One of my favorite silly vampire movies is the original, Fright Night from 1985. It's about a teenager, Charley Brewster, who thinks his next door neighbor is a vampire and no one believes him - who would after all? It is the perfect blend of 80's campy vampire movies with humor, fright and surprises.
This movie stars Chris Sarandon as the mysterious vampire neighbor (who also plays Prince Humperdink in the "Princess Bride", another 1980's classic!) who seduces women into his home to be bitten.
All in all, the teenager Charley spends his nights watching a local TV show about a vampire killer named Peter Vincent. The show is called, Fright Night. (Roddy McDowell plays the TV show host).
Charley, of course, calls upon McDowell to help him investigate and prove that his creepy neighbor is indeed, a blood sucker of the night. McDowell's character is the most entertaining one of the cast. He doesn't believe in vampires and just does the show to collect a paycheck. So it's very entertaining to watch him find out that the neighbor really IS a vampire!
The TV vampire killer is upset because his show is being cancelled so that adds to his motivation (and free time) to help the teen. He discovers with a broken mirror piece that the neighbor is really a vampire, gets scared and runs away at first. Then he eventually resumes his real life vampire killer status. The teen also asks for the help of his girlfriend Amy who comes up with schemes that don't work and eventually gets lured into the vampire's lair herself. The scenes include one where the neighbor confronts the teen in his room and threatens him; this proves for some laughs and fear as well. The teen is awkward and you kinda feel sorry for him but you are rooting for him to "win" and defeat the vampire all the same.
Full of smoke, coffins, vampire lore and myth, and lots of campy dialogue, this entertaining movie is definitely an '80's flick! There is a ridiculous sidekick friend who gets persuaded by the vampire and he provides some good comic relief as well. As viewers, we learn what works against vampires (the vampire crushes the cross in Peter Vincent's hand) since we all know every vampire universe is a little bit different.
So, we eventually we come to find out that the things that we think work against vampires really DON'T! Ahh... no one is safe from vampires now! This movie encompasses the 80's horror genre. It also combines the seriousness and not so seriousness of a horror movie. This is what makes this campy classic so much fun.
I hope the new Fright Night remake doesn't take itself too seriously, or rely on CG and other special effects. The original has practical effects vs. special effects that are more like parlor tricks designed to instill fear. And it works too!!! So, if you haven't already seen the original Fright Night movie, do yourself a favor and rent it right now for a fun way to spend a few hours. Your kids will love it too!
"We kept to ourselves, pondering the mystery of each other." -- Louis, Interview with A Vampire