Director Tom Holland keeps the picture wonderfully simple and entirely believable (once the existence of vampires is accepted, of course). In a quick 105 minutes, the film simply answers the question of what would probably happen if a charming, but deadly sinister, vampire moved in next door to a likable teenager given to watching horror films on the late show - and the only one the kid can turn to for help is a washed-up actor who hosts the show.
Director Tom Holland keeps the picture wonderfully simple and entirely believable (once the existence of vampires is accepted, of course). In a quick 105 minutes, the film simply answers the question of what would probably happen if a charming, but deadly sinister, vampire moved in next door to a likable teenager given to watching horror films on the late show – and the only one the kid can turn to for help is a washed-up actor who hosts the show.
Chris Sarandon is terrific as the vampire, quite affable and debonair until his fingernails start to grow and his eyes get that glow. William Ragsdale superbly maintains due sympathy as a fairly typical youngster who can’t get anybody to believe him about the odd new neighbor next door.
Roddy McDowall hams it up on the telly as the ‘fearless vampire killer.’ Naturally, when Ragsdale comes looking for help, McDowall is more than aware of his humanly limitations, becoming a consistently amusing, unwilling ally in invading Sarandon’s lair.
Columbia/Vistar. Director Tom Holland; Producer Herb Jaffe; Screenplay Tom Holland; Camera Jan Kiesser; Editor Kent Beyda; Music Brad Fiedel; Art Director John De Cuir Jr
(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1985. Running time: 105 MIN.
Popular on Variety
Kit Harington on 'Game of Thrones' Ending, Women of Westeros
John Lithgow and Laurie Metcalf on Playing the Clintons: 'There's a Tremendous Undertow of Melancholy'
Kevin Costner on Oscar Netflix Controversy: 'Movies Are for Theaters'
Jordan Peele on the Message Behind 'Us'
Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen Weigh in on Theatrical vs. Streaming
Kathy Bates on Netflix Awards Debate: Short Theatrical Releases Are 'Dirty Pool'
The sudden ouster of Warner Bros. Entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara kicked off what is likely to go down as one of the most extraordinary weeks in Hollywood history, spelling enormous turmoil and transition across the media landscape. In addition to the news about Tsujihara, which comes amid a wider shake-up of leadership at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, [...]
More than half of the films playing at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, are directed by women, the Canadian event said Tuesday. The festival’s 26th edition, which runs April 25-May 5, will screen 234 films, with 54% of the directors being women. In the competitive International Spectrum program, notable films receiving their world [...]
Korean distributors are having to fight ever harder for their share of Korea’s theatrical market share. Threats on the horizon include a slide in the performance of local movies, consolidation, the arrival of new players and the challenge from streaming services. South Korea’s theatrical box office is now bigger than that of France or Germany despite [...]
In 2018, the Korean film business stumbled, as local films made with blockbuster budgets and targeting the usual high seasons of Chuseok and Christmas last year failed to deliver blockbuster earnings. So Korean distributors have embraced some tactics to enhance their bottom lines. Genre films “Monstrum,” “Fengshui,” “The Negotiation,” “Take Point,” “Swing Kids” and “Drug King” [...]
Fantawild, the Chinese entertainment group behind the widely popular “Boonie Bears” animated franchise, is for the first time planning to target slightly older viewers with a new IP, “Realm of Terracotta.” Intended for teenagers, the adventure story is expected to hit theaters this summer. Fantawild has produced six “Boonie Bears” films in just seven years, [...]
At a time of heightened scrutiny of tax affairs in China’s entertainment sector, even industry veterans in Hong Kong are struggling to figure out how to operate in the new financial environment and pleading for more clarity from the Chinese government. Hong Kong produces about 60 films a year, three-quarters of which are typically co-productions [...]
IQIYI Motion Pictures, the film production and investment arm of Chinese streaming leader iQIYI, will release animated feature “Spycies” in China this summer, and overseas shortly afterwards. “Spycies” is a Sino-French co-production – a rarity as far as animated films are concerned – and the first animated film that iQIYI has co-produced with foreign filmmakers. [...]