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Horror Movie Facts and Trivia: “Fright Night” (1985)

Before there was a shirtless Colin Farrell masquerading as a bloodthirsty vampire, there was Chris Sarandon, who embodied the character of Charley Brewster , a vampire setting up shop in a quiet neighborhood. However, his plans are ruined when his teenage neighbor finds his activities quite suspicious. In this article, you will learn trivia and facts regarding the 1985 version of ‘Fright Night.’

The Plot

Charley Brewster has an interest in watching the occasional old horror movie in the middle of the night, and at first, it seems that his mind is running away with his imagination when he believes that a vampire and his henchman move in next door. As he watches the activities of his neighbors, Charley realizes that he needs help and believes that a washed-up actor, Peter Vincent, has enough experience to help him. Vincent is the host of a TV show called Fright Night. He doesn’t really believe in vampires, but agrees to help for a fee.

The Cast

In the movie, you will see Chris Sarandon as the vampire neighbor Jerry Dandrige, William Ragsdale as the suspicious neighbor Charley Brewster , Amanda Bearse as Charley’s girlfriend Amy Peterson, and Roddy McDowall as aging scary-movie actor Peter Vincent.

“Fright Night” Facts and Trivia

The character Peter Vincent gets his name from two actors that are well-known for their appearances in horror movies , Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.

It took an estimated $9,000,000 to make ‘Fright Night.’ Most of the budget was spent on special effects. It wound up grossing $24,922,237.

In Fright Night, you will see a puppet in the film that was created for, but not used in Ghostbusters (another Columbia Pictures production).

Fright Night followed behind A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge as the second highest grossing horror film of 1985.

Roddy McDowell gained inspiration for his Peter Vincent character from some of the bad actors in films that he used to watch as a youth.

To create a genuine reaction of fright when Charley first sees Amy as a vampire for the first time, the actor Willam Ragsdale did not see the stunt actress in makeup before they were ready to shoot the scene.  

It took up to 8 hours to apply the vampire makeup to Chris Sarandon. For Stephen Geoffreys character (who played Charley’s best friend, Evil Ed), he spent up to 12 hours being transformed into someone that had been bitten by a vampire and turned into a ghoul. He went through this ordeal two times.

In the novel, background information reveals that Jerry Dandrige is at least 400 years old. He was the first to publicly state to the vampire community that chemical additives could increase the nutritional value of victim’s blood to the undead. The novel paints a picture that Dandrige is highly respected within the world of vampires.