As super-fans of dressing up, Halloween is obviously our favourite holiday. This year we're celebrating by teaming up with Zodiac Film Club to bring you a screening of the instant cult classic The Love Witch (2016) at our Dalston store on Wednesday 31st October. For those of you that haven’t heard of Anna Biller’s Technicolor b-film extravaganza - a young woman turns to the occult in order to master sexual politics and find love... with fatal results and an incredible 60s aesthetic.
Beginning with a shared love of horror, pulp, thrills and mystery, Sarah Kathryn Cleaver and Jordan Storm Louise set up the Zodiac Film Club earlier this year. Every month they select good-looking films, complex female characters and their favourites in forgotten classics, cult and contemporary cinema to share with their audience. They can usually be found at the bar if you want to come and discuss the film with them afterwards. We asked them to recommend their top 10 scary movies to fill the jump-scare void until Halloween.
Jordan: A folk horror set in the swamps of fourteenth-century civil war era Japan, Onibaba tells the story of two women who hunt Samurai to steal and sell their possessions, until a love interest turns up and it all gets a little more twisted.
Rosemary’s Baby (1969)
Sarah: We always recommend this to people who think they’re too scared to watch horror, as it’s deceptively benign. A young woman moves into a spooky old apartment building with her husband and gets pregnant, gradually losing all control of her situation with every passing trimester.
Daughters of Darkness (1971)
Jordan: A seductive lesbian vampire film from our favourite decade of horror. Rich in colour, stylish AF and previously screened at Zodiac, Daughters of Darkness is as visually decadent as it is deadly. Pass us a martini.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Sarah: At Zodiac, we love a murder mystery as much as we love a scare (The Zodiac Detective Agency is in our 5-year plan). The Silence of the Lambs delivers both, with a gripping hunt for a serial killer and two terrifying villains.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Jordan: We couldn't not include this 80's classic slasher. Featuring 120 cans of hairspray and a young Johnny Deep, who is as useless then as he is now. Freddy Krueger haunts your dreams long after the bath scene's finished.
Sarah: 90s slashers are one of our favourite sub-genres. We love them all, the good and the bad, from I Know What You Did Last Summer to Urban Legend, but The Arquettes, Rose McGowan and the meta-horror references elevate Scream to the status of classic.
The Others (2001)
Jordan: Our fave babe, Nicole Kidman, plays an overbearing mother in this Gothic tale. With a handful of jump-scares and an eerie score, it's one we recommend for tinder dates. Nothing gets you cosy and close like a haunting.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
Sarah: It wouldn’t be a Zodiac list without a body horror analogy for periods now would it? Weird sisters Ginger and Brigitte are inseparable until Ginger begins acting aggressively, suffering terrible stomach cramps and… growing a tail. Choice dialogue: “I get this ache, and I thought it was for sex but it’s to tear everything to f***ing pieces.”
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Jordan: Another vampire film, this is the lightest of our Halloween choices thanks to Jim Jarmusch’s signature gentle style. A smoking hot Tilda Swinton and her depressive rock star BF find love (and supper) across continents. The soundtrack is pretty good too.
Sarah: One for seasoned horror fans only, those who can stomach the more shocking scenes will discover a surprisingly feminist battle between (male) logic and (female) chaos. An unnamed husband and wife retreat to a cabin in the woods after the death of their toddler, with very, very, very bad consequences. Oh, it’s very bad indeed. Sorry guys.
Tickets for The Love Witch are available here. Bring a date!