Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Month in Horror: On Television

So money's low, you have kids, you live in the middle of a theatreless town in Arkansas yet you still want to experience that Halloween feeling precariously through cinema. Well then, set your DVR or more likely VHS, what, you're still clinging onto your Betamax, right on brother, here's some of your best Halloween bets for the rest of the month.

Turner Classic Movies (Pacific times)

Friday, October 16th

4:00 AM: Gaslight (1944, George Cukor) Is Ingrid Bergman's husband a cold deceitful gold digger trying to drive her insane or is he just French? In case this is too early or late for you, it shows again on Friday the 30th at 5:00 PM.

7:30 PM: Lured (1947, Douglas Sirk) I haven't seen this thriller from Sirk, usually known for his vibrantly colorful melodramas, but the cast which includes Boris Karloff, George Saunders and Lucille Ball and the plot involving a serial killer stalking victims via personal ads intrigues.

9:30 PM: The Lodger (1944, John Brahms) Laird Cregar gives one of cinema's greatest creepy performances as a Jack the Ripper type killer with some sexual repression issues who takes up residence in an unsuspecting house.

11:00 PM Videodrome (1983, David Cronenberg) Long live the new flesh!

12:45 AM: TerrorVision (1986, Ted Nicolaou): I've never seen this mid-80's cult favorite, but the VHS cover art is very familiar from my video store horror section perusing.

Saturday, October 17th

3:00 AM: Freaks (1932, Tod Browning) &
4:30 AM: The Devil Doll (1936, Tod Browning): A Tod Browning directed revenge themed double bill.

Sunday, October 18th

3:00 AM: The Walking Dead (1936, Michael Curtiz) &
4:30 AM: Bedlam (1946, Mark Robson): A Boris Karloff double bill, the first from the director of Casablanca concerns a framed man coming back from the dead to even the score, the second, from producer Val Lewton involves an actress who gets thrown in an insane asylum.

9:00 PM: Phantom of the Opera (1925, Rupert Julian): Lon Chaney stars in the silent Universal Monster classic.

11:00 PM: Vampyr (1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer) &
12:30 PM: The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck (1967, Roman Polanski): Two auteurs, two vampire tales, two distinctly different approaches.

Tuesday, October 20th

5:00 PM - 11:30PM: William Castle Night: The gimmick laden producer-director is celebrated with showings of Mr. Sardonicus (1961), Strait-Jacket (1964), The Tingler (1959), 13 Ghosts (1960), The Old Dark House (1963)

1:00 AM: The Old Dark House (1932, James Whale): Boris Karloff and Frankenstein director James Whale reteamed for this strange story concerning being stuck in an old scary house on a stormy night with the even stranger inhabitants.

Saturday, October 24th

3:00 AM: The Corpse Vanishes (1942, Wallace Fox) &
4:30 AM: Mark of the Vampire (1935, Tod Browning): A Bela Lugosi double bill, in the first he plays a mad scientist killing brides and harvesting their organs to keep his wife alive, in the second he's reunited with Dracula director Browning for another vampire tale.

11:15 AM: Poltergeist (1982, Tobe Hooper): Hooper and producer (and some claim real director Steven Spielberg) tried to warn us of the horrors of gated communities! If you miss this showing, it will re-air on Tuesday the 27th at 5:00 PM.

Sunday, October 25th

3:00 AM: Doctor X (1932, Michael Curtiz) &
4:30 AM: The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933, Michael Curtiz): The Casablanca director and King Kong starlet Fay Wray collaborate on both of these thrillers, the first about collegiate cannibalistic murders, the second another entry in the murderer turning his victims into art figures genre (a la Vincent Price in The House of Wax and Dick Miller in Bucket of Blood).

5:00 PM: The Blob (1958, Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.): Steve McQueen versus Jello!

6:30 PM: Die, Monster, Die! (1965, Daniel Haller): Boris Karloff stars in this movie which I know nothing about besides the awesomeness of the title.

9:30 PM: Nosferatu (1922, F.W. Murnau): Max Schreck stars as the titular vampire, in this silent classic, an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

11:15 PM: Diabolique (1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot): Five years before Hitchcock made you afraid of taking a shower, Clouzot gave a similar treatment to the bath tub.

Tuesday, October 27th

9:00 PM: The Haunting (1963, Robert Wise): The definitive haunted house movie.

11:00 AM: The Village of the Damned (1960, Wolf Rilla): The definitive creepy kids with pale complexion and blonde hair trying to make all the adults in their town crazy movie.

Friday, October 30th

3:00 AM - 3:45 PM: Boris Karloff Celebration as TCM shows, not 1, not 2, not 37, but 11 of the iconoclastic genre superstar's films ranging from 1932-45, the line-up (look them up on IMDB your own damn self): Behind the Mask, The Mask of Fu Manchu, The Ghoul, The Black Room, The Walking Dead, The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, Before I Hang, The Ape, The Devil Commands and Isle of the Dead.

9:00 PM: Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock): Money, hotel, shower, cross-dressing, you know the drill.

Saturday, October 31st

9:00 AM: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971, Robert Fuest) &
10:45 AM: Diary of a Madman (1963, Reginald Le Borg): A Vincent Price double bill, the first is the stylish operatic story of a dismembered man hellbent on vengeance to resurrect his wife, the second involves body possession.

12:30 PM: Martin Scorsese Presents: Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) &
2:00 PM: Cat People (1942, Jacques Tourner) &
3:30 PM: Curse of the Cat People (1944, Robert Wise): Martin Scorsese narrates a documentary on the distinctive genre producer which is followed by his two Cat People films, in which Simone Simon's sexual fears lead her to believe she's a killer cat.

5:00 PM: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941, Victor Fleming): The Gone With the Wind director teams with Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman for this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's story of schizophrenia, but if you only have time for one Jekyll and Hyde film, wait until 11.

8:15 PM: The Body Snatcher (1945, Robert Wise): Boris Karloff stars as a grave robbing mad scientist, Val Lewton produces.

11:00 PM: Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932, Rouben Mamoulian): This pre-code adaptation of the Jekyll and Hyde story is much more sexually perverse and interesting than the overblown big budget Fleming version.

12:45 AM: The Son of Jekyll (1951, Seymour Friedman): The son of, well you know, tries to clear his father's name, word of advice, it didn't work so hot for Dr. Frankenstein's kid.


The channel formerly known as American Movie Classic that got all fancy with Emmy nominated shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men is still a major disappointment for cinema fans as they focus primarily on post 80's films and long ago stopped showing uncut and commercial free presentations and is almost not worth mentioning, but they do air some holiday themed favorites, so if the TVs on and you can't find the remote, I guess there's worse places to be stuck.
Wednesday, October 21st

8:00 PM: Ghostbusters (1984, Ivan Reitman) &
10:30 PM: Ghostbusters II (1989, Ivan Reitman): While the superiority of the first over it's sequel is not even debatable, are you a Ray Parker or Bobby Brown theme song fan?

Friday, October 23rd

1:30 AM: Return of the Living Dead (1985, Dan O'Bannon): A fun, gory, tongue in cheek, punk rock take on the zombie genre.

Saturday, October 24th

7:30 AM: The Fly (1958, Kurt Neumann): The classic Vincent Price "help me" version, not the 80's Cronenberg directed AIDS parable.

9:30 AM: Dracula (1979, John Badham): The late 70's Frank Langella starring version which was the follow up to director Badham's smash hit Saturday Night Fever.

2:30 PM: Alien (1979, Ridley Scott) &
5:00 PM: Aliens (1986, James Cameron)&
8:00 PM: Alien 3 (1992, David Fincher) &
10:30 PM: Alien: Resurrection (1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet): The Ripley versus alien quadrology.

Sunday, October 25th

6:30 PM: The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick): All work and no play, something something something.

Monday, October 26th

4:30 AM: The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton): This Deborah Kerr starring adaptation of Henry James' Turn of the Screw still has the capacity to creep you out, great atmospheric cinematography!

Saturday, October 31st

7:30 AM: Young Frankenstein (1973, Mel Brooks): Gene Wilder teaches us the correct pronunciation of the mad scientist's last name in this loving satire of the classic series.

12:00 PM: Halloween (1978, John Carpenter) &
2:00 PM: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers (1988, Dwight H. Little)
4:00 PM: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Meyers (1989, Dominique Othenin-Girard): For the past decade or so, AMC had routinely aired all of the Halloween movies in a continuous marathon on Halloween night, I guess they were unable to procure the rights from Universal who owns part II and III and Miramax who owns the rights to 6-8 and the Rob Zombie remakes. This is sad in the sense that it looks like the end of a tradition and also because I owe my rethinking and appreciation of Season of the Witch to AMC. The original, of course, is the one to watch.

6:00 PM and continuously throughout the night: Night of the Living Dead (1968, George A. Romero): The original that started the whole zombie genre.

Friday, October 16th:

12:00 AM: Eaten Alive (1977, Tobe Hooper): Hooper takes us from Texas to Louisiana, but crazy murdering still ensues!

1:35 AM: Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind (1978, Jose Mojica Marins): For those who can't make it out to the Cinefamily's Coffin Joe retrospective, you can get a taste for his work here.

Sunday, October 18th:

2:15 PM: The Virgin Spring (1960, Ingmar Bergman): Bergman's meditation on revenge inspired Wes Craven's less meditative The Last House on the Left.

3:45 PM: The Vanishing (1988, George Sluizer): The original Dutch abduction thriller.

5:35 PM: Sisters (1973, Brian DePalma): DePalma's first thriller shows his stylistic formalist flourishes in their infancy.

Tuesday, October 20th

7:15 PM: Motel Hell (1980, Kevin Connor): It takes all types of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters.

Thursday, October 22nd

7:10 PM: Ginger Snaps (2000, John Fawcett): This Canadian female teenager werewolf tale spawned a lot of DTV sequels.

Saturday, October 24th

8:00 PM: Shadow of the Vampire (2000, E. Elias Merhige): Was Max Schreck the first real method actor? This film predisposes he was.

Monday, October 26th

8:00 PM: It's Alive (1974, Larry Cohen): A film every prospective parent should watch before child birth.

Wednesday, October 28th

8:00 PM: Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, Tobe Hooper): Leatherface and his family can hardly wait to have you over for dinner.

Sundance Channel

10:00 PM: Eraserhead (1977, David Lynch): Another tale of the horrors of being a father and crazy radiator living ladies.


Tuesday, October 27th

8:00PM: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966, Bill Melendez): I really feel this is the year Linus is showered with presents by the Great Pumpkin, he's due.

For other scheduled horror themed specials and movies consult your local listings, also recommended is Chiller, the cable channel dedicated to the genre.


Mummbles said...

I just rented Nightmare on Elm St, havent seen the orginal one in a long time. Got Trick R Treat at home waiting to be watched, and of course I have to watch Halloween and Halloween 2 (its sort of my tradition). And why the original Ghostbusters theme is the best I appreciate the hip hoppy-er Bobby Brown class eh eh ya know it!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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