Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 14: Phil sees the FRIGHT NIGHT/CHILD'S PLAY double feature at the Castro Theatre-October 14, 2011

Welcome back to Day Fourteen of Phil's Horror Watch! Tonight my friends and I journeyed back up to San Francisco, where at the world famous Castro Theatre, they were having a fantastic 80's horror double feature! So let's not waste any time people!!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1985)
The first film of the night was the classic (and original) FRIGHT NIGHT! Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a huge fan of traditional Gothic horror films. He stays up late at night to watch the horror movie TV series "Fright Night" hosted by Hammer Horror style actor, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell), who played a vampire killer for many years in horror movies. He also has a great girlfriend named Amy Peterson (Amanda Bearse) and a wacky friend named "Evil" Ed (Stephen Geoffreys). But when he suspects that his new next door neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) is a vampire, his only hope to saving his life, and Amy's, is to enlisted the aid of the renowned vampire killer himself.

I love this movie! Sarandon is fantastic in the film, and brings a new form of sophistication to the vampire mythos. Charming still, but with a fresh 80's sense of style and behavior. Plus when he's in his full vampire mode, watch out!! Great acting, great story, and great special effects equals a classic horror film! And to see the film projected on the humongous Castro screen was incredible! Also the film was from an original 35mm print, so it had all the lovely scratches, pops, and it looked awesome! The film was distributed by Columbia Pictures and originally released to theaters on August 4, 1985.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1988)
The second film was another 80's horror classic that, in my humble opinion, still holds up. CHILD'S PLAY is about Charles Lee Ray, the serial killer known in Chicago as "The Lakshore Strangler" (portrayed by Brad Dourif). Trapped in a toy store by Chicago Detective Mick Norris (once again Chris Sarandon), Ray chants a voodoo spell that transfers his soul into a child's doll named Chucky. Soon he's bought by Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) for her son Andy's (Alex Vincent) birthday. Once Alex tells of Chucky's true identity, it might too late for him, as Chucky plans to transfer his soul into Alex's body.

Once again a great 80's horror film that, at the time, was going to be just one film. The film's distributor United Artists sold the right of the film to Universal, who then churned out FOUR sequels. While some of those films are forgettable, the original still stands up. Plus, the Chucky doll is downright creepy. Dolls that come to life are always creepy, and to watch it on the Castro screen made it even creepier! Again, the film came from a 35mm print, and like  FRIGHT NIGHT, had all the same scratches, hisses, an pops that you can only get from celluloid! The film was originally released to theaters on November 9, 1988.

Another great time at the Castro Theatre! If you would like to know more about their film schedule, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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