31 Horrifying Days: Day 18- Fright Night (1985)

A teenager, Charley Brewster (played by newcomer William Ragsdale) is watching horror flicks and trying to coerce his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) into having sex with him. She relents and agrees when he becomes distracted by someone moving in next door. They have what appears to be a coffin. The new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon, who returned for the 2011 remake) is charming, handsome …and has fangs. 

Charley figures this out after peeping on Jerry’s date with his binoculars. There are so many times where an immature nerd boy with binoculars has intruded in on some shit: Twilight Zone, the Simpsons when Bart broke his leg and Disturbia to name a few. Mind your neck! 

Anyway, Amy decides that Charley is an immature nerd boy and not worth her virginity. When he shows up telling her about the creature of the night neighbor, she assumes it’s a ploy to get her back. He tells his mom, he tells the police and when everyone thinks he’s a damn idiot… he enlists the help of Amy, pal Evil Ed and a horror host named Peter Vincent to vanquish the bloodsucker.

Jerry is not fucking amused. He sneaks in through Charley’s mother’s window (as a bat. a vampire shapeshifts into a wolf later which makes no sense to me, but whatever). He offers Charley a chance to forget about him and just let him be. Or else. Or else he’ll kill Charley’s mom and turn Amy. Ohhh snap.

All the women as potential fridging victims?

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But what I do like is that Charley feels the need to protect his mom. Lot’s of media with teenage protagonist have the parents written out, usually in some tragic backstory to explain why their child is galavanting around at night acting like frigging Van Helsing and they just could not even be bothered. Charley gets a little of that in that his mom is divorced (hence, he’s “the man of the house” and the protector). 

When they confront Jerry together initially the others had the intention of proving to Charley that Jerry was not a vampire. He drinks “Holy water” and isn’t harmed by crosses. But Peter Vincent notices that Jerry has no reflection. The cross didn’t work because the weilder had no faith… and the Holy water was tap water. Who thought he’d be a real vamp? Once Jerry knows they are on to him he turns “Evil Ed” and sends the boy to do his bidding. Mission #1 Attack Peter Vincent: Mission FAILED. Peter maims him with a cross. Mission #2 Find Charley’s mom: Mission FAILED. Charley’s mom is at work. 

Meanwhile, Jerry chases Charley and Amy. The couple duck into a club. While Charley calls for help, Amy is seduced on the dancefloor. She happens to bear a strong resemblance to Jerry’s lost love (because every vampire is Dracula). And he abducts her. 

Charley and Peter partner up and break into Jerry’s house, they take on a guard and Evil Ed in wolf form. Charley gets taken and brought to Amy… who is turning into a vampire. Peter concludes that she can turn back into a human if they kill Jerry by dawn.

But was it scary? Nope. And Amy was annoying and Charley was stupid. 

Jerry was the quintessential suave vampire next door. The movie would have been better if he seduced Charley’s mom and then Marcy from “Married With Children” saved her along with the kid who looked like Ferris’s friend and the Giles prototype. Because hundred year old grown men who look like 40 year old men dirty dancing with teens is fucking gross.

The effects were really 80s. They were really good for the 80s. 

It’s directed by Tom Holland, who would later direct Child’s Play and Psycho II

I understand why people like this.

But I didn’t really like it.

I gave an extra .5 for ugly vampires.

3/5

And I know I’m going to get hate for that, but the cool parts weren’t played up enough and the characters were fucking wack, with the exception of Sarandon who nailed it as Jerry.

Dracula: episode 8

Dracula is having sexy dreams about his former wife, and then the recollection of armored men breaking in and grabbing her away while he is beaten.

Currently Dracula is staring at Mina’s residence. “There is folly in this obsession.” Renfield tells him.

Mina is snooping around Van Helsing’s things again (last time she did this she created a potential vampire rat. This was never addressed, disappointingly). Her father comes to see what she is doing… and confronts her about the dance he caught between her and Grayson.

Lady Jayne and Davenport decide that there is indeed another elder vampire. (Not just the one she killed at her residence, Grayson’s friend). But the huntsman doesn’t find Grayson. She finds a female vampire (a black woman in fact, this show is beyond white and she doesn’t last long… unfortunately that’s a “thing” on this show) During the showdown, Lady Jayne easily beheads a man and the other woman confesses that dracula himself called her there.

Harker is in trouble. And he’s starting to put two and two together about Grayson, he thinks that Grayson killed the bookkeeper (he did).

Van Helsing can’t believe he killed a police magistrate (he did)

Grayson gets the sunlight serum. While Lady Jayne tells the Order of the Dragon that Dracula is in London. And tells the story of how the Order themselves changed Vlad the Impaler into Dracula. She vows to end it once and for all.

Harker tells Mina how violent and dangerous Grayson is. Mina doesn’t buy it when he tells her to stay away.

Grayson goes to see Lady Jayne. And she breaks up with him. She knows that his heart belongs to Mina, she’s known since she saw them dance at Mina and Jonathon’s engagement party. To his merit; he doesn’t deny it or make excuses… but he does say that he risked his life to protect her (he didn’t). She says that the whole time he was pretending she was Mina. He denies it (but he was).

Mina goes to see Grayson. She tells Grayson what Harker has come to her and said. “I would never lie to you, you have my word.” (but vague answers are us). She bizarrely tells him off, saying that her and Harker will not be used up by him.

Lucy is still inanely flirting with Harker. Harker turns her down flat. She begs for a kiss. He declines. So she tells Harker that Mina has been visiting Grayson. 

Grayson has a class A meltdown.

Harker confronts Mina about going to see Grayson against his wishes. Says that she invents reasons to see Grayson so that she can flirt with him (that’s not wrong… it’s pretty accurate, except that one last time)

A vampire lackey says that Dracula can walk in the day. “Dracula has bested God.” Lady Jayne feeds him some Holy Water he gurgles thick blood.

Van Helsing and Renfield talk business, discuss how they will go after High Council or the Dragon’s Head.

Mina steals Dracula’s blood sample from Van Helsing’s office (again) but as she is leaving 3 men break in. She kicks one in the shin and makes a run for it, but she is surrounded and one man shoves her down the stairs leaving her concussed. The men are primed to torture her (to destroy Grayson) …but Grayson shows up and starts ripping out throats. Then he impales them on the fence outside. Vlad the Impaler: Confirmed.

Harker and Grayson and her father are all at the hospital (if Harker thinks Grayson is a danger why does he let Grayson visit? At one point he even storms off leaving Grayson alone with Mina)

Hackett is Davenport’s man. Grayson tells Harker that the police will never believe him. Harker says that he will confront Davenport himself.

Davenport says Grayson is framing him. That Grayson sent Harker because one of them would be killed and either way he wins, either Davenport is dead or Harker is dead… then Grayson will have Mina. Harker falls to shambles under Davenports ranting and Harker shoots him… he sees the painting of someone looking mostly like Mina that Davenport stole from Grayson… and then heads over to Lucy’s. Lucy is not that into it, of course… but she’s satisfied that this will ruin Mina and Harker’s relationship and Mina will experience the pain that Mina inflicted on her. 

Great episode! Lot’s of vampire stuff happening. Beheadings, Grayson’s class A freak out, violence, lust, less fake science…

Bad stuff: it’s awful that a PoC character will walk on and I already know that they will be dead in 5 minutes. That’s ridiculous. Stop doing that. Also the fact that Lucy is so bitter and repressed and she’s the only LGBT character who is still alive? Not good. 

I hope Mina and Harker break up. I still hate Harker. How is it alright to tell your wife who not to see under the guise of “protecting her” but you leave her with this person while she is unconscious? Only one of those times required your interference and you picked the wrong one, Harker!