CUFF’s 2020 Halloween Movie Marathon: Less scary than the news, but way, way more fun

One of this city’s most beloved annual events is the 12-Hour Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, put on by the dedicated lunatics at the Calgary Underground Film Festival. In-person events have been uncertain this year, but this particular tradition is all set to go ahead, at 7 p.m. at the Globe Cinema on Saturday, October 31st. There will be the usual costume contest, both theatres will be showing the films, and the lineup is, as usual, spectacular, and is as follows …


You want a little Freddy Krueger this Halloween? CUFF’s got you covered. The dream-invading burn victim didn’t have all that many lines in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, and the second film was largely unappreciated at the time, so this is the film that really introduced audiences to the quippy, claw-handed slasher we all remember. And, oh hey! Heather Langenkamp is back! 

BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964) at 9 p.m.

Here’s something of a first for this event: a Mario Bava slasher from the ’60s! One of the most influential films of the giallo genre (violent crime thrillers made in Italy, with an emphasis on visual style and breathtaking murder set-pieces) this right here is a genuine piece of horror movie history, and one I never thought I’d get a chance to see in an actual theatre. Here’s your opportunity to discover how the slasher genre got started! Or, maybe you already know everything about this film, can talk about it for hours, and already booked your ticket the minute you saw the title. 

BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998) at 10:30 p.m.

Hell yes!!! What an unexpected treat this movie turned out to be back in the day. After three Child’s Play movies, we had to face the fact that Chucky, the possessed little doll, just wasn’t scary any more. So this movie gave the franchise a much-needed jolt of energy by focusing on surreal laughs and outrageousness. From the moment we see Jennifer Tilley in a sexy nightie, revivifying her killer doll boyfriend by reading an incantation from a copy of Voodoo for Dummies, we know we’re in for something special. 

HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT II (1987) at midnight(ish)

Another sequel that subverted audience expectations by going for knowing laughter and wild ridiculousness. It also has nothing whatsoever to do with the comparatively formulaic Prom Night, and has a supernatural angle that allows the SFX department to go completely crazy. Filmed in Edmonton, so maybe your neighbours are in it?

SOCIETY (1989) at 2 a.m.

The notorious, gleefully disgusting directorial debut of Brian Yuzna. This flick posits that rich people are into way, way, WAY more gross shit than any of us ever imagined. The indescribable finale features surreal special effects by Screaming Mad George. 

BLOOD RAGE (1987) at 4 a.m.

This VHS favourite features a maniac easily angered by couples smooching in drive-in theatres, which is pretty standard. What’s different is that the killer is running around unchecked, killing merrily and framing it all on his innocent twin brother, who just escaped from the insane asylum after 10 years of unwarranted incarceration. The premise gives us a twisty plot with lots of wild misunderstandings and cries of “that wasn’t me!” Oh, and watch for Ted Raimi in a funny cameo as a condom salesman in a bathroom. 

BASKET CASE (1982) at 5:30 a.m.

The CUFF Halloween Marathon always makes sure to put something special at the very end of the evening (er …beginning of the morning) as a reward for the lunatics who make it all the way to the end. So here’s one of the most absolutely twisted cult hits of the ’80s! Made with about 90 times more enthusiasm than money, this grotesque spectacle features a nice, regular guy who carries around his insane, deformed, tiny little mutant twin brother in a basket, unleashing his beclawed fury on the unwary. Absolutely rabid and unhinged; if anybody falls asleep during this one (a possibility, given the time slot) it’ll be the first time in history. 

The 2020 CUFF Halloween Horror Movie Marathon begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31st (Halloween!) at the Globe Cinema. Ages 18+ only.  Note: Capacity at Globe Cinema will be reduced to 20% (75 seats per cinema) – we will be using both the upstairs and downstairs cinemas. All health and safety protocols set by Globe Cinema will be strictly enforced. Attendees must wear a mask inside the building, social distancing etiquette must be followed, and only Debit, Visa, and Mastercard will be accepted at the concession. Please read Globe Cinema’s rules and regulations before arriving. Please note that this year’s Halloween event is in-cinema only. If you’d like to participate from home, many of these films are available to rent or purchase for at-home viewing.