Welcome to 31 Days of ’80s Horror boys and ghouls! Each day in October I’ll be posting about a horror film from the 1980s, some of which you may have heard of, others may be a little more obscure. This is the month to celebrate all things spooky so I wanted to present some films from my favorite era of the horror genre. I hope you enjoy the column and discover some new ’80s horror flicks to watch, or rewatch, whatever the case may be. I know I’ll be checking out some of these ghastly tales myself since I’ve come across a few that even I’ve never heard of! So on with the horror! On with the terror! On with the ’80s!
When the arrival of the handsome and mysterious Jerry Dandridge coincides with a string of murders, only Charley Brewster seems to notice the connection. The trouble is, Charley is a teenage horror movie fanatic, and not even his girlfriend Amy and best friend “Evil” Ed believe his theory that his new neighbor is actually a vampire! Charley turns to his idol, horror movie icon turned TV host Peter Vincent, but when Dandridge seduces Amy and recruits Evil Ed as an apprentice, will a washed-up actor and a teenage kid be able to defeat him?
I must have been in a weird place when I first saw Fright Night because I really disliked it. For years, I thought of it as a terrible (and not in a good way) ’80s horror film but then, a few years ago, I gave it a second shot and absolutely loved it! I then proceeded to slap myself in the face for being such an idiot and depriving myself of the fun for so long. It’s got the enjoyable ’80s flavor, at times cheesy dialogue, a great sense of personality and some truly awesome special effects. It’s written and directed by Tom Holland, who also directed another ’80s horror staple, Child’s Play. The movie features a really fun cast that includes William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall. I especially love Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed as he’s so off-the-wall and crazy. It’s also fun watching Roddy McDowall playing the host of the Fright Night TV show/disbelieving vampire slayer expert. Fright Night has everything I want in an ’80s horror movie and I absolutely love the film. While the 2011 Fright Night remake was just okay, I urge you to seek out the original film. It’s 106 minutes of pure ’80s horror movie joy!
How to watch Fright Night
Seeing as how the limited-run Blu-ray for Fright Night sold out quite some time ago and currently costs about $320 if you want to buy it on Amazon, I’m thinking everyone may want to just stick with the DVD, which is still available for purchase at a very reasonable price. (Buy Fright Night on DVD)
You can also purchase the movie on Amazon Instant. (Buy Fright Night on Amazon)
To see the other entries in the 31 Days of ’80s Horror column, click here!
by Ben McBride
Follow Ben on @monsterpopcorn