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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Halloween Horror Events from the American Cinematheque

The American Cinematheque’s annual Halloween Horror Nights begins with two nights of the family friendly Ghostbusters in 70mm at the Egyptian Theatre Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 at 7:30P. At the same time on Saturday the Aero Theatre across town starts its Annual Dusk-To-Dawn Horrorthon. Films screening include many reliable classics as well as a healthy dose of cult favorites. With such great spooky lineups happening at both venues it’s going to be difficult to decide which part of town to haunt for the rest of the season (or should I say, hang out in?).

One of the highlights at the Egyptian is the presence of a giant Mr. Stay Puft marshmallow man displayed on the roof. I don’t know about you but I just about died laughing when I first saw the friendly candy mascot transition from an adorable cherub to a menacing monster. And since I live in the neighborhood you know I’ll be swinging by Hollywood Blvd. between McCadden and Las Palmas just to see how the big softy looks up close. If I time it out right I’ll stay for the the 90th Anniversary Screening of F.W. Murnau's silent, German Expressionistic Nosferatu on Sunday, October 28 at 4:00 PM. This extremely stylized and atmospheric fable will be presented with a live piano accompaniment. Considered to be one of the greatest horror films ever made it’s a tempting Halloween treat that’s just to good to pass up.

Then over at the Aero in Santa Monica on Monday there’s a Dracula double feature that starts at 7:30P. This includes the grandaddy of all vampire films, Universal’s original monster movie, Dracula. Director Tod Browning and actor Bela Lugosi worked together to establish what is to this day THE standard look, gestures and idioms for the proper vampire. The second film in the lineup is the 1958 Christopher Lee film, Horror of Dracula. For many a fan growing up in the 50’s Lee stands as their ideal of a vampire and rightly holds a special place in horror film history as a solid choice to fill the shoes of the great Bela Lugosi. Bela Lugosi Jr. will be in attendance for these screenings and available afterword for a special book signing event. I met the man at the last TCM Classic Film Festival and he’s a dead ringer for his father, and was present on set for the film of many of Bela senior’s most famous performances.

Also playing at the Aero during its Dusk-To-Dawn Horrorthon is Universal’s last successful monster thriller, Creature from the Black Lagoon. Playing on freight night itself Wednesday, October 31 the beautiful brand new restoration will be presented in 3-D just like it was when your grandparents saw it. Regarded as one of the most memorable horror films of the 1950s this creepy classic is well worth seeing on the big screen and offers a unique movie going experience the whole family can enjoy. I urge you to make it a part of your Halloween this year, establishing a tradition you’ll wish you started years ago.

In case you need added incentive the nice folks at the American Cinematheque will be passing out swag during the annual event. Fun treats will be passed out all night long including coffee for the older kids courtesy of Peet's Coffee and Tea, Monster Energy Drink courtesy of Hansen's Beverage and prizes and giveaways courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Among the tricks will be a variety of spooky trailers, seasonally themed crazy shorts and surprises! All together there will be 6 films screened back-to-back, including Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and John Carpenter’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine. For fans of the season who could ask for anything more?

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