Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cornelius is Back Fighting More 80’s Vamps, or Thoughts on Fright Night: Part 2

From John Carpenter collaborator Tommy Lee Wallace of Halloween III: Season of TheWitch (1982) and who would also go on to direct the 1990 IT TV miniseries, Fright Night: Part 2 (1988) continues 3 years later with William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall returning as Charley Brewster and Peter Vincent.  Charley’s in college now (he still has that ’66 Ford Mustang, though now it’s yellow) and after intensive therapy he’s convinced himself that vampires don’t exist and Jerry Dandridge from the last movie was a serial killer.
But this is Fright Night, not Serial Killer Night, and this time the vamps are living in Peter Vincent’s apartment building.  Is the vampire neighbor an essential theme to the Fright Night franchise?  Is that what we’re dealing with here, the vamp next door?  Have I cracked the formula?  Also, let’s not forget the voyeurism aspect; Charley’s always peeping into windows and seeing things he shouldn’t see, that’s how these movies always start.
In all honesty I don’t know if I would have watched this if Roddy McDowall hadn’t been involved (fortunately he has his trusty mirrored cigarette case to check for reflections), but I enjoyed the movie more than I should have.  By 1988 the decade had the 80’s look down, and the fashions, hairstyles and background synth music are all on point.  Featuring Julie Camren as Regine Dandridge, Jerry’s 1000-year-old sister, with a Prince/Apollonia aesthetic, though I doubt she’s ever purified herself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.  Also look out for Brian Thompson from The X-Files and Star Trek as a moth-eating vampire chauffer.  The whole movie is like Michael Jackson’s Thriller video (1982), except with vampires instead of zombies, and regrettably, no dancing.





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).