If Friday at midnight Grindhouse flicks aren’t enough to scare the crap out of you, we’re paying homage to Halloween with a month of even more indie fright. Every Thursday in October beginning at 9PM Eastern, we’ve got three back-to-back horror films, including freaky faves like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Return of the Living Dead.” And of course, what would Halloween be without, well, “Halloween,” John Carpenter’s often imitated but never duplicated slasher that yielded some of cinema’s most iconic music, as well as a classic costume.
Don’t forget to also check out “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” directed by the original master of horror, Wes Craven. While Craven passed on directing the rest of the “Nightmare” series except for one, he did have a hand in writing “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Warriors,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child,” and “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare”(does that give away too much of the plot?), all airing on IFC this month.
Then, we have films that single-handedly terrified most of the population into avoiding going away to camp, like “The Burning” and “Madman.” If those aren’t enough to send shivers down your spine, even scarier than regular ol’ blood and gore are terrifying true stories. Don’t miss “Ed Gein,” a film about the serial killer who, among other things, created furniture and belts from human remains and served as the inspiration for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Also being served up: the incredibly warped “Strangeland,” for which Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider must have taken his band’s name to heart when writing; David Cronenberg’s “Scanners”; “Eaten Alive,” Tobe Hooper’s follow up to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”; Philippe Mora’s utterly disturbing “The Beast Within”; and Christopher Walken as a vengeful angel in “The Prophecy.”
And, for the faint of heart, don’t fret. Comedy prevails in October as “Z Rock” keeps rollin’ with new episodes. Plus, the Automat, our new night of programming, chugs away every Tuesday with exclusive series, including British import “The IT Crowd,” anime and, of course, films.
PREMIERES TO LOOK FOR
- THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE Enough can’t be said on the talent of Daniel Day Lewis. In this coming of age film, he plays an aging activist who’s protected his daughter (Camilla Belle) from “corrupting” influences all her life by raising her on a remote island, only to realize she’ll have to live in the outside world once he dies. Premieres Saturday, October 4th @ 7PM Eastern.
- TSOTSI This touching South African film won an Academy Award for foreign language film in 2006. It follows a violent teenage thug who ends up caring for an infant after a botched carjacking. Premieres Saturday, October 5th @ 1:45PM Eastern.
- DUST TO GLORY “Step Into Liquid” director Dana Brown headed inland for this incredibly shot documentary about the Baja 1000, the world’s longest non-stop point-to-point and mostly off-road race. Premieres Monday, October 6th @ 10:30PM Eastern.
- MANDERLAY In his follow-up to “Dogville,” Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier directs this tale of an idealistic 1930s woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) who stumbles on a plantation that still practices slavery. Her attempts to abolish the practice go horribly wrong. Premieres Sunday, October 12th @ 3:30PM Eastern.
- JEEPERS CREEPERS Victor Salva’s tale of teen siblings (Gina Philips and Justin Long) being menaced by a flesh-eating monster is one of the smartest, freakiest horror flicks to hit theaters in years. Premieres Sunday, October 12th @ 9:30PM Eastern.
- CHICAGO Back when the Weinsteins were still the forces behind Miramax, the brothers brought back to life a genre that had gone untouched for years — the Broadway musical. The gamble paid off, and the film pulled in six Oscars, including Best Picture. Premieres Saturday, October 18th @ 9PM Eastern.