Jerry Dandrige

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Jerry Dandrige
Fright Night character
Jerry Dandrige.jpg
Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandrige
Created by Tom Holland
Portrayed by Chris Sarandon (1985)
Colin Farrell (2011)
Information
Species Vampire
Gender Male
Relatives Regine Dandridge (sister)

Jerry Dandrige is a fictional vampire. He first appears in the 1985 film Fright Night portrayed by Chris Sarandon. Dandrige also appears in the 2011 remake, also called Fright Night, portrayed by Colin Farrell. The original script and credits spell his last name "Dandrige" but some secondary sources have been known to use the spelling, "Dandridge".

Fright Night (1985)[edit]

Dandrige moves in next door to Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) and his mother. Charley realizes Dandrige is a vampire after seeing a news report about a murdered woman whom Charley had seen with Dandrige in his house.

Fright Night (2011)[edit]

The character also appears in the 2011 remake of the film, also called Fright Night. Neighbor Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) comes to suspect that Dandrige is a vampire and responsible for the disappearances of several neighborhood residents.

In other media[edit]

An arcade-style computer game was released in 1988 for Amiga computers. In the game, players assume the role of Jerry Dandrige as he attempts to turn his victims into vampires before sunrise.[1]

Jerry Dandridge is a minor character in the 1995 Kim Newman novel The Bloody Red Baron.

Fright Night 2: New Blood features Elisabeth Bathory utilizing the alias "Gerri Dandridge" but the characters are otherwise apparently unrelated.

Interpretations[edit]

Jerry Dandrige as portrayed in the original film has been variously interpreted as gay, bisexual and "metrosexual". Literary critic John Kenneth Muir noted instances in the original film in which Dandrige and another male character are posed in potentially sexual positions. These include a scene in which Dandrige's male companion Billy Cole kneels before Dandrige. Cole is dressing a wound Dandrige has received but Muir found the position reminiscent of fellatio. Dandrige's speech to "Evil" Ed Thompson in which Dandrige convinces Ed to become a vampire is also cast in the language of homosexual seduction, in which Ed is placed in a physically submissive stance and Dandrige speaks of Ed's outsider status in language that echoes the outsider status of homosexuals in the 1980s.[2]

Anthropologist Paul Clough and cultural critic Jon P. Mitchell characterized Dandrige as "beautiful but strange" and a man interested in seeking out relationships with young boys and young girls. Dandrige introduces Charley to homosexuality, bisexuality and, through his victims, prostitution. They called Dandrige's actions a metaphor for sexually transmitted diseases in general and HIV in particular.[3]

According to Fright Night editor Kent Beyda, writer/director Tom Holland deliberately set out to insert homosexual imagery into the film. He confirmed that the scene in which Cole goes to his knees in front of Dandrige was intended to evoke homosexuality as part of Holland's intent to explore every sexual aspect of the vampire myth.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Moby Games: Fright Night
  2. ^ Muir, p. 445
  3. ^ Clough and Mitchell, p. 198
  4. ^ Muir, pp. 445—46

References[edit]

  • Clough, Paul and Jon P. Mitchell (2001). Powers of Good and Evil: Moralities, Commodities, and Popular Belief. Berghahn Books. ISBN 1571813136.
  • Muir, John Kenneth (2013). Horror Films of the 1980s. Mcfarland. ISBN 0786455012.