Er, maybe it’s a good thing that Halloween is basically cancelled this year. I’m all for edge play, but the possibility of some very questionable costumes looms in the air like so many “sexy coronavirus” particles. And of course Día de los Muertos—streamed online the evening of Mon/2—will take on a different glow this year in light of how many we’ve lost lately. (One witchy spirit soaring over us is surely that of Diane DiPrima, one of our greatest poets, who just passed.)
But that doesn’t mean we have to ding-dong-ditch all the spooky fun; we just need to adjust our pumpkins and take to screen, sky, and drive-in, as the following events prescribe.
BECAUSE HORROR Earlier this week we posted an excerpt from new book of essays Because Horror, by 48 Hills contributor Johnny Ray Huston and Bradford Nordeen. The book draws on some spectacular, overlooked horror film gems to tell personal stories—and the Roxie Theatre is hosting an online reading through Sun/1 for you to get a taste! Click here to stream the poetic celebration of cinematic gore.
LIVING LEGACIES: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS 2020 The always stunning SOMArts Día show is open through November 6 for socially distanced, timed-ticket viewing. “Now in its 21st year, SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead celebrations in the United States. Founded by beloved San Francisco artist and curator René Yañez, Día de Los Muertos at SOMArts merges traditional altars with contemporary installations, continuing to be a multigenerational gathering of remembrance while asserting the role of art as a platform for collective action.” More info here.
“HOCUM POKEM” Only the twisted mind of Peaches Christ could being a hilarious—and hilariously gay—rewrite of perennial favorite Halloween flick Hocus Pocus to life, and she’s brought along drag stars Jinkx Monsoon and Bendelacreme. They’re unleashing this film of the stage production as a special trick and treat. Thu/29, more info here.
LITERARY SPEAKEASY HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR Read a boooooooook. I’m not sure exactly how much this will have to do with Halloween, but Literary Speakeasy is one of my favorite local author reading series—this time around including Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Chaz Brenchley, LS Johnson, Sumiko Saulson, and more. Thu/29, more info here.
CLUB CLOSED HALLOWEEN EDITION What do you do when you can’t host a giant party in your giant club? The Great Northern and Monarch crew have brewed up this fantastic solution: Host a regular online variety show, full of local talent, filmed on the premises (socially distanced of course). It promises “a blend of Monty Python, MTV’s 120 Minutes, and classic Public Access Television.” Sold! This Halloween Friday edition features GARZA, DJ M3 aka Makes me Move, Walk The Vote fashion show by Atousa G with a Line Called K, Edna Mira Raia and Polly Amber Ross, with host Micah Byrnes. Fri/30, more info here.
POLESEXUAL PRESENTS: POLE-O-WEEN! “According to legend on the eve of Halloween all the creepy POLEDANCERS and witchy DRAG QUEENS will GATHER under an almost FULL MOON to DANCE and sway and make wishes and cast SEXY SPELLS because that night is known as POLE-O-WEEN!!! It is a night of kinda strong magic. When wishes may or not come true. 3 Great covens will combine on Folsom Street to entertain you. Polesexual, Cat Club and Trixxie Carr LIVE are going to cast a spell over you and make for an unforgettable night. See what happens when POLEDANCING and DRAG COMBINE!!” Ok then! Fri/30, more info here.
HELLASECRET HALLOWEEN OUTDOOR COMEDY NIGHT I know next to nothing about this but apparently there is a new outdoor comedy club (I am guessing it’s probably a converted familiar restaurant) that’s launching this weekend with four shows over two nights. Intriguing, and hey—at least we’ll die laughing(?). Fri/30 and Sat/31, more info here.
HALLOWEEN DRIVE-IN Fantastic drag show Princess is joining forces with the aerial acrobats of Skyhigh Odditorium to bring us a real live drive-in spooktacle featuring dozens of performers. Is it too much to ask to see a few drag queens swinging high on the flying trapeze, hopefully using some very strong wig glue? “Projected Live Feed! Music! Monsters! Dragons! Ninjas! Queens! Kings! Freaks! Get ready to see it all!” Fri/30 and Sat/31, more info here.
ALL HALLOW’s EVE DNA Lounge has, as usual, a terrific lineup of Halloween events all weekend (including the indispensable Death Guild online goth party on Day of the Dead), and on the night itself the club’s stream is extra ghosty with the mosty. “If there was ever a holiday created just for DNA Lounge that holiday is Halloween, and this is our nineteenth spoooooky year throwing this party! You may not be able to go out, so we are bringing the festivities directly to you. Join us at this can’t-miss annual event for some of our favorite DJs streaming live from the DNA Lounge Main stage, plus two sets of bewitching burlesque and skillful circus syrens!” Sat/31, more info here.
SCREAM QUEENS POWER WALK It is absolutely inconceivable to imagine Halloween in San Franciso without the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who used to host the enormous Hallow’s Eve gatherings in the Castro. Now they’re back in action, albeit very safely, which is very exciting! They’ll be hosting a charitable power walk to raise money for their annual grant program, which benefits small businesses, community organizayions, and individuals and events making a difference. “The Sisters are creepin’ it real this Halloween. Meet us Saturday, October 31 at 11am to monster walk, run, roller skate, fly on broomstick, scoot and tap dance our way from Market and Castro to Dolores Park and back.” Sat/31, more info here.
QUEERS 4 GEARS A socially distanced, charitable, costumed bike ride featuring a big speaker, costumes, and people with big hot thighs! Forget the broom and hop on your fixie, Witchy. Sat/31, more info here.
DRAG ALIVE HALLOWEEN! WITH JILLIAN GNARLING AND HOLLYWOOD TEXAS Drag and costumery galore! Join scandalously sexy couple Jillian and Hollywood as they present the Stud’s stable of incredible performers, spooking it up for the candles behind your eyes! Sat/31, more info here.
20TH ANNUAL BRASS TAX 6:66 HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR Honestly the closest you will come to a full-on rave online, this 12-hour party the day after Halloween—6:66am sunrise to 6:66pm sunset, natch—from the frightfully, delightfully silly Brass Tax crew has everything you need, including candy grams, kiss cams, a “main dancefloor full of the finest costumed weirdos shaking their glorious tail-feathers,” and, of course, separate chat areas like “Behind the DJ Booth” and “The Porto Line.” This is going to be the best Halloween-that-never-was afterparty ever! Sun/1, more info here.