It’s the first of October, so many a film fan is plotting out their full month of horror movies, a film-watching challenge among genre fans that’s become something of an annual tradition online. And just in time for that intense scheduling, word is out that two classic horror movies—and one fascinating footnote—will receive special theatrical engagements later in the month.
Fathom Events has been running John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween just in time for the titular holiday for the past few Octobers, and will continue that habit this year, with a special bonus: according to EW, the feature will include an exclusive introduction by the director himself. (On screen, of course; he won’t travel to every theater to introduce it in person. That would be silly.) Halloween will screen at theaters across the country on October 29 at 7:30pm local time; tickets are available at their website.
Fathom is also teaming with Turner Classic Movies to present a “Dracula Double Feature,” which will pair Tod Browning’s 1931, Bela Lugosi-starring Universal classic with its lesser-known stepbrother: the studio’s Spanish-language version, shot simultaneously. You see, back in the pre-subtitle, pre-dubbing days of early talkies, American studios created foreign versions of their films by engaging a B-team of native-speaking actors and technicians to use the same sets and script to re-create the day’s work (sometimes with marquee stars doing double—or even triple and quadruple—duty, reading their dialogue phonetically from off-camera cue cards and chalkboards). Most of these supplementary versions were lost and/or forgotten, but George Melford’s Drácula (starring Carlos Villarías as “Conde Drácula”) is considered by many movie buffs to be the superior version—moodier, scarier, and more atmospheric. Fans will be able to judge for themselves when the pictures are screened back-to-back on October 25, with intros by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz); tickets are available here.
The image quality of Fathom’s film events has long frustrated cineastes, who complain the satellite-streamed events are DVD-quality at best. But some won’t mind the trade-off, in exchange for the opportunity to watch these very scary movies with a captive audience.