Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday the 13th the series – the Sweetest Sting – review

Director: David Winning

First Aired: 1989

Contains spoilers

This is the final vampire episode of the Friday the 13th series and, whilst it is a season 2 episode and so comes before the episode Night Prey, I have left it until last as it is very, very unusual.

To recap, 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 (John D. LeMay) inherit the shop and together with Jack Marshak (Chris Wiggins) they try to retrieve said cursed items. In this case it is a cursed transport beehive.

attacked by vampire bees
The episode follows a pretty standard track of searching out the item and trying to get it back but what is interesting is the curse turns the bees into vampiric bees and these can be used by humans to extend life in a most unique way. At the head of the episode we see a man stop on the road to buy some honey from roadside stall. At the stall is the beekeeper, McCabe (Art Hindle, Monster Brawl), who offers a taste of his special blend and smears it on the man’s shirt. He releases the bees and they swarm the man.

He is then met at the apiary by a business man. Honey is put on his hands and they are locked into a device. The bees are let in and they start to "attack". What they are doing is injecting the blood stolen from the previous man and giving his face and body to the dying business man. However there is a catch, these bees make a blood honey and the transformed individuals will start to rapidly age and then transform back into their old selves, as they die, without regularly eating the honey. McCabe uses this as a method of control and blackmail.

the apiary
And that is the strange lore that sits at the heart of this episode. Bees that sting and suck out blood through their stingers, who can inject blood on command (presumably different honey on the target suggested suck or inject but the episode was unclear) and who can use any other blood to make a rejuvenating honey. If I was giving scores for the unusual nature of the concept it would have to get a high score just for the unusual factor. I am not, however. The episode did work as a standalone, it had a very TV feel to the acting and directing (appropriately as it was a TV episode) and there was some nice atmosphere around the apiary. The actual concept might have been unusual but it did stretch credulity. 4.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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