Halloween is fast approaching, and there'll be plenty of horror— and sometimes horrifying—films screening around town. Most of these are costume optional, so, you know, go nuts, but maybe call ahead before you show up as sexy Big Bird.
On the big screen, appropriately, is Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes, opening Friday, Oct. 26, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp. Zombies and vampires have cut into Bigfoot's popularity, but this found-footage horror flick could change that. You know what they say about monsters with big feet, right?
Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands is sort of horror-lite and features the final performance of horror legend Vincent Price. The movie, starring Johnny Depp as the teenager who's always running with scissors, screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Also on Wednesday is a Frankenstein / Bride of Frankenstein big-screen double feature, at several area theaters, starting at 7 p.m. Visit fathomevents.com for details, and to find out about RiffTrax Live, who'll skewer Birdemic, one of the worst films of all time (and, yes, an homage to Hitchcock's The Birds), at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.
Speaking of The Birds, it'll screen at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, through Saturday, Oct. 27, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills, and at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at Reading Town Square in Clairemont. And speaking of Hitchcock, Psycho will screen at 7 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp.
And there's more. So much more. The San Diego Independent Filmmakers Consortium holds its second Pitchfest at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the Four Points Sheraton, and, this time, they'll screen half a dozen locally made horror films, curated by Horrible Imaginings frontman Miguel Rodriguez. Hit 'em up on Facebook to RSVP. If that's not your thing, catch Corpse Bride (yet more Burton) at 7:30 p.m. that evening at the Full Moon Drive-In in Pacific Beach. On Saturday, Oct. 27, two classic silent films will screen at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad, complete with live accompaniment; the 1920 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is at 7 p.m. followed by Nosferatu the Vampire at 11 p.m.
If you're the sort who can't shut up at the movies, swing by Space 4 Art in East Village at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, for TrashTalk Theater. Honcho Jason Ponce will screen Hellraiser, with which you can interact via your tablet / smart phone / Apple IIC. This'll be a really cool event.
And on Halloween, there are plenty of options. Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park will offer up Young Frankenstein and the original version of The Wolfman, starting at around 7. That pesky Burton is back at The Pearl with Beetlejuice at 8 p.m., and later that night, you can catch the San Diego premiere of House of Ghosts at 10 p.m. in the Seuss Room of UCSD's Geisel Library. Added bonus—the audience will participate with live scoring. Instruments will be provided.
Zombies, despite their massive popularity, are sorely lacking in this column. Not to worry: On Friday, Oct. 26, True Love Zombie, a film shot in Lakeside, will enjoy its world premiere at midnight at the Ken Cinema. This is a great way to support both indie filmmaking and the undead. Lastly, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, local writer Glenn Kay will be doing a signing of the latest edition of his book Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide at Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa. The book is by my desk at all times. Happy Halloween, everyone.
Write to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.
Chasing Mavericks: A surfing movie, surprisingly co-directed by Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson, about a teen who turns to crusty surfing legend Gerard Butler to help him survive a massive wave.
Cloud Atlas: This epic production is almost three hours long and stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving in multiple roles. It consists of six stories that span different time periods, with a running storyline about reincarnation and the effects of our actions on future generations.
Fun Size: A teenage girl loses track of her little brother while attending a Halloween party thrown by a really cute boy.
How to Survive a Plague: Documentary about ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), two organizations whose efforts helped made it possible for millions of people to survive HIV.
Nobody Walks: Things get weird when New Yorker Olivia Thirlby moves in with Southern California's John Krasinski and his family. Co-written by Lena Dunham.
Pusher: A drug dealer's life spirals after a botched deal. This is a remake of the 1996 film directed by Drive's Nicholas Winding Refn. San Diego Italian Film Festival: Still going strong, this year's SDIFF will kick off this Friday and run until Sunday, Nov. 11. Details can be found at sandiegoitalianfilmfestival.com.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D: Very few video-game adaptations are successful enough to demand a sequel. The first one looked terrific—let's hope this sequel follows suit.
Simon and the Oaks: Swedish film about two boys, one of whom is Jewish, growing up during WWII.
Somewhere Between: Documentary about four girls who were adopted as babies in China and brought to the U.S.
Trade of Innocents: Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney are a married couple rescuing trafficked children in Southeast Asia.
One Time Only
Caddyshack: The only good thing about golf. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park.
Suds County USA: This locally made documentary looks at all the beer being brewed here in San Diego County. Screens at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. Free.
Marnie: Sean Connery marries Tippi Hedren despite her psychological issues and kleptomania. Screens at noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont.
Ruud Van Empel: Beyond Innocence: A companion piece to the museum's van Empel exhibit, this documentary was directed by the artist's brother, Erik. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Jurassic Park: Velicoraptors were supercool for a while, but these days T-rexes are back on top. Screens as part of the Ken Cinema's anniversary celebration at noon, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27 and 28.
Not a Still Life: Local filmmaker Roberta Cantow's latest effort is about Steve Stone, a devout Jewish man who's also gay and in longtime mourning over the death of his partner from AIDS. Screens at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at The Vine at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo.
Shrek: Mike Myers voices the not-so-jolly green giant at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Full Moon Drive-In in Pacific Beach.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Just, you know, because. Screens at midnight, Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Ken Cinema.
Moonrise Kingdom: Set on an island off the coast of New England in 1965, this new one about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away from the dysfunctional adults in their lives will be adored by those who worship at the altar of Wes Anderson. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at the Central Library, Downtown.
18 Days in Egypt: This is a collaborative documentary about last year's monumental events in Egypt, sourced almost entirely from videos and info taken by people on the ground and in the middle of it. Screens at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at the Great Hall at UCSD.
Masquerade: Korean film about a king's body double who must hold his country together after the ruler is poisoned.
Tai Chi Zero: Steampunk, meet martial arts. Martial arts, meet steampunk. Now make nice. No, actually, don't. Alex Cross: We're used to Morgan Freeman in the role of this famous detective. Now the part is played by Tyler Perry. Another obvious sign of the impending apocalypse.
Bringing Up Bobby: Famke Janssen's directorial debut stars Milla Jovovich as a European con artist who moves her young son to Oklahoma in hopes of escaping her past.
Least Among Saints: Martin Papazian wrote, directed and stars in this film about a tough-luck veteran who tries to help his 10-year-old neighbor find his missing dad.
The Oranges: Two families who've been friends for years find their bond put to the test when the daughter (Leighton Meester) of one couple stars having an affair with the husband (Hugh Laurie) of the other.
Paranormal Activity 4: Now with more paranormal.
Smashed: Mary Elizabeth Winstead is very good as the alcoholic teacher trying to get sober, but there's little in this that you haven't seen before.
War of the Buttons: Two groups of kids must put aside their differences to hide a Jewish girl during WWII. Ends Oct. 25 at the Ken Cinema.
Student of the Year: Bollywood high-school romance acreening at UA Horton Plaza about two kids who fall for each other just as a year-end academic competition gets underway.
This Guy's In Love with You Mare: Filipino flick screening at UA Horton Plaza about a guy who tries to get his ex-girlfriend back when he sees that she might be falling for his best friend.
Seven Psychopaths: Martin McDonagh returns with another violent comedic drama. Colin Farrell stars as Marty, an L.A. screenwriter surrounded by psychopaths such as Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and Tom Waits. Like McDonagh's debut, In Bruges, this one has an emotional heart to it, despite the blood and guts.
Argo: Ben Affleck directs and stars in this take on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and believe it or not, it's gonna be a Best Picture contender.
Atlas Shrugged: Part Two: Paul Ryan porn, the sequel.
Decoding Deepak: This look at Deepak Chopra was made by his own son, Gotham, who chronicled a year of his dad's life.
Here Comes the Boom: High-school biology teacher Kevin James becomes an MMA cage fighter in order to keep his school's extracurricular activities afloat.
The Paperboy: Lee Daniels' follow-up to Precious is a seamy, seedy take on Peter Dexter's novel. Zac Efron falls for older woman Nicole Kidman, who's working with his older brother, intrepid reporter Matthew McConaughey, to get her convicted-murderer boyfriend out of jail. Ends Oct. 25 at Hillcrest and La Jolla Village cinemas.
Sinister: Novelist Ethan Hawke stumbles upon footage that explains how a family was murdered in the very house in which he's working—which, of course, puts him in serious danger, too.
The Thieves: Korean thriller about a group of expert thieves going after a massive diamond worth more than $20 million that's stashed deep in a casino. Of course, if they get it out, the only thing they have to worry about is each other.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel: This documentary about the influential legendary fashion editor was co-directed by Vreeland's grandson's husband. Ends Oct. 25 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Flight of the Butterflies: It turns out Monarch butterflies are much like SDSU students—every year, thousands of them head to Mexico. This IMAX film captures their beautiful trip. The butterflies, that is.
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton hasn't made a film that's been an original idea in years, so it sort of makes sense that he'd remake one of his own movies.
Taken 2: Remember all those dudes Liam Neeson killed in the thoroughly violent Taken? At least one of them has a family member out for a little payback.
Hotel Transylvania: You won't be surprised to hear that this new animated film involves vampires. And 3-D.
Looper: Director Rian Johnson (Brick, Brothers Bloom) teams once again with Joseph Gordon-Levitt for this time-twister; JGL is a hit man whose future self (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to be rubbed out.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This adaptation of the beloved young-adult novel has made plenty of old adults feel for their youth.
Pitch Perfect: Anna Kendrick is the new girl at college who finds her place by joining a bad-ass all-girl vocal group.
End of Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are L.A. cops targeted by a Mexican cartel after a routine traffic stop.
The House at the End of the Street: Jennifer Lawrence and her mother, Elisabeth Shue, move next door to a house where there'd been a brutal murder. When Lawrence makes friends with the sole surviving family member, things get dangerous.
The Master: The new one from Paul Thomas Anderson looks at the relationship between drifter Joaquin Phoenix and emerging religious figure/cult leader Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It is intelligent, artistic, cerebral, and challenging.
Trouble with the Curve: Aging baseball scout Clint Eastwood would have much more success if he'd stop talking to chairs.
Arbitrage: Richard Gere is a hedge-fund billionaire who makes some serious mistakes while trying to stay rich.
Samsara: Shot in 70-millimeter film on several different continents over half a decade, this is the latest from the folks responsible for Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka.
Searching for Sugar Man: When two South Africans try to learn how an obscure American singer-songwriter from the '70s died, they get more than they bargained for. Despite that sounding like a feature, it's a pretty damn good documentary.
The Bourne Legacy: Jeremy Renner takes over the franchise, which is now directed by Tony Gilroy, the guy who wrote all of the other Bourne movies and directed Michael Clayton.
The Campaign: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis spar over a North Carolina congressional seat.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days: If it feels like they release one of these every summer, that's because that they release one of these every summer.
Total Recall: Less a remake of Arnie's 1990 flick than a new adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's short story. Colin Farrell plays Quaid, a man who starts to believe that everything he remembers might not be real. Kate Beckinsale is in the Sharon Stone role; Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston also star.
The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy concludes.
Ice Age: Continental Drift: So cold.
Deep Sea: This IMAX undersea film was made by Del Mar's Howard and Michele Hall and is narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Flying Monsters 3D: No, it's not a crappy studio blockbuster—this one is all about dinosaurs and was written and directed by Richard Attenborough, using Avatar-like technology, and plays the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
The Intouchables: French blockbuster sensation about an aging Caucasian paraplegic who hires a poor young black man to be his caretaker.
To the Arctic 3-D: Cute-animal-movie alert No. 2. Meryl Streep narrates this new IMAX movie about a mama polar bear and her two cubs.
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity: Liam Neeson narrates this IMAX film, screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.