Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fright Night (VHS, 1985/86)

Meet Jerry Dandridge. He's sweet, sexy and he likes to sleep in late. You might think he's the perfect neighbor. But, before inviting Jerry in for a nightcap, there's just one thing you should know. Jerry prefers his drinks warm, red and straight from the jugular! It's Fright Night, a horrific howl starring Chris Sarandon as the seductive vampire and William Ragsdale as the frantic teenager struggling to keep Jerry's deadly fangs out of his neck. Only 17-year-old Charley Brewster (Ragsdale) knows Jerry's bloodcurdling secret. When Charley can't get anybody to believe him, he turns to TV horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), who used to be the "Great Vampire Killer" of the movies. Can these mortals save Charley and his sweetheart Amy (Amanda Bearse) from the wrathful bloodsucker's toothy embrace? If you love being scared, Fright Night...will give you the nightmare of your life.

Fright Night is an 80s vampire flick for the classic horror fanatic. Paying homage to such staples as Dark Shadows and the Hammer Dracula franchise, this surprising little horror film supplies vampire lore and cliches aplenty, put together so skillfully that the result is this horror fan's favorite vampire indulgence. Of course, this favoritism is in no small part due to spectacular effects and performances. The cast seems tailor made for their roles as they play them, even if some choices seem a bit odd superficially. Hard to imagine this vampire pining away over the centuries for Married With Children's Marcy D'Arcy, but Amanda Bearse plays the role of the teenage object of Chris Sarandon's desires to perfection. Chris, himself, is powerfully convincing and menacing as the hip, 80's vampire. Extremely well adjusted to the times, too. The Peter Vincent character was named after horror icons Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.

I've always loved the VHS artwork to Fright Night. I remember looking at it frequently in the video rental store. The original American VHS release by RCA/Columbia Pictures for video rental in 1986 featured a pan-and-scan version of the film and was packaged in a paper cover which featured the poster artwork and sealed with a flap. This release was subsequently followed by a bargain copy which sported a photo of Evil Ed on the front cover. This is the more sought for (1st issue original) VHS distributed by RCA/Columbia Pictures. What makes this particular VHS even more sought for is, it is still sealed. That's right... brand new. It's hard to believe that this VHS has been sealed for 30 years, actually over. The RCA/Columbia Pictures logo is stamped on the plastic on the side and back. Believe it or not. So, if you are like me... a diehard VHS collector looking to replace that old worn out rental. Look no further. Rare!




















Ebay: Fright Night (VHS, 1985/86) RCA/Columbia Pictures - $34.99 (NEW)

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