September 7, 2016

Fright Night

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Remember back when vampires were scary? those glorious days before a bunch of pale, mopey teens spent their time pining for love and sparkling? Nosferatu, 1931's Dracula...all the way up to Salem's LotThe Lost Boys, and today's movie, Tom Holland's 1985 classic, Fright Night. Great times.

You see this movie, along with so many other great ones asserts that vampires are basically blood-drinking hate machines with rage boners who seek nothing more than to feed their various lusts.

And possibly a recommendation for a good oral care specialist.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

Charlie (William Ragsdale) is a typical 80s teenager. He just wants to get laid. His girlfriend, Amy (Amanda Bearse), is willing to offer up her good stuff, but it seems that the only time she's really into it is when Charlie is distracted by his new neighbor Jerry (Chris Sarandon) moving coffins around in the evening--a total mood killer.

Conversely, when Charlie's good to go, Amy tries to distract him further with a television show called Fright Night (what are the odds?), hosted by Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), a former horror film star who specialized in vampire-themed movies. And while you might think this back-and-forth would lead to a wacky but emotional romantic teen movie, you would be incredibly wrong. What were you thinking?

Baseball! I was thinking about baseball!
Charlie jumps almost immediately to the conclusion that his neighbor is a vampire, and it is confirmed when Charlie witnesses Jerry about to drain a prostitute of her blood while taking her to Pound Town. Unfortunately for Charlie, nobody else sees this and, therefore, nobody is willing to believe him, including Amy.

Left with no alternative, Charlie goes to Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys), a fellow student who seems to know a lot about how to kill vampires for some reason. Evil offers some advice, including not inviting a vampire into your home.

Of course, when Charlie goes home, he discovers Jerry in the house, having been invited there by Charlie's mother (Dorothy Fielding), a strange woman who disappears from the movie after only three or four scenes.

After a late-night attack on from Jerry in which Charlie gets tossed around like a ragdoll but manages to escape death with a No. 2 pencil, Charlie thinks it's time to up his game with some professional help...

Well...sort of.
Charlie visits the television studio to convince Vincent to help him take down the new vampire next door. For his part, Vincent handles it much better than the average person might, especially one who has just been fired from his job, but still declines to be a part of this nonsense.

When Charlie goes back to Amy and Evil to tell them what happened, they talk Vincent into administering a "test" to Jerry by having him drink fake holy water. After a quick call to Jerry, who has a very suspicious list of demands, even for something as ridiculous as this sounds, plans are made to conduct the test and prove to Charlie that Jerry is not a vampire.

Totally a vampire.
Jerry passes the "test", but then Vincent notices that Jerry does not cast a reflection in a mirror, and suddenly Vincent is on Charlie's side...Sort of. He believes Charlie, but there is no fucking way he is going to be involved in anything to do with real vampires.

As Charlie and Evil walk Amy home, they discuss the possibility of a plan before Evil decides to go down a dark, spooky alleyway to take a shortcut home. (Because that seems reasonable.) Naturally, nothing good comes of it and Evil is all vampired-up by Jerry, who then goes after Charlie and Amy.

Ducking into a club, Charlie tries to call Vincent to warn him that Jerry is trying to catch them, leaving Amy to sit by herself. Jerry easily finds her and, after some casual grope-dancing, he takes her away.

Meanwhile, Evil arrives at Vincent's apartment, shouting that there's a vampire following him. When Vincent lets him in, Evil tries to attack him, but Vincent gets away by trying to push a wooden cross through Evil's forehead.

Yeah, but doesn't it make me look, you know, rad?!
It is then that Vincent decides that he has to help Charlie defeat Jerry the vampire. They meet at Jerry's house and confront him, with Vincent pulling out his crucifix and waving it around ineffectually. Jerry explains that it won't work on him because it requires faith, and he knows that Vincent doesn't have it anymore. Charlie does, though, and pulls out his emergency backup crucifix, which does affect Jerry and causes him to run away. Vincent runs away, too, but to find Charlie's mom.

Instead, he runs across Evil, who tries to turn into a wolf so he can just straight-up eat Vincent. The application of an enthusiastically wielded broken chair leg throws a wrench in Evil's plan, instead turning him into a whiny, naked half-human with a big ol' hunk of wood stuck through him.

Whosagood hell hound? You are! Yes, you are!
Suitably reinvigorated, Vincent rushes back to Jerry's, where he finds Amy, although he is suspicious that something might be wrong because she has super-duper crazy mouth and tries to eat him. He locks her in Jerry's sex room (don't all vampires have one of those?) and runs to find Charlie, who is again being thrown around like a ragdoll.

The two of them manage to force Jerry into the basement because the sun is coming up, and the windows down there are all painted black to make sure nothing interrupts Jerry's coffin time. They break all the windows, causing Jerry to be cooked in the emerging sunlight, and all is safe and right in the world...

OR IS IT?!?

Larry picked the movie, and he loves it. His only problem with it is that he isn't sure what the deal is with Jerry's...servant? Personal Igor? Familiar? What is that guy? And why is he filled with green goo? It's weird, man...

Derek liked it, but worries about the over-the-top acting being done by everybody but Roddy McDowall. His concerns are for naught, according to the others, because this movie is sort of tongue-in-cheek, which allows for that sort of thing. But that Evil Ed guy...What an obnoxious douche.

Jake also loved this flick, and he feels that it may have been one of the last great vampire movies. He's also a fan of Tom Holland and feels that this is a solid film. He also tries to figure out what the servant guy is all about, but to no avail.

So sharpen up those wooden stakes, chug some holy water, and listen to this week's episode!