Fright Night is a wonderful and just all around perfect campy little movie from that era we all know and love- the 80s. Sometimes I like to think of it as Back to the Future but with vampires. It makes sense if you just think about it. Charlie wears the same "life preserver" vest as Marty McFly. There is an entire wall and just overall impressive collection of clocks in both movies. In both movies the main character is trying to convince the helper person that something is the truth and the helper person doesn't believe them. And perhaps the most startling....both movies take place in 1985!!! Probably not so startling actually since they both contain the same elements and that would make sense that they both take place in the same year.... so never mind! It worked in my head.
Anyways, Fright Night is a classic vampire tale at it's best. Charlie starts spotting unusual things about the neighbor who just moved in. He sees women in his apartment get bit and then the same women turn up dead the next day. He sees a coffin being brought into the basement, and after a few close calls it's pretty safe to assume that his next door neighbor is a vampire. The problem is that no one believes him. So Charlie must find a way to convince his prudish girlfriend, his really weird and annoying friend (who is now a porn star) AND a guy who plays a famous vampire killer on TV.
Classic "teen scream" vampire movies that aren't Twilight have always been a personal favorite of mine. I attribute this to the fact that every well known rule of vampires is always followed yet- they still manage to show these rules in a different and entertaining way every single time. For instance- the standard rule of a vampire not having a reflection. In Fright Night this little rule is played out in a fantastic scene in a nightclub!!! An 80s dance nightclub. Hell yes. Our prudish girlfriend is being whisked away into realms of the unknown and sexy- by vampire lord Prince Humperdinck and she looks into the mirror and is dancing with an invisible man-bright neon lights and the standard 80s dance smoke included. It's pretty genius.
Also although I do not find Chris Sarandon very attractive- who can deny that his powers of persuasion are better than the dreaded Edward Cullen?
Step One: Sultry and Steamy 80s music.
Step Two: Get your victim into something romantic and flirty, and lay her down unconscious on a rug in front of a fireplace.
Step Three: Walk slowly towards victim with unbuttoned shirt while looking dark and mysterious.
Step Four: Take off shirt.
I mean honestly- was there ever an easier and sexier way to seduce someone? Jerry Dandridge is a master of vampire seduction- Edward Cullen should really study these 4 simple rules.
So despite Chris Sarandon being one creepy and seductive vampire- Fright Night is just all around awesome. Its my favorite kind of cheese ball movie- one that makes you laugh the whole way through but also one that secretly freaks you out. The makeup effects were actually pretty good in this. When Jerry changes into scary vampire- it is pretty scary. I also love how they utilizied the Nosferatu aspect of vampirism- long...really long scary fingers and fangs that are more complicated than just two overgrown canine teeth. The werewolf scene with the creepy best friend was also surprisingly well done
And the scene where Amy makes a full transformation...
Jesus. Even though I was expecting that face to pop up somewhere I was not prepared for that. It's just a genuinely scary face....and now it's going to haunt my dreams.
So bottom line- amazing piece of entertainment this movie is. Hilarious moments of 80s cheese and just downright silliness- coupled with steamy vampires and some actually kind of scary moments. Winner in my book. Fright Night is a perfect definition of a horror movie that doesn't have to be this amazing work of art- filled with deep and meaningful themes. It's just fun. And it's fantastic.
Oh and in case you wanted to see proof of what Stephen Geoffreys is doing now just read his list of films after Fright Night on IMDB...
- Quick Study: Sex Ed 1 (1998) (V) (as Sam Ritter) .... Woodwork Teacher
- Guys Who Crave Big Cocks (1998) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Halfway House Hunks (1998) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Gay Men in Uniform (1998) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Private Temptations (1998) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Famous Again (1998)
- Transsexual Prostitutes (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Cock Pit (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Butt Blazer (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Leather Virgin (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter) .... Pizza Delivery Guy
- Leather Intrusion Case 2: The Spider's Kiss (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter) .... Spinner
- Black Men, White Men (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Manhunt (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Buff and Gay (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Transsexual Prostitutes 2 (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Uncut Glory (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Motel Sex (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Leather Intrusion Case 4: Down to the Wire (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter) .... Punk #1
- Leather Buddies (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- The Big Screw Up (1997) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Leather After Midnight (1996) (V) (as Sam Ritter) .... Sam
- Latin Crotch Rockets (1996) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Hunk Hotel (1996) (V) .... Updyke
- Hell's Paradox (1996) .... Rabbit
- Just 18 and Gay (1996) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Mechanics bi Day, Lube Job bi Night (1995) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Virtual Stud (1995) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
- Sex on the Beach (1994) (V) (as Sam Ritter)
Yeah I put "Latin Crotch Rockets" on my Netflix queue...so what?!
Here's the dance club scene. I love how Chris Sarandon changes from vampirish clothes to an 80s dance club sweater. He is always so prepared!
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Great post! I am happy you liked the movie. It's one I just love. I remember when I first saw it I was totally blown away and have loved it ever since.
I kind of disagree with the cheesy comments. Although having grown up in the 80's I guess I look at things from then in a different way. Doesn't seem cheesy to me (styles, sayings, etc.) but only because I was dab smack in it. lol
I have friends who met Stephen Geoffreys and they say he was a really nice guy. I think his life took a turn at some point but I think he's trying to get back into (normal) films again. He was a good actor back in the day. Check out 976-EVIL. Cooky little film that was directed by Robert Englund and starring Geoffreys.
And because I have to say this - "Oh, you're so cool Brewster."
I love this movie but I can never get over the fact that Sarandon tries to sex up Marcy Darcy from Married With Children. One of the most unattractive women I've ever seen.
One of the best vampire movies from the 80s no doubt. Great make up effects, atmosphere and characters. Plus that soundtrack is pure 80s!
Also, I dig the theme song that appears during the ending credits!
Did you notice that they show various old school horror movies on Charlies TV? For example, they show Scars of Dracula, Children Shouldnt Play with Dead Things, and another one I cant remember...
Oh God bless you for loving Fright Night too! This is the movie that really, really got me into vampires. I love The Lost Boys, but Fright Night is my all-time favorite. No sparklepires! Check out that face on Amy! I wonder how they did that with the mouth, it's ginormous....
I also like how Jerry Dandridge reveled in being a vampire -- he wasn't reluctant to turn Amy, or Evil Ed, or whomever else he chose. He wasn't all emo about being a damned undead or unwilling to turn his lover. A true Bad Boy.
Would it be wrong of me to admit I like this soundtrack more than The Lost Boys? I play it on my blog sometimes!
I always wondered if Geoffreys used his tagline in his more...adult...films. "Oh, you're so cool, Brewster!"
Looking back at the music videos and movies I loved back in the 80's, I wonder now what made me think they were cool. Best answer I have is "they were." Fright Night is simply classic 80's, and it conjures up good memories of movie nights at friends' houses. It was almost always Fright Night and one other movie. I don't think I ever watched it in my own house.
Always love your reviews - great stuff again!
Man, I never knew Evil Ed went porn. Creepy.
The fact that Marcy Darcy is gay can only lead to the conclusion that if you were an actor on Fright Night well...you get what I mean.
Fright Night is my favorite vampire movie and an all time favorite horror movie. Everything about it is just so great! I even read and still own the comic sereis that ran after the second film. Such a dork.
Fright Night is in my opinion one of the Vampire Movie Classics, good story, great Effects and great Actors!
This is one of many Films that should Never be remade!
This is still one of my favorite 80's vampire films. And surprisingly the remake wasn't all that bad either.
This may be blasphemy to most of the fans but I still like McLovin as Evil Ed more than the original.
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