The B-Movie Film Vault

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Review: Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

5 min read

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FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 (1988)
Rated R / Color / 104 minutes
Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Also Known As: Noche de miedo II
Purchase it: Amazon.com (Blu-ray) | Amazon.com (DVD)
Guest review contributed by Ryan Brewer.

WARNING: THIS GUEST REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS!

FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 picks up three years after the events of the first film: Surprisingly, the vampiric Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) took the rap for all the deaths in FRIGHT NIGHT and was branded a serial killer. Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is presently at college and has a new girlfriend named Alex (Traci Lind). She is a real upgrade considering his high school love interest was Marcy Darcy from Married With Children. (Editor’s Note: Contrary to Ryan’s opinion, I personally found Amanda Bearse to be somewhat attractive in the first FRIGHT NIGHT!) Charley also keeps in touch with his vampire-slaying friend Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell), who is doing quite well hosting his revived midnight movie horror show.

Ah yes, things are just going great for our two heroes, but that is all about to change once Regine (Julie Carmen) rolls into town. Posing as a “performance artist,” Regine is actually the bloodsucking sister of Jerry Dandridge, and has come to exact revenge on Charley and Vincent! And she has brought along a trio of hench-creatures to help: The physically imposing, and bug-ingesting ghoul Bozworth (Brian Thompson), the lycanthropic Louie (Jon Gries, who also played the “Lock me up! I’m a werewolf!” guy in THE MONSTER SQUAD), and a silent roller-skating vamp named Belle (played by longtime Hollywood dance choreographer Russell Clark).

Together they concoct a plan to ruin Peter Vincent’s career, and turn Charley into a vampire so that Regine can torture him for all eternity! Eventually Peter musters up the courage to take on Regine and her crew, and teams up with Alex to rescue Charley from eternal damnation! Will Regine’s evil machinations come to fruition, or will Peter and Alex come out on top?! To find out you’ll just have to watch FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2!

First off I am officially calling this film the DIE HARD 2 of horror sequels. FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 follows all of the same beats established in the first film but manages to up the ante. The original movie features one lead vampire and a ghoul, while this followup begins with three vampires and a ghoul. (Editor’s Note: While Louie is considered by many to be a werewolf, he is actually a vampire.)

John Gries as "Louie" in FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 (1988)!
Or maybe he’s a WERE-VAMP?!

The ghoul in this movie, Bozworth (named because of the actor’s resemblance to Brian Bosworth), is a definite stand-out with cool as ice Brian Thompson playing the character. This guy is a real Renfield, eating bugs whenever he finds them, and declaring an insect’s genus and species before munching on their sweet chitin. It is also worth mentioning Roddy McDowell as Peter Vincent – He is excellent in this film, and brilliantly reprises his role as the cowardly but resilient vampire killer!

My only complaint about this movie is that some of the goofy comedy bits don’t quite work, but other than that FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 has my blessing! If you have never seen this sequel, check it out! The special effects do not disappoint, and should be a real treat for those of you exhausted by today’s bland CGI shenanigans! I really enjoyed Tommy Lee Wallace’s sequel to the Tom Holland original and think it deserves a rating of:

While you can watch an HD copy of FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 on YouTube (CLICK HERE), most of ya’ll know that the movie is not currently available on DVD or Blu-Ray in the U.S. Seeing as how I been wanting to own a widescreen presentation of this movie for years, I finally took the plunge and ordered the movie from Spain via Amazon/es. The disc came in this week and I finally had a chance to check it out….

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Packaging: FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 comes in a standard Blu-ray amaray case, and its cover art features the same design as the original theatrical one-sheet. I prefer this design over the white cover found on the U.S. VHS & DVD releases – it definitely looks right at home sitting next to my Blu-ray copy of the original FRIGHT NIGHT.

Audio & Video: This Blu-ray of FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 is a Region Free import from Spain, and appears to be a legit factory-pressed disc. It offers up both English and Spanish audio tracks. Track #1 is in Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) and since Dora The Explorer wasn’t a thing when I growing up, I decided to watch the film with the alternate English 2-channel DTS track. The audio was good with no hiss, snaps, crackles, or pops. It was not super dynamic in any way, but the music in the film had plenty of fidelity and I could always hear what all the characters were saying.

Up until now, I have only seen FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 in fullscreen, so seeing it in a (2.35:1) widescreen presentation was a revelation! The picture quality is very good: Nothing earth-shattering mind you, but good nonetheless. During closeup shots of the characters, you can see sharp detail on the fabric of their clothing, and clearly see their pores and skin imperfections. There is no denying that this is a legitimate HD transfer!

Julie Carmen as Regine Dandridge in FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 (1988)!
In Julie Carmen’s case, you can see that she has NO skin imperfections in stunning HD!

Now for the bad news: There were several instances of judder in the picture during the playing of the disc. The first of which was at the 07:38 mark (as seen HERE), and lasted f0r only a split second. Two similar errors occur later on at these time stamps – 1:12:27 and 1:43:36. The film doesn’t freeze up, and it didn’t cause a  “hiccup” with the audio, but it is still a bit distracting.

I tested this Blu-ray disc in three different players to see if the errors persisted: My PS3 would not boot up the movie, but I have had that issue with foreign discs in the past. FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 played fine on my Sony 4k player and my Seiki blu-ray player but I still experienced the same problem at the time intervals listed above. I can’t say for sure if this issue is on all of the discs, so if you own this disc, please provide confirmation for us in the comments section below!

Extras: The original theatrical trailer.

Final Verdict: Though I was a little disappointed with this release, I guess I can’t complain too much since the disc was fairly inexpensive (it cost a little over ten dollars). And since I have no idea when we’ll get a stateside release, this Blu-ray will just have to do. Despite the lack of extras and minor video imperfections, I’m just happy to own a physical copy of FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2, and have decided to give this Spanish Blu-ray release a (rather generous) rating of: