Fright Night--1985

I’m really not much into vampire movies.  With a single caveat--it’s the NEW vampire movies that are icky.  Starting, I think, with Tom Cruise’s Interview with...um, whoever.  I know that the Twilight series was supposed to be just capital, but I didn’t partake.  My daughters did, and enjoyed the ride.  Not for me, though. 

So, with time on my hands, a Netflix subscription, no baseball worth watching, a fully functional wireless home network, a 32 inch HD WS Sceptre, and my beloved ROKU box, I reclined on the couch for a presentation of that 1985 vampire classic--Fright Night.

Movie Notes from Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington.

This movie is just PACKED with goodness--special effects, stars, a story.....and some really nice big hair disco scenes, circa, well, 1985.  Pretty basic 80s era vampire set-up.  Good looking kid and his single mom wind up living next door to a vampire.  What WERE the chances?  Good looking kid enlists the help of a late-night TV vampire killer to rid his neighborhood of the menace.  Good looking kid has a REALLY good looking girlfriend who ends up getting bit by the vampire.  Again, I ask.....what WERE the chances?  Typical chaos ensues.  Good guys win.  Fade to the goofy credits. 

As the good-looking kid, we got Arkansas native William Ragsdale.  After this movie, he went on to Fright Night 2 (of course), and was then on TV a lot, becoming Herman Brooks in Herman’s Head, Dan on Ellen, Porter Waide on Brother’s Keeper, Rod Fields on Grosse Point, Charles Duff on Judging Amy, Mitch Calgrove on Less Than Perfect, and Gary Hawkins on Justified.  You might be inclined to say that he has non-memorable looks and can’t hold a job.  And if you might not be so inclined, I might.

As his really good-looking girlfriend, we got none other than Married With Children’s Marcy D’Arcy herself, Amanda Bearse.  But before she was Marcy D’Arcy, she was Amanda Cousins on All My Children in 1983, and we all know what THAT means--Big Hair and Big Sunglasses.  She goes topless in this flick, but we see no nipple whatsoever (pity), only her back as she gets bitten by the vampire.  Whatta Babe.

As the TV vampire killer, we got the one and only Roddy McDowell.  Roddy died in 1998 of cancer at the far too young age of 70.  I loved Roddy’s characters.  He began appearing in films in 1938s Murder in the Family.  Among other roles, he was Private Morris in 1962s The Longest Day, Father Stone in The Martian Chronicles, The Devil Himself in Fantasy Island, and Bon Chance Louie in Tales of the Gold Monkey (one of my favorite old TV shows), not to mention all of the Planet of the Apes stuff.  We miss you Roddy.

Then we got that Greek god from Beckley, West Virginia, Chris Sarandon, as the vampire.  His Dad was from Istanbul of Greek heritage, and his Mom, although not from Istanbul, was also of Greek heritage.  The original surname was Sarondonethes, and if you can pronounce it you must also be Greek.  He’s been in lots of good stuff, but to me he’ll always be the evil prince in The Princess Bride.  Loved that movie.  His high school band was good enough to tour with Danny and the Juniors and Bobby Darin.

I could go on and on.  The special effects were done by Star Wars Episode IV (the original from 1977) alum Richard Edlund.

This is a real don’t miss.  On Netflix.


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