Night Fright
Director: James A. Sullivan

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

A fiery object from space crashes east of town, says the news story on the car radio so that Night Fright (1967) doesn't have to come up with a budget to depict a meteor or rocket or anything.

The couple who are parked east of town necking in Satan's Hollow wonder what the object the newscaster described could be, just before it kills them. We don't see what it is & we don't see them killed. This film didn't even have the budget for a half bucket of blood.

Thus does Night Fright go thud right from the start. It has other titles, having been shown on television with the title reversed as Fright Night, & it was shown in England under the alternate & amusing name The Extraterrestrial Nasty.

In scenes to come, the girls' mod mini-skirts & lacquered hair-helmets are a lot stranger than any mutant chimp. Characters are drawn so thin you could slip the whole lot of them in a spaghetti box. They're in the main indistinguishable & boring, except maybe for John Agar as the sheriff, Agar being a reliable junk-movie regular of the era.

The mutant ape might just as well have been a stalker killer, a sasquatch, a neanderthal, or a fat man wearing a bear rug. He or it could be just about anything without any change required for the generic tale.

Viewers wait forever for anything to happen. Since there've been mysterious murders in the woods, that's the cue for all the local teens to gather in the woods for a night-dance to the most awful imitation of rock 'n' roll music.

The annoyingly jaunty music is credited to "The Wildcats." This miserable band, which is apparently really just Christopher Trussell, is all over the soundtrack start to finish, setting a mood totally at odds with the story, if it qualifies as a story. Trussell scored two grindhouse movies then became an ordained priest. I sure hope he's slightly better at that.

Time ticks by with absolutely nothing happening on screen but walkin' & talkin'. The little tiny bit of death or mayhem all occur off-camera. After fifty minutes we finally see the monster stalking about & waving its arms. It has the appearance of a musty raccoon coat worn by a guy in a halloween clown mask spray-painted black & plastic fangs added. It's nothing like the creature trumped up for the dvd box, which is why the film shows it as little of it as possible.

Scenes take place randomly by night or day spliced together with no feeling of continuity. There's almost no actual action unless you count a short fistfight between two of the "teenagers" who look to be about twenty-eight years old.

For "climax" a small puff of explosives is filmed & that apparently killed the raccoon coat. The sasquatch-gorilla-raccoon-caot from space rampages minimally until guys with rifles shoot it then blow it up so that only a little bit of fur remains, no blood on it.

This is one lame-ass excuse for a horror movie, but it does have one fascinating thing in it: the scientist with pipe played by Roger Ready is a dead ringer for Bob Dobson.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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