Description: Three years after the vampire was destroyed in Fright Night, his sister – in the guise of a mysterious performer – seeks revenge on the heroic duo who carried out the staking.
First of all, that description up there doesn’t do this movie the justice it deserves, but it was the best one I could find online. This is a pretty solid horror movie sequel that nobody seems to know about, and I’ll hit some of the reasons for that at the end of this recap.
While I don’t have the same attachment to this one as I do the original Fright Night, I’ve seen it a few times and really enjoy it. In this one, they flip it from Charley screeching about vampires and having no chill, to Peter Vincent being convinced there are vampires and Charley no longer believing. There are some new elements added to the mix, while still keeping the Fright Night vibe going. I can’t say I love this one as much as the original, but it’s still a lot of fun.
Hey, folks! Lately I’ve been hearing/reading that a lot of people think horror in the nineties sucked. Different people seem to be referring to different things – quality of movies, or the variety of movies available. I’m baffled by this opinion, as the nineties had so many great movies, and a huge variety of horror sub-genres. Seriously, the nineties couldn’t figure out what they wanted to be, so they threw everything at us. And that’s a good thing! It resulted in a decade that assured that no matter your personal horror tastes, there would be something there to please you. It was the decade that either kicked off or continued dozens of huge horror franchises. Hell, it was the decade of the Stephen King miniseries! A terrible decade for horror? I . . . I don’t understand these words coming out of your mouth. (Or your Twitter, or your Reddit, or your . . . well, you get the picture.)
So, take my hand and join me on this journey through the nineties, year by year, as we explore the best the decade had to offer.
Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 episode 15, “Phases”
Writers: Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali
Director: Bruce Seth Green
Originally Aired: January 27, 1998
Description: Buffy and her friends discover secrets about themselves as they battle a werewolf, its hunter, and their own emotions. (From IMDb)
I love Buffy, y’all. Even with my less-than-stellar opinion of Joss Whedon, I still love Buffy. I have a complicated relationship with some of the problematic elements of Buffy, but this particular episode keeps those problems to a minimum. I think. Xander is still awful, because he usually is, but somewhat less so than in some other episodes. If I remember correctly, this is the first werewolf episode of the series, and even though I’m sure a lot of you guys have seen it, I’m still not going to spoil anything before its time, no worries.
I didn’t start watching Buffy until the end of Season 3, and then I mostly started watching it because I was a huge Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan, and I discovered that Armin Shimerman (Quark) played Principal Snyder on Buffy. Um, the end of Season 3 was a bad place to start watching for him, y’all. But I fell in love with the show and started watching regularly, and watching from the beginning. I think the only reason I didn’t watch it when it first started airing was because I wanted to believe I was Cool Girl™ who didn’t fall in line with mainstream girly crap. I was a judgmental idiot who had shitty opinions on things I’d never given a chance.
Collection: The Cat-Dogs and Other Tales of Horror
Editor: A. Finnis
Published: August 1995
Description: What are they? They’re not exactly dogs. They’re not really cats. They have teeth like a dog’s and claws like a cat’s. They’re the perfect combination of two of our best-loved pets. There’s only one problem: Cat-dogs love to hunt. Humans.
[And now I have the Misfits’ “Hunting Humans” stuck in my head. Thanks a lot, whoever wrote that description.]
Okay, so this full moon we’re not getting werewolves – we’re getting cat-dogs. I ran out of time to recap anything but a short story, and I didn’t have an actual werewolf story immediately at hand. Next month we’ll go back to the regular format, but for now, the concept of cat-dogs intrigues me. They sound absolutely beautiful, but I’m getting ahead of myself. And just to get things out of the way, no, the cat-dogs are not this:
I must have read this once or twice back when it first came out – I have the copy I bought back in the day, and it’s in near-perfect condition. I don’t remember the specifics of the story, but I always remembered what the cat-dogs looked like, except I remembered them being bigger. Oh, well. And just so you know, the cover art isn’t exactly how they’re described, and not exactly how I pictured them in my head. Okay. Onward!
Description: Maris can’t bear her mother’s painful criticism, the constant reminders of past mistakes. So when she takes a summer job as an au pair in England and her mother insists she won’t be able to handle the responsibility, Maris knows this is her chance to prove that she can make up her own mind about things.
Barb Forrest suffers from a strange fatigue disorder and is grateful for Maris’s help with the two young children. For Maris, it feels good to be needed. Barb’s husband, Derek, may be a bit odd – unpredictable, with a wild light behind his eyes – but life with their family is peaceful, like a dream.
Then everything comes apart when Barb is found dead on the bedroom floor, killed in a disturbing manner. At first, Maris is frightened. But when she discovers the truth about Derek, the truth about his transformations and his plans for her, surprisingly, she’s no longer afraid. Because Maris is beginning to see that being blooded means she will have something that her mother can never take away.
Or, if you like a more succinct summary, there’s this:
I remember reading this book as a teenager, and it stood out to me because it was one of a very few werewolf books I’d ever read. I was more into vampires than werewolves at the time, and werewolf books didn’t seem as common in the YA thriller genre. The book stuck in my mind, including the title, but I’d forgotten who the author was until I listened to the Teen Creeps podcast episode of Windsor’s The Christmas Killer and they named off Windsor’s other novels. So I hopped on Amazon, bought myself a used library copy, and figured I just had to recap it! I decided to do it for the full moon in January since it fit in with my theme of the month – babysitters in peril – and was a werewolf story. How perfect is that, right? Now, if you look at the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, it’s very mixed. I understand. I have such nostalgia about this book (I remember checking it out of the library, the house I lived in at the time, lying in bed reading it), but reading it as an adult was a bit of a let-down. Which I guess was my whole premise for this site? Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we?
Title: Tales From the Crypt, Season 4 Episode 13 – Werewolf Concerto
Directed by: Steve Perry
Originally Aired: Sept. 9, 1992
Description: An Agatha Christie-style mystery sees the inhabitants of a remote hotel terrorized by rumors of a werewolf prowling the area. Not to fear, as a self-appointed werewolf hunter is amongst them. But might he have a dark secret of his own?
I love Tales From the Crypt and have seen every episode multiple times. I will argue that there are no bad Tales From the Crypt, even though that is just demonstrably not true, but that’s how much I fucking love this series. Having said that, this is one of those episodes I know I’ve seen several times, but I never remember what happens. But what’s to know, really? It’s a werewolf and werewolf hunter at a fancy lodge in the woods. Enough said? Let’s go!
Director: Claudio Fragasso (credited as Clyde Anderson)
Description(from IMDB): A rock star returns to his childhood home to shoot a music video while a pack of wild dogs are on the loose killing off the local residents.
The Nostalgia Factor
Oh my God, where to start? I saw this movie for the first time when I was around 18. My local Hollywood Video had it in their horror section and I was like, A werewolf movie with Alice Cooper? Hell yeah, sign me up! This movie is terrible. And I love it. I wish more people knew about it, because it definitely deserves to be on all y’all’s favorite bad movie lists. I’m not gonna waste any more time in this nostalgia section, because I’m chomping at the bit to get on with the actual recap. So here we go!
Description: The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey Downs. On the night of Ginger’s first period, she is savagely attacked by a wild creature. Ginger’s wounds miraculously heal but something is not quite right. Now Brigitte must save her sister and save herself.
So, since this came out in 2000, I was already an adult the first time I saw it. I immediately fell in love with it, though, and thought it was the best recent werewolf movie since An American Werewolf in London. Which I will probably also get around to recapping one of these months for the full moon. Ginger Snaps can probably just be summed up as “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret for werewolves.” Only a lot bloodier. And with a lot more dog-killing. If you see a dog in this movie, it will end up dead. If you’re sensitive to that, don’t watch this movie. Seriously.