A preview of the tricks and treats in store for this scary season
The Halloween season is officially upon us. With the holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, local arts- and merry-makers have let their imaginations loose and put together a wild and fun mix of tricks and treats to span an entire weekend—and then some.
Punk band dress-up There is always plenty of live local music around Halloween (check Nightlife, page 26, for the packed calendars at Lost on Main and the Tackle Box in particular), but this year, the most Halloweeny (Halloweenie?) bill is definitely Witches and Money at the Maltese Bar & Tap Room on Saturday (9 p.m.). Three local bands will transform into tributes to classic punk crews: Severance Package/The Primers will become Wild Gift (covering X); Splatter Party turns into Flag Party (Black Flag covers); and Cell Block changes to Double Dare (Bikini Kill). All that and DJ Ratboy spinning industrial/goth! Cost: $7.
Creepy classics Perhaps no one in town is as into the Halloween season as Miles Montalbano. The Pageant Theatre manager filled his entire repertory calendar for October with 10 classic horror/sci-fi flicks, saving half of them for this final week:
Saturday is a matinee double feature with the so-called “worst movie ever made,” Plan 9 From Outer Space (2 p.m.), and the 1962 sci-fi/horror flick about the head on the table, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (3:40 p.m.). Rosemary’s Baby shows Sunday at 7 p.m., and for Halloween it’s a double feature with a couple of late-’60s horror faves: the once-obscure Spider Baby (6 p.m.) and George A. Romero’s debut, the original Night of the Living Dead (7:40 p.m.).
In the same vein, the Blue Room Theatre and KZFR are teaming up for an on-air re-enactment of The War of the Worlds. The 1938 radio drama—adapted from H.G. Wells’ 1898 sci-fi novel and narrated by filmmaker Orson Welles— famously caused confusion and panic during its national broadcast when listeners mistook the report of a Martian invasion as real. Tune into 90.1 FM on Sunday (Oct. 29), at 8 p.m., or watch the actors read it live at the Blue Room ($5, arrive between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m.).
Adult fantasyland Burlesque performers don’t need a special day set aside for dressing risqué and losing themselves in characters, but since they have your attention …
The dancers from Top Cat Productions are returning to the Blue Room Theatre to present A NOLA Halloween Burlesque (“Come down to New Orleans and experience the sexy, supernatural and the spooky!”). Friday and Saturday, two shows each night, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Top cat Cat Campbell—who wrote the story and will perform—says to expect some gator-wrasslin’ as well as a “literal blood bath.” Tickets $15 in advance (at blueroomtheatre.com or The Bookstore), $20 at the door.
Blood flows In Butte County, hauntings go beyond mere amplified screams and things going bump in the night. Here, you get a backstory with your terror:
In north Chico (3163 Esplanade) is the Asylum of the Dead, where the crazed Charlie killed his folks and conducted his human experiments, and now the house’s old barn is home to the abominations he created as well as various tortured spirits. The Barbee family runs the attraction as a fundraiser for local charities (suggested donations: $3 for kids, $5 adults) and opens it to the public for the entire month, Fridays and Saturdays, plus Halloween, 7-10 p.m. This year’s recipients are Butte Environmental Council and the Hamilton City Fire Department.
Meanwhile, in Oroville, the story is that zombies are here, stumbling around the woods moaning for brains, and the Zombie Wrecking Crew needs recruits to navigate the land of the undead to help them retrieve an “antivirus serum.” Anyone who ponies up ($25 for a ride plus 100 paintball rounds; discounts for buying bonus rounds in advance) gets to join the tricked-out post-apocalyptic bus and ride around the grounds of the Combat Zone paintball park (4444 Pacific Heights Road, Oroville) shooting zombies in the face! The final days of the season are Oct. 27-29. Gates open at 5 p.m., buses start leaving at dark Reservations encouraged (at zombiewreckingcrew.com).