Besides sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for you-know-who, there's only one better way to pass the time lounging in the dark once October hits. We're talking about taking in a horror flick, a time-honored tradition of the season going back to the heyday of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff (if not before). And local film freaks on large and small scales alike are ready to frighten the holy bejeezus out of you this October with an eye-popping slate of film frights.
Uncomfortable Brunch kicks off the season, getting in early and gory with 2016's black-and-white shocker Eyes of My Mother on Oct. 1 (Will's Pub). The mind boggles wondering what food they'll serve to accompany this one.
The Enzian is going all-in on the frights in October, as they turn all of their specialty programming into fright-fests. Popcorn in the Park goes all drive-in movie with the original Blob (Oct. 12). Music Mondays features the bonkers Phantom of the Paradise (Oct. 16), a gonzo hybrid of Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Phibes and KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park and a perfect choice for the Halloween installment of MM. Even the usually-innocent Book to Big Screen screens Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (Oct. 21). And a slate of Midnight Movies are topped off by a lovingly restored version of Mario Bava's atmospheric masterpiece Kill, Baby ... Kill! (Oct. 21)
Meanwhile, the month's slate of Cult Classics includes Poltergeist (Oct. 3), Cabin Fever (Oct. 10) and High Tension (Oct. 24). Enzian programmer Tim Anderson waxes enthusiastic about bringing in the blood-soaked High Tension: "High Tension is an early masterwork of the French New Wave of Horror that arrived in the U.S. in the early 2000s ... films that looked to capture the gritty grindhouse stylings of the '70s New American Cinema. On the surface it would seem to be a basic stalk-and-slash film, but High Tension belies those simple motifs. If you know nothing of High Tension, leave it that way and come to the film with no preconceptions."
Even the more-arty More Q Than A film series organizers (Gallery at Avalon Island) are getting into the act on Oct. 25 with a screening of the strangely beautiful surrealist Japanese horror-romp House (1977). Unfortunately, they'll be up against some stiff competition from the MST3K alums' Rifftrax and a simulcast of their 2013 takedown of the seminal zombie film Night of the Living Dead (various locations).
On the big night, if you've been aged out of trick-or-treating, you've got the choice of attending a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Garden Theatre in Winter Park, with the usual dressing-up and extracurricular activities or you can go all in on serious heebie-jeebies and catch a showing of the original Nightmare on Elm Street at the Enzian. Either way, stay sick, knif.