Fright Night

November 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm (8 Heads, Fright Night) (, , , , , , )

Fright Night – 1985 – United States

A vampire takes residence in a spooky manor. The teenager next door spies the vampire committing murder and decides to slay him. Powerless against the vampire’s supernatural might, the teenager recruits a washed-up horror actor known for playing a vampire killer.

Fright Night’s premise is absurd and short on logic. Instead, the focus is on tongue-in-cheek wackiness expressed through the film’s hammy characters. Chris Sarandon portrays the suavely egotistical vampire who constantly eats fruit. Roddy McDowall is the anxious and reluctant vampire killer. The other cast members also fulfill their quirky roles well, and everyone seems be enjoying themselves.

Fight Night’s silliness is complimented by cartoonish gruesomeness. A man melts into slime. A kid deforms into a gnarled hairless wolf. And a woman sprouts a ghastly giant mouth. The transformative makeup, monstrous puppets, and clever matte effects are plentiful. The lengthy final showdown is a non-stop effects extravaganza.

Fight Night’s writer and director, Tom Holland, also wrote and directed Child’s Play and Thinner. The visual effects team was lead by Richard Edlund whose prestigious career includes the original Star Wars trilogy and Ghost Busters. With an abundance of talent and budget, Fright Night is slick and professional. Unsurprisingly, it was a box office hit, spawning a sequel and a remake.

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads. The J. Geils Band performed the rather lame theme song.


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