Halloween week event planner: for the discerning collegiate thrill-seeker

Nick Bonadies
Spectrum Editor

All Hallow’s Eve is less than a week away, and you and your cohorts have assembled the perfect costumes, striking that ideal balance between clever, badass, a little bit sexy and definitely not trying too hard.

You’ve set the mood with the cheesiest available horror flicks, hung a plastic skeleton in your window and maybe even had a pumpkin or two crushed on your stoop.

All is right with the world.

But then a chill runs down your spine – a cold wind rustles the dying leaves, wolves howl in the distance.  You realize that you’ve somehow neglected, in your seasonal elation, to actually have something planned to do for Halloween!

We at the Commonwealth Times say fear not – we’ve got you covered.   Using this handy guide to the local area’s upcoming haunts, freakshows and other happenings, you can plan the perfect Halloween week to supplement whatever shenanigans may occur Sunday night at your Facebook acquaintance’s house party.

1/ Movieland at Boulevard

Movies & Mimosas: ‘Rosemary’s Baby’

Classic films make their big screen comeback every weekend at Movieland’s ‘Movies & Mimosas’ series, and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ – for which director Roman Polanski won an Oscar in 1969 – is this weekend’s a fittingly creepy pick.  (Actual line: “It was kinda fun in a necrophile sort of way.”)

SAT 30th / SUN 31st 11a. $5.50.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Spectacular

Missed them at the Commons two Fridays back?  Orgasmic Rush of Lust, the Richmond area’s “premiere Rocky Horror shadow cast,” busts out the big guns (among other accoutrements) for Halloween weekend at Movieland.  Transvestism optional, but highly encouraged.

FRI 29th / SAT 30th 11.30p. $7.50.

2/ The Byrd Theatre

The Phantom of the Opera: A Byrd Theatre Classic Movie Event

The original silent 1925 version, that is, starring Lon Cheney.  If you can’t do silent movies: firstly, consider being less boring.  Secondly, live musical accompaniment on the monolithic Mighty Wurlitzer.  What more could you want?

FRI 29th 7:30p. $10.

3/ Carytown

6th Annual Richmond Zombie Walk

Any and all interested and available brain-hungry undead (and the humans who love them) are invited to shamble and groan en masse this Saturday through Carytown.  Lite refreshments including the brains and flesh of the living will be available/present in limited quantities.  Participation is free, but all donations will support the American Cancer Society.

SAT 30th 1p (participants meet in Byrd Park, walk immediately following.) Free.

4/ Hollywood Cemetery

Cemetery Tours

Of course the real experience here lies in gathering an entourage to explore this gorgeous historic landmark on your own – but you can also learn a fair bit of fascinating history from Hollywood’s guided walking tours.  Perhaps you’ve heard the true tale of what some call … the Richmond Vampire?

MON 25th through SAT 30th 10a (Meet at the cemetery entrance at Cherry and Albemarle Streets.) Free.

5/ The Camel

If you missed WRIR-FM’s ‘Monster Mashquerade’ last Friday with Tyrannosaurus Awesome, Les La Brittanica and The Green Hearts, you have two chances to redeem yourself this Halloweekend:

Jackass Flats Halloween Ho-Down (bluegrass/rockabilly)

SAT 30th 11p. [tickets forthcoming].

The Big Payback Halloween Party ft. Caulit Anything (rock/experimental)

SUN 31st 8p. [tickets forthcoming].

6/ Firehouse Theatre Project

Love Kills

You might not call it a “Halloween” event, but nothing billed as an “emo rock musical” ever hurt anybody.  Based on a true story in 1958 Nebraska, two teenage lovers are accused of committing eleven murders in the course of a week – you’d be emo about it too, probably.

THU 28th 8p. $22-24, student discount available.

7/ Hanover Avenue

Halloween on Hanover

Those in the know will tell you the annual festivities on these few blocks of Hanover Avenue are a required stop on Halloween night – for the live music, candy and general merriment, yes, but mainly for some serious house and yard displays.

SUN 31st all evening. Free.

8/ Strange Matter

Night of the Living Dead Bands 2

Is there a better place to start off your Halloween night than everyone’s favorite restaurant slash venue slash video arcade on Grace Street?  The correct answer is “no.”* Featuring cover performances of NOFX, Bad Religion, The Damned, Blue Oyster Cult, The Descendants and The Misfits.

SUN 31st 5p. Free.

9/ Gallery5

Shi##y Halloween

Best Friend’s Day presents performances by Dead to Me, No Friends, Night Birds, Southside Strangers and Grown Ass Men.  Wear your worst possible costume and shave three bucks off your ticket – a contest winner for “the shittiest costume” will win “shitty prizes” from “Bunnyhop, Rumors and more!”

TUE 26th 7p. $8 ($5 with costume.)

Malignant Humor

“It’s not just live comedy – it’s UNDEAD comedy.”  Improv ensemble Richmond Comedy Coalition present a feature-length, entirely improvised horror movie – the winner of RCC’s costume contest will get the chance to play a starring role.

FRI 29th 8p. $7 ($5 with student ID.)

Pre-Halloween Dinner Party

This kickstart to Gallery5’s observance of Dia de Los Muertos will include local acts from the lovely ladies of Voix Ville Follies burlesque, Silent Music Revival (music improvised to a silent film) featuring Lobo Marino, a collaboration of artists from popular Richmond bands calling themselves Tequila Mockingbird, as well as – you guessed it – a costume contest.  (Will you be the jerk to compete in and win all three? You know you want to.)

SAT 30th 7p. $10 ($8 for members) (price includes food!)

10/ Hat Factory

Fear Factory Festival

Employees at the Hat Factory have reported sightings of a strange unidentified figure creeping in the shadows after hours – they say he looks like a clown.  While the wisest general course of action is to avoid clowns at all costs, the Hat Factory’s upcoming week of events (which includes a Prince tribute, Halloween-edition RVALUTION and a ‘Massacre-ade Ball’ with RVAMag) might be well worth the risk.

MON 25th through SUN 31st. Visit hatfactoryva.com for a full schedule with times and ticket prices.

11/ Alley Katz

Alley Katz Halloween Party

You might remember how the nation wept last June when Alley Katz closed up shop … But it didn’t stay dead. Check out the all ages show Halloween night featuring Ayo Nelson, Mitchel Bamberger, The Acclamation and Corporal Vega.

SUN 31st 7p. $7.

12/ Edgar Allan Poe Museum

October Unhappy Hour

Astute readers may appreciate the propriety of celebrating Halloween with Richmond’s own Master of the Macabre.  This month’s Unhappy Hour at the Poe Museum – themed “The Fall of the House of Usher” – features live music by Naughty Dynamic and The Design, and guests are encouraged to come costumed as their favorite Poe character.  (If you’re looking to be unique, consider going as a raven – everyone else will have thought it too obvious.)

THUR 28th 6p. Free.

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