It’s the Halloween season, so let’s watch season one of Friday the 13th: The Series.
“Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil to sell cursed antiques. But he broke the pact, and it cost him his soul. Now, his niece Micki, and her cousin Ryan have inherited the store… and with it, the curse. Now, they must get everything back, and the real terror begins.”
In episode four, “Cup of Time,” our heroes are in pursuit of an antique China cup that grants its wearer eternal youth. The cup’s owner gets someone to drink from it. The victim dies and the owner stays young. The owner in this case is up-and-coming rock singer with the unfortunate name of Lady Die, keeping her youthful good looks to keep her hits on the charts. Ryan goes undercover as an entertainment journalist (with his own limo, no less) to get the cup back.
What follows is a lot of running around a city park, conveniently located within walking distance from Lady Die’s big music venue, where Lady Die preys on innocent homeless folks. Along the way, a kindly social worker with a crush on Jack gets a hold of the cup, but chickens out before actually killing someone. A rapidly-aging Lady Die gets the cup back, only for Jack to steal it away from her again. Lady Die becomes a creepy old lady before getting the crumbling-to-dust treatment.
When the show is smart: It would have been easy (and inexpensive) for the creators to have the cup kill people by poisoning. The F13 writers, however, take a more creative approach. The cup has an ivy pattern on it, and it kills by bringing the ivy to life and strangling people with it in a stop-motion effects sequence.
When the show is cheesy: Fans have debated over the years where this filmed-in-Vancouver show is supposed to take place. Some think it’s upstate New York, where the characters can go from the city to the suburbs to farm land with relative ease any week. Others believe the takes place on the outskirts of Chicago, because of various Chicago-related T-shirts Ryan sometimes wears. “Cup of Time,” with its concert venue next to a woodland park, doesn’t help the confused geography.
Devilish dialogue: Ryan: “You have a problem with Lady Die?” Micki: “I have no problem with her. It’s deafness I’m concerned with.”
– Add forgery to Jack’s list of skills, as he’s the one whips up Ryan’s phony press credentials.
– Hilary Shephard, who plays Lady Die, was the singer of the short-lived ‘80s band The American Girls. She allegedly beat out Moon Zappa to get this part. (!)
Back in the vault: A fun episode, but not really the show at its best. It promises cool MTV rock star stuff, but then everyone spends all their time wandering around a park. We’ll get to the good stuff soon, I promise.
Next week: The good stuff.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.