When one thinks of the mavericks of 1970s horror, late director Bob Clark sits high on the list. The Florida native had his first horror hit in 1973’s crazed and amazing Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and then chased that wild movie with the emotionally-devastating Monkey’s Paw riff Deathdream. Post production on Deathdream brought Clark to Toronto, Canada where he stayed to make such iconic Canadian movies as Black Christmas, Deranged, Murder by Decree and eventually Porky’s and A Christmas Story.
And by his side sonically for the entire time was composer and pianist Carl Zittrer. Zittrer’s bizarre experimental, semi-jazz informed soundscapes in all those early Clark movies are the stuff of legend, with his Black Christmas score especially standing out as one of the most chilling collection of themes and cues ever committed to celluloid.
And while Zittrer has been semi-retired for some time, he’s still around, veering between Toronto and Pittsburgh. And fans hoping to hear his sound married to film again will kind of get their wish, especially if they live in the Toronto area.
On October 29th at the legendary The Revue Cinema in Toronto’s storied West end (400 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto), Zittrer will return to tickle the ivories and play LIVE piano accompaniment — his very own original composition — for the classic 1927 silent Lon Chaney horror masterpiece The Unknown. The Unknown was directed by future Dracula and Freaks icon Tod Browning, one of his many circus-set thrillers that reveled in perversity (Browning was himself once “circus folk”) and stars Chaney as an armless knife-thrower lusting after Joan Crawford. It’s a real-deal head-trip of a movie and we’re excited to hear what the brilliant Zittrer has created to provide the aural frissons.
Go to The Revue official website for more information and to purchase advance tickets. You don’t want to miss this!