Thursday, March 30, 2017

Vampire Rear Window, or Thoughts on Fright Night

From Tom Holland, who would go on to direct Psycho II (1983) and Thinner (1996), Fright Night (1985) is an 80’s horror comedy in the same vein (see what I did there) as The Lost Boys (1987), but set in a bland American suburb (maybe Haddonfield?) instead of Southern California.  William Ragsdale portrays Charley, a typical 80’s teen who has a perfect view of his new neighbor’s bedroom window.  Of course that new neighbor turns out to be Chris Sarandon from The Sentinel (1977) as Jerry Dandridge, the disco vampire (he likes to wear scarves).  Other than his fashion choices he's a pretty traditional vampire; no reflection, allergic to sunlight, crosses and garlic, the usual stuff.
The movie stands out because of the brilliant casting of screen icon Roddy McDowall from Planet of the Apes (1968) and The Legend of Hell House (1973) as Peter Vincent (if that name sounds suspiciously similar to Peter Cushing and Vincent Price, it’s no coincidence), a late night TV horror movie host and reluctant vampire hunter.  Also with Amanda Bearse, 27 at the time, playing Charley’s teen girlfriend Amy.  If that name sounds familiar it’s because she played Marcy D’Arcy in Married With Children, and Al Bundy would be sorely disappointed if i didn't mention this movie also featured Heidi Sorenson, Playboy’s Miss July 1981, as one of the victims.
 Also take special note of Charley’s car; he drives a sweet 1966 Ford Mustang (the Eleanor/Bullitt Mustang is a 1971 Shelby, in case you care, and I know you do).  There was a remake in 2011, because of course there was.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).