Easily my favorite fictional Horror Host,
I’d raid a house full of vampires with this baddass!
“I am Peter Vincent, vampire killer!”
Host of the late-night creature feature “Fright Night” on Channel 13, WYIC, Peter Vincent is also an actor whose career has taken a downward turn. He used to star in the films he now features on his local television show.
Vincent holds the rise of the 80’s slasher genre responsible for the decline in vampires and the supernatural—and, thus, his career. And so, perhaps it is the fact that a real fan contacts him about a vampire living next door that allows him to consider helping the boy out. That bit of need that he has of being needed.
Roddy McDowall compared his character, Peter Vincent, to the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. A friend who overcomes his great and real fear of something as inconcievable as a vampire to help a friend.
Tom Holland named McDowall’s character Peter Vincent by crossing the names of two of Hammer’s greatest actors… Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. Holland was originally thinking of Vincent Price in the role of the host of “Fright Night”, but his failing health made it impossible.
There was a sequel made of FRIGHT NIGHT to cash in on the popularity of the first. Unfortunately, it was made to cash in and did not feature the writing/directing talents of Tom Holland or the acting of Chris Sarandon as the villain. Regardless, Roddy was there as Peter Vincent--this time rescuing Charlie from being turned into a creature of the night by a seductive vampiress!
Apparently Roddy McDowall was eager to make a third FRIGHT NIGHT picture and enjoyed playing the role.
There are two “commentary tracks” available for download for free on iTunes c/o the Icons of Fright website (link below) featuring the writer/director Tom Holland, star Chris Sarandon and much of the cast and FX artists—they thought the original DVD release deserved it and so they got together and made it. Unfortunately Roddy isn’t around to add his part.