JEAN GRÉMILLON AT THE HAMMER | 10899 WILSHIRE BLVD.
In a month with no shortage of horror titles to choose from, a selection of potentially more startling discoveries are on offer in the UCLA Film and Television Archives’ retrospective of the great French filmmaker Jean Grémillon. Running from Oct. 17 to Nov. 21, the series surveys the breadth of the poetic realist’s career, from early silent experiments to his eloquent dramas and short documentaries of the 1940s and ‘50s. Each evening features one treasure or another, but the rarities hold the most promise for adventurous cinephiles, particularly the Oct. 18 presentation of the proletariat parable Maldone, and an Oct. 25 double bill of early ‘30s social indictments La Petite Lise and Daïnah la métisse.
3D HORROR AND LADIES OF THE ‘80S AT CINEFAMILY | 611 N. FAIRFAX AVE.
Cinefamily’s annual Halloween bonanza plays host throughout October to any number of cult and outré efforts from the golden age of VHS shlock. Two of the month’s sub-programs, however, feature particularly unique offerings. First, the ‘Unseen! Unscreened!! Obscene!!!’ weekend brings with it the likes of such self-explanatory efforts as Hack-O-Lantern and Night Feeder. Highlighting the weekend, however, is an Oct. 10 screening of the restoration of the surreal 3D strangler classic The Mask, from Canadian director Julian Roffman (era-authentic “Magic Mystic Masks” will be provided). Later in the month is the ‘Ladies of the ‘80s’ series, a three-day, eight-film selection of thrillers directed by women. An Oct. 24 quadruple-bill of Humanoids from the Deep, Slumber Party Massacre, Sorority House Massacre, and Stripped to Kill is the obvious centerpiece. But just as enticing is the following night’s (Oct. 25) double-feature of Jackie Kong’s Blood Diner and Genie Joseph, Thomas Doran, and Brendan Faulkner’s Spookies, a notoriously troubled work which has lived on far longer than anyone involved could have anticipated.
AUTEURIST THRILLS AT THE NEW BEV | 7165 BEVERLY BLVD.
This season’s Halloween selections at the New Beverly impressively run the gamut from horror comedies to giallo thrillers and back again. But most enticing is a generous serving of genre offerings by big-name auteurs, presented, as always on 35mm. On both Oct. 7 and 8, a pair of early David Cronenberg classics, Shivers and The Brood, will screen back-to-back, followed on Oct. 14 and 15 by two of George A. Romero’s most underrated films, Day of the Dead and The Crazies. Elsewhere, on Oct. 25 and 26, you’ll find John Badham’s Dracula and Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu, a pair of remakes which arguably outpace the originals. And finally, on Halloween night, Oct. 31, three of the most influential: Jacques Tourneur’s Curse of the Demon, Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls, and Romero’s genre-defining Night of the Living Dead.
CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD HORROR AT LACMA | 5905 WILSHIRE BLVD.
Alongside thematically, if not necessarily seasonally, appropriate screenings of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (Oct. 16) and Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (Oct. 17), this month’s Tuesday matinee series at LACMA features many less recognized Hollywood horror pictures. Three of the films––The Wolfman (screening Oct. 6), Ghost of Frankenstein (Oct. 13), and Weird Woman (Oct. 27)––star Lon Chaney Jr, paired along the way with such names as Bela Lugosi, Ralph Bellamy, Evelyn Ankers, and Claude Rains. Between these, on Oct. 20, is Son of Dracula, directed by the great journeyman filmmaker Robert Siodmak, who, as in the best of these films, elevates a potentially tired concept into the realm of the truly morbid curiosity.