Not many vampires these days really do it for me. You have all of the leather clad Underworld vampires, glittery hipster vampires from Twilight and not much else these days. It’s a far cry from actual threatening vampire menaces from Blade and 30 Days of Night. But, to find a true Vampire lord that added equal parts terror and douchey charm into the horror mix, then look no further than Mr. Jerry Dandrige from Fright Night.
Sure the guy might look like Prince Humperdink by day and he wears a terrible red scarf with his leisure suit, but that same cheesy allure makes him one of my favorite horror movie monsters from the ’80s. After all, Fright Night is the movie that truly made me appreciate the glory of ’80s horror movies, and it introduced the young me to my first helping of boobs on-screen back in my day.
If you’re not familiar with Fright Night, Jerry is the new neighbor of Charlie Brewster and his mother, whom young Charlie comes to suspect of being a serial hooker-killer. Turns out he is right, and so starts the cat and mouse game between the two which soon drags in the expertise (or lack there of) of Peter Vincent, the great vampire killer!
Dandrige isn’t particularly scary aside from his initial reveal as a vampire lord, but he is perfect at playing the conniving and woman seducing creature of the night. Chris Sarandon played the role well in the ’80s, but Colin Farrell was able to make the character his own in the 2011 remake of Fright Night.
Awesome Cameo from Sarandon in the remake…
Farrell didn’t have the same cocky swagger of Sarandon’s Dandrige, but you can tell he relished playing the role as evidenced in the movie by his sadistic and sometimes downright creepy performance. The 2011 remake had some subtle differences to be sure, the most notable being the Peter Vincent angle where he is a Vegas performer and master of the dark arts.
It’s hard to find a vampire movie where the bloodsuckers are both scary and enjoyable, but Jerry Dandrige fits the bill nicely.
For more on Jerry Dandrige, check these links…
– Fright Night: Dr, Who, Checkov, and Vampires…
– Grizzly Review: Fright Night (2011)
– #23 – Countdown to Halloween: FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)
Keep an eye out as another character on the Countdown will be revealed every night at 12:01 am for the rest of the month. You’ll also be able to find them HERE.