Fright Night (1985) | Tom Holland
Hi Welcome to around the world in eighties movies. My name is Vince Leo I am. The author of the Film Review Website Quips Dot net invited checkout over four thousand of nine ridden reviews covering all Ariza film at my website Webster Dot net is where to go key W. p. s. t. e. r. Dot net today. I'm going to get into the second of three part series looking at vampires and vampire films up the night specifically with teenagers in the protagonist role last week. We looked at the loss boys this week. We go back a couple of years with fright night. From nineteen eighty five fright night is is a film that is rated R.. Although most people don't remember that it does have Nudity Gore violence and language run times in our and forty six minutes William Ragsdale gets the main starring role Chris Sarandon. Amanda Beers Roddy McDowell. Stephen Jeffries and Jonathan Stark are also in the film. Tom Holland is director as well as the screenwriter William Ragsdale stars as Charlie Brewster Charlie's atypical suburban teenager who has a special no interest in old time horror B. Movies the kind that are seen on the local creep fast T._v.. Showcased called Fright night that show is hosted by self-proclaimed King vampire-hunting Films Peter Vincent played by Roddy McDowell l.. Now it's all fantasy to Charlie at least until he spies on his new neighbors in the house next door and discovers that there's a man there that is in fact a vampire himself or so Charlie thinks that vampire played by Chris Sarandon Brandin human bodies end up dead throughout the town and no one is going to listen to Charlie's assertions of that vampire next door trouble begins brewing when Charlie's tenaciousness draws the ire of Jerry the vampire himself who threaten he's GonNa Take Down Charlie and everyone he loves before Charlie can take him down. I knowing that he needs help. Charlie turns to the only man he knows that is known to have experienced killing vampires. That is Peter Vincent himself love. Although in reality Peter Vincent is no killer. He just plays one on T._v.. When Jerry has his sights set on Charlie's girlfriend amy played by Amanda Beers the war is now on between the men for love and continued continued life Friday night is a cult favorite horror comedy of the video in cable area provided a bridge between the classic b-movie horror films and the more modern gory slasher movies that ruled the early nineteen eighties takes a very simple vampire premise and then ends up tossing it in the middle of suburbia where we find this teenage boy has nowhere he can hide from the clutches of powerful vampire who can watch his every move because he lives right next door it seen as the boy who cried wolf story but this time with A? Vampire tossed in in merged out with a Brian DEPALMA ESCA sensational and erotic Thriller Element with Gooby but Mild Gore and it makes for an entertaining adolescent fantasy film for lovers of the macab the casting as a strength of this enjoyable of her release. You Have Newcomers William Ragsdale who beat out the likes of Charlie Sheen for the role he charlie sheen was deemed too good looking to handsome to Hunky for the boy next door. Role and Amanda Beers who first time Director Tom Holland cast because the then twenty six year old actress could be believed in making the transition from virgin to slap those are his words not mine. They're very appealing as the main protagonist and there's assist memorably energetic turn a dual toned role by future gay porn actor Jeffries as Evil Jeffries was cast into this role. He actually wanted to be the main star but he was cast as Evil Ed because he he was accidentally sent by his agent in lieu of Anthony Michael Hall to the audition for Weird Science. The casting director remembered him fondly even though he was not the person that had asked for Chris Braden who does remarkably look like a young hammer. A horror movie aged Christopher Lee he initially was passing on the role he uses menace underneath his metrosexual charisma in every Sienese in Serandon had to be courted into this role he had no interest in being in a horror movies especially when that was directed by someone who is a first time director no less serandon ended up loving the role and he had instant report with Tom Holland he ended up working in another horror movie with Holland. Four child's play just a a couple of years later and again for the stranger within however it's really veteran actor Roddy McDowell who appeared anytime Holland scripted film before in class of Nineteen eighty-four. He proves to be the one to watch as Peter Vincent his character name derived from too old school Hara greats Peter cushing and Vincent Price McDowell really tries his best to show bravery with knees wobbling from out fear with every step closer to Jerry's presence right a McDowell says that he used burt lars performance in the wizard of Oz for his inspiration vincent price was originally sought for that part but he was a little physically ill at the time to act without a lot of effort and he felt that he had spoofed his image so many times in horror films is to merit coming back to the movies for yet another example however when he saw the film he complimented McDowell for his portrayal of the B. Movie Vampire slayer especially in the way then he makes the character zone instead of impression of him. McDowell was the one who decided not to emulate Vincent Price. He thought the best way to go was to make him a bad actor because he reason that Peter Vincent was in B. Movies and really could not get out of that mode unlike vincent price who was actually a terrific actor. The originally scripted acted ending involve the twist in which Vincent is revealed to be a vampire himself by turning into a bat on his T._v.. Show but wiser heads ended up prevailing and that was never film now unlike most other combinations of comedy in Horror Fright night works because. Has We like these characters like their interactions. It's kind of similar to ghostbusters the year before we're on the side of the good guys not because we hate the bad guy per se but because we learn enough about these protagonists to want them to succeed we can even claim to not despise the bad guy here because Jerry is seductive and on occasion surprisingly merciful and willing to let Charlie off the hook for knowing what he knows provided that he agrees to forget however we have this irresistible force and and this immovable object in both of their character make-up's and so the real test comes in seeing which one is going to end up folding I now many fans have caught onto the homo erotic undertones within the interplay between the two main characters although the actors were not not really explicitly made aware of them until they saw the film to Witness Charlie's rear window esque voyeurism he ignores the green light for sex given by his girlfriend in order to watch the karnal escapades of the man next door and Jerry's enticing lines to the he perhaps closeted Evil Ed you know his quote is you don't have to be afraid of me. I know it's like to be different. Tom Holland upon hearing that a lot of people have this read of his film has subsequently claimed that while he sees this reading valid the gay subtext text was not a conscious decision on his part although he definitely agrees that it is there for those who seek it however in the comparison to ghostbusters ghostbusters plays a lot more for laughs than scares fright night is not really funny any it is comical but it generates most of its amusement from the comic relief that's provided through the tensest of moments rather than in anything that would be funny on its own without the lighter tone and the allusions to classic horror of days by this would be fairly early routine stuff very derivative of other vampire flicks that have come before it's kind of like an American Werewolf and London. That's another movie that features lengthy scenes have practical effects of transformation from Manta Monster coincidentally former. I'll am industrial industrial light magic effects grew Richard Edlund boss Film Corporation also did some of the effects work for ghostbusters under the teams original name of Effects Entertainment Group. The interest is raised in the telling of the story rather than the story itself in Fright night spins a pretty good vampire yarn with a comic book mentality that actually does work now fright night would end up proving to be a decent hit at the box office primarily because its production budget was a modest eight to ten million dollars in that it would end up raking just under twenty five billion dollars that was the second highest horror film of that year just behind nightmare now st part to that was not bad at all for a film that had an R. Rating but was not entirely appealing to adults. It did better than the John Hughes film by the way weird sci a P._G.. Thirteen teen oriented film with a hit song the radio that came out the same week. You know it's Kinda hard to believe in retrospect. Respect that Friday night without do that film at the box office and did even better once it hit home video a follow up was already given the green light before it was even released into theaters because of positive test screenings but it actually didn't even come out into theaters until nineteen eight and that film was written but not directed by Holland who instead concentrated his efforts behind the camera for that other horror franchise in the making child's play now Friday night is not the sort of film that you could point Hugh as an example that trendsetting horror film so much as one that actually took pre existing conventions at the time and blended them into this satisfying hybrid it took all of the popular teenage films of Early Nineteen Eighties that can't be horror the voyeuristic sex comedies comedies the suburban paranoia and all of those things that were tropes of the era and capitalized on their appeal enough to overcome any redundancy in its execution of these other films writer director. Tom Holland who had already penned a few minor camp classics. In the early eighty s you know he wrote psycho to he wrote cloaking dagger which was his other film about a boy who cries wolf and he wrote as I mentioned earlier class of Nineteen eighty-four this really tested his ability to conceive his vision with his first directorial outing as fright night shows. Tom Holland studied the old films and brought their visual appeal to a modern generation quite well and fright. Night is a film that entertains pretty much anytime I catch it. I really you enjoy fright night. I don't consider it a great film. I consider it a very fun film but it delivers pretty much anytime I watch it so I'm GonNa give fright night three stars out of four three stars on my skill means do recommend it for those people who like this kind of movie. Obviously if you're a fan of the nineteen eighty s and you like your horror films. You definitely want to give this one a look. If you haven't done so already I can imagine if you're an eighties fan and like horror films. This probably is one. You've watched multiple times over the years three stars. Ours is what I'll give fright night and as far as what I'm going to follow this up with I might be cheating here a little bit. I claimed that I would be reviewing films in which the protagonist was a teenager in a horror movie a vampire movie next week. I'm GonNa Follow Up Friday night with its sequel came out just a couple of years later with fright night part to and I do believe that the main character Charlie Brewster is in college by them whether he's still technically teenager or not. I don't remember at the time that I'm recording this but I will get into that as I review it next week so fright night partout for the next episode. Thank you everyone listening. I hope that you enjoyed this review. If you haven't debts already I do encourage you to click the subscribe button and you'll continue to get all of these reviews says they come out. I also encourage you to reach out to me. Let me know what you've been thinking about this show if you've enjoyed the show or if you have any suggestions on what I can do to make it better at least for your listening experience I doing courage you do right to me. You can buy contact information at my website. Hey that's a quick stir dot net T._w._i._p.. S. T. R. Dot net while you're there. If you enjoy films of today I also have another podcast. It's called the Webster Film Review Podcast. You will find the link there at that site until next time thanks everyone.