Talk about clubbing made easy. Last weekend, there was only one place to be for Tinseltown’s Halloween hell-raisers — and we’re not talking about Hollywood Toy and Costume. HOLLYWOOD ATHLETIC CLUB is putting the hub in the bub again. On Friday, there were grand openings for two weekly electronica nights — CLUB NAKED and Giant’s FRIDAYS AT THE POOL — as well as the 40th-birthday party for RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS drummer CHAD SMITH in an upstairs room. The b-day bacchanal had a pimp-’n’-ho theme, and rockin’ revelers such as ROB ZOMBIE, “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC, and Peppers ANTHONY KIEDIS and FLEA (cleverly done up as a garden hoe) were lookin’ super fly. Not surprisingly, most of the VIPs didn’t venture downstairs, while Naked’s more intrepid bridge-and-tunnelers spent the eve trying to crash the bash (the devil-horned and bunny-eared club chicks did fit the theme). In an adjacent area, Giant’s event was less about sex and more about tech, with the sounds of ÜBERZONE echoing off the sunken dance floor (a converted swimming pool), and a geek lounge on the patio with video games. On Saturday night, the same patio (as well as the entire labyrinthlike building) was filled with rubber-clad witches, naughty nurses and Britney Spears–inspired Catholic schoolgirls as FETISH BALL and COVEN 13 presented their annual MASQUERADE BALL, featuring a condensed Rocky Horror Picture Show performance starring RICHARD O’BRIEN (the original Riff Raff, pictured), which attracted the likes of C.C. DEVILLE, DAVID ARQUETTE and MARILYN MANSON, who wore a mask all night, allowing him to walk freely and unrecognized among his fellow freaks. Take that Michael Myers!

—Lina Lecaro

Shadows of Their Former Selves

Devotees of DARK SHADOWS, undoubtedly the quirkiest entry in the history of TV soapdom, gathered at the VISTA THEATER recently for a 30th-anniversary screening of Night of Dark Shadows, the 1971 feature-film spinoff from the series about the ghoulish goings-on at creepy Collinwood Estate (vampires, ghosts, werewolves and even a phoenix figured among its characters). Fans provided running commentary about the series stars who alighted from a big black limo, including tall, gray and handsome DAVID SELBY (who’s even better-looking at 50-something than when he played hot young Quentin Collins); petite, perky LARA PARKER (the notorious Angelique, pictured); jovial JOHN KARLEN, a far cry from Collinwood’s sullen groundskeeper Willie Loomis; dainty DIANA MILLAY (Laura Collins), disappointed that there were “no vampires in the crowd”; leather-jacketed CHRIS PENNOCK (Jeb Hawkes), looking very hip in long white hair and mustache; and NANCY BARRETT (Carolyn Stoddard), gracefully enjoying the spotlight once more, albeit with tongue firmly in cheek. Before the screening, the stars gamely participated in a handprints-in-the-cement ceremony in front of the theater. Only problem was it took at least three takes for each of them to write their names in the wet cement, causing CHIP SELBY, David’s wife, to note that “they made the movie in less time!” And an auction of Dark Shadows memorabilia (proceeds going to the Women’s Care Cottage) fetched $100 for a genuine Barnabas ring, which, the auctioneer assured us, was “adjustable.” (Eat your heart out, Harry Winston.) Speaking of Barnabas: Alas, Jonathan Frid, the sexiest vampire since Bela Lugosi, lives quietly in Canada and doesn’t do the D.S. circuit anymore. Fangs for the memories!

—Mary Beth Crain

Classic Clown

As if to prove that getting older and reaching icon status (which usually happens around the time your work starts getting collected in CD box sets) hasn’t mellowed him out, comedian GEORGE CARLIN (pictured) was in an even more blasphemous and subversively scatological mood than usual at his recent UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATER show, going into elaborately surrealistic and disgusting detail about bodily functions, and ranting about people who wear their children in backpacks and name those brats with horrible one-syllable sounds like “Todd.” He opined that there are just too many love songs these days, and not enough tunes about cancer and other diseases. Without specifically mentioning September 11, he admonished us that we’re living in a nation of snitches, and warned everyone to never cooperate with the police under any circumstances. Recent events were pretty much blamed on the capriciousness of God, although He or She of course doesn’t exist. After being engulfed in so many weeks of blandly patriotic and well-intentioned propaganda in the media, most of the audience reacted with pent-up exultation to hear Carlin speak the unspeakable, especially during what we now know as “a time like this.” EMILIO ESTEVEZ and CHARLIE SHEEN were spotted backstage, along with Dickies guitar hero STAN LEE — perhaps the musician partially responsible for We Aren’t the World and endearing classics like “(I Was Stuck in a Pagoda With) Tricia Toyota” can still learn a few things from another comic genius.

—Falling James

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