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          Meet Jerry Dandrigde. He's sweet, sexy, and he likes to sleep in late. You might think he's a perfect neighbor. But before inviting Jerry in for a nightcap, there's just one thing you should know. Jerry prefers his drinks warm, red - and straight from the jugular! Only 17-year-old Charley Brewster knows Jerry's bloodcurdling secret. When Charley can't get anybody to believe him, he turns to TV horror host Peter Vincent, who used to be the "Great Vampire Killer" of the movies.

"Oh, you're so COOL, Brewster!"
                    - Evil Ed Thompson

         Fright Night 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 video clip 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.

Cast & Crew   |   Pictures  |   Video Clip   |   Trailer

          - The character Peter Vincent is named for two actors well-known for their appearances in horror movies: Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.

          - William Ragsdale injured his foot running down a staircase during the last shot filmed on December 24th 1984, just three weeks into principal photography, which was stopped while his foot healed. Filming of Ragsdale's action scenes was postponed until he was healed sufficiently to perform them.

          - Stephen Geoffreys auditioned for Fright Night while filming Fraternity Vacation.

          - Filmed on a budget of $9,000,000.

          - A puppet that was created for, but not used in, another Columbia Pictures production, Ghostbusters, is visible in Fright Night.

          - The motion picture that Charley watches in his bedroom is Scars of Dracula, a Hammer Studios production starring Christopher Lee. Another film Charley watches is FleshEater, featuring S. William Hinzman from Night of the Living Dead.

          - While directing actors, Tom Holland accidentally broke the bat creature, which was fixed and then filmed.

          - Tom Holland had total control in the casting decisions. The only suggestion he got was from Guy McElwaine who asked Holland to meet his friend Roddy McDowall, who'd be cast. In an interview Holland said that "it was a terrific suggestion".

          - Chris Sarandon spent as many as eight hours having vampire makeup applied. Stephen Geoffreys spent as many as twelve hours having werewolf makeup applied, which was required twice.

          - In an attempt to produce an authentic reaction of fright when Charley sees Amy as a vampire for the first time, William Ragsdale did not see the stunt actress in makeup prior to shooting the scene.



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