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SCARY STUFF: Halloween film festivals
October 16, 2009  | By Diane Werts
 
devils rejects.jpg

It isn't just Monty Python hitting the air on IFC this Sunday. That's also the night the channel starts its Indie Screams festival as we head toward Halloween.

Tune in before Python's 9 p.m. ET start to catch Rob Zombie's insanely decadent 2005 splatterfest The Devil's Rejects (Sunday at 7:10 p.m. ET, repeating 2:30 a.m., IFC; photo at top). The serial-killing-family saga kicks off a nightly run of fright films starting 7-ish ET through Oct. 31. (Schedule here.)

We're partial to Tuesday's 1980 comedy creepfest Motel Hell (Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. ET, IFC), the answer to "Whatever happened to Rory Calhoun?" and "Where I can see Wolfman Jack?"

motel hell poster.jpgAnother treat: next Saturday's Shadow of the Vampire (Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. ET, IFC), where it's hard to tell what's weirder: F.W. Murnau's silent spooker Nosferatu or its bizarre production, chronicled here with John Malkovich (as driven director Murnau) and Willem Dafoe (his vampire flick's method-acting star). See the trailers here and here.

AMC catches up to the action next Friday, starting its annual nonstop FearFest with Sigourney Weaver's 1980s hits Alien and Aliens (Oct. 23 at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET, AMC).

Even better, AMC's web site boasts more than a dozen cheesy creature features you can stream anytime! The B-movie bounty includes Fiend Without a Face, The Horror of Party Beach, Karloff and Lee in Corridors of Blood, and 1971's Werewolves on Wheels, pitched by AMC as "the best movie ever about biker gangs, Satanism and lycanthropy." (Trailer here.)

Turner Classic Movies, meanwhile, is all over the map. Tuesday night's five-film salute to gimmick director William Castle, who once wired theater seats to literally shock audiences, starts with the frozen smile of 1961's Mr. Sardonicus (Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. ET, TCM). Then skip to next Friday's festival of gothic thrillers, led by a genuinely singular film, Charles Laughton's gorgeously expressionistic 1955 chiller The Night of the Hunter (Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. ET, TCM), starring Robert Mitchum as the tattooed hate/love preacher. On Oct. 25, it's meteor night with the '50s fright of The Blob. Psychic powers get the spotlight Oct. 27 with 1982's Poltergeist.

night of the hunter poster.jpgTCM gets serious on Oct. 30 with a Boris Karloff marathon of 11 titles, while Oct. 31's all-day scary stuff ranges from the 1932 Fredric March and 1941 Spencer Tracy versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to 1971's literately camp deco-fest The Abominable Dr. Phibes with Vincent Price. Full schedule here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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