I’m a big fan of going to both the State and Michigan theaters in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. What can I say, they’re my digs! That’s where I saw It Follows, Nosferatu with a live organist, Army of Darkness on the big screen, Paranormal Activity during its first run of 13 theaters, and more. They’re both wonderful theaters and it’s always a blast to see what they have playing, especially because it’s obvious that they show movies for the love of showing movies.
Throughout October, both theaters have plans to showcase some amazing films that fall under horror, sci-fi, and, in the case of John Waters, pure gross out nastiness! Below are the films they’ve got coming up and links to get tickets. And who knows? Maybe you’ll see me there!
Nosferatu – October 27th
This very special presentation of the 1922 film classic will have live organ accompaniment on the Michigan Theater’s grand Barton Organ by the Michigan’s gifted organist, Stephen Warner (who will play an original score he wrote).
A special Gold Card pre-event reception will take place at 5:30 PM. Contact Amber Duncan at email@example.com for more details.
An Ann Arbor tradition continues with Nosferatu — the first vampire movie! A real estate agent (Gustav von Wangenheim) begins conducting business with the eerie Count Orlok (the beyond-creepy Max Schreck), who goes on a rampage when he becomes obsessed with the man’s beautiful wife. Roger Ebert said it best about this Michigan Theater Halloween tradition: “[Nosferatu] doesn’t scare us, but it haunts us. It shows not that vampires can jump out of the shadows, but that evil can grow there, nourished on death.” (tickets available here)
Steven Spielberg Series – Michigan Theater
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – October 5th
ACADEMY AWARD WINNER! After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a blue-collar worker (Spielbergs second collaboration with OSCAR WINNER Richard Dreyfuss) feels uncontrollably drawn to an isolated mountain in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. Also stars OSCAR NOMINEE Teri Garr. (tickets available here)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence – October 12th
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE! An advanced android child (OSCAR NOMINEE Haley Joel Osment) longs to become “real” so that he can regain the love of his human mother. Co-written by Stanley Kubrick and based on Brian Aldiss’s short story. With OSCAR NOMINEE Jude Law, OSCAR WINNER William Hurt and more. (tickets available here)
War of the Worlds – October 19th
OSCAR NOMINATED action man Tom Cruise stars in this loose adaptation of H.G. Welles novel as an estranged father who finds himself fighting for his own and his family’s survival in the devastating wake of an alien invasion that has potentially been centuries in the making. (tickets available here)
John Waters Series – State Theater
Pink Flamingos – October 7th
Underground criminal DIVINE lives under the pseudonym “Babs Johnson” with her mentally ill, egg-loving mother Edie (EDITH MASSEY), delinquent son Crackers (DANNY MILLS), and traveling companion Cotton (MARY VIVIAN PEARCE). They all live together in a pink trailer on the outskirts of Phoenix, Maryland, in front of which can be found a pair of eponymous plastic pink flamingos. After learning that Divine has been named “the filthiest person alive” by a tabloid paper, jealous rivals Connie (MINK STOLE) and Raymond Marble (DAVID LOCHARY) set out to destroy her career but come undone in the process. (tickets available here)
Female Trouble – October 14th
Female Trouble is less offensive than JOHN WATERS” “chef d’oeuvre” Pink Flamingos, but no less perversely enjoyable. The incomparable DIVINE plays a dual role–one in drag, one in male mufti. As with all of John Waters’ films, Female Trouble is a matter of taste–or rather, lack of same. (tickets available here)
Desperate Living – October 21st
A recently released mental patient (MINK STOLE) conspires with the maid (JEAN HILL) to murder her husband, and then both escape to the equally demented village of Mortville for more murderous adventures involving transsexuality, disfigurement and lots of gore. (tickets available here)
Polyester – October 28th
Filmmaker JOHN WATERS offers his own inimitable and invariably vulgar take on the American middle class in this off-beat satire that stars transvestite actor DIVINE as a lonely housefrau who escapes the numbing drudgery and horror of life with her freaky husband and hellish children by falling in love with a handsome owner of a drive in (TAB HUNTER). When the film was originally released, viewers were handed special scratch-and-sniff cards to participate in “Odorama,” a gimmick by which they could smell revolting odors at key moments in the story. (tickets available here)
Midnight Movie Series – State Theater
Rosemary’s Baby – October 3rd
A young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon). When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth. (tickets available here)
A Nightmare on Elm Street – October 10th
In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late? (tickets available here)
John Carpenter’s They Live – October 17th
Nada (Roddy Piper), a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, Nada notices that both the media and the government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued, and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination. With this shocking discovery, Nada fights to free humanity from the mind-controlling aliens. (tickets available here)
Rocky Horror Picture Show – October 23rd and 24th
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.” (tickets available here)