Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) finally gets his release from a California mental institution after he is found guilty by reason of insanity for the heinous murders he committed over 22 years prior. Lila Loomis (Vera Miles), sister of one of Bates’ victims, has her pleas for a non-release fall on deaf ears. Having been declared of ‘sound mind’ again, Norman returns to his gothic childhood home and Bates Motel near Fairvale, CA, and takes up a job while on parole at a diner nearby. Norman becomes fast friends with a waitress there named Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly), and he ends up offering her a room for a while after her boyfriend tosses her out for someone new. However, as much as Norman tries to put the past behind him, he is beginning to get that old feeling again, as he begins receiving handwritten notes and phone calls from his mother, as well as her appearance in the house at various times, and people begin to start dying once again.
Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a typical suburban teenager with a special interest in old-time horror b-movies, the kind seen on the local creep-fest TV showcase, “Fright Night”, hosted by the self-proclaimed king of vampire hunting films, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall). It’s all fantasy to Charley until he spies on his new neighbors in the house next door to discover that there is a man there that is, in fact, a vampire himself (Chris Sarandon). As bodies end up dead throughout the town, no one will listen to Charley’s assertions.
Trouble brews when his tenaciousness draws the ire of Jerry, the vampire himself, who threatens that he’s going to take down Charley and everyone he loves before Charley can take him down first. Knowing he needs help, Charley turns to the only man he knows known to kill vampires, Peter Vincent himself, though he’s no killer — he just plays one on TV. When Jerry has his sights set on Charley’s girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse), the war is on between the men for love and continued life.
Tom Holland writes and directs this beloved 80s horror-comedy.