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Where in the Horror are they Now? The cast of Fright Night!

06.20.2017by: JimmyO

THE CAST OF FRIGHT NIGHT

There are many things to admire about horror legend Tom Holland. You know, the guy that directed CHILD’S PLAY and stuff? Well he also made one of the coolest vampire flicks ever. Of course I’m talking about the 1985 feature FRIGHT NIGHT. While I appreciated what Colin Farrell brought to the role in the hyped up remake, the original is superior by far. And in this weeks edition of Where in the Horror are they Now?, we look at some of the major players who faced off against a new neighbor, one who just happens to be a bloodsucker. So let’s start with the charismatic fellow who was able to seduce so many with his vampire charms. Naturally, I’m talking about Chris Sarandon.

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THEN: Sarandon began his career working on the soap Guiding Light. However, the actor didn’t shy away from genre too much. He was super creepy in the rape/revenge drama LIPSTICK in 1976. He went straight-up supernatural horror alongside Christina Raines in THE SENTINEL in 1977. The actor joined an all-star cast in the dark thriller THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1983. And then of course, he took his good looks and moved into the neighborhood to terrify William Ragsdale in FRIGHT NIGHT. This didn’t end his working relationship with Mr. Holland, because the actor joined Catherine Hicks to fight an evil doll named Chucky in CHILD’S PLAY in 1988.

While he has appeared in a number of cool non-genre flicks including DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975) and the Goldie Hawn comedy PROTOCOL (1984), he has certainly didn’t give up on frights. In 1990, he signed up for WHISPERS, a thrilled adapted from the Dean R. Koontz novel. That same year he appeared in the TV-movie The Stranger Within. The year of 1991 brought the actor to THE RESURRECTED. And then there is the other iconic role. Sure Danny Elfman may have done the singing, but Sarandon brought his charisma full force to Jack Skellington in the timeless holiday classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in 1993. Other genre efforts include DARK TIDE (1994), TEMPTRESS (1995), BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1996), REAPER (2000) and so much more. This dude has had a pretty impressive career folks.

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NOW: So what has the still charismatic actor been up to as of late? You could find him in the 2013 mystery thriller FRANK THE BASTARD, also starring the lovely Rachel Miner. He took on a little romance with the comedy BIG STONE GAP in 2014. The following year you could find Sarandon joining Sarah Silverman in her dramatic feature I SMILE BACK. And for all you Orange is the New Black fans, he checked in for one episode in 2016. As a fan of Mr. Sarandon, it actually surprised me going back and realizing how many impressive projects he has been involved in. Of course I’ll never forget how damn hypnotic vampire Jerry Dandrige was.

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THEN: William Ragsdale is a very funny actor. He was featured in a ton of comedies throughout his career. However, he started out doing scary flicks! Who knew? His first three IMDb credits include the 1979 horror feature SCREAMS OF A WINTER NIGHT. He followed that up with the dark coming-of-age drama SMOOTH TALK featuring Laura Dern in 1985. Needless to say, the same year brought the actor to the world of FRIGHT NIGHT. William was fantastic as Charley Brewster. A likable kid who had to deal with a bunch of non-believers, all the while knowing that everyone he cared about was in danger. Of course, after he finally defeated Jerry Dandrige, Ragsdale also signed up for the sequel, FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2. This time, he had a very vicious Julie Carmen to take on.

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NOW: Since his days of battling vampires, you could find William on television quite a bit. He has been a familiar face as a guest actor on a number of popular series - as well as the lead in the series Herman's Head. The good news is that we may be seeing him back in the genre with a thriller currently “In Development” called HARD PLACE. He is also part of the cast of a horror feature called WHEN THE DEAD LAUGH where he co-stars with another Eighties icon, Morgan Fairchild. And remember that thing about comedy? Yeah, he has one of those in post called ALEX STRANGELOVE. I’ll always be a fan of Mr. Ragsdale. He is still one of my favorite leading men in genre thanks to his work in FRIGHT NIGHT. Seriously, the dude rocked that movie!

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THEN: Finally, we look at the two co-stars that made FRIGHT NIGHT so damn incredible - It’s a shame that the brilliant Roddy McDowall had passed away. The man was a legend on every level. Now when it came to scares, Amanda Bearse didn’t delve into the darkness terribly often. Although she had an awesome cameo in the ridiculously wild THE DOOM GENERATION in 1995. Plus, who can forget her as the nosy neighbor in the hit series Married With Children. Yet it was Stephen Geoffreys as the creepy sidekick Evil Ed who really relished genre with appearances in THE CHAIR (1988), 976-EVIL (1988) and MOON 44 in 1990. After that the actor took a break from mainstream cinema and Bearse took on less acting roles and more directing projects.

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NOW: Bearse has settled into her role as a director. Recently, she worked on the series The Big Gay Sketch Show for 15 episodes. She also took on LESLIE JORDAN: MY TRIP DOWN THE PICK CARPET in 2010. Her most recent credits include two episodes of the short lived Jessie in 2013, and finally the TV-movie Skirtchasers in 2016. As for Geoffreys, he’s back making horror. This includes SICK GIRL (2007), NEW TERMINAL HOTEL (2010), EMERGING POST and BITE MARKS (both in 2011) and LAZARUS: APOCALYPSE (2014). He also has a little something called PIZZA BOY MASSACRE currently “In Production” and THE DIARY OF RANDY ROSE in post. And while it may be time to say goodbye, I beg of you, if you've not seen this incredible flick you should do so now. Like, right now. The cast rocked, the script was fantastic and Holland made an incredible movie. In the immortal words of Peter Vincent and Jerry Dandrige… “Welcome to Fright Night!” 

Extra Tidbit: Which FRIGHT NIGHT do you prefer to sink your teeth into?
Source: AITH

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