Monday, September 21, 2009
Films from the Crypt: Episode 9 - Fright Night Part 2 (1988)
Films from the Crypt: Episode Nine - Fright Night Part 2 (1988)
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Tagline: "Welcome back..."
View the trailer
Starring: William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowell, Julie Carmen
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Up until last night, I had never seen the sequel to one of my all time favorite vampire flicks, Fright Night. I really hadn't ever even thought to seek it out. The Artisan DVD has been out of print for a years, making it difficult to find, plus I had never read any good reviews over it to begin with. I thought I'd just let it go the way of The Howling Part 6 and Children of the Corn Part Whatever The Hell They Are On and just not see it.
But, it just so happened that yesterday was a particularly boring, and lazy, day for me, so what better way to spend it than by watching a dubiously acquired copy of Fright Night Part 2? And that is just what I did. And I didn't hate it.
Here's the thing: Fright Night is one of the more beloved genre pictures of the eighties and the reason for that is almost exclusively because of the characters. Everybody loves Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) and Peter Vincent (Rowdy Roddy McDowell) so much that how could making another film with them go wrong? And to a certain extent, the film works like that. We get the familiar characters and we don't ask too many questions because we are getting what we want (SPOILER ALERT: like why is Regine halfway immune to crucifixes because of her age - - but her thousand year old "brother", Jerry Dandrige, wasn't?). The only real problem here is that Charley really isn't Charley anymore - - at least not the Charley we love. For some reason (and yeah, it's because it's an easy/lazy plot device - just reverse roles from the first film) they wrote Charley as the skeptic in this one. He goes to therapy for three years and stops believing in vampires, yada, yada, yada.
But, of course, we still get enough of Charley to keep us watching. Plus McDowell's Peter Vincent (couldn't we call him Cushing Price?) is still spot on and wonderful. Of course, after we get past the characters, most of the film is a mess. You've got plotholes, loose ends, and shit that just doesn't make sense. I'm never really sure whether Jon Gries' character Louie is a werewolf or a vampire that wolfs out because the equally confusing Bozworth character (who deflates and is full of bugs late in the film - some sort of zombie/ghoul?) always tells him to bite Alex on the neck!
Then we've got the rollerskating androgynous vampire and Regine. The rollerskating vampire is just kind of their, but Regine is really the pivotal baddie here. She's Jerry Dandridge's sister and is out for vengeance on Charley and Peter. I don't know why the hell she had to make her self so noticable - going so far as to take over Peter's role on the TV show "Fright Night"! But, there you have it. The entire plot of the film. Not much to it, but it was a decent enough way to kill a Sunday afternoon while eating some ice cream and laying in bed. The movie's not good, but it's not bad. But it was too bad Evil Ed was too busy making gay porn to reprise his character for the sequel.