Director: Tom Holland

Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse

A young man suspects that his new next-door neighbour is a vampire.

You may think you have problems with your neighbours, with their all-night parties and disputes over parking places, but spare a thought for young Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale), who suspects that the mysterious man (Chris Sarandon) who’s just moved in next door is a vampire. Naturally, the cops don’t believe Brewster’s tales of coffins and body bags, and so, fearing for his sanity, Charley’s girlfriend (Amanda Bearse) and nerdy best friend (Stephen Geoffreys) enlist the aid of a down-on-his-luck former horror b-movie star Peter Vincent, Vampire Killer (Roddy McDowall) to disavow his him of his delusions.

Quite a major hit when it was released, in 1985, this witty horror movie may be a bit tame for the Scream generation, but fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer will certainly get a kick out of it. The first half basically builds up the story, and the comedy elements; the second pits the forces of good against evil, (enlivened by some pretty good effects by Richard Edlund).

The disc is very nice indeed, with a clean, sharp anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer (a huge improvement on the severely cropped pan and scan versions available on VHS), and a decent sound mix remastered in 5.1 (at 448kbps). There is virtually nothing by way of extras, sadly, and fans will have to content themselves with a short, letterboxed trailer and skimpy text-based “talent files” (including one for someone called “Rod McDowall”, which sounds like something you’d buy in a Scottish timber yard). It’s perhaps not surprising that they’re not terribly comprehensive: Ragsdale’s career floundered; Geoffreys found a new career in gay porn, and Bearse spent ten years on the lowbrow sitcom Married With Children.







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