Random Acts Of Movie Watching/Trailer Time – Andy Burns on Fright Night, Then and Soon

Remember when vampires didn’t suck? I don’t know about you, but I feel that the whole moody and lovelorn teenage vampire stuff of Twilight has really done the creatures of the night a disservice. Vampires are dark and evil and want to drink our blood and make us their undying servants (unless they have a soul, but that’s a whole other television series).

The vampires I grew up watching, the Bela Lugosi’s and Peter Cushing’s and Christopher Lee’s, were as scary and as bad as you could get. Even Gary Oldman’s Dracula had some seriously horrific scenes in a fairly disappointing film. And while Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise had some whiny moments in Interview With The Vampire, they committed heinous acts in the film that save them from the sappy vampire section of your video collection.

Out of all of the bloodsuckers of my youth, my favourite has always been Jerry Dandridge, the smooth vampire played by Chris Sarandon in the 1985 horror classic Fright Night. To the best of my memory, while I watched plenty of vampire flicks on WUTV Buffalo 29 growing up, I’m pretty sure that Fright Night was the first I ever saw in the theatres. I remember loving the story of Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale), the kid next door who discovers his new neighbour is a vampire and calls upon former horror actor Peter Vincent (the wonderful Roddy McDowall) to help save the day.

The Queen and I rewatched Fright Night over the weekend, and while she didn’t like it all, the movie definitely has a soft spot in my heart. McDowall and Ragsdale have some great chemistry together as the duo charged with facing off against Dandridge, who really is as bad a vampire as you can get. He threatens Charlie, his family, his girlfriend (Amanda Bearse, who would go on to fame as Marcy on Married With Children) and his best friend, Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys). Sarandon is charming one moment, and then biting necks the next. Throw in some decent special effects that still hold up and quick moving script and you’ve got one of the better 80’s horror films that didn’t involve gloves with razors or killers with hockey masks.

This summer, it looks like we could have a Fright Night renaissance, thanks to the upcoming remake starring Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge, Anton Yelchin as Charlie, David Tennant as Peter Vincent and Chrisopher Mintz-Plasse as Evil Ed. Since hearing about this, I’ve really been down on the whole reboot idea, even though the script comes from former Buffy The Vampire Slayer showrunner Marti Noxon. I’ve just thought, why do we need a remake when the original is so good? However, having watched the recently released trailer for the 3D film, I have to admit I’ve become more optimistic and interested. Though there’s virtually nothing of Tennant in the preview, Farrell carries with him the same good looks and charm Sarandon did, and Yelchin is a young actor who always delivers. And really, any vampire movie that isn’t riddled with teenage angst is ok in my book.

Check out the trailer for Fright Night 2011 below and let us know what you think. The movie is in theatres August 19th.

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