Halloween 2014: Last-Minute Recommendations – Movies & Plays

Liverpool Empire
Why not spend Halloween in a haunted theatre – or at least a theatre presenting haunted entertainment?

In the fourth installment of our last-minute Halloween recommendations, we suggest some movies and plays for your perusal. This list in particular is notable for its omissions: our goal is to help you prioritize your schedule for the final days of Halloween; therefore, events that will continue after this weekend are not listed here: The Wicked Lit Halloween Theatre Festival, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, The Zombie Effect, Smoke and Mirrors, Re-Animator: The Musical, and Scary Musical: The Musical – all of these will be available well into November and even December. Listed below are events that you need to see now if you don’t want to miss them.

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ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN  at Old Town Music Hall

abbott-costello-meet-frankenstein-posterBud Abbott and Lou Costello meet not only Frankenstein’s Monster (Glenn Strange) but also the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney) and Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi). Though often dismissed by purists for turning Universal Studios’ classic movie monsters into fodder for the comic duo, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is actually quite entertaining – and far superior to Universal’s “serious” monster rallies (House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula).

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein will play at the Old Town Music Hall on October 31, November 1 & 2. Screening times are 8:15pm on Friday; 2:30pm and 8:15pm on Saturday; and 2:30pm  on Sunday. Every show begins with music played on the pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short. There is a 15-minute intermission, followed by the feature film.

Tickets are $10.00 ($8.00 for seniors 62+) Tickets go on sale at the door thirty minutes before show time. No advance sales.

Old Town Music Hall’s address is 140 Richmond Street in El Segundo. Click here for their website.

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The Evil Dead 2 at The Arclight Hollywood

Bruce Cambell as Ash
Bruce Cambell as Ash

Arclight Cinemas wraps up its month-long series of horror film screenings with Sam Raimi’s 1987 gorefest, which details the trials and tribulations of a Ash (Bruce Campbell) who makes the mistake of reading a passage from an old book that resurrects the titular malefactors. Unlike its predecessor, which went straight for the  jugular – and just about any other vulnerable spot – The Evil Dead 2 aims more for the funny bone, sending the geysers of blood so far over the top that you have to scream – with laughter.

The film screens at 11:30pm on October 31.

The Arclight Hollywood’s address is 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood CA. Click here for the Arclight’s website.

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NightmareBeforeChristmas2014ElCapitanTHE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS at El Capitan Theatre.

Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood continues its annual Halloween tradition, presenting another limited engagement of Tim Burton’s holiday classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Per tradition, the presentation will be enhanced with numerous bells and whistles, turning your visit into a live event almost as much as a theatrical screening. There will be “Interactive 4D Sensory Effects,” such as lights, wind, snow, fog, and even scents.

The movie is followed by a Treat-Tastic Dessert Party on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,  featuring activities, desserts, and a souvenir photo. Ynfortunately, all dates are sold-out, so you will have to content yourself with simply viewing the film.

The Nightmare Before Christmas runs through November 2. Tickets run from $11 (for children and seniors) to $23 (fpr VIP tix).

El Capitan Theatre is located at 6838 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Click here for the website.

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URBAN DEATH: TOUR OF TERROR at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre.

Urban Death 2014 at Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre
Urban Death. (Photo Credit: Wimer-Matulis)

Unique. Depraved. Disturbing. These are words that come to mind while experiencing Urban Death: Tour of Terror at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood. Easily one of the most horrifying and visceral Halloween attractions in Los Angeles, this unconventional theatrical experience reaches out through the darkness and caresses viewers on profound psychological level. No visible bruises will be apparent as you leave the theatre, but the mental scars will linger as you head home, haunting your dreams – perhaps forever.

Urban Death: Tour of Terror is part haunted maze and part stage presentation, requiring the audience to walk to and from the theatre with a modified flashlight, squeezing through narrow corridors filled with uncanny visions that can never be glimpsed fully. The unnerving effect serves first as a wonderful prelude, then later as an effective coda to the stage show, which is where the real action takes place.

The theatre presents a series of vignettes that play like the free-association of a demented mind, pushing the boundaries of good taste by mixing nudity and sex with violence in a way that is disturbing if not outright offensive. More important, the stage show excels at filling its bare theatre with sense of dread that lingers in the mind like the echos of strange notes  that continue to reverberate after the instrument has been silenced These memories you will cherish for months after the last Jack O’Lantern has been extinguished, memories you do not want to deny yourself.

Urban Death: Tour of Terror continues on Friday and Saturday, October 31 and November 1, with five performances each night, starting at 8:30pm and running at 45-minute intervals. Tickets are $12.

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre is located at 4850 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91601. Call (818) 202 – 4120 for more information, or click here for the official website.