Seattle's own non-profit video archive, Scarecrow Video, is a movie-lovers mecca with more individual titles available to rent than anywhere in the world! Their maniacally knowledgeable staff love October most of all, partly because of the annual celebration of Video Store Day (coming Saturday, October 21), but mostly because it is that time of year when horror movies—every video store clerk's favorite genre—reign supreme! So we are renaming the tenth month SCARECROWBER and celebrating with some of the Scarecrow staff's hand-picked favorite horror films!
Scarecrow's selections are bringing the scares to the Egyptian's big screen from October 2-29:
💀 The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
directed by James Whale
"James Whale's masterpiece is one of the rare sequels that's better than the original, and in true sequel fashion, it achieves this by adding more—more camp, more pathos, more mad scientists, more monsters. Plus, the soundtrack is one of the great monster movie soundtracks of all time."—Greg
💀 Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
directed by Frances Ford Coppola
"'Perhaps, though I try to be good, I am bad.' Francis Ford Coppola's deeply romanticized 1992 revision of Bram Stoker's misogyny-fueled classic is a truly beautiful sex panic phantasmagoria and an unheralded analog technical spectacle. A film that paralyzes you with the fear and awe of pure desire. The traditional, the rational, the modern: all crumble powerlessly, and time collapses in the face of lust."—Matt Lynch
💀 Night of the Comet (1984)
directed by Thom Eberhardt
Presented by the Psychotronic Challenge:
Every October, Scarecrow's own Jensen Ward compiles a legendary list of inspired prompts for movie lovers to use in their mission to watch a horror movie every day of the month. Last year's prompts included "Dead in the Suburbs," "Full Moon Fever," and "Exercise or Exorcise." We'll find out what he has in store for 2023 soon, but here's an advance clue for you: the film Night of the Comet. Can you guess the prompt?
“Thom Eberhardt’s sophomore feature is an infectiously charming and downright perky story about a couple of valley girl sisters who survive a comet touch-and-go that turns Los Angeles and the rest of the Earth into orange-dusted wasteland wandered by sinister scientists and flesh eating cannibals. Survival tip: to avoid a comet holocaust, hole up in a theater projection room with that special someone...”— Jensen Ward
💀 Carnival of Souls (1962)
directed by Herk Harvey
"A drag-race gone wrong causes a car full of young women to careen off a bridge and plunge into the murky waters below. Mary, the sole survivor, emerges from the mud in a daze. What happens next is a series of nightmarish occurrences, ghoulish apparitions, haunting organ songs and abandoned pavilions casting an unsettling spell in black and white. Carnival of Souls slowly pulls us into an alternate realm, a strange land that only exists in the second before and the second after death. Directed by Herk Harvey, whose previous work was limited to a variety of educational shorts (check out 1977’s Halloween Safety on YouTube), together with writer John Clifford, weave a moody, disturbing tale of one woman’s journey through madness; twirling endlessly through pure vibes. For fans of Repulsion, 'Twin Peaks,' and abandoned dance halls."—Emalie Soderback
💀 Cat People (1942)
directed by Jacques Tourneur
"Director Jacques Tourneur's collaboration with producer Val Lewton and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca created eerie pacing and a shadowy, dreamy vision that was later honed in his film noir, Out of the Past. Irena, a beautiful Serbian artist living in New York, spends her days alone until she falls in love with her cheerful opposite, Oliver. But their life together is haunted by Irena's fear that she is descended from an ancient satanic cult in her home village, whose members can shapeshift in moments of deadly rage or intense passion. Despite Oliver's pleas to forget such tales and live a 'normal' life in America, Irena's dark, violent path seems set."—Megan McNelis
💀 Spookies (1986)
directed by Genie Joseph, Thomas Doran, Brendan Faulkner
"Trapped in a mansion, an annoying group of twerps play with a Ouija board which is (of course) controlled by an evil sorcerer, unleashing a maelstrom of horror which will include: demon possession, excessively flatulent mud-men, an electric-tentacled octo-beast, a hungry pack of zombies...and more! What's the worst that could happen?"—Alixia Betty
💀 From Beyond (1986)
directed by Stuart Gordon
"One year after the all-time classic Re-Animator, the horror dream team of Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and Stuart Gordon reunited to birth unto this world a second splatter masterpiece drawn from the goopy cranial matter of HP Lovecraft. Mind-expanding experiments, mad scientists, enlarged protruding pineal glands and some of the slimiest practical monsters ever committed to the silver screen intermingle, bathed in hot neon pink light. Humans are such easy prey!"—Daniel Roth
💀 Twins of Evil (1971)
directed by John Hough
Twins of Evil is a captivating horror film that delves into the chilling tale of twin sisters caught in a web of supernatural terror. Maria and Frieda relocate to a remote village and become entangled with a malevolent cult led by the enigmatic Count Karnstein. As the twins encounter dark secrets and forbidden desires, director John Hough weaves a narrative of suspense, gothic atmosphere, and forbidden seduction.
💀 Mad Monster Party? (1967)
directed by Jules Bass
"Animation group Rankin/Bass are known for their happy holiday TV specials (including the perennial classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), but to properly celebrate the greatest holiday of them all (ahem, Halloween), they had to move to the big screen. Mad Monster Party? (the question mark is part of the title), brings all of the classic monsters together at the island of the aging Baron Boris von Frankenstein (voiced by Boris Karloff), so that he may choose a successor to lead the Worldwide Organization of Monsters. Enter Dracula, The Werewolf, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, The Mummy, Quasimodo, and even 'King Kong.' And let’s not forget Phyllis Diller, who steals the show with her sarcastic riff on the Bride of Frankenstein, and the garage rock classic 'The Mummy' performed by an all skeleton band. But it is the delightful puppet design and classic Rankin/Bass 'Animagic' style stop motion that really steal the show. PS: watch for the delightful reference to Some Like It Hot in the final moments."—Clinton McClung
💀 Cujo (1983)
directed by Lewis Teague
Presented by Viva Physical Media:
Appearing regularly on YouTube, Scarecrow employees Emalie Soderback and Matt Lynch crack a beer and host Viva Physical Media, a chat show featuring radical VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray recommendations. Each episode they also dive into one of their favorite underappreciated film genres: the cute/sloppy/silly/heart-warming dog movie. But not all dogs are good boys, so prepare yourself for one of the most terrifying woofs of all time: Cujo!
“Looking for a real slobbery horror flick with an absolutely unstoppable villain? Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Cujo stars horror icon Dee Wallace as a mother who is forced to take shelter with her young son in their Ford Pinto while an absolute beast of a rabid St. Bernard by the name of (duh) Cujo stops at nothing to use them as a chew toy. As someone who’s seen their fair share of dog movies—as well as a good chunk of dog horror movies—Cujo’s a classic for a reason. Keep repeating 'It’s not a monster. It’s just a doggy.'"—Emalie Soderback
💀 Near Dark (1987) in 35mm!
directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Presented by Unstreamable:
Scarecrow’s website hosts the weekly column Unstreamable, where Jas Keimig and Chase Burns recommend movies and TV shows you can't easily find on major streaming services. Because even though the streaming channels claim to have it all, they don't. In fact, Scarecrow's archive has three times the number of titles as the top seven streaming services...combined! And that includes an always available physical media copy of Kathryn Bigelow's iconic vampire thriller, Near Dark.
“The vampires in Near Dark are far from the smooth, charming, sexy vampire trope most of us are familiar with. In fact, they couldn't be more opposite. This coven of bloodsuckers gnash their teeth, have a penchant for covering their car windows in tin foil, and above all, are violently bored. Immortality has a way of doing that to you. It's surprisingly graphic, the Tangerine Dream soundtrack adds a synthy otherworldliness, and there's an overall earnestness that makes Near Dark something special.”—Jas Keimig
“This intriguing and atmospheric boy-meets-girl road trip through Midwest farm country just happens to have a roving band of misfit vampires on the hunt for some fun, some trouble and a big ol’ meal. Near Dark is audacious, violent, comical, sensitive and fresh as hell with a perfect cast, killer score and explosive action. Yeehaw!”—Jensen Ward
💀 Possession (1981)
directed by Andrzej Żuławski
"Possession is never what it seems. It could be described as Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets The Brood meets Scenes From A Marriage, but ultimately the film is uniquely its own. It is a film about obsession, divorce, betrayal, faith, and sexual expression. It is also a film about psychosis, murder, doppelgängers, and depravity. Whether or not Possession resonates with you personally, it will demand your attention and offer an unforgettable experience that will change the way you see horror as well as romance. 'I have seen half of God’s face here, the other half is you…'"—Meghann Crafton