Fright Night (USA, 1985) - Color, Director(s): Tom Holland
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 106 min.
Z-rating: 5 stars out of 5
Cheese Factor: 2 stars out of 5
No, not the Colin Farrell remake. We're talking about the 80's classic here! Tom Holland, who would go on to direct other entries in the horror genre such as Thinner and the first Child's Play, cut his teeth on this campy vampire flick. A horror movie fanatic named Charley Brewster gets a new neighbor that he suspects might be a vampire. Of course, no one believes him and thinks it's just his overactive imagination. Brewster tries to enlist the aid of a late night horror host by the name of Peter Vincent but he doesn't believe him either at first. Vincent runs through a bunch of fake "tests" to prove the guy isn't a vampire, but is finally convinced himself when he realizes the guy casts no reflection in a mirror. When the vampire starts coming after Brewster's girlfriend, Marcy D'Arcy from Married... with Children, only Charley and Peter Vincent can stop the vampire before it's too late!
The story is a mix of Dracula and Rear Window with a vampire moving in next door. This movie pays homage to older vampire films, like the Universal and Hammer films, while updating it for a newer audience. New being the 80's, of course. Peter Vincent's character is supposedly a send up to Peter Cushing and maybe Vincent Price too. Brewster's best friend "Evil" Ed is cool as hell to watch. The guy's just got a look to him that makes you feel like he belongs in a movie like this. When he's turned into a vampire, he's looks absolutely wicked! Usually the make-up enhances the monstrous look of the actors but this is one of those times where the actor's face actually enhances the look of the make-up!
Nudity: There's a brief flash of nudity at the beginning but nothing major.
Gore: Nothing too gory but the special effects are fantastic! I can't express how much I love practical effects in this movie, especially when people are melting in Nickelodeon slime. Something is very distinctly 80's about the effects. I have a Fright Flicks trading card with Marcy D'Arcy's vampire face on it
Awesome: to the MAX! Most of the best special effects comes towards the end of the movie but when it comes, this movie really gets kicked up to the next level. One guy melts into puddle of green ooze after getting staked through the heart, a werewolf is impaled and shown in mid-transformation back into a human, and Peter Vincent is attacked by a vampire bat. The creature effects are some of the best and most creative I've ever seen, making this one of my favorite vampire flicks to watch. This is a great movie to play at a Halloween party, especially as part of a monster movie marathon.