Film (1967; vt Fright Night). Produced by Wallace P Clyce Jr. Directed by James A Sullivan. Written by Russ Marker from his original idea. Cast includes John Agar, Ralph Baker Jr, Dorothy Davis, Carol Gilley and Roger Ready. 75 minutes. Colour.
As two young people in a car are being romantic, there are radio reports of a falling UFO; within minutes they are attacked and killed by something unseen. Early next day, Sheriff Clint Crawford (Agar) is at the scene with a deputy and unnamed US government men. The latter are guarding the fallen NASA rocket which gave rise to flying saucer reports the night before. Odd tracks from some huge creature are found leading into the woods; the Sheriff closes off the area to the small town's young people, including his soon-to-be sister-in-law Judy (Davis). Her boyfriend Chris Jordan is cooperative, but many others of the local college crowd are determined to have a party near the crash-landing area next night. One is attacked by the Monster and killed soon after a brief fight with Jordan, who had come out with Judy to persuade the others to leave. Jordan and Judy are themselves attacked but escape to the home of Judy's sister (Gilley), who is engaged to the Sheriff. After one of his deputies is killed, Crawford himself encounters the beast and finds it immune to gunfire; he comes up with a plan to use dynamite, with a dummy as bait to lure the thing into a trap. Professor Clayton (Ready) has explained its origin to Crawford: a Rocket with a selection of experimental animals was lost beyond the Moon six months before its mysterious reappearance and crash. Radiation turned an ape into the Mutant which apparently killed the other test animals (the script is unclear on this point) and is now stalking people. After chasing Jordan and Judy a second time, the creature is destroyed by dynamite traps and the ending implies that all will be well.
John Agar starred in a number of sf films from the mid-1950s on, although their quality became increasingly worse as the years passed. He was only 46 when this film was made, but his well-known battle with alcoholism had already left its mark on him. A very poor film, Night Fright is of interest primarily for its mid-1960s fashions and automobiles. [GFi]
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