No one believes him, but a young man is convinced his neighbor is a vampire and looks to a TV personality, whose most famous role was of a vampire hunter, for his help and expertise in vanquishing the bloodsucker.
Judging a Book by its Cover
-Cloudy with a chance of aaaahhh!!!
-Well that’s the scariest looking cloud I’ve ever seen. Very sirius looking. …I’ll see myself out.
-Does no one else live on this block?
There are some very good reasons to be afraid of the dark.
Directed by Tom Holland
Starring Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowell
One evening while trying to convince his girlfriend (Amanda Bearse) to go “all the way,” Charlie (Ragsdale) notices through his window the newly moved in neighbour (Sarandon) who is putting the moves on his own woman but shows off some serious fangs! The neighbour notices Charlie peeping and closes the drapes. Charlie completely ignores his girlfriend afterwards because he’s pretty sure he just saw a vampire. He did notice a coffin being moved into the basement, after all, so it all makes sense to him.
Realizing that he has a vampire as a neighbour, he enlists help from his friend, “Evil” Ed, though he, like everybody else, doesn’t believe Charlie’s outlandish story. Charlie turns to the one man who he thinks can help him — Peter Vincent, vampire hunter! Mr. Vincent is actually a faded actor whose best years are far behind him. He serves as a host for late night b-movies but he seems to know what he’s talking about. Initially balking at helping a lunatic teenager, Charlie’s girlfriend and Ed convince Peter (financially) to go along with the joke and “prove” that Charlie’s neighbor isn’t a vampire. Won’t they be in for a surprise?
To be perfectly honest, Fright Night is damn near perfect to me; growing up with this film, it’s one of my most favorite and fun to watch vampire movies. The casting is spot on as Sarandon is fantastic as the charming devil of a vampire, Jerry Dandridge. No one but Roddy McDowell could play the role of Peter Vincent and even being 20-somethings at the time, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffreys were great as the teens in trouble. The script is both smart and funny, which is a rare combination. The effects, while dated now, have so much work put into them that they are still enjoyable to watch. And if you don’t like this one, watch the remake cause it’s a great remake of a great movie.
Story: 10 – Great story, great dialogue with bits of subtle humour and great performances from the cast.
Blood: 7 – For a film in the mid 80s, the effects were quite a sight. Maybe not so much now but it’s certainly bloody and gooey all around.
Nudity: 5 – A short but great topless scene early on in the film.
Overall: 9 – I consider it required viewing for vampire lovers if that’s any kind of recommendation.
-“Evil” Ed actor, Stephen Geoffreys, had to endure 18 hours of make up for his final transformation.
-The Peter Vincent character was originally written for Vincent Price.
-The film is partly based on the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”