The fine town of Austin, Texas, has been overwhelmed by horror films! And I have the next batch! But first, a little history: There once was a man called Zack Carlson, and he was hired to help program films for the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater / restaurant / dream factory. One of Zack's projects was the highly popular Terror Thursday, which meant free horror flicks once a week. The terror has now switched to Tuesdays, which certainly makes more sense in an alliterative way, and the price has now skyrocketed from FREE to ... one dollar. (If you'd like to attend a Terror Tuesday screening and you don't have a dollar, just let me know. I've started a scholarship foundation.)

So mainly because I love Zack and the Alamo, but also because horror movies make me happy, I now bring you the next EIGHT WEEKS of Terror Tuesday titles. (Oooh, now there's an alliteration!) Please keep in mind that, yes, most of these films are readily available on DVD, but also that A) that's not the same as a big screen (and the Alamo only uses actual film prints!), B) it's an excuse to get out of the house, you gore-addicted shut-ins, and C) the Alamo has cheese fries that make other places' cheese fries look like yellow poop on rye.

  • 7/7 -- Prince of Darkness
  • 7/14 -- Deadtime Stories
  • 7/21 -- Re-Animator
  • 7/28 -- The House on Sorority Row (with Elvira introducing!)
  • 8/4 -- Deathdream
  • 8/11 -- Killer Klowns from Outer Space
  • 8/18 -- Kingdom of the Spiders
  • 8/25 -- 976-EVIL

After the jump: Carlson writes rather pithy synopses for the Alamo Guide. Enjoy!

Warning: Salty language afoot!

PRINCE OF DARKNESS
July 7, $1, Dir. John Carpenter, 1987, 35mm, 102 min, R
Satan has roamed our world in several forms: white men, white women
and -- in this case -- as a cannister of swirling green goop
determined to plunge the universe into eternal darkness. Antichrist
proponent-turned-filmmaker John Carpenter followed his flawless BIG
TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA with the movie that would prove to be the most
wrongly underappreciated cinematic hell-slammer of the '80s. Donald
Pleasence (who played Doc Loomis in the HALLOWEEN series) is the
short, shaky, bald priest facing off against evil incarnate. Good
luck. Not content to merely wipe our species off the map, Carpenter's
liquid Lucifer delights in grisly possession suicides, telekinetic
skin-flaying, weather/mind control and transmitting deeply haunting
television signals from mankind's inescapable non-future. Relentlessly
vicious and bleak, this was also one of the three best movies that
year in which a scientist says a swear word before being impaled by a
hobo played by Alice Cooper.

DEADTIME STORIES aka FREAKY FAIRYTALES
July 14, $1, Dir. Jeffrey Delman, 1986, 35mm, 93 min, R
If you're both a horror anthology fan and a Mother Goose enthusiast,
have I got good news for you. This raucously retarded collection of
tainted fables is the type of movie that entertains you against your
will. Maybe it's the fact that Goldilocks is a serial killer with ESP,
or that Little Red Riding Hood is pitted against a pill-popping
werewolf. Or maybe because each story is told to a wide-eyed, innocent
child by a drunk uncle who's desperately trying to watch The Miss Nude
Beauty Pageant. FAMILY TIES' Scott Valentine is the closest thing this
movie has to a star, and if you want him to autograph your VHS copy,
his shift at Jack in the Box ends at 8:30. Also, look for White Zombie
drummer Ivan DePlume in a one-second cameo as a punk corpse,
establishing the only link Rob Zombie would ever have to an
entertaining horror film.

RE-ANIMATOR
July 21, $1, Dir. Stuart Gordon, 1985, 35mm, 95 min, R
Calling RE-ANIMATOR a crucial gore movie is like saying that fire is
hot. Vein-bulgingly manic movie nerd Jeffrey Combs plays the equally
high-strung Herbert West, a medical student gifted with both
extraordinary ability and an absolute lack of conscience. His
grave-robbing, vengeance-tinted antics in the field of death reversal
inevitably unleash a gargantuan avalanche of severed extremities,
spastic torsos, and even a disembodied cunnilingus stunt that would
later be referenced in the inferior Oscar-winning film AMERICAN
BEAUTY. As with Gordon's other H.P. Lovecraft adaptation FROM BEYOND,
the movie is passionately violent, dazzlingly clever, features almost
nothing to do with its source material and is a goddamn motherfucking
masterpiece.

HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW WITH ELVIRA LIVE!!
July 28, $1, Dir. Mark Rosman, 1983, 35mm, 91 min, R
A RARE SCREENING INTRODUCED BY NONE OTHER THAN THE MISTRESS OF THE
DARK, CASSANDRA "ELVIRA" PETERSON!! We're proud to present the
unchallenged heavyweight champ of supernatural sorority slasher films,
directed by the former assistant to cerebral stabmaster Brian DePalma!
A group of fun-lovin' coeds get a little zany and accidentally
assassinate their disabled den mother, leading to a series of
mysterious (and graphically portrayed) murdilizations that may or may
not be the handiwork of her shambling corpse. And this hate-fueled
walking cadaver doesn't play...expect a golden bounty of blade
penetrations, disembowelings, home tracheotomies and -- as the piece
de resistance -- a severed head in a toilet bowl! All of this is
strangely linked to a horrific birthing experience decades earlier
that ended in a frowning uterus and dead fetus, both reminders that
the female body is a terrifying and disgusting place. Fortunately,
most of us that attend Terror Tuesday each week have had little
occasion to spend any time near it.

DEATHDREAM - BOB CLARK B-DAY MEMORIAL SCREENING!
Aug 4, $1, Dir. Bob Clark, 1974, 35mm, 88 min, PG
Recently departed/dearly missed Canadian auteur Bob Clark was the
force behind PORKY'S, BABY GENIUSES 2 and some of the most enduring
horror films in cinematic history. No one will argue the innovation
and scarepower of the original BLACK CHRISTMAS or the flawless Ed Gein
opera DERANGED. But his often overlooked DEATHDREAM aka DEAD OF NIGHT
is his most compelling, dramatic achievement. The parents of a
reported Vietnam war casualty find their grieving rudely interrupted
by their son knocking on the front door. But the joyful reunion is
short-lived as his increasingly bloodthirsty behavior begins to hint
that he may not have made it home alive after all. Horror effects
legend Tom Savini lends some of his earliest work to this perfectly
constructed destroyer with teeth-grittingly strong performances from
all on screen. This is especially true of John Marley, an incredibly
talented actor who horror fans will recognize from THE CAR and
wine-sipping college students will recall from Cassavetes' FACES. The
other 99.7% of society wouldn't give a rat's ass about either film --
or anything else made prior to MATRIX II -- and should be shot in the
back of the head.

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
Aug 11, $1, Dir. Stephen Chiodo, 1988, 35mm, 88 min, PG-13
The most hyperactively forehead-exploding big-budget
scifi/horror/comedy of the '80s, written and directed by the special
effects wizards behind CRITTERS and the Large Marge monsterface scene
from PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. A circus tent-shaped meteor crashlands
in the forest, releasing an army of neon-colored, face-painted
intergalactic creatures who mummify humans in cotton candy cocoons and
slurp their sweetened blood through crazy straws. These diabolical
bozos mow through the populace using only the most entertaining means:
invisible cars, carnivorous shadow puppets, popcorn bazookas,
decapitating boxing matches, hand-to-spinal cord ventriloquism and
much, much more. The only people with the guts to stand up to these
extraterrestrial sillybones are two kind-hearted teens and some horny
ice cream vendors. Watch for thundering man's-man actor John Vernon as
the homophobic small town cop who just isn't gonna put up with any
space clown shit. All this topped off with a theme song by pioneering
goofpunk band The Dickies. WARNING!!!: Not to be viewed by anyone with
a fear of clowns or enjoying life.

KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS
Aug 18, $1, Dir. John "Bud" Cardos, 1977, 35mm, 97 min, PG
FREE SPIDERS FOR EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE! William Shatner battles a
million man-eating tarantulas in a movie directed by a guy named Bud.
Do I really need to write anything else here? From killer whales to
meat-seeking ants, there were plenty of movies made in the late '70s
about sinister critters, but only a handful of them are as
pitch-perfectly crazed as this downhill slide into mankind's
extermination. The octopedal onslaught displayed here is enough to
have you standing on a stool in your kitchen and squealing for weeks.
And, as expected, the reliably unhinged Shatner gives this arachnoid
megawave some stiff competition when it comes to scattering across the
screen all willy-nilly with hairy limbs a-flyin'. Failing him in his
ever-losing war against fuzzy little dudes is the great Woody Strode
(ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST) and THE CANDY SNATCHERS' Tiffany
Bolling. So stop by a spider-phobic friend's house, take them out for
a night at the movies and enjoy never speaking to them again for as
long as you live.

976-EVIL
Aug 25, $1, Dir. Robert Englund, 1988, 35mm, 92 min, R
Freddy Kreuger's directorial debut is every bit the virginal nerd's
vengeance fantasy you'd expect from a man who's spent his entire life
working in the horror genre. FRIGHT NIGHT alumnus Stephen Geoffreys
plays Hoax, a simple-minded teen who giggles at nude photos in
National Geographic, idolizes his bad-boy cousin and lives under the
thumb of his overbearingly religious mother. Bereft of friends and
dignity, Hoax becomes drawn in to a supernatural phone line that
predicts, alters and ultimately cancels the future of its callers. In
short time, the mysterious dial-in service empowers the once-timid
teenager with all the Powers of Darkness, and he begins a rampage of
brutal subhuman reckoning. Geoffreys does an impressive job in the
lead role, masterfully playing both a lovable loser and an unstoppable
force of demonic retribution. A few years later, this multifaceted
young actor would try his luck in a different genre as one of the
central performers in LATIN CROTCH ROCKETS and GUYS WHO CRAVE BIG
C*CKS.