Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dr. K's Halloween Countdown Presents: Set Your Tivos!

On Friday, Turner Classic Movies has set the best line-up of horror movies for the month, and it's worth letting the Tivo run for about 20 hours straight, from 6:00 am to 2:00 am.

I'm going to blog more about several of these movies in the next few days, but I wanted to give readers a heads up that this awesome schedule was coming.

The day starts at 6:00 am with The Brain that Wouldn't Die (1962). I'm going to have a longer post on this tomorrow, so I'll save my comments for that.

There are also the pre-requisite Vincent Price films (The Tomb of Ligeia and The Abominable Dr. Phibes) and Dementia 13, a Corman-produced film that is only interesting because it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Also worth recording is Berzerk (1967), starring an aging Joan Crawford as a female ringmaster of a circus, and Scream of Fear (1961) with Susan Strasberg.

One not to miss, though, is Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), featuring Stephanie Powers as a young woman who is held prisoner by her dead fiancee's mother, played with scenery-chewing excess by Tallulah Bankhead, in her final performance. The film also stars a young Donald Sutherland as Tallulah's mentally damaged son. This movie is a pure riot, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Then, from 8:00 pm - 2:00 am, TCM is running a Tod Browning marathon. Interestingly, Dracula is not included, but that's okay by me, as it is easy to come by. Mark of the Vampire, the first film in the marathon, is a bit disappointing, despite reteaming Browning with Bela Lugosi. That is followed by Freaks, a film everyone should know as Browning's masterpiece. At midnight, TCM's reconstruction of the lost film London After Midnight airs, made up entirely of surviving still photographs and title cards. This may only be interesting to hard core film buffs.

The evening ends at 1:00 am with my single favorite Tod Browning films (and one of my favorite films of all time), The Unknown (1927), starring Lon Chaney. I will do a longer post on this film before Friday, but this movie is jaw-droppingly amazing. The Unknown is 50 minutes of wall-to-wall crazy, with Lon Chaney giving one of the most amazing physical performances you will ever see. Browning and Chaney made several great movies together, including Chaney's only sound film, The Unholy Three. TCM occasionally shows that movie as well, and it's worth keeping an eye out for.

So, this Friday I'm calling in sick, loading up on Doritos and Red Bull, and hunkering down for 20 hours of some of my favorite horror movies. Hold all my calls.

No comments: