs and into the hospital. Oh, but the pain doesn’t stop there as Mary places Veda on top of her mother’s face so she can…hump it? Maybe she’s trying to suffocate her. Either way, it’s fatal and the step-mom dies. Later, Mary sets Veda upon the housekeeper by making stuffed Winnie the Pooh dolls and a jump rope come to life.

    Micki and Ryan arrive just in time to chase Mary to a nearby playground where they all three struggle to grab Veda while spinning ‘round and ‘round on a merry-go-round as Veda uses her evil powers to make the sky change from early afternoon to dusk. Micki and Ryan manage to subdue Veda while Mary walks away from the incident with only a bruise on her arm.

    Veda is tossed into the antique store vault in the basement. Jack suggests changing the name of the store to “Curious Goods”. Micki and Ryan decide it’s their responsibility to reclaim the possessed antiques which were sold. Lastly, Micki’s fiancée, Lloyd, decides to break up with her because she didn’t sell the store and its inventory off after two days. I didn’t mention the fiancée earlier? Doesn’t matter.


    Micki Foster (Louise Robey – Raw Deal)


    Ryan Dallion (John D. LeMay – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, The New Kids)


    Jack Marshak (Chris Wiggins – TV’s Babar, TV’s The NeverEnding Story)

    You can draw a line and split the story in half. There’s the Curious Goods shop, the primary characters, and the world building. Then you have Veda, the demonic talking doll. The episode is at its best when focusing on the store, Micki, Ryan, and Jack. All three work well together while each retaining their individuality. Micki is the more frightened of the bunch, filling in for the typical scared female role. That is, until she’s running head first into danger during the final act. Ryan’s the goofy, but likable guy that has no qualms about accepting the occult. He also knows that to properly rock a business suit, you must wear shorts. Finally, Jack’s the all-around wise mentor type. Unfortunately, we never get to know him to the degree of Micki and Ryan. Each character is distinct enough that they question the events and one another’s ideas while demonstrating an understanding of the situation so they’re not arguing for the sake of it. What’s refreshing is that, since they’re cousins, they won’t pursue one another as possible love interests. Right?

    It’s strange that Micki and Ryan are cousins yet have no idea about one another. It’s understandable if they’ve never met, but Ryan thinks Micki is a guy until he sees her. Lewis had absolutely no other family? Also, Micki states Lewis had died. Where’s his body? Was seeing it fall down the bottomless pit symbolism of poor Lewis’s soul? Did everyone simply assume he died? Who even located his body since he didn’t have family or even friends? Jack would have been the obvious choice, but he doesn’t know until Micki informs him.


    Uncle Lewis (R. G. Armstrong – Predator, Evil Speak, Lone Wolf McQuade)

    Uncle Lewis comes off as a sucker. He made a deal with the Devil and later he’s all like “nope, tired of it.” The effect with Satan, invisible of course, walking down the stairs into the basement and leaving behind fiery hoof prints almost makes up for the outdate-at-the-time fire effects of the burning elevator. The way he runs off customers by refusing to sell his wares reminds of DVD / BD label Code Red and the way the owner acts irrationally towards making a possible sale.


    Mary Simms (Sarah Polley – Dawn of the Dead (2004), Splice)

    Veda is easily the weakest portion of Inheritance. First off, the little girl Mary is just as evil, maybe more so, than Veda. First, she rummages around the antique shop grabbing everything despite being told not to. That’s fine. Kids are gonna be kids. Then, she takes Veda and runs outside the store in the pouring rain. The hell? Why not run off to a different part of the store? She’s spotted by a couple of guys whose car looks to have broken down and thinks it’s weird a little girl is just standing out in the rain. What do they get for their troubles? One guy gets his throat torn open by Veda. The other guy is a total mystery. What did he tell the cops? Later, Mary’s giggling over watching the housekeeper get scared out of her mind by stuffed animals and a jump rope that escaped from the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Veda tells her to kill the step-mom and she happily obliges. I mean, she puts Veda on top of the step-mom’s face, but she played a part in it without thinking twice. Veda’s the lesser of two evils here. What does Mary get as her punishment? A bruise. That’s it. She helped commit murder! Time for penance! Oh well. She'll have to endure growing up in the early 90's and its baggy pants phase.

    There may be the slight implication that Mary is mentally disturbed as her step-mom despises her and she misses her real mother who passed away. It’s possible that Veda is a tool for Mary to overcome her loneliness in a harsh environment through friendship, although misguided in this case…but I don’t buy that. She comes off as Damien’s sister if not worse. That’s not natural.

    Time to look at the familiar faces. First is R. G. Armstrong as Uncle Lewis. Honestly, I thought the man only played sheriffs or military officials. Armstrong as an occultist seems outside of his wheelhouse although he’s ok enough in his brief appearance. Sarah Polley, 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, is more disturbing than Veda. There’s a quick appearance by Gordon Michael Woolvett from TV’s Andromeda (although I think of him as that sap that’s ran over by the truck in Bride of Chucky) as the guy whose buddy gets his throat torn open. The biggest surprise is Carol Spier as the production designer. She’s worked on many of David Cronenberg’s films and other titles like Silent Hill. That probably accounts for why I think the antique shop looks so damn impressive.



    The show is much darker than I remembered. I don’t mean the tone, but the lighting. There’s more shadow than there is light. According to Tim Bond in Curious Goods, Frank Mancuso, Jr. explained that the show would appeal to boys more often that girls. The idea was to make the show look dark so audiences would have to turn out the lights to see what was happening. With the lights off, boyfriends and girlfriends would hold each other in the dark, turning it into a “date-night” show. At least, that was the idea.

    The foundation of the show is strong with the three leads tracking down cursed antiques. This episode’s object, Veda, is a bit on the weak side despite being a talking doll. However, half of the running time went to setting up the show so it’s no surprise it suffered as a result. Overall, it’s an above effort first episode.

    Favorite moment: Micki and Ryan’s initial meeting. You already get a sense of their chemistry together and how they play off one another. Plus, you get to see more of the store and its many antiques. The store itself is probably my favorite “character” in this episode with how large it seems to be. The front seems inviting enough since most of the light comes through the window or the candles that are lit, but as Micki and Ryan tour the location, it becomes darker, more mysterious, and foreboding.

    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: There’s about six pages devoted to the summary of Inheritance. Some people like longer summaries for these kinds of books; others prefer a brief paragraph or two. I’m somewhere in the middle so for me, six pages is a bit too much. Skimming through the book, the page devotion varies from three pages to six. That seems like an awful lot. It doesn’t contain the author’s personal thoughts or feelings about the episode—just a summary of the story with lines of dialogue.

    The upside is everything else Wax writes is informative and interesting. She keeps a status update of the episode’s antique, Veda, and points out that we’ll see it again in future episodes in the background. I have a suspicion that she keeps a lookout for previous objects and makes a note of them in each episode which is neat.

    The final portion is behind-the-scenes information and trivia. Turns out actor Channing Tatum went on The Ellen Show and admitted he’s afraid of porcelain dolls thanks to Veda. The episode was not the first filmed although it is the series premiere. It’s the third or fourth episode to be shot to allow the cast and crew to have a grasp on their characters and the show. Very smart and explains how the actors seem to have a genuine chemistry developed already. Also, William Taub created the name “Micki Foster” after actress “Meg Foster”. I’d wager this is the section of the book that’s going to really shine.

    Lastly, I noticed it’s been almost 30 years since the show premiered. 1987 doesn’t seem that long ago to me.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    The show is much darker than I remembered. I don’t mean the tone, but the lighting.
    It's sooooooo Canadian.

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dream Master View Post
    I bought the complete series set when it was on sale at Best Buy back in October. Watched the first episode, fell asleep, and whoops, it's still just sitting there mostly untouched. Maybe I'll give it a shot this summer. I don't remember much about it from when I used to watch it on Sci-Fi way, way back in the day.

    It's sooooooo Canadian.
    From what little I can recall of what I saw, there's nothing that grabs your attention like, say, The X-Files. What it may have over the other anthology shows of the decade is the central cast. At the very least, Robey is easy on eyes.

    It's very, very Canadian. Accents come and go, familiar faces pop up from other Canadian productions, there's that bizarre "is this America or some weird alternate universe version of it" feeling. I read that it was shot on 35mm, but it must have been edited on tape as the picture quality has that grain you get with film stock while also showing scan lines from what you see on tape. That, in addition to purposely being filmed dark, makes it it so rough looking.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    Yeah, that aesthetic is typical of a lot of late 80s-early 90s Canadian productions for whatever reason. I can't explain it exactly, but I feel like most Canadian movies have that certain, specific look that's easy to spot. It's a combination of dark lighting and desaturated colors or something, and it almost feels degraded like a third or fourth generation tape. (See also: The Amityville Curse.)

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x02 – The Poison Pen



    A monastery monk named Currie makes terrible predictions of a person’s death that come true. His brothers believe he possesses the power to see the future, but the truth is that he creates these evil misfortunes by utilizing a quill pen to write them down. Micki and Ryan pose as monks and infiltrate the monastery only to learn that Currie isn’t the real culprit, but a man named Le Croix. Currie and Le Croix are business partners hiding out from, uh, someone (The law? The IRS?). Le Croix kills off the members of the monastery so he can rise in the ranks of abbot and sell it off for a nice profit. Currie refuses to help and Le Croix writes his fate with the pen. Jack arrives at the monastery to help Micki and Ryan and together they manage to trick Le Croix into writing his own fate.



    Having the story taking place in a monastery made me wonder about which state this show is set in. I’m thinking California as it can somewhat-kinda-sorta pass for Canada and vice versa like with what The X-Files did. Then again, maybe this is supposed to be in Canada. I can’t tell.

    What I do know is that Micki is the absolute worst person to bring on an undercover assignment. The monks don’t allow women into their fold so she dresses up as a boy. That entails binding her breasts down and pulling her hair into a bob. That’s it. It’s ok if she leaves makeup on her face or that she constantly bursts into a tirade about how crappy her life is. She filled the stereotypical female role for most of The Inheritance, but turned it around at the end by rushing headfirst into danger. Here? Not so much. She’s even got a moment in which she’s half-dressed in a button-up shirt and underwear, probably pushing the network television envelope as far as it could for the time all for the sake of luring in viewers with a flash of skin. Ryan takes charge this time, but he keeps delivering lines like he just walked out of a 1920’s speakeasy. Jack continues to play up the “wise mentor” role and even displays a moment of comedy when, after declaring he’s there to save Micki and Ryan and stop Le Croix, is captured. Surprisingly, Lloyd the fiancée is briefly mentioned.



    The antique, a quill pen, is rather inventive. It operates like a version of the Death Note in that whatever the user writes, happens shortly later. However, it isn’t explained until the end that it can only make bad things occur. I wish that had been mentioned earlier as I couldn’t figure out why the greedy businessman-monk didn’t just write down that he won the lottery.



    Much to my surprise, there are quite a few gruesome death scenes implied if not visually tame. The opening death has a touch of unintentional humor in it as a man believes he’s flying only to hover in the air for a moment and then plummet to his death. His reaction to this is just…well, moving on. Another man is crushed by his bed and the third is beheaded, courtesy of a guillotine. Le Croix meets his end due to flying guillotine blade effect.


    Le Croix (Colin Fox – Tommy Boy, A Christmas Horror Story)

    Speaking of Le Croix (Colin Fox), all I could think of when he was on screen was how he’s one of the buyers in Tommy Boy, the first actual sale Chris Farley’s character makes. “I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take the butcher’s word for it.” Anyway, Currie (Larry Reynolds) is played by the mayor from 1981’s My Bloody Valentine. Lastly, there’s a monk that’s a constant thorn in Micki and Ryan’s side played by A.C. Peterson (Sucker Punch) from over 150 acting credits. He’s one of those character actors you just see pop up in nearly everything. There’s a sequence where Micki takes a shower and on the wall right next to her is a hole that the “Peterson monk” is peeping through. For a moment there, I thought the show was going to a pull a Porky’s.



    The antique pen came off way more interesting than I thought it would and Jack had a few moments in the spotlight to make his character more fleshed out, but Micki and Ryan’s bumbling undercover antics and the odd setting of a monastery that feels so disconnected with the world building the show has only begun leaves me feeling underwhelmed…

    Favorite Scene: …until the ending with Le Croix. Jack has a duplicate pen made so I figured it would get switched with the actual pen. Nope. The monk portrayed by A.C. Peterson learns of Le Croix’s plan and attacks him with an axe to save the day. Doesn’t work out that way. Instead, Le Croix writes down his death omen on a sheet of paper he had signed and didn’t realize it, sealing his fate. I didn’t see it coming. Neither did Le Croix.

    Rating: 3 / 5

    Curious Goods:Wax mentions that LeMay and Robey had not signed their contracts while filming the episode due to their agents (presumably trying to obtain more money). They were told that if they had not signed the contracts by the end of lunch, they would be replaced. Obviously, they signed. My impression is that the actors were chomping at the bit to sign as LeMay talks of how excited he was about it and Robey had not acted before.

    Reading the summary for this episode, I finally understand what the author is going for. It’s not so much a summary or a synopsis, but condensing the episode into a short story! It’s kind of neat although I feel less inclined to read it after watching the episode.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x03 – Cupid’s Quiver



    A mysterious stranger carrying an ugly statue of cupid enters a bar and sets his sights on a nearby redhead. She refuses his advances, but instantly feels drawn to him after she’s shot with an arrow from the cupid statue. The mystery man and the lady retreat to a hotel and proceed to grind. Soon after, he begins strangling her until a random group of bar patrons and a hotel worker decide to break the door down after hearing her mumbled plea for help. During the confusion, a fraternity member decides to steal the statue for himself.

    The next day, the audience gets to meet Eddie. Eddie is a schmuck that attends college along with the love of his life, Laurie. Problem is that Laurie doesn’t care for Eddie even after their one date. Working as the janitor for a fraternity, Eddie steals the cupid statue for himself. He tests its power on a random bar gal and she's soon all aboard for having sex in his pick-up. Possessed with an urge to kill, Eddie kills quickly tosses a beehive into the truck and locks her in. With his initial use of the statue successful he decides to use it on Laurie only to be foiled by Ryan and Micki while Jack pretends to be a bartender at the fraternity party. Eddie accidentally kills himself and Laurie refuses Ryan’s advances when he believes she’s now single.



    An evil cupid statue. So it’s come to this. Although I like how its movements are done with stop-motion animation, there’s not much explored with the concept. I’m assuming the user and the statue share a bond and that’s the reasoning why the men have the urge to kill the women they sleep with. It’s never really said. The description for Eddie inside the DVD case calls him a “slob”. I’m expecting some sort of overweight, dorky looking man that uses the statue to overcome his social awkwardness. Instead, the mystery man at the beginning and Eddie are both ordinary fellas.

    I didn't say socially competent. At least, not in Eddie’s case. The story is humdrum, but man oh man, Eddie is overflowing with inadequacy. Usually in this story, the guy would at least be sympathetic. Not Eddie. He’s introduced sitting in a tree and taking photos of Laurie. He talks to her in the most creepy and surreal manner. He doesn’t just stutter, but lowers his voice and constantly acts like he’s trying to suppress a giggle. He sounds like the kind of guy you expect to meet at an adult video store at 3 A.M. You know the kind.



    Eddie has no redeeming qualities unless collecting and storing bottles of honey counts. It’s so bizarre that he even has them in his home. Oh, did I mention he lives in a boiler room that’s decorated with cut-up photos of Laurie? It’s charming. Back to the honey. In one of the most hilarious moments in the episode, he busts a bottle he just happens to have with him when he goes to test out the statue. It makes no sense. He pulls out this hidden bottle of honey, the bar girl dabs a little on her finger, Eddie leaves only to return with a beehive full of bees, tosses it into the truck, and the girl is stung to death because…? The honey she dabbed onto one finger? It’s ridiculous. The women shot by the statue’s arrow will do anything required so why not suggest they commit suicide or something and do away with the first-degree murder?


    Eddie (Denis Forest – Cliffhanger, The Mask)

    The entertainment with Eddie doesn’t stop there. Confronted by Ryan, Eddie grabs an axe and warns him that he’ll use it if he tries anything. To demonstrate that he means business, Eddie swings the ax into the air—and hits a nearby pipe, causing it to break and blast steam into his face. Later, he tries to run away from Ryan by crossing a set of thin pipes only to fall to his death. I swear, Eddie was his own worst enemy. The heroes weren’t even needed.

    Moving on to the fraternity. This contains the tamest fraternity party I’ve ever witnessed. Everyone is sitting down, there’s a bartender hired, and they have a dorky, scrawny doorman. The brothers at Lambda Lambda Lambda are more outrageous than these guys! The only “wild” thing they do is hang a bra from the ceiling. What’s far more shocking than the “kegger” is that Lloyd is mentioned yet again! And Micki is still engaged! I thought the yuppie dick dropped her at the end of The Inheritance? I wonder how long this subplot will continue.

    Micki and Ryan don’t do much other than fail at pretending to be cops. They track the statue to the fraternity and explain they’re cops and need to search the premises. The ruse lasts all of two seconds when someone asks to see a warrant and their badges. Honestly, it’s refreshing to see it happen unlike on Supernatural where the Winchesters have had years of practice at disguising themselves. Micki and Ryan have a long way to go.

    Looking at the credits, I see it’s directed by Atom Egoyan who has a resume of titles like Exotica and 2009’s Chloe with Amanda Seyfried, Julianna Moore, and Liam Neeson. Too bad network television probably blocked any sort of eroticism / Cinemax touch he could have brought to this. The campus security guard that appears and take the statue from Micki, Ryan, Jack after they first recover it is played by Richard Alden from The Pit and The Sadist—a movie that anyone familiar with Arch Hall, Jr. should check out. Lastly, the bar patron Eddie picks up is played by Joy Boushel, a Canadian actress known for horror films. She’s listed as the “Red Head”, but I think this is a mistake as she’s confused with the red head in the bar at the beginning considering her hair color is anything but red.


    Red Head (Joy Boushel – The Fly (1986), Humongous, Terror Train)

    There’s so much more that could have been done with the material, but as it is, I found this to be dull and drag quite a bit although creepy Eddie certainly helped liven things up a bit. However, Cupid’s Quiver does reaffirm my belief that all boiler room dwellers are murderers. So it’s got that going for it.

    Favorite Moment: Eddie’s laughable showdown with Ryan where he not only injures himself, but becomes the cause of his own death.

    Rating: 2.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Cupid’s Quiver was the first episode to be shot although it aired third. Robey and LeMay reflect about what it was like shooting the first episode as they were both fresh, wide-eyed actors given a shot at the leads of a television series.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x04 – A Cup of Time



    It begins with a woman approaching a homeless girl on a park bench. She asks the girl if she would like a “cup of hot tea on a sticky night like this.” The homeless girl accepts and drinks from a tea cup the mystery woman offers her. Suddenly, the tea cup emits stop-motion created vines that strangle the girl to death.

    Meanwhile, a social worker named Birdie stops by the Curious Goods shop to visit Jack. Turns out she’s got the horny hots for Mr. Marshak although he’s not interested. Despite her efforts, Birdie can’t seem to grab Jack’s attention and she starts to feel like a worthless old woman. Her day doesn’t get any better when she’s asked to identify the body of a young homeless girl that’s been recently strangled. Worse is that this isn’t the first identification Birdie has had to perform lately.

    As the mystery unravels, Micki, Ryan, Jack, and Birdie discover that the cause of the string of murders is a young and buxom metal musician named Lady Die. Only Lady Die is not what she seems. She’s really Birdie’s 70-year-old friend Sarah that disappeared. Sarah took the tea cup from a man named Fat Eddie and has been using it kill the homeless, thus allowing her to syphon off their life energy and transform into her hot, young self.

    Kristen, yet another homeless girl, steals the tea cup from Lady Die / Sarah and gives it back the heroic trio. Birdie breaks into the store, steals it, and tries to trick a random bench sleeper to drink from it. Right before he does, she stops him. She’d rather remain old than live with the guilt of killing an innocent person. Lady Die / Sarah finds Birdie and the audience is treated to a geriatric chase sequence with Lady Die / Sarah stealing the tea cup back…until Jack tricks her into thinking he’s a park bum looking for a drink. He takes the cup all the while laughing. Lady Die / Sarah seems to keep aging until she turns into the Crypt Keeper and finally expires. Ryan eats potato chips. The end.



    A Cup of Time dares the audience to closely examine how society reacts to the homeless as discarded items that are to be used to the benefit of the more fortunate and then asks us to re-evaluate our position in…in…

    ...wait…

    …”Would you like a cup of hot tea on a sticky night like this?” The hell does that mean? If it’s a “sticky night”, that implies it’s warm and humid outside. Why would you want to drink something hot if you’re already sweltering? There’s a scene where the little homeless girl, Kristen, asks some metal / goth woman with spikey hair if it “hurts to sleep with that”. The reply? “Only when I role on my face.” Er, ok. This is the kind of inane dialogue that runs rampant throughout the episode and add to its charm.

    And by charm, I mean cheese. The state of Wisconsin would blush when watching this episode. You have a police detective that don’t give a damn about people dying in the park. Not one murder or two, but there’s been several and he can’t be bothered to even investigate; Jack’s got a groupie that wants to jump his bones all the time; Lady Die is pure Canadian metal which translates into exactly what you expect; remember JJ from Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan? She’s got nothing on Lady Die; because there’s a metal musician then there must be a metal song, right? What do you think they did? Come up with something original? Perform a cover of a popular song? Sort of. The metal song, and there’s only one by the way as the other that's heard sound more like a pop track, is a rendition of “I’m a little tea cup”. This is supposed to be a smash hit that's played on the radio! I already mentioned the chase sequence involving Birdie and an elderly Lady Die that occurs in the middle of the afternoon. I will give the show points for using stop-motion animation to create the killer vines as that’s a nice touch that adds to the camp factor.


    Lady Die (Hilary Shepard – Private Resort, TV’s Power Rangers Turbo)

    I have no idea why a 70-year-old woman would decide that, if she could turn young, she would become a heavy metal artist. Why choose a profession that puts you in the public eye like that? Vanity? It’s never explored. Hell, how she even got the tea cup of doom is glossed over other than it was used on a guy named Fat Eddie who may have been her brother. I’m also not sure why she turns into a hag monster at the end. Probably something about living on borrowed time. None of the characters even give two shits to contemplate on this so I see no reason I should either.



    I may as well comment on Hilary Shepard while I’m at it. I don’t have much to say about her performance. She’s no worse or better than anyone else here. I just want to mention that for most young adolescent boys, she’s probably the most memorable villain from the Power Rangers series for two reasons. Seriously, go look up her costume on that show. That’s one way to get the kids to keep watching.

    Time for the actor roundup. Birdie is played by Maxine Miller. If there was a TV show made in Canada since 1975, she acted on it…except for The X-Files. Go figure. The homeless girl that steals the tea cup is actress Lisa Jakub from Matinee, Independence Day, and Mrs. Doubtfire. I wonder what happened to her.

    Remember when I said that Cupid’s Quiver lacked any type of scares or horror? This episode tries to inject something like that when Micki and Ryan investigate the whereabouts of Fat Eddie (probably no relation to Creepy Eddie from Cupid’s Quiver), but it’s so half-assed. Micki walks into a hanging plant and freaks out as if it was a jump scare…but it’s not. We see the plant hanging down when the duo enters the room. We see her walking towards it. I think she even looks right at it. It’s difficult to feel any tension when there’s no surprise. Oh, and a bed drops down from the wall moments later after it’s telegraphed for five seconds.

    What makes this episode is the (un)intentional humor of it all. The dialogue, the elderly chase, the ghoulish elderly makeup, when a middle-aged woman punches through a glass window like it’s made of paper, the bad metal music and sound all make it entertaining. It’s arguably the worse of the four episodes so far, but it’s bad enough that it's the most fun and entertaining of the episodes so far although for the right reasons.

    Favorite moment: Kristen’s collection of assorted items she’s stolen. All homeless girls should have a copy of Tales from the Crypt.



    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Hilary Shepard mentions that she had to go against Moon Zappa and “some other famous musicians” for the role. She also talks of how painful the makeup process was as the guys in charge had little, if any, experience as they were reading from a how-to book and forgot to powder her face before applying the prosthetic the first time.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x-05 – Hellowe’en



    The trio host a Halloween party at the store and invite all their neighbors to try and make new friends. Micki thinks this is a bad idea considering they have a vault full of dangerous antiques, but Ryan says not to worry as he put up a “stay out” sign. Micki is right to worry as a couple of party goers head into the basement and activate a crystal ball which summons a spirit from beyond the graAaAaaAAAaAve. The spirit starts to demolish the store, ending the party, and sending everyone screaming out and into the streets. Jack says some magic words and the destruction ends.

    While Micki and Ryan head upstairs, Jack hears a knock at the front door and heads outside to investigate where he finds a little girl that’s separated from her mom. Jack offers to take her home and leaves without telling Micki and Ryan. The little girl lures Jack through alleyways that looks suspiciously like the ones seen in Jason Takes Manhattan until he’s locked in a cage. The girl turns into a little person named Greta, later described as a demon.

    Meanwhile, Micki and Ryan are visited by the spirit from earlier—it’s Uncle Lewis. He’s returned from Hell and needs his family’s help. He shows them a secret room in which his dead wife, Grace, lays. Lewis pleads for the Amulet of Zohar to let her soul rest in peace. Micki and Ryan give Lewis the amulet and he returns to life. However, it’s only temporary. Lewis needs to transfer himself into the body of a recently deceased that did not die from a violent action. Gang violence seems to be big in whatever the hell city this is so Lewis has trouble finding a suitable candidate.

    Micki, Ryan, and Jack foil Lewis’s plan by occupying him until dawn breaks and he’s sent back to Hell. Ryan mentions he’s glad they won’t have to deal with anything like that again for a whole year, but Jack looks worried as Friday the 13th occurs in two weeks. Dun Dun Duuuuuuunnnnn!!!





    Wow, Uncle Lewis turned into a total ass. I get having to die repeatedly in Hell will change a person, but gone is any sympathy he garnered in his brief few minutes in The Inheritance. I’m not sure why he has super strength when becoming corporeal or now possesses the ability to shoot fireballs like Mario. Chalk it up to his experience in Hell, I suppose. I do like how they set up Lewis as a possible reoccurring antagonist as that’s something the show could use. The same can be said for making a Halloween episode an annual tradition much like The Simpsons have done. Also, they appear to set up a backstory episode with Jack and Grace, possibly involving a lover’s tryst. Character and world building is always a nice thing.

    Jack transformed from the “knowledgeable mentor” type into a magician and occult expert of the highest order in a single story. Micki and Ryan have managed to reach new levels of incompetence. Their plan is to grab the amulet and take it from Lewis which would turn him back into a spirit. Simple plan. Ryan distracts Lewis for a moment, rushes at him in that opportunity and grabs….everything but the amulet. He’s not even close to the amulet. Micki loses at a game of hide and go seek after four seconds. Without Jack, these two would be toast.



    I think Robey’s acting has gotten worse over the course of these past few episodes, but she’s also become considerably hotter. Someone make a flowchart of this to see if there’s any correlation. Her introduction in this Halloween themed episode is her standing in front of a mirror and putting on lipstick. So close to a Night of the Demons moment. So close.



    My biggest question is how did nobody notice this secret room exists? I can understand not finding a secret passage to it, but this room is huge. You would think one of protagonists would wonder just why a major section of the building seems unreachable. There’s a phonograph in the room that I thought was the same in the show’s opening sequence, but upon comparing them I can now see they’re totally different. That would have been a nice touch.





    Regarding the actors spotted in the episode, well, none of them have been in anything noteworthy other than the dork that activates the crystal ball (David Matheson) who had a small bit in Eddie and the Cruisers II.

    I’ll take this moment instead to point out one of the antiques spotted in the introduction. It’s hard to see as the camera pans down so you can never get a full look at it, but on top of the glass case that explodes with the series’ title inside of it, it looks to be a turtle sitting on top. Is it Gamera? I’m going to say it is. Gamera is a cursed antique item. I'm going to be so disappointed if there isn't an episode in which Ryan distracts Gamera while Jack uses an incantation to bind it to an object as Micki befriends a flock of Japanese school children.



    This is the best episode so far. It continues to develop the characters, something I didn’t expect to happen in the series, by building from an earlier episode. The Halloween theme production is fun. There’s a demon, fireballs, and goofy Halloween costumes. Plus, you get to see Lewis being driven around by a demon as they invade mortuaries while looking for the ideal candidate body to inhabit.

    Favorite moment: Uncle Lewis showing up as a spirit to Micki and Ryan gets my vote. Not only because it was sort of unexpected (his name was shown in the opening credits so there wasn’t too much surprise), but it's interesting to see how the duo react to their uncle given their situation culminating with Ryan’s immediate dislike for him.

    Rating: 4 / 5

    Curious Goods: The director of Hellowe’en, Timothy Bond, was a replacement director. It’s never mentioned who specifically, but a director that had done several Hammer studio films was brought in. Everyone was so excited about how fast he shoots his productions. Early one day he said he was done and left. He did everything in one shot without any coverage which means they didn’t have nearly enough material. Those in charge put him on a plane to go back home and brought in Timothy Bond who had zero prep time. All things considered, the episode came out well.

    Fred Mollin’s story is something I can relate to. The short version is that he spent days writing the score for this on an electronic device that saved it on data chips and not hard drives. What he didn’t know is that when the data chips ran out of room, they automatically reformatted and erased everything. All that hard work was lost and he had little time to rewrite whatever he could remember as none of it was written down on paper or backed up in any way. I’ve been terrified of having that happen to me the past year with research papers to the point I’ve got three ways I backup the material.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x06 – The Great Montarro



    The story opens as famed magician “Fahteem the Magnificent” drugs a female magic assistant and tosses her into the Houdin box, a cursed antique, before appearing before a crowd to perform the Coffin of Doom trick. As Gob Bluth would say, a trick is something a whore does for money. The act consists of Fahteem placing himself inside a coffin. His male assistant, Robert, pulls a lever which sends several blades plunging into the coffin and stabbing whatever is inside. In this demonstration, it’s Fahteem. The surprise is that he’s ok while his female assistant trapped in the Houdin box becomes stabbed. The cursed item allows Fahteem to transfer his bodily injuries to the unlucky woman that should have picked a better employer. As Fahteem inspects the Coffin of Doom after the performance, someone pushes the lever sending the blades flying into Fahteem and stealing the Houdin box for themselves.

    News of Fahteem’s death hits the newspapers and catches the attention of our plucky trio. Reading Fahteem’s real name, they realize he purchased the Houdin box. They do some investigating and follow the trail to a talent show for magicians. Turns out that Jack used to be “Marshak the Magnificent” and had a career in magic. Micki and Ryan sign up as his assistants and scope the competition out. First on their list is The Great Montarro who happens to have a trick called the Coffin of Blood, a direct copy of Fahteem’s act. Other performers are suspected and are murdered one by one by the true killer. Is it Robert? That one guy that looks like John Carl Buechler? Maybe the Great Montarro. Or is it Montarro’s daughter, Lyla?



    I found The Great Montarro to be enjoyable for two reasons. The first is the mystery of the killer. Granted, this isn’t a deep and complicated plot as the suspects only amount to four candidates and you whittle them down further from that. Nevertheless, it gave the story an additional layer that made it fun as opposed to watching the trio go through the motions of a procedural. The second reason is the watching all three of the heroes share in the spotlight. Plus, more of Jack’s backstory is revealed although going from a history in the occult from Hellowe’en to performing magic acts doesn’t seem like much in the way of new territory.


    Montarro (Graeme Campbell – And Then You Die, McCabe and Mrs. Miller)

    What cracks me up is the magic talent show. It all seems to take place on one day in which Jack, Micki, and Ryan audition for it to earn a spot in the top five finalists. Then those finalists appear live on television later that night. Never mind the logistics of setting up for television and how much of a nightmare it would be to do. It’s that, in the span of a few hours, there are two murders and nobody thinks to halt the show. The producer in charge shrugs it off as “accidents” yet knows the big act to be performed live is going to be the Coffin of Blood, an act that has swords and runs the high risk of death. That’s exactly what happens with Montarro as he meets a bloody end.



    One of the heroic leads needs to play the victim to raise the suspense during the third act. Who is the lucky contestant? Micki! And, boy oh boy, is she a dummy. She’s lured to the Houdin box by the killer. That’s fine. She inspects the box by opening it. Does she get pushed in? Maybe knocked on the head and dragged inside? That would make too much sense and leave Micki with some dignity. Micki ends up inside the Houdin box by…

    …wait for it…



    ...walking right into it. It’s a box. It’s not huge. There’s nothing you can’t see from the outside. It’s not even suggested by the killer that she walk into it. The killer isn’t even expecting her to do it. A nice touch is the streaks of blood on the inside walls of the box although it’s difficult to see due to the lighting of the scene and the quality of the picture.


    Lyla (Lesleh Donaldson – Curtains, Happy Birthday to Me, Deadly Eyes, Funeral Home)

    Lyla, played by Lesleh Donaldson, is probably going to be the most recognizable face in this episode by those familiar with 80’s era Canadian horror. She does a good job of hamming it up during the final act. Fahteem is portrayed by August Schellenberg from Paul Lynch’s Cross Country and the Free Willy series. He has an uncanny resemblance to Bela Lugosi circa 1940’s at times. Martin Neufeld plays Robert, the assistant lackey. The only reason I’m even mentioning him is because he was in a Canadian teen comedy titled One Night Only about a group of young women that get together with hookers and throw a wild party to raise funds for a hockey team. Why isn’t this on DVD? Lastly, the episode is written is Richard Friedman who went on to direct Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge and write / direct Doom Asylum.



    It’s nothing groundbreaking, but this was a fast-paced mystery with some gory death scenes wrapped around a story that allowed all three leads to participate. The subplots of each of the suspects are not fully realized as if they were trimmed down in editing, but the episode makes up for it in all other areas.

    Favorite moment: The bloody finale with Montarro’s fate and Lyla’s breakdown. It’s just short of her screaming how she’ll be back to get revenge. Like Uncle Lewis, she has the potential to be a recurring villain. It’s a shame that I know she’s not thanks to the mystifying, magical foresight bestowed upon me by IMDB.

    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Actress Lesleh Donaldson reminisces about filming. She also mentions auditioning for the role of Micki. That would have been an interesting choice, but I'm not sure if I would make the switch.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x07 – Doctor Jack



    A mediocre doctor finds success thanks to a handy-dandy cursed scalpel that allows him to save any patient he desires so long as he takes a life before the operation. This scalpel is believed to have been used by Jack the Ripper from a century before, a supposed doctor that murder that murdered five women.

    Jack, Micki, and Ryan discover the scalpel is being used by Dr. Vincent Howlett. They’re not the only investigators that learn of Howlett’s secret as a grieving, revenge seeking mother named Jean Flappen has tracked him down as well. Later, Jack tussles with Howlett and falls down an elevator shaft. His only chance of survival is a surgical operation performed by, you guessed it, Dr. Howelett and his magic scalpel. The surgery is a success, but Howlett doesn’t plan on letting Jack survive the post-op experience.

    Luckily for Jack, he’s saved by Jean Flappen who arrives just in time to get herself almost killed. Before Jean becomes shish kabob, Micki and Ryan show up and distract Howlett. The evil doctor meets a shocking end when his attempt to stab Micki goes horribly wrong and he accidently strikes a defibrillator.



    At the end of Hellowe’en, Jack mentioned in two weeks the trio would have to deal with Friday the 13th (November 13, 1987 to be exact). Although the episode aired on October 26th, it took place on Halloween night. I’m guessing Doctor Jack is not two weeks exactly since then (the episode aired on November 9th). What did happen to the Curious Goods gang on Friday the 13th? Or is this supposed to be that story?

    Another cursed object that requires sacrificing a life to save a life makes this cursed antique item feel a little redundant after The Great Montarro. For better or worse, that’s where the similarities end. Stories like this which involve someone choosing to take away life to save a life are intriguing, but Doctor Jack is completely void of any moral dilemma. Perhaps Howlett was, at one time, reeling with the guilt of his actions. If so, he’s past that by the story’s beginning. He’s a stone-cold killer with no remorse. Hell, he can barely display two facial expressions.

    Although it’s too late to get any drama out of Howlett, Micki and Ryan get a moment when they decide to hand the scalpel back over to the homicidal doctor so he can operate on Jack. It should have been an emotional quandary, but I’m not feeling it. Neither do Micki and Ryan as it seems like they’re just as worried as you would be when deciding what to order from an Applebee’s menu. It’s too obvious a choice considering reporters are watching the operation and all eyes are on Howlett and if he can keep his perfect 100% successful operation record. Of course he isn’t going to mess it up!



    The episode does have a few upsides along with some funny quirks to it. The hospital has that creepy basement you only seen in horror movies. You know the kind. The one where nobody has ventured into in over three decades. It’s a great location for the chase sequences. The opening scene with Howlett disguised in a coat and scarf looks like something out of I, Madman. The scalpel itself is interesting. In addition to the life-for-life power it yields, it can also cut through anything as if it was made out of adamantium. Because, see, his name is Howlett and…ugh. Never mind. There’s a quick shot at the beginning of a $100 bill which would mean this does, in fact, take place in the United States…somewhere. Lastly, Fred Mollin’s music is reminiscent of something from A Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s a nice stand out and the most notable piece he's created outside of the main tune.

    I’ve talked about the good and the bad. Now it’s time for the weird. First up is Howlett’s killing spree. If he’s been touring the country for two years, that would mean he’s left behind a trail of dead bodies during that time. It’s understandable that nobody would connect him with that, but it’s mentioned that his murders only make the “back pages” of the newspapers. Huh? I’m pretty sure that, at some point, the police and the media would pick up on a trail of grisly murders that involve the same exact murder weapon and killing style. The character of Jean Flappen is such a strange addition. She’s out for revenge against Howlett as she suspects him of killing her daughter yet doesn’t have any proof. Why she keeps drawing a piston on him and then refusing to shoot is a mystery, but not nearly as much as why nobody calls the cops on her. Instead, they strap her to a bed and admit her to the hospital. Another odd yet funny moment is Micki’s random quip “you forgot there were two of us” as she watches Howlett beat the tar out of Ryan. The idea is that she’s going to lure Howlett to strike at her right and then block the attack with a defibrillator. It’s just strange to see when she yells the line as you normally blurt out a quip while doing something. Instead, she’s just standing 2 two feet away. Did I mention that she has the most insane look on her face? This is a “you need to see it to believe it” type of moment. There’s also the intercom page for a “Dr. Gordita.” Dr. Chalupa must have been busy addressing the nachos belle grande situation. Finally, there’s the window in the background during the showdown at the end with the words “eat” and “some”. Or is it “site”? Maybe “sirte”? Was it supposed to read “eat some shit?” What about “eat some pickles?” It could have been anything. Why you gotta leave me on a cliffhanger?


    Dr. Vincent Howlett (Cliff Gorman – Angel, Night of the Juggler)

    There’s not many noticeable faces in this one. Howlett is played by Cliff Gorman from Angel (I’ve got a topic around somewhere on that series). This being a horror story set in a hospital during the 1980s means you must have a crotchety old woman in charge. The honor goes to Dr. Price portrayed by Doris Petrie from Funeral Home and Scanners II: The New Order. And lastly, Michael Copeman is Jim Bronson, the original buyer of the cursed scalpel. He’s another one of those character actors you see in numerous Canadian productions like Cross Country, American Nightmare, and Scanners III: The Takeover. Sad to say that no heads exploded in Doctor Jack



    Doctor Jack isn’t a bad way to spend 45 minutes. It’s just not Halloween II. Heck, it’s not even on the level of Hospital Massacre. It works well enough to pass the time by watching familiar characters in a new environment, but only if you ignore the holes in the story.

    Favorite moment: Although it’s ridiculous that Howlett forgoes the disguise when he hurriedly stalks the streets so he can take a life and perform Jack’s operation despite making sure to hide his identity at the beginning of the story, I love the Mollin’s music during these sequences.

    Rating: 3 / 5

    Curious Goods: If the story feels a bit too loose (Jack not caring that a cursed object was used to save his life, Jean’s assumption about Howlett killing his daughter), it’s because writer Marc Scott Zicree’s mother had just passed away and he was busy dealing with the emotions that are to be expected. At least, the emotions most people would think follows. Supervising Executive Barbara Sachs insensitively told him to write it as it would help him feel better. As Zicree points out, she was not a “people-person.” Unless I’m mistaken, Sachs worked on the Canadian Friday the 13th’s like A New Blood and Jason Takes Manhattan and she’s the executive director John Carl Buechler clashed with on the former. Lastly, Zicree chimes in that the “Jack” in the title refers to Jack the Ripper and not Jack Marshak.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x08 – Shadow Boxer



    There’s no less respected boxer at Manny’s Gym than Tommy Dunn (not to be confused with Tommy Gunn from Rocky V). That is, until Tommy puts on the gloves of "Killer" Ken Kelsey, a boxer from the 1940s that earned his nickname the old-fashioned way. These gloves allow Tommy to project a living, breathing shadow version of himself that can control however he sees fit.

    Tommy’s agenda is short and simple—kill everyone that ever looked down on him. That includes the gym owner, Manny, and a local gym fighter named Terrific Tony. This is just the warm-up for the big showdown between Tommy and local renowned boxer Kid Cornelius.

    Micki, Ryan, and Jack track the gloves to Tommy and soon come face to face with his shadow self. Micki discovers Tommy and the shadow are linked when she uses a camera flash on the shadow, causing Tommy to become temporarily blind. This practice is used during Tommy’s fight against Cornelius. Tommy loses the match and Ryan steals the gloves in the aftermath.

    Although the gloves have been returned to the vault for safekeeping, Micki is upset that Tommy murdered two people and suffers no repercussions for it. She gets her wish when Tommy shows up in the middle of the night and holds her hostage with a knife to the throat. Tommy demands the gloves to be returned. Ryan offers Tommy one glove and in the confusion, puts on the other glove and sucker punches Jack. For the shadow version to work, the user must hit someone. Ryan knocks Jack out and his shadow-self clobbers Tommy in the process.



    At first, you think the story is about a meat-head thug that gets off on brutally beating other human beings into submission justified by the name calling and judgmental treatment he receives from others. His blood lust knows no bounds as he pounds an elderly man into a pile of broken bones. Micki distracts Tommy momentarily to allow Jack and Ryan access to his apartment to look for the gloves and he instantly thinks she’s slutty for showing him any attention. Tommy is a brute.

    At least, that’s what you’re meant to think initially. Look at his situation and what little we know of the guy. We learn he’s taking severe beatings in his life to the point that he has permanent scar tissue in his head. He cleans the gym and is shown absolutely no respect by the owner, Manny, or anyone else there because he’s never won much in the ring. He’s called names. Nobody believes in him. This is the story of the underdog. It’s the Canadian TV version of Rocky…except with killer gloves that create a shadow version of the user. Big deal that he doesn’t know how to talk to women. Rocky Balboa didn’t either. Then once he finds a way to win, here comes our heroic trio to take away his glory.

    I’m reaching, but that’s because entertaining the “Rocky” notion makes the episode much more fun than it actually is. "Shadow Boxer" is just as bad as, say, "Cup of Time", but without the camp. It’s got the over-the-top acting and terrible dialogue plus late-80s special effects of the shadow which are charming. It just doesn’t hit the same tune despite containing similar notes. There’s zero sympathy for Tommy although I get the impression we’re supposed to feel something for him. There’s also the question of why Manny originally had the cursed gloves and if he ever used them, but I don’t think the audience is supposed to ponder on it.



    The third act feels like it was written by an entirely different writer. I like how it’s set up. The cursed gloves are recovered yet Micki is unhappy that Tommy wasn’t brought to justice. There’s no way to do so other than committing murder themselves so the trio will have to just be contempt with the situation. That would have been an interesting point to stop at as there should be times when a happy ending where the villain gets his comeuppance doesn’t occur.



    Too bad the there’s seven more minutes to fill. First off, we see Micki’s bedroom. Normally, there should be good things to follow that sentence, but instead it’s the start of a whole string of bat-shit moments. There’s a picture of Lloyd the fiancee on the nightstand. Wait a second…are they still together? Why is this even a subplot?

    Next, Tommy breaks in to retake the gloves. Makes sense although nobody else considering is baffling. Did they think he would just be like “oh well, guess I’ll become a loser again”? Tommy is now in full on creep mode. He’s sleazier here than he ever was before. He has Micki at knife point and uses her as a hostage, but he keeps rubbing the knife over her body in a sexual manner…before he puts the tip of it into her nose. His knife is in her nostril. If you want to get analytical about this and assume the knife is his penis and her nostril is the vagina, well, this is a strange way of going about that. I think it was just a goof and they left it in.

    When Tommy comments on Micki being Ryan’s girlfriend, Micki’s reaction is priceless. She’s more interested at setting the record straight of their family relation than worrying about the knife in her nostril. Maybe it’s because at the beginning of the episode, she was spanking Ryan and she wanted to make sure Jack didn’t get any suspicions about them. I’m not making this up—she was spanking him.

    Next comes Ryan sucker-punching Jack. The look on Jack’s face is priceless! Going back to "Doctor Jack", this is an example of using the cursed object for the sake of the good…but at what cost? Well, Jack’s stomach and face it would seem.

    It all wraps up with the explanation of Tommy’s death. The police report reads that Tommy came to the store, shouted and made a ruckus, and fell over dead due to severe head trauma from the boxing matches over the years. Don’t worry about Cornelius. Somehow, it’s explained that the beating he gave Tommy that same night had no effect on his well-being.


    Tommy Dunn (David Ferry – The Boondock Saints, Darkman II: Return of Durant)

    Credit goes to David Ferry for always playing the character of Tommy as constantly fighting the urge to punch someone no matter what task he’s doing: smoking, sweeping the floor, laughing. The man looks like he’s ready to unleash at a moment’s notice. Other bit players are Patricia Hamilton from 1981’s My Blood Valentine as Manny’s widow and Philip Akin as Kid Cornelius who had been in 2014’s Robocop and voiced Bishop in the 90’s X-Men animated series. Too bad it wasn’t V.C. Dupree aka Julius from Jason Takes Manhattan. I honestly expected him to run into the scene with his boxing gloves on.



    "Shadow Boxer" is a mixed bag. The two acts are terrible, but the third act with Tommy breaking into the Curious Goods store is golden.

    Favorite moment: No surprises here—the entire third act that involves disputing incest relations, a knife in someone’s nose, Ryan going to the dark side and using the Power Glove, Lloyd’s random appearance, Ryan decking Jack…it’s got it all.

    Rating: 3 / 5 (I figure the last portion averages out the underwhelming two-thirds)

    Curious Goods: Director Timothy Bond explains the process they used to create the shadow, something that would simply be constructed with CGI today. Also, David Ferry mentions the crew brought in an old boxing pro from the Joe Lewis days to train him for the episode.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    1x09 – Root of All Evil



    The story begins with Harley O’Conner tossing his mother into a cursed wood chipper powered by Satan which rewards him with dollar bills for his effort. Tossed into a mental institution, the wood chipper is passed along to a greenkeeper named Smitty. Possessing a good-natured heart, the wood chipper doesn’t even try to seduce Smitty. Instead, it focuses its evil attention towards his young assistant, Adrian. The wood chipper works on a trade system. The wealthier its food, the more money it pays out. Not wasting any time, Adrian quickly starts tossing any abled body he can find into the infernal machine—a local drunk, Smitty, an accountant, and finally, himself. Motivated by greed, Adrian’s worth is only that of flesh and blood.

    Meanwhile, Micki’s fiancée Lloyd pops up and gives her an ultimatum. Either she leaves the store and marries him or she stays to right the wrong of the cursed antiques and lose out on have a jackass fiancée. Surprisingly, she struggles to find an answer, but eventually chooses to stick with Ryan and Jack.

    And so we learn that this is the true event that inspired Fargo.


    Lloyd (Barclay Hope – TV’s Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal)

    This is an interesting episode due its structure. For the first time since "The Inheritance", there is now an A plot and a B plot. This is commonplace today, but this show hadn’t quite figured it out yet or not to this degree. With most anthology series at the time running to fill a half-hour segment, at 45 minutes most of these stories could do well with an accompanying plot. The good is that the procedural element of the story feels less padded, giving our leads less opportunity to look like buffoons. The negative is that the B plot, Micki and Lloyd, is not enjoyable in the slightest.

    That’s because I never felt like Micki and Lloyd had much of a relationship to begin with. The only time we’ve seen them together was for a few moments in her introduction in "The Inheritance" where he did nothing but complain the entire time. That episode finished with Lloyd ending a telephone conversation when Micki tried to explain she needed to attend to some unfinished business at the shop. Since then, there hasn’t been much of developing their relationship outside of her keeping a photo of him on her nightstand. Maybe it’s that he looks like Rob Lowe if you squint your eyes. The choice he puts before her isn’t even explored. Why can’t she marry Lloyd and stay at the shop? It’s nice to see that they’re finally doing something with the character and the relationship, but I’m not invested in the outcome.



    What’s a bigger letdown is how the two plots come together. They don’t. The wood chipper of death spits out money corresponding to the victim’s financial stability. The richer the victim, the bigger the payout. It’s implied Lloyd is well-to-do with a career in litigation and his fancy suits. He’d be a perfect victim. Micki would feel compelled to continue the work at Curious Goods while getting rid of a useless character. Right? Nope. The closest he gets to the chipper is when he’s at the scene as Adrian jumps into the machine in pursuit of his money bag and fails to even attempt to climb back out. Lloyd doesn’t even give an expression when seeing this! It’s like he’s used to watching people jump into wood chippers. Later, Micki stays at the shop so he leaves completely intact instead of being hauled away as bloody mulch. What a waste.



    I guess I should feel bad for Micki, but I can’t. I’m too distracted by how half her dialogue is drowned out with a heavy French accent. Louise Robey was still new to acting so covering her natural sound was probably difficult, but I want to say she did so much better in the earlier episodes. I would chalk it up to the difficulties of trying to maintain a certain accent while pretending to be emotionally distraught, but it's just as apparent in the scenes where the character is calm. She almost makes up for this disruption with her facial reactions to having “the sex” with Lloyd. It’s so over the top.

    I haven’t said much about the wood chipper. It’s an odd choice for a cursed antique. They make a point to say it’s from 1937 so it would be 50 years old at the time. Still, it’s a wood chipper! What was Satan’s reaction when Lewis conversed with him about cursing certain items in his store? Did he give Satan a list or did he show him all the items? Imagine the Prince of Darkness looking at this list and reading a doll, a cupid statue, a scalpel, and a wood chipper. I’m assuming Satan himself came up with how these items work so what was the inspiration for it giving out cash in return for wealthy victims? Is it that the Devil has a thing against gardeners, connecting them to gardens like the Garden of Eden and this is just some sort of subconscious decision to get revenge for getting kicked out? I’m hoping for an entire episode dedicated to Lewis and Beelzebub hashing out their deal.


    Adrian (Rico Colantoni – TV’s Veronica Mars, TV’s Just Shoot Me!, Galaxy Quest)

    From wood chippers and Satan to the guest cast. Rico Colantoni, portraying Adrian the homicidal greenkeeper, has probably the most illustrious career out of anyone else from the show with two successful TV shows. I know him more from Just Shoot Me! and there’s some humor in watching Elliot whacking people over the head and tossing them into a hellish mulching machine that emits a weird glow as it tears into bodies. Just Shoot Me! needed a follow up story to this episode. Next up is Lloyd, played by Barclay Hope from TV’s Psi Factor. Anyone remember that Canadian paranormal show trying to ride The X-Files wave? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. I do remember an article in Fangoria about it starring Dan Aykroyd. Lastly, George Buza portrays Harley O’Conner’s weirdo neighbor whose only purpose is to direct Jack and Micki to the whereabouts of the mother-killer. He’s done a long list of voice acting, but the most memorable for me is Beast from the 90’s X-Men cartoon. I think he made a cameo in the first live-action movie as well. Oh, my stars and garters!



    I found this to be a mixed bag. I like the inclusion of another story running parallel with the main plot and that it’s possibly a significant episode in the long run with Micki’s development. It’s underwhelming that it’s about a relationship that was never built up so there’s no emotional investment. Worse yet is that it ended in the most bland and predictable way. I’m with Ryan in his dislike for Lloyd and all things concerning him. The show has never given me a reason not to. However, the rest of the story involves a wood chipper that shoots out dollar bills. The result is it feels more notable than the other average stories if only because of how unique it is in comparison.

    Favorite moment: There is one scene that perks up this episode. Micki tries to convince Lloyd about the work she, Ryan, and Jack are doing and takes him to the vault. There are several items that can be spotted that have never appeared on the show. Micki mentions that they are all the antiques the groups have collected over two months. It’s nice to see that, although this is only the ninth-time audiences have spent the characters, they’re hard at work even when we don’t see them.

    Even better is seeing all the objects they’ve gathered so far. Not just because I found some of them intriguing, but because I’m so relieved I’ve been spared having to watching a story set around an evil house lamp. I already saw that in Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes and I don’t see this show managing to “outperform” its hilarity. The Houdin box and the other antiques are curiously absent, but there is a cameo from Veda, the doll. It came so close to ripping Lloyd’s throat out. So close.

    That begs the question if the items are still activated. Wouldn’t the vault be a death trap then? Walking into it and having the items go full-throttle with their abilities would be a possibility. At the very least, Veda may jump at whomever walks into the room.



    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Writer of "Root of all Evil" Rob Hedden (writer / director of Friday the 13th Part VIII – Jason Takes Manhattan) mentions his interest in the various murders rather than the blatant moral lesson about greed corrupting the soul.

    Actor Barclary Hope (Lloyd) talks about how he had hoped to be a reoccurring character, but nothing was ever decided. That’s not surprising given how little attention his character was shown.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x10 – Tales of the Undead



    At a comic book store, a teen boy becomes inexplicably drawn to Tales of the Undead #1. Not only is it an incredibly rare comic book, but it is also signed by its creator Jay Star. Shortly after stealing the comic, the teen transforms into the title character, Ferrus the Invincible, and murders the shop keeper and gives Ryan a lethal shove into the nearest wall.

    With Jack absent away on business it’s up to Micki and Ryan to track down the possessor of the comic book that once belonged to Uncle Lewis. They’re not the only ones interested as Jay Star himself finds the teen boy and murders him, taking the magical comic for himself. Although a feeble old man, Star can transform himself into Ferrus to act out his revenge against those that wronged him in the past. His victims include the teenaged boy, the son of the man who possibly swindled him out of the rights to his own comic creation, and his housekeep who stole his original work and sold it for quick cash.

    It turns out Ferrus isn’t so invincible as he does one weakness, but it was only revealed in a discarded drawing that Star happens to have. Micki and Ryan try to discover their only chance of stopping Star before he can burn the drawing and truly live up to his name.





    I mean, unless Star dies while he’s in old man form. There’s nothing that implies he’s invincible when he’s not Ferrus. Since he seems to be out of possible victims that have wronged him in the past by the time Micki and Ryan stop him, it almost seems too late. Chances are he would have simply stopped as there was nobody left to kill. I’m overthinking this. This is a story in which a teenager worships a number one issue of his favorite title, steals it, and then crumples it up like an old newspaper. Everybody knows you gotta bag and board it.

    The idea of using a comic book, often utilized as a means of escapism as explained in the episode, to create the villain and drawing out the worst in someone circumvented my expectations. Comics are often thought of portraying a social commentary on society and culture, whether it’s through superheroes like The Uncanny X-Men or the E.C. comics such as Weird Science. "Tales of the Undead" taps into the latter. The comic in this episode was created in 1947, a time before the comic industry would change with the installation of the comic code authority and self-regulate its content to establish a sense of ethics and morality. That a comic pre-code is now used to demonstrate a tale of ethics is intriguing. I don’t want to set it up as something deep as there’s arguably little, if any, implications of the sort. I also don’t fully agree with Ryan’s assessment of why young boys read comics as it could easily be misconstrued as the reason rather than Ryan’s own personal explanation considering the teenager from the beginning transforms into his favorite character, Ferrus the Invincible.

    That doesn’t make it any less fun. I grew up reading comics. I visited a shop that reminded me of the one seen here so it takes me back to my childhood with comics hanging on the wall, seeing that rare issue that’s much too costly, and finding that back issue you’ve been searching months for. Today, it’s a matter of going to Ebay.com and buying whatever you wanted and for cheap.

    I’m digging the design for Ferrus. It does look like something you might find from that era. Perhaps a few years later in with the 1950s-sci-fi boom rather than something from 1947. Then again, maybe there are some influences from Fritz Lang films to be seen. What I’m confused about is why, in a comic that references the “undead”, is the title character a robot? Ferrus looks better than it operates. It’s sooooo slow. Michael Myers could outrun this thing when Star transforms. Maybe it only moves as fast as its alter ego. Bullets bounce off its armor, but that didn’t stop it from being knocked down. If Star hadn’t been stopped, I seriously hope he didn’t have delusions of grandeur to take over the world.



    Godzilla makes an appearance! Twice! So close to getting that Gamera vs. Godzilla match. If the picture quality was a little better, I may be able to make out some of the comics in the background. I could see an issue of Conan, The Uncanny X-Men, and Tales from the Crypt. There’s no subtlety towards giving praise for this episode’s inspiration.



    To get away with the transformations of the characters into Ferrus the Invincible, comic book panels are used as a cheap method. Although the drawings look more like colored-in story boards, it works ok enough. My mind instantly raced to compare it to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, but that’s not fair as the two stories are trying to accomplish something different. If you’re looking for big budget late-80s special effects, you’re not going to find them on a cheap TV show from that era.

    We get the Micki that’s likeable to return after last episode’s heart-broken-randomly-breaks-into-a-French-accent-Micki. I’m not a fan of her pulling a Scully and disbelieving Ryan’s story about a character from a comic book coming to life, but thankfully it only lasts for a couple of minutes. She just showed the wacky antiques kept in the vault to Lloyd last episode to make him believe in the supernatural. Her questioning Ryan is just wrong.


    Jay Star (Ray Walston – TV’s My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Private School)

    I wish I could describe the laugh Star emits to Ryan. It’s so forced and over the top, it works as painting him as unhinged. It addition to Ray Walston as Jay Star, there’s David Hewlett (Scanners II: The New Order, Cube) as the teenager that steals the cursed comic book and an unneeded appearance by Jenn Griffin (Kindergarten Cop 2….damn it, Dolph. If you need money that bad, just ask me buddy). More interesting than those last two names is the writer / director of Alice Sweet Alice, Alfred Sole, credited as one of two people for the story.



    The show’s budget is made apparent, but I enjoyed the light-take on a story crafted in the vein of an E.C. comic. Plus, it made Ryan more relatable while reminding me that Micki can be useful at times. At least until Jack returns.

    Favorite Moment: Micki getting hooked on to Ryan’s comic collection. It’s silly today considering how many women are into the “geek culture”, but I appreciate the show trying to stand up for comics and say anyone can enjoy them. On the other hand, she mentions she cut out a picture from one of Ryan’s comics. She just killed the re-sale value of that issue. She’s a danger to the hobby and a menace. A menace! Now bring me photos of Spider-man!

    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Teleplay writer Marc Scott Zicree talks of drawing inspiration from real life examples of Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster in regards to Star getting cheated out of ownership and money for creating the comic and its character, Ferrus.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    1x11 – Scarecrow



    While Jack is off tracking down a cursed antique on his lonesome, Micki and Ryan are hitting the countryside in reply to their inquiry of a scarecrow sold by their uncle Lewis. Besides looking creepy, this object comes to life and decapitates three victims a year in return for promising a bountiful harvest to the owner.

    The story opens as a young boy named Jordy watches his father succumb to the scarecrow’s scythe, the first to fall to its blade. A local farm wife tries to warn Micki and Ryan, but fails to keep her head long enough to do so. Micki is chosen as the third and final sacrifice by its owner, Marge Longacre, to keep the murder spree a secret while she buys up all the surrounding land and become rich. Ryan has other plans and Marge reaps what she sows.

    Yeah, I said it.



    Right out of the gate, this episode hit me like a breath of fresh air by deviating from the formula set so far. Rather than stay confined to the city (whichever one that may be), we’re now following Micki and Ryan to the countryside and, man oh man, director William Fruet makes use of it in every single shot. You’ve got creepy farmhouses, barns covered in shadows, small town life with its own local mystery complete with small town law enforcement totaling to, what appears to be, one cop, a killer scarecrow carrying around a scythe and lopping off heads, night shots with fog and moonlight…it looks so damn good. Looking at William Fruet’s credit listing will explain why--he's directed several genre titles like Funeral Home, Trapped, Spasms, Blue Monkey, and Death Weekend. Sure, those are all low-budget films that most people wouldn’t think twice of, but this is a low-budget TV show—it simply benefits from his experience. One of my favorite shots is the opening with the farmhouse at night with lightning illuminating the night sky into a deep shade of purple. Beautiful stuff.



    For this round, the antique being a smaller object utilized by a person to harness unnatural power is slightly altered. Instead, the object is hulking creature that looks like it could punch a hole through somebody. Not only is it physically intimidating, but it possesses the ability to teleport after its victims. Unlike Jason when he vacationed in Manhattan, this type of movement seems intentional. It doesn’t make any sense why a scarecrow can teleport, but damn if it doesn’t make it seem more formidable if it’s victims can’t outrun it. By victims, I mean the father with limited mobility as he’s situated inside a kitchen, the elderly farm wife that jogs away from the straw-filled villain, and Micki who is trapped inside a bedroom yet can dodge every single swipe from a weapon that reaches over halfway across the room. Maybe teleportation was overkill.



    Time for a few observations. None of these make or break the episode for me, but they’re just some things that caught my attention. For example, Marge looks through Micki’s purse and steals her driver’s license. At last, I’ll be able to tell what state she’s living in! Except the picture quality makes it difficult to read any of it.

    Property-tycoon Marge Longacre, with her Midwest-French-Irish accent, stabs a man in the back who gives the most absolute delayed reaction I’ve ever witnessed. There’s a solid two seconds before he acknowledges he’s been stabbed. It needs to be seen.



    Ryan’s sudden jump kick to disarm Marge and climbing on top of the scarecrow monster remind me so much of what John LeMay will act out in Jason Goes to Hell.

    We learn that Ryan had a brother named Jimmy who died as a young boy. It’s great to develop the characters, but this feels so far out of leftfield. Its purpose is to establish a bond between Ryan and the first victim’s son, Jordy. I have to question what was really accomplished here. I have no reason to think Ryan would have treated Jordy like crap if he didn’t remind him of his dead brother. The man has proven to be a kind-hearted savior. By the time Ryan finds Jordy, the story is almost over. The only significant event after they meet is Ryan taking Jordy to a local farm to look for the scarecrow. Forget about what this relationship means for Jordy and let’s look at how it develops Ryan. He gives Jordy a baseball that his brother gave him when they were kids. It’s a visual representation of Ryan moving on from the guilt of his dead brother. That could mean something if any of this was established before. It feels tacked on.



    Speaking of story elements shoe-horned in, there’s the crazed son of the farm wife who dresses up as the scarecrow and chases after Micki in some sort of pseudo-sexual frenzy. Don’t think it happens at random. He does so because Marge tells him to do. Instead, think about why he even listens to her and what their relationship is.



    The story reminds me of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow from 1999 although not quite as convoluted. A woman uses a supernatural force to cut off the heads of her opposition to control the land along with the wealth and power that comes with it. “Scarecrow” is a bit easier to follow, but it does suffer from a shorter running time that doesn’t allow for questioning the set-up. For example, three people die each year in the same gruesome manner. From what I could discern, this has happened for a few years now. We’re talking at nine victims. Nobody in the town thinks it’s strange? The sheriff thinks Micki’s rambling about seeing a scarecrow near the body of the second victim is nonsense. I would have preferred if the scarecrow had turned into a local legend of sorts, but that wouldn’t explain the nonchalant attitude Micki and Ryan receive.


    Marge Longacre (Patricia Phillips - (Producer) TV's Death or Canada)

    Although she has acted in small parts here and there in addition to her portrayal as Marge, Patricia Phillips is more of a producer of television documentaries like Death or Canada and Hitler’s Victory. The scarecrow was played by stuntman Ted Hanlan (Street Justice, Death Wish V: The Face of Death), the sheriff by Steve Pernie (Class of 1984), and Charlie, Marge’s farmer accomplice and husband to the female victim, is James B. Douglas from The Changeling and Deadly Eyes. It would seem we have two actors here with a connection to Lisa Langlois. It would be awesome if she appeared on the show. Hmmm, I wonder…nope. A quick look at IMDB shows she never acted in this. That’s a shame.



    It overreaches a bit by adding in too many characters and not enough development, but this is the best episode so far with its slasher-inspired chase sequences involving a towering monster and atmospheric locale.

    Favorite moment: I must give props for the ending. It’s as if the writers knew I was sitting there questioning certain aspects of the story and they basically wrote in a giant middle finger for my enjoyment. As our heroes drive off into the sunset having vanquished evil and helping those in need, Micki asks about heads taken from the victims—where are they and why were they taken? With silence as the answer, the episode ends on an eerie note as the unexplainable lingers in the minds of the heroes and the audience.

    Rating: 4.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: As it turns out, the question was supposed to be answered after all.

    According to teleplay writer Marc Scott Zicree, the camera was to pan over to the farm land in the background after Micki asks Ryan about the heads. It was to be raining and the water would wash away the soil to reveal the heads. He reasons that the sacrifice of the heads was to Satan so it probably couldn’t be done due to broadcast standards of the time.

    Author Alyse Wax posits her theory. Marge did a fair amount of attempted homicide (even being successful at one point) so perhaps she kept the heads as trophies. I agree with her assessment that there’s a well of backstory there for Marge.

    Actress Patricia Phillips likes to think Marge buried the heads from the neck up in the rotten pumpkin patch that can be spotted in the background when Micki and Ryan arrive at Charlie’s farm.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x12 – Faith Healer



    Faith Healer Stewart Fishoff is a charlatan who deceives the downtrodden and diseased to make a quick buck. That is, until Jerry Scott exposes him for what he truly is. His trickery revealed, Fishoff runs away from an angry church audience into the nearby alleyway and falls into a dumpster. It’s there he discovers a white glove. Fishoff dons the glove and makes physical contact with one of the diseased patrons. The woman is cured of her affliction as it’s transferred to the white glove. The glove quickly displays the woman’s illness and starts to affect Fishoff himself until he touches a police officer with it. The glove amplifies the disease by several times over before transferring it to the officer who dies instantly.

    Nearly a year later, Micki and Ryan catch Fishoff on television wearing the white glove. Jack spots the glove and immediately recognizes it as an antique he purchased for Lewis. The trio try to steal the glove from Fishoff, but their efforts only result in Fishoff murdering another innocent person.

    Jack goes to an old friend for help—Jerry Scott. Although Scott disagrees with Jack about the existence of the supernatural and has spent his life disproving it, he decides to help take the glove from Fishoff for his own reason: Scott is dying from a disease. A showdown with the “healer” ends with Scott shooting Fishoff’s bodyguard in cold blood and pumping a couple of rounds into Fishoff himself. Before he can succumb to his injuries, Fishoff uses the white glove on himself, but fails to transfer the wounds to someone else. Time runs out and the glove’s amplification power results in Fishoff suddenly being shot with numerous bullets.

    Scott takes the glove and uses it on himself. He targets Jack as the unlucky recipient so that he may live. Jack fights Scott long enough that he’s able to get the upper hand and turn the glove back onto himself. Scott’s disease returns much worse than before and he suffers greatly in his remaining moments.



    After viewing “Scarecrow”, I figured that was going to be the highlight for the season. Not only am I wrong, but it’s the very next episode that manages to topple “Scarecrow” for my pick of best episode of the season so far! This surpassed my expectations by far. When I read the title, I guessed it was going to be about a fake healer that uses an antique item to perform the real deal with terrible consequences. Any excitement I had for the story dropped. It’s not that these kinds of stories are bad; they’re all so similar. Even the beginning of “Faith Healer” starts out like how you would expect.



    It turns out I hadn’t noticed a very important name in the opening credit. I looked away from the screen for a moment and completely missed the director: David Cronenberg! Horror fans reading this should know his work from Shivers, Videodrome, The Brood, and much more. It’s funny that as I was watching this, I kept thinking of how it reminded me so much of Cronenberg’s work in several ways. The effects of the glove are about transferring physical abnormalities and the disfiguration and suffering they create. In short, body horror. These abnormalities are showcased in special effects using bladders, a common effect tool in this time for the horror genre and especially in Cronenberg’s work. Plus, it’s Canadian. I’m seeing body horror with bladder effects on a Canadian production and my mind instantly thinks of Cronenberg. I went back through the credits to find the name of the director because I thought I discovered another Cronenberg-type of director that worked primarily in television. Nope. It was David Cronenberg himself.




    If anyone that’s reading this hasn’t seen the episode, keep those expectations in check as you’re not seeing 1986’s The Fly type of effects work. It’s similar and what they could achieve with the budget this show is allotted and as well as what they can put on the air. Don’t take that to mean it’s tame; this is the most gruesome I’ve seen the show get and it’s fantastic to witness.



    In addition to all the above is the story and its characters. Don’t get wrong. I enjoyed the effects immensely. However, it’s the moral dilemma and what people will do for self-preservation intertwined with hypocrisy that I found even more interesting. Scott exposed frauds like Fishoff in the past possibly out of a moral obligation. By the time of “Faith Healer”, Scott’s slowly dying and abandons his disbelief in the supernatural or the otherworldly in hopes of finding a cure. To secure salvation, he forsakes protecting human life by taking it from Fishoff, his bodyguard, and Jack if he had his way. The power of the glove is the physical representation of this transformation in Scott’s actions. He takes the glove from Fishoff and becomes infected with evil much like Fishoff takes the ailments from others and bestows it upon his victim. And that’s without even touching the changing dichotomy between Scott and Fishoff in their struggle for power over one another.



    Enough about the guest characters and time about the plucky heroes. Micki and Ryan take more of a backseat after leading two prior episodes. Instead, Jack is more at the front except when the middle act focuses on Scott and Fishoff’s meetings. It’s nice to see Jack back (and I don’t mean that Jimmy Spader movie) although he doesn’t get to do much until the end when thwarting the advances of Scott. His breakdown before the freeze frame ending / credit roll is something I’ll go into in just a minute.


    Stewart Fishoff (Miguel Fernandes – Ghost Story, Spasms)


    Jerry Scott (Robert Silverman – Jason X, The Brood, Rabid, Prom Night)

    “Faith Healer” was written by Christine Cornish. Never heard the name? Well, don’t feel bad as she’s only done a few other television episodes and none of them are of this genre. It makes me wonder if someone else came in and did rewrites of this. I didn’t list it, but Miguel Fernandes (Fishoff) made an appearance in David Cronenberg’s Rabid, although that was the only other time they seem to have worked together. I’m curious if it was a coincidence to them both signing up for this or if Cronenberg sought Fernandes out for the role. Robert Silverman (Scott) is another Cronenberg alumni from Rabid as well as The Brood, Scanners, and eXistenZ. Plus, they both appeared in Jason X. Remember the guy the professor video-called to sell him the cryogenic woman and instead points out he’s got a bigger treasure with the notorious mass murderer Jason Voorhees? Yeah, that’s him.



    Everything about “Faith Healer” is the show at its best so far with the combination of a great script and masterful directing with moments of 80s-era special effects. Can the show surpass this new high mark? It worked out so well last time I asked that question, it couldn’t hurt to ask again.

    Favorite moment: The final sequence. Jack’s understandably upset about the recent events. Not just because Scott, his friend, tried to murder him in a horrifying way, but because all of his friends have screwed him over as of late. Thanks to Lewis, he feels compelled to spend the rest of his year hunting down the cursed objects. Micki gets defensive at Jack’s frustrations and complains about how her life is just as affected. As I mentioned above, “Faith Healer” has it all including a great moment with the show’s three leads as they struggle with their situation and how it’s brought them nothing but misery. It’s dangerous work they’re in and it shows.

    Rating: 5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Not surprisingly, it’s about Cronenberg working on the show. There’s not much to say about how he got the job—he’s friends with Frank Mancuso, Jr and was asked. Because he worked in features, Cronenberg had to really push himself to adapt to the fast, one-week shooting schedule resulting in less attention directed toward the actors.

    There was an accident in which a stunt driver accidentally ran over a half a million-dollar camera. Of course, it happened on Friday the 13th.

    Author Alyse Wax has the exact same question I have about the script and if it was rewritten. As Wax points out, Cronenberg wrote his movies in addition to directing. This script seems especially made for Cronenberg’s style that it’s possible he rewrote Cornish’s draft. It’s also possible Cronenberg simply picked it out of several and it was filmed the way it was written. Cronenberg declined to comment for the book and Wax couldn’t locate Cornish so the mystery remains.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x13 – The Baron’s Bride



    A young man named Frank Edwards inquires of a room to rent from a widow. Unfortunately, the widow has other plans for Edwards which involve a cursed cape. Having discovered the whereabouts of the cape, the heroic trio speed towards the widow’s house just in time to witness her vampiric fangs in Edward’s throat. Ryan stakes the widow, but Micki is hurt in the scuffle and soon becomes the target of the newly vampirized Edwards. The cape has the ability to hypnotize woman and make them drawn to the male wearing it and Micki falls right into Edward’s clutches. Droplets of Micki’s blood mix with Edwards on the cape’s clasp and the two begin to vanish. Ryan latches on in the last moment and the three disappear in front of Jack.

    Edwards, Micki, and Ryan are transported to London in the year 1875. Edwards runs off to bite the neck of an unsuspecting street walker to quench his thirst for blood while Micki and Ryan meet with a local writer named Abraham and his wife Caitlin. Abe offers the time displaced duo a place to stay the night. Ryan insists on tracking down Edwards, killing him, and recovering the cape with Micki and Abraham’s help. Gathering wooden stakes and garlic, the trio manage to find Edwards during the day yet fail to achieve their goal.

    Later, Edwards kills Caitlin and kidnaps Micki who is still somewhat under the influence of Edwards from earlier. Ryan hunts Edwards down, but it’s Abraham who drives the stake into the vampire’s heart. Ryan and Micki return to their own time with the cape while Abraham stays behind. Jack points out they met with, and influenced, the writer Bram Stoker and his most popular work, Dracula.




    Frank Edwards (Tom McCamus – TV’s Orphan Black, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning)

    It’s the thirteenth episode and, wow, the show did not disappoint! There are so many enjoyable elements to “The Baron’s Bride” that I’m surprised at just how well they work. There’s time travel, vampires, the ending twist, the look of the episode, and so on. Each of these could easily be a misstep and send this spiraling into the category of “better luck next time” or worse.



    Let’s start with the vampires. If the show was to include vampires, I would have guessed their appearance would be reserved. Some fangs and maybe heavy eye liner at best. These vampires have no qualms about showing off their sharp, jagged teeth covered in blood. Instead of the traditional Universal Studios or even the Hammer Studios look, these vamps are more in line with the more contemporary takes of the time. However, the scene with a bloodied mouth Edwards running through the London fog in slow motion may be a reference to 1970’s Count Yorga. Even if not, it’s a powerful sight to behold. Honestly, vampires were a complete surprise to me. The story seems to revolve around a cursed cape at first. When the widow goes full-vampire, that was unexpected.

    That reminds me of the ending to “Faith Healer”. In the final sequence, Micki starts telling Jack about a cape she found written in Lewis’s manifest. This episode starts right up with Jack having already done the leg work to tracking it down and the trio are heading off for what would normally be the third act showdown in any other story. This change of pace threw me off guard, but is a great addition.



    Regarding the vampires, the show makes a few slight alterations while staying true to the lore. Garlic, stakes, and the time of day stick true to what we’ve seen in movies and shows before. It’s interesting to see Ryan play the role of Van Helsing in this as he instructs Abraham in the ways of a vampire despite never meeting one, let alone knowing they existed before a few hours earlier.

    The change in the vampire’s ability is his ability to hypnotize female victims. It’s not a power innately found in the vampire, but instead comes from the cape itself. If you think of movies with Dracula from the Universal or Hammer Studio days, this doesn’t contradict anything that I can think of. It’s a neat little touch while adding to the tradition of the night walker while allowing for the involvement of the show’s premise.

    A strange side effect is when the cape comes off. With it on, Edwards looks normal except for the scowling face he constantly makes and the extra-long teeth he brandishes. With it off, he turns into a creature reminiscent of Count Orlok from 1922’s Nosferatu although I suspect it’s supposed to be a reference to Count Dracula in the novel by the same name.

    That leaves the clasp. The cape can hypnotize women and the clasp has the power, once mixed with the blood of the vampire and his “true love”, allows them to hop across time as they see fit. That is such a random ability. That would mean there are two cursed objects although they’re treated as one.



    The entire episode is in black and white as a tribute to the horror films from Universal Studios and that’s damn cool. There’s no explanation about it in the story (probably because the characters don’t see things as black and white), but one isn’t needed. There are even townspeople running with torches in hand. Make no mistake, this is a love letter to the monster movies of old. I remember an episode of Supernatural doing the same in its fourth season. Canadian TV productions must have some classic horror films fans working on them.



    As far as twist endings go, I liked this even though it’s easy enough to pick up on. Abraham and a vampire had me wondering, but my suspicions were solidified when Caitlin calls her husband Bram in a hear-it-or-miss-it moment. The only reason I can think of that this wouldn’t sit well with viewers is if you don’t like the idea of vampiric Edwards, Ryan and his Van Helsing-type knowledge of the undead, and Caitlin’s demise at the hands of a vampire are all influential in Bram Stoker’s famous work.



    The cast and crew worked mostly in other Canadian productions. Tom McCamus (Edwards) had a stint on TV’s Orphan Black while director Bradford May helmed Darkman II and Darkman III. In a blink-or-miss moment is John Shepherd, Tommy Jarvis from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, as the constable that discovers a corpse drained of blood. Looking at the above photo, it’s hard to tell if that’s really him or not.





    “The Baron’s Bride” takes a leap outside of the show’s comfort zone and follows an entirely different beat what with time travel, vampires, black and white cinematography, and following up on a previously mentioned cursed object which allows for an alteration in the story structure. It’s a fantastic love letter to classic horror movie fans while showcasing how far the show’s capabilities can be stretched.

    Favorite moment: There are several to choose from and if I don’t just pick one, I’ll be sitting here for hours. I’m going with Edwards tossing off the cape and transforming into a hideous creature. This isn’t some mastermind, centuries old vampire; he’s a schmuck trying to rent a room that got caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time and he’s paid the price for it. He’s a vampire against his will and there’s seemingly nothing that can change that. He’s a sympathetic villain.

    Rating: 5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Director Bradford May talks about how this was his first chance at directing after spending a decade working as a cinematographer. Cinematographer Rodney Charters mentions how the producers had to be persuaded to give him a camera operator. Unfortunately, neither men talk about how they achieved the look of the episode. I was curious to know if they carefully planned the look, knowing it was to be in black and white, or if it was post-production decision.

    Author Alyse Wax makes two good observations. Abraham comments on Ryan and Mick’s names as being “fine Irish names”, a possible nod to Stoker’s Irish roots. She also mentions how the title is left unexplained. Who is the Baron? Does wearing the cape make you the Baron? Was that the first user of it? So much left to explore and question.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    1x14 – Bedazzled



    A sea diving expedition for sunken treasure is led by Jonah and his cursed lantern. The antique allows him to pinpoint the exact location of lost treasure, but at the cost of a life of one of the divers. As Jonah makes his sacrifice, Ryan and Jack hastily steal the lantern away.

    Jonah and his partner track the lantern to the Curious Goods shop later that night. Jack and Ryan leave to attend an astrology seminar while Micki stays behind to babysit Richie, a friend’s son. Jonah and his lackey kill a telephone repair man to con their way into the store and down into the vault. Unsure of how to open it, they persuade Micki through violent means of locating the secret switch to allow entry. A policeman appears on the scene, suspects foul play, and shoots Jonah’s henchman before being impaled. Micki steals the lantern and tries to keep it from Jonah to no avail. As he turns the lantern’s light beam of death toward her, Micki grabs a nearby mirror and reflects the beam onto Jonah, causing him to re-enact a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.



    All good things must come to an end. That was a great run for those past three episodes. I’m not saying “Bedazzled” is terrible. It’s just not all that great. I’d even go as far as to dull.

    Let me start off with the good. The story begins with Jack and Ryan finishing up a hunt for another cursed object much like the start of “The Baron’s Bride”. With the third act of a story now filling in the for the first act of a different tale, this keeps things fresh and allows for something different following it.

    It’s just that most of the episode is watching Micki hang around the store. Don’t get me wrong, seeing all the rooms of the store is one of the highlights. It looks fantastic and is filled with ambience as the story takes place on a cold, dreary, fog-filled, rainy evening. Given how dark it always appears inside the store, this just adds to the atmosphere.

    The problem is that very little occurs. Jonah and his henchman take their sweet time getting to the vault and even then, spend most of the running time wondering how to get inside of it. At first, it seems like they have a code of ethics as they realize Micki is alone yet don’t just barge in and get the lantern. It’s like they don’t want to hurt her. Next thing you know, Jonah strangles a telephone repair man so the theory flies out the window unless they have a thing against harming women. Later, Jonah burns Micki’s hair as a means of torture so that doesn’t seem likely either.

    That was surprising when Jonah used physical violence on Micki (who caved immediately, I may add. She got a split end and then bawled like a baby). Some friend drops off her son, Richie, for Micki to babysit. I figured Jonah would use the kid as a means of persuasion to get her to talk. Doesn’t happen. In fact, nothing really happens to Richie. You could take him out of the story and there wouldn’t be any significant change other than the punchline during the end sequence with how Ryan and Jack find out about Micki’s night, something that could easily have been explained differently. What’s the point of having the kid in the story if he served no purpose?

    Worse yet, and this is what I consider “Bedazzled’s” greatest “sin”, is the inside of the vault and the objects located inside don’t matter in the slightest. It’s a collection of cursed, highly dangerous antiques that don’t’ figure into the story at all. Where’s Vera at? Micki should be tossing her at Jonah’s face. I think I spotted the statue from “Cupid’s Quiver”, for what it’s worth.



    The lantern seems like an interesting object. It can help find sunken treasure, but one of treasure hunters must be killed in return. Oh, and it can make a person burst into flames with its light beam. Yeah, Jonah’s ending is telegraphed early with the light beam and a mirror that features prominently in several shots. Still, at least it’s engaging after spending so much time in a story zapped of suspense.


    Jonah (Alan Jordan – Shootfighter 2, Straight Line)

    Written by the two writers from “Tales of the Undead”, Paul Monette and Alfred Sole, and helmed by veteran TV director Alexander Singer (TV’s Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Police Story), the episode’s most notable actor is David Mucci (Jonah’s henchman) who played Lou in Prom Night. Also, just about every actor in all fourteen episodes so far, from main roles to the bit parts, seems to have appeared in 1989’s Millennium. Is there anyone left from that film’s cast that hasn’t appeared on this show yet?



    I love the atmosphere of the dark and rainy night inside the creepy antique store, but this story is just so boring. When the episode relies heavily on suspense and generates nothing, you’re in trouble. Not even the electrocution / balcony traps Micki springs on Jonah at the end is enough to save it.

    Rating: 2 / 5

    Favorite moment: Watching the secret switch being used to open the vault door. It’s usually open every other time we’ve seen it so I was surprised to learn it doesn’t have a handle or a lock. If this episode did anything, it focused on the vault and help alleviate any concerns I had of it being the best storage facility the gang could use. And just what kind of metal is it made from?

    Curious Goods: No interviews this time, but plenty of observations. My favorite is questioning what Micki did with three dead bodies before Jack and Ryan arrive early in the morning. Author Alyse Wax has a point.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    1x15 – Vanity’s Mirror



    High school student Helen finds a cursed compact mirror that, when shown to any man, makes the person in its reflection fall madly in love with the user. Always picked on for her lack in appearance and made to feel inferior by others when compared to her sister Joanna, Helen uses the object for revenge…or by using it when the mood suits her. Killing two the bullies and believing she’s murdered Ryan, Helen sets her sights on Joanne’s boyfriend, Scott, as her prom date. When Micki, Ryan, and Jack arrive at the prom, Helen takes Scott to the roof the school building. Cornered, Helen leaps off the roof with Scott to keep her dream guy in death if not in life. Unrecovered, the mirror waits for its next user and the trail of bodies it’ll leave behind.




    Helen (Ingrid Veninger – The Gate, Godsend)

    This may rival “Cup of Time” for the title of “so bad – so good”. The story is about what you’d expect from a mirror that the ugly duckling uses to snag the good-looking fella she’s had a crush on. Everything else about “Vanity’s Mirror” plays out like a dark comedy.

    I should start with Helen. Is she attractive? Ehhhh. Do I feel bad that three dorks from the A/V club make some joking remarks about her? Not really. If she practiced personal hygiene, maybe she wouldn’t get made fun of. You know how in movies with this kind of story involve a pretty girl that is considered a “geek” because she wears glasses or baggy clothes? Helen doesn’t wash her hair and she has some bizarre zits glued to her face. I understand the purpose of the zits, but why the dirty, oily hair? There’s one shot where you get a look at the bottom of Helen’s feet. Let me just say that Frodo’s feet were cleaner after spending three films to travel to Mount Doom. Am I supposed to feel sympathetic to a person that can’t take a bath?



    I’m not so sure sympathy is what the story is aiming for in the slightest. Helen is a straight up maniacal bitch. She uses the mirror to order one boy into a trash compactor to be crushed. By the way, there’s a hilarious sign next to it that issues a warning of how the compactor may feel like operating on its own. Skynet has invaded the high schools! The second victim, Helen tosses his head onto a table saw so that’s first-degree murder for sure. She steals her sister’s boyfriend, a sister that had been nothing but kind to her, and then orders said boyfriend to physically beat her sister and then put her head into a noose so she’ll hang herself. Did I mention she does this while laughing like the Joker? I kept waiting for Jack to comment on how the mirror causes the user to become blood lusted or insane, but no. Helen’s just that fucked up of a person.

    What’s the message here? It can’t be that people are beautiful on the inside as Helen is possibly the show’s evilest antagonist yet. Lewis would shrink in terror at this girl. Is it that Helen was truly a pretty person deep down and she didn’t need the mirror to land her sister’s boy toy? No, that’s not it. Younger sisters are Satan incarnate? Domestic abuse is at its worst when sisters steal each other’s boyfriend and then order the guy to beat the loser? Is there a message?

    Keep in mind that the entire thing is played so over-the-top with so much ham, Vincent Price himself would tell the episode to tone it down. Helen can’t say anything without snarling. Most of the others aren’t that much better. Joanne, the sister, is the best actress out of the group although she doesn’t do much. The bullies say their lines with varying tones in their voices. Ryan may be the biggest piece of cheese in this shop as he spends half the episode laying in a pool of blood and rat feces. Did I mention that it’s implied he was to go undercover in the school as a student? The show just took itself to Jump Street.



    One interesting tidbit is when Micki points out they’ve recovered 23 artifacts. However, that accounts for less than 10% of the items listed in the manifest. What does this mean? It means there are many adventures ahead for our plucky group. That is, until the show is cancelled. Anyway, Micki’s unhappy with their slow progress and is one step away from diving into another tirade about how much her life sucks. Thankfully, we’re spared this time around.

    The ending is rather bleak. The compact mirror is in Helen’s hand when she leaps off the building. The gang search the area, but come up empty handed. As Jack points out, they simply aren’t always going to be successful. The final shot of the episode is of a girl reaching down to pick up the mirror, implying this isn’t the last of it. It’s nice to see that not all the objects will be recovered and that even the innocent (Scott the boyfriend) will be saved. I did not expect the show to go this dark.



    You’ve now hit that point where it’s a blurb regarding the cast and crew. Ingrid Veninger (Helen) may be recognized by fans of The Gate in which she played Paula. Surprisingly, Gwendoline Pacey (Joanne) never did much else. Actor David Orth as Scott has quite a varied career including anime voice work in Death Note of all things. Lastly, Helen’s first victim is portrayed by Zack Ward from Freddy vs. Jason, A Christmas Story, and TV’s Titus.



    For better or worse, this is entertaining in its campiness and dark approach to familiar material. Whereas I found “Bedazzled” better made yet dull at times, “Vanity’s Mirror” had me laughing or tense with waiting to see where the story would go next. This will reflect in my rating, but don’t misunderstand that as “Vanity’s Mirror” as a more finely honed product than others. I

    Favorite moment: Despite the zaniness created by Helen, the final scene between Jack and Micki is my pick. Any notions I had of all the wrongs being righted by the time of the credit roll were gone. Ryan suffered major injuries, the cursed object is still in the world, and Helen destroyed several lives that the good guys failed to save.

    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Ingrid Veninger talks of how a grip saw her in full makeup (the oily hair, zits, and cold sore on her mouth) and became disgusted by her. During the wrap party, he was amazed that she was pleasant looking sans makeup effects.

    Veninger also mentions how she and the table saw victim (Simon Reynolds) became future friends and collaborators. She produced his first two short films and together they co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced her first feature film titled Only. Making them network connections on a horror show!
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    1x16 – Tattoo



    Normally a loser when it comes to gambling, Tommy Chen’s luck turns around when he notices his poker rival tattooing a scorpion on a bound woman’s thigh. The tattoo comes to life and kills the woman. Tommy realizes the secret to his enemy winning every hand is by sacrificing the woman using the tattoo needles. Tommy murders the man and steals the needles for himself. With the ability to win at every form of gambling, nobody is going to stand in Tommy’s way and that includes his grandfather, Lum Chen.

    Lum contacts the gang at the Curious Goods store to tell them of the tattoo needles. Ryan chases after Tommy and sees firsthand how the needles work. Micki, Jack, and Ryan try to stop Tommy from committing additional murders, but they’re stopped by a local gangster. Turns out Tommy is way over his head in debt to the mob and he needs one final, big game to pay back what he owes. The mobster has just the thing: Russian Roulette. Tommy draws a snake on his sister’s body, sacrificing her for the game, but she’s saved just in time. Unfortunately for Tommy, he doesn’t know this and blows his brains out.






    Tommy Chen (Leonard Chow – Millennium)

    I like the idea of using a tattoo as a means of death and the animation sequences of the drawings coming to life are neat. That said, everything else about this falls flat. Nobody acts like a rational human being, but only in whatever means to progress the story.

    For example, Tommy’s friend follows his buddy to the basement of a restaurant to have a tattoo drawn on him with no questions asked. He even blindly believes that the tattoo will make him rich. Nobody would go along with this without a little resistance, but the show needs to build up to a suspenseful moment where Ryan is spotted by Tommy’s friend and it needs to go to commercial on a cliffhanger.



    Tommy is introduced as an out on his luck loser, but he doesn’t seem like a terrible person. Check that—he commits murders without a second thought. When he watches his poker rival using the needles for the first time, he shows little concern that a woman’s scorpion tattoo came to life and stung her to death. Most people would react to this by trying to help the woman or calling out for help. Not Tommy. From that moment, he does whatever he needs to do whether it’s striking down his grandfather, Lum, or sacrificing his sister with zero remorse. Yet at the same time, he’s portrayed as a man that cares deeply about his family.



    Which brings me to Tommy’s philosophy. He keeps spouting about how in America (finally settling the question about where the show takes place), you do what you must do survive and money is what matters most. Is this the writer’s attempt at portraying American values and customs as cheap and underhanded? Granted, it’s a nation ruled by capitalism, but I don’t recall any corporation bringing cartoons to life to murder innocent people. If it’s a comment on the practices of American corporations, then it’s a tough sell to connect the tattoo needles and the “vile” capitalist businesses. I like to believe I’m looking too far into this, but it’s strange how Tommy keeps referencing what drives Americans.


    Lum Chen (Keye Luke - Gremlins, Dead Heat, TV’s Battle of the Planets)

    Leonard Chow (Tommy) isn’t a face or name most would recognize unless you’ve watched Millennium. I swear, this show must have cast every single actor from that movie. Anyway, the big draw here is Keye Luke from Gremlins as Tommy’s grandfather. He gives it his best, but his talent is so far beyond this script. The mobster is played by Harvey Chow from Spasms and Denis Akiyama and Meung Ling round out the cast, both of which have gone to other films and TV shows.



    From the director of “Tales of the Undead”, writer of “Cupid’s Quiver” and newcomer Dan DiStefano who wrote mostly for various cartoons, this is mostly a dud. The tattoos coming to life is interesting, but the fleeting moments of special effects do little to counteract the bizarre interactions between characters making this a tough watch. Worse yet is the lead trio have such little screen time so they’re not able to bump up the story.

    Favorite moment: Recently tattooed, Tommy’s friend discovers Ryan in the basement. Rather than asking why he’s there or trying to have a civilized conversation, the guy instantly thinks Ryan is there to do him harm—which is why he busts out kung-fu moves. It’s ridiculous.

    Rating: 1.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Wow, author Alyse Wax feels the same way I do. Only exception is that she found it boring and I simply think it’s a bad story through and through. I do agree that Tommy is totally unsympathetic and that him deciding to sacrifice his sister feels hollow despite it representing how low he’s fallen.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    1x17 – Brain Drain



    Working at the local museum, Dr. Robenson has several experiments involving enlarging IQ. First is his experiment with a gorilla brain attached to a computer. He can send the brain’s intelligence to the computer, have it artificially enhanced, then sent back to the brain. This would be a miracle of science if completed. The other experiment is Harry, a test subject with an IQ of 58. Robeson makes qualms about condescendingly mentioning Harry’s IQ, but Harry takes great offense. He straps Robenson to a trephinator—a medical device of times past in which scientists believed it could relieve brain pressure by draining fluid from the brain and the spine. A doctor had it altered to where it takes the spinal fluid from one person and exchanges it with another. It looks like two chairs sitting perpendicular connected by a wooden frame and metal rods holding syringes. Harry engages the machine and takes Robenson’s intelligence.

    The staff of Curious Goods are made aware of the cursed object, the trephinator, situated at the museum and venture forth to investigate. Immediately, Jack recognizes his ex-fiancée, Dr. Viola Rhodes. As the two reacquaint, sparks fly, and Jack becomes preoccupied with the woman he lost twenty years earlier. This time, he means to correct his past mistake and proposes yet again.

    Unfortunately for Viola, she’s working with Harry on his gorilla brain experiment. Except he’s no longer called Harry, but Stewart Pangborn. Harry has assumed a false identity to carry on Robeson’s experiment. To reach its conclusion, he invites several scientists to participate in its completion and soon devours their intelligence courtesy of the trephinator.

    Viola becomes Harry’s latest victim much to Jack’s horror. Despite his intentions, Jack fails to reverse the process. During the struggle with Harry, the trephinator is activated and Harry absorbs the lowly intelligence of the gorilla brain. Harry is stopped and the cursed object is recovered, but Viola remains a shell of her former self.




    Harry / Stewart Pangborn (Denis Forest – The Mask, Cliffhanger)

    I’ll admit, I figured the episode would revolve around the artificial intelligence of the computer and the gorilla. Instead, the brain draining is done via an unusual medical construction. I’m happy to see there was only one instance in which a victim was willing to sit down in the device while the others had to be knocked out and forced against their will.

    Once again, it’s someone unsympathetic as the user of the cursed object. That’s to be expected although I do prefer the stories where the user, normally a good person at heart, struggles to weigh the pros and cons of using the antique. Harry doesn’t fit into that category. Sure, he’s not very bright at the start, but he has no problem stabbing Robeson in the neck with the machine and taking his spinal fluid. Harry got lucky he sat him down in the correct seat or else the process would have been reversed.



    Which brings me to my main issue—how does the machine operate? I thought it simply switched the IQs of the users, but Harry seems to take the victim’s intelligence and memories into his own while the victim turns into a vegetable. With each victim, Harry displays that person’s quirks such as a German accent or wearing glasses. Does the newest form of intelligence override the prior victims? Are they added together? That must not be it as otherwise gaining the intelligence from the gorilla would only give him animal instincts. Instead, Harry loses the intelligence he acquired.



    Micki and Ryan take a back seat in this story to only look concerned and avoid being caught snooping. The rest of the story is an emotional ride for Jack. We learn he was married once, was engaged to Viola, toured the world three times, and has now found lost love only to lose her in the end. It should be sentimental in the end, but Jack seems more bummed out like a kid that didn’t get that super soaker for Christmas. He seemed more emotional when proposing to Viola again. Maybe it’s because Jack can’t be too broken up as otherwise it would call into question his motivation to keep at the job of recollecting the antiques. It’s great that he gets the spotlight this time around, but I’m not feeling any serious connection to his losing out on Viola. If anything, I simply feel bad that she got her brain drained and wasn’t saved.


    Dr. Viola Rhodes (Carrie Snodgress – The Fury, Murphey’s Law, Trick or Treats)

    Denis Forest from “Cupid’s Quiver” returns as yet another creepy guy. He gets to show off more of acting range as he constantly changes mannerisms with each victim’s brain he drinks up. Carrie Snodgress played Viola, Jack’s love interest that meets an unfortunate fate. Honestly, I think she was drunk during shooting. Her expressions looked exaggerated. Maybe it’s just me. Lastly, this was written by Joshua Daniel Miller, the writer behind “Shadow Boxer” and directed by Lyndon Chubbuck of “Tattoo” and “Tales of the Undead”.



    This is so-so. Watching people get their brains drained should be more fun. For example, Harry should have used more inventive methods for capturing his victims. Jack’s emotional outburst when confronting Harry is a highlight as he loses himself while beating the tar out of the demented genius. The morose ending doesn’t seem to have the kind of punch it should though.

    Favorite moment: Ok, Jack going all-out on Harry to save his fiancée is probably the best moment in the story, but I got so much entertainment at watching Micki’s scene when she and Ryan talk about how Jack is still on a date with Viola. I don’t know what happened to Robey, but this is easily the most….unique performance she’s given so far. She doesn’t even try to cover her accent for the entire sequence so she sounds different. Usually she sounds French to my ears, but it’s more of a British accent this time. It comes and goes for several scenes so I’m not sure what the issue was, but it caught me by surprise enough to rewind it and listen again. Maybe she was drinking with Carrie Snodgress in-between takes.

    Rating: 3 / 5

    Curious Goods: Writer Joshua Miller comments on how he was inspired by researching a medical procedure called trephination in which a hole is bored into a person’s head to relieve pressure by draining brain fluid.

    Marc Scott Zicree talks about the strange fluke of this story. Before being hired for the show, he pitched a story about a scientist stealing his colleague’s intelligence. The story was turned down. Later, he worked on rewrites for Miller’s story. It would seem to be a case of plagiarism, but Miller never had access to Zicree’s story so it was a simple coincidence.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x18 – The Electrocutioner



    This tale (written and directed by Rob Hedden of Jason Takes Manhattan fame) involves poor Eli Pittman, a convicted man sentenced to death by electrocution for murdering his girlfriend in 1978. His hopes dashed for a stay of execution, Pittman is placed in an electric chair and shocked to death…except it fails. They shock him again and he’s pronounced dead. Moments later, Pittman awakens. Because he was pronounced dead, Pittman is considered as having served his execution and is allowed to live. It’s only later that another man confessed to the murder, making Pittman an innocent man.

    Ten year later, Pittman is the dentist at a reform school for wayward girls. He’s brought a familiar piece of furniture to help in his operations—the electric chair. Redesigned as a dental chair, Pittman uses it to murder the girls of the school and transfer their energy into him as pure electricity. With this new power, he seeks out those that sentenced him to death with nobody to stop him. That is, until Jack, Micki, and Ryan hunt him down in time to save his last victim.



    This is an enjoyable romp filled with the familiar elements of a revenge motif. What makes it stand out amongst other similar stories is the character of Eli Pittman. He was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend, electrocuted to death, returns to life, is given a clean record because it’s learned that he was innocent so he’s been screwed by the system. He’s sympathetic, but only if the viewer thinks about it. The story itself never draws attention to how unfortunate Eli is or attempts to paint him as a sympathetic figure. Instead, he’s ruled by insanity and has no problem murdering innocents to get his warped sense of vengeance. It’s surprising that the story feels like it wants you to despise Eli rather than sympathize with him.

    About the chair itself, I’m not sure how anyone can look at it and think it’s safe. The head portion that shocks people doesn’t make any sense regarding dentistry. Then again, Eli is somehow a dentist at a reform school that is government funded. That’s almost as outlandish as a chair that sucks up a person’s energy, transforms it into electricity, and transfers it to another person so they can act like the Shocker (the Spider-Man villain or the horror movie, take your pick).





    This is one the most 80s episodes so far. The rock music blasting in the background, the fashion and hair styles, and the lightning ball thing that you would find in a Spencer’s Gifts. Just check out Micki’s hair when she plays with the orb at the end. She may be the scariest thing in an episode with a crazed dentist electrocuting innocent people.



    The opening act that takes place in 1978 looks fantastic. It has that 16mm look that you’d find on television at the time. Grimy, gritty, and grainy which adds to the feeling of a man during his last moments of life in an act that will rob him of that.


    Eli Pittman (Angelo Rizacos – Hog Wild, Physical Evidence)

    Seeing that Angelo “Pittman” Rizacos was in Physical Evidence with Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Kay Lenz makes me want to give it another viewing sometime. J. Winston Carroll, one of Pittman’s victims, was in it as well. The rest of the cast are character actors that still find work in the odd role here and there.



    This a busy episode. You’ve got the black and white footage that comes off as a hard reality in the beginning, the in-your-face-80s vibe for the rest of the episode, an antagonist that is malicious in his revenge yet viewers could feel empathy for all wrapped together in a story that feels like you’ve seen it before. It’s entertaining and has a few unique moments that makes it a step above average.

    Favorite moment: The opening act for its dark and dirty approach. It’s nothing like what Rob Hedden has shown before.

    Rating: 3.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: According to writer / director Rob Hedden, the opening act was shot in 16mm. Also, the story was inspired by his fear of dentists their devilish chairs he had seen as a kid. Angelo Rizacos chimes in to mention meeting up with Hedden before shooting the episode to go over ideas, something they could not do in later seasons. I’m taking that to mean Rizacos returns in future installments.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x19 – The Quilt of Hathor



    Effie, a Pentitite (think Amish), uses the Quilt of Hathor to invade the dreams of women that become engaged to her secret crush, Reverend Josiah. The quilt was sown during 1890 in Salem, but somehow made its way into this selective religious community. One of the elder women, Sarah, stops by the Curious Goods store to inform the heroes that she once possessed the quilt. However, someone within the community stole it from her.

    Ryan and Micki go to the community as guests to locate the quilt. Ryan falls blindly in love with Laura, Josiah’s daughter and soon to be the future Mrs. Matthew. Although he’s told repeatedly to stay away from Laura, Ryan’s tongue manages to find its way into her mouth and so he must pay the ultimate price: American Gladiator combat in which two opponents swing a stick at one another while retaining their balance on top of a wooden triangle. I swear I’m not making this shit up.

    Effie murders Sarah (now making her kill total three so far) and Micki discovers the quilt. Ryan stays behind in the community to fawn over Laura as Micki returns to the store in tears. Jack comforts her and then inspects the quilt, discovering it’s a fake…

    …To Be Continued.



    Sweet merciful Micky Mouse as a pez dispenser, what the hell is this crap? Was the goal of the episode to make the most annoying characters ever witnessed in the series? Is the message about how wrong religious fanatics can be? Because I don’t need a television show to tell me that. Why is Ryan such an idiot? I mean, besides saying “he’s in love” as the answer.

    The Pentitites are hypocrites of the highest order. Ryan and Micki are told that they must go to bed at 7 P.M. because they sleep when the sun goes down yet the opening sequence has three people up and taking in the night air. Of course, everything from the modern world is forbidden although several people break the rules. One person has a magazine, full of evil modern ideas. Laura sings a lullaby. Did I mention singing is forbidden? Everything is forbidden according to these caricatures.

    That’s my issue with the Pentitites. They’re over the top when they don’t need to be. If you want to make a statement about religious communities, you don’t have to veer far from reality. Because these characters are so outlandish, the message seems to be that modern society is levelheaded in comparison.



    For example, Ryan is caught—get ready for this—dancing with Laura. Her fiancée, Matthew, catches them and threatens to kill Ryan. He’s talked down to conducing a hearing instead. At the hearing, Ryan is essentially found guilty of committing a most grievous sin. Again, dancing. The fact it was with someone’s fiancée is a built-in offense as the women are betrothed to a male when they’re at the age of seven. Surely there was something that could have been written to make Ryan the outcast of the town without resorting to dancing.

    For a while, I considered that perhaps this is more of an attempt at female empowerment. I’m not so sure anymore. The women are second fiddle in this society. They’re betrothed at a young age and nobody can hold a higher rank than the reverend although they do take his place if he should perish. Still, that means they’re runner-up in the meantime. Effie kills off several women in her lust for Josiah; murder is no obstacle to acquire a man’s attention. If this is about female empowerment, this seems to do the opposite so far. It is interesting that Effie’s dreams take place in a 17th century-style ballroom as a connection to the repression of a woman’s status in a historical period to that of a contemporary time and used a comparison of how rooted in the past, in regard to social standings, the religious community is.

    That’s almost the most groan-inducing moment of the episode—To Be Continued. I don’t want to see more of this! I don’t care if there’s another match of the jousting-on-a-triangle scene. I already mentioned its ridiculousness in the summary so I’ll move on.



    The most painful moments of “The Quilt of Hathor” belong to Ryan. I understand meeting someone and falling head over heels in love for them. Nobody, and I mean nobody, loses all common sense after two seconds of an initial meeting to the point that it places themselves in harm’s way by waving a stick at a crazy religious nut while standing on top of a triforce as a raging fire burns below. He goes through a major event at the hearing and how his actions were out of line (re: dancing). Is there a moment where he wrestles with himself at the situation, his love for a woman while weighing the consequences of his choices that could result in harm for her? Nah, he decides to attempt same thing the next night.

    Worst of all is his discussion with Micki and his decision to stay behind in the village that dislikes him for an engaged woman he barely knows. When Micki presses onto him his responsibility to collect all the cursed objects, Ryan shrugs it off. That’s crossing the line. We’ve had episodes with Micki having to deal with losing her fiancée (probably for the best), Jack losing friends and a loved one, and stories with both having to say goodbye to their formers lives for a life of satantic home furnishing collecting. Ryan’s “lol, I don’t care” is the last straw with “The Quilt of Hathor”.


    Effie (Kate Trotter – TV’s Lost Girl, TV’s Kung Fu: The Legend Continues)

    Director Timothy Bond returns after helming other episodes like “Hellowe’en” and “Shadow Boxer” while writer Janet McClean (TV’s The Border) makes her only venture into the show. Scott Paulin (Turner and Hooch, Teen Wolf, 1982’s Cat People) portrays Reverend Josiah, Carolyn Dunn returns from “Cupid’s Quiver” to play Laura, and Diego Matamoros is Matthew. Turns out I’m familiar with Matamoros or at least his voice. He voiced William Birkin the Resident Evil 2 video game.



    Can’t stand stories involving religious zealots? Stay away from this. Have trouble listening to 85 uses of the word “thee” and 79 uses of the word “thou”? Not the episode for you. Don’t like it when established characters behave in the exact opposite manner they’ve displayed? Don’t come close. Do fake beards make you upset? This just isn’t the episode for you. Is there a reason to watch this?

    Oh! Jack mentions the quilt was created in Salem and stolen from them and that the religious community is “north”. This could mean the show takes place, not in Los Angeles or the west coast, but in New York or on the east coast. There were scenes in which there was snow on the ground in “The Electrocutioner” which supports east coast. So I guess it has that going for it.

    Rating: 1 / 5

    Favorite moment: You’re probably thinking I’ll make a joke response. Not true. I liked the moment when Jack lights the quilt on fire and realizes it’s a fake. I was wondering when the gang would be duped. Unfortunately, the words “To Be Continued” followed so the enjoyment from this was incredibly brief.

    Curious Goods: The author combines both episodes into one segment so I’ll wait until I watch the conclusion. It’s got to be better than this. Right?
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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    Default Re: A Viewing of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series

    1x20 – Quilt of Hathor – The Awakening



    The story picks up with Effie murdering another Pentitite woman that gets close to snatching the quilt. Ryan becomes a suspect as he’s near the body and is interrogated by Josiah. Ryan comes clean about why he’s there, the quilt, and Effie. Josiah hatches a plan to marry Effie and take the quilt for himself. On their first night as newlyweds, Josiah does little to hide his disinterest in Effie which she notices. She pulls out the quilt and tries to kill Josiah in his dreams. However, Josiah steals the quilt away and turns the tables on her, murdering her and hiding the body in his work shed (say like Ash would say it).

    An inquisitor arrives in town and immediately disregards Matthew and Josiah’s bullshit about how terrible Ryan is or that the quilt is of no concern. That means he’s got to die. Josiah kills the inquisitor and sets Ryan up as the patsy who arrives just in time to pull out the bloody knife from the corpse right when a group of onlookers burst into the room.

    Naturally, Ryan is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to burn as ordered by Josiah. Laura uncovers Effie’s body in the work shed and informs the mob. Everybody turns against Josiah, causing him to flee to the local mill where he hid the quilt. Ryan chases after him and the two struggle briefly before Josiah decides to perform his impersonation of Superman and leaps from a window into the beautiful morning sky and onto the ground below.

    Ryan realizes he needs to collect more of the cursed objects to stop this from happening elsewhere so he leaves Laura behind. Back at the shop, Ryan falls asleep in a chair and is awoken by the sound of thunder in a lousy jump scare just as the credits begin to roll.



    The good thing about setting the bar at the absolute bottom is that there’s nowhere to go but up. I mean, unless it sucks just as bad and then it’s equal. The second half is slightly better, but that’s like saying you stepped in cat poop and not dog shit.

    Let me try and stay positive for a moment and focus on what I liked: Effie getting her just desserts by someone else using the quilt. It’s as if she never thought about how, even if she were to be the only woman in the community, that Josiah still wouldn’t be physically attracted to her. That realization doesn’t hit until they go to bed as newlyweds and he ignores her. Major props to actress Kate Trotter as her facial expressions are perfectly on cue. The look on her face when she realizes her dream with Josiah isn’t going as planned and that the tables are turned is such a satisfactory moment.



    Afterwards, it’s all downhill again. It’s not as bad because the story doesn’t much time to spend on Ryan performing idiotic choices and moping around like a lost dog. I mean, besides that scene where he sees the inquisitor stab himself to death and then runs over to pull the knife out to….do what? The guy is dead! At least the neighborhood crime patrol breaks in just in time see Ryan kneeling over a dead body with the murder weapon in his hand. Ryan should have been burned at the end just for being such a dope in this two-parter.

    That reminds me about this being a two-part story. It’s neat that there are stories the series will devote to two episodes as this wasn’t common on anthology shows like this. I didn’t express any surprise over it in the last write-up because I remember a two-part story in the second season (I think).


    Inquisitor Holmes (Bernard Behrens – Galaxy of Terror, The Changeling, TV’s Dracula: The Series)

    Hands down, my favorite character in this episode is the inquisitor. He strolls into town and has no care to listen anyone’s horseshit. Matthew rambles on about how Ryan is evil because he’s from the outside and the inquisitor shuts him down. Josiah tries to hide the truth about the quilt and he immediately calls him out on his sneaky ways. Maybe it’s because his name is Inquisitor Holmes and, like any good detective named Holmes, knows how to figure out the mystery. I guess. Too bad he had to die.



    Thinking about it, Laura got a sad ending. She loves Ryan, but he leaves her. She’s stuck with Matthew, the guy who goes rabid when he sees her dancing or talking to any other human being. He’s right there beside her when Ryan leaves and I shudder to think what happens two minutes after the scene ends. Domestic abuse seems imminent.

    What was all this talk about how music is the devil’s work? That was a significant point made in the prior episode. When Ryan is tossed onto the tamest witch fire ever filmed, a woman in the community breaks out into song. Can people break the rules when they feel like it if they’re not Ryan? Hell, the show breaks logic when it’s magically daytime during the chase sequence at the end. There’s no way it should have been morning considering everyone is supposed to be in bed by 7 P.M. Why was there a mob of people up and about to see Ryan and the dead inquisitor if it so late into the night?


    Roblin spelled backwards is Nilbor. Just Saying.

    It’s nice to see Effie get snuffed out early into the running time, but Josiah taking over doesn’t help much considering there’s no fall from grace angle to run with. It was already established that he was corrupt and stealing money in the first part so him turning evil is evident. Ryan continuing to do dumb things happens and they kill off the only character with any shred of common sense. It’s a higher note to end on, but that’s not saying much. Oh wait, it has that terrible jump scare ending with Ryan hearing thunder and waking up from his sleep and into a freeze frame. Ugh.

    Favorite moment: Inquisitor scenes would get my vote, but they’re split up into several moments. I may go with Josiah falling through the window yet ending up way farther away than possible so the background cast would have enough room to fit into the frame.

    Rating: 1.5 / 5

    Curious Goods: Author Alyse Wax remembers watching this as a TV movie and director Timothy Bond mentions that they had twice the shooting time with a budget of just under $1 million.

    Wax considers that this story, written by Janet McClean, may have feminist undertones to it. Considering the role woman play as inferiors, I disagree. McClean does talk about how she wanted to showcase the dangers of sexually repressed societies. She also comments that the fire pit during the duel between Ryan and Matthew was not in the script and being surprised when she saw it on TV.

    Kate Trotter (Effie) and Scott Paulin (Josiah) each talk about their inspirations for their roles.
    But Jamie's character in The Fog was really easy wasn't she? Get in my truck and get in my bed - in that order.
    -Tom Atkins

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