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Thursday, October 25

Top 10 Vampire Films - #7

Before we get to tonight's entry in the countdown I wanted to tell you guys about my buddy jeano's (Creeping Cruds guitarist) blog, Spooky Franklin. He has his own Top 10 Vampire films countdown going - http://spookyfranklin.blogspot.com/

Now on with the show - Coming in at #7 on the Vampire countdown is another 80’s fanged fright fest – FRIGHT NIGHT.

 Fright Night was made in 1985 and directed by Tom Holland. It stars Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowell, William Ragsdale, and Amanda Bearse. This one is a monster-kid’s dream. It is chock so full of references to all the stuff I love that it really struck home with me. It tells the story of Charlie Brewster, an avid horror movie fan who, like all good horror fans, faithfully tunes in to his local TV horror host, Peter Vincent, host of FIGHT NIGHT. Peter Vincent (played by the great Roddy McDowell) channels Peter Cushing with his character, a wooden stake wielding vampire hunter. However it’s all just pretend – vampires don’t really exist, right?

Well Charlie discovers just the contrary when a pair of strange neighbors moves into the house next door. Charlie quickly learns that one of them is a vampire, but who will believe him? Certainly not the police, and not even his girlfriend. He turns to the one man who might not only believe his story but have the experience to help him defeat the denizen of the dark – Peter Vincent.

The 80s were a true renaissance period for vampire films. This makes sense when you consider horror movies often reflect our worst fears, and this was the decade when AIDS first became known to the public - The year Freddy Mercury was diagnosed with Aids both Near Dark and Lost Boys hit theaters. This fear played out on the big screen with a number of vampire movies both good - Lost Boys, Near Dark, The Hunger – and bad – the Vampire’s Kiss, Vamp, Once Bitten. There were many, many more – Lifeforce, My Best Friend is a Vampire, Transylvania Twist, Rockula (90), A Return to Salem’s Lot, etc.

Fright Night ranks a bit higher than the other 80s films on my list for several reasons – the horror host tie in, the fantastic special effects, Roddy McDowell’s performance, and the music. I had a cassette copy of the soundtrack for this movie that I played repeatedly until it was worn out. I need to get a CD copy of it. Fright Night is a fun movie and not to be confused with the 2011 remake. THIS is the version to see!!

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