Saturday, September 17, 2011

Halloween horrors!

It's saddened me, the last coupla years, that there just don't seem to be as many horror films in wide release around Halloween. Ironically, though Hollywood's skimping on its horror fare in recent years, this weekend saw two fantastic events in Tinseltown that kept the Halloween Horror spirit alive.

The schlock horror omnibus CHILLERAMA isn't the first film to screen at the scenic Hollywood Forever Cemetery, but it was weirdly appropriate. Not so much for the subject matter of its increasingly delirious and wilfully offensive chapters (the most ingenious being "The Diary of Anne Frankenstein") but for its genuine earnestness in depicting and paying hommage to the drive-in movie experience. The filmmakers seem united in their dislike of the notion of the death of cult film as communal event (with some harsh words toward the notion of viewing a film on your iPhone), but, more positively, they reveled in the notion of premiering the film in such a lovely venue, in front of hundreds of simpatico horror fans. The communal aspect extends to the segments of the film itself, each giddy with the glee of good friends and colleagues (including a diverse array of horror movie regulars) coming together to create and celebrate the creepy, funny, and very very wrong films that we all love.

Meanwhile, the very next night, the HP Lovecraft Film Festival hit San Pedro for its second year, offering a slew of directly and indirectly Lovecraftian films. Per the vision of the author, the films captured horror of a somewhat cosmic bent, from the invocation of elder gods to the insanity that hits when we cross the threshold to other realms. But the most special film in the festival's first night was Berkeley Square, a delightful and romantic time travel opus from 1933. Seen by Lovecraft four times during its initial run (who was inspired by the film to create and finish disparate works from The Case of Charles Dexter Ward to The Shadow Out Of Time), the film made a new premiere in the form of a painstakingly restored 35mm print that we seriously hope will make the rounds in the coming months. On Halloween or not, it deserves your eyes and attention.

There's a thread in our Forums to discuss the horror movies you see in the next few weeks - if something freaks you out and gets you in the Halloween spirit, how about stopping there and telling us about it?

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