Tom Holland (director)
26 December 2016 (released)
29 December 2016
“Welcome to Fright Night…!” It’s with those very words that hammy and washed-up actor/TV-host Peter Vincent welcomes his viewers to a weekly dose of trashy horror flicks. Little does he realise that soon he’ll be at the centre of a real-life vampire hunt, courtesy of teenager Charley Brewster’s firm believe that his new next-door neighbour is a nasty bloodsucker! This cult-horror movie from 1985 offers everything that one can possibly wish for and has just been released as a Limited Edition Dual-Format Steelbook.
Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is your ordinary teenager living an ordinary life in the suburbs of an American town. When not busy with homework he tries for the umpteenth time to make love to his shy and prudish girlfriend Amy Peterson (Amanda Bearse) or watch his beloved horror flicks on the box. In particular he’s a fan of Fright Night – a TV-series hosted by Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) during which Vincent introduces the usual array of B-movie flicks and gothic thrillers. One evening, after Charley and Amy had yet another argument over her extreme shyness, he happens to look out the window while Amy finally seems to give in and starts taking her bra off. Unfortunately she picked the wrong moment for Charley spots two men in the neighbouring house carrying something which looks like a coffin. Surely not?
The drama intensifies when Charley observes his admittedly attractive looking neighbour, who goes by the name of Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon), seducing a young woman at an open window while looking provocatively at Charley… before seemingly biting the woman in the neck. It goes without saying that no one believes him when he tries to convince Amy (who thinks that all he wants is to get revenge for her prudishness) that he just saw a vampire biting a victim. Only his closest friend ‘Evil Ed’ Thompson (Stephen Geoffreys) shows some sympathy in between laughing his head off and offers some useful tips regarding how to keep vampires at bay. Convinced that he witnessed a murder – and a supernatural one at that – Charley leaves no stone unturned to prove that he is right but that’s easier said than done: when he contacts Detective Lennox (Art J. Evans) about his suspicions the detective visits the house in question only to be greeted by the cunning and slightly sinister Billy Cole (Jonathan Stark) who is Dandrigde’s flatmate though he might possibly be a bit more… The actual relationship between the two men is kept in the dark throughout the film. When Detective Lennox begins to question Cole about what Charley saw he smartly steers from any suspicions by making Charley look like a nerdy teenager with an overactive imagination and when Charley snaps back by pointing out that Cole and Dandridge are vampires he comes very close to being arrested by Lennox for wasting vital police time! Lennox drives off but the damage is done and we just know that Jerry Dandridge is going to very, VERY pissed when he finds out about what happened during his absence. Sure enough, he charms his way into the home of Mrs. Brewster (Dorothy Fielding) who thinks of the new neighbour as irresistible though Charley, who lives alone with his mother, knows that his is only to beginning of Dandridge’s reign of terror against him. In his despair, he, Amy and Evil Ed seek the help of none other than Peter Vincent for surely a seasoned horror host knows all the tricks in the book to fight vampires… Unfortunately Vincent turns out to be the washout that he really is and it’s not before glancing into a mirror that he realises that Dandridge really does have no reflection… Soon, all hell breaks loose as Vincent is adamant to repair his tainted reputation as a vampire hunter and Charley has his hands full to save his beloved Amy from the clutches of the almighty Dandridge…
FRIGHT NIGHT is incredible fun, in fact it’s the kind if film you want to watch after coming home from the pub on a Friday night with some friends and a six-pack in tow. The performances are terrific, in particular Roddy McDowall as the horror TV-host who’s suddenly confronted with real-life bloodsuckers and Chris Sarandon whose ‘Jerry Dandridge’ has got to be one of the sexiest vampires in film history…effortlessly gliding from smouldering seducer to predatory and shape-shifting killer! The special effects are just as awesome and the real whammy is the sheer abundance of bonus material which comes with this release: anything you ever wanted to know about ‘Fright Night’ is covered in great detail!
For those who prefer the simpler things in life, the film is also available (for the first time in the UK) as a plain Blu-ray release.