An anarchist book fair, a Bette and Joan comedy show, a screening of The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 12 bucks or less.
The American Cinematheque is hosting a two-night tribute to Japanese director Ishiro Honda, the prolific and resourceful fantasist who introduced the world's most lovable oversized atomic lizard, Godzilla. Friday night's double feature includes Gojira, the original Japanese version, which doesn't include awkward inserts of Raymond Burr. The evening draws to a close with The H-Man, Honda's visually eclectic anti-nuke thriller. There will be a discussion between films with Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (moderated by Steve Biodrowski), authors of Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa. Come to the pre-screening reception for a signed copy. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Living in Trump's world isn't easy, which makes the return of the L.A. Anarchist Bookfair even more crucial. Once again, anti-authoritarians from different communities who share the same ideology of social and political change are invited to learn and network. This year's installment has two themes: “Red and Black October: Revisiting the 'Unknown' Anarchist Revolution of 1917 a Century Later” (which looks at the 1917 Russian Revolution and how it relates today) and “From the Media to the Streets: Against the Resurgence of the Alt-Right” (which examines the backlash against the far right). The event features a book fair with small presses, artists and local organizations selling radical literature, as well as poetry readings, discussions and workshops, such as “The Declining Rate of Profit and the Relevance of Marxism Today,” “Why Is Authoritarian State Capitalism on the Rise Today?” and “White Nationalism: A Challenge for Anarchists.” Leimert Park Plaza, 4395 Leimert Blvd., Leimert Park; Oct. 28 & 29; free. la.anarchistbookfair.com. —Siran Babayan
Forget Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. Oscar Montoya and Ruha Taslimi will be resurrecting the most epic rivalry from Hollywood's Golden Age at UCB's comedy show Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's Halloween Soiree! It's Halloween and Joan Crawford is hosting a bash at her Beverly Hills home, when who else but arch-nemesis Bette Davis crashes the party. Taslimi and Montoya will play the actresses as their characters from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (deranged former child actress with blond sausage curls “Baby Jane” Hudson and paraplegic older sister Blanche, respectively) and re-enact some of the camp classic's best scenes, including the one with the cooked pet bird and Davis singing “I've Written a Letter to Daddy.” The two will be joined by UCB cast members performing as other famous horror-movie faces, such as Norman Bates and the Grady twins from The Shining. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 28, 11:59 p.m.; $5. franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
El vampiro negro is not a horror film, contrary to what the title might indicate. Rather, it's a tightly constructed and atmospherically photographed 1953 Argentine remake of Fritz Lang's classic thriller M. Nathán Pinzón stars in the role that made Peter Lorre famous, and Argentine superstar Olga Zubarry plays a cabaret singer who becomes a key witness. This rare screening of a 35mm print that played the Noir City film festival two years ago will be followed by Los tallos amargos, another noirish thriller from the same country and period. Both prints have been restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Film Noir Foundation. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Oct. 28, 3 p.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Dressing up for Halloween is fun, dressing up your kids is even more fun, but there is no greater form of autumnal joy than glimpsing embarrassed-looking dogs in Halloween costumes. Tonight, Idle Hour in North Hollywood hosts a Dog Costume Contest, full of good, good boys (and girls) dressed as superheroes, Star Wars characters and maybe even Donald Trump, although that probably should qualify as animal cruelty. Buy a ballot at the bar — proceeds go to the East Valley Animal Shelter — and vote on who gets to go home with a doggie treat bag (and a gift card for their owner, too). Idle Hour, 4824 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; (818) 980-5604, idlehourbar.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
CSUN is putting on a special Halloween screening of Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse hosted by senior professor and Hollywood historian John Schultheiss. One of the great accomplishments of the early sound period, Lang's 1933 film imagines the titular arch-criminal — a villain whose spirit remains ambulatory while his body rots in an insane asylum — as a precursor to Hitler. Minister of Nazi Propaganda Joseph Goebbels strongly suggested a re-edit; Lang fled the country and became a successful American studio director instead. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Mon., Oct. 30, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Nathaniel Bell
LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series finishes its tour of Universal's classic monster collection with Creature From the Black Lagoon. The eponymous amphibian — a piscine humanoid left over from a prehistoric age — is one of the best rubber-suit jobs Hollywood ever attempted, and his beauty-and-beast relationship with Julie Adams reaches its apotheosis in an eerie underwater duet. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 31, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell
Celebrate Halloween Roman Polanski style with two great films about going crazy in apartments. In Repulsion, ice queen Catherine Deneuve is a beautician terrified of men's touch. In The Tenant, Polanski himself plays a mousy Pole convinced that his neighbors are plotting something sinister against him. The former is one of the most persuasive visualizations of mental illness ever put on celluloid; the latter is a wicked black comedy about the mutability of identity, drawn from Polanski's firsthand experiences as an émigré. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell