Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Friday the 13th the Series – Night Prey – review

Director: Armand Mastroianni

First Aired: 1989

Contains spoilers

When I reviewed the season 1 episode of this series, the Baron’s Bride, I admitted that I wasn’t too familiar with the series. That hasn’t changed and I let looking at the other two vampire episodes from the series that I had heard of lie fallow.

Recently Alex queried whether the review for the season 3 episode Night Prey was missing. It wasn’t, it had never been done. Through this conversation I discovered that the episodes had all been uploaded to YouTube – time to look at the other vampire episodes then – starting with this one.

Louise Robey as Micki
Now the series was not connected to the famous film franchise it is about an antique shop. It seems the owner made a deal with the devil to sell cursed antiques. When he dies his niece Micki (Louise Robey) and her cousin Ryan inherit the shop and together with Jack Marshak (Chris Wiggins) they try to retrieve said cursed items. By season three Micki and Jack are still there but Ryan was not – in this episode at least – rather there was a new young man named Johnny Ventura (Steve Monarque).

Chris Wiggins as Jack
Honestly I’m still not sure about the character dynamics (nor too bothered to tell the truth) however some knowledge of them might have been useful in this as the episode opens with Jack musing about *him* - the object of his musing is a vampire hunter named Kurt Bachman (Michael Burgess) and Jack wonders about the blurred lines between good and evil. It is clear, as the episode develops, that he is having some form of in-series crisis of conscience.

the attack
We see Kurt, twenty years before, on his honeymoon with his bride Michele (Genevieve Langlois). They are happy but observed by a vampire, Evan Van Hellier (Eric Murphy). As they walk from the restaurant they had been in, he descends from them from the sky, knocking Kurt down and then drawing Michele to him. He bites her and then flies away with her – Kurt dedicates his life to killing vampires and this takes us to the now where a vampire woman attacks a young man.

glowing cross
Kurt steps in with crucifix held aloft and is knocked away but, as she leaps at him, he raises a stake and she impales herself. The air is filled with the noises of the undead and Kurt runs. He reaches a church, breaks in and then sees a cross in a display. He smashes the glass and steals it but is interrupted by a priest (Dan MacDonald). The cross has a concealed blade and he stabs the priest, killing him. Vampires are against the windows but the cross glows and, as he gets out of the church (observed by a younger priest) day is dawning.

stream of fire
So, we discover that the priest was a friend of Jack’s and the cross is an object they are seeking for the shop – the cross of fire. Not only does the cross glow, it emits a stream of fire at the undead – making them crispy critters. Beyond this, the standard garlic and crosses apotropaic rules apply. A vampire staked will age and decay rapidly (but as one doesn’t, I assume it depends on the age of the vampire). They don’t reflect and holy water seems to act like a hyper-accelerator for mystical flames. As for the show, well Michele is still around and Evan uses the shop staff to help remove the cross so he can get to Kurt.

denture fangs
Now I thought the Baron’s Bride was awful but this wasn’t too bad. As I suggested earlier, it probably made more sense if you had watched all the series but the actual vampire story was a nice little story of revenge and blurred moral lines. There was an unfortunate scene with Evan snarling and the camera pointing up that clearly showed the denture parts of the fangs he was wearing. All in all I have seen much worse. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Thanks for the shout-out.

Funny how the vampire is named Van Hellier, a name much more fitting for a vampire hunter.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

No worries, and you are not wrong re the name - Stoker's all pervasive influence at work