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- Classic Horror, 80s Cheese
Ol' Charlie has a new neighbor and he turns out to be a blood sucking monster. No one believes Charlie. Not his mother, the police, or his girlfriend. They all believe he is crazy. If only they were right.
This is a horror classic from the mind of Tom Holland (Child's Play). If you've never seen this 80s incarnation of vampire cinema then you've been deprived. Before Vamp and the Lost Boys was the original horror comedy involving teens and the undead....more info
- Scary and Funny In Equal Doses
Vampire movies are almost by definition parodies, the only variable being the degree and the quality of the parody elements vs the scare elements. "Fright Night" (1985) is neither the best parody nor the scariest thriller, but it has the distinction of being the all-time best mix of the two. Both its parody and its scare elements work extremely well and their juxtaposition really makes the film worth seeing.
"Fright Night's" production design will remind you of "Gremlins", a contemporary film, but the spirit of the film is more along the lines of Polanski's "Fearless Vampire Killers".
Average suburban teen Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) accidentally discovers that his new neighbor is an evil vampire. The vampire is not particularly discrete, not bothering to pull the window shades and disposing of a victim in a plastic garbage bag. Charley unwisely goes public with his accusations. This tips off the vampire that his teenage neighbor may be a threat. But he is still safe because nobody believes vampires are real.
Not only does no one believe Charley but the vampire discovers that Charley's girlfriend Amy resembles his lost love, which makes her a target. Amy is played by a young Amanda Bearse ("Married With Children"), which you will probably find a bit disconcerting for several reasons but it is kind of interesting to see her as a hot teen love interest.
In desperation Charley goes Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), the host of the local television show called "Creature Features".
The special effects are excellent and not overdone. Dorothy Fielding who plays Charley's airhead mother should get special mention for her excellent performance. One of the running gags during the first half of the film is her failure to find anything suspicious about her new neighbor or his nighttime activities.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only an inner child....more info
- 20 YEARS LATER AND STILL A GREAT FILM
After twenty years Fright Night remains one of the best Vampire films of the last couple of decades and still scary. A perfect film to watch on dark nights. What makes the movie go is the very believable characters. Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a typical teenager. He's a horror movie fan and maybe a bit of a nerd. When a new neighbor moves in next door Charley becomes convinced he is a vampire. He tells his friends Amy (Amanda Bearse) and Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) but they think he's nuts.
Peter tries to enlist the aid of an old horror movie host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell), the vampire killer, but he thinks Charley is crazy too. Eventually they all try to humor him by going to the house to meet the new resident Jerry Dandridge played by chris Sarandon. It's all kind of a joke to everyone until Vincent looks in his little mirror and sees that Dandridge does not cast a shadow. With the realization that Dandridge really is a vampire Vincent wants to flee the town. Meanwhile the vampire now comes after Charlie and his friends, kidnapping Amy and taking her to his old, gothic looking Victorian. Charley now has to rescue Amy and figure out a way to stop the Vampire and his servant Billy Cole.
Fright Night has a great atmosphere and is really a throwback to old classic Universal and hammer films which relied on great suspense and atmosphere over blood and gore. The scenes as Charley and Vincent stalk the vampire in the house are truly scary as is Charley's final battle with Dandridge. William Ragsdale and Chris Sarandon are fantastic in their roles. While Ragsdale was actually in his early 20's at the time, his young appearance made him believable as a teen. Bearse was even older at 26, but still pulled off her teen character. Chris Sarandon exuded sexuality as the vampire Gary Dandrige but was equally menacing as well.
A great film!...more info
- Fright Night really Bites!!!
When I've read and have heard all these positive reviews for this gigantic turkey I just can't believe my eyes or ears! I mean has anybody even read any of the comic books?! Well I have and FYI they were a lot more clever than this trash. I just don't see that this movie took any cues from the comic nor is it even as well written!! The cheesey attempts at humor were completely embarrassing as jokes/humor(if You call it that) felt like it was written by a 12 year old!! The comics that I read for Fright Night didn't meddle in worthless jokes and in general made them poignant. It wasn't just about dumb laughs for no real reason such as this turd of a movie possessed. I found William Ragsdale's performance as Charlie Brewster to be dorky! And needless to say he was alot better on Herman's Head. Chris Sarandon was not only very inconsistant in his laughable performance as vampire Jerry Dandridge but he was neither funny nor clever! To say nothing of that scene where one moment he's telling Charlie Brewster that he would give him a chance to forget all about him and what he knows then the next he's strangling him while trying to push him out the window. My gosh are they sure this is a comedy? 'Cause that was a crude moment. Anyway I liked Chris alot better in Child's Play a few years later. Amanda Bearse in a Pre-Married With Children role as Charlie's love interest was a forgivable enough performance despite her not giving it her all! Whoever that really annoying dork was that played Ed/Evil Ed he was just too unbearable and not very funny. The only thing he did that would even remotely pass as funny was his poor attempt to try and fly out a window appearing to fall. I'm sorry but there just isn't any excusing this bucket of vomit at all! Needless to say Roddy McDowell should just stick with Planet of the Apes! He just tried too hard in his half-a**ed performance as Peter Vincent. Anyhoo if you want to see a real vampire comedy I recommend you try Vampire in Brooklyn,Once Bitten, or even My Best Friend's a Vampire and stay away from this eye cancer on celluloid all together! ...more info
- Best vampire movie of the '80's
I agree with other people when they say "The best vampire movie." It was well done, even though it's just a movie it seems so convincing. I liked all the actors in Fright Night, I think all of them played there parts really good. I recommend this movie to anyone who's into scary, but not gorry movies. It would be a perfect movie to watch around Halloween with some friends. ...more info
- Classic from the 80's
One of the few mainstream horror films from the 80's that is still great to this day is the original Fright Night. Helmed by Tom Holland (who would go on to direct the original Child's Play), Fright Night contains all the familiar elements and conventions of the vampire film genre, but thanks to Holland's energetic direction, great cast work, and some great (mostly) makeup effects, Fright Night succeeds where most others fail, and is a fun horror classic. William Ragsdale stars as Charley, a horror loving teen who suspects his new neighbor (Chris Sarandon) is a vampire. Soon enough, Charley's suspicians prove true, and with the help of an eccentric B-horror movie actor (Roddy McDowell), he sets out to stop the powerful vamp as his family, friends, and girlfriend (Married...With Children's Amanda Bearse) are threatened. With tried but true conventions and everything else mentioned above, Fright Night may not be the best vampire movie you'll ever see, but it's certainly one of the most fun....more info
- 'Campy' Fright Night Fun To Watch
This is simply a very entertaining horror flick with a good mixture of suspense, comedy and good special- effects. The kids - William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffreys - are all excellent but the two adults - Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell - steal the show.
Sarandon is very cool as the vampire; cocky, arrogant and smooth. He is easily the best character in the movie. McDowell does a nice job as the reluctant vampire slayer.
The special-effects are good and the film is played strictly for fun, even with the suspenseful scenes. In fact, it reminds me of the word "camp" because it's so hokey in spots. Yet the film definitely has its scary moments.
Note: I watched this 3-4 times on the tape so I am familiar with most of the film and after seeing the DVD, I swear several short scenes are missing (such as Bearse's quick shower scene). ...more info
- High Time Favorite!
I am very satisfied with the DVD. This movie has always been one of my favorites....more info
- ok for it's time
Have seen this movie before purchasing and always enjoyed it.The make-up and special effects were good for it's time....more info
- "Welcome to Fright Night, for real."
It's safe to say that Charley Brewster has a short attention span. In fact, that's probably an understatement. But, when Charley oversees his new neighbor committing murder through his bedroom window, he finally gets some focus in his life. Much to the dismay of his family and friends, however, his new focus is on vampires. After a violent confrontation with Jerry, the creature next door, Charley is desperate to destroy the monster, and he attempts to enlist the aid of local "Fright Night" horror host Peter Vincent, the fearless vampire killer, to do it. Unbelieving Peter is reluctant, but Charley's girlfriend Amy and creepy-geek friend, Evil Ed, convince him with a bit of financial persuading. Their intention is to prove to Charley that Jerry Dandrige is not a vampire at all, but they are in for the scare of their lives, and it's anybody's guess who will survive the real "Fright Night!"
"Fright Night" is an 80s vampire flick for the classic horror fanatic! Paying homage to such staples as Dark Shadows and the Hammer Dracula franchise, this surprising little horror film supplies vampire lore and cliches aplenty, put together so skillfully that the result is this horror fan's favorite vampire indulgence. Of course, this favoritism is in no small part due to spectacular effects and performances! The cast seems tailor made for their roles as they play them, even if some choices seem a bit odd superficially. Hard to imagine this vampire pining away over the centuries for Married With Children's Marcy D'Arcy, but Amanda Bearse plays the role of the teenage object of Chris Sarandon's desires to perfection. Chris, himself, is powerfully convincing and menacing as the hip, 80's vampire. Extremely well adjusted to the times, too. His slave-boy zombie, Billy Cole, is played by an excellently creepy Jonathan Stark, but he's out-creeped by the always somewhat disturbing Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed. Of course, William Ragsdale IS Charlie Brewster, and his portrayal is what propels the film. The icing on THIS cake, however, aside from the teenage victim in the window that I've had a crush on all my life, played by someone named Irina Irvine, is the brilliant performance of one of my all-time faves, Roddy "Bullwhip" McDowall, as Peter Vincent, vampire killer! The late, great Roddy McDowall is definitely the yeast that raises this film from vampire movie mediocrity. Despite the nearly bare bones disc, featuring only a trailer and double-sided widescreen/fullscreen selection, this DVD is a must own for vampire, horror, and McDowall fans alike. Be prepared for some cheezy 80's music and a great time that you'll want to experience again and again! Also, be sure to check out "Fright Night 2," one of the best sequels ever made!...more info
- Lock your doors and windows tight!!!
*********** Warning: Spoilers *******************
Fright Night is by far one of the best scary movies ever made. The characters, plot and imagery are very easy to follow, and the gore is not something out of the "Saw" movies. That said, this movie has some great humor in it as well.
First and foremost, the storyline is very original. We have an ordinary boy named Charlie who seems to lead a life that most of us know. High school. Girlfriend. Homework. Beat up car. But wait, what's this? A new neighbor has moved into the old house next door, and he is carrying a coffin into his basement???
The characters are so interesting to watch. I especially like the sophisticated and devilish nature of Jerry Dandridge, and I know how evil this dangerously deceptive person is. I see them all the time, especially in the democrat party. Our heroes are strong-willed and determined to save the day, and I really like the dynamic of Charlie and Peter working together to destroy the neighborhood vampire. Poor Amy is caught in the middle of good and evil, and Ed completely turns on his friends.
The humor is great, and I love the scene where Amy pushes a hamburger into Charlie's face for ignoring her. I am fairly certain that some men can relate to this type of treatment from their women. It was funny, and there are other moments of levity as well.
Yeah, it's got some violence in it. I mean, we are talking about a vampire that kills people, so of course the good guys have to kill him in order to save the innocent people.
All in all, it's a fun movie to watch, and it's not too scary....more info
- Wickedly campy romp!
This is one of the most memorable horror movies from the 80s, not because it was super scary or anything but because it was such a fun vampire flick. Charlie [William Ragsdale] is a horror buff who is convinced that his new next-door neighbor, Jerry Dandridge is a vampire. He tries to convince his girlfriend Amy [Amanda Bearse] and his best friend Evil to no avail. His last hope is Peter Vincent [Roddy McDowall] a TV actor who plays a vampire killer. The rest of the story deals with their efforts in tracking down and killing the vampire. The acting here is above average, and each character is memorable. William Ragsdale brings a certain earnestness to his role as Charlie, and Amanda Bearse plays the role of love interest to Charlie & Dandridge convincingly. However, the best role is the one of Jerry Dandridge, played most convincingly by Chris Sarandon. He is wickedly evil, with a wry sense of humor and dashing countenance.The storyline may have flaws in it, but this is just a fun vampire movie that should be enjoyed for what it is....more info
- First Christopher Lee, then Chris Sarandon
I'll make this really short. I was 14 years old when I saw this film. It scared the living hell out of me. It also thrilled me to undeath. The first DVD I bought when I bought a DVD Player in the Spring of 2000 was this one. It is my favorite vampire film of all time. Christopher Lee opened my eyes to the fun of vampirism with "Horror of Dracula" and "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave". Public television used to run these films on Friday nights when I was a teenager. So I say, thanks, Uncle Ted. He was the host of the monster movie show which brought you older movies.
Fast Forward to the eighties horror where sometimes vampires aren't seen or they're laughed at. Don't do that to Mr. Holland. His direction is extraordinary. Twenty years have passed and this classic deserves a special packaging from Paramount Pictures with some bonus stuff if any exist. All the traditional things you know about vampires are in this film. Mr. Holland doesn't fool around and try to put a tolerance level of sunlight on vampires. The crucifix is definitely painful, as is being staked. Bram Stoker doesn't have to haunt the screenplay writer. This is a wonderful horror film. Treat it with respect. It's even human enough that it pays tribute to Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. Applause from me. These guys made it possible for a film like this to be made. Some humor is thrown into the film, since there is humor in life. Real emotions. Real actors. 20th Anniversary ought to be in session. Mr. Sarandon, if I could, I'd hand you some kind of "Christopher Lee Award" for vampire portrayal excellence.
Buy this DVD....more info
This is a movie that I saw when I was younger and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had to have it and knew where I could purchase it........more info
- This Is A Good Reason To Watch Out For Your New Neighbours!!
In this movie we see Charlie, a High School student played by William Ragsdale. Charlie's main ambition in life is to get his girlfriend to "go all the way" which doesn't happen. Poor guy. Sadly I can relate to his predicament back in my lost days of my youth. Anyway Charlie becomes very suspicious of his new neighbours and discovers that one of them is a Vampire!!!This movie is a Drive In "Must See" and is enhanced by the presence of the late Roddy Mc Dowell who gives a knockout performance as Peter Vincent "Fearless Vampire Killer". One thing about this movie which I really liked is it's claustrophic atmosphere as Charlie lives very close to his new neigbours and Mortal Danger is never too far away!!!!...more info
- More Solid 80s Vampire Fare
If you're into 80s horror movies--especially vampires ones, once you've had enough of Freddy and Jason--then FRIGHT NIGHT needs to go on your required viewing list. Like its younger brother, THE LOST BOYS, this movie is campy as often as scary (which is a minor critique, but a critique nonetheless), but it is also far more traditional.
Rather than the contemporary pack-o-vampires motif so prevalent today (see "TEETH", by yours truly, if you don't mind another gratuitous plug), FRIGHT NIGHT comes back to the single domestic vampire with a servant or two, a motif established by Bram Stoker and, more recently, revisited by Stephen King. So, what you have, basically, is a classic tale in modern dressings, decent special effects, and pretty good acting all around. The standout in this movie is Roddy McDowell, who plays Peter Vincent, the vampire killer. Somewhere out there, Buffy's got to be giving this man his props (or at least laying roses and garlic on his grave).
My only lament for this, and its 80s brother in vamping, is the "safeness" of the tone. There's so much comedy in both, you often forget to be really scared. Fun stuff, but easy to watch with the lights on or off.
(This review has been posted by Marcus Damanda, author of the afore-mentioned vampire novel, "Teeth: A Horror Fantasy.")...more info
- Fright Night
I really enjoyed this movie when it first came out and was pleased to purchase it in dvd format as my vhs had worn out. This is a classic for any horror movie fan. Chris Sarandon is great as the vampire and Roddy McDowall is perfect as Victor Vincent the great vampire slayer. I also liked Brewsters little buddy Evil Ed who starts out helping Charlie with ways to kill the vampire but eventually becomes a member of the undead portraying a very good werewolf type creature. We watch it every year on Halloween and basically anytime I want to see a well made horror flick. So set back, turn out the lights and beware of a sinister pair of red eyes that may be watching you from your window. You'll see at the end of the movie. Nuff said....more info
- A love letter to fans of horror cinema
Although "Fright Night" is considered to be an 80's classic, it is actually more than that. The film is an endearing and energetic homage to horror cinema especially the Hammer productions and the Universal horror cycle. Yes, the film has a humorous tone, but it is not campy nor is it trashy. It is a competently written, stylishly directed and wonderfully performed horror film which features amazing special effects by Richard Edlund (back when effects depended on imagination, not processor speed) and a truly original and haunting score by Brad Fiedel. But the highlight of this movie has to be Roddy McDowall's performance as Peter Vincent (which is Tom Holland's tribute to actors PETER Cushing and VINCENT Price) as his portrayal of the fading horror star who hosts a second rate late night horror show who reluctantly becomes a real life vampire killer, is both terrific and arguably his career best. With an atmosphere that is nothing short of a horror buff's dream, good performances and a terrific, special-effects laden climax, this is a horror classic that is unmissable for fans of horror and especially vampire films. *The Region 1 dvd features a gorgeous anamorphic transfer, but is sadly missing the 5.1 sound remix that is featured on the region 2 edition, however both features the excellent trailer, which is also restored*....more info
- Fright Night (1985)
Director: Tom Holland
Cast: William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys.
Running Time: 105 minutes.
Rated R for vampire violence, gore, nudity, and some language.
Rivals "The Howling" as the quintessential vampire film of the past quarter-decade, "Fright Night" excels even more in the humor department. William Ragsdale plays Charley Brewster (perhaps the best, cheesy high-schooler name ever), a regular teenager who finds himself emotionally distraught and disturbed in adolescence, but for much different reasons than any of his classmates. Charley is convinced that his new neighbor Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) is a blood-sucking, bat-winged vampire and he will stop at nothing to get his friends and family to believe him.
As Charley and his girlfriend (played by Amanda Bearse) realize that his initial perceived nightmare is true, they enlist the help of former television vampire hunter has-been Peter Vincent (in a wonderfully funny performance from the great Roddy McDowall) to bring the vampire-next-door to light. Director Tom Holland uses a great, clever script to near perfection, mixing the elements of terror and tongue-in-cheek humor to the fullest, making "Fright Night" one of the most enjoyable and entertaining horror films of the middle decade. Ragsdale is innocently exceptional with his performance and Sarandon is perfect as the seducing, scheming vamp. Very good special effects and some great one-liners. Can be enjoyed to all movie-goers, not just buffs of the horror genre. A true campy, cult landmark.
- Good movie
Fright Night is a really good movie for those who like horror movies. I liked it a lot....more info
- One of the Best
In my opinion, the best vampire movie ever made. The characters are very personable, the plot (if not original) wildly entertaining, and the music (for 80's fans anyway) nostalgic. The special effects are top-notch, but the movie doesn't rely on them to provide thrills and chills. I'd be lying if I said I didn't I wish I could jump into this movie and be one of the characters. It's that good. Really....more info
- Imaginitive & well done vampire flick, but it is not what you would call a "scary movie".
The movie named "Fright Night" is a very impressive vampire movie big on laughs and very realistic looking vampires...the makeup and special effects really make this movie into a vampire classic. The acting in this movie is also quite exceptional and the storyline is terrific as well. In fact, some of the scenes with these vampires are so realistic looking that one cannot help but be very impressed with this movie for its treatment of the vampire itself. While certainly not very scary, the movie is still a great vampire flick because it stays true to the traditions of vampirism. I can't stress how impressive looking these vampires are and a true vampire/horror movie fan will appreciate the job these people did in this flick. To be frank, if the comedy was omitted and the audience could actually see the kills along with a scary atmosphere implemented into this film, then "Fright Night" would have been a "TRUE" or 100% pure horror movie.
The movie starts out with Charlie, a highschool student who is only concerned about passing and having sex with his girlfriend. However, when Charlie witnesses a coffin being carried into the house next door, things begin to unfold in a hurry. Charlie becomes concerned when he realizes that a prostitute has been killed that he saw near that house. Therefore, Charlie takes it upon himself to spy on this new person next door.
Well, Charlie decides to stay up late one night observing the house and activities thereof next door with his trusty binoculars. When Charlie sees a young lady who is naked at the window, he becomes very happy, but when he sees Jerry Dandridge's finger nails, Charlie realizes that something very dangerous is going on...indeed there is as it beomes intimated that the girl is killed. Charlie goes outside only to discover that Dandridge (played by Chris Sarandon) and his roommate Billy Cole are in the process of disposing of the body.
Charlie becomes convinced that there is a vampire next door and when his mother just happens to invite Mr. Dandridge over for a drink, Charlie KNOWS that he is in deep trouble. Charlie is confronted by the vampire late that night and they engage in a struggle where Charlie escapes but for how long?
At any rate, Charlie's friends become disturbed at Charlie's obsession with this vampire fantasy that he has about his next door neighbor and they decide to procure the help of the clumsy yet likeable Peter Vincent "the great vampire killer", but only on a TV show named "Fright Night".
No one believes Charlie about this vampire fantasy of his, and his friends and Mr. Vincent actually take Charlie over to the house for the purposes of proving to him that Mr. Dandridge is not a vampire. However, once there, something goes awry and Mr. Vincent observes the terrifying truth about Mr. Dandridge. Then Mr. Dandridge realizes that they all may suspect he could actually be a vampire, so Dandridge goes after Amy, Charlie's girlfriend. Can Charlie save his girlfriend or will she and perhaps even all of them become creatures of the night?
I recommend purchasing this DVD for its great qualities as a vampire flick notwithstanding the fact that it is very weak on cinematic terror/horror. The vampires are aesthetically scary and the vampire acting and makeup is very well done, but the movie fails to possess that atmosperic quality that defines a horror movie.
Nevertheless, "Fright Night" is quite entertaining and I recommend that you look for a couple of great vampire scenes involving Evil Ed v. Peter Vincent and you will see what I mean when I say that these people did a great job on these vampires, some of the best I've ever seen. I definitely recommend this movie for the vampire and horror movie fan, and notwithstanding the comedy contained herein, "Fright Night" is yet a great vampire flick even from a true horror movie fan's perspective, and therefore, it certainly earns a spot on my distinguished horror movie DVD shelf....more info