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May 17, 2010

Random Horror Throwdown: Alone in the Dark vs. Fright Night Part 2 - Wait, what?

Anyone who writes a blog will surely tell you that one of the most difficult things an author faces is finding new topics to cover. Sure, I could write about The Blob every day, but that might get silly after a while. (The operative word in that sentence is certainly "might", because I'm pretty sure a blog that covered The Blob every day would be the greatest website ever invented.) That's a moot point, however, because the other day - while I was perusing the awesome corner of the interweb known as Flickchart - I had what can only be described as a moment of supreme clarity.

If the question is "How do I vary the movies I cover and keep challenging myself to come up with something different?"; the answer is "Let a random generator pick movies for me and debate which is superior in The Mike's mind!". So that's exactly what I'm going to do in this first installment of the Random Horror Throwdown.


The Movies:

Alone in the Dark (2005, Dir. by Uwe Boll.)
Starring: Christian Slater
, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff.
IMDB Synopsis:
Based on the video game, Alone in the Dark focuses on Edward Carnby, a detective of the paranormal, who slowly unravels a mysterious events with deadly results. (Note from The Mike: Yes, he unravels "a mysterious events." This movie's so bad, it defies quantity.)

Fright Night Part 2 (1988, Dir. by Tommy Lee Wallace.)
Starring: Roddy McDowell, William Ragsdale, Julie Carmen.
IMDB Synopsis: Charlie Brewster and Peter Vincent from the original Fright Night must face more vampires out for revenge. (Note from The Mike: Was Jerry Dandridge really "out for revenge"? I declare shenanigans.)

Now, the only way that it's humanly possible to pick between two movies, of course, is to break them down and compare them in a series of categories. (Well, actually I think that's kind of a silly way to do it....but it's exactly what I'm going to do now anyway.)

The Casts:
For starters, I've always liked Christian Slater. He flamed out trying to make the transition from heartthrob to leading man, but has consistently offered up solid performances throughout his career (Heathers, True Romance, and He Was a Quiet Man stand out). Stephen Dorff was the star of The Gate, so I have to give him some credit. Tara Reid....well, she's Tara Reid, with her goofiness and weird boobs. On the vampire side, we've got Roddy McDowell and William Ragsdale again, but they're given far less interesting material; and Julie Carmen (of In the Mouth of Madness) as the vampire seductress.

The easy choice here would be Fright Night Part 2 based on McDowell, whose performance in Fright Night might be my favorite horror performance of all time. But considering the complete fall from the first film, and my like for Slater (not to mention the fact that I honestly think Carmen in FNP2 is worse than Reid in AitD)....I'm going to give the surprise advantage in this category to Alone in the Dark. (1-0, Alone in the Dark leads.)

The Plots:
Alone in the Dark focuses on some kind of demons inside a hole under an orphanage that could take over the world, and the battle against them. Fright Night Part 2 has vampires seducing college kids and a Hammer-esque hero cashing in a paycheck. Both handle their plots with the grace of a monkey humping a football, but at least the latter is relatable and kind of coherent. Advantage goes to Fright Night Part 2. (1-1)

Which film's villains would fare best against The Blob?:
This is a pretty easy decision, from what I remember. The Dark's creatures come from underground, which I'd assume is warm since it's close to hell. The Blob loves warm things. The vampires are dead, and thus their body temperature is low, and thus they would possess the The Blob's kryptonite - cold. The Blob runs wild on Uwe's sheep-like creatures, so Fright Night Part 2 gets the advantage (2-1, Fright Night Part 2 leads.)

My experience with the films:
I've always said (for at least five years, that is) that Alone in the Dark is Uwe Boll's worst movie. That said...I kinda enjoy watching this in an Ed Wood manner, even if Wood is a far better director. I saw it in theater (in fact, I think I was the only person in said theater) when it came out, and laughed my face off like Nic Cage.

Fright Night Part 2, on the other hand, is a movie that makes me angry. I would rank Fright Night among my favorite horror films, and I'd rank this among the worst sequels ever made. I was so mad after blind buying it years ago that I sold the DVD back to a local store immediately - and I don't even regret it now that the disc is OOP and worth a pretty penny more than I got for it. In a battle between one of the worst movies I've ever seen and one of the worst sequels I've ever seen...I'll take the one that isn't a sequel. Give the advantage to Alone in the Dark on this one. (2-2)

The Directors:
Remember that one time when I said Ed Wood was a far better director than Uwe Boll? (If you don't, it was two paragraphs ago.) And I like Tommy Lee Wallace, even if this is a terrible film. So Fright Night Part 2 gets the advantage. (3-2)
This choice is like:
Any choice between these films would be akin to the choice made by the fellow in the above still from Indiana Jones 3.

But, the numbers don't lie. Based on Uwe Boll's awfulness and the fact that vampires mix with Blobs better than...whatever it was that Boll had in his movie...Fright Night Part 2 gets the win via count-out while Boll heads into the crowd to beat down an intelligent soul that dislikes his movies. Congrats to Wallace and the rest of the people involved in Fright Night Part 2...your film sucks less than something!

(Note from The Mike: I seriously hope I've only rated 1029 movies.....)


R.D. Penning said...

You had me scared for a minute Mike. I thought you were actually going to pick Alone In The Dark. I would have had to disown you as a friend, haha. You know my position on Uwe Boll, and if not feel free to check out my Uwe Boll rants on facebook, haha. He is my mortal enemy, and everything he makes is shit! Based on the video game- should be removed from every one of his movies

real Bloodrayne- Nazi's, guns, badass knife weapons
Boll Bloodrayne- medieval times, swords, and badass knife weapons

real AITD- H.P. Lovecraft, zombies, detectives, 1925
Boll AITD- present day, unlimited ammo guns, and a fucking stupid story line involving a demon,orphans, and a psychological link

real Postal- gut who was fired, mailman, shooting everyone
Boll Postal- actually based more on Postal 2, no mailman, there is a trailer park, religious cult, and terrorists

I'm just going to stop here, you get the point, and I could go on for days. Uwe Boll= worst director of all time

I Like Horror Movies said...

This may be the most brilliant feature ever! Utterly hilarious Mike, dont let this one fall to the side!

If it had been 1981's ALONE IN THE DARK, we may have had at least some sort of argument here, but is there even a contest?? FRIGHT NIGHT 2 is a damn fine sequel, while ALONE IN THE DARK is the cinematic equivalent to an aenema slushie

Enbrethiliel said...


I love this post! Will be seeing more in the future? =D

I wish I had your Random Generator. ;-)

PS--My captcha is "consida"--which is what every discerning movie lover does when confronted with movies such as these!

The Mike said...

Thanks folks. We'll definitely see more of these...I've actually been invited to some guest blogging over at Flickchart's blog due to this post! Considering how much fun this one was, I look forward to more!

TS Hendrik said...

Frickin' awesome. Loved the back and forth. Great rationalizations too. I certainly wouldn't have given that much credit to Alone in the Dark.

And for what it's worth, I could so read a blob themed blog everyday.