October holds a special place in my holiday heart because I get to celebrate my favorite day of the year, Halloween. Just picture it. A darkened theater, a bucket of popcorn, sitting terrified and curled up in a ball; just for the scare of it!
An essential part of the ritual is breaking out my awesome Halloween decorations and filling up the trick or treater candy bowl with first-class, yummy confections. Envisioning kid’s faces as I proudly hand out M&M’s, Reese Cups, Skittles and no candy bowl would be complete without my personal choice – Snickers! As a seasoned Halloween aficionado, the mood wouldn’t be complete without a spooktacular horror classic marathon streaming on the big screen TV!
The ultimate Halloween night experience would include waiting in line with fellow enthusiasts to enjoy a horror classic on the big screen. The first scary movie I remember seeing as a kid is William Castle’s “House on Haunted Hill” and man was I thrilled to be able to re-live my first time when a friend told me a neighborhood theater had a special Halloween presentation of my beloved “House on Haunted Hill”. Cherry on the top was that they also sponsored a Best Costume competition and Best Scream Award. It was everything I could hope for; even performing the movie’s gimmick, the flying skeleton!
This Halloween, movie friends, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events is presenting in select theaters nationwide, a special double feature screening of the 1931 Universal Horror Classic, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi and Helen Chandler as Mina Harker. Based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. In addition to the original, moviegoers will also enjoy the added treat of the Spanish version starring Carlos Villarías as Conde Drácula and Lupita Tovar as Eva Seward.
Long thought lost, a print of Spanish Dracula was discovered in the 1970s and restored. I own and love my Legacy Collection DVD which was released in 2004 and contains both versions. The collection also includes – Dracula’s Daughter (1936) Son of Dracula (1943) starring Universal’s Wolfman, Lon Chaney, Jr. and House of Dracula (1945). A must-own addition for every classic horror movie fan’s collection. For ticket information about the Dracula Double Feature, check out Fathom Events or your local theater.
Trivia: For a period of time in Hollywood, studios would produce Spanish language version films for overseas distribution, using the same sets. Tod Browning directed the English production which was shot during the day. George Melford (who did not speak Spanish) was the director for the Spanish version, filming during the evening. The Spanish crew had the advantage of watching the English dailies when they came in for the evening, and they would figure out better camera angles and more effective use of lighting in an attempt to “top” it. There are critics who believe the Spanish production was better, incorporating more interesting and varied camera angles and perspective. I agree with the critics point that this production explored more visual dimensions and created more overall excitement. It also had a sexier edge.
So, if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend adding this special event to your calendar. If you do attend, let me know your reaction in the comments.