is one of those films that belongs in every
horror fans collection of the macabre. It brings a heaping dish of juicy 80's vampire debauchery (not to mention a feel of slasher mayhem) which will guarantee to provide pleasurable shivers and some good chuckles.
We follow a young man named Charley Brewster
who is obsessed with vampire and horror films. In particular, a late-night cable access television show called "Fright Night," which is hosted by Peter Vincent "the Great Vampire Killer." (character named after Peter Cushing and Vincent Price, of course) "Fright Night" features different horror films each night which Mr. Vincent just happens to star in... well, most of them. So when Charley discovers the new neighbors are actually vampires, (after seeing them haul a casket into the basement and hearing multiple women screaming) he recruits his idol "The Great Vampire Killer" and his two friends to battle against the fanged men who've been killing women through the town.
One of the things that's so appealing about Fright Night
is how the filmmakers took a script which could be considered "simple" by Hollywood terms and make it into a classic juggernaut of the 80's. And it's not your typical vampire film either. There are many differences between a typical vampire film and Fright Night
(many of which I find more appealing) but those are differences you'll have to find out for yourself. I'd hate to ruin the film for those of you who haven't seen it yet.
The special effects are nearly flawless besides a couple frame-by-frame monster shots, but who's complaining? You can't have a horror film from the 80's without at least one of these, right? One of the features of the vampires is the way their teeth get evermore disturbing as their mood grows more angry. These multiple steps of dental special effects is some of the best I've ever seen. They really add a huge amount of spook factor when the undead get pissed. Another scene worth mentioning is the werewolf scene. Remember the awesome werewolf transformation from The Howling
in 1981? (see video clip here
) It's not quite as epic as that, but it's close. It's also in reverse. So instead of changing into the werewolf, it's coming out of the transformation.
The acting is absolutely amazing. Well, amazing for 80's horror that is. Most notably is the performance of Stephen Geoffreys as "Evil Ed." This is a character you will never forget. Absolutely frightening and hilarious at the same time. Stephen Geoffreys convinces you that he was born for this part by portraying the lanky character with stunning effectiveness. (need proof? watch this
and tell me differently) The other actor worth mentioning is Roddy McDowall as character Peter Vincent. I can't see anyone else pulling off that character better than McDowall. He does an excellent job.
Overall, Fright Night is a classic which should be respected and enjoyed with a cold beer. If it's not already a part of your collection, I highly recommend visiting the Amazon link to the right of this review and pick up a copy. It's 100% worth it.