Oh, the horror! The Dodgers are in the World Series! Well, there are worse catastrophes, you know. 2017 has been so calamitous that I fear even Halloween won’t be able to collect and dispel all of our nightmares. Still, pick your pretty poison: Will it be Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931) with live accompaniment by Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet (Oct. 31 at the Paramount)? Or John Barrymore as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) with organist Dorothy Papadakos roiling the rafters (Nov. 3 at Grace Cathedral)?

Those terrifying classics are immortal for a reason, but they’re rather bloodless by today’s standards. Get your gore on at the 14th Another Hole in the Head Filmfest (Oct. 25-Nov. 8 at the New People Cinema) with a blood feast of cinematic depredations. Crime and money collide when U.K. mates farcically collude to dump a corpse in Deny Everything (Oct. 27), and a femme fatale tempts her blinded-by-lust boyfriend into ripping off a rich dude in Troma Pictures alum Trent Haaga’s 68 Kill (Oct. 29). The motivations of the characters admittedly aren’t the primary appeal of the screamfests Halloween and Halloween II (screening Oct. 31 in horrifying black and white).

For your minimum daily requirement of esoteric philosophical ideas, covered with a creamy layer of pulpy scenarios and dialogue, local filmmaker Christopher Coppola is the guy. Another Hole in the Head revives his 2000 feature based on Mike Allred’s comic book, G-Men from Hell (Nov. 6), with three short films he made at the S.F. Art Institute in the 1980s. Coppola’s movies may not scare you witless, but they will leave you fortified for whatever lies ahead.

Now Playing! Another Hole in the Head is Frightfully Cathartic 23 October,2017Michael Fox


Michael Fox

Michael Fox has written about film for a variety of publications since 1987. He is the curator and host of the long-running Friday night CinemaLit film series at the Mechanics’ Institute,  an instructor in the OLLI programs at U.C. Berkeley and S.F. State, and a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

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