Few horror writer/directors deliver diverse, consistently high-quality entertainment like Tom Holland. With close to 40 years in the Industry, Holland has produced some of horror’s most enduring classics with films like: Child’s Play, Thinner, Psycho II, and The Beast Within. But for genre fans who came of age in the 1980’s (like myself), Holland’s opus was and is 1985’s Fright Night!
We were lucky enough to connect with Tom Holland recently to discuss Fright Night, celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, as well as the upcoming documentary: You’re So Cool Brewster. Enjoy!
The Blood Shed: Are you surprised by Fright Night’s staying power and cultural impact?
Tom Holland: Yes, totally. For 15, 20 years it seemed like it had a small group of devoted fans. And then the last 10, 15 years it’s been growing. I think [Fright Night] is inter-generational, a film parents can share with their children… and now grandchildren. Back in the day it was an R, but now… not so much.
And there was fun to the FX, even Billy melting, that is yucky, but not gory. It was my love letter to the fans (of which I was one), and it has humor and heart. I think those 2 qualities, especially heart (as embodied by Roddy McDowell, doing the Cowardly Lion, known as Peter Vincent) have made [Fright Night] last.
Tom Holland directing Roddy McDowell in Fright Night
TBS: What are your fondest memories of filming Fright Night?
TH: The entire experience was a joy. We all had fun. You can feel it in the show. Perhaps the rehearsals, two weeks, where the cast and I bonded, and we made it come alive. I’ve never had that much fun with a cast since. Beginner’s luck! Also, the pros, Roddy and Chris Sarandon, were very supportive—and enjoyed rehearsing. You could feel the acting getting stronger and stronger with the ensemble cast pulling together.
Chris Sarandon and Tom Holland on the set of Fright Night
TBS: What did you find most challenging about filming Fright Night?
TH: Surviving the studio who came after me in the last few days to cut, because I was two days over schedule. I had a sequence on the roof with Jerry that I had to cut.
TBS: What did you think about the 2011 remake of Fright Night? Be honest!
TH: Kudos to them on every level for their professionalism, but they forgot the humor and the heart. They should have called it something other than Fright Night, because it had no more than a passing resemblance to the original. What they did to Jerry Dandrige and Peter Vincent was criminal. Outside of that, it was wonderful [said with a smile!].
TBS: Tell us about the upcoming documentary for Fright Night (You’re So Cool Brewster).
TH: I have high hopes [for it]. The people behind it did a great job with the Hellraiser [documentary, Leviathan], and they love Fright Night. Perhaps also the rising interest will get Sony to release a Blu-ray, instead of now two limited releases. Asleep at the wheel over there. The majors have no respect for their catalogues, except as money machines.
TBS: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
TH: I love you all, and thank you for your support!
TBS: We love you too Tom!
Those interested in keeping up with the production of You’re So Cool Brewster: The Story of Fright Night can “Like” the Facebook page: HERE. . Just yesterday, it was announced that Hellraiser alum, Simon Bamford (who played the Butterball Cenobite) will “Host” the film as Peter Vincent, Vampire Killer with makeup by Stuart Conran (Shaun of the Dead).
In the meantime, Tom is keeping busy with his website, Tom Holland’s Terror Time, where fans can purchase autographed movies, posters, scripts and photos at extremely reasonable prices. It’s a great was to own an actual piece of horror cinema history. Autographed copies of Twisted Tales will be coming soon. Visit Terror Time: HERE.
Tom’s also got some great “Singles” for your Kindle available from Amazon for only $0.99 each; check them out:
Glitter, Shrunk, Suzi-69, The Boy.
Can you believe Fright Night is 30 years old? Are you excited about the upcoming documentary You’re So Cool Brewster? Sound off in the Comments section!
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[…] You can read my entire interview over at The Blood-Shed: HERE. […]