The cultural role of monsters here in America is deliciously weird — where the old world strove to instill disciplinary terror via monster stories, here, in our delusional, perverse glory, it's all about sympathetic identification with them. Sharing the raw frustration of Frankenstein or Kong is always a marvelous exercise in psychic projection, and when that associative pathology is played out in the boundless, liquid realm of animation, well, children, it is just so much more unpredictably fun. With “Jerry Beck's Fifth Annual Halloween Spooktacular,” a seasonal screening of sundry vintage, Halloween-themed cartoons, willing suspension of disbelief has never been such a kick. Beck, with decades of professional and spiritual involvement in chronicling animation history, is indisputably the man for the job: The veteran author-educator-fetishist has distinguished himself as one of the top-dog cartoon authorities to be found anywhere in the galaxy, and he's assembled a trove of ghastly shorts, featuring the likes of Koko the Clown, Oswald Rabbit, Flip the Frog and the more familiar likes of Popeye, Casper the Ghost and Donald Duck. Certain to deftly exploit all of our most wrong-headed, absurd fixations with Halloween's sugarcoated riot of rampaging monsters, demons, spooks, evildoers, witches and Jack O'Lanterns. The season is all too brief — gorge on it while you can. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave.; Mon., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510,

Mon., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., 2012

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