Friday, October 09, 2009

Robey, Where Art Thou?

Sci Fi channel, now SyFy, has established itself for very lame original programming guaranteed to disappoint. Anyone remember the ads for Ice Spiders? And forget about zombies.

You can count on them for Twilight Zone marathons and the occasional rerun of Friday the 13th:The Series.

This series had nothing to do with the hockey masked mass murderer Jason, but producer Frank Mancuso, who had done Friday the 13th part deux, shamelessly used the name to attract viewers. Bad or good, it worked. In fact, you can find fansites for a show that went off the air nearly twenty years ago.
For a quick review: Cheap and cheesy, but sometimes creepy with some interesting story lines. The acting is oft over-the-top and the budget seemed very low, but it has just enough moments to make it very enjoyable.

SyFy has been sporadically running mini-thons of this Canadian horror lite series. Since this aired '87 to '90, I began to wonder what happened to the actors.

The lovely "Micki", always listed simply as Robey, Louise Robey was the eye candy for the series. With her huge, I mean '80s huge, flaming red hair, the series benefited more from her looks than acting ability. Robey has her own website which looks clunky and stuck in a time warp. Here we can hear her music (???), read her lyrics (???)and generally learn that she is working on new "projects." Of the three central actors, she seems to have done the least with acting.

The show's anchor was Chris Wiggins who played Jack Marshak. I thought I sensed The Bard and then I read, "Member of the prestigious Stratford Festival Acting Company in 1960 playing the roles in Romeo and Juliet, and in A Midsummer Night's Dream"." Wiggins brought a sense of gravitas and when you think about it, there should always be someone in a horror series who brings a seriousness to the story line. His filmography is quite long and varied.

For two seasons or the three, Ryan Dallion (groovy name, eh?), played by John D. LeMay, was Micki's cousin. I always thought their on-screen chemistry belied a real life relationship, but maybe that's just speculation. LeMay is still in the industry in some decent movies, but not any major roles.

The character that replaced Ryan in the third season, Johnny Ventura, I never really cared for. he was all blank looks and cockiness.
We watched an episode last night and both of us commented on the washed out look of the series and the sometimes grainy picture. Not sure if it's just our ratty TV, or the transfer is just bad.
All three seasons have been released on DVD.

1 comment:

primalscreamx said...

Actually, it was a must-watch when I was about 19 or 20. It came on late at night and I was definitely a Robey fan. The show wasn't so bad and had some genuinely spooky moments. In retrospect, it was kind of link between Kolchak the nightstalker and The X-Files.