Horror fans rejoice! It’s October 1st. Our month has arrived! Movie stations across the spectrum are gearing up for their annual horror fests, and our DVRs have been emptied so we can record all our favorites. AMC is celebrating with full days of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street for its annual Fear Fest, and Freeform is offering the best in Halloween films for the entire family.
Not to be outdone, Turner Classic Movies has once again planned a month long celebration of classic horror films for Halloween, and it is an amazing lineup this year!
All month long, viewers will be treated to a spotlight on the many films featuring Dr. Frankenstein and his terrifying, if misunderstood, creature. Alongside that, you’ll find classics from Val Lewton, Tod Browning, and Roger Corman, and Christopher Lee and Vincent Price in some of their most celebrated roles! Check out the listings below and don’t miss out on the founding fathers of the genre and some of their defining work!
**All Showtimes are listed in EST
Sunday, October 2nd
8:00 pm, Frankenstein (1931): The granddaddy of them all starring Boris Karloff as the Creature, Colin Clive as Dr. Henry Frankenstein, and directed by James Whale. It was the first time Universal brought the creature to life and it’s still the most beautiful, atmospheric version to date. Karloff proved his acting chops without saying a word!
9:30 pm, Bride of Frankestein (1935): Colin Clive and Boris Karloff return with James Whale once again at the helm in this standout sequel that created one of the most iconic images in horror. When Frankenstein’s wife is kidnapped by the evil Dr. Pretorius, he is forced to create a bride for his Creature. Elsa Lanchester, who pulls double duty as both Mary Shelley and the Bride, is stunning as the woman brought to life for a creature she immediately rejects. Lanchester, who was only 5’4″ tall, was placed on stilts to appear 7′ tall in the film. Her bandages were wrapped so tightly that she was unable to feed herself or sit during filming. The film is a masterpiece not to be missed!
11 pm, Son of Frankenstein (1939): Wolf von Frankenstein returns to his ancestral home and soon finds himself tempted by his father’s work. The Creature, once again played by Boris Karloff, appears to be in a coma, but Wolf’s experiments soon leads to a rampaging giant in the night who kills local villagers. The film also features Bela Lugosi as Ygor.
Monday, October 3rd
4:45 am, Curse of the Cat People (1944): This sequel to 1942’s Cat People is Val Lewton at his supernatural best. A young girl creates an imaginary friend who resembles her father’s deceased first wife. Is it just imagination? Or is her spirit returned from the grave? Starring the stunning Simone Simon from the first film, this is one of those sequels that was meant to be.
Friday, October 7th
8pm, Nosferatu (1922): The silent classic is one of the first, and arguably still one of the best, adaptations of Dracula for the big screen. Directed by F.W. Murnau with a screenplay by Henrik Galeen, Nosferatu starred Max Schreck as the evil vampire Count Orlok. Schreck was so believable in the role that audiences were stricken in its first showings.
9:45 pm, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920): Another classic from the silent era, Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist named Cesare to murder his enemies. Many claim that contemporary gothic styles in makeup and clothing track back to this essential film. Indeed, if you look at Edward Scissorhands, you can see many similarities between Edward and Cesare.
11:15 pm, Unholy Three (1925): Starring the great Lon Chaney, this film centers around an evil ventriloquist who masquerades as an old woman to front a crime ring.
Saturday, October 8th
1 am, The Phantom of the Opera (1925): Lon Chaney, again stars, in the silent classic as the deformed man who hides in catacombs of the Paris Opera House and feeds his obsession with the young singer, Christine Daae played by the great Mary Philbin. The film is a masterpiece of early genre cinema and not to be missed!
2:45 am, Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922): A fictional documentary, the film traces the “history” of witchcraft from the Middle Ages to the early 20th Century. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made in a Scandinavian country. Director Benjamin Christensen appears in multiple roles throughout the film, most notably playing both Jesus Christ and the Devil.
7:30 am, Mad Love (1935): The great Peter Lorre stars as the evil Dr. Googol who becomes obsessed with an actress played by Frances Drake. When he concert pianist husband, played by Colin Clive, has his hands crushed in a horrific accident, she goes to the doctor and begs him to help the man. Googol grafts the hands of an executed murderer onto the pianist, and those hands still remember their real purpose.
9 am, Isle of the Dead (1945): Boris Karloff stars in this horror classic. On a Greek Island during the 1912 war, villagers are quarantined together, but one peasant woman is convinced that one of their number is a vampire.
Sunday, October 9th
3:30 am, The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1977): Loosely based on a true story, the film centers on Texarkana, TX in 1946 where a killer is targeting young couples on Lover’s Lane.
8 pm, The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942): Ygor, once again played by Bela Lugosi, resurrects the Creature and delivers him to the son of the original doctor. As Ludwig Frankenstein begins his work, he is unaware that Ygor and other associates of the Doctor have plans to have their own brains placed into the Creature. This marks the first time that the Creature was played by someone other than Boris Karloff. Lon Chaney, Jr. took on he role.
9:15 pm, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943): Larry Talbot, played by Lon Chaney, Jr., is seeking to end his lycanthropic curse. He wants to die, but he is simply unable to do so. He seeks out the gypsy woman who first told him of the curse and together they travel to find Dr. Frankenstein. When they arrive, they discover that the doctor is dead and only his daughter remains. She admits she doesn’t have her father’s papers on his work, but agrees to travel with them to the old Frankenstein manner. They find the Creature, played this time by Bela Lugosi, frozen in a block of ice and upon freeing him get more than what they bargained for.
10:45 pm, House of Frankenstein (1944): Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, AND the Wolf Man all in one film for the first time. The tagline for the film read: All the screen’s titans of terror–together in the greatest of ALL SCREEN SENSATIONS!
Monday, October 10th
12:15 am, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920): This silent version of the Stevenson classic, stars the inimitable John Barrymore, as the doomed Dr. Jekyll whose experiments to end madness split his personality and create a monster that he cannot control.
2 am, House (1977): This classic Japanese horror/comedy film surrounds a girl who spends her summer in a haunted house, and was produced by the famed Toho Studios.
3:30 am, The Haunting (1963): Dark and brooding with a strange ability to get deep under your skin, this classic may be the definitive adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Directed by Robert Wise, the film had an all star cast including Russ Tamblyn, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and the remarkable Julie Harris in the pivotal role of Eleanor. Using only sounds and shadows to hint at the sinister force haunting Hill House, the audience is taken on a terrifying ride through madness and despair as two women are invited to the home to see if their psychic abilities will spark the House back to life.
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