Baxter Avenue Theatres’ Halloween MIDNIGHT MOVIES Program to include “Phantasm” 4K Restoration and More!

“The Omen,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Phantasm” and “Alien” bring 70’s horror back to the big screen at the Baxter Avenue Theatres this Halloween!

Most horror scholars and fans site the 1970’s as the decade that brought Modern Horror and its’ grittier, gorier and scarier sensibilities to the cinema. Films like “The Exorcist” (1973), “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) and “Halloween” (1978) appealed to more adult and harder-to-scare crowds that had become desensitized to the milder horror pictures of the previous few decades.

Grim Trails

There’s no better time and place to celebrate some of the dread and thrills that 1970’s horror cinema put into us than at midnight during the month of October at the Baxter Avenue Theatres!

Below find the Baxter’s Halloween MIDNIGHT MOVIE schedule:

Sat. Oct. 1

The Omen” (1976): Director Richard Donner’s (“Superman,” “Lethal Weapon”) big budget, prestige horror answer to “The Exorcist,” this apocalyptic tale of the birth of the antichrist features Academy Award winning veteran actor, Gregory Peck (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), alongside Lee Remick and David Warner. In some ways, “The Omen” formed a bridge between the Gothic horrors of the waning Hammer Studios moody output and the new wave of religious and Satanic horror pictures. As an example, see the stormy, ancient Etruscan cemetery scene in the film’s second act for a jolt of good old Gothic terror being borrowed in the midst of more Modern Horror trappings. “The Omen” is also a seminal film in the “evil child” subgenre. Jerry Goldsmith’s score remains some of scariest music ever written for the cinema.

Sat. Oct. 8

Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978): Director Philip Kaufmen’s remake of the original 1956 paranoid, sci-fi reaction to McCarthyism brings the subject up to date, reflecting the 1970’s obsession with the self-help movement and guru psychology. This story of a silent alien invasion of pod beings that assume our identities as we sleep is the incredibly rare instance of a remake that I actually consider to be better than the original. Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy and Veronica Cartwright make up the stellar cast. Nightmare images that includes a dog with a human head and that FACE that Donald Sutherland makes in the final reel have reluctantly stuck with me for years.

Sat. Oct. 15

Phantasm” (1979): Director Don Coscarelli’s (“The Beastmaster,” “Bubba Ho-Tep”) loopy, nightmarish sci-fi/horror hybrid about a funeral home director who may be an alien using bodies of the recently deceased as compacted slaves on his home planet is arguably one of the most creative B-movies of its time. The version that will be showing at Baxter is a newly remastered 4K transfer of the original negative supervised by “Phantasm” superfan, J.J. Abrams (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”). I was lucky enough to see this new transfer at its premiere in Austin, TX last year, and I can testify that it is worth putting your life and Halloween plans on hold to make sure you’re at this screening. MUST SEE!

Sat. Oct. 22

Alien” (1979): Director Ridley Scott’s (“Blade Runner,” “Gladiator”) sci-fi monster movie masterpiece introduced the world to the surrealistic designs of Swiss artist H.R. Giger and the feminist empowered heroism of Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). “Alien” was the first R-rated movie I ever saw in the theater, thanks to weeks of begging that eventually wore down my parents’ better judgement, and it has lost none of its’ gritty, slimy power over the decades. The chest buster scene still makes the heart pound and the production design’s “lived in,” blue collar vision of the future still looks more credible than most contemporary science fiction movie technology. In space, no one can hear you scream, but at midnight, this Halloween at the Baxter Avenue Theatres, feel free to give your lungs a little exercise.

The Phantom of The Ville

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