'Tis the Season
Something wicked this way screens
So, it's October, which means there is an inordinate amount of spooky and scary fare on offer, should you venture out to an actual theatre (as opposed to the safety of bingeing slasher films from your couch). AFS Cinema's Art Horror series is a good beginning marker, which began with last week's supremely underrated Ganja & Hess and continues on through the month. Please fill out your dance cards accordingly.
Have you ever gone on an art tour through a Spanish city and subsequently been waylaid by a poor sense of direction, only to end up at the mansion of aristocrats dealing with necrophilia and, perhaps, Satan? Well, if your name is Elke Sommer, the answer is a resounding "duh," and you have found yourself in Mario Bava's Lisa and the Devil, a typical giallo tale of a woman stumbling into a bit of supernatural business, but the film uses those tropes smartly (as Bava always did) in a treatise on identity and, obviously, a chomp-inducing role for Telly Savalas (lollipop included).
Also shedding cinematic blood is A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Ana Lily Amirpour's fierce and moody debut, a singular piece of cinema that traffics in a deceptively cool atmosphere that concerns a vampire who falls in love with a working-class man in Iran. Heroin, an increasing body count, and a killer score highlight this atmospheric gem, a film that works best draped on the big screen, in all its black-and-white glory.
Rounding out the series is, oh boy, a film by Lars von Trier. I remember hosting a screening of Antichrist at my house soon after its release. A dozen of us, with wine and cheese and assorted snacks, sat there slack-jawed as the Danish director's nightmare unfolded before us, mutilating genitals and giving voice to animals (there was a talking fox, people, well before Wes Anderson made it cool). It was an indelible experience, one mostly noted by the amount of leftover salami, because no one had the nerve to get up and graze during the film. We were duly scarred.
And you might be, too. AFS Cinema's Art Horror is not the only game in town, as Violet Crown Cinema has been dishing out some classic horror fare this month, although I Know What You Did Last Summer is a questionable entry. They redeem themselves with the twofer of Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow and Lucio Fulci's mind-melting The Beyond. Blue Starlite Drive-In comes in swinging with screenings of classics like John Carpenter's The Thing, The Exorcist, and my personal favorite, Poltergeist.
Plenty to choose from, and if there was ever a time of year to enjoy going to the cinema, it is now, where the flickering light of the picture show is chock-full of fears and horrors which scare, arouse, and terrify, but above all, move us. Whether that feeling is closer to a heart attack is something you should discuss with your physician.
AFS Cinema Presents Art Horror
Lisa and the Devil Fri., Oct. 13, 10pm & Mon., Oct. 16, 7:30pm
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Fri., Oct. 20, 10pm & Sat., Oct. 21, 10pm
Antichrist Fri., Oct. 27, 10pm & Sat., Oct. 28, 10pm
Violet Crown Cinema Presents Scream Screens Film Series
Friday the 13th Thu., Oct. 12, 8:30pm
I Know What You Did Last Summer Tue., Oct. 17, 8:30pm
The Serpent and the Rainbow Thu., Oct. 19, 8:30pm
The Beyond Tue., Oct. 24, 8:30pm
The Town That Dreaded Sundown Thu., Oct. 26, 8:30pm
Halloween Tue., Oct. 31, 8:30pm
Blue Starlite Presents Halloween at the Drive-In
Shaun of the Dead Thu., Oct. 12, 8pm
Hotel Transylvania Fri., Oct. 13, 7:30pm
Friday the 13th Part III Fri., Oct. 13, 10pm
Ghostbusters & Hotel Transylvania Sat., Oct. 14, 7:30pm
The Monster Squad Wed., Oct. 18, 8pm
The Thing Thu., Oct. 19, 8pm
The Exorcist Sat., Oct. 21, 10:45pm
Poltergeist Mon., Oct. 23, 8pm