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Video Rewind: Something To Sink Your Teeth Into

Updated on September 16, 2019
Brad Savage has a surprise waiting for Geoffrey Lewis in Salem's Lot
Brad Savage has a surprise waiting for Geoffrey Lewis in Salem's Lot

With this being the last day before Halloween, you've probably seen many horror movies throughout the month and here's something you can really sink your teeth into.

Two of the vampire movies are comedy/horror and the other has to be a classic when it comes to turning a novel into a movie (or in this case mini-series).

Vamp is a comedy classic gem which many people don't talk about too much. It stars Chris Makepeace and Robert Rusler as two frat pledges who go to a sleazy bar to find a stripper for a party. When it comes to their initiation into the fraternity, both think the hazing is ridiculous and come up with their own plan.

Since the two are miles from civilization they go to "rich boy on campus" Gedde Watanabe to borrow his car. There's only one car left and rather than charge the boys he asks if he can go along and have them pretend to be his friend for at least a week.

Reluctantly they take him along and on the way see an ad for the After Dark club with exotic stripper Katrina (Grace Jones) as the main attraction.

AJ (Rusler) decides she's the dancer they want and he goes in the back to make the arrangements. The clubs owner (Sandy Baron) discovers later that AJ wasn't traveling alone and has to do some fast thinking to keep the other two in the bar.

While they're in this "classy dive" Keith (Makepeace) has to figure out who Amaretto (Dedee Pfeiffer) is and what he did to her in the past as she pops up as a waitress/stripper from his past.

If you're watching this for the first time and have seen the movie After Hours you'll notice that writer/director Richard Wenk pays homage to that movie in a way but for the teen set. You may even want to watch the commentaries with Wenk, Wantanabe, Pfeiffer and Makepeace. The behind the scenes coverage is just as fun as the movie itself.

If Vamp doesn't get your motor running, then check out Fright Night which stars William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffreys.

There's a new neighbor in Charley's neighborhood and he happens to be a sexy vampire (Sarandon) and Charley (Ragsdale) tries to convince everyone what's happening with the discovery of decapitated bodies throughout the city.

When his mother or police won't take him seriously, he goes to local horror movie host Peter Vincent (McDowall) to try and get his help. Of course he thinks Charley's crazy and dismisses him until his girlfriend Amy and best friend "Evil" Ed offer to pay him.

After accepting the payment, Peter Vincent goes to Charley's the next night and the four pay a visit to Jerry Dandrige's home in an effort to humble Charley.

While there, Jerry goes through a series of tests and passes them until they're ready to leave and Peter accidentally drops a compact mirror. He notices Jerry doesn't have a reflection and is now convinced he's a vampire, so he quickly ushers the kids out of the house and once outside tells them what he discovered before hightailing it home.

Later while Charley and "Evil" are walking Amy home, "Evil" decides to take a short cut through an alley and becomes a victim and Jerry is also successful in taking Amy away from Charley.

Now it's up to him to get her back with the reluctant help of Peter.

However, the one movie which could keep you up all night is Salem's Lot. If the book (by Stephen King) didn't scare you then you'll look at this as yet another silly vampire movie. Don't be surprised if you do find yourself jumping a couple of times.

Salem's Lot was originally a mini-series in 1979 and I'm pretty sure (but don't quote me) the whole series is on this DVD or VHS. It has a multiple cast but I'm going to highlight the non-boring aspect of the movie.

David Soul stars as Ben Mears who returns to his boyhood home of Salem's Lot to write a book about the haunted Marsden house where his aunt used to work. The new occupants (James Mason and Reggie Nadler) keep the evil in the house. Their rouse is that of antique dealers when in fact, Nadler is really a vampire.

As residents of the town begin to disappear, Ben thinks it has something to do with the house and its occupants, but can't prove anything concrete. He begins to ask around and one night when the town's cemetery keeper (Geoffrey Lewis) comes stumbling into a restaurant, his former teacher (Lew Ayres) takes him home after hearing a story about the "sweet dreams" he had the previous night. Of course neither notice the two bite marks on his neck.

Soon they begin to put two and two together and the town is now breeding vampires left and right and it's up to Mears to warn the citizens with the help of his new gal pal Susan (Bonnie Bedelia).

Then there's Mark Petrie (Lance Kerwin) who's out for vengeance for the death of his parents.

If you decide to skip this movie, then I'd recommend reading the book first (providing it doesn't scare you too much- but it will) and then watch the movie. Nearly 40 years later this movie still holds up even with all of the frights.

Chris Sarandon charms Amanda Bearse in Fright Night as Stephen Geoffreys and William Ragsdale look on
Chris Sarandon charms Amanda Bearse in Fright Night as Stephen Geoffreys and William Ragsdale look on

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