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Double your Graveyard Shift fun with two horror events at the Alamo in September

This September, we're kicking up the Graveyard Shift horror series a notch with two fun events — including the Houston premiere of UNDOCUMENTED, the new horror film from IFC Midnight and veteran of Fantastic Fest '10, and a free screening of CAST A DEADLY SPELL, the best movie about H.P. Lovecraft that you've never seen.

Double your Graveyard Shift fun with two horror events at the Alamo in September

The Graveyard Shift, our new horror film series at the Houston-area Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, has been going strong for a few months now. This September, we’re kicking things up a notch with two very special events. First up, we’re screening the new IFC Midnight film and Fantastic Fest ’10 veteran UNDOCUMENTED on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17.

There have been few films that have affected me on as visceral a level as Chris Peckover’s UNDOCUMENTED. A relatively simple tale when it comes to plot, Peckover’s final product is anything but simple. It’s brutal, provocative and could very well be one of the best horror movies you’ll see this year.

 

Scott Mechlowicz, Alona Tal, Greg Serano and Kevin Weisman star as a group of grad students working on a documentary about the plight of the undocumented Mexican immigrant. Joining a group of border crossers as they attempt to sneak into America, the students’ film goes south (pun, unfortunately, intended) when the group of immigrants and the students are captured by a militant group of “patriots” who have taken it upon themselves to defend the border.

UNDOCUMENTED is, in many ways, cut from the same cloth of many of the “torture porn” films that have risen in popularity in recent years thanks to the success of SAW and HOSTEL. What separates UNDOCUMENTED from the rest of the pack, though, is its completely engaging villain: Z, played by the legendary Peter Stormare. Not enough can be said about Stormare’s character to do it justice. Every ounce of his delivery oozes with instability and barely restrained rage.

UNDOCUMENTED is a rightful inheritor of the legacy of TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. Whether you’re a horror enthusiast or just interested in the illegal immigrant debate — UNDOCUMENTED will have you at the edge of your seat and leave you haunted. The film isn’t out to change any minds one way or another on the subject of illegal immigration. It has only one purpose — to scare the everloving crap out of you.

We’ll have a Skype interview with UNDOCUMENTED’s director Chris Peckover following the Friday screening.

Friday, September 16 @ 10 PM — West Oaks

Saturday, September 17 @ 7 PM — West Oaks

Following Saturday’s screening of UNDOCUMENTED, we’re going in an entirely different direction with a free screening of CAST A DEADLY SPELL.

Martin Campbell has been a very busy man over the last 20 years. While his big screen adaptation of GREEN LANTERN may have fizzled out at the box office, you can forgive him that misfire. He did, after all, revamp and revitalize for modern audiences both Zorro (THE MASK OF ZORRO) and James Bond twice over (GOLDENEYE and CASINO ROYALE). But before he was a go-to guy for action spectaculars, Campbell directed one of the best films you’ve never seen.

A made-for-television movie produced by HBO, CAST A DEADLY SPELL is a modestly budgeted, impressively produced horror noir set in the ‘40s. Fred Ward stars as Harry Philip Lovecraft — though you may know him better by his initials H.P.

 Ward’s Lovecraft isn’t a writer penning tales of giant squid-faced monstrosities, though. Ward stars as a hardboiled private eye struggling to make ends meet as a non-magic user in a world addicted to the stuff.

In the society Lovecraft inhabits, everybody uses magic for both the mundane and the extraordinary. From employing slack-jawed zombies as body guards to summing chiseled-chested gargoyles to stalk through the night spying on people, magic is as every much a part of the film’s shadow-drenched post-World War II world as dangerous dames and pencil-mustached gangsters.

When Lovecraft is hired by Amos Hackshaw (a rich recluse played by David Warner) to recover his lost tome (a little book you may have heard of called the Necronomicon), he finds himself tangled up again with old “friends” — chief among them being Harry Bordon, a petty thug played by Clancy Brown who dreams of ruling the world. Julianne Moore and Alexandra Powers also co-star as two mysterious women with secrets that further complicate the case Lovecraft is so desperately trying to unravel.

CAST A DEADLY SPELL has never been released on DVD and a 35mm print probably doesn’t exist. How, then, are we going to show this film? We’re taking a trip back to the age where you were asked to be kind and rewind. To show CAST A DEADLY SPELL, we’re hooking up a VCR to the projector and popping in a VHS tape.

There will be some fun games and giveaways at our free screening of CAST A DEADLY SPELL — plus, our friends at Rotten Cotton will be on hand to unveil their latest t-shirt, a tribute to the film of the night.

Because the screening is free, you can’t pre-order your tickets to CAST A DEADLY SPELL but you can pick them up at the box office at West Oaks. This screening is sure to fill up fast so you may want to reserve your seat as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 17 @ 10 PM — West Oaks

If September is crammed with events for the horror lover, just wait until you get a peek at what we have planned for October. It’ll make you scream with excitement, I promise. 

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