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Whether you’re into creeps, costumes, or camp, Toronto’s got you covered this Halloween. Photo, from last weekend’s Zombie Walk, by Nick Kozak.
Happy Halloween! This weekend, we’ve got scary movies at the Underground, a new installation from Ian Wallace, ghoulish Toronto history events, costumey dance parties, a Halloween and Day of the Dead Brick Works celebration, an improv show honouring August Strindberg’s moody melodramas, and the annual Halloween show from Fucked Up, with The Sadies.
FILM: To satisfy those seeking a good scare this weekend, the Toronto Underground Cinema is screening some of Hollywood’s creepiest horror flicks. On Saturday, don’t miss Shadow of the Vampire, a dramatization of the making of 1922’s Nosferatu, in which the leading man may actually be a bloodsucking fiend, followed by a showing of the F.W. Murnau silent masterpiece itself. Fear the Reaper, about a vigilante serial killer, will screen on Sunday, followed by the ultimate slasher flick, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue), Saturday and Sunday, various times, $8/single film, $14/double bill.
ART: If your tastes are too high-brow for Halloween, why not check out a talk by renowned Vancouver photographer Ian Wallace this weekend? Wallace focuses on the street and the everyday, looking at intersections, sky-scraping architecture, and other urban settings. His latest installation, The Economy of the Image, on display until January 2 at the Power Plant, is a suite of twelve large photo-lamination paintings that document the financial district of downtown Toronto. On Saturday, Wallace is in town to speak about his past and present works. Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West), Saturday 4 p.m., $8/members, $12/regular.
HISTORY: Behind Toronto’s staid architecture and pleasant manner lurks a haunted past to be reckoned with. On Saturday, a ghost walk will explore the city’s history under martial law (Meet at Queen and Bathurst streets, Saturday 7 p.m., FREE), while Fort York will open up for a nighttime tour and ghost stories (Fort York [250 Fort York Boulevard], Saturday 7:30 p.m., $5–$10). On Sunday, listen to spooky stories about High Park and Colborne Lodge (Colborne Lodge Drive, Sunday 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., $5–$10), or families can take a deliciously scary tour of the Cadbury Gladstone Chocolate Factory, transformed into a haunted house (Cadbury Gladstone Chocolate Factory [277 Gladstone Avenue], 5:30 p.m., FREE).
PARTIES: What is Halloween without a shindig at which to show off your costume? Lee’s Palace has once again teamed up with old-timey dance-party purveyors Goin’ Steady for the annual Monster Mash, where costumed hellions will bump and grind to music from the ’50s and ’60s and Exploding Motor Car will use multimedia projections to transform Lee’s into a spooky house of horrors. (Lee’s Palace [529 Bloor Street West), Saturday, doors 9 p.m., $10/door; no advance tickets this year). Meanwhile, if you’ve been looking for an excuse to check out Wicked, Toronto’s sexiest sex club, it’s holding a party in the basement ballroom, which, according to our source, is like “Eyes Wide Shut meets Hell.” The party will offer candy, obviously, but will also feature projections of Bruce LaBruce‘s film L.A. Zombie and costume prizes. (Wicked [1032 Queen Street West], Sunday 10 p.m., $10/door).
FESTIVAL: Evergreen Brick Works will be celebrating both All Hallow’s Eve and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this weekend. Día de los Muertos is an annual Mexican festival in which the living honour those who have passed, and offerings are made to the dead to encourage visits from their souls. The festival will host an ofrenda, or altar, for offerings, a live mariachi band, pumpkin patch, face-painting, and apple-cider pressing, along with a LEAF-led tree-identification tour of the ravine at 11:30 a.m. and stone soup from chef Brad Long. Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue), Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m., FREE.
THEATRE: In honour of the spookiest weekend of the year, The National Theatre of the World (the folks who brought you The Carnegie Hall Show, one of our Fringe favourites), will perform Impromptu Splendor in the style of August Strindberg, the Swedish dramatist known for his atmospheric, often supernatural, chamber dramas. The monthly Impromptu Splendor is a progressive improvisational one-act play in the style of a different playwright each time, using minimal sets and costumes to create a one-of-a-kind piece that has never been performed before (and will never be performed again). Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue), Sunday, playreading at 7:30 p.m., show at 9 p.m., $12.
MUSIC: We were almost denied Fucked Up‘s annual Halloween show due to the band’s plans to be on tour this weekend. Lucky for us, the tour has been cancelled, and the band will perform on Sunday, along with The Sadies. Tantalizing teaser: Fucked Up wrote on their blog that they’re “doing something kind of funny for the show.” No advance tickets will be sold, and attendees are encouraged to come in costume. The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West), Sunday 9 p.m., $12.