Original Vs. Remake: Fright Night

Welcome to Wednesday’s Blue Light Special! We’ve got another installment of Original vs. Remake series. This month’s movie is Fright Night. I will review the 1985 original, and Tiffany A. White will review the 2011 remake this coming Friday on her blog.

When I was a teenager, this was one of my favorite movies. It was campy, yet cool. It had a great soundtrack. And I loved the movie poster. So, when Tiffany suggested we feature Fright Night, I jumped at the chance to write about it.

Check out that fantastic poster:

fright-night-1985

Fright Night was released August 2, 1985. It starred Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, and Stephen Geoffreys. Tom Holland directed.

[Fun Factoid: Tom Holland also directed Child’s Play.]

Summary:

A teenager realizes his next door neighbor is a vampire and enlists a washed up TV vampire killer to help him make his neighborhood safe again.

Watch the trailer:

About the  Movie

Fright Night plays on the classic “boy who cried wolf” theme.

Charley Brewster figures out his new neighbor is a vampire. He tells his mother who doesn’t believe him. His girlfriend doesn’t believe him.  The police don’t believe him. They think he’s off his rocker.

The vampire figures out Charley is on to him and warns Charley to butt out. Far from butting out, Charley plots to do away with the vampire. This begins a vendetta between the two. The vampire, who has much more experience in these matters, is very obviously going to win.

Charley enlists the help of his hero, Peter Vincent. Peter (played by Roddy McDowall) is a washed up actor famous for playing a TV vampire hunter. At first, Peter thinks Charley is crazy but soon realizes the vampire is real. He agrees to help.

The result is something along the lines of Shaggy and Scooby vs. Nosferatu.

As an extra added bonus Stephen Geoffreys plays Edward “Evil Ed” Thompson, Charley’s friend who turns out to be more foe than friend.

[Fun Factoid:  In the 1990s, Stephen Geoffreys acted in several pornographic films under the alias Sam Ritter.]

Is it a Blue Light Special?

Back in 1985, I loved this movie. The big teen vampire movies of the 80s were The Lost Boys and Near Dark.  Both of those movies were very serious and even somewhat scary. Fright Night wasn’t. Its campiness made it relatable and fun.

 In 2013, I barely sat through fifteen minutes of this movie. The camp was too campy. The characters seemed silly and one-dimensional. The only bright spot was Roddy McDowall.

I am curious to see what Tiffany thinks of the remake. Be sure to check out her review this coming Friday on her blog.

 

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