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Night Fright (November, 1967)

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Night Fright
 

Released in November, 1967: Outer space cosmic rays create a monster that kills teens that venture into the woods to party.

Directed by James A. Sullivan

The Actors: John Agar (Sheriff Clint Crawford), Carol Gilley (nurse Joan Scott), Ralph Baker Jr. (Chris Jordan), Dorothy Davis (Judy), Bill Thurman (Deputy Ben Whitfield), Roger Ready (Professor Alan Clayton), Gary McLain (Wes Blau), Darlene Drew (Darlene Scott), Frank Jolly (Rex Bowers), Bill Holly (Deputy Pat Lance), Janiz Menshew (Carla), Russ Marker (Mitch), Toni Pearce (Betty, waitress), Christi Simmons (Annie), Brenda Venus (Sue), Byron Lord (government man), Ronnie Weaver (government man), Olivia Pinion (party guest), Nancy Mann (party guest), Lewis Helm (party guest), Jeanie Wilson (Mary Bennett), Rod Paxton (Buddy Williams).

 
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Dad was a preacher, and he moved to three different places over my childhood. I was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the home of the weather forecasting ground hog, spent my middle years in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and my later teen years in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, living less than a mile from where the 911 plane went down. Shanksville is a beautiful little village with a couple of stop signs, fewer than a hundred homes, a little country store, and not much more. No police or anything . . . but a Pennsylvania State Police car would drive through the town every Thursday afternoon . . . probably just to make sure that the town was still there. In that part of the Laurel Highlands mountains there were two main industries - coal mining and dairy farming. The rest of us did something that supported mines or farmers.

This monster in the woods horror story centers on a small town teen party in the woods, with a monster from outer space killing them one by one. Now, kids in the country are not exposed to the wild streets of a big city with gambling, booze and such, but country kids are not as pure and innocent as one might think. Of course, as a preachers kid I never participated in any 'field parties,' but I heard all about them. One teen would somehow obtain a cold case of beer, and a bunch of boys would drive out a country road and stop in a deserted spot near a big corn field. We would drag the case of beer into the middle of the corn field where the tall stalks of corn would hide us . . . . . oops . . . . I don't mean 'we' and 'us' . . . . of course I was never a part of these parties . . . . I just heard about them . . . honest . . . anyway . . . the guys would drink the beer, laugh, tell dirty jokes and talk about girls, like teen guys are bound to do. If there was a young naive boy among us we might send him out on a snipe hunt, but we never encountered any real mosters like in this hip, 1960's flick.

If you were not alive in the 1960's, you may enjoy a look at how Grandma and Grandpa acted when they were teens. If you lived in those years, when the post WWII 'baby boomers' were growing up and starting to feel their oats as they began to rule the world, the cars (like the brand new 1967 red Mustang) and the dialogue will bring back vivid memories. There are tense moments between the cocky teens and the Police Chief when they disrespect him and deridingly call him the 'Fuzz.' The Police Chief acted as if he was hit with a brick when those words flew out of the young punk's mouth. I remember those days. Never trust anyone over thirty. Adults are the enemy. Government is the enemy. Kids rule the world, make love, not war, and everyone over thirty is stupid and living in the past, not the hip, ready for anything teens of the 1960's. Sheesh, looking back . . . it seemed like a totally different world, and I guess that it maybe was a different world. If you remember those days, pop a nice bowl of real white kernel popcorn, put lots of real melted Land-O-Lakes butter on it, and sit your old and tired body on a nice soft chair and return to the days of your youth when the only thing that could wipe that silly know-it-all grin off of your face might have been a wild murdering creature from space.

Bill Holly and John AgarBill Thurman
Bill Holly and John AgarBill Thurman
Bill Thurman, 1967Carol Gilley
Bill Thurman, 1967Carol Gilley
Darlene DrewDorothy Davis
Darlene DrewDorothy Davis
Dorothy DavisDorothy Davis and Ralph Baker Jr.
Dorothy DavisDorothy Davis and Ralph Baker Jr.
Frank JolleyFrank Jolly and Darlene Drew
Frank JollyFrank Jolly and Darlene Drew
Gary McLainJaniz Menshew and Russ Marker
Gary McLaneJanis Menshew and Russ Marker
John AgarJohn Agar, 1967
John AgarJohn Agar, 1967
Randy ReadyRalph Baker Jr.
Randy ReadyRalph Baker Jr.
Ralph Baker Jr.Toni Pearce
Ralph Baker Jr.Toni Pearce
Toni PearceToni Pearce
Toni PearceToni Pearce