100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Thirty-Nine - "Fright Night!"


I woke up in a very odd mood this morning, folks. Usually, I am in a shitty mood when I wake up - until the latte slides down the gullet, that is. But today I woke up somewhat hyper and KIND OF in a good mood. Odd for me. I hate to wake up in a good mood frankly because that means the day can't possibly get any better; in fact, it's more than likely gonna go downhill.

So I am trying to enjoy it while I can.

Anyway, today's selection is a fun, fun, fun movie - another one from the 80s and another classic from that era - "Fright Night!" I'm going to enjoy talking about this movie below, so hop on over to The Skinny and I hope everyone can enjoy this toothy flick themselves!

Fright Night (1985): Directed by Tom Holland. Starring William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowell, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffries.

The Skinny: This original take on the vampire myth has Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge, a well-to-do vamp taking up residence in suburbia. But as the hookers start to pile up dead, neighbor Charlie starts to sniff around, enlisting the help of Peter Vincent - a washed up horror movie host - and his best friend, the demented "Evil" Ed.

What's Good: What a great movie! Seriously, Chris Sarandon is the perfect blend of charm and menace (like any good vamp should have), William Ragsdale is boyish charm personified, and Stephen Geoffries (who went on to become ... wait for it ... a gay porn star) is absolutely hilarious. There are so many ideas out there for vampire films, and the idea of one trying to "blend in" is a great one - except in this one, the bloodsucker can't help but revert to form and start in with the killing. And Roddy McDowell, always a good time, does his best nebbish ever since he donned the monkey makeup as Cornelius in "Planet of the Apes." Frankly, the casting is what makes this film and there isn't one misstep in the group. The script is also tightly wound and director Tom Holland keeps the action up front and never over the top. It's vampish delight from start to finish.

What's Bad: As with most 80s-era movies, the music leaves something to be desired. Not the score, but the "background" music in a few scenes is just ridiculous 1985-era overproduced, L.A. synthetic nonsense. But this is well before Hollywood realized that you could make a killing and a major impression with a well-stocked soundtrack. But the rest of the film is a winner - maybe not so much horrifying but definitely well-acted, well-directed and with some great makeup effects.

Why We Like It: This was one of those movies I watched over and over again as a teen with my own vamp obsession. I have warm fuzzy memories of this movie from the Cinemax days and when I wound up buying it on DVD a few years ago I was so pleased that it held up - both as a piece of my past and as a quality vampire flick that a lot of people just don't know about. That is, until the stupid fucking remake (in 3D, I might add) comes out next year. I want to say "not even interested," but I just read that Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Red Mist from "Kick-Ass" will be playing "Evil" Ed, so that gives me some kind of hope.

Memorable Stuff: There is a great use of practical effects when Ed - now a vampire - is staked by Vincent while in wolf form and slowly returns to a human state to finally die. It is not only disturbing, it is emotionally agonizing, because you can truly see the fear and regret and horror in his eyes as he slowly bleeds to death, his hand reaching out to Vincent for help. It's an unforgettable tableau.