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Posts Tagged ‘William Ragsdale’

Mannequin: On the Move

Monday, May 17th, 2021

May 17, 1991

On this day, Craig R. Baxley’s STONE COLD starring Brian Bosworth opened. It’s genuinely one of my favorite movies, which is why I reviewed it in 2005 and then again in 2007 when it first came to DVD and then again in 2015 when One Perfect Shot published my piece Strictly Bozness: The Fiery Majesty of ‘Stone Cold’. And I admit it would’ve been pretty fuckin cool for me to somehow squeeze yet another piece out of it for this series, but I did not. Instead, please read Strictly Bozness and then we’ll move on to another May 17th, 1991 release that is seriously lacking in motorcycle-on-helicopter violence, among many other failings.

I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but it is a fact that the sequel to MANNEQUIN – part two #2 of Summer 1991 – is called MANNEQUIN: ON THE MOVE. There is no number in the title. The video covers have it as MANNEQUIN 2: ON THE MOVE and the theatrical poster says MANNEQUIN TWO: ON THE MOVE (important for “on the move” to be underlined) and I’m a fan of sequels that spell out their numbering, but I try to stick to on screen titles only. So really the MANNEQUIN franchise saga of properties understood it was the ‘90s and that pretty soon it would be in vogue to drop the numbers and just use subtitles (HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE, ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, etc.)

It’s not like a road trip or chase movie or anything, it’s more of a rehash but, do you get it though? It’s ON THE MOVE because mannequins normally don’t move but this one moves so it’s on the move. That’s why it’s a good title.

Note: I did watch the first MANNEQUIN (1987) in preparation for this, did not feel I had a full review’s worth of thoughts on it, and had almost completely forgotten it a week later when I watched this. So forgive me if I mix up any of the Mannequinverse mythos.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Fright Night Part II

Friday, October 27th, 2017

FRIGHT NIGHT PART II came out three years later, in 1988. Part I‘s writer-director Tom Holland had moved on to CHILD’S PLAY, bringing Chris Sarandon with him. Makeup FX genius Steve Johnson was doing NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4. It was the year of PUMPKINHEAD, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II, THE BLOB, THEY LIVE, MONKEY SHINES, MANIAC COP, THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, PHANTASM II and PAPERHOUSE. Maybe the world didn’t feel the need to rehash FRIGHT NIGHT. But somebody was gonna do it, and they got William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall to come back as Charley Brewster and Peter Vincent.

In the opening, a quick clip montage (as was the style in those days) and Charley’s narration recap what happened in the first film, only for him to then say that he imagined most of it. Yes, Jerry Dandridge was a serial killer, but “vampires aren’t real.” Charley says he’s returning to “the real world” after three years so I thought he’d been hospitalized, but I guess he just means he’s mentally returning to a world where monsters don’t exist. He says he’s worried he’ll run into Peter Vincent, which is weird because in the next scene he goes to visit him. (read the rest of this shit…)

Fright Night

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

I remember thinking FRIGHT NIGHT was pretty good in the ’80s, but honestly I was skeptical that it would hold up as well as its reputation. I should never have doubted! Writer and first time director Tom Holland (CHILD’S PLAY) revived the classical style of vampire tale for 1985, now souped up with some of the hallmarks of the era: quirky teen comedy, postmodernism/nostalgia, and most of all imaginative, gooey, wonderful creature effects. I was surprised by how much of that last one we get.

This is the age of home video and having a TV in your bedroom, so our teen protagonist Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale, ROAD HOUSE 2: LAST CALL, Justified) is very familiar with horror movies, having watched many of them as presented by the local horror host and former star of Hammer-esque vampire films Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall, CLASS OF 1984 [which was written by Holland]). In the opening scene he’s got Vincent’s show “Fright Night” on in the background while he attempts to make out with his reluctant girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse, Married… with Children). Then he happens to look out his window and sees his new next door neighbor Jerry Dandridge (Jack Skellington himself, Chris Sarandon) getting it on with a woman who is found murdered the next day. After some spying Charley sees Jerry turn into a bat and have fangs and claws and suck blood, so he determines that Jerry is a vampire who is luring women to his house and killing them. For some reason nobody believes him. (read the rest of this shit…)