For the past two years, the mad scientists programming The Belcourt have delivered an extra-large helping of Halloween goodies with their 12 Hours of Terror marathons. This year, the treats are even more plentiful, but they’re spreading the feast out over the entire month of October rather than concentrating it into one day-long tummyache-inducing binge. The program includes a series of delectable double features, multiple servings of primo Vincent Price, and a few special entrees worth sharpening your fangs.
On the double-feature front, the series kicks off Oct. 4-5 with two hippie-era classics of Satanic-power paranoia, Roman Polanski's Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and John Hancock's Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971). Oct. 11 brings a serving each from two directors who kept the Italian stage-blood industry in business for years, Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975) and Lucio Fulci’s The Gates of Hell (aka City of the Living Dead) (1980). On Oct. 12, The Belcourt gets down with its own night of the bloody apes thanks to another Argento entry, the Jennifer Connelly creep-out Creepers (aka Phenomena) (1985) and the King Kong of serial-killer-baboon flicks, cult rediscovery Shakma (1990), whose insane trailer has been drawing cheers from Belcourt midnight audiences.
The final weekend of double features brings killer robots, a murderous mutant, and some very bad students. On Friday, Oct. 25, the bots are loose in Jim Wynorski's Chopping Mall (1986) — or as we like to think of it, the other movie featuring Paul and Mary Bland — and Belial is a very bad boy in Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case (1982). Oct. 26 brings big-time badass revenge of the nerds with Evilspeak (1981) (starring the master thespian of our age, Clint Howard) and the teenage witches of The Craft (1996).
If the red meat delivered by the double features doesn’t fill you up, there will also be plenty of Grade-A ham courtesy of everyone’s favorite scenery muncher Vincent Price. The line-up includes the cheeseball William Castle screamfest The Tingler (1959), the marvelously campy Theatre of Blood (1973) with Vinnie given support by the delightful Diana Rigg, the classy Roger Corman Poe adaptation The Masque of the Red Death (1964) and the Technicolor terror tale that established Mr. Price as a bogeyman, House of Wax (1953).
But the biggest thrill of the month may be the Nashville premiere of the restored “final cut” of Robin Hardy’s atmospheric 1973 pagan-horror classic The Wicker Man, starring Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee. It will show at midnight only on Oct. 18 & 19. It’s a must-see if there ever was one.
Stir in three special showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with the Little Morals live cast, and your Halloween month is complete. Below, the full schedule.
October Halloween Horrors Schedule
Note: all double features are two films for the price of one ticket
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 4-5
ROSEMARY’S BABY (9:30 p.m.)
with LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (Midnight)
Dir. Roman Polankski, USA, 1968, 136min, NR, New DCP Restoration
Roman Polanski’s wildly entertaining nightmare stars a revelatory Mia Farrow as a young mother-to-be who grows increasingly suspicious that her overfriendly elderly neighbors (played by Sidney Blackmer and an Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon) and self-involved husband (John Cassavetes) are hatching a satanic plot against her and her baby.
LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH
Dir. John D. Hancock, USA, 1971, 89min, PG-13, 16mm
A peaceful house in the country is exactly what Jessica and her husband need after recent tribulations. But old houses have secrets, and this one is the center of a web that encompasses the whole town—or is it just the burden of a besieged mind? Post-hippie horror at its most elliptical and creepy, and one of Stephen King’s favorites.
Friday, Oct. 11
DEEP RED (10:00 p.m.)
with THE GATES OF HELL (Midnight)
Dir. Dario Argento, Italy, 1975, 106min, R, 35mm
The murder of a psychic leads to the discovery of something even stranger, a multigenerational tale of death, deceit, and secrets that reach out from the grave. A musician and an investigative journalist have to dig deep into the lives of everyone around them to find the secret of The House of The Screaming Child. With music by Goblin and Giorgio Gaslini.
THE GATES OF HELL (aka CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD)
Dir. Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1980, 93min, NR, 35mm
The suicide of a priest in the town of Dunwich has unraveled the laws of nature. The dead walk among us, souls are being drained, viscera is flying left and right. Can the very Gates of Hell be closed before All Saints’ Day, and stop the plague of the undead? One of the most infamous horror films of the early ‘80s.
Saturday, Oct. 12
CREEPERS (10:00 p.m.)
with SHAKMA (Midnight)
CREEPERS (aka PHENOMENA)
Dir. Dario Argento, Italy, 1985, 82min, R, 35mm
Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly) finds herself at a Girls’ boarding school in Swiss Transylvania. It seems someone is killing young women in the area, and everyone is on edge. But Jennifer has a secret- she can talk to insects. She can track the killer using the very flies that gestated in the bodies of the victims. And with the help of Donald Pleasence and a straight razor-wielding primate, she’ll do that and more. With a score by Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and some of your metal favorites.
Dirs. Tom Logan and Hugh Parks, USA, 1990, 100min, R, 35mm
All the medical students wanted was a deserted building to play their computer-derived LARP game. But what they didn’t count on was the renegade baboon Shakma, who’s had just about enough of being a research subject. There are lots of rooms, and plenty of doors—but Shakma HATES doors. With Amanda Wyss and Roddy McDowall.
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 18-19 at Midnight
THE WICKER MAN — The Final Cut
Dir. Robin Hardy, UK, 1973, 92min, NR, New DCP Restoration
After receiving an anonymous letter about a missing 12-year-old girl, a devoutly Christian cop (Edward Woodward) travels by seaplane to a Scottish island to investigate. But the islanders welcome neither his badge nor religious devotion, for laird of the isle (Christopher Lee) and his devoted followers worship only the pagan gods of old—and those gods demand a sacrifice. Woodward fears for the missing girl’s life and follows every possible lead to find her—despite the islanders’ interference—before she becomes a human sacrificial lamb. Seen for decades only in mutilated copies, the new restoration by Studiocanal, anointed “the final cut” by director Robin Hardy, now 83, is the culmination of a worldwide search for footage conducted via Facebook.
Friday, Oct. 25
CHOPPING MALL (10:00 p.m.)
with BASKET CASE (Midnight)
Dir. Jim Wynorski, USA, 1986, 77min, R, 4k DCP Restoration
When the mall decides to test their new security system, they never could have expected the security robots to go on a killing spree. Such a shame, then, about the eight teenagers (including Barbara Crampton and Kelli Maroney) still inside. Featuring Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov as their EATING RAOUL characters, and a spectacular exploding head.
Dir. Frank Henenlotter, USA, 1982, 89min, R, Digital
Likable Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) checks into a Times Square flophouse toting a locked wicker basket. Inside is what remains of Duane’s once-conjoined twin, Belial, who was surgically separated from Duane and left for dead on a trash heap. Now the siblings seek murderous vengeance on the doctors responsible, and Belial won’t let anything stop him—least of all Duane’s nascent romance with a coy receptionist.
Saturday, Oct. 26
EVILSPEAK (10:00 p.m.)
with THE CRAFT (Midnight)
Dir. Eric Weston, USA, 1981, 89min, R, Digital
Relentlessly bullied by fellow cadets and teachers at a remote military school, Stanley Coopersmith (Clint Howard) happens upon the diary of Spanish Satanic cult leader Father Esteban (Richard Moll). With some clever computer programming (really), Coopersmith soon summons the spirit of Esteban who possesses the geeky cadet. Then, flanked by evil pigs and wielding a flaming sword, Esteban delivers the kind of fervent vengeance one might expect from a demonic priest executed for crimes against God.
Dir. Andrew Fleming, USA, 1996, 101min, R, 35mm
Four young women, ground down by the gears of high school, do some exploring into the world of witchcraft. What they find seems to be the answer to all their problems. But power corrupts, and soon what was forged in friendship is rent asunder by forces magickal and personal. With Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell.
Vincent Price Weekend Classics
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 5-7
Dir. William Castle, USA, 1959, 82min, NR, 35mm
Dr. Warren Chapin conducts autopsies on executed prisoners in order to determine the bodily effects of fear, which he believes are a direct result of a creature that lives at the base of the spine. After he deduces that this creature is suppressed by the human scream, he doses a deaf and mute woman with LSD and builds for her a terrible nightmare in an attempt to lure the creature. William Castle brought the preeminent movie gimmick to life—Percepto—for this 1959 creature feature starring Vincent Price.
THEATRE OF BLOOD
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 12-13
Dir. Douglas Hickox, UK, 1973, R, 35mm
Tireless Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart (Price), despondent after losing an award, tries to kill himself, and is instead rescued by an army of the disenfranchised. Free to plot his vengeance, he proceeds to kill the critics who scorned him in Shakespearean fashion, using methods of death from some of the Bard’s greatest works. With Diana Rigg.
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 19-20
Dir. Roger Corman, USA, 1964, 89min, NR, 35mm
Prince Prospero (Vincent Price), a Satan worshipper, savagely razes a local village and then invites area nobility to his castle to quarantine themselves from a supposed plague referred to as The Red Death. The atmosphere turns debaucherous and sadistic as Prospero toys with an innocent village girl (Jane Asher), but a strange red-draped figure walks the land, seeking to teach Prospero a lesson. A phenomenal color palette highlights Roger Corman’s fantastic re-telling of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic short story.
HOUSE OF WAX
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 26-27
Dir. André De Toth, USA, 1953, 90min, PG, 2K DCP
Wax sculptor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) is left for dead after his partner, Matthew Burke (Roy Roberts), burns down their wax museum for the insurance. Burke is mysteriously murdered by a deformed man in a cloak, and years later the sculptor resurfaces with a re-imagined museum concept dedicated to historical crimes and murders. When bodies begin to disappear from the city morgue, and Burke’s family and acquaintances begin to disappear, suspicions arise about Jarrod’s incredibly life-like chamber of horrors. A landmark in 3-D filmmaking, the film also stars a young Charles Bronson as the deaf-mute assistant, Igor.
Halloween Night Event
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
With live cast Little Morals
Thursday, Oct. 31 at 10:00 p.m., Friday-Saturday, Nov 1-2 at Midnight
Note: This is a strictly enforced 18+ screening. IDs are required to purchase tickets and enter theatre. No exceptions!
This notorious horror parody — a fast-paced potpourri of camp, sci-fi and rock ‘n’ roll, among other things — tracks the exploits of naïve couple Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) after they stumble upon the lair of transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). The film — a bizarre musical co-starring Meat Loaf and Richard O’Brien — bombed in its initial release but later gained a cult following at midnight showings. Presented in 2K Digital Cinema Program (DCP) with the live cast Little Morals performing along.