All month long, enjoy a classic from the heroes of horror!

 

Each film is $8 to rent.

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The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

A forerunner of the American horror film, and one of the most lavish productions of the silent cinema, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has inspired countless remakes and imitations. But none of its successors can rival the mesmerizing blend of romance and mystery that haunts every frame of the Lon Chaney original. This edition presents the 1929 theatrical version, restored from archival 35mm elements by Film Preservation Associates. It is highlighted by the Technicolor Bal Masque sequence (in which the Phantom interrupts the revelry wearing the scarlet robes of the Red Death), as well as meticulously hand-colored sequences (replicating the Handschiegl Color Process). The film is presented at two different historically-accurate projection speeds, each with two different soundtrack options. Also included is the 1925 theatrical version, which survives only in poor-quality prints, but contains scenes that were removed from the 1929 release version.

93 minutes. NR.

The atmosphere matches Chaney’s performance perfectly. His grotesque appearance is achieved with wires, cotton balls, and eye-dilating chemicals, but his character, as usual, is animated from within.

Keith Phipps - AV Club

Lon Chaney’s performance as the hideous organist prowling the sewers beneath the Paris Opera is still a cornerstone of gothic horror.

Dave Kehr - Chicago Reader

It has two elements of genius: It creates beneath the opera one of the most grotesque places in the cinema, and Chaney’s performance transforms an absurd character into a haunting one.

Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times

The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Reuniting the star and director of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, THE HANDS OF ORLAC (Orlacs Hände) is a deliciously twisted thriller that blends grand guignol thrills with the visual and performance styles of German Expressionism. Based on a novel by medical-horror novelist Maurice Renard, it charts the mental disintegration of a concert pianist (Conrad Veidt) whose hands are amputated after a train crash, and replaced with the hands of an executed murderer. When Orlac’s father is murdered by the dead man’s hands, Orlac begins a steady descent toward madness. Produced in Vienna, the hotbed of psychoanalysis, THE HANDS OF ORLAC is writhing with sexual innuendo and Freudian imagery.

This Kino edition was mastered in HD from a 35mm print restored by the F.W. Murnau Foundation, supplemented with additional footage from the Raymond Rohauer Collection.

92 minutes. NR.

Its most enduring quality is Veidt’s tormented performance as Orlac.

Tony Rayns - Time Out

Like his more famous The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene’s The Hands of Orlac is ponderous but indelible.

Fernando F. Croce - Slant Magazine

Conrad Veidt is mesmerising as the concert pianist living on his nerves after his shattered hands are replaced with those of a murderer.

David Parkinson - Radio Times

Nosferatu (1922)

An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, NOSFERATU remains to many viewers the most unsettling vampire film ever made, and its bald, spidery vampire, personified by the diabolical Max Schreck, continues to spawn imitations in the realm of contemporary cinema.

94 minutes. NR.

It doesn’t scare us, but it haunts us. It shows not that vampires can jump out of shadows, but that evil can grow there, nourished on death.

Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times

While it clearly moves at a slower pace than most modern films, it is still one of the most beautiful and atmospheric horror pictures ever made.

Ali Barclay - BBC.com

Murnau proved his directorial artistry in Sunrise for Fox about three years earlier, but in this picture he’s a master artisan demonstrating not only a knowledge of the subtler side of directing but in photography.

Variety

The Devil Bat (1940)

After the Production Code forced the major studios to shy away from morbidity, violence, and the supernatural, Bela Lugosi (Dracula) found refuge in a place where horror was not only allowed, but enjoying a low-budget renaissance: the independent studios of Poverty Row.

In THE DEVIL BAT, Lugosi stars as a scientist who commands a mutant bat to avenge himself upon his enemies (using a specially formulated after-shave lotion as the targeting device). Even as he takes diabolical pleasure in such a ludicrous premise, Lugosi invests the character with an underlying sense of tragedy, a visionary genius out of step with modern, corporate society.

69 minutes. NR.

You’ve got Lugosi giving it his all — as if he believes he can hold this nonsense together by the sheer force of his will. And in some ways, he nearly does.”

Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress

In many of his movies, Bela Lugosi has bats in his belfry. But only in ‘The Devil Bat‘ does he *really* have bats in his belfry, or at least in the secret chamber behind his hidden laboratory.

John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal

With the assistance of his trusty bats Beyyyla sets out to take revenge on his megalomaniac corporate employer. Need I say more?

Rosalie Kicks - Moviejawn

Black Sabbath (1964)

One of the great horror anthology films, and Mario Bava’s personal favorite of his works, BLACK SABBATH solidified the director’s reputation as Europe’s maestro of the macabre. In “The Telephone,” a woman is haunted by menacing phone calls from a former lover. “The Wurdulak” stars Boris Karloff as a vampire hunter whose family is stalked by the wandering spirit of an undead ghoul. “A Drop of Water” involves a nurse who steals a ring from a corpse-not realizing the curse that is carried with it.

This Kino Classics edition showcases Bava’s original European cut of the film (I tre volti della paura, or Three Faces of Fear), before it was re-edited and re-scored for American release.

92 minutes. NR.

Even with Boris Karloff providing a lighthearted introduction and sign-off, Black Sabbath is fraught with fatalism.

Noel Murray - The Dissolve

Vintage Bava.

Time Out

Bava achieves one of the most terrifying atmospheres ever felt in a film.

Alberto Abuín - Espinof