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DVD Review: Friday the 13th, The Series – The Final Season

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The final season of Friday the 13th: The Series is finally on DVD. Friday the 13th was a late 1980s syndicated show that featured Micki (Louise Robey) and Ryan (John D. LeMay) as cousins who inherit their uncle's antique store. Uncle Lewis (R.G. Armstrong) sold his soul to the devil, and sold antiques carrying a deadly curse until the day he broke the pact and the devil claimed him.

Like the previous two seasons, the season three DVD release is about as bare-bones as it gets. The episodes were not restored in any way — it is roughly broadcast quality; certainly no better. The "special features" are a handful of network promos, nothing more. Luckily the episodes are great. They are a little cheesy if you've never seen the show, but I don't think these DVDs were meant to win over any new fans.

One of my favorite episodes of the entire series is on this disc, "The Charnal Pit." Unbeknownst to the producers at the time, this was to be the final episode of the series — the show was canceled unexpectedly over hiatus. "The Charnal Pit" sees Micki accidentally fall through a cursed painting and in to 1700s France, where she is drawn to the magnetism of the Marquis de Sade. This episode was surprisingly deep and complex, which makes it all the worse that it was to be the last.

Season three also saw Ryan leave the show, and put Johnny (Steve Monarque) in as a full cast member. Rather than merely killing Ryan off, they had him fall victim to an evil priest on an antique hunt in France during the two-part season opener, "The Prophecies." During a ritual he was transformed back into his 12-year-old self. I hated Johnny. He wasn't even the kind of guy you love to hate; he was just annoying.

Johnny did serve one purpose: he screwed up so that Micki and Jack (Chris Wiggins), a friend of the cousins, would have to clean up his mess. Of course this doesn't make it any easier to stomach a near hook-up between Johnny and Micki in "The Long Road Home." While driving back from an auction, their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they take refuge in the farmhouse of two fucked-up brothers who are none-too-distant relatives of Leatherface. I would like to believe they nearly slept together simply because of the stress of the situation and the need for mutual comfort.

Other great episodes include: "Mightier Than the Sword" in which an author uses a cursed pen to turn Micki into a sociopath — everything he writes, she does, and he makes millions off the best-selling true crime book; "Bad Penny" sees the return of the coin of Ziocles, the antique that killed Micki for half an episode in season two; "Epitaph for a Lonely Soul," which revolves around everyone's favorite taboo, necrophilia; and "Stick it in Your Ear," which sees a struggling mentalist hit the big time when an antique hearing aid allows him to hear people's thoughts for real. This episode was one of the goriest of the series.

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