Friday, July 15, 2011

Supernatural Friday: Welcome to Fright Night

“I am Peter Vincent, vampire killer!” Peter Vincent-Fright Night (1985)
“Welcome to Fright Night For real!” Jerry Dandridge (1985)

Next month, on August 19th, the remake of Fright Night will be released in theaters. This time David tenant will play Roddy McDowell’s role, Larry Vincent, with Anton Yelchin as Charley Brewster and Colin Farrell as the vampire, Jerry Dandridge.

In always believe in giving a remake of a film or TV series a chance. Sometimes the remake is as food as the original, other times, better, I think, but again many times the remake falls flat on its face.

Let’s talk history about the original. It actually is homage of sorts to a real American horror host, Seymour, who hosted Fright Night and Seymour’s Monster Rally in Los Angles in 60s to early 70s, and presented—and heckled—low-budget horror and science fiction movies. He was noted for his style of criticizing the movies he presented in an offbeat and funny manner, usually appearing in a small window which would pop up in the corner, tossing a quip, then vanishing again. Sometimes he would, using blue-screen, appear in the middle of the movie, apparently interacting with the characters in the movie. He passed away after quickly succumbing to stomach cancer and died on March 9, 1975. His real name was Larry Vincent, and he was an actor. (See the connection to the vampire flick, Fright Night now? The name of the show and the host’s last name?) As an actor, Vincent scored some minor roles on the TV series GET SMART, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, MANNIX and MISSION and IMPOSSIBLE as well as Amos Coffin, the member of a witchcraft coven in the movie The Witchmaker (1969); as Andrew the gardener in The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant (1971), and as a strangler in Doctor Death, Seeker of Souls (1973).
He called the watchers of his show, Fringies, and yes, that’s what I still am. Here’s a couple of clips of his show on YouTube: ( Not visual but verbal--

Now you know a bit of the history of the first film. Besides Roddy McDowell, it stars Chris Sarandon as the vampire and William Ragsdale as Charley Brewster. Besides McDowell’s Peter Vincent, I loved Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) in this film. Watching the trailer for the remake version of Fright Night, the Evil Ed played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse in that one looks too nerdy. The punker look just worked more for me. What do you think? Not too sure about Colin Farrell either—looks too bad boy for me. Yes, as someone who writes paranormal romance under a pseudonym, vamps as bad boys are all and good, but for this horror film, I am not sure he omits the darkness that Chris Sarandon did. Will Farrell be able to pull it off? I admit to loving David Tennant ever since he played the 10th Doctor in the Doctor Who TV series (trivia note: he was the second Scotsman to play the Doctor). Will David wear Roddy’s vampire killer shows well? It’s to be seen. But like I said, I will give the film a chance, even though I am big fan of the original.

In 1985, a novelization, Fright Night, by Craig Spector and John Skipp was published by TOR Books. In 1988, Fright Night was also spun-off into a comic book series by Now Comics. It ran for 22 issues until July 1990. Both may be out of print, but do look for them.
What do you expect of this movie? Good? Bad? Scary? Plan to see it in the theater, or wait until DVD, Redbox, or Netflix?
"Oh, you're so cool, Brewster!" Evil Ed in Fright Night (1985)

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