Welcome to the Terrordome #14 “Fright Night”

(For this week, I’ll present the reviews in bullet form. I have a heavy schedule with work, kids’ meetings, gym visits and a couple of Benedict C. related activities. Enjoy!)

“You’re so cool, Brewster.”

Every now and then I’ll utter that reference to my students and they look always dumbfounded. I can understand their ignorance to the sentence considering that it comes from 1985’s “Fright Night”. Once again, this is another film I did have any business watching at young age. But, I did and I’m thankful.

  • This movie revels in its camp. It’s as though the actors knew the dialogue and plot was cheesy; yet, they still enjoyed making the film as I enjoyed watching it. I consider it a shout-out to the Hammer films of the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Brief synopsis: Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a lover of horror films. Nightly, he stays up to watch “Fright Night”, a local t.v. show airing classic horror films, hosted by his local hero, Peter Vincent. One day, he notices a new neighbor’s (Chris Sarandon) love for the ladies and the daily disappearances of them. Charlie suspects his neighbor is a vampire. Of course, he isn’t believed by his girlfriend (a pre-Married with Children’s Amanda Bearse), his mom, or his best friend. Eventually, his suspicion becomes reality, leading him to recruit his local hero in killing his neighbor, Jerry Dandridge and saving his friends.
  • Yes, the camp is still there – but, so is the “frights”. Jerry Dandridge is still a formidable villain and Charlie Brewster remains his unlikely, but ready, adversary.
  • As any film fan, there’s some remaining questions yet to go answered. One, what is Jerry’s “friend”? Is he a zombie? Is he a cursed human? What? Somebody please tell me. It’s beyond annoying. Two, was those two red eyes in the end real? Or, were they a figment of Charlie’s imagination? Finally, what is “Evil Ed’s” deal? He is behind strange. His character development makes sense. The filmmakers should’ve just given him a red shirt and called it a day.
  • Chris Sarandon is still hot in this role. He was one of my first “older man” crushes. I wonder what he looks like now.
  • Ms. Brewster’s remains annoying.
  • I know Roddy McDowell from two film series: Fright Night and The Planet of the Apes. I know he didn’t have a limited filmography. But, as a kid, these films of his were the only ones I enjoyed and had access to.
  • Am I the only one who can’t stop dancing and singing to the songs in the nightclub scene? I know those snippets like the back of my hand.
  • “Fright Night” is rightfully placed in the Cult Classic Hall of Fame (Not that there’s one. Get to it, Internet.)
  • 8 out of 10 because I can.

Fun Fact About “Fright Night”: This film was followed by a sequel, which while critically panned, entertained me – just not at the same level as the original. Also, there’s an unnecessary and way too serious “remake”. To the truth, other than the names, it really has nothing to do with the original. It’s as though they used the title simply to squeeze dollars of those wanting to see it. Unfortunately, a sequel’s supposedly coming. I don’t care. I just don’t.

 

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