Friday the 13th: The Series rewatch – Shadow Boxer

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 eight, “Shadow Boxer,” one of our heroes goes to dark extremes to save the day.

Put up your shadow dukes.

A wannabe boxer gets a hold of cursed antique boxing gloves, which give him superhuman strength and speed in the boxing ring. In exchange, a shadowy figure — yes, a literal “shadow boxer” — appears elsewhere in the city and beats a random person to death. Micki, Ryan, and Jack investigate, easily deducing that Dunn, this disgruntled jerk boxer, is the culprit. The shadow attacks Micki while Dunn stops Ryan and Jack from stealing the gloves. Micki discovers her camera’s flash can hurt the shadow, so our heroes use a floodlight and car headlights to fade the shadow out of existence, allowing them to steal the gloves.

Shine a light.

Most episode of this show would end at this point, but not this one. Dunn shows up that night at the antique store, holding Micki at knifepoint, demanding the gloves back. Ryan does this unthinkable and actually puts on the gloves himself. He immediately becomes EVIL RYAN, beating the crap out of Jack while the shadow beats up Dunn. Micki calms him down and takes off the gloves. The closing scene has Dunn’s death ruled an accident, and a bruised and beaten Jack forgiving Ryan.

When the show is smart: The idea here is that to show if our heroes ever use the cursed antiques themselves, they’ll become just as murderous as the villains. You could argue that they go overboard by having Ryan go super-evil the second he wears the gloves, but the point is made nonetheless.

When good guys go bad.

When the show is cheesy: I get that the prop department wants to make the antiques look creepy, but putting the words “killer” on the gloves might be a bit much.

Devilish dialogue: Jack: What she’s talking about is justice, and what you’re talking about is law. The second-oldest problem, Ryan. When your ideals outstrip your realities.” Ryan: “What’s the oldest?”

Trivia tidbits:

– Add lockpicking to Jack’s skills in this episode. He says he learned lockpicking from an old friend who is now in prison.

– Ryan says he traded his copy of Green Lantern #3 at the photo place in exchange for the photo guy developing Micki’s pics of the shadow boxer overnight. Green Lantern #3 (first volume) was published in 1942, and had the Alan Scott Green Lantern fighting Nazis, and meeting both Adolph Hitler and Winston Churchill.

Back in the vault: I’d always thought of this one as inconsequential, but I really enjoyed it upon this rewatch. The fight with the shadow boxer is fun monster movie stuff, and it’s impressive how dark the show is willing to go during the finale. Great stuff.

Next: Ever seen Fargo?


Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.


About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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