Next up on the Halloween Horror Bingfest is a classic 1980s film called Fright Night.
I had seen this as a younger man, but I did not remember that The Princess Bride’s Prince Humperdinck himself, Chris Sarandon, starred as Jerry Dandrige, the main villainous vampire. The only thing I really remembered from the first time was Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, TV’s “vampire hunter”.
Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) moved in next door to Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale), who immediately spotted the vampire next door biting one of his victims. No one believed Charley, but that did not prevent him from trying to stop him. With help from the vampire hunter Peter Vincent, Charley had to put his life on the line to try and save his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) from a fate worse than death.
Fright Night is a cult classic with a healthy dose of camp to it. Yet it does not take the camp factor to a level that is annoying and provides us with a very good time in battling vampires.
Roddy McDowall is great in this movie. He gives one of his greatest performances in any film anywhere. You believe everything in connection to this character, an actor who seems to be washed up, and who really never thought that vampires could be real. McDowall ties everything in the script together into the narrative.
Chris Sarandon is great too. he plays the perfect, slimy villain, here two years before he would don the crown of Prince Humperdinck. The smirk and the knowing façade made him a wonderful foil for the all-American type of Charley.
Fright Night has a distinct B-movie feel to it, and it plays that up throughout the film. Peter Vincent was a host of the old late night TV monster movie shows, this one appropriately titled Fright Night. This provides a back drop for the movie and lets us into the idea of what kind of horror movie this is.
Fright Night is a lot of fun and cheesy.