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Your Guide To October's Spooky Screenings Around Los Angeles
October means the repertory theaters across Los Angeles will switch to spookier programming, but this year it takes on a mournful tone. The legendary films of George Romero and Tobe Hooper will play in tribute to these two recently-departed masters, along with works that both inspired and were inspired by them. Here's a roundup of what thrills and scares await Los Angeles on the big screen this coming month.
ALL-NIGHT HORROR MARATHONS
The New Bev's annual All-Night Horror Show takes place on Saturday, October 7 this year and tickets go on sale Sunday at noon—they'll sell out fast so make sure you log on at noon sharp! As usual, the lineup is a total surprise, but marathoners can expect a 12-hour, six-film lineup of horror rarities. Special giveaways await those who make it through the night. All on "glorious 35mm" of course.
If you miss out on your chance at the New Bev all-nighter, the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica has their All Night Horrorthon on Saturday, October 28. Highlights include An American Werewolf in London (1981), Wes Craven's Shocker (1989) as well as a 40th anniversary screening of the infamous Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. Admission includes coffee and food all night.
The New Beverly Cinema is located at 7165 West Beverly Boulevard in the Fairfax District. (323) 938-4038
American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. (310) 260-1528
Beyond Fest is going strong into its fifth year— L.A.'s largest genre film festival opens Friday night and runs all the way through to October 10. A mix of premieres and genre classics, this year's lineup is more testosterone-laden, as it'll include tribute screenings to and special appearances from action legends Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan.
One of the more notable horror events is the only scheduled Los Angeles screening of the newly rediscovered uncut print of Dario Argento's giallo classic Suspiria (1977) (Oct. 2) as well as the 4K restoration (Oct. 1), with both screenings featuring an appearance from Argento himself (the Oct. 2 screening is a double bill with a 35mm print of Argento's Opera ). Both shows are sold out, but the Aero Theatre has a screening of the 4K restoration later on in the month.
On the night of October 3, Beyond Fest will also pay tribute to the recently departed George Romero and Tobe Hooper by playing the films that put them on the map. First is the 4K restoration of Night of the Living Dead(1968), with a screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) on 35mm to follow. (Both movies require separate tickets.)
As far as premieres go, highlights include the West Coast premieres of the Christmas horror Better Watch Out (Oct. 1), the French-Canadian zombie flick Les affames (Oct. 6), and the latest from Japanese horror auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Before We Vanish (Oct. 2). Each of these screenings are free.
Beyond Fest takes place at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theater. 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Check the festival's website for the screening schedule and tickets.
MORE ROMERO AND HOOPER
Can't get enough zombies? The Hammer Museum in Westwood has a free screening on Halloween night of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978), which remains the sharpest critique of consumer culture ever put on the screen. For those who partake in the outdoor screening phenomenon, Cinespia screens the restoration of his debut Night of the Living Dead on October 21 over at Hollywood Forever.
Although not much of a secret anymore, the 35mm Secret Movie Club has The Texas Chain Saw Massacre at midnight on October 20 over at Los Feliz's Vista Theatre—the best place to watch a movie in L.A.
The Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood. (310) 443-7000
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Check Cinespia for more information on screenings.
UNIVERSAL MONSTER MATINEES
Even before both Romero and Hooper made their mark, there was Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and others on the Universal Studios lineup of classic monsters. LACMA's Tuesday matinees this month features two of their biggest stars in their signature roles: Lon Chaney in the silent The Phantom of the Opera (1925) (Oct. 3) and Boris Karloff in The Mummy (1932) (Oct. 17). Bela Lugosi is the most conspicuous absence, but for good reason. On October 10, they'll be screening the Spanish-language version of Drácula (1931), which many consider to be superior to the English-language version. Shot concurrently with the English version, the only actor allowed to watch dailies of the Lugosi version was actor Carlos Villarías—just so he could imitate Bela Lugosi.
The New Bev, after the popularity of their Hitchcock matinees in September, will be bringing back the program with double-features of the Universal films, giving us the chance to see the rarely-seen sequels to some of their best known titles. Up first on October 4 is the English version of Dracula (1931) paired with its follow-up, Dracula's Daughter (1936). The rest of the month's schedule is not up yet (hurry up!), but hopefully we get Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
(An additional screening of the Spanish-language Drácula is being held by The Academy on October 28 as a part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA over at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood.)
LACMA's matinee screenings take place at the museum's Leo S. Bing Theatre, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Tickets $4.
Go back to where it all started at the Old Town Music Hall. This month the El Segundo institution plays four seminal silents from the 1920s that laid the foundation for the horror genre. It is the duty of any cinephile—whether they're horror fans or not—to catch the quintessential German Expressionist works Nosferatu (1922) (Oct. 13-15) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1923) (Oct. 20-22). The first vampire film, Nosferatu, was an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula and, according to legend, all prints were ordered destroyed. Thankfully, a few survived. All shows are accompanied by live music on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ.
The Old Town Music Hall is located at 140 Richmond St. in El Segundo. (310) 322-2592
Carman Tse is a diehard Giants fan living in Los Angeles as well as a freelance arts and culture writer and former editor-in-chief at LAist. Follow him on Twitter at @CarmanTse.