I don't know many horror fans who have something negative to say about the 80's vampire flick Fright Night. And there aren't many girls I know into horror who haven't claimed Chris Sarandon as one of their very first crushes. Sure he's sporting some poofy, feathery hair and knitwear on men is never really that sexy, but he manages to pull it all off -- particularly in the infamous club scene when he seduces Charlie's (William Ragsdale) girlfriend, Amy (Amanda Bearse).
Sarandon plays Jerry Dandrige -- a dark and debonair vampire with a biting sense of humor. He spends most of his time torturing his geeky neighbor Charlie by doing the deed, so to speak, in his window where he knows Charlie is watching. He also pays Charlie's mom a visit and then goes so far as to turn up in Charlie's bedroom one night. This event winds the high schooler up into a vampire-slaying frenzy, which causes those around him a lot of grief -- including his best friend Evil (Stephen Geoffreys) and his girlfriend Amy. Thing is, Charlie is kind of a douche bag -- he has this ridiculous air of self importance about him, he pretty much ignores Amy when she tries to grab a little snuggle time instead of sex and he's constantly berating his friend Evil. Dandrige is such a Rico Suave badass that you want him to defeat the little jerk. The only thing Charlie has going for him is the veteran vampire killer, Peter Vincent -- played perfectly by Roddy McDowall.
After seeking out the reluctant Vincent for help, the gang goes all Scooby-Doo and pays Dandrige a visit to try and persuade Charlie that he's not really a vampire and it's just a figment of his overactive, horror-loving imagination. While there, Vincent notices Dandrige lacks a reflection in his pocket mirror and Peter and Amy are now convinced. Evil Ed on the other hand isn't, and ends up getting fanged in an alleyway (foreshadowing for the young actor's future career as a porn star?). Charlie and Amy seek refuge in a night club, which boasts some catchy, pseudo new wave tunes, lots of bad hairdos and even worse dancing. When Amy sees Dandrige she instantly becomes hypnotized and follows him as he prowls the club, inching his way closer to her. If I describe the next several minutes of the scene, it's going to make me sound like I'm writing a bad romance novel -- so I'll just say that sexy dancing time happens and after Dandrige destroys a few security guards the newly formed couple takes off.
The first time I saw Fright Night was with my dad, so this scene made for a totally uncomfortable experience -- but that cheesy synth beat remained in my memory forever. Ian Hunter's Good Man in a Bad Time and Give it Up by Evelyn "Champagne" King sport some great vocal chops and really made this sexy but slightly awkward scene fun to watch. Dandrige makes these goofy faces at Amy, there's a lot of Solid Gold dance moves and also this hilarious part where she's falls away from him and the camera cuts away for a moment only to return to her wearing makeup and having hair teased out a mile high. Overall, the scene is like this coming of age moment for many women I know because Dandrige's smooth moves are the epitome of vampiric sexuality. He's attractive, aggressive, charming and even romantic. We see more of that side when it's revealed that Amy resembles his eternal love.
Craig Gillespie has been tapped to direct the Fright Night remake, a long in-development project that seems to finally be gathering momentum. Casting details are still scarce, but Anton Yelchin is reportedly in negotiations to play Charlie. No one knows how faithful this new version of the cult classic will be to the original, but for many fans, it's hard to imagine the club scene done any other way.