Monday, February 16

Fright Night Part II (1988)


Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
104 Minutes / I.V.E. / Cropped from 2.35:1 to full screen

The team of Charley (William Ragsdale) and Peter (Roddy McDowall) are back to do battle with a group of rather sexually ambiguous vamps. Charley's attending a university while trying to coup with the turmoil of his past with the help of a psychiatrist. That is until he begins to have dream-like encounters with the new host of bloodsuckers and might even be gradually becoming one of them himself. Eventually the past becomes all too real again, but can Peter and Charley's new girlfriend save him and save themselves from the terror of fright night once more?

A solid, if not overly impressive sequel that throws enough curveballs into the plot and character development (primarily Charley) to not feel like a simple retread. Both Ragsdale and McDowall slip into to their respective roles like old gloves. McDowall is especially quietly great (again) in his soft-spoken and witty depiction of a retired Horror film great. The new vamp baddies are a bit of a mixed bag. Jon Gries as a reluctant, fun-loving were-man just about steals the show and is wisely featured just as much as his seductive leader. Brian Thompson isn't much to do except look badass and have taste for fine insects. I wasn't too taken by the other two vampires; which is odd since they are the focus. The film certainly isn't as great as the original, but at least it's a far cry from being something akin to Ghostbusters II.

Film: 5.5/10
VHS Picture: 4/10 (the cropping is severe, but the DVD is the same way)
VHS Sound: 7/10

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