Flick or Treat

Local filmmakers bust out the guts and gore for Halloween.

SUN, 10/30

The Walnut Room, 3131 Walnut Street, hosts the weekly Entertainment Industry Night to give film and music laborers a place to belly up to the bar with their own type. Most Sundays they bring in DJ K-Nee, and every fourth Sunday they feature "Movieoke," where cinephiles can act out scenes from their favorite movies with hosts Brian Colonna and Erin Rollman from Buntport Theater. When they realized they had a fifth Sunday to fill this month, EIN organizer Doug Bohm gathered a few of his fellow filmmakers and asked them to show their freakiest offerings at Flick or Treat: Scary Short Films by Local Artists.

Tonight's festivities kick off with a series of shorts, beginning with Scott Banning's Crackula, which features a cracked-out zombie roaming Colfax. Next up is Chad Smith's The Disposal, a film about a man who creates and then disposes of the women of his dreams. Award-winning writer and filmmaker Donald L. Vasick and Emmy-nominated PBS producer Alison Hill provide a short break from the blood and guts with Haunted World, which explores a real ghost story: the haunting of Capitol Hill's Croke-Patterson-Campbell mansion. Diving right back into the gore is Bloodshed Deathbath Productions' Barnum Splatter, a celebration of "insanity and bloody circus freaks." Bohm's own film, Episode38,is a scary satire on modern conspiracy news shows. The final film of the night is the sixty-minute Hannah House, which Smith based on the true tale of a turn-of-the-century Nebraska prairie family who struggled with the hardships of farm life and with the mystery -- and horror -- of what happened to their home's previous owners.

Invisible Music, a video/music/art outfit that synchronizes music with film footage, will play between films. The program is free before 8 p.m., but after that there's a $5 late fee, which Bohm instituted to encourage prompt attendance -- and to pay Invisible Music. For more information, call 303-292-1700 or visit www.thewalnutroom.com. -- Michelle Baldwin

Hell House
SAT, 10/29

This haunting season, if scantily clad angels frolicking with the undead don't produce that warm afterlife feeling they once did, consider committing to Heaven & Hell at the Luna Hotel. Tonight's party of eternal proportions features three levels of immortality: St. Peter's Parlor upstairs, where the innocent can count their blessings; Lucifer's Lounge downstairs, where sinners can wallow in guilt; and, for those not satisfied to stay in one place, there's Hell on Wheels, a VIP bus that will spread evil through the streets before docking in front of the Luna Hotel, 1612 Wazee Street. "Of all the places to be seen in town, this is going to be it," says Mike Downey, president of Play Coed, the organization behind it all. Food, drink, DJs and debauchery will be on hand from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.; repent now or register your soul for $25, $75 for a VIP ticket. Get more information at www.playcoed.com/halloween or by calling 303-477-7529 ext. 103. -- Drew Bixby

Monster Mash
SAT, 10/29

Andrew Novick collects things such as black velvet clown paintings and Japanese toys, and his quarterly "Wacky Denver" parties are an expression of his love for kitsch and nostalgia. Tonight he's hosting his second annual Halloween party, Bride of Monster Bash, at Andenken Gallery, 2110 Market Street, featuring scary movies, free doughnuts, costumed leg wrestling -- "Imagine seeing Frankenstein leg-wrestle Daisy Duke," Novick swoons -- plus a chance at a $200 prize for best costume. So throw off the shackles of lame, un-costumed grownup parties and indulge in the fun of "kids' parties," which, Novick says, "are focused on snacks, costumes and decorations." Sixtwentysix will spin spooky tunes, and the Skulls will cover the Misfits in full costume. It's $20 to get in, doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the party is all ages -- but there will be plenty of cheap witches' brew for trick-or-treaters over 21. For more information, visit www.wackydenver.com. -- Michelle Baldwin

Dead Zone
Lakewood celebrates Día de los Muertos.
SAT, 10/29

Trick-or-treaters need a break from their sugar stashes. So take them to Lakewood's free Día de los Muertos Celebration, the culmination of the city's month-long exhibit of art and performance celebrating the dead.

"It's a great family celebration, celebrating the culture of Mexico," says Kim Mears, director of marketing for the Lakewood Civic Center, 470 South Allison Parkway, where the free festivities run from 2 to 6 p.m. today.

The theme of this year's Day of the Dead celebration is the elephant and the dove, which refers to the artwork of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. A Frida look-alike contest will seek out women of all ages who dare to go where Selma Hayek went so well, and jurors Carlos and Lynn Frésquez will hand out a $500 first-place award to the artist who best channels the Frida and Diego theme.

Ballet Folklorico de Fiesta Colorado, a local dance troupe, will present traditional Mexican dances celebrating life, love and death; the group will also perform excerpts from the children's tale Ferdinand the Bull. Taco Tote will dish out free food from 4 to 6 p.m., and throughout the afternoon mariachi music will ensure plenty of tunes for the guests of honor: the spirits of those gone but not forgotten. For more information, call 303-987-7850. -- Luke Turf

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