old, something new, something bloodied and something . .
. undead. That’s the kind of cinema you’ll find this weekend
for your evil Halloween pleasure. Sure, you can creep over
to the multiplex to check out Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
but there are some devilishly enticing alternatives around
the Capital Region.
Hudson Valley Community College is hosting Shocktoberfest:
A Hometown Halloween Special, featuring independently made
horror films by such local filmmakers as Joe Bagnardi, Bruce
G. Hallenbeck and Jeff Kirkendal. In addition to six short
films, there will be five features: Shadow Tracker: Vampire
Hunter (a Vietnam vet tracks down an old army buddy-turned-vampire);
The Temptress; The Edge of Reality (a Creepshow-style
trilogy of horror); Vampyre (a homage to Carl Theodor
Dreyer’s Vampyr); and Blood of the Werewolf (the
The films will be presented today (Thursday, Oct. 30) from
2 to 10:30 PM, and tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 31) from 11 AM
to 1:25 PM, in the Maureen Stapleton Theatre (HVCC, 80 Vandenburgh
Ave., Troy). Admission is an uncanny $1 per day. For more
information, call 629-4TIX.
The Devil Music Ensemble will take moviegoers back to the
dawn of horror cinema when they accompany Robert Wiene’s
atmospheric, supremely creepy expressionist classic The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in two locations, on two nights.
The film is best known for its outrageous expressionist
sets, costumes and acting, but the story is arguably weirder—a
traveling doctor exhibits a somnambulist who may (or may
not) be responsible for a series of grisly murders. Oh,
and the whole story may or may not be the figment of an
insane man’s fevered imagination. (Pictured, l-r, Werner
Krause as Caligari, Conrad Veidt as the somnambulist, and
Lil Dagover as victim-in-waiting.)
The Devil Music Ensemble will perform with The Cabinet
of Dr. Caligari today (Thursday, Oct. 30) at 3 and 7
PM at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady). All
seats are $10. For more information, call 346-6204. They
will perform with Caligari tomorrow (Friday, Oct.
31) at 7:30 and 10:30 PM at Saratoga Film Forum (320 Broadway,
Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $10, $8 Saratoga Film Forum
members. For more information, call 584-FILM.
Finally, for something on the (slightly) lighter side, there’s
Roman Polanski’s bizarre vampire comedy The Fearless
Vampire Killers—which opens with Leo, the M-G-M lion,
sprouting fangs. It’s the story of an absent-minded vampire
killer (Jack MacGowran) and his blundering assistant (Polanski)
as they take on a castle full of decadent, aristocratic
vampires. It’s full of weird humor—there’s a gay vampire
who pursues the assistant, and a Jewish vampire impervious
to the power of the crucifix—and the stunning camerawork
evident in all of Polanski’s work. Plus, it’s funny.
Fearless Vampire Killers will be shown Saturday (Nov.
1) at 7:30 PM at the Spencertown Academy (Route 203, Spencertown).
Tickets are $5, $4. The film is not recommended for children
under 13. For more information, call 392-3693.
are plenty of haunts for party-loving music fans to enjoy
this Halloween, and even if you tend to be shy in the midst
of festive crowds, this is your holiday: You get to be whomever
you wish for the night. Don a new persona, or simply be
your own shy self with a Snow White mask—anything goes on
Halloween. Which is why any outings on this night are implicitly
zany, especially a live club show—it’s a crowd of freaks
(finally someone you can relate to, right?).
Tomorrow (Friday) night at the Larkin (199 Lark St., Albany,
463-5225), local performers get to be each other for Halloween.
It’s the second Why Can’t I Be You show, where local musicians
perform songs by their peers. The first took place at the
old Lionheart in the summer of 2001 on another nutty date,
April Fool’s Day, and it was a smash. So the Halloween version
is sure to appeal. The show is hosted by MotherJudge and
John Brodeur; other performers include Bryan Thomas, Rich
Baldes, Michael Eck, Rosanne Raneri, Mitch Elrod, Brian
Bassett (pictured) and more. It’s $5 at the door, and the
lineup will be chosen from a hat—so there’s no telling who’s
first and who’s last until you’re there. So arrive early
(the show starts at 9 PM) and stay late.
Another purveyor of party, Matto Laque (he of Kitty Little,
To Hell and Back and Peterwalkee Records), has arranged
his second annual Halloween Spooky Fest—this year at two
locations, and he’s made it very difficult to choose between
the two shows. Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany,
432-6572) is the place to see some local bigwigs: For one,
Magic Recording Eye, Jason Martin’s “post-apocalyptic folk”
ensemble. Martin incites various phenomena with guitar and
a reel-to-reel tape deck, and he’s enlisted one of the best
rhythm sections this side of the Pacific—Al Kash on drums
and Seth Cluett on bass (and a horn section isn’t out of
the question). Also on the bill: Complicated Shirt (Metroland’s
Best Band’s Band of 2002); everyone’s favorite sludge-rockers,
Small Axe; dark-pop trio Jump Cannon; guitar-accordion-tuba-drum
combo SNMNMNM; and our pick for best post-hardcore band,
To Hell and Back, playing a complete set of Black Sabbath
The second in Matto’s series takes place at the College
of Saint Rose (St. Joseph Hall, 985 Madison Ave., Albany,
454-5195), with another rocking lineup: power-pop sweet
freaks Kitty Little, hardcore-pop stalwarts the Switched
On, all-out kickass rockers the Highsocks, emocore heavies
End of a Year, sludge-metal doomsayers Evixxion, noise-rocking
the Amazing Plaid and the portentously monikered 1991.
Each show of the Halloween Spooky Fest starts at 8 PM sharp,
and $5 gets you an evening of music, fun and games, candy
and costume contests.
More Halloween choices abound, with the upstairs stage at
Valentine’s featuring our very own Erotics, with the visiting
bands the Charms, Biopop and Pretty Suicide. It starts at
8:30 PM and $8 gets you in the door. Evil Ruckus II will
descend on Albany’s Lark Tavern (453 Madison Ave., 463-9779),
a multimedia event turning the Lark Tavern into “a house
of hell,” with Jerkwater Ruckus performing their jam-rock
favorites while dressed in “costumes designed to explore
the natures of evil, and how that manifests itself through
both audio and visual mediums.” The night also features
costume contests, prizes and drink specials. It starts at
Running With Scissors (they must love this holiday) will
perform terrifying music at the Commercial Motel in Mechanicville
(116 Railroad St., 664-9050), and if your costume meets
the gatekeeper’s criteria you’ll get in free. Beware: “Lame
attempts at free entry will be subject to intense ridicule.”
That may be worth the trip alone. The show starts at 10
PM and is $2. Of course The Rocky Horror Picture Show
has to show up on Halloween, and All Sports Pub in Troy
(194 River St., 687-0064) will feature the film at midnight,
with the ghoulish sounds provided by Blackcat Elliot, Dolan
Dolan and Folding Sky. It starts at 9 PM. Finally, if you’d
like to visit with ghosts from days gone by, head to the
Fuze Box (12 Central Ave., Albany, 432-4472) for QE2 Ressurrection
night. Dance Halloween night away amid all the old décor
from the days of the Q.