Only's guide to cool, old halloweeney films

In an effort to help make everybody’s favourite non-religious holiday even more exciting, we suggest some of the all-time greatest horror films ever made. Now we know Halloween isn’t the night to sit at home and watch movies, but if you’re like us, you might want to think about putting some of these on in the background as you get your costume together. If you are hosting a party, these will also provide creepy-cool background visuals to what, if you’re at our place, will be the best party of the year.

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
Dir. Benjamin Christensen
Part fantasy and part documentary, this is a controversial film that was
envisioned by director Benjamin Christensen as a study in black magic,
witchcraft and demonology from the Middle Ages to the present. Mixing fact and fiction, the film offers freaky re-enactments of medieval life – like gathering sticks in the woods – but then shocks us with scenes of possession and demon rearing as well as with scenes of flagellation and satanic orgies. Rediscovered in the 60s, the 1968 re-release features narration by William S. Burroughs and a swinging, jazzy soundtrack.

Nosferatu: A symphony of Horror (1922)
Dir. F.W. Murnau
A product of the German expressionist era, this film is a milestone in the history of world cinema. Unable to get the rights to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, Murnau went about and changed some names and events, but the essential story is the same. What is remarkable is actor Max Schreck’s rat-like visage. Paired with elongated fingers and trademark expressionist lighting, the film is a true masterpiece. The scenes of Count Orlok’s shadow reaching across the room or stopping the heart of a sleeping woman are timeless and haunting. They also make for good pumpkin carving ideas.

Vampyr (1932)

Dir. Carl Dreyer
Danish master Carl Dreyer achieved a revolutionary and
mesmerizing sense of atmosphere in this profoundly unsettling tale,
largely regarded as the first sound horror film. When an occult student
arrives in a small town he is assailed by various supernatural haunts
and local evildoers as Dreyer combines trick photography, multiple exposures and densely layered sound to create one of cinema’s great nightmares. 

Carnival of Souls (1962)
Dir. Herk Harvey
Relying more on mood than special effects, this low-budget effort has continued to delight those in the mood for something macabre. A strange and haunting little movie, the film centers around a young woman who surprisingly survives a car accident. Or does she? As she moves through the “real” world she is haunted by an apparition that seem to be emanating, even drawing her towards from an other world. The use of stark locations and  a spooky organ soundtrack add to the odd and eerie vibe.

Orgy of the Dead (1965)
Dir. Stephen C. Apostolof
“Written” by B movie legend Ed Wood Jr., this is essentially a series of stripteases, where women, er the undead, dance around topless in a badly recreated graveyard while a wholesome couple are held captive and forced to watch the proceedings by The Emperor of the Night. Bad costumes and bad acting abound but the giggles – and jiggles are worth it in what is a pretty tame, pseuso-sexy bit of nightime naughtiness.

Vampyros Lesbos (1971)
Dir. Jess Franco
Every movie nerd’s favourite maverick filmmaker Jess Franco pulls out all the glorious stops with this sexy, seductive and psychedelic tale of vampirism and pop-lounge music. A lustful, female vampire who seduces unwary victims with her sexy nightclub act sets her sights on a beautiful blonde. They do it. Then some other sexy, female vampires show up. They do it. Then this guy show up. He dies. Basically all you need to know is that there are plenty of tripped out, swirly visuals, a great – dare we say funky – lounge-pop soundtrack and some seriously vampy vamps all crammed into a sexy 89 minutes.

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Credit Check: Vancouver suggests banning smoking in parks and on beaches

0 BC is importing patients from Saskatchewan to raise money for BC medicare. Since BC is doing this at a profit, don’t the taxpayers of Saskatchewan feel strange about paying double the price for medical services – which could be invested in their own system?

-10 A seventh foot in a shoe has been found.

-20 Another large BC employer is shutting down.

+25 CanWest’s War on Satire.

-15 Of course it has come to this: the Vancouver Park Board looks into banning smoking on beaches and in parks.

Today: -20 This Year: +228

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Credit Check: God save our Anti-Social Queen

+40 VIA Rail is spending $40 Million to tart up the stations that they run their tacky, overpriced train service between.

-10 Vision councillor Raymond Louie, on the Vancouver liquor law, says restaurants should should encourage their patrons to do more than just have a nice bottle of wine What? Nachos? Maybe an extra dessert? Time for the City to grow up.

-20 Headline: Transit Police looking for man after indecent act on bus Yeah, he paid $2.50 for a bus ride!

Also, check out what the cop said in the article: “This type of anti-social behaviour could lead to something else.” What that phrase “anti-social behaviour – that’s the new phrase for implementing new laws.

+25 60 per cent agree that the monarchy is nutty.

Today: +35 This Year: +248

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Help Only create a Canadian Newspaper Circulation Chart *Updated*

The Awl this morning published an excellent chart that clearly shows how US newspapers have fallen off the cliff. Fun stuff, but we don’t care about US papers. What’s the deal with the Winnipeg Free Press, we’d like to know. That’s where you come in.

Only needs you get get circulation data for the Sun, Province, Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, La Press, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald, and Winnipeg Free Press for 2004 – 2009. The easiest place is to find it year-by-year is CARD (http://www.cardonline.ca) which is in the library.

Only has a spreadsheet here where you can stick in the data. Yes, anyone can edit it. We trust you.*

But Only, you ask, why don’t you just haul your own asses down to the Central VPL and look it up yourself?

To which we answer, that is indeed a very good question.

We’ll put the chart up as soon as we get the info.

UPDATE That worked well. Why are you still reading Only? So, 2004 – 2009 is done and we need 1999 – 2003. If you are near the library, please chip in. (Also a good resource for this: World Almanac.)

* We don’t really trust you.

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Credit Check: Small nachos and Dom. Romane Conti 1997 please and make it snappy

-10 BC is back in the stupid liquor law business. Now restaurants must ensure that their revenues are no more than 50 per booze. Even though a nice bottle of wine is usually three times the cost of food and includes fixed fees set by the government.

-10 Bad Lieutenant Beat One to watch – the shooting of a White Supremacist in Nanaimo.

+20 Human rights should not be traded away for the Olympics. Although, cart before horse, closed barn door, etc.

-5 Yet another BC big business booster closes their doors.

-5 For some reason, the Vancouver Observer is appalled that David Suzuki gives speeches for hire

Today: -10 This Year: +213

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Credit Check: Art Collecting is just as much a bubble as Condo developing

+25 400,000 farmed salmon make a break for it. Go Free Willies!

-10 A woman becomes a politician in a backward place and the Province calls her the new Sarah Palin.

+20 Restaurants whose hours were actually cut back by the City’s liquor license extension fight for their right to stay open to 3am.

-5 Knowing full well that CanWest has gone into bankruptcy protection, the CRTC gives them yet another station.

-5 Condo guy Bob Rennie attempts to rehabilitate his image from tasteless condo purveyor to class art guy. First step: Sympathetic article in the Globe & Mail.

Today: +25 This Year: +223

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Credit Check: Ripped-off Cowichan First Nations get investigated by Mounties instead

+5 Who killed the NPA? Not I, said the little, red… NPA

-10 Olympics Mounties investigated Cowichan First Nations because they believe official Olympic sweater designs were ripped off from them.

0 And Pandora’s Box goes to Ottawa: BC Government asks Supreme Court how to close the top on the polygamy mess.

+25 Remember, we do have the right to resist the City’s Olympic bylaws.

-5 For those that loved the old Coast 1040 station, here’s a video of the tear-down of their old broadcasting towers in Delta the other day. (Coast’s frequency was long ago taken over by Team 1040.)

Today: +15 This Year: +198

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Credit Check: Gustafesen Lake Mountie is the now the head Olympic Mountie? Cripes.

-5 Crack team that is spending billions of dollars for Olympic security can’t land their helicopter.

+10 The march to a divesture continues as CanWest delists from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

+5 Rafe Mair apologised to Olympics activist Chris Shaw – will Jim Green apologise next?

-25 For fuck’s sake, the head Olympic Mountie was part of the RCMP team that caused the Gustafesen Lake crisis. (Here’s a Terminal City interview from 1995 that gives some of the background.

Today: -15 This Year: +183

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Credit Check: The Fifty First statelet

+10 An amazing first look at the Street Sisters documentary highlighting the lives of nine aboriginal women in the Downtown Eastside

-1 Molson buys Granville Brewing Company. So that’s that. You should be buying kegs from R & B or Storm Brewing anyway.

+5 Ha ha. Vancouver is being colonised by Yankees

+5 If market rates are good for rentals and transist, maybe it should be applied to parking spaces

Today: +19 This Year: +198

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Credit Check: Stop with the P3s already. Cripes.

+1 A Calgary guy who ran a ponzi scheme that duped thousands of people gets taken in by a Nigerian money scam

-1 Province headline: Mystery surrounds discovery of body on Surrey sidewalk The mysterious part is not the identity of the person – it is where do you find sidewalks in Surrey?

-25 Good god, Premier Campbell, have you no shame? The premier continues to push Private-Public partnerships to New York institutional investors even after they have been shown to be fiscally useless.

0 CityCaucus goes through the old blog of the mayor’s new assistant back when he was known as the Vancouver Kid.

Today: -25 This Year: +179

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