Fright Night (1985)


Written & Directed by: Tom Holland


Chris Sarandon .... Jerry Dandrige
William Ragsdale .... Charley Brewster
Amanda Bearse .... Amy Peterson
Roddy McDowall .... Peter Vincent
Stephen Geoffreys .... Evil Ed Thompson
Jonathan Stark .... Billy Cole

Release Dates:
Theatrical: August 2, 1985

*Images courtesy at:





A horror film fanatic named Charley (William Ragsdale) enjoys watching his favourite late night TV show Fright Night hosted by Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall).
However, he discovers that he has a new neighbor named Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) but things seem strange.
He spies on the house as he notices that someone is carrying a coffin and then later on bodies in bags are being buried. Next he spies in a window with binoculars as a lady is making out with Jerry and then Charley sees him turn into a vampire and bites her on the neck. Next thing you know, Charlie's Mom invites Jerry over for a drink which is a big mistake as a vampire can never come to your place unless you invite them.
Jerry threatens Charley afterwards but then Charlie talks to Peter Vincent about trying to destroy Jerry.
First the two go to Jerry's house along with Charley's friends Amy (Amanda Bearse) and Evil (Stephen Geoffreys) as they try to get him to drink holy water but the water isn't blessed.
However, Peter's pocket mirror doesn't show a reflection on Jerry. Next, Charley, Amy and Evil all walk home and Evil decides to make a shortcut to his place but Jerry traps him and turns him into a vampire himself.
Next, he kidnaps Amy and then tells Charley and Peter to come to his place if they want to see Amy again alive.
The two try to battle Jerry as well as his victims who are now vampires to try and reach Amy if it's not too late.


The film had a nice start to it showing a full moon at night along with a house being exposed and then what do we expect but a couple of horny teenagers named Charley and Amy making out while taking a break doing their homework along with a Fright Night programming on his TV in which this seems to work in well and a tradition for a start of a teenage horror flick in general. Then of course Amy gets uncomfortable making it to third base as most teenage girl does during a situation like this and still tries to go all thee way to make him happy but of course Charley is easily distracted after spotting something through his window on a fellow named as a neighbor from across the street named Billy Cole suddenly carrying a coffin up to the new house that was for sale as a new neighbor in which you don't see every day in your neighborhood especially taking place at night which looked pretty corny that a vampire suddenly moves in to the neighborhood right away when a vampire movie is playing but yet this really worked in well with the story and very entertaining to watch all of this happen too. Of course Amy is ticked at him that he is not giving her any attention after spotting what he sees across his street with all of this.
What's really cool to watch is when a beautiful woman in a window takes her top off and this so called neighbors roomate Jerry Dandridge seduces her and Charley is watching all of this. Suddenly he reveals some fangs and you have a feeling that Jerry himself will know that he's being watched by Charley in which this definetely gives you the chills. I loved every minute on this.
Charley is going to school the next day and spots a lustful woman dressed in a shiny uniform as she asks for the address of Jerry's house as this was a nice pointer since the vampires always invite these type of beautiful women into their homes.
Suddenly highschool looks like fun to go to as Charley gets together with his accentric hyper friend Evil Ed who teases him and then after school during a moment at the local diner Amy tries to apologise to him from being mad in which Charley is distracted once more as the news on the TV is shown on a missing case on the woman that Charley spotted as this really changes things for Amy making her even angrier. Not a good idea to focus on something else when his girlfriend tries to talk to him taking a risk that their relationship will be at stake but yet this is peer pressure on the fears of living next door to a vampire which can cause him and his neighbors their lives.
It's still afternoon and Charley snoops around the house and of course Billy is painting the window with black paint to prevent sunlight shining through as this is an other typical mystery unravelling that Jerry is no doubt a vampire. There is a sinking feeling of guilt when he catches Charley snooping around and giving him a hard time since we often had run ins with people catching us for something that we're not supposed to be doing.
When its dark and Charley arrives home his Mom has a guest in which it happens to be Jerry welcoming him to their neighborhood as this is a bad mistake we all know and he will be put in danger since we all know to never invite a vampire into your home and of course there's a liner from him telling her he's like to visit often which was nicely put in keeping the viewers in suspense that he will be up to no good wondering if both him and his Mom will be put in danger.
Then there's some fun touches with Charley trying to talk to Ed about what to do to stop a vampire and getting advice as watching this was almost like reading a fun type of comic book with how everything was detailed here.
Then there's nice moments on Jerrys roof and a camera soaring high in the air aiming towards Charley's house in which we all know it's a vampire soaring in the air and was fun and creepy to watch this. What's more creepy is when Charley hears footsteps on the roof. This definetely gives you the chills. What's more chilling is when he checks out the house and doesn't spot anyone and even checks out the window of his room and then Jerry creeps up from behind him. Pretty spooky to watch folks. It gets even more intimidating when Jerry confronts Charley in a deadly way with all of this since we know that this isn't going to be pretty at all with what he has to say to him after all the trouble he's cause him. It does give you a wild imagination that you're in this story big time and being pitted against him. The settings here looked good and serious after spotting alot of the dark comedy used in the story so far. That worked in well too so don't get me wrong here.
Some good wit happens when Amy and Evil hire Peter Vincent to check out Jerry's home to see if he's a vampire just for fun so Charley could be assured that he is not a vampire and to not be paranoid. Peter gives Jerry holy water and sees if he will drink it but the story leaves you the impression that nothing will happen to him and it doesn't. Yet it is impressive when he has eyes for Amy and kisses her hand in which this seems to be a total tradition in a vampire flick when one spots to be their vampiress mistress. Nice touch here as Amy has a wholesome look and seems too innocent you kinda wonder if he will succees to lure her into him later on in the story.
The dark horror really seems to happen afterwards when Evil Ed is alone in an alley way and Jerry is stalking him as this looked pretty impressive for an 80's horror. Also what confused me is Jerry tempting him that he will be different and no one will pick on him for being different as this was never revealed in the story since Evil seemed like an eccentric but outgoing person and not one of those dweeby types. The writing on him with his wicked charm was pretty cool and traditional for a vampire luring someone in to be one of his others to do wicked deeds.
One of the best moments here is when both Charley and Amy are in a dance club and Jerry enters luring Amy in along with him dancing with her and about to bite her neck but she dodges away as you wonder if she will survive being one of his people.
A good mysterious moment with Peter entering Charley's home to try to warn his Mother and he goes to a bed as a side of a head is turned which gives you a creepy feeling that it's not his Charley's Mother at all and that something terrible is about to happen. Another neat moment is that Evil Ed is now a vampire and transforms into a wolf about to attack Peter which seems to fit incredibly well into the story too.
There's a stake driven in Ed's heart as he slowly transforms back into a person suffering to death as it looked very sad to watch feeling sorry for the poor fellow making you think he didn't mean to try and cause trouble.
Then we spot Amy in the clutches of Jerry as this flowed in very well between the two of them as well as the struggling moments with Peter and Charley trying to rescue her which shows a ton of terrific fast paced action along with more terrific special effects especially spotting Jerry's face looking more monstrous along with his violent moments too. A real neat effect on Jerry turning into a bat and thrusting towards Peter which looked incredibly terrorising and packed with horror action here. This is the only time you see Jerry turn into a bat in the film and was worht the wait too while watching the film.
There's also a moment when its daylight and Jerry tries to rush into his coffin and then Peter and Charley try to drive a stake through his heart and we spot Amy in the shadows talking to them as this looked creepy in which we know that she is not the same person anymore in which you can even see behind the shadows.
Bottom line is that this is a fun film all the way through as it is a total taker on other vampire films and imagining if you had a vampire living next door to you. One of the best vampire flicks too along with Salem's Lot and The Lost Boys and can be well adored by the fans of this type who likes a bit of tongue in cheek in their story without it getting too carried away.
Tons of fun touches throughout the plot and if you love 80's retro horror films you will no doubt enjoy this one as it is very well paced and a cult classic too. Check it out.

The acting is very 80's cheesy style like but still quite good. Chris Sarandon (Jerry Dandridge) is great as the master vampire bringing his charming but evil character come to life on the screen. He certainly was very smooth within his speaking and can seem to do well with his mellow and calm attititude and really changing it when he shows his wrath and vicious behavior. Defientely believeable when he's obnoxious and believeably tough too with what he did in the film making you wonder if he's really like that in real life. A nice and nasty menacing attitude on him when he acts physical towardshis fellow actor in his room by grabbing his throat and speaking firnly towards him. A perfect reaction with him in a scene by staring towards his fellow actress along with a good charming reaction on him kissing her hand and speaking softly towards her in which he performs this piece in a good calm fashion. There's a good moment with him towards another cast member when he tempts him on a street corner about him having power and no one can torment him which looked strongly performed and not losing the touch on what he does and a great soothing type of behavior and seriousness.
William Ragsdale (Charley Brewster) does well with his anxious and paranoid behavior and knew on how to do well as someone who is obsessed with watching vampire movies. He brings out alot of great energy into his performance and studied this part quite well with everything that he did in his role. Shows a good shocked reaction on him while watching something on a TV set in a certain scene. A nice gagging reaction on him when someone grabs him by the throat.
Amanda Bearse (Amy Peterson) seemed a little bit stiff in her role as someone who is a bit insecure but yet she really tried her best to pull off this character and needed a bit of a push that's all. She does well with her nervous behavior as well as getting angry in certain spots too. A nice approach on her by sitting at a diner next to her onscreen boyfriend trying to talk to him and then does a great job showing her temper towards him with a nice blocking movement on her splatting him in the face with a burger. She does a terrific job with her icy speaking though when she is briefly a vampiress which is a great change to her personality. There's also a nice approach with her by speaking coldly and viciously in which she did this very strongly. She improved her acting skills much better in her work on the hit TV show Married with Children.
We also have a nice witty performance by Roddy McDowall (Peter Vincent) as the TV host of Fright Night trying to do away the real vampires. He shows a good gruff and agitated behavior as he pulls this off well and showing good wit on his bitter type of personality. Shows a nice grumpy reaction towards two cast members after anouncing being fired in which this was at a good and even pace. A nice shocked reaction on him after picking up a mirror and spotting something unusual as he does well speaking in a panicky voice. He also does well with his frightened attitude too and shows nice energy panicking and leaving the house as well. I always found him to be a great character actor regardless.
We have a very energetic performance by Stephen Geoffreys (Evil Ed) with his hyperactive performance which is one of the films plus. He brings out a really zany terrific laughter in his performance along with clowning around in which he comes acorss nicely portraying one of those eccentric type of teenagers who also loves horror flicks. Does a god job acting hyperactive towards his onscreen friend and teasing him in which this was brought together very energetically. Does a good job tricking someone by lying near a corner moaning in pain and then springing up to give his onscreen friend a noogie along with him speaking loudly towards him which looked impressive. Plus he does well while he is a vampire showing a good wicked dark humor into what he does. He shows a memorable performance in the backseat of a vehicle laughing with his evil vampire grin and cackling as this looked sharply performed. Nice fast action blocking on him by jumping from a bed and acting vicious towards the actor performing opposite of him with his words towards him as this piece looked incredibly powerful. I found this to be his best performance in any show I saw him in. He briefly moved to gay pornography but now acts in independent film and many are horror as this was a great start for him in which he became a horror icon due to his role in this.

Jonathan Stark (Billy Cole) came across well with his unfriendly and mysterious atttitude as a possible vampire himself and knew on how to come across as being very unpleansant with his words. Plus he had the right looks to portray this role too. I enjoyed his performance. He definetely had a nice effective supporting role without a doubt and had a good dark type of attitude. A nice unpleasant reaction on him towards his fellow actor for trespassing which looked very believeable and showing a nice firm behavior on this.

Charley stares outside his window with binoculars and spots a woman in the window of his house next door and spots that her bra is taken off by his neighbor vampire Jerry and her breasts are exposed.

A pencil is stabbed through Jerry's hand
A sharp wooden object is stabbed through Evil's chest
There are some other gruseome moments such as a wooden stake through another vampires heart and he melts with green ooze.

The music is great and non stop fun composed by Brad Fiedel, Christopher Franke, Edgar Frosse and Johannes Schmölling as all of them collaborated well composing different kinds of music for each scenery. There's some nice tingling as well as low keyboard sounds for the humoress suspenseful moments. Plus some nice brief bonging sounds with the vampire moments along with rhythm sounding drum beats too in which totally had a great effect during this time period. Also some nice screeching sounds for the still moments during the battle with trying to snuff the vampires with them about to attack too. At the odd times there's good strong echoey piano playing along with great loud hissing synthesizer music for the big time attacking scene's quarter way through the story which sounded incredibly strong. All but Fiedel were uncredited in this film for some silly reason as they were all terrific with their work in it.

We also have a terrific soundtrack by many 80's groups like The J. Geils Band performing the theme song during the closing credits (A classic!) in which there's creepy sounding keyboard playing as well as nice ghostly vocalising with all of this, All of this was brought together in a great horror fashion making it necessary for an ending of a movie.
Another neat track but it was only brielfy played was a track called "Bopping Tonight" by the Fabulous Fontaines in which was played in a car while the character Charlie was parking his vehicle as it had a good oldies type of groovy sound to it. Seemed suitable as his car looked like something from the late 50's or early 60s.
A reall attention grabber is a scene in a dance bar as there's a different combination of songs performed having a good dance 80's rhythm to it all including "Rock Myself to Sleep" by April Wine as there's great hyped up vocalising to this really making it blend in with the dancing audience. Then an instrumental soothing beating type tune titled "Come to Me" performed by Brad Fiedel while Jerry tries to woo Amy as this sounded perfect with the soft synthesizer playing and hissing beats to it all.
Then the song really jumps in to a great powerfully volcaliing on the track "You Can't Hide from the Beast Inside" by Autograph in which the singer sounds insane while performing this along with great fast paced keyboard chiming sounds too when Jerry is being violent and doing some killings in the bar. All of those songs seemed to related to what was going on there.
The soundtrack is apparently out of print but if you find it at a second hand music store or at ebay by all means buy it!

Charley Brewster: Look, Detective Lennox, Jerry Dandridge is vampire!
Detective Lennox: Yeah, sure, and I'm Dirty Harry!

Evil Ed Thompson: And to what do I owe this dubious pleasure?

Evil Ed: So, did she find out what you're really like?
Charley Brewster: Get lost, Evil!
Evil Ed: Oh, call me anything you want. Only you're the one failing trig, not me.

Charley Brewster: That bastard! Why didn't he tell us there was going to be a pop quiz?
Evil Ed Thompson: That's the point of a pop quiz, Brewster... to surprise you.

Evil Ed: Charley, that wasn't the only murder. Second in two days. And get this...
Evil Ed: Both of them had their heads chopped off.
Evil Ed: Could you believe it?
Charley Brewster: You're sick.

Jerry Dandrige: Now we woundn't want to wake your mother would we Charlie? Cause' then I'd have to kill her too, RIGHT?
[Dandrige throws Charlie across his room and picks him up by the throat]
Jerry Dandrige: Do you realize how much trouble you've caused me Charlie? Spying on me. Almost disturbing my sleep this afternoon. Telling policemen about me! You deserve to die boy. Of course, I can give you something I don't have... a choice. Forget about me Charlie. Forget about me and I'll forget about you. Well, what do you say Charlie?
[Charlie holds out a small cross but with no affect]
Jerry Dandrige: Faithless fool!

[Charley turns to a now believing, now terrified Peter Vincent for help fighting vampires]
Peter Vincent: That's just a character I played in a movie! Peter Vincent's not even my real name!

Peter Vincent: The kids today don't have the patience for vampires. They want to see some mad slasher running around and chopping off heads.

Evil Ed Thompson: Oh, you're so COOL, Brewster!

Peter Vincent: I am Peter Vincent, vampire killer!

Charley Brewster: Jesus, I warned him!
Evil Ed: He got me, Charley! He bit me! You know what you're gonna have to do now, don't you? Kill me. Kill me, Charley... before I turn into a vampire, and... GIVE YOU A HICKEY!

[after Evil Ed fails to listen to Charley's warning]
Charley Brewster: No vampire's gonna want him anyway. Probably give him blood poisoning.

[Jerry Dandridge has cornered a terrified Evil Ed into an alley]
Jerry Dandrige: Hello, Edward. You don't have to be afraid of me. I know what it's like being different. Only they won't pick on you anymore... or beat you up. I'll see to that. All you have to do is take my hand.

Charley Brewster: What if he was really in trouble?
Amy: It's Just Evil!
Amy: Quit it! It's evil, not funny!

[two bouncers take away Charlie and Amy]
Club Rate Bouncer #2: I got him!
Jerry Dandrige: He's mine.
Club Rate Bouncer #1: You want chicken, man, you go someplace else.
Jerry Dandrige: Out of my way!
Club Rate Bouncer #1: Move me!
[Jerry's hand changes, his eyes glow red, and reveals a set of fangs]
Club Rate Bouncer #1: LEON!

Peter Vincent: Mrs. Brewster. My God, the phone lines have been cut.
[Evil Ed arises from under the bed sheets with a wig on]
Evil Ed: I know
Evil Ed: I DID IT!
Peter Vincent: Where is Charley's mother?
Evil Ed: (removes the wig) Oh, well, she's working nights. BUT!... she left a note. (He chuckles like a speed freak as he removes the note from his pocket. He reads it.) Mmmmmm mmm! His dinner... is in the oven!

[Peter Vincent has just hurt the vampire Evil Ed with a crucifix]
Evil Ed: The master will kill you for this! But not fast. Slowly! Oh, so slowly!

Jerry Dandrige: Welcome to Fright Night! For real.

Peter Vincent: [brandishing a crucifix] Back, spawn of Satan!
Jerry Dandrige: Oh, really?
[Dandridge grabs the cross, crushes it, and throws it aside]
Jerry Dandrige: You have to have faith for this to work on me!

Billy Cole: Well, what do we have here? Vampire-killers?
[Billy begins to ascend up the stairs, and Peter draws his gun]
Peter Vincent: Stop... Stop, or I'll shoot.
[Billy ignores him and continues to walk up the stairs]
Peter Vincent: I mean it. I will shoot.
[Billy still ignores him, and Peter shoots him point blank in the head. His body collides down the stairs as Jerry begins to sneak up behind Charley and Peter. Charley turns around and draws out his cross]
Charley Brewster: STOP!
[Jerry covers his eyes, whimpering]
Charley Brewster: We have him.
[Jerry removes his arm from his eyes and looks down at Billy's body at the bottom of the steps]
Jerry Dandrige: Do you?
[Jerry smiles and retreats; Charley and Peter are confused]
Charley Brewster: What did he mean by that?
Peter Vincent: Nothing! Nothing at all.
[Behind them, Billy rises... from the dead!]