Monday, October 5, 2020

Cathode Ray Mission 05 - Friday the 13th the Series - Vanity’s Mirror

"Oh, I've got a compact for you..."

Friday the 13th the Series
S01E15 Vanity’s Mirror

By the fifteenth episode, Friday the 13the Series had settled into its formula. We are usually introduced to the cursed object at the beginning of the episode, we get a quick demonstration of how it works, and then we move to Jack, Mickey, and Ryan to watch them attempt to locate and retrieve it. If the show had settled on this path with no deviation it would have grown stale quickly. Thankfully, the creative team realized this too and decided to introduce a level of uncertainty.

The object this time is a golden compact; reflect the light from its mirror into someone’s eyes and they fall madly in love with you. The only way to end the enchantment is to kill them. An unpopular girl, Helen (Ingrid Veninger) acquires the compact and begins taking revenge on the men who’ve mocked her appearance in school. There isn’t much gore in this one but it does feature some brutal moments, the best occurring when Helen lures Greg (b-movie icon Zack Ward) in a trash compactor.

(I know this was made in 1989, but everyone just assuming the mirror won’t work on Mickey because she is also a woman is a missed avenue that could have yielded something interesting.)

So, we get the typical chase as the Curious Goods team race to uncover who has the compact while Helen slices her way through all the garbage humans at her high school. The twist comes at the very end and it renders was could have been just a good episode into a great one. For the first time, they fail to retrieve the cursed object. The lose it in the chase and someone else picks it up. Our heroes are fallible and from this point on it isn’t guaranteed they will succeed.  

Or even survive for that matter…

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