TCM’s Month of Frights

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is my favorite channel in October. The line up of thrillers and horror films on TCM during October this year is outstanding. They started the month with James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931), Tod Browning’s still unsettling Freaks (1932), the groundbreaking German expressionism of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1919) and F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), and the Lon Chaney masterpiece, The Phantom of the Opera (1925).

A new documentary, TCM Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011), premiered on October 3. This was a fascinating discussion by the iconic author about horror films and viewers’ cravings to be frightened. Encore showings will be on October 17, 24, and 31. In addition, on October 29 TCM will repeat the wonderful 2007 documentary, Martin Scorsese Presents, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, which looks at the imaginative producer who fashioned a lasting body of beautiful and unsettling films on meager budgets.

Low budget offerings from William Castle, Roger Corman, and Terence Fisher will also be highlighted. Castle will have House on Haunted Hill (1959) (Oct. 17), The Tingler (1959) (Oct. 17), and Strait-Jacket (1964) (Oct. 24).

Corman will have A Bucket of Blood (1959) (Oct. 17), Pit and the Pendulum (1961) (Oct. 24), and The Masque of the Red Death (1964) (Oct. 24).

Fisher will have Horror of Dracula (1958) (Oct. 17), The Devil’s Bride (1968) (Oct. 24), The Gorgon (1964) (Oct. 31), Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966) (Oct. 31), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) (Oct. 31), Frankenstein Created Woman (1966) (Oct. 31), and The Mummy (1959) (Oct. 31).

In addition to Freaks, Tod Browning is represented by Mark of the Vampire (1935) (Oct. 3) and The Devil Doll (1936) (Oct. 30).

Jacques Tourneur films I Walked With a Zombie (1943) (Oct. 10), Cat People (1942) (Oct. 10 and 29), and Curse of the Demon (1958) (Oct. 17) will be featured.

Boris Karloff appears in The Black Room (1935) (Oct. 28), The Body Snatcher (1945) (Oct. 29) (with Bela Lugosi), Isle of the Dead (1945) (Oct. 29), and Bedlam (1946) (Oct. 29).

Lugosi will also be in The Devil Bat (1940) (Oct. 10) and White Zombie (1932) (Oct. 30).

Other horror classics being shown are The Wolf Man (1941) (Oct. 10), House of Wax (1953) (Oct. 17), Carnival of Souls (1962) (Oct. 24), Francis Ford Coppola’s Dementia 13 (1963) (Oct. 24), Night of the Living Dead (1968) (Oct. 31), and The Haunting (1963) (Oct. 31).

What would a horror festival be without some cult classics? Check out Dr. Coppelius (1968) (Oct. 24), Motel Hell (1980) (Oct. 28), 10 Rillington Place (1971) (Oct. 28), Berserk (1967) (Oct. 30), and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965) (Oct. 31).

Overlapping into tense science fiction will be Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) (Oct. 29), Them! (1954) (Oct. 30), Forbidden Planet (1956) (Oct. 30), and Village of the Damned (1960) (Oct. 31).

There’s plenty to choose from, so sit back, relax, and enjoy TCM’s month of frights!

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