Colin Farrell Made For An All-Time-Great Horror Villain In Fright Night

In both versions of "Fright Night" (Tom Holland directed the original in 1985; Craig Gillespie made the remake in 2011), a nerdy, horror loving kid named Charley suspects that his sexy new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge, might be a vampire. He spies on Jerry, finding evidence that something eerie and potentially supernatural is happening. When his girlfriend tires of his claims, and his spazzed-out best friend, Evil Ed, rebuffs him, Charley must employ the help of a horror-themed entertainer named Peter Vincent. Vincent claims to know about vampires, but is in fact a mere performer. In the original, Vincent is a late-night TV horror host played by Roddy McDowall; in the 2011 film, he's a tattooed burned-out stage magician played by David Tennant. 

Both films can be noted for their blood. While Holland's version boasts some excellent makeup effects that still impress to this day — Evil Ed's beastly transformation is particularly notable — several gallons of red-dyed Karo syrup were employed in the remake as well. Needing someone to match the sexual charisma of the original's Chris Sarandon, the remake cast Colin Farrell as Jerry, who still possessed a dangerous level of seductive energy, but also a great amount of vicious glee. The 1985 film is still superior (you can only be the first to come along once), and the remake excises a lot of the original's appealing queerness — Is Charley obsessed with Jerry, or attracted to him? — but Gillespie's film is still a fun, blood-drinking experience. 

But not everyone had fun while drinking blood. Indeed, Farrell — as seen in a "Fright Night" blooper reel — once took in a little too much. 

Chris Sarandon

In a nod to the original, the 2011 "Fright Night" featured a notable cameo from Chris Sarandon. In the film, Jerry manages to stop Charley in the middle of a dark highway. While Jerry threatens him with fang and claw, another motorist approaches. The motorist exits his car, annoyed that traffic is blocked. Hey look! It's Chris Sarandon! Jerry stalks up to Sarandon and dives for his throat. 

Sarandon had been equipped with a tube-like appliance that was run up under his shirt and attached to his neck. The tubes were meant to squirt a stream of blood out onto the street. Such blood-splattering appliances are typically operated by a low-tech squeeze bulb that a stagehand will compress, spraying liquid as far as the director demands. All the grandest marvels of movie special effects will never be as effective as a good squirt of viscous, tasty blood. 

The stagehand in question, however, must have been feeling especially zealous that day, and they squeezed the rubber bulb a little too hard, forcing a jet of blood straight into Farrell's mouth and down his throat. The clip in question features a tremendous gurgling noise, a noise that was not made by the emptying rubber tube, but by Farrell trying to breathe through the bloody goop. Immediately after the take, a still-dripping Farrell explained to the crew, out of character, that he was indeed choking on blood. Luckily, Farrell was okay, and he seemed to be amused by the incident. No one was rushed to the hospital.

So much blood!

As an aside, an interesting piece of trivia: Chris Sarandon's character is credited as "Jay Dee," clearly a reference to the initials of the vampire killer. 

The rest of the "Fright Night" blooper reel, luckily, doesn't feature any additional instances of near-drowning. Indeed, it's mostly a few special effects gaffes (actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse is unable to break through a glass window, for one) and flubbed lines. There's a lot of giggling and cussing over blown dialogue. While "Fright Night" was meant to be horrific, it seems that the tone on set was light and fun, the actors joking with one another and chortling over the ridiculousness of the affair. 

"Fright Night" is also a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the talents of the late Anton Yelchin, seen in the blooper reel yukking it up with costar Imogen Poots. In a bout of admirable professionalism, Yelchin manages to keep a straight face while David Tennant goes on a tear about a rash on his groin. "Fright Night" was only one of seven films Yelchin made in 2011 alone, including "The Smurfs," "Like Crazy," "The Beaver," and Roland Joffé's "You and I," a fictionalized biography of the Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. The world lost a great talent in Yelchin, and his appearance in "Fright Night" is a wonderful example of how he could have fun.