Somerville Theatre, the cute local cinema down in Davis Square, is about to get its spook on for Halloween. For 12 hours straight on Oct. 31, the theater will run a horror movie marathon featuring six classic flicks spanning nearly 60 years of (artificial) blood, guts and gore. Film nerds and hipsters can look forward to viewing all the films in 35mm film, the medium in which most of these films were originally shot.
The marathon will kick off at noon with “West of Zanzibar” (1928), a silent film about a paralyzed magician, Phroso (Lon Chaney), who is out to get revenge on Crane (Lionel Barrymore), the man who injured him in a brawl over Phroso’s wife (Jacqueline Gadsden). Continuing the theme of caped anti-heroes, the marathon will feature everyone’s favorite vampire, “Dracula” (1931). Far from the sparkly, self-restrained vampire heroes of “Twilight” (2009), the dashing Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) is hell bent for blood. He hypnotizes a British soldier (Dwight Frye) into being his slave, commandeers residence over a castle and begins sucking the blood of local women, turning them into vampires.
Aside from these two early films, the marathon will delve into the monster movie era with “The Monster That Challenged the World” (1957). In this film, giant prehistoric mollusks rise from under the sea to wreak havoc on the human race. With now-hilarious special effects and voice-over narration, the movie has garnered respect from critics over the years. Approaching a more subtle type of horror, “Seconds” (1966) is a cautionary tale about the futile quest for eternal youth. Middle-aged Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) is disappointed with his life when he is approached by the nefarious Company, which offers him the body of a young man (Rock Hudson) through experimental surgery.
Two horror flicks from the ’80s will bring the marathon to its end. The first, James Cameron’s “Aliens” (1986) tells the tale of Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor among a group of space voyagers who colonize a planet later found to be infested by vicious aliens. Now accompanied by a group of marines, Ripley must return to the planet and defeat the aliens. Finally, “The Lost Boys” (1987), a comedy horror film, recounts the story of two brothers from Arizona who move to California and begin fighting a gang of vampires.
Tickets for the Halloween Horror Marathon are available now for $30.