All the horror movie repertoire you can handle on the big screen in DC this week.
God Bless Halloween week if for nothing else, then because it brings out some of the most awesome non-mainstream movie theater programming in the city. So, as is customary-a day by day guide to being afraid, in a dark room, with strangers, for 10 bucks or less (and often free). Follow the links for more details.
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- THE PSYCHO B-MONSTERAMA-A-GO-GO SPOOKY FREAK SHOW! @ The Passenger ($2 donation) This night, the WPFS crew will unleash some of the freakiest stuff known to man upon their audience. The insurance companies will not sponsor WPFS after several failed lab test results. There will be a jive-ass doctor and nurse in attendance for the weak-minded and faint off heart. They promise that one person in the audience will die, but not that night. Bwa ha ha ha! Movies actually played: A scary surprise.
- If you’re staying in: The very special Rocky Horror GLEE is on tonight
- Eat Pray Love is playing @ Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. A movie so bad it is scary. Trust me.
- Pepperminta @ Hirshhorn, 8PM. Not a Halloween movie per se but Pippiloti Rist’s phantasmagorical adult fairy tale is unsettling and a little scary nonetheless. Not rated. Recommended for mature audiences. The plot begins with a sad Pep nudged from the beyond by her dead grandmama: “Always do what you don’t dare to do!” The story snowballs as Pepperminta gathers vividly hued accomplices to spread the joy of her insights.
- Night of the Living Dead & Chapter 1 of The Phantom Creeps @ Atlas Performing Arts Center, 10pm – Atlas is doing classic schlocky movies ALL WEEKEND. Make sure you stop by (you can buy tickets to all 4 movies scheduled for only $10 making it the sweetest date deal of the weekend).
- THE SHINING @ E Street Cinema, midnight Legendary chiller starring Jack Nicholson as the off-season caretaker of a possessed hotel who slowly goes mad as evil spirits convince him to carve up his family with a fire axe. This is the first movie I ever saw made from a Stephen King novel and resulted in a multiple-year long obsession in my early teens.
- ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (with live shadow cast sonic transducers) @ E Street Cinema, midnight – I mean, it wouldn’t be Halloween without a couple screenings of the the longest-running midnight movie of all time. Starring Tim Curry as the kinky yet endearing “transsexual from Transylvania” Dr. Frank N. Furter (STILL the best legs in business), Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as his hapless guests Brad and Janet, Meat Loaf as motorcycle-riding rough trade and author Richard O’Brien as the hunchbacked butler Riff Raff. It’s harmless musical fun—a delightful spoof of Hollywood horror movies and Old Dark House melodramas. All of our engagements feature live casts who perform scenes during the movie, and the audience is always welcome to respond to the on-screen action. The Rocky Horror Picture was the first—and is still the best—interactive movie experience
- NOSFERATU – A Symphony of Horror @ AFI Silver, 10pm Casting a long and terrifying shadow over the genre, German silent film master F.W. Murnau’s uncredited appropriation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula set the standard for all vampire flicks to come. Max Schreck’s monstrous Count Orlok is singularly frightening, repulsive and beastly where Bela Lugosi was courtly and Christopher Lee seductive
- SHAUN OF THE DEAD @ Afi Silver, midnight– The Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg juggernaut that is probably the funniest scariest zombie movie of all time? (please feel free to further discuss in the comments)
- De dødes tjern (Lake of the Dead) @ National Gallery of Art, 2:00 p.m. A 1950s ghost story with literary and folkloristic roots, Lake of the Dead became a model for subsequent mystery films. Six friends on a weekend outing far from Oslo discover that one member of their party, an early arrival, has disappeared. According to local legend, a phantom with one leg stalks the nearby lakeshore.
- 2 Screenings of Nosferatu @ AFI (7:30pm, 10pm)
- SHAUN OF THE DEAD @ AFI Silver, midnight
- SHINING @ E Street Cinema, midnight
- ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (with live shadow cast sonic transducers) @ E Street Cinema, midnight
SUNDAY (ACTUAL HALLOWEEN, despite all the Saturday party hype, lets not forget)
- The Bat @ Atlas Performing Arts Center, 2pm– Mystery writer Cornelia Van Gorder has rented a country house called “The Oaks”, which not long ago had been the scene of some murders committed by a strange and violent criminal known as “The Bat”. Meanwhile, the house’s owner, bank president John Fleming, has recently embezzled one million dollars in securities, and has hidden the proceeds in the house, but he is killed before he can retrieve the money. Thus the lonely country house soon becomes the site of many mysterious and dangerous activities.
- followed by The House on the Haunted Hill, 3:30pm-Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a “haunted house” party. Whoever will stay in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors.
- followed by Little Shop of Horrors, 5pm – Seymour is a young man who works in a flower store. He manages to create a carnivorous plant that feeds on human flesh. Nobody knows about it, so Seymour and the plant become good “friends”. The plant needs food to grow up, so it convinces him to start killing people
- followed by The Brain that Wouldn’t Die at 6:30pm – Dr. Bill Cortner has been performing experimental surgery on human guinea pigs without authorization and against the advice of his father, also a surgeon. When Bill’s fiancée Jan Compton is decapitated in an automobile accident, he manages to keep her brain alive. He now needs to find a new body for his bride-to-be and settles on Doris Powell, a glamor model with a facial disfigurement. Jan meanwhile doesn’t want to continue her body-less existence and calls upon the creature hidden in the basement, one of Bill Cortner’s unsuccessful
- Ciné-Concert: Häxan—Witchcraft through the Ages @ National Gallery of Art (4pm) American premiere of the original score. One of the most fascinating works in the history of cinema is Christensen’s visually stunning study of witchcraft, a blend of fictionalized vignettes and nonfiction texts exploring medieval sorcery practice. Frequently evoking paintings by Bosch, Häxan conveys a sense of dark emotion let loose on a naive world. Accompanied by a live performance of the original 1922 musical score under the direction of Gillian B. Anderson.
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