11 March 2010

Friday the 13th: The Series, Episode 3.3, "Crippled Inside"

Image borrowed from Vendredi Antiques, a website devoted to cataloging and discussing the episodes of Friday the 13th: The Series, a show I had little knowledge of until last night, but now today could totally understand why there is this website and probably other websites constructed as memorials. Again, the image is:

I don't know enough about myself to be able to explain why this stands out over all the other movies I've consumed since Police, Adjective. Last month, in the 28-day February, I saw 68 movies theatrically, and for some reason I've already ordered more movies from Amazon at this point in 2010 than I did in the whole year of 2009. So I've been plenty busy, seen a lot of great movies, and been enjoying movies at an insatiable rate, but it's Crippled Inside that brings me to the computer. I read this Mel Books quote recently, a variation on a popular definition of comedy, that said "A man cuts his finger, that's tragedy. He falls down a manhole, that's comedy." This episode, to me, is about a woman falling down a glorious manhole.

Now, the girl on the left is a quadriplegic. The wheelchair remote control attached to her chin is a fantastic indicator. She enters this physical state at the beginning of the episode: attempting to escape a gang of teenage rapists (one wielding a nasty no-bullshit switchblade) she runs into the road and is struck by a car.

Then this old man, on the right, offers her a wicker wheelchair, telling her that it cured his post-stroke paralysis and is definitely the wicker wheelchair for her. It doesn't have a classy chin control, but the girl, being either a great admirer of old men or of antique wicker, convinces her mom, who is opposed immediately to the wicker wheelchair (being a middle-aged suburban housewife I assumed she was a dabbler of spiritualism and read the wheelchair's negative aura, but this isn't stated, nor is it stated if the old man embarked on his own personal journey of vendetta, as the girl will, but both these assumptions strengthen the dark currents of this episode), and so the wheelchair is brought home.

Before I continue, the premise of Friday the 13th: The Series is (roughly - I'm not an expert, yet) that an uncle who sold cursed antique goods died and went to a hell described as an endless fall. The inheritors of the antique store, a pair of cousins, want to save the uncle and also feel a tremendous weight of personal guilt, so they begin to collect the cursed objects from the unwitting purchasers. The cursed antique in this episode is the wicker wheelchair.

When the girl sits on the wheelchair, she "astro-projects." My friend Dennis tells me that what she does is called astro-projection. Maybe one word? Astropojects. Astro projects. Regardless, the term is entering my permanent and conversational vocabulary. This is what happens: a ghostlike double of herself stands up from the wheelchair.

She kills the would-be rapists one by one. The killings restore her body. The first boy is so surprised to see her, walking around, that be backs into a cabinet in the chemistry classroom (he's there to steal a test - these guys are no fucking good) and acid falls over him. His body dissolves. Being the first, everyone assumes he "dissolved himself." Well, almost everyone, because the other would-be rapists enter the room just as the boy's face is disappearing, and they hear his last word: the girl's name!

The second boy throws himself off a building.

The third boy, thinking he's going to get some fuck action from the suddenly mobile girl, lays down on the ground with her. While seducing him she ties his arms so that he cannot move, pulls out her own switchblade, asks "How does it feel??" and drops an electric chandelier on him.

The fourth boy, the worst of the worst, the wielder of switchblade, first attempts to shank one of the central characters of the show, one of the cousins collecting the antiques. This is when the cousin has come for the wheelchair, and he finds the suspicious and rapist boy (driver of red convertibles) in the girl's bedroom. He, being nearly shanked, becomes royally pissed and makes the rapist boy promise to stay away. He runs out of the house, past the old man (window peeping?). The old man has been acting as a kind of spiritual mentor for the girl, and he convinces the cousin that the girl should have a little more killing fun, and the cousin agrees. The old man says, "This is the type of boy who will always come back".

So the final rapist boy does indeed soon return. The girl (who can now move her top-half and has feeling in her legs, owing to her successful killing spree) astro-projects and strangles the boy. Just then the cousin arrives, sees the boy, and wants to take the wheelchair back. Sure, I've killed enough, says the girl, who stands up, assuming her body fully restored. But wait, she can't walk....the boy isn't dead! He rises from the floor and lunges at the girl, knocking her down a flight of stairs. They fall together, both dying by the bottom. Fucking cursed antique wicker chair, noooooo!

The cousin returns the antique wicker wheelchair to the shop. The old man comes and asks for it, saying more people need its healing powers. The cousin disagrees and takes an axe to the chair. Only the cousin never realized: wicker is forever, and the chair will never be destroyed!

1 comment:

  1. what happened to the old man? The episode remained sort of open, as of what is the consecuence of using the chair.