HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Fright Night Part 2 Another night, another vampire
Year: 1988
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Stars: Roddy McDowall, William Ragsdale, Traci Lind, Julie Carmen, Jon Gries, Russell Clark, Brian Thompson, Merritt Butrick, Ernie Sabella, Matt Landers, Josh Richman, Karen Anders
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Three years after fighting vampires Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale) is in therapy, inexplicably convinced what happened before was a traumatic hallucination. Now dating a pretty psych major named Alex (Traci Lind), he tries to leave the past behind and distance himself from the one person who knows the truth: has-been film star turned horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall). That is when Regine (Julie Carmen), slinky and seductive vampire sister of the slain Jerry Dandridge, arrives on the scene with her undead entourage. Bent on revenge, Regine puts the bite on Charlie who then turns to a skeptical Alex and Peter to save his life.

Given the 2011 remake spawned its own direct-to-video sequel there are two Fright Night II's out there although this one came first. While much beloved by some the original Fright Night was arguably a great special effects reel in search of a great movie. Hampered by a profoundly muddled outsider subtext and grating supporting performances (Stephen Geoffreys mercifully declined to return as 'Evil Ed' opting for a lead role in Robert Englund's 976-EVIL (1988)) it failed to subvert or satirize vampires the way The Howling (1980) did with werewolves. Yet both original Fright Night films remain key texts in the evolution of the vampire from a classical to contemporary horror archetype and sowed the seeds for ideas that reached full bloom in Joss Whedon's far superior Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series.

Interestingly both films were directed by established horror writers. The sequel swaps Tom Holland for regular John Carpenter collaborator Tommy Lee Wallace. He already had one horror sequel to his name with Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983) and went on to direct Vampires: Los Muertos (2002), the follow-up to Carpenter's lacklustre Vampires (1998). Trivia buffs note: he and John Carpenter also co-performed the theme song to Big Trouble in Little China (1986)! Fright Night Part 2 opens with a sepia-tinted montage of the climax to the first film then commits the cardinal sin of all sequels by trying to press the reset button. Yet after establishing this role reversal with Charlie now the non-believer and Peter Vincent the paranoid occult expert, halfway through the film inexplicably switches back to the original set-up! Thereafter the plot replays key motifs (re-staging the dance sequence with the gender roles reversed), serves up potentially interesting but half-formed ideas (Charlie slowly turning into a vampire) while increasingly relying on dream logic or vampire lore to paper over nonsensical plot cracks.

If the theme of the first Fright Night was homoerotic fascination, the sequel deals in sexual frustration. Charlie cannot get to first base with Alex and so proves susceptible to Regine's seductive charm. As before the subtext is muddled at best (girls, make sure you put out lest your boyfriends stray with exotic vampire women) and Charlie comes across a smarmier, less likeable hero this time around. Maybe it's the mullet. Fortunately good old Roddy McDowall carves a thick but delicious slice of ham that, for fans of old school horror, is hard to resist. Also of interest is new addition Traci Lind who improves on her awkward predecessor Amanda Bearse as a smarter, quirkier, more interesting heroine. This time it is the girlfriend who must save the hero from the vampire's influence. She still cowers behind Charlie when it is time to slay the undead but it is a step closer to Buffy. There are annoyingly dumb moments like the bowling sequence and Regine's inane interpretive dance as the new host of the Fright Night show. How does she appear on television when she casts no shadow? Yet the effects laden, vampire slaying third act proves as fun as before. Fans of Napoleon Dynamite (2004) should look out for future Uncle Rico Jon Gries as a goofy werewolf minion. Wallace racks up the atmosphere with his prowling camera and suffuses the film in that oh-so-Eighties, over-stylized, fog-shrouded MTV ambiance that these days induces a little nostalgia.


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2321 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: