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Blu-ray Review Fright Night 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Todd Erwin

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Fright Night 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

When Twilight Time released Fright Night on Blu-ray three years ago, they were quite surprised that all 3,000 copies sold out very quickly. As an attempt to appease fans who couldn’t get their hands on that disc, the studio has released an Encore 30th Anniversary Edition, including fan-made extras that have been circulating on the internet for years, this time with a limited run of 5,000 copies, which, unfortunately, sold out before street date.



Studio: Sony

Distributed By: Twilight Time

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA

Subtitles: English SDH

Rating: R

Run Time: 1 Hr. 46 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

Clear Blu-ray keepcase

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 01/20/2014

MSRP: $29.95




The Production Rating: 4/5

Welcome to Fright Night..... for real.

One evening, while making out with his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) and watching the late night creature feature series Fright Night on television, teenager Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) spots what he thinks is a coffin being loaded into the vacant house next door. The next day, he sees a prostitute exiting a taxi cab and entering the house next door. When the woman is found dead by police, Charley becomes suspicious, until that evening he sees his new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon), begin to transform into a vampire. This prompts Charley to contact the police, who laugh him off after questioning Dandridge’s roommate, Billy Cole (Jonathan Stark). Fearing for his life, Charley asks his friend, “Evil” Ed (Stephen Geoffreys), what he can do to protect himself from being attacked by a vampire. As a last ditch effort, he approaches the host of Fright Night, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell), seeking his protection. Peter Vincent is a former actor, best known for his Van Helsing-type roles in Hammer Studios-style vampire movies, many of which play regularly on Fright Night.

Tom Holland’s directorial debut is a genuinely fun horror film, filled with campy humor and wonderful performances, notably Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell. Sarandon is devilishly charming as the vampire next door, often delivering his lines with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. McDowell is also charming as the down and out actor that has been so typecast as a vampire killer that he must now assume that persona as his new career or risk being killed. William Ragsdale and Amanda Bearse show their comedic talents (both would later star in sitcoms on the FOX network) in these early roles, but the weak link in the cast is Stephen Geoffreys as “Evil” Ed, whose line delivery can be rather annoying, at least until his transformation into a slave vampire. The make-up and visual effects hold up fairly well for a film made 26 years ago, much to the credit of Richard Edlund (Ghostbusters).



Video Rating: 4/5  3D Rating: NA

This appears to be the same transfer used on the previous 2011 Twilight Time release, with a few adjustments. As part of a licensing deal with Sony Pictures, Twilight Time brings Fright Night to Blu-ray in a spectacular 1080p transfer using the AVC codec, preserving the film’s original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and minted from a recent 4k resolution master. While not exactly eye candy, the transfer is an extremely faithful representation of how the film appeared in theaters in 1985. Detail is exceptional, revealing textures in fabrics as well as the talcum powder in Roddy McDowell’s hair. Blacks are deep, while colors are consistent and realistic, never bleeding. Contrast has been slightly increased throughout, resulting in a marginally brighter image than on the previous release.



Audio Rating: 4/5

Like the video, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a faithful representation of the film’s original matrixed stereo surround soundtrack, but with increased fidelity and dynamic range. What was originally a front-heavy mix remains so, with limited use of surrounds and LFE. Dialogue is intelligible and clear, and Brad Fiedel’s synth score has never sounded better. This edition also includes the original stereo mix in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.



Special Features Rating: 4/5

For this 30th Anniversary Edition, Twilight Time reached out to horror-fan websites Icons of Fright and Shock Till You Drop to include commentaries and interviews that have been available online.

Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Tom Holland and Actors Chris Sarandon and Jonathan Stark: Icons of Fright’s Tim Sullivan moderates this “vampires” commentary, with Holland, Sarandon, and Stark lovingly discussing the production.

Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Tom Holland, Actors William Ragsdale and Stephen Geoffreys, and FX Artist Randall Cook: Icons of Fright’s Tim Sullivan and Jeremy Smith moderate this “heroes” commentary, which is just as lively as the previous track, with all involved discussing the production with a lot of passion.

Fright Night Reunion Panel (480i; 54:32): Icons of Fright’s Rob Galluzzo moderates this reunion panel from 2008’s Fear Fest 2, featuring Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Stephen Geoffreys, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark, Tommy Lee Wallace, and Julie Carmen. The video appears to be someone’s home movie, shot with a single camera from the audience, using the camera’s built-in microphone.

Shock Till You Drop Presents Choice Cuts with Tom Holland and Ryan Turek (480i; 10:42, 6:52, 10:44): Shock Till You Drop’s Ryan Turek interviews Tom Holland at his home (broken down into three segments), discussing his earlier career as an actor, then as a writer (and his breakthrough script for Psycho II), directing Fright Night, and ends with a brief tour of Holland’s Fright Night memorabilia.

Vintage EPK (480i; 94:52): The entire electronic press kit, a few generations removed from the original source tape (along with tracking issues and visible time code), includes the J. Geils Band music video Fright Night (in both English and Spanish), on-set interviews with the cast and crew, and TV-safe clips from the movie.

Stills Gallery (1080p): Promotional stills from Tom Holland’s personal collection.

Isolated Music Score: Brad Fiedel's score, in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo.

Green-band Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 1:23)

Red-band Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 1:26)

Booklet Insert with Essay by Julie Kirgo: This is the same essay from the 2011 release, with slightly different artwork and layout.



Overall Rating: 4/5

Unfortunately, all 5,000 copies have already been depleted. For those who purchased but not viewed this disc, be assured you have a true collector’s edition in your hands.


Reviewed By: Todd Erwin


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Malcolm R

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Still don't get why Sony farmed this out to a boutique label. 8,000 copies have sold out almost immediately, and well before street date of either release. Think of how many copies they'd sell, and how much money they'd make, with a traditional release.
 

Raul Marquez

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I wonder how many of those sold were to scalpers, so that they may sell them on eBay at outrageous prices. At this time Twilight Time, from whom I frequently buy, should do another run. ..... and let those scalpers eat their copies.
 

dpippel

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I'd wager that quite a few copies made their way to eBay for sole purpose of turning a profit.
 

Dick

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Not quite sure why a review of this disc is being posted weeks after it became unavailable for anyone to buy except on eBay...


Good review, though, for those considering spending more than $100.00 for a scalper copy.
 

Persianimmortal

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Malcolm R said:
Think of how many copies they'd sell, and how much money they'd make, with a traditional release.

Optimistically they'd sell maybe five times as many copies... but at one fifth of the price, given most people would wait for it to hit the discount bins. Which would result in the same revenue but with much higher production cost and risk.
 

Paul_Warren

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$199.99 copies on Amazon/Ebay right now I wonder who benefits from that the fans or the scalpers...................


I bought the original release direct from TT but someone somewhere is feeding the demand with the questionable decision to put a limited number on this why not just release without the number of copies pressed then genuine fans could all get a copy for the RRP!
 

Tony J Case

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It's a load of f-ing horses---. I would have bought the hell out of this and the Blob '89 - if I had known about it, if I could buy it at my leisure (say if money was tight that month), but I have no time to mess around with this limited edition press run of 30 discs ever. Eat a [], Twilight Time, I'll stick with Shout! where I can get my hokey horror and 80's fixes without these shenanigans.


(edited by Moderator per comment below)
 

DaveF

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11. A site for adults. We assume that everyone here is an adult, and we expect everyone to act like it. This also means that we do not screen or remove content to prevent minors from being exposed to mature subject matter; that decision belongs to their parents or guardians. Nevertheless, we want HTF to remain professional in both tone and appearance. So please do not use profanity to excess, and please do not use any profanity (whether mild or harsh) in the TOPIC/SUBJECT header of a post or thread, because those may appear on the Main Forum Page or on other featured pages. Also, we strongly discourage any use of profanity directed against either another member or someone who may be reading this site (such as a studio executive or movie director). Remember: This is the internet. You never know who may be "listening".
Emphasis added.


Let's please give feedback in the vein of HTF guidelines. I'm editing one post mildly to be closer to the spirit without removing the clear anger the poster has over the unavailability of the movie.
 

DaveF

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Additionally, this is a movie review thread, not Vendor Feedback. If you have further comments on the Vendor I ask you contact them directly or take it up in the retailer feedback forum.
 

Malcolm R

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Paul_Warren said:
$199.99 copies on Amazon/Ebay right now I wonder who benefits from that ....
Certainly not TT. They got $30. The Ebay seller gets $170. I don't see how TT can be happy with that. Not to mention the ill-will they sow in the marketplace among potential (future) customers.

Great review. Sounds like a great disc that most will never have an opportunity to see.
 

Mark-W

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Thanks for the great review, Todd! I bought the original TT pressing and now bought this on version, as commentary tracks are my favorite bonus feature and to get two, both it sounds like for nerds like me, is thrilling. I did not know the origins of this new bonus content and I really appreciate you posting this information.
 

Richard Gallagher

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Dick said:
Not quite sure why a review of this disc is being posted weeks after it became unavailable for anyone to buy except on eBay...


Good review, though, for those considering spending more than $100.00 for a scalper copy.

Just to clarify -


We generally do not receive screeners of Twilight Time releases prior to the release date. The screeners are shipped to us at the same time they are shipped to customers, so you will almost never see a review of a Twilight Time disc prior to the release date.


In addition, this Blu-ray was first mailed to me, because I review TT's Sony releases. However, since Todd had done the review of the first TT release of Fright Night, it didn't make sense for me to review the new one because I never saw the first one. I would not have been able to answer questions about how it compares to the first one.


Finally, it already was sold out before I received it, so there was no urgency to get the review up. The review could be beneficial to an HTF member who may be considering purchasing it from a third-party seller.
 

CobraVerde

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Malcolm R said:
Still don't get why Sony farmed this out to a boutique label. 8,000 copies have sold out almost immediately, and well before street date of either release. Think of how many copies they'd sell, and how much money they'd make, with a traditional release.

Realistically, they probably wouldn't sell half as much, considering that a lot of these copies were bought by scalpers to resell, which currently still sit unsought on eBay. The ONLY reason 2 runs sold out is because of the re-sell potential.
 

Tony J Case

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DaveF said:
Additionally, this is a movie review thread, not Vendor Feedback. If you have further comments on the Vendor I ask you contact them directly or take it up in the retailer feedback forum.

Sorry, sorry - my bad. It's just annoying as . . . fudge . . . . that a pretty cool cult classic flick (on apparently a pretty solid disc) was released in such a mind blowingly stupid way. I'll shut up now and redirect my anger towards the appropriate venue.
 

RolandL

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CobraVerde said:
Realistically, they probably wouldn't sell half as much, considering that a lot of these copies were bought by scalpers to resell, which currently still sit unsought on eBay. The ONLY reason 2 runs sold out is because of the re-sell potential.

Currently selling between $70 and $90 on eBay.
 

DaveF

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Tony J Case said:
Sorry, sorry - my bad. It's just annoying as . . . fudge . . . . that a pretty cool cult classic flick (on apparently a pretty solid disc) was released in such a mind blowingly stupid way. I'll shut up now and redirect my anger towards the appropriate venue.
I understand. But look, it's too late to close the barn doors after the mares have gotten out and eaten your children. :)
 

FanboyZ

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It's all down to scalpers, in reality this sells about 8-1100 copies and dies in the bin at walmart with Night of the Creeps.
 

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