“Welcome to Fright Night. For Real!” Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) welcomes a few guests into his home. Shame they welcomed him into their own. Fright Night is one of the more beloved examples of vampire films in the 1980s. Respecting the older examples while adding more than a few hallmarks that entered vampire lexicon in the years that followed. Fright Night was an auspicious debut for director/writer Tom Holland. How does this film-of-its-era hold up to modern scrutiny? There’s only one way to find out… via your ear-holes!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 109 – Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night has a love for the classics. Then again, that’s a given with it’s lead Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) being such a fan of old school horror. He loves watching Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) hosting the nighly edition of Fright Night. To the point of ignoring his girlfriend Amy’s (Amanda Bearse) advances. However, it may seem like Charley’s love for the macabre may be getting the best of him when he sees his new neight Jerry feasting on young flesh. The entire neighborhood doesn’t believe him, except for his clingy overexcited friend Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys). Things become abundantly more clear as Peter Vincent becomes involved, realizing that Jerry doesn’t even have a reflection! What a Fright Night indeed.

Joining Doc Rotten, Christopher and Thomas this time is Gruesome Magazine writer Joey Fittos, who puts Fright Night in his own top 10 films of all time. The four discuss the various aspects that keep Fright Night relevant to this day. The effects work lives up to modern scrutiny. Any moment of dated 80s cheese works to the thematics at play. Even the subtextual queer elements are up for grabs, given this is a story of people trying to belong. It’s a packed discussion that shows just how varied and wonderful Fright Night truly is as a film! After all, no matter how annoying Evil Ed may get, he still thinks Brewster is “so cool!”

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.


Doc Rotten
Editor-In-Chief / Founder / Podcast Producer at Horror News Radio
Doc Rotten is the founder of Gruesome Magazine. He is also a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and the podcast host & producer for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast and Hannibal Fan Podcast. He is also co-host of the Dracula podcast on TV TALK and is a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior.

Doc a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist. Still a huge fan of horror films from the 70s, Doc continues consuming horror films to this day for the site, for the podcasts and for the fun of it all.

4 thoughts on “[Podcast] Fright Night (1985) – Episode 109 – Decades of Horror 1980s”

  1. Thanks for your interesting and entertaining comments on this film. I haven’t watched this in quite a while but I remember liking it and even liking the poor cousin sequel to a degree.

    Damn you guys, now I’m going to have to pick up a copy of this film. I’m also going to have to view the remake which I skipped over entirely and never watched- because they usually suck. I suppose if Thomas thought the remake was at least ok it may be worth a watch.

    Again, great podcast. The enthusiasm and affection for the film displayed by the crew- especially Joey is as entertaining as the film itself to me. Keep up the good work.

    1. John,
      Thanks so much for listening and for your kind words; really glad you enjoyed it as we had a blast recording it. Fright Night is for sure one of my favorite movies of all time. The remake takes it in a totally different direction but is really good too in my opinion, not as good as the original but very enjoyable for different reasons. I picked up the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray by Twilight Time with the extras on it including the documentary You’re So Cool Brewster. Can be found on Amazon and EBay. Again thanks for listening!

      1. Joey, are you the host who does artwork? If so, where can i see your work?
        Just wondering because I’m an electronic musician sort of working in the Carpenter-esce analog type sound right now and i plan to come out with an album later this year. thanks

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