Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night (1985)

fright night chris sarandon vampire

Fright Night is an earnest horror-comedy from the 80’s that hits all the right notes.

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Fright Night (1985)

Episode 48, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd:  Hello, and welcome to another episode of 2 Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd, And I’m Craig. And today’s flick was the 1985 film Fright Night, which if you’re like us and you grew up in the eighties going to video rental stores, there’s absolutely no way you could have missed this movie. I think this is like the poster of choice that was up in the horror rental section. Was that your experience? 

Craig:  Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And the the, cover art always stood out. It was great, artwork. I really liked it. 

Todd:  Yeah. It’s that creepy woman, kind of in the clouds, but she’s got these giant mouthful of fangs, and it’s over a house. Really intriguing cover, really intriguing thing, but I have to admit, when I was a kid in the eighties, I didn’t I never rented this movie. I never saw it once. 

Craig:  I didn’t either. Isn’t that so weird? I remember the being so drawn to the cover and for some reason unless I’m just forgetting and I did, but I don’t remember seeing it until I was an adult. That’s really kind of bizarre, a bizarre coincidence. 

Todd:  Well, you know what it is for me? I I was never, like, a huge fan of vampire movies. I mean, I like vampire movies, but it wasn’t like the thing I was going to choose, and this, when you pick up the cover and especially when you look at the back, you instantly know, oh, this is gonna be a vampire movie. And I thought, let’s go for some monsters. Let’s go for some ghouls. Let’s go for some ghosts. Let’s go for something a little different, and that’s really one thing this movie is is different, especially for its time, I think. Yeah. It’s a vampire movie, but especially in 1985, I don’t think you’d ever really seen a vampire movie quite like this one because it’s it’s billed as a horror comedy, and yes, there are comedic elements about it.   There are lots of comedic elements about it, but it takes place, in modern day suburbia, but it’s also one of these cases where we know who the vampire is and somebody knows who the vampire is. And the whole problem is, hey, the vampires move next door. What are we gonna do about it? And so, right, you know, you see this kind of trope a lot now where, oh, the the zombie’s next door, the vampires next Todd, it’s become kind of a thing. In fact, a few years after this, the Burbs, really took this idea and ran with it, went totally goofball comedy with it, but also took a different take for it. And and this movie never gets goofball comedy. One thing I think that’s really cool about this movie is that it has a lot of fun with this vampire genre, but it never makes fun of it. It never once has this tongue in cheek attitude about vampires. It’s pretty deadly serious while still managing, to to be funny and to be interesting.   Don’t you think? 

Craig:  Yeah. It’s it’s interesting that you say that I was reading some stuff about it, and I I read that Chris Sarandon who plays the main vampire, Jerry Dandridge in the movie. When he was given the script, he had had a bad experience, in the only other horror movie that he had done up to that point, and he really wasn’t interested in doing horror anymore. But he read the script and, was really intrigued by the story and and exactly what you said. He liked that they were having fun with the genre without making fun of it, and he really liked it and agreed to do it and ended up having a really good experience and ended up working with the writer slash director, again afterwards. 

Todd:  Tom Holland. 

Craig:  Tom Holland. Right. And this was his first, film that he directed. He had written on some films. He had even, he was an actor in some, films before this. But this was his first, stab at directing, and he wrote the script having that in mind that he wanted to direct it. He was ins he wanted to somehow, he just came up with this idea that he wanted to combine a vampire story with the boy who cried wolf story. And he wanted to kind of set it in a realm of quasi reality, which is why he picked the suburbia setting.   And that’s really I hadn’t ever thought of it that way, the the boy who cried wolf aspect of it, but that’s really what it is, because from the very beginning, the the main character, Charlie Brewster played by William Ragsdale, He realizes that the guy who’s moving in next door to his home, his his family home, is a vampire, and and he knows it right away. And he does try to tell other people, but of course, nobody believes him. And it’s an interesting premise. I liked it too. 

Todd:  Well, and I think his character too is something that horror fans can really relate to. Here’s the guy who in the very opening scene, we’re getting a slow sweep through the neighborhood, which apparently is the same, neighborhood’s, backlot that, Something Wicked This Way comes with shot in at the Disney Studios. 

Craig:  I read that. Yeah. I read that. That’s really interesting. You know, it looked familiar, but, you know, I thought, oh, it’s just because it’s, you know, typical suburbia. But I I read that Todd, and that’s, another favorite movie of mine. So it was kind of a neat little bit of trivia. 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. It was really neat. Yeah. And and the camera swoops through this neighborhood, and slowly, you hear these these sounds and these noises that at first you’re not sure where they’re coming from, then you realize it’s from a television in this boy’s bedroom. Of course, his bedroom’s on the top floor of the house and and, he’s making out with his girlfriend Amy on the floor while the television is going. And what’s playing on the TV is one of those late night horror movie shows that used to be on when we had public television and we all watched it 

Craig:  Uh-huh. 

Todd:  Which was, where there’s a horror host. And in this case, the horror host is mister Vincent, Peter Vincent, I think. And, right. And his shtick is that he’s a vampire hunter and also apparently has played in these films as well, and as a vampire hunter, as the Van Helsing type character. And I guess that’s really the only role he knows and does. And now, our host, Peter Vincent. 

Clip:  This is Peter Vincent   bringing you Krite Night Theatre.   Charlie, Peter Vincent’s on.   Forget Peter Vincent.   But you love him.   But now What I love? You need more. Real. 

Todd:  And it’s it’s really neat how this movie sets it up where it introduces us right away to that character who later becomes, you wouldn’t guess it, but later be has a very pivotal role in the film and also introduces us to this boy and this girl. And this boy, unlike any other teenage boy I know, seems to be almost more obsessed with, with, I guess, horror you could say, than his own girlfriend at times. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  He’s trying to convince her, you know, to go further, to go all the way. She finally acquiesced, but about that time, he notices something strange happening out the window and sees that they’re carrying a coffin in next Todd, and that, piques his interest, and that sets off this whole chain of events. But what I think is neat about it is that, again, as a horror fan, I immediately started relating to this character just because he’s into horror. Right? And so Yeah. It sets up this kind of likable, relatable guy right up front for the kind of audience that the movie is going for. 

Craig:  Yeah. Absolutely. And, you know, it it the horror host that I think of from when we were kids, is Elvira, and I love her. But that’s the the type of thing that this show, Fright Night, that Peter Vincent hosts is. And, apparently, to host this show, he’s reprising a character that he played a long time ago, this vampire hunter character. The character is played by Todd McDowell, who is an excellent and very recognizable actor, but the inspiration the name Peter Vincent is the writer wrote the role with Vincent Price in mind. He wanted Vincent Price to play the role. But Vincent Price at that time was older and his health was starting to fail and he had become a little bit disenchanted, with the horror genre because he felt that he was being typecast in every role, and so he was very reluctant to take any roles, so they couldn’t get him.   And when Roddy McDowell was cast, he decided to take the character a little bit different direction, not the kind of good established actor that Vincent Price was, but instead, he envisioned the character as being more of an actor who was never any good, who just was kind of a a flash in the pan for a moment, and is now, older and is, struggling and is really just trying to cling to his last little bit of fame by doing, these late night shows on public access. And, you know, Vincent Price is amazing, and I can’t imagine how him being in this movie would have changed it. But I think that it would have been very different. And I really like the way Roddy McDowell plays it. He plays it as kind of incompetent. He was inspired by, the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz and and and based a lot of his performance on that. And he’s, I guess he’s a little bit flat as a character, but Roddy McDowell, the actor, brings so much presence, to the screen that he really makes it a lot of fun. 

Todd:  You know, it would have been really easy for him to go a little goofball with this or for him to come across as anything but warm and genuine. But yet in this film, he never you know, if Vincent Price were in this, he would have overshadowed everybody. He would have just been so distracting and Vincent Price always, even as a villain, plays his characters with a wink. I mean, it’s just kind of a part of his personality, that there’s that sly smirk there that betrays a certain a certain look and a certain feel that would have, as you said, brought something completely different to this movie. What’s What’s really neat about Roddy McDowell playing this is the heart and earnestness behind it, and the fact that you never once you feel like this character is a little pathetic just like he’s in a pathetic situation, but he’s not wallowing around in self pity although every day. You know, you you get the feeling that obviously deep down inside this is depressing for him, but this is a role, in his life that he’s come to terms with, that he’s always going to be kind of this washed up ham actor who, is really not gonna do much else. And he’s I wouldn’t say he’s fine with it, but he’s more or less comfortable in that skin. Yeah.   It it’s it’s just a really great character. And from what I read, Tom Holland said the movie the the script didn’t really come together for him until he came up with this character. And he said once once he came up with this character he’d been mulling over this idea for 10 years, and once he came up with this character Vincent and realized that he gave the movie the heart that it needed, he wrote the script in 3 weeks. 

Craig:  Oh, wow. 

Todd:  Yeah. And it’s worth mentioning, since you’d brought him up earlier, Tom Holland, the director, had also been a little, disappointed by the adaptation of the only horror movie he had written before this, and that’s why he wanted to direct this one so badly. And, just coincidentally, the movie he was disappointed in and the movie that Chris Sarandon was in, and he was 

Clip:  It is. It is crazy. You know, I think that, you know, 

Craig:  It is. It is crazy. You know, I think that I read that, they were pretty they went through a pretty stringent casting process. They wanted to make sure that they got the right person. William Ragsdale, who plays Charlie, he had to go through several callbacks, before he actually got the role. And other up and coming stars had auditioned for the role Todd. Most notably, probably Charlie Sheen. And they just decided that Charlie Sheen, his look was too tough, like he looked too much like a hero, and William Ragsdale looked like somebody who could more believably be find himself in peril.   And then the last person that was cast, if I remember correctly, was, Amanda Beers who plays the role of Amy, the girlfriend. And she’s if if you’re a kid of the eighties like we are, you’ll recognize her right away. She played Marcy Darcy on Married With Children. She was hilarious on that show. And then the other somewhat principal actor, is the character that plays evil Ed. Evil Ed is Charlie’s friend, I guess, even though it seems like they argue quite a lot, and he’s played by Steven Jeffries. I remember, you know, we there’s the iconic cover art for this, movie, but then I read that, for a rerelease, they changed the cover art and put a picture of Evil Ed on the the cover, and I I vaguely remember that. What what I remember, Steven Joffrey’s more from though back then was he was on another, box art for another horror movie called 976 evil. 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And I don’t even know if I’ve ever seen that movie, but I vividly remember that cover with with Steven Jeffries in, like, demon makeup on a telephone. And I guess this he had worked, you know, Jeffries had worked, and and, you know, was I don’t wanna say a rising star because he never really rose that far, but he had been working in the industry. And when he got called in to audition, he thought that he would be reading for the Charlie Brewster, part and was disappointed when he found out that, he would be playing the evil Ed character because he couldn’t imagine what they saw in him for that character. I find the evil Ed character in this movie to be one of the most annoying, obnoxious characters ever portrayed on screen. We’re introduced to him pretty early on. You know, Charlie and Amy are making out. Like you said, he gets distracted by what’s going on next door, and she eventually storms out. The next morning, we meet him, I I think, really early on, and and he’s just obnoxious. 

Todd:  Yes. 

Craig:  I I like, I’ve seen this movie once before, but it’s been a really long time ago, and I don’t remember just finding this guy so grating. And I don’t know if it’s it’s the acting choice or if that’s the way that he was meant to come across. And I I kinda think it’s the latter. I think he was supposed to to be that obnoxious, but, oh, man. The guy just drove me nuts. Steven Joffrey’s, like I said, he went on to do, 976 evil, but then his star really dimmed, and he ended up, in gay porn. So that was kinda his his career trajectory. 

Todd:  His calling, apparently. 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  Well, we do first see him, in the high school, I think, when he’s walking down the hall. This movie, thankfully, only has one of these obligatory we’re walking down the hall in high school scenes and you don’t, it’s unlike all the other movies, you don’t get to meet all these crazy characters. It’s really boils down to these four characters, Charlie, Amy, Evil Ed, which evil is like his nickname, I guess. And there’s really no explanation for that. Jerry Dandridge, who’s the guy next Todd, Mr. Vincent, who’s and then, Jerry Dandridge’s assistant, who familiar assistant, whatever you call it, who comes into play a little later. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  I completely agree with you about Evil Ed, and yet he’s one of the most unique of these obnoxious characters. And Again, that’s another thing that sets the movie apart. There are a lot of these standard eighties tropes in this film, although they seem to be a little more downplayed in this movie than in others, but the one thing you get is the nerdy friend. Except in this case, the nerdy friend isn’t a likable nerdy friend, right? He’s not the guy who’s cute and who’s clever and who, yeah, he’s nerdy, but he’s just inches away from being popular, you know. At least you figure, well, he’s probably popular in his circles because he’s got this natural wit and he has this charm of his own and this comedy that no nerd in my high school ever had, you know. 

Craig:  Right. Right. 

Todd:  Normally they’re they, you know, as though nerds are like a thing. But right? But when you think of of 

Craig:  I I totally count myself in that camp. So Yeah. Exactly. You know, I I when we when we say that, we say it with love. 

Todd:  We do. We do. And and I don’t think either of us were this person, but we definitely had this this hierarchy, if you will. And there was always that kid who was so socially awkward that the more he tried, to be funny, the more awkward and horrible it was. Right? It just everything about him just reeked of there’s something wrong with this guy. And it is exactly how evil Ed comes across. Not his laugh is annoying, the way he talks is annoying, the things he says are annoying. 

Clip:  And why did he tell us he was gonna spring a pop quiz? Well, that’s the point to a pop quiz, Brewster, to surprise you. Thanks, teach. Hey, Amy. Amy. She finally find out what you’re really like? Buzz off. Black evil. Call me anything you want. Only you’re the one failing Craig, not me. 

Todd:  And you just can’t even imagine that he’s his friend. And actually, I can’t say that the movie really paints him as his friend too much more than any than this leech that just kind of hangs out with him. It’s not like Charlie dislikes him. Obviously, he’s the first person he goes to when he suspects that his friend is a vampire, but at the same time you don’t see a lot of scenes of them buddy buddying at at the coffee shop, you know. He’s really only there when he needs him in a sense, which is tends to be how these people get treated, you know. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  It’s interesting. It’s an interesting character. It’s definitely a memorable character and I agree with you a 100%. 

Craig:  Oh, yeah. 

Todd:  It’s one of the most annoying guys to ever see on screen. 

Craig:  Oh, yeah. He’s probably yeah. I would say that he’s probably one of the more memorable parts of this movie. Like, if you were to strike up a conversation about this movie with somebody who’d seen it, I think that that’s one of the first things that you would think of. So, you know, maybe we have to credit the guy for, at least being memorable in that way. The the story, you know, I I found myself taking all these notes and trying to keep track of the plot, because the the story moves at a quick pace and things keep happening. You know, it it never drags, or at least I didn’t feel like it did. And, you know, it’s it’s an hour and 45 minute movie.   Sometimes when you get up to that and closer to the 2 hour range, you’re sometimes dealing with movies that probably should have been cut a little bit. But this one, it it never gets boring. Things continue to happen. The next morning after the whole make out, problem, Charlie, gets up, and he talks to his mom about, there’s a new guy that moved in next Todd. And the mom says, yeah, I don’t know anything about him except he’s got a live in Carpenter. So my luck, he’s probably gay, which I thought was kind of a a funny and and like, the a joke that I didn’t expect to hear in in 1985. But as as, Charlie goes out on his way to school, he sees this hot blonde lady, going into the house next door, and then or maybe it’s not in the morning, I don’t know, but he sees her going in, and later that night, he hears a scream, and on the news the next morning, he hears that there was a body found, or actually there have been there’s been more than 1 body found, and both of them have been mutilated and decapitated. So the next time he gets home, he goes out, and and kind of is snooping around.   He saw that this coffin was unloaded into the basement, and the basement has outdoor outdoor access. And it looks like he’s gonna try to go down there and check it out, but we see that this other guy, who we find out his name is Billy, he’s indoors painting all the windows black, but he sees Charlie through the window and goes out and kind of warns him to stay away. 

Clip:  Hey, kid. What Todd you doing? Nothing. Oh, yeah? Would just make sure that it stays that way, kid. 

Craig:  Billy is played by Jonathan Todd, who I recognized immediately, and I so I went to IMDB to see what it was I knew him from, and he had lots of credits and things that I recognized, but I didn’t realize for a while that I was looking at his writing credits because that’s what came up right away. I guess he’s more known in Hollywood for writing. Yeah. He was the, he wrote for Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom back in the day and and guest appeared on that a couple of times. He was the creator apparently of According to Jim, the sitcom with, Jim Belushi. When I finally remembered or finally figured out that I was looking at his writing credentials, I flipped over to his acting credentials, and I I realized that what I recognized him from was House 2, which was always I loved it’s a it’s a really goofy, arguably pretty bad movie, but I loved it when I was a kid, and I recognized him from that. And he plays, like you said, well, what it seemed to be was kind of he was the Renfield to, Dandridge’s Dracula. That’s what it seemed to be.   But there’s also throughout the movie quite a bit of suggestion. You know, Dandridge is is a ladies’ man. He’s constantly seducing women. His victims are women. It turns out that blonde was a prostitute. Charlie, I think just, you know, very soon after this, he sees through his bedroom window. His bedroom window faces Dandridge’s bedroom window, and he sees Dandridge seducing this woman, and and almost biting her. And then they carry a body out, later on.   So he knows that that lady has been killed. So the the vampire is a total ladies’ man, but there’s definitely some homoerotic stuff going on between, him and his manservant Billy. Didn’t you? You had to have caught that. Yeah? 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I mean, later in the movie, it’s almost bald faced when that scene, when he bites the woman, almost gets recreated, except, Dandridge is down on his knees in front of him. And it’s something that as a kid, you know, would fly right by you, but as an adult you pick up on right away and go, Oh, wait a minute, What’s going on there? 

Craig:  Well, yeah. The scene that you’re talking about it, it’s well, I guess, what happens is Billy, knows. You know? And so he tries to tell his mom. Of course, she doesn’t believe. He goes to evil Ed for advice on what he should do because he says, you know, this guy’s a vampire, and he knows that I know, and and Ed gives him all and this is, I I think, a little bit of a flaw in the movie. You know, Charlie is supposed to be this guy who watches these vampire movies every single night, but he has to go to his friend to find out that crosses and garlic and holy water are what you use against vampire. 

Todd:  I know 

Craig:  one would think that somebody who knows that much about vampires would know these very common pieces of lore. And, Ed tells him that he doesn’t have to worry too much because he has he has to be invited in. So as long as he’s not invited in, he should be safe. But when Charlie goes home, his mom calls him down from his room and says, I wanna introduce you to somebody. And she has invited Jerry over for a, for a drink because she’s single, and there’s a hot guy who moved in next door. 

Clip:  What’s she doing here?   I invited him over for a drink.   What?   I invited him over. Why?   What’s your matter, Charlie? Afraid I’d never come over without being invited first. You’re right. You’re quite right. Of course, now that I’ve been made welcome, I’ll probably drop by quite a bit. In fact, anytime I feel like it. With your mother’s kind permission, of course.   Oh, Jerry. Anytime. 

Craig:  And it’s that night that Jerry he does. He comes to the house that night, and he surprises Charlie in his room and and threatens him. He’s throwing him around, but he’s he offers him a deal. He says, forget about me, and I’ll forget about you. Meanwhile, he’s holding him up by his his throat and kind of holding him out the window. And, I guess Charlie’s not in the mood to negotiate, so he grabs a pencil off of his desk and stabs Dandridge through the hand with it, which seems to really pain him. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that it’s wood or or whatever, but that’s when, Jerry fully vamps out for the first time. And, you know, we get to see him in all his vampire glory.   But, when so he he leaves after that, the vampire. But in just a little bit, after Charlie, you know, tell just tells him, mom, oh, nothing’s going on. I was just having a bad dream or or something like that. He goes back to his room and he gets a phone call, and it’s Jerry. And he says, I just destroyed your car, but that’s nothing compared to what I’m gonna do to you tomorrow night. So we know he’s safe for the night, but he’s coming back. But when he’s having that conversation on the phone, the manservant Billy is fixing or or working on his hand. And like you said, he’s kneeling down right in front of him, in what is a very suggestive fashion and after charlie or after Dandridge is done talking to charlie he pulls down the shade, you know, and you get it’s it’s very suggestive.   I I read that, that the the the the two actors, Chris Sarandon Chris Sarandon and Jonathan Stark had no idea that the director was going for that that subtle thing there with the homoerotic stuff. But when they saw the film, they were like, oh. So so that’s what he was going for. And and it was. You know, the the writer director has said, it it certainly was intentional. 

Todd:  Well and that’s what kept it subtle. You know? They never played directly to it. And so, you know, throughout the movie, it’s it’s really pretty, pretty brilliant actually because it allows the relationship to be just be something that it is Because an actor might try to play into that too much, and then in every scene you get between the 2 of them, you get these furtive looks or these slight touches or things like that where it becomes a Right. Distracting element of the movie. Whereas this, I mean, heck, they’ve had this relationship for presumably 100 of years, and so it’s not an everyday, you know, sort of thing for them. It’s just part of their lives. They’ve got bigger fish to fry dealing with the kid next Todd, and that’s gonna be the focus of their attention, their glances and and, you know, their motivations in every scene. You know, we’ve walked you through all these, these elements, but I just kinda wanna call attention to them a little bit.   Like, from that very beginning, that first scene where he sees the vampire almost bite the girl. He looks out the window and, he he’s a voyeur. You know, he’s gotta put his binoculars on to see it really close, but he sees this man raise his head, and in no uncertain terms, there are fangs in his mouth. He’s gonna come down on the girl, and as he does, he slows down, he stops, and he slowly turns and looks straight at him through the window. Mhmm. Which is something that is terrifying. I mean, you he thinks he’s safe, you know, across the yard in this dark house looking out the window and and this vampire immediately sees him. It sets this movie up from the very beginning.   I think that this kid is in peril and that’s when, when Dandridge slowly pulls down that shade. And then when Charlie goes door as you mentioned earlier and opens up the tries to get into their basement after he’s seen the coffin and Billy comes out and confronts him, Billy’s extremely confrontational. As he walks away, Billy just stares after him, almost like Billy’s trying to pick a fight, you know. Right. And then this later scene that you just that you that you walked through of him, coming over to his house, getting invited in by his mom and having that really tense scene between the 2 of them where he’s clearly playing with him, and then flat out confronts him in this room. He’s so confrontational. This isn’t the vampire who’s gonna slowly play with his guy next door. This isn’t the burbs where you kinda wonder if if if Tom Hanks’ character isn’t a little insane or maybe thinking a little too much about this and reading into things that where he shouldn’t be reading into things.   This is definitely a vampire. This vampire definitely knows that the kid knows from from day 1. And this vampire, not only is he not going to let the kid go, but he’s gonna kill the kid. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  You know, and he’s making that in no uncertain terms and he’s he’s pretty brutal about it. And to me, I it’s just terrifying. We’ve seen movies like this where the person thinks that a person’s a vampire, but it plays out in the slow mysterious, sometimes seductive fashion. You don’t know if that person, if the vampire is going to, you know, try to run him off the tracks. You don’t know if the vampire is gonna try to make him a vampire too. It’s not this real cat and mouse game. It’s like a Tom and Jerry cat and mouse game, you know? 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Todd:  And I think that’s what makes this movie so scary, and that is the counterpoint to what is otherwise kind of a goofy, what could be a goofy premise. That’s what I think makes this movie so deadly serious and works so well. It’s like you said, the pace never lets up and the pace is is is a frightening confrontational, kind of theme. 

Craig:  Yeah. I agree a 100%. You know, I think that it really makes it very suspenseful that that the you know? And and Chris Sarandon plays it, and Billy too, you know, the guy who plays Billy. They play it very much, we know you know. And, you know, there’s there’s no question there. We know you know, and and we’re out to get you. And, Chris Frandon just plays it with such confidence, and he comes across as a pretty intimidating scary guy. And, so, yeah, there’s there’s lots of tension.   And it like you said, like we both mentioned, it it it’s maintained. There’s there’s never any lull, because, Charlie knows that he’s in trouble. So he’s got to really quickly figure out what he’s going to do. He goes to find Peter Vincent. He thinks this guy can help me out. You know, he believes in vampires because Peter Vincent had said something about believing in vampires. And when I was a kid, I didn’t understand how he would just be able to go to some back lot and find this guy. Like, oh, this guy just so happens to do this in your in your hometown.   I didn’t realize that some of those shows, unless they were like Elvira and and, you know, got picked up and syndicated and whatnot, a lot of these guys were just people who either were local and were doing it on public broadcast or, you know, traveled around selling their show to various public broadcast and just moving from city to city. But he goes and he finds his idol, Peter Vincent, and, he asks him for help. And and Peter Vincent, you know, humors him at first. 

Clip:  What? You do want my autograph, don’t you? No. No, sir.   I was curious about what you said last night on TV, you know, about believing in vampires. What about it? Were you serious?   Oh, absolutely. Unfortunately, none of your generation seems to be. What do you mean? I have just been fired because nobody wants to see vampire killers anymore or vampires either. Apparently, all they want are demented madmen running around in ski masks, hacking up young virgins. 

Craig:  But when when Charlie says, well, I believe in vampires. There’s one living next door to me. Will you help me kill him? Obviously, Vincent then, starts to think, wow, this kid is unhinged, and he gets the heck out of there. And then right after that, Amy and Evil Ed show up to Charlie’s room, and he’s got it all decked out with crosses and candles and garlic. And they think he’s Craig, So they go to Peter Vincent, and Amy gives Peter Vincent a $500 savings Todd to get him to play along. And what they’re going to do is and and what they actually do is they call up Dandridge and say, our friend is convinced you’re a vampire. You’re a nut. Can we bring him over to your house and stage this test so that he will see that you’re not a vampire? And they say, you know, we could bring crosses.   And he says, no. I’m a born again Christian. That would be profane to me. Well, what about holy water? And he says, I don’t know about holy water. Peter Vincent says, it’s it’s not really holy water. All you gotta do is drink it. Nothing will happen, and we’ll be on our way. And so, so that’s exactly what they do.   They go over and get, Charlie, and and they all head over, to Dandridge’s house. And it’s it it sets it up for really kind of a a funny scene, this this vampire test, because it it it it really seems like both Dandridge and Billy are having fun playing this game, knowing what Charlie knows and knowing that his friends and family think that he’s crazy. It’s almost like they are enjoying allowing his his friends to discredit him right in front of them. 

Todd:  Yeah. And and you also have mister Vincent who’s slipping right into this comfortable role and, playing it up again for Charlie’s sake. And, you get the sense that he too, is having a little bit of fun with it, You know, this real life vampire hunter role, the only role that he really can play. And that whole scene is just it’s so tense because it’s just so interesting. You have that interesting interplay that you mentioned, and you know that Charlie’s just in deeper trouble after this because his friends aren’t gonna believe him. But you also have that really tense moment where Dandridge gets the vial of water that he’s supposed to drink. 

Clip:  And are you sure that this is, holy water?   Positive. I saw father Scanlon blessed down at Saint Mary’s myself. 

Todd:  And of course, what he means is, are you sure this is tap water? And Mr. Vincent is kind of nodding and smiling back like, Oh yes, it’s holy water. And, and Dandridge is hoping that he’s supposed to take that as in, okay, it’s definitely tap water. And there’s this tense moment where even we wonder, did he somehow get some holy water anyway? And what’s gonna happen when he drinks this? It’s a really cool moment of tension in the movie. And of course he drinks it and nothing happens. And we’re also knowing, oh, great. What’s gonna happen to Charlie and his friends? Because the other element in the scene is that Dandridge is immediately taken with Charlie’s girlfriend, Amy. And you just get this horrible sense that, oh my gosh.   And and the look crosses Charlie’s face Todd. That here in in here in trying to vanquish this vampire, he has dragged his girlfriend into the lion’s den and he has now suddenly put her in peril as well because Dandridge, being ever the debonair and suave guy, goes up to her and captures her eyes. And she’s obviously under that that vampire spell, it seems to be kisses Right. 

Craig:  And His thrall. Oh, yeah. 

Todd:  And Charlie and this is a moment that I kind of missed, at least the first time I saw it, but Charlie is kind of pawing through the house earlier. And there’s a scene earlier we neglected to mention, but it’s not important when he brings the police over, and he’s taking it upon himself to paw through some of the things. And there’s a portrait that has been half unpacked that has a girl that looks oddly familiar. And now we’re getting that same vampire trope, which I’ve seen at least 2 or 3 other vampire movies where, the Oh, yeah. Young, you know, girl reminds him of one of his long lost loves because the resemblance is very uncanny. And that’s what happens to have happened here with Amy, is that she looks an awful lot like a a former lover that he had, that he loved so much that he had a portrait painted of her in the house. So now not only are they leaving here, having not convinced, his friends that, this this vampire next door seemingly, but now Amy is a target for the vampire. And, Charlie is still in as much danger as possible except for 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Craig:  But one thing we, yeah, one thing we did fail to mention was, you know, it seemed like they were gonna totally get away with it. But right at the last minute, Peter Vincent pulls out this mirror that he had used, as a prop in one of his vampire movies before. And he’s not even pulling it out as part of the test. You know, it almost just looks like he’s taking a second to look in the mirror. But he happens 

Todd:  Cigarettes in there, I think. Is it also a cigarette? 

Craig:  Got it. Yeah. And as he’s fumbling one of those out, he catches all of the kids in the reflection. And Dandridge is standing right next to him, but he has no reflection. So at that point, Peter Vincent realizes that he is really a vampire, but it’s not like he’s gonna do anything about it. In fact, it just makes him wanna get out of there even more quickly, and and that’s what they do. But not before he drops his mirror, and then, Dandridge finds a little shard of the mirror and realizes, they probably really do know. So now they are all in trouble.   And that that leads up to you know, there’s an interlude where Charlie and Amy and evil Ed are walking home. They’re they’re walking Amy home, and evil wants to cut through this dark alley, and Charlie says, no way. We’ve got a vampire on our tail. Evil Ed still doesn’t believe it. So, you know, to be tough or whatever, he ends up going by himself, and he gets cornered by Dandridge. And there’s actually this really kind of interesting scene where Dandridge, you know, corners them, but says 

Clip:  You don’t have to be afraid of me. I know what it’s like being different. Only they pick on you anymore or beat you up. I’ll see you then. All you have to do is take my hand. Here, Edward. Take my hand. 

Craig:  Then Ed does take his hand. It’s interesting, you know And that happens in these vampire things, a lot of the time. The it’s a seduction, You know, it’s it’s a promise of something, and, so then Ed is is we presume, either dead or is going to be turned. 

Todd:  I think that scene is incredibly moving. I I for 1 and I guess, you know, we talked about the the evil Ed character being this totally, unlikable kind of annoying is probably the better way to put it, kind of guy. Right. But knowing those guys and then knowing what their life must be like and what they go through, he immediately becomes extremely sympathetic, at least to me. Yes. 

Craig:  Oh, absolutely. 

Todd:  Right. And doesn’t that seem just cemented? It’s like, oh my, he has tears in his eyes and it’s just these words. It’s it’s honestly, you don’t even get the sense that it’s the threat that he’s going to die, but it is that promise that, that I can pull you out of this awkwardness, this unlikableness. You will no longer be the downcast, but you will get this control. You will get this power that you may never have in your life that you certainly haven’t felt. And especially as a teenager, you see it in his eyes as he takes his hand that that’s what he wants, and this guy can give it to him. And it’s it’s so sad. I mean, I almost cried at that point.   I honestly, I think for for a short what has to be 40 second scene, so incredibly well written, so incredibly well acted and staged, and I and I just think it sets it up for later. Ed gets even more sympathy from me. One of these things 

Craig:  makes 

Todd:  this movie stand out completely. Oh, my gosh. 

Craig:  Yeah. Oh, I agree a 100%. And, yeah, we’ll we’ll get there, because he does turn, and he and he shows back up, later. But you’re absolutely right. I thought that that scene you know, it almost makes me as a viewer feel bad for having judged him so harshly before. 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And and, you know, there are those people who are just so obnoxious, but again, it’s not like they’re trying to be obnoxious. They try so hard and fail so hard, that they’re hard to be around. But, yeah, if you think about it from their perspective and how they really are very much alone and that’s really sad, you you definitely get that empathy, in this part, and I so I agree with that a 100%. But I was I I wanted to get into this next scene because I wanted to know what you thought of it This is such an odd scene, where he dandridge He’s kind of chasing the kids, through the streets, but he doesn’t even really have to chase them because he can take other forms. Like, he can fly. He can turn into a bat and fly. We never see him turn into a wolf, but, that’s part of the lore of the vampires here is that they can also turn into wolves. So every time they turn a corner, there he is.   And they he eventually corners them in this, like, restaurant slash nightclub where there’s a great big dance floor. And while Charlie gets on a pay phone, and I think is calling, Peter Vincent to try to get his help. But meanwhile, there’s this interesting seduction scene where Dandridge seduces Amy in the club. What are your what’s your take on that scene? What did you what what do you think? 

Todd:  Well, first the obvious, it’s total eighties. 

Clip:  The Right. 

Todd:  From the music playing in the background Todd what we’ve talked about before, the the look across the room and the back and forth, pulls her into this dance floor, and it’s like they’re the only people there even though they’re completely surrounded by other dancers who are paying them no mind whatsoever. But I feel like that scene is incredibly sexy and it’s very unusual, because it again, it’s this crowded nightclub and he is not dancing with her in the sense that everyone around them is dancing, but dancing with her in this classical sense that that ignores the the style of music completely. You know, it’s it’s a slow kind of dance. She’s really taken by him and he starts putting his hands on her, and then at one point, she seems to get a little bit of control and plays with him a little bit. Right? He puts his hands down and it looks like his hand is going up her skirt a little bit, and then she kind of pushes it aside and and jumps back away, and you think, oh, is is she coming to her senses? Is she running? But it’s really just to turn around and do one of those come hither looks to pull him in, and and so it’s this play it’s this back and forth play that you would expect, 2 people who are very much in love with each other and extremely comfortable with each other to do, yet it’s a seduction where he is presumably in control. The fact that she shows some elements of control at moments in here, I guess, shows that the seduction is complete. 

Craig:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  And it cements that, so that maybe we’re not we’re not so surprised that she’s not fighting it more later on. 

Craig:  Well, you know, really, you had mentioned that you had seen other movies like this, and this is classic. I mean, this is right out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with, Dracula, believing that, oh, gosh. I don’t know if I’ll be able to think of Harker. Is that the the main guy’s name? 

Todd:  Not Harker. 

Craig:  Anyway, his his, yeah, his fiancee, Mina, Dracula is infatuated with her in the same way that Dandridge is infatuated with Amy because she looks so much like not even looks like. I mean, it is. You know, it’s identical to This Long Lost Love. It pulls directly, from that story, and and it works, and I like that. It feels like a good homage. The movie reminds me of a lot of movies. You know, it’s definitely got shades of Rear Window, in it, you know, where the kid witnesses something of his neighbor or the guy, excuse me, witness I I’m thinking of the weird Shia Labeouf remake, but, but you know that there’s there’s lots of these elements pulled together and, Pretty artfully, I think I like it the the seduction like you said it kind of works as dandridge tries to follow them out He’s stopped by bouncers And this was part that kind of surprised me because he vamps out right in front of this whole club, and everybody sees it. You know? And he fights these huge, bodyguard or bouncers or whatever and, like, throws them across the room and stuff, and people are freaking out, and everybody’s kind of stampeding out.   It surprised me because one would think that he would be trying to keep a low profile. 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Craig:  I I don’t know. Maybe maybe he moves around all the time. Maybe he only spends a week of time, at a place. I I don’t know. But 

Todd:  Well, you know, I was I actually, believe it or not, watching this with my wife, Bic, who normally doesn’t like these kind of movies. As we watched it, she she made a remark. She said, well, gosh, now everybody’s gonna know who he is. And I thought, it’s a big crowded nightclub. First of all, no one no one or 2 people was gonna chase him out and try to track him down. I don’t know. It almost seems like a a brawl or something like that could happen all the time. And even if you had 20 or 30 people who said, the guy had red eyes, man.   The guy had red eyes. I mean, who’s really gonna believe that? You know, it almost seems like I guess 

Craig:  that’s true. 

Todd:  A very safe place to do it if you’re gonna do it and make a scene, you know, with the lights going on and people and maybe not all in their right minds and a lot of confusion and chaos, that becomes his cover. But as you say, it it does seem a little unusual and I think that again is just part of the relentlessness of this guy. I I mean, if he is gonna vamp out in a nightclub full of people, what’s gonna stop this guy? 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. I I I can see that. Well, and the other thing is, I mean, he’s only been in town for a couple of days, so it’s not like any of those people would recognize him. 

Clip:  Right. 

Craig:  Yeah. He’s not gonna be there. There’s that too. But, anyway, eventually, in the shuffle, he gets Amy again, and and he takes her out. And the next time we see her, Charlie, runs to get Peter Vincent for help. But the next time we see Amy, she wakes up and what we presume is Dandridge’s house in front of this big fireplace and she’s in clothes. She’s in this flowing white dress. And Dandridge is in the room, and he has his shirt open.   And as he approaches her after she’s woken up, she asks some questions like, you know, where am I? Where’s Charlie? He doesn’t really respond. But as he gets to her, he takes his shirt off and sits down in front of her. And again, you just get it appears, you know, vampires have that thrall thing where they can kind of, you know, really seduce, these women into doing whatever they want. And they have this really sensual scene together where they kiss a little bit, I think, and, he’s kind of at one point, it looks like he’s going in to bite her, and she kinda pulls back a little bit. But instead of trying to get away, she reaches around the back and undoes her dress and and lets her top down. We don’t see anything. It’s all from the back. I I heard that the actress was not comfortable with the scene, and, was very uncomfortable having the crew around.   So, she covered her breasts with duct tape. And so we don’t see anything, but, she doesn’t resist. In fact, if anything, she kind of leans in and lets him bite. And we see, she you know, they’re making very sensual noises, and we just see these trails of blood going down her back. And we know that, she’s in trouble. We we skipped a scene where evil Ed visits Peter Vincent, as a a vampire, and he vamps out, and he’s really spooky looking. His his vampire teeth are kind of janky and jut out in all different directions. 

Clip:  Now I used to admire you. You know that? Well, of course, that was before I found out what a fake you were. Peter Vincent, the great vampire killer. Peter 

Craig:  Vincent’s able to overpower him because he gets his hands on a cross and burns a big, cross scar into his head. When Charlie actually goes to Dandridge’s house, Peter Vincent shows up there, and he’s going to help him out. This is where we have our final act. The big showdown is gonna go down in Dandridge’s house. The TV host says, we should go around back. You know, it’s more of an element of surprise. And just as he says that, the front door swings open. And so we they know, we know that Dandridge knows they’re there, and all they can do is go in and and, you know, fight their hardest. 

Todd:  And what a what a great, final fight it is. Again, we’ve been to this house now 3 times, 3 or 4 times, and so we’re familiar with the house, we’re familiar with the scenery and the surroundings. We know that his girlfriend has been bitten, and so she’s up there and she might be, you know, at this point, things seem pretty hopeless. And then you know that this vampire, Dandridge, is pretty relentless, pretty brutal, and is going to be toying with them and playing with them. And then you never know when Billy is gonna pop in. 

Craig:  Billy appears in this part on the staircase when they first come in. You know, they have a little banter with, Dandridge. And Dandridge, you know, they walk into the house, and Dandridge is up at the top of the stairs, and he says 

Clip:  Welcome to flight night. For real. 

Craig:  At some point, Billy pops out and hits Charlie over the head with something and knocks him out. And Peter gets scared and runs over to Charlie’s house, which is right next door, and he’s gonna call the police. But when he gets there, he finds that the, phone cords are cut, and so he’s concerned about, Charlie’s mom. Now we know because she said it early that she had started working the the late shift. So fortunately for her, she was not in the house. But when he goes upstairs, he finds somebody in her bed, and that somebody ends up being Evil Ed, who is even more grotesque than he was before. And that was another thing that I really liked about this movie is that there were different stages of the vampirism. Sometimes they would turn just a little bit.   Sometimes it would be far more dramatic. It didn’t seem sloppy. It seemed intentional, like there were just varying degrees of how much they vamped out, and I liked that. But he’s fully vamped out here, and he threatens Peter Vincent. Peter Vincent runs off, and he trips and falls and breaks this, like, hall table right at this at the ledge, of the stairs. And from around the corner comes running a wolf, which we presume is Evil Ed, who has now turned into wolf form. And he it’s a a really cool shot. You know, I don’t know if they had a I don’t I don’t know how they did it, but, you know, it’s kinda slow motion, the wolf running towards the camera, and then the wolf leaps onto Peter.   But because Peter had broken the table, he picks up, one of the legs and uses it as a stake and impales the wolf and throws it over the ledge where it lands and is clearly mortally wounded. And this is another one of those scenes that I just saw I I was surprised how much it moved me, and I have a feeling this is what you were alluding to earlier. 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. Yeah. Vincent comes down the stairs, and the wolf is twitching. And as the wolf is twitching, it’s slowly turning, and it’s turning, kind of into a half wolf, half man creature with some very impressive special effects, I think, practical effects. And then, as he turns slowly back into Evil Ed, Vincent just looks at him, and the look at him starts out as a look of disgust. And then it very slowly becomes a look of pity as he sits and watches evil Ed resurface in this body and change back into his self and then die. And he seems like he gets a few words out. What are those words? What does he say? 

Craig:  I I don’t remember if he said anything, but even like, as he’s transforming, even when he’s still, like, half man wolf, he’s whimpering and and Craig, and he reaches out his hand, to Peter Vincent, almost like help me. And and Peter starts to reach out, and then he withdraws. I I think that he’s a little reluctant because obviously it could be dangerous. But as evil Ed eventually regains completely his human form, you know, he’s still reaching out and he’s Craig. Todd, I just felt so bad for this kid. Yeah, he was a monster, and when he was a monster, he, was very dangerous and, you know, evil or whatever. But when it comes down to it, he was just a kid. And obnoxious as he may have been, he didn’t ask for any of this.   And now here he lay dying, and and just that image of, a naked teenage boy dead on the floor, you know, having been impaled with this leg. It was I I was really sad. 

Todd:  Yeah. And and here he is, you know, he’s he’s been a loner his whole life, and really he’s he’s dying alone. The fact that he reaches out for that one person who’s there that could provide him at least a little bit of comfort, in his last, minute, and Vincent’s reluctant to do that. It just it’s just tragic. And you can see also reflected in Roddy McDowell’s face, I think just because he’s such a good actor, you can see that tragedy reflected Todd he witnesses. He fully understands that he kind of sees the significance of this, and it bothers him as well. You don’t get the sense that he’s as bothered by the fact that I just killed somebody as this is so pathetic, and this is so sad, and, and wow. You know, he’s just taking in the sadness of the scene.   It’s it is so touching. You you know, you just don’t expect that in a movie, and you’re certainly not gonna see it in many horror comedies. Yeah. It bothered me a lot. That scene does. 

Craig:  Yeah. We we cut back from there back into, Dandridge’s house, and he is taking the knocked out Billy, into the room where Amy is. And he drops him there, and he gives a mistake and says, you’re gonna need this by dawn. And and so when Billy turns Amy over, she is a vampire. He’s very upset. Peter comes back over and sneaks upstairs, and he gets, Charlie out, and they’re trying to sneak out when they are confronted by, first, I think, Dandridge again. Yes. They they see Dandridge at the top of the stairs, and, Dandridge just kind of walks away, and they’re not they don’t step.   Don’t make me shoot. Like, he gives this guy a bunch of chances, and, eventually, he shoots him in the head. And we see, after just a very brief period of time, Billy get up behind, behind these guys who have their back to him, and he keeps he starts walking back up the stairs again. I read that, the filmmaker has admitted that, he he kinda borrowed that scene from, Abbott and Casello meet Frankenstein. And I haven’t seen that in so long, but I do remember that, them on the stairs and and Frankenstein coming or Frankenstein’s monster coming up behind them. But eventually, they turn around, and Vincent shoots him several more times, but nothing works. I I think I think it’s Charlie stakes him. And I don’t really know what was going on here, and there’s no explanation for it.   So, you know, that’s fine. You know, I guess we’re just supposed to think that Billy is just some other sort of creature or maybe some different type of vampire. I don’t know. Like, because the staking works. He starts to disintegrate. 1st, it’s slime. Eventually, it turns to dust, and he’s gone. But we know that he’s not the same kind of vampire as Dandridge because he can walk around during the day.   Did you do you have any theories, or is that just gonna be one of those great unexplained mysteries? 

Todd:  I feel like, yeah, he’s some kind of creature, but, yeah, you’re right. I think it’s it’s totally unexplained. I have no theories. Obviously, he can walk around during the day. He can protect him. Obviously, he’s some kind of immortal, and I get the sense that they’ve had this relationship for quite a while. But you’re right. 

Clip:  Mhmm. The 

Todd:  fact that his death is so different, also I think clues you in to he’s something more, but it doesn’t tell you what. But it is and this is borderline cheesy. I almost feel like they were going for a little bit of comedy here with his death because as he stands there and parts of his flesh and things melt away, you get this green goop that comes out and kind of flows over. And it’s so long and protracted that all they do is just stand and stare at him almost in this weird fascination like, when is this guy gonna finish dying? Because because, it’s just so long and and he finally basically falls into nothing until he becomes nothing but a skeleton, which then falls down on the stairs, shatters, the bones roll down, and this skull, almost a chattering skull really, slides up Mhmm. And and it’s all that’s left staring back at them. I that was it was a neat moment in this movie, that had just a hint of, of of comedy to it, even though it was it was obviously also a a bit horrific. 

Craig:  Yeah. I liked it. I thought it was effective. I just didn’t know what was going on, but Yeah. That’s okay. 

Todd:  Yeah. Weird. Very weird. 

Craig:  Well, this really I mean, at this point, Dandridge is kind of fluttering around the outside of the house. Yeah. You get the impression that he’s kind of, flying, and and landing at various points. You see him cross windows. You also hear him from outside in this very deep voice tell Amy, Amy, prove how much you love to me. Kill them both. And so then she’s after them too, and he’s after them. And eventually, somehow, he bursts through.   There’s this big stained glass window at the top, of of his staircase, and he bursts through that. And, Peter Vincent is confronting him there, but really, he’s really just kind of stalling him there because we see from behind him that the sun is coming up. And I thought that was gonna be I thought the sun was gonna come up. He was gonna disintegrate, and everything would be fine. But when he realizes the sun comes up, he turns into this monstrous bat. Like, it it looks like a monster bat. It doesn’t look like a natural bat. And he attacks Peter, and Peter struggles with it, and it bites, Charlie.   But eventually, they’re able to throw it off, and it heads down into the basement where we know the coffin is. And so they head down there. Peter is looking for Dandridge, and Charlie is looking for Amy. And they both find the one they’re looking for. Amy is now fully vamped out. Her hair has grown like 6 inches. Her boobs have gotten bigger. 

Clip:  Mhmm. 

Craig:  And and this is where we first see her with those teeth that that are iconic from the movie cover. And and I just it it’s I read interestingly that, the director always wanted one of the vampires to have that sort of mouth at some time. But when he told the props guy, the props guy said, I don’t have time to do it. We’re in too much of a crunch. But he said, I’ll I’ll tell you what or the makeup guy. I’m not sure. He said, I’ll make something, but I’m gonna have to slop it together really quick. So if I make it, you have to promise that you’ll only show it for a split second.   And he said, okay. That’s fine. And then as it turned out, this these teeth feature so prominently in this last scene, and they used it on the box art. So I guess, the director liked it enough, to use it, and it is really effective. Those 2, Charlie and Amy Tussle, Peter really becomes the hero. He’s he’s fighting with, Dandridge. Eventually, Dandridge kind of corners him. But at that point, Charlie starts throwing things and breaking out the blacked out windows, which keeps Dandridge at bay because he can’t come into the light.   And there’s more struggle, more windows getting broken. Eventually, Dandridge tries to jump back into his coffin, but at the very last second, Peter, closes it. And does he stake him one final time, or is it just because I think it’s just because the light eventually hits him full on. There’s one last blast of light. Yeah. It thrust back, against the wall where he kind of explodes, burns up, for a moment is just a skeleton, and then he’s gone. 

Todd:  And that’s a really neat bit too because, as he burns up and and into a skeleton, but it’s almost a half man, half bat skeleton as though he were in the middle of transforming into his bat, like stage when, when the light hit him or as he’s struggling out of it. And so again, just like the the jaws and the facial features of these different vampires, it’s these aren’t humans with fangs. These are other creatures that can also look human and this movie, like unlike a lot of vampire movies, really hammers that home. The the guys did the special effects on this movie had just gotten off of Ghostbusters. They did all the effects for Ghostbusters and they had really honed things there so that when they came to this movie, they were a little better equipped, a little better skilled, they knew what worked. And apparently, this skeleton of this final scene here, as Dandridge disintegrates and goes away is something that they created for Ghostbusters for the librarian scene, but it was deemed too scary for that PG, movie. And so they had it kind of in their back pocket and they said, hey, this kinda looks like, a vampire slash bat would look. And so they used it in this movie.   And again, one of those instances where it it was clearly kind of an accident, something that was reused from something else, but I think just really worked. It was so much cooler than just having a what looked more like a human skeleton under there sort of sort of disappearing. 

Craig:  Oh, yeah. Yeah. The effects throughout are really good. I really and it’s and the movie is shot really well, I think. If if I were to criticize anything, I I would say that some of the acting is not that great you know, I I I think that charlie is a likable character but the acting seems a little wet behind the ears every once in a while. And I kind of felt I don’t know. The Amanda Bierce who plays Amy, I like her But I think that I just have such a preconceived notion of her from married with children that it’s difficult for me to Appreciate her in this kind of young sexy role. So maybe that’s just more about my perceptions.   But overall, I think it is really well done. The the very last, you know, the cap, at the end is, and it’s really funny. We we come back. We scan back into Charlie’s room at night, and it’s the same exact, kind of shot from the very beginning. In fact, on the TV screen, you hear whoever’s on the t’s TV screen say, we’re right back where we started from, and we certainly are. You know, it’s a virtually identical scene. They’re kinda making out on the bed. Peter Vincent’s on the TV.   Peter Vincent kind of gives them a little shout out, from the TV. And then, Charlie happens to walk by the window, and he thinks he catches a glimpse of something in the window at Dandridge’s house. But, he looks and he doesn’t see anything, so he goes back to Amy. Meanwhile, the camera pans back over there, and we see these glowing lights, and then we hear evil Ed’s laugh. 

Clip:  Oh, you’re so cool, Brewster. 

Craig:  So there’s maybe some suggestion that he didn’t die after all. And I was reading, I guess this movie is is, you know, has such a cult following that these guys regularly appear on panels at horror conventions and those types of things. And at some point, I think maybe for the 20th anniversary or something, they they held a panel or or maybe it was just an interview. But the director they somebody asked the director, of all of the films that you’ve made, which one would you be most interested in returning to and doing a direct sequel to? And he said fright night. He said he always had this idea in his mind that he would like to re he’d like to bring back the original cast and and continue the story where it’s something like 20 years later, and Charlie is now a single father of 2 teenage boys, and they move back into Charlie’s mother’s house. And the boys start to suspect that there’s something weird going on in the house next door. And as it turns out, it’s evil Ed trying to bring back to life, Dandridge. Of course, that never happened.   There was a there was a sequel, just a few years later. I don’t remember it well, so it must not have been terribly memorable. And then, of course, you know, there were the there’s the remake, with Colin Farrell. Yeah. And there there was a sequel to that, which had nothing to do with the original Fright Night part 2. But the property, you know, has remains in the public eye, and, it’s it’s it’s got a pretty solid fan base. So I have a feeling that people are gonna be watching this for quite a while. 

Todd:  Have you seen the the remake? 

Craig:  Yeah. It’s bad. Aw. Somebody asked the director about it, and he said, you know, he appreciated what they were trying to do, but they took all of the heart and all of the humor out of it. And he said he hated what they did to the character the characters of Evil Ed and the character of, Peter Vincent. They make Peter Vincent a horror magician in the veins of, oh, what’s that really douchey guy with the long black hair? Craig Angel. Yeah. They made him a Criss Angel character, and it was lame.   I mean, the effects are pretty good, and it it’s dark and kinda scary, but it’s it’s nowhere near the quality of the original, I don’t think. 

Todd:  What is it with these horror, like, remakes? So they’re just they almost always suck. 

Craig:  Yeah. You know? Yeah. I there’s there’s not very many that have have been very good. Yeah. It Todd did well, you know, at the box office and and well enough to get a sequel. And again, like I said, it’s it’s it’s held its own, and I think it still stands up. You Todd, there are things that definitely date it, but the cinematography is is good enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re watching something that’s antiquated and and that’s you know, it it still holds up, I think. 

Todd:  Oh, I think if you took the eighties music out of it, you wouldn’t even know when it took place. I mean, I I don’t think it’s dated at all, in that sense, and you could just, you know, release it tomorrow. Chris Saranda does such a fantastic job as a sexy 

Craig:  He does. He’s a great actor. 

Todd:  Yeah. He really is. And you know, as a kid growing up and really only seeing him in Princess Bride, you know, this is a whole other side to him, that’s actually not really that different of a character really. But, yeah, it’s just a not he’s not playing it so goofy here. He’s deadly serious, and I think that’s what really makes this movie work is that, as we said earlier, even though it’s a comedy, it’s deadly serious and never pokes fun at its subject matter. 

Craig:  Right? 

Todd:  Well, thank you again for listening to another episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. You can find us on iTunes or Stitcher, 

Clip:  like our Facebook page, and join the conversation over there 

Todd:  on social media. We’d love to hear your future you’d like us to review, please let us know. Until then, I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. With 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

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