Sunday, September 20, 2015

Brief Thoughts - FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 (1988)


The other night I rewatched FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 (1988) for the first time since I caught it in its brief theatrical release. I remembered it being pretty good and this viewing cemented that recollection. Indeed, it is a very good sequel and has many qualities unique to it that make it much more than a retread of the material. Advancing the story the three years between movies the script plays smartly with the fallout of the previous film's events with Charlie Brewster using psychotherapy to deal with the past while Peter Vincent continues as a TV horror host with the added confidence of a real vampire killer. All is well until Jerry Dandridge's undead sister comes to town looking for the men that offered her sibling. Whoops!


Having Roddy McDowall and William Ragsdale back in their roles makes this thing work brilliantly with their character's relationship being a seamless continuation of the first movie's story. They are great together and it's always a treat to see McDowall given so much time onscreen with such a juicy role. Director Tommy Lee Wallace confirms his place as the 1980's best crafter of series sequels with this and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982) to his credit. Oh, and Brad Fiedel returns to update his excellent score from the first film as well. This is really well done! Now it just needs a good video release, huh? I just learned that the film was only released on 148 screen in North America in 1988 which just goes to show that this film has never gotten the respect I think it deserves. Glad I saw it back then and I'm glad I got to see it again.



9 comments:

Nick Rentz said...

I don't like it as much as the first, but I do think it's quite good. Seems to divide fans of the original, however. Some think it's better while others hate it.

Rod Barnett said...

It's not better than the first but it is quite good.

Steven Millan said...

The one sad thing about this fun sequel is how theatrical distributor New Century severely treated it so badly,since they canned its original 1988 nationwide release for the Gene Hackman boxing drama SPLIT DECISIONS and then dumped FN2 into a few scant theaters and downtown grindhouse theaters in 1989(for a very brief time). Had they sold the film to New Line Cinema(when that company was hot with horror cinema),it would had been an instant success. It truly needs a proper widescreen DVD/Blu ray release,since I can easily sense Shout!/Scream Factory leaping all over this one if they were given the chance(at nabbing the film's distribution copyrights).

Nick Rentz said...

Yeah, it was treated like a straight to video feature by the studio.

Rod Barnett said...

Wow! So it might have been 1989 that I caught this theatrically. Actually, given who I saw it with that might be more accurate.

Hunter said...

Roddy McDowall

Sorry, there's a law that says I have to correct all misspellings of McDowall. I stay busy.

Hunter

Rod Barnett said...

Noted and corrected!

Hunter said...

Thanks! :)

Hunter said...

BTW, I agree, FN2 is a very good film. Not as good as the original, but a fun film (and much better than the woeful remake a few years ago). It's always great to see Roddy....

Hunter