Though Frankenstein's monster and Dracula originated in literary works, their popular images are eternally attached to the iconic portrayals of, respectfully, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in a handful of films included under the banner of Universal Horror. Timed to provide Halloween thrills, the Heights Theater will be opening the cinematic tomb of Universal Horror: Monsters, Murder, and Madness, an eight-film salute to classic screen ghouls. Lugosi's definitive portrayal of Dracula (1931) kicks off the series, followed by a double bill starring Karloff in Frankenstein (1931) and (with Lugosi as the demented assistant, Ygor) Son of Frankenstein (1939). Lugosi also lurks among the beast-men in The Island of Lost Souls (1932), Karloff elicits sympathy for a monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and both actors team up for The Raven (1935), in which the tales of Edgar Allan Poe inspire an elaborate torture chamber. Universal Horror means more than just Karloff and Lugosi, of course, as evidenced by the haunted-house thriller The Uninvited (1944). Intrepid souls can even venture outdoors for a screening of the Spanish language Drácula (1931) — which is notably different from the Lugosi version — in the shadowy environs of the Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery (2945 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis) at dusk on Wednesday, October 2. $8; $5 Drácula benefit screening. Visit take-up.org/series/91 for showtimes.
Thursdays. Starts: Sept. 26. Continues through Oct. 24, 2013