Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

Fright Night Part 2 never had a fair chance with me... or many fans for that matter. It is a sequel to a beloved 80s vampire flick that is one of the best examples of horror that decade has to offer. It suffered a very limited theatrical release, the artwork for the movie was bad... really bad and it's sole release on DVD was shoddy at best, quickly went out of print and now goes for exorbitantly high prices. Despite all those factors, now that I've finally had an opportunity to see it, I'm a fan.

Fright Night Part 2 is a direct sequel to the first, reprising their roles as Peter Vincent the fearless vampire killer and Charley Brewster the tormented college student are Roddy McDowall and William Ragsdale. Charley is now seeing a shrink to aid him in ridding his "delusions" of vampires that he experienced with Peter Vincent.

The problem is that their apartment building has some new tenants moving in that are strangely similar to vampires. They play mind games with Charley, they show up everywhere he goes and he only sees them at night. Charley is in the predicament of a man trying to fight for his sanity or dealing with the truth.

As the film heats up and winds down the leader of this new bloodsucking group is Regine (Julie Carmen), a seductive vampiress who has taken Peter Vincents job as the host of the late night movie program called what else but "Fright Night". When Peter, Charley and Charley's girl Alex (Traci Lind) realize that the vampires are real, and it is happening all over again they stock up on all of the vampire killing necessities including but not limited to crosses, wooden stake with guns to shoot them, holy water sprayers and so on. The finale is a pretty well executed showdown in the apartment building that will stand up with the best vampire sequences of this era.

Fright Night Part 2 really has a lot going for it, the acting is on par, the effects and makeup are fantastic, direction from Tommy Lee Wallace is on point. The story is a bit on the "been there, done that" side of things but it works. A few points in developing characters hurt the film. Seeing Regine be the leader and establish her dominance earlier would have made this film stronger. Still, this sequel to Fright Night is more than deserving of whatever fan base it has from being a regular bootleg on convention circuit tables. It sure would be nice to see a proper release of it to the home market because the HD print I watched looked pretty nice.


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