Horror Thursday, Reviews — May 26, 2011 at 2:00 am

HORROR THURSDAY: FRIGHT NIGHT

by

With the remake of Fright Night coming upon us, I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at the original 1985 film of the same name. I dunno if it’ll be a good read, but it’ll be fun.

First off, I was only 5 in 1985, so I feel a bit depressed Hollywood felt like that was SOOOOOO long ago that a remake is needed. Of course, we have the remake of The Thing coming up, which equally makes me sad. I guess when they start remaking Clerks or Pulp Fiction I should just put a gun to my mouth right then and there.

Anyway, Fright Night.

In the movie, Fright Night is the name of a TV show hosted by Peter Vincent, played by Roddy McDowell. The show is your typical late night creature-feature show that shows old horror movies, mainly ones starring Peter himself. (Nolahn, you should really think about hosting your show from a coffin.)

Watching this one night is Charley and Amy, who are making out. Amy decides it is time to be porked for the first time and before Charley can park the beef bus into tuna town, he notices something weird. No, it’s not the fact that Amy is played by Amanda Bearse, who went on to play Marcy in Married…With Children and is a lesbian, although that would jar just about anyone.

No, he notices that some guys are moving in to the creepy house next door and they’re carrying coffins into the basement. Charley ignores the lesbian boobs on his bed and stares at the coffins. Amy is rightfully upset at this and storms off, looking for Melissa Etheridge.

The next day, Charley notices a very hot skanky woman going into the house next door. Later, while making up with Amy, he notices on the news that the skanky woman was found dead with her head missing. Amy hates being upstaged by dead women, so she smashes a hamburger into Charley’s face.

Let’s talk about Charley’s friend Evil Ed for a moment. If I can be blunt, I fucking hated this kid with a motherfucking passion! He was so annoying in everything he did. Why he decided to act this way is just a mystery.

Later that night, Charley spies on the neighbor and spots him taking the clothes off some other skank, then he grows fangs and bites her. This convinces Charley that he has a vampire living next door to him. He freaks out and tries to tell Amy and Evil Ed about this, but they don’t believe him.

Charley calls the cops and one comes out to investigates on the pretense that it’s just a murder case. But Charley loses his cool and starts yelling about vampires and the cop stops taking him seriously. With nowhere else to turn, he turns to the one person he knows will take him seriously: Peter Vincent.

Unfortunately, Peter was just fired from the TV because “your generation doesn’t want to see vampire killers anymore, nor vampires either. All they want to see is slashers running around in ski masks, hacking up young virgins!”

Oh, I failed to mention that Fright Night is sort of a comedic take on the vampire genre, paying homage to all the Hammer Film’s vampire series. So Peter Vincent is  like Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing character. So that comment was more or less a statement on the state of horror films in 1985, what with all the Friday the 13th’s, Nightmare on Elm Streets, and Halloween’s popping up all over the place.

Charley begs Peter for help but Peter himself doesn’t believe him and thinks he’s just a crazed fan. And my frustration with the film begins here. I understand right away no one believing Charley, then eventually they believe him. Here, it takes everybody up to the hour and 15 minute mark to finally believe Charley. But there’s a few more frustrating things with this movie coming up.

Now that the cops been to the neighbor’s house and Charley met the head vampire Jerry, played by Chris Saradon, Charley knows that Jerry will be after him. And he’s right. That night, Jerry introduces himself to Charley’s mom, who invites him in, which is a big rule for vampires that they can only come in your house if someone invites you. Charley freaks out about this and tries to protect himself.

To no avail. Jerry still breaks in when Mom is sleeping and tells Charley to leave him alone or he’ll kill him. Charley says fuck that, and stabs him with a pencil, which brings the whole vampire out of Jerry. Jerry freaks out and leaves the house.

The next day, Charley tries to get anybody to listen to him. Amy feels bad so she and Evil Ed go to Peter and tell him to play along and “fight” Jerry so Charley can drop the whole vampire thing. It takes a WHOLE lot of convincing but Peter finally agrees to do it.

That night, Peter shows up at Jerry’s and tells him to drink this vial of supposed holy water, which will burn Jerry if he’s a vampire. When nothing happens (cause it’s tap water), they set to leave. But Peter, while looking in a mirror, notices Jerry isn’t casting a reflection and now knows he’s a vampire, so he pulls out a stake and kills Jerry right then and there.

No, just kidding, Peter runs out of there like a wimp. Holy fuck, if they make David Tennant’s Peter Vincent a pussy in the remake, I swear to god I’m flying to Hollywood and burning that fucker to the ground.

Amy and Evil Ed still don’t believe (WHY NOT???) and while walking home, Jerry stalks them. He corners Evil Ed and transforms him into the most annoying vampire ever!! Why didn’t you just fucking kill him? So now Jerry is after Amy, who of course looks like someone Jerry knew “a long time ago”. God, why does every vampire movie play that card? Just let him find the girl hot and be done with it.

Jerry chases Charley and Amy to a club and Christ I wish this movie wasn’t made in the ’80’s. Jerry uses his vampire charms to hypnotize Amy so she can come to him. Then there’s a fucking 10 minute scene of them two dancing to horrible generic 80’s music. I can’t even imagine what this scene would be like in the remake. Is Colin Farrell going to dance to Rhianna? The Black Eyed Peas? Now that I’ve seen the original, I’m REALLY not looking forward to the remake.

So Jerry leaves the club with Amy, Charley takes chase. Evil Ed pays Peter a visit to kill him, but Peter burns Evil Ed with a cross and he flies away. Charley begs Peter to help him but Peter is such a pussy that he says no he can’t. Man, I had such respect for Roddy McDowell. Planet of the Apes my ass.

Charley realizes he has to go in alone to save Amy and kill Jerry. But right when Charley is about to go into the house, Peter shows up in full vampire killer gear and is ready to kick some vampire ass! There’s a scene where Jerry bites Amy as she takes her clothes off. If you think you’ll see Amanda Bearse’s tits, you are sooooo mistaken.

Now that Amy is a vampire, her hair grows like 3 feet suddenly and she’s about to attack Charley. Peter, when faced with full vampire Jerry, runs away. UGH! Peter runs to Charley’s house, where Evil Ed is waiting. Then the strangest thing happens: Evil Ed turns into a dog.

I…don’t know what that’s about. I don’t ever recall vampires turning into dogs. I know WEREWOLVES can turn into dogs (I’ve seen Twilight, unfortunately) but vampires? Then Peter kills Evil Ed Dog and we get a 10 minute scene of Evil Ed turning from dog to human. I’m guessing this is cause people were going on and on about how awesome the transformation scene in An American Werewolf In London was, so they decided to do the same thing…BUT IN REVERSE!! Christ.

Peter nuts up and he goes back next door. He tells Charley when they kill Jerry, Amy will cease being a vampire but they only have until dawn. Remember that part: they only have until dawn. They look for Jerry, find Jerry’s….brother? Handyman? Boyfriend? I dunno who he was suppose to be but he’s this dude that lives with Jerry named Billy. Peter thinks he’s human so he shoots him, but nope.

Well, this isn’t explained, which is just another frustrating thing about this movie. They show Billy walking around in the daytime, and he doesn’t get affected. But normal bullets don’t kill him. It isn’t until Peter stabs him with a wooden stake that he dies. So…is he like Blade, just half vampire? What?

Whatever. Anyway, they chase Jerry all around the house until the sun comes up. Jerry turns into a bat and flies away into the basement. So it is officially dawn and Jerry’s not dead. Amy’s a full fledged vampire and Charley lost, on top of also getting bitten by Jerry. Oh well.

Well, not quite. The movie sorta forgets its own rules and keeps fighting Jerry, pretty much until it’s lunch time. They chase the bat into the basement, find this coffin and pry it open. Peter hammers in the stake but…it doesn’t work.

Ok, movie! Make up your fucking mind! If it works for one vampire, it should work for EVERY vampire!! But no, instead Charley breaks every window in the basement so sunlight comes in, which fries Jerry to a crisp. Despite it being 3PM at this point, Amy’s vampire curse is lifted and Charley is ok.

The ending is hilarious to me. Evil Ed’s body is in Charley’s house still and Charley’s Mom works the night shift, so they pretty much got a “Bonnie Situation” on their hands. Of course, they don’t show any of this, it’s one of those movies where everything works out, despite all these dead and/or missing people.

And somehow Peter got his show back, but now he’s showing alien movies. Charley and Amy are about to finally fuck when we focus on the house next door and we see a pair of eyes glowing and we hear Evil Ed’s voice. Oh please god no!! NOOOO!!!!!!!

Alright, despite this movie frustrating the fuck out of me, it is kinda fun to watch. You’ll hate some of characters, hate how long certain scenes last, and find a few things laughable, but overall it’s a moderate b-flick. I was a bit distracted by the painted gray in Roddy McDowell’s hair and the fact they spent their special effects budget ripping off Werewolf in London, but if you want a good fun vampire movie, I say check this out. Just leave any common sense you have locked up in a box. You’ll be glad you did.

♥♥♥

-Jason

7 Comments

  • So it is funny right?? Because the trailer for the new one looks like Disturbia with Colin Farrell. And I don’t wanna go through that.

    • There were a few moments in the original I found funny, but I think all the times Roddy McDowell was scared was supposed to be funny, which I didn’t find funny at all.

      To me, the remake looks a bit more funnier, with the addition of McLovin (I’m blanking on his real name) in it. But I do see the “Disturbia” connection and I’ll assure you, if the remake plays out like the original, it won’t be anything like it.
      -Jason

  • I know you found it frustrating, but part of the fun of the movie was seeing characters behave as actual people would when faced with a real vampire — namely, freaking the hell out.

    Now I’m off to look into getting a coffin for the show…

    • I get that, maybe first two times, but EVERY! FUCKING! TIME! It was starting to get old.

      And you can totally get a coffin at Costco. For real.
      -Jason

  • I loved the original Fright Night. I have low expectations of the remake. But I’ll probably see it. Good review!

  • Dear God, what is with all of the remakes!! Red Dawn, Total Recall and now Fight Night! Sad.

    I love the original. Evil Ed was my favorite part with his “Oh, you are so cool Brewster” line.

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