Stars: Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall
Budget: $9 million
Directed by: Tom Holland
I think, but i may be wrong that this was one of the first horror movies I ever watched. It really enthralled me too, I don't know why but it just hit all the right button in young me's head.
Now going back as an adult full of nostalgia has anything changed?
I can with relief say: no not a lot.
I thoroughly enjoyed re-watching this very recently, it's so so much better than the remake too. Not that that is a bad film, it's just they are literally to me at least two different entities sharing a common theme.
This movie has some brilliantly set up pieces very stylishly done too. Such as the night club dance scene, that sticks in my head as one of the best vampire seduction moments in any vampire film i've seen since.
Made for quite a high budget and staring some reasonably big or recognizable names of the time too, such as Roddy and Chris also Amanda Bearse as Charlie's girlfriend Amy.
William Ragsdale also playing the aforementioned Charlie.
So onto the movie We meet Charlie a horror movie enthusiast canoodling and trying to get his girlfriend (Amy) to go a bit further. She's refusing it's then he notices some people moving into the house next-door, at night time. Amy gets peed off and leaves in a huff because she does give into Charlie but he's now more interested in the strange goings on with his new neighbors.
One night Charlie notices Jerry in a window seducing a beautiful woman, being a randy little teen he's getting all excited when Dandrige fangs up and is about to feast on the woman. Gasping and ducking back behind his window ledge, Jerry seems to notice and closes the blinds.
In school it's shown the woman has gone missing, Charlie tries to confide in his friend Evil Ed, he just ultimately takes the piss out of him, we do get a vibe here that Ed is a bit of a low life.
Charlie tries to find out on his own by taking the police over there, explaining he saw the girl there. Jerry's house keeper Billy Cole explains Jerry has been out of town, Charlie blurts out that he believes Jerry is a vampire and the whole thing goes out of the window when Billy pokes fun at this idea. Charlie and the detective leave and he is scolded for wasting police time.
Having been told Jerry can't get him unless the master of the house invites him in Charlie is horrified to find his mother has invited Jerry over, He states he'll be seeing Charlie very soon. Then later on that night Jerry breaks into Charlies room threatening him with death if he doesn't forget about what he saw. When charlie fights back with a crucifix Jerry almost kills him by throwing him from his window, only a pencil stabbed into his hand and Charlies mother shouting scares him off. He does however destroy Charlies car in anger stating he'll do worse to him.
Charlie tries to get help from Peter Vincent a washed up actor who is reduced to introducing horror films shown later at night. He instantly dismisses Charlies rantings only untill Charlie offers him a substantial amount of money just to come and try some tests on Jerry. He finally agrees to it and they go to Jerry's house to give him some tests.
Giving Jerry what Charlie believes is holy water (it's just tap water) he swigs it down no problems, this makes Charlie doubt himself. That is until Vincent uses his cigarette case and notices Jerry has no reflection, dropping the mirror to the floor with a gasp. He makes his excuses and tries to leave as quick as possible.
Charlie notices this and cajoles Vincent into saying what was wrong, he tells Charlie about the lack of reflection but he can't trust it wasn't some other reason. Charlie gets a bit angry at Vincent but the aging actor wants no more to do with it.
Jerry learns the actor had seen what he seen in the mirror and decides enough is enough. He tracks down Charlies friend Ed and turns him into a vampire. Ed then gets sent to take care of Vincent while Jerry goes after Charlie and Amy.
Vincent manages to fight Ed off with a crucifix and decides it's time to get out of town. However Charlie and Amy are chased by Dandrige into a club Charlie tries to call for help but Jerry uses his vampire powers to hypnotize Amy in an exotic dance, she notices he is vampire but is powerless to resist his charms. He takes her back to his home and even though she tries to refuse, Amy is powerless to resist his charms and she is bitten by Jerry.
Charlie heads once more for Vincent's place, he's placed many crosses about and still refuses to help Charlie against Jerry. After a pep talk from Charlie about being a fearless vampire killer, he decides to help. They rush to Charlies house and manage to actually repel Jerry back to his own as Charlie actually feel the faith this time. Chasing him back they are then attacked by Billy who knocks Charlie out. Causing Vincent to run off in fear to Charlies house again.
In Charlies house Vincent is attacked by Evil Ed once more, Ed fully transforms into a wolf. Vincent manages to beat him with a stake, causing a most feeble death on Ed's turn. Charlie awakens in the room with Amy, who is slowly turning into a vampire. He is rescued by Vincent and told they can reverse the effects if they kill Jerry before dawn.
Once more they are attacked by Billy, after Vincent believing he just a normal human shots him in the head. He does indeed fall down dead, however Dandrige mutters some words and he resurrects Billy from the dead. Vincent unloads the pistol into him with no effect, he is finally stopped when Charlie thrusts a stake into his heart. Billy however dies in a very strange way, he seems to melt into a strange green goo, I still to this day have no idea what Jerry calls him or what Billy is.
They then head down to the basement to take on Jerry once and for all.
That's where is stop and not spoil the ending, though i'm sure it's probably obvious by this point what happens. This is by no means a perfect film and the effects especially the full facial masks are a bit aged now, this however doesn't detract from a very very good vampire film. Better than all this glowing diamond skinned bull crap we get these days.
THN awards this corker of a vamp (Vamp hehehe we'll get to that) film 4 stars out of 5.