MAY 24, 2007
As previously stated (somewhere, not necessarily here), in my (increasingly rare) spare time I write a cartoon about horror movies. Each episode follows the plot of a well-known (or not) horror movie, but is also about that horror movie. Sort of like that South Park episode where they go on a journey to return Lord of the Rings to the video store (an episode I did not see prior to developing the concept, not that I can prove it). Anyway, one of my favorite ideas was to do a Fright Night episode, where one of the main characters would be convinced that (Fright Night star) Chris Sarandon has moved next door to him and needs the help of one of the other characters, an expert on 1980’s cinema, to prove it. But the episode has not yet been written, because, sad is it may be, I hadn’t seen the film since I was seven years old.
As you can probably tell from the frequency of subgenres, I am not a big fan of vampire films. Slashers and zombies are more my will forte. So even during the late 90s, when I began buying scores of 80s era horror movies, Fright Night was not one of them (and still isn’t, as the DVD is bare bones and has pitiful 2.0 sound!). But watching it again now (via Netflix), I can definitely recommend the film 100%. Though not a perfect film (the subplot about Amanda Bearse’s character being a dead ringer for one of Dandridge’s lost loves is underdeveloped to the point of “why bother?”, and there’s a completely ridiculous plot hole regarding Charlie’s knowledge of vampires), it’s definitely one of the best of its kind. Lean and refreshingly uncomplicated (even at 1:45, this film flies by), Fright Night remains just as effective today as it was in the height of the 80s. There are no attempts to circumvent traditional vampire lore, nor does it present its vampires as some sort of power hungry gods. Instead, everything is direct, to the point, and FUN. More importantly, other than the outfits and occasional soundtrack choice, nothing is dated, which is a real rarity for the time. And I defy anyone to find a (non porn) film that offers two gay icons for the price of one!
Strangely, one of the films Charlie watches is Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. So, had I watched this recently enough to disqualify it for HMAD, I wouldn’t have recognized it. Good timing on my part! The film also pays homage to horror hosts, something I addressed in my Deathdream review. I tell you, these bizarre coincidences never cease to briefly amaze.
What say you?