The last few days have been filled with doom, gloom and Wrong Island rats complaining about their sweats being drenched in the rain. That can only mean one thing: fall is over and we are now entering Halloweentown, New York.
And believe you me, there's more than one way to be scared in this city. A few of them involve taking the G train at 2 a.m., but the rest rely on the old staples of horror movie festivals, haunted LES houses, and, of course, porn.
But before I go any further, I should warn you that the Sheep Man has come back for a second round after his debut a couple of columns ago. He loves this time of year, since he's free to do as he pleases.
Come to think of it, a four-foot tall chain-smoking guy in a sheep outfit doesn't get noticed much anyway. All the Tisch kids love him, though. And speaking of those Broadway rejects (most of them, anyway), the 2005 New York Horror Film Festival kicks off next Wednesday at 54 Varick St. The festival screens films over five nights and showcases short flicks to be judged on Oct. 23. The usual schedule consists of a few short films followed by a longer feature not eligible for the competition - mostly because someone other than the eight goth kids hanging out at Forbidden Planet have heard of it.
But there are some highlights this year, such as the staple "Rocky Horror Picture Show" - with participation encouraged - on Oct. 21 at midnight. The New York premiere of "Three - Extremes", if you haven't already bought the bootleg, features three short films from Chan-wook Park ("OldBoy"), Takashi Miike ("Ichi the Killer") and Fruit Chan. The Sheep Man hasn't heard of him, either.
On Oct. 23, there'll be a panel discussion featuring B-movie lover Joe Bob Briggs. A Roger Corman flick ("The Masque of Red Death") will screen on Oct. 22. But first, Oct. 21 sees the premiere of the Showtime "Masters of Horror" series, with the episode's director Don Coscarelli ("Phantasm") and main star Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man from "Phantasm"). All tickets are $15, so choose your scares carefully.
For a venue lighter on the buck but not on the scare, may I point out Pioneer Cinema, which is showcasing (deep breath) the "Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh-Eating, Hell-Bound, Zombied Living Dead Pt. 2: In Shocking 2-D." Whew.
Aside from a paragraph-length title, the film is a redubbed, comedic version of "Night of the Living Dead," and is shown every Saturday in October.
On Oct. 21, Pioneer is showing Kurosawa Kiyoshi's "Pulse." The next night at midnight brings the original gorefest "The ReAnimator." The Sheep Man claims you should bring a date, as the flick most likely will reanimate your chances of getting some. Oh, zinger, Sheep Man.
But get those jaws ready, kids, because there's a vampire marathon too! For "at least 578 minutes - 9 hours and 38 minutes," you can see "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Habit," "Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary," "Vampire's Kiss," "Vampyres," and "New York Vampire" for a mere $20.
Chances are, you'll rarely see any of these films again, especially for nine hours straight.
But in case you want to be really scared, why don't you venture down to the LES? I know, it's scary enough as it is now that there's just one Starbucks on Delancey, but additionally there's Nightmare, an R-rated haunted house (located on 107 Suffolk St., between Rivington and Stanton, and operating after 6 p.m. ) using the theme of, well, people's fears. It features demonic clowns, demonic babies and a final "deep fear." The 15- to 25-minute shows have a scary-sounding ring to them and may even be a bit frightening, with all the emaciated bodies and speedball junkies shuffling around you. But once you get past all the NYU students, the Sheep Man thinks you'll have a downright fearful time. Tickets, which can be bought online, are $20 (cheaper with the discount code "ACTOR").
The Sheep Man is prodding me, which means I forgot the best part about the Halloween season: bloody, violent pornography, featuring Burning Angel.
On Oct. 29 at midnight, you'll get to see "Re-Penetrator," which involves a way hot zombie (Joanna Angel) doing way hot things, and later, "The XXXorcist," which features, um, hot demonic sex. After that, "Punk Holocaust 2: Serial Bandocide," featuring Vans Warped Tour bands being killed. All this sex and violence and sugar - I think my head's going to explode with joy.
While I snack on my Hubba Yubba, the Sheep Man and I wish you a happy and safe horror film viewing. And remember kids, don't do nothing me and the Sheep Man wouldn't do.
(The New York Horror Fest takes place at 54 Varick St. and the schedule can be found at www.nychorrorfest.com; "Nightmare: Haunted House" directions can be found on its website, www.hauntedhousenyc.com; the Sheep Man remains here.)