Fright Night by The J. Geils Band
Good evening, horror fans. Did you know that all Title Tracks were not created equal? The J. Geils Band did.
Let’s face it, while all Title Tracks are great, some (Fall Break, Don’t Go Into The Woods…Alone) are less awesome than others (The Devil’s Men, Leatherface.)
Hell, there’s even a hierarchy of applicability. The Maniac Cop Rap is less a Title Track than say Scream and Scream Again. Shocker is a truer Title Track than a by-liner like Dream Warriors. And then some Title Tracks simply define the category. Fright Night is just that type of Title Track.
A popular band at the time of release, almost inexplicably tapped by the producers to cut a song so unlike the rest of their catalog you wonder just how the hell it even works. But work it does. Fuck, it works a 70 hour week under the table with no overtime.
It works on Labor Day.
Or more appropriately, and perhaps more criminally,…
It works on Halloween.
And thank God for that, cause your Halloween playlist needs it. You’re Halloween needs in. Hell, you’re life needs It. Listen to it now, and then go watch Fright Night. I just did. It was a great decision.
From that 80’s realm of self aware horror (somewhere between The Monster Squad and The Lost Boys) where characters versed in fictionalized horror find themselves face to face with that horror in the real world, Fright Night follows horror nerd Charlie Brewster as he attempts to prove the new next door neighbor is a terrifying creature of the night.
You got Chris (Prince Humperdink) Sarandon creeping up the joint as 80’s vampire benchmark Jerry Dandrige, Steven Geoffreys being his typical spazzy self as (you’re so cool) Brewster’s pal Evil, and Roddy McDowell just knocking it outta the park as the Cushing-modeled celluloid vampire hunter/ TV horror host, Peter Vincent.
Add to that a fantastic script which balances tone so effortlessly, plus some truly memorable visuals from The Entertainment Effects Group. Fresh off their stint on Ghostbusters, these guys provide another barrage of makeup and creature FX wizardry, not the least of which is one hell of a harrowing reverse werewolf transformation.
It all adds up to a genuine high point in 80’s horror that no fan should miss. A loving nod to the horror of yesteryear and that old Hammer feeling right in the midst of the 80’s slasher onslaught. Whats more? It resonated, made a shit ton of money and endured immensely to this very day.
And the kicker? This awesome Title Track. So perfectly 80’s, so perfectly referential and so perfectly fitting. You can’t fuck with this song.
Welcome to Fright Night.