PREMIERING OCTOBER 1
The 1980s were defined by style and excess, and the era’s horror movies were no exception. Innovations in practical effects made the nightmares more vivid than ever, and thanks to the rise of home video, the call was now coming from inside the house. While established talents such as John Carpenter (Prince of Darkness), Tobe Hooper (The Funhouse), David Cronenberg (Scanners), Michael Mann (The Keep), and Paul Schrader (Cat People) brought terrifying spectacles to the screen, often with the help of Hollywood studios, home video opened up a new market that allowed the independents to take the genre to unexpected and—in the case of the UK’s censorship of infamous “Video Nasties”—controversial new heights. Curated by Clyde Folley, this ghastly tour through the decade of greed features ambitious art-pulp hybrids (White of the Eye), a Hitchcock-inspired trucker movie (Road Games), old-fashioned creature features (Q: The Winged Serpent), a vampiric Nicolas Cage (Vampire’s Kiss), and absolutely unclassifiable cult oddities (Society), bringing together some of the eighties’ most stylish, haunting, and outrageous visions.
FEATURING: Inferno (1980), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981), Dead & Buried (1981), The House by the Cemetery (1981), The Funhouse (1981), Strange Behavior (1981), Wolfen (1981), Scanners (1981), Road Games (1981), The Fan (1981), Basket Case (1982), Next of Kin (1982), Cat People (1982), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), The Keep (1983), The Hunger (1983)*, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), The Hidden (1987), Prince of Darkness (1987), White of the Eye (1987), Near Dark (1987), The Vanishing (1988), Brain Damage (1988), Dream Demon (1988), The Blob (1988), The Lair of the White Worm (1988), Vampire’s Kiss (1989), Society (1989), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
Scary yet seductive, the vampire has inspired more fascination than just about any other creature in horror history. Ever since Bela Lugosi set the standard for sinister sophistication with his iconic performance in Tod Browning’s 1931 classic Dracula, filmmakers have been relentlessly reimagining and redefining the vampire myth as a delivery system for primal fear, edgy eroticism, and potent social commentary. Glam lesbian vamps (Daughters of Darkness), blaxploitation bloodsuckers (Blacula), pint-size Nordic Nosferatus (Let the Right One In**), K-horror creeps (Thirst), and more are now all part of an ever-growing, multinational lore that will, truly, never die.
FEATURING: Dracula (1931), Dracula (Spanish-language version) (1931), Vampyr (1932), Isle of the Dead (1945), The Velvet Vampire (1971), Daughters of Darkness (1971), Blacula (1972), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Fascination (1979), The Living Dead Girl (1982), The Hunger (1983)*, Near Dark (1987), Vampire’s Kiss (1988), Cronos (1993), Blood & Donuts (1995)**, Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002), Let the Right One In (2008)**, Thirst (2009), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Universal Horror Classics
Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Invisible Man: some of the most legendary movie monsters of all time originated at Universal Pictures in the 1930s, when the studio produced a string of gothic horror classics that would shape the development of the genre for decades to come. Featuring pioneering special effects and makeup, atmospheric mise-en-scène influenced by German expressionism, and unforgettable stars like Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, these classic chillers have left an enduring mark upon the collective cultural imagination.
FEATURING: Dracula (1931), Dracula (Spanish-language version) (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Black Cat (1934), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Raven (1935), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Ishiro Honda: King of the Monsters
Featuring an appreciation by filmmaker Alex Cox
The man who gave the world Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and more, Ishiro Honda was the wizard behind the Japanese monster-movie (kaiju eiga) craze that thrilled legions of international fans in the 1950s and ’60s. Turning the trauma of nuclear attack into larger-than-life pop spectacle, Honda created ferociously entertaining special-effects extravaganzas that doubled as resonant metaphors for the devastation of World War II. This tribute to Honda’s ever-imaginative artistry features the creature features for which he is best remembered as well as lesser-known cult favorites like the psychedelic horror freakout Matango.
FEATURING: Godzilla (1954), Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956), Rodan (1956), The Mysterians (1957), Varan the Unbelievable (1958), Atragon (1963), Matango (1963), Dogora (1964), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), The War of the Gargantuas (1966), Destroy All Monsters (1968), All Monsters Attack (1969), Space Amoeba (1970), Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
PREMIERING OCTOBER 15
Ari Aster’s Adventures in Moviegoing
With the indelibly disturbing nightmares Hereditary and Midsommar, Ari Aster has already established himself as one of twenty-first-century horror cinema’s most audacious auteurs. In this edition of Adventures in Moviegoing, Aster sits down to discuss the unforgettable films that have shaped his life and work. Many of his choices—including Julien Duvivier’s moody noir Panique, the twisted psychological shocker Lady in a Cage, and Lucrecia Martel’s unnerving mystery The Headless Woman—quiver with the same sense of dread that runs through Aster’s own work.
FEATURING: Panique (1946), Hobson’s Choice (1954), Sansho the Bailiff (1954), Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Lady in a Cage (1964), Autumn Sonata (1978), Black Book (2006), The Headless Woman (2009), Another Year (2010)*, Beyond the Hills (2012)
EXCLUSIVE STREAMING PREMIERES
The sophomore feature from Tsai Ming-liang finds the acclaimed master of Taiwan’s Second New Wave demonstrating a confident new cinematic voice. Vive l’amour follows three characters unknowingly sharing a supposedly empty Taipei apartment. The beautiful realtor May Lin (Yang Kuei-mei) brings her lover Ah-jung (Chen Chao-jung) to a vacant unit she has on the market, unaware that it is secretly being occupied by the suicidal Hsiao-kang (Lee Kang-sheng). The three cross paths in a series of precisely staged, tragicomic erotic encounters, but despite their physical proximity, they find themselves no closer to a personal connection. Featuring an intoxicating mix of longing and deadpan humor, Vive l’amour catapulted Tsai to the top of the international filmmaking world and earned him the prestigious Golden Lion at the 1994 Venice International Film Festival.
A masterpiece of American avant-garde cinema, Christopher Harris’s 2000 thesis film is a haunting record of the crumbling, eerily depopulated landscapes of St. Louis’s north side, an area almost exclusively inhabited by working-class and working-poor African Americans. Shooting in evocatively ghostly black-and-white 16 mm, Harris crafts an at once sorrowful and searching study of urban decay that speaks pointedly to America’s history of racial injustice.
Songs for Drella
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
Long thought lost, this elegiac concert documentary captures the extraordinary 1990 reunion of estranged Velvet Underground bandmates Lou Reed and John Cale. The occasion for this landmark event was a live performance of their album Songs for Drella, a wry and wrenching tribute to their recently deceased former manager Andy Warhol (the nickname, Drella, a portmanteau of Dracula and Cinderella, hints at the complex feelings the two men held for the artist, who exerted a Svengali-like influence over their early careers). Filmed with evocative austerity by renowned cinematographer Ed Lachman (The Virgin Suicides, Carol), Songs for Drella is both a mesmerizing musical experience and a haunting reflection on memory, loss, regret, and the search for solace.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5
Garnering comparisons to the work of David Lynch, Brian De Palma, and Pedro Almodóvar—yet undeniably on its own uncanny wavelength—the debut feature from Erin Vassilopoulos is a stylishly retro thriller tinged with surreal menace. On the run, Marian (Alessandra Mesa) goes to the only place she knows is safe: her childhood home. There, she is greeted by her estranged sister, Vivian (Ani Mesa), a stay-at-home housewife struggling to conceive and on the verge of a failing marriage. Though the two are identical twins, they live opposite lives. Marian’s mysterious return disrupts Vivian’s small-town routine, and the sisters must learn to reconnect and reconcile. When Marian’s haunted past finally catches up to her, their separate worlds collide, catapulting both sisters into grave danger.
Superior is presented with the short film of the same name that inspired it.
CRITERION COLLECTION EDITIONS
PREMIERING OCTOBER 1
Forty Guns (Samuel Fuller, 1957)
Criterion Collection Edition #954
Barbara Stanwyck saddles up with Samuel Fuller for this audacious pulp western that puts a boldly feminist spin on the genre.
SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: The feature-length documentary A Fuller Life, interviews with Fuller and critic Imogen Sara Smith, and more.
Deep Cover (Bill Duke, 1992)
Criterion Collection Edition #1086
Film noir hits the mean streets of 1990s Los Angeles in this stylish and subversive underworld odyssey from veteran actor-director Bill Duke.
SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: An interview with Duke; a conversation among Duke, actor Laurence Fishburne, and critic Elvis Mitchell; a conversation between film scholars Racquel J. Gates and Michael B. Gillespie; and more.
My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991)
Criterion Collection Edition #277
River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves make an unforgettable screen pairing in Gus Van Sant’s haunting tale of life and love on the margins.
SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: An illustrated audio conversation between Van Sant and filmmaker Todd Haynes, a documentary on the making of the film, an interview with film scholar Paul Arthur, and more.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12
Věra Chytilová’s subversive take on the 1980s teen horror movie is both a gonzo genre joyride and a blistering allegory for the psychic violence wrought by authoritarian oppression.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19
Kathryn Bigelow’s seductive breakout feature mixes moody art-house style with pulp pleasures to breathe fresh life into the vampire film.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26
The dark side of childhood imagination is conjured with exquisite eeriness in this unsettling evocation of innocence lost.
More women filmmakers featured in this month’s programming: Three Documentaries by Marina Zenovich, The Velvet Vampire (1971), The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Blood & Donuts (1995)**, The Headless Woman (2009), The Black Case (2014), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), Everybody Dies! (2016), Swallowed (2016), Supergirl (2016), I Am Another You (2017), Hair Wolf (2018), White Echo (2019), Hot Mother (2020), Superior (2021), Warsha (2022)
Spotlight on The Brood
In this installment of our Spotlight series, critic and author Grady Hendrix examines the potent blend of emotional anguish and body horror that David Cronenberg tapped into for one of his most terrifying classics.
Three by Denis Villeneuve
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
The lauded French Canadian filmmaker behind the recent blockbuster sensation Dune, Denis Villeneuve started his career with a series of darkly funny, offbeat films laced with the intriguing science-fiction themes that would recur in much of his later work. Following a striking, technologically prescient contribution to the omnibus anthology Cosmos, Villeneuve made his feature directorial debut with August 32nd on Earth, an idiosyncratic existential drama that established him as one of Canadian cinema’s most vital new voices. Its follow-up, the audacious psychological fairy tale Maelström, is narrated by a fish with its head on a chopping block in a classically Villeneuvean touch of surprising surrealism.
FEATURING: Cosmos (1996), August 32nd on Earth (1998), Maelström (2000)
Little Miss Marker
Damon Runyon’s classic short story gets a sparkling screen update courtesy of an all-star cast let by Walter Matthau, Julie Andrews, and Tony Curtis.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince**
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
Discover the unexpected story behind one of the most beloved books ever written.
The Prisoner of Zenda
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15
The most acclaimed of the many film adaptations of Anthony Hope’s classic adventure novel is a superbly mounted tale of political intrigue, mistaken identities, and swashbuckling heroics.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
This inspiring documentary traces a young powerlifter’s coming-of-age journey as she fights to hold on to her title while navigating the perils of adolescence.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29
The magic of Disney becomes a young autistic man’s lifeline in this powerfully honest and moving account of one family’s journey.
Fear comes in all forms in this selection of dread-inducing shorts. Featuring unsettling early works by masters of menace like David Lynch (The Alphabet) and Guillermo del Toro (Geometria) as well as innovative contemporary films that use horror to confront issues such as racism (Hair Wolf) and cultural genocide (The Black Case), these macabre miniatures may only last minutes, but they will haunt your psyche for much longer.
FEATURING: The Alphabet (1968), Geometria (1987), The Black Case (2014), Sea Devil (2014), Everybody Dies! (2016), Swallowed (2016), The Beaning (2017), Hair Wolf (2018), The Devil’s Harmony (2019), The Fall (2019), White Echo (2019)
Start Your Engines!
Sierra and The Great Race
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4
Get revved up for a pair of epic car races in a neon-surreal animated odyssey and an exuberant slapstick delight.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11TH
Queer alienation gives way to an ecstatic experience of liberation in Dania Bdeir’s dazzlingly conceived short, a Sundance prizewinner.
Hot Mother and Autumn Sonata
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18
The often frayed bonds between parents and children are put under the microscope in these intense, claustrophobic portraits of extremely troubled mother-daughter relationships.
Beware Big Brother
The Criminals and The Ear
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25
Two politically charged thrillers bristling with unseen menace evoke the ever-present sense of dread that underpins life in an authoritarian surveillance state.
Three Documentaries by Marina Zenovich
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10
Specializing in portraits of powerful and often controversial figures, Marina Zenovich (Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired) began her career with these three idiosyncratic documentaries, which range from a candid look at the struggles of American independent filmmakers in the 1990s (Independent's Day) to a self-reflexive exploration of her own fascination with a French politician turned convicted criminal turned actor (Who Is Bernard Tapie?) to an offbeat portrait of Tallinn, Estonia, as it prepares to host the Eurovision Song Contest (Estonia Dreams of Eurovision!).
FEATURING: Independent's Day (1997), Who Is Bernard Tapie? (2001), Estonia Dreams of Eurovision! (2003)
I Am Another You
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17
Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores the limits of America’s rugged individualism in this troubling portrait of a young drifter who has turned his back on society.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 24
With this exquisite fashion documentary, legendary designer Dries Van Noten offers an intimate look into his intricate creative process and rich home life.
Häxan (Benjamin Christensen, 1922)
Criterion Collection Edition No. 134
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31
Benjamin Christensen’s legendary treatise on the history of witchcraft is a satanic brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous.
SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by film scholar Casper Tybjerg; Witchcraft Through the Ages (1968), a seventy-six-minute version of Häxan narrated by author William S. Burroughs; and more.
More documentaries featured in this month’s programming: Songs for Drella (1990), still/here (2000), Life, Animated (2016), Supergirl (2016), Invisible Essence: The Little Prince (2018)
A 100th Annoirversary
Panic in the Streets and Caught**
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
In her centennial month, the feisty, perpetually underrated Barbara Bel Geddes shines in a pair of tense, atmospheric noir classics from Elia Kazan and Max Ophuls.
Down for the Count
Dracula and Blacula
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14
The ultimate vampire classic is paired with a subversive blaxploitation update in this twice-bitten double feature.
The Blob (1958) and The Blob (1988)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
The gelatinous terror strikes and strikes again in the 1950s drive-in classic and its impressively gory Reagan-era remake.
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28
Mary Shelley’s fabled monster unleashes mayhem in a Universal horror classic and its wickedly witty sequel.
. . . AND MORE SPOOKS!
Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Bette Davis goes gloriously over-the-top batty in her and director Robert Aldrich’s follow-up to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, a gothic melodrama overloaded with creepy swamp-water atmosphere, severed limbs, and high-camp histrionics.
The House of the Devil
Director Ti West tips his hat to the slasher classics of the 1970s and ’80s with this intense, stylishly retro satanic shocker.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932)
Criterion Collection Edition #586
Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi star in this twisted H. G. Wells tale of science run amok from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday.
SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by film historian Gregory Mank; a conversation among filmmaker John Landis, makeup artist Rick Baker, and genre expert Bob Burns; and more.