Vampires on roller skates. Did you need to read that more than once? Go ahead, read it one more time. Vampires on roller skates. Keep that in mind for later.
The original Fright Night is one of my favorite horror films of the 1980s. More than that, it’s one of my favorite horror films ever, especially within the sub genre of “1980s Vampire Horror”. In fact, within the oddly specific sub sub-genre of “1980s Vampire Horror Movies Starring Actors Also Appearing In The Princess Bride And/Or Planet of the Apes”, it’s right at the top of my list. That is why the 1988 sequel, brilliantly titled Fright Night: Part II, should have been “fangtastic” (I am so sorry).
Unfortunately, since you’re reading this review on a website called BadSequels.com, you can probably guess how it turned out.
The film opens with Charley Brewster, the first film’s protagonist, speaking to a psychiatrist about the events of the previous film (IE: watching a vampire move in next door, then kill some people, then attempt to turn his best friends against him). Apparently Charley is seeing the best psychiatrist in the world, because he is now convinced that all of what he had witnessed were merely hallucinations. That Jerry Dandridge was just your normal, average, run-of-the-mill serial killer who simply pretended to be a vampire and tried to kill Charley and his friends (plus, I’m pretty sure Jerry banged Charley’s girlfriend, which is not cool).
It’s revealed that Charley is actually in college now, presumably far away from the place where everything went down originally, and even has a brand new girlfriend. Although, why he would dump Amanda “Marcy Darcy” Bearse is beyond me. Everything seems to be going quite well for Charley, he even takes such bold steps as to take his vampire killing kit and throw it in the garbage (if only he had held on to it and sold it on eBay, he’d be rich). All of this before he, and his girlfriend, spend a lovely evening at Peter Vincent’s apartment, during which Vincent regales them both with the tale of how he killed a real vampire that one time. That one time Charley was actually present for.
Charley breaks it to Peter that he no longer believes a single damn word he is saying, which Peter doesn’t really take well, and they begin arguing. Until Charley notices a black limo outside and a bunch of coffin shaped boxes being hauled into the building below.
Of course, as you can probably guess, this is pretty much where everything goes downhill for poor Charley Brewster. And the viewer.
Enter the loveable group of misfit vampires that will go on to make Charley’s life a living hell for the rest of the film.
This group consists of:
Regine A seductive, racially ambiguous temptress who, in a twist, actually has a link to the first film.
Bozworth (portrayed by Brian Thompson, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kindred: The Embraced and, of course, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation) a very large dude who only seems to eat bugs.
Belle, the ambiguously gendered vampire on roller skates (I told you I’d come back to that).
And Louie (portrayed by Jon Gries, of LOST and Napoleon Dynamite) who is a vampire or a werewolf or something. It’s never really clear.
From here on out, all hell breaks loose. Charley is forced to ignore years of very expensive psychiatry and believe in vampires again. There’s a couple of dance sequences, a scene in which a girl is hunted down by the aforementioned vampire on roller skates (is this the first film to feature a vampire on roller skates? More importantly, will it be the last?), and a fight in a library. So much going on, none of it very good.
Do I enjoy this movie? Yes. God help me, I do. But it’s bad and the people responsible for it should feel ashamed of themselves.
In closing, as you read this review and think to yourself “Should I bother watching this at all?”, I leave you with this:
Vampires on frigging roller skates.