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 nine, “The Root of All Evil,” our heroes face not just a killer, but a personal crisis as well.
Micki, Ryan, and Jack are in search of a 50-year-old garden mulcher which a lowly gardener is using to kill the rich folk he works for. The mulcher turns people into money — the more you’re worth, the more $100 bills the mulcher produces as it chews you up. That’s not the only crisis happening, though. Micki’s fiancée Lloyd is coming for a visit, concerned about what she’s up to and the real reason she’s postponed their wedding.
While our heroes investigate, the gardener keeps killing his way up the social ladder, “making” more and more money. (Heh, “making” money.) Micki takes Lloyd down the vault and tells him everything — Uncle Lewis, the cursed antiques, the Devil, all of it. He doesn’t believe her at first, but eventually comes around. Micki decides to leave the store and go back home with Lloyd.
While searching for the mulcher, Ryan is knocked out and the evil gardener abducts him. When Micki shows up to say one last goodbye, she learns Ryan is in danger and helps Jack search for him, much to Lloyd’s frustration. During the final confrontation, the gardener is the one who ends up in the mulcher. Instead of money, all the mulcher produces is good old-fashioned blood. “I guess he wasn’t even worth a dollar,” Jack says. Micki and Lloyd decide to call it quits, and Ryan hangs a “Welcome Home Micki” banner inside to cheer her up.
When the show is smart: The murders are simple but effectively creepy. We see bodies slowly slide into the mulcher, with the actual human-mulching left to the imagination.
When the show is cheesy: When we’re reintroduced to Lloyd, he’s sneaking through Micki’s bedroom window at night. Later, he’s found hiding under a counter in the store. He never came back, but if he had, would it have been as an evil stalker type?
Devilish Dialogue: Ryan: “I’m starting to feel like Ryan the Lion, P.I.”
– When Micki shows Lloyd the vault, she points out cursed antiques whose stories the audience doesn’t get, including a statue that turns people blind and a lamp that burns down houses. The killer doll from the first episode is down there, too, and at one point it spring to life and looks at Micki.
– The evil gardener is played by Enrico Colatoni, a TV veteran best known for playing the dad on Veronica Mars.
Back in the vault: It’s not often the show gives us a look at the characters’ lives outside of the store, so all this character development for Micki is great, showing us just how far she’s come in just a few episodes. The “evil gardener” business is just gravy. Bloody, bloody gravy.
Next: No groaning in my store.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.