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The Ungrateful Undead converge upon The Six Week Film School

actor dressed up as Dracula

Bela Lugosi in Dracula from 1931.

Delving into worlds where zombies and vampires rule, Illinois State University’s William Thomas McBride of the Department of English will host his popular Six Week Film School starting October 8 and running through November 19 at the historic Normal Theater, 209 W. North St. The semester’s series, “The Ungrateful Undead,” features films that define the vampire and zombie genres.

Showtimes are Tuesday at 7 p.m. The events are free and open to all.

This time McBride is joined by two Illinois State graduate students: David Hansen of the Department of English (“The Evolution of Dracula’s Visual Rhetoric and its Impact on Classroom Studies”) and Ann Johnson of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology (“Aaaahhh Zombies! A Historical Examination of Societal Anxiety Through the Lens of Zombie Cinema”).

The Six Week Film School is co-sponsored by the Town of Normal and Illinois State’s Department of English.

October 8 – Nosferatu (Murnau 1922)
In F. W. Murnau’s silent German Expressionist horror film Count Orlok (Max Schreck) summons Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to his remote Transylvania castle in the mountains, then the drama begins.

October 15 – White Zombie (Halperin 1932)
Upon the request of a sugar plantation owner the zombie master of Haiti, Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi), captivates Madeleine (Madge Bellamy) much to the chagrin of her fiancé John (Neil Parker) who sets out to find her.

October 22 – Dracula (Browning 1931)
Lugosi imprints for our culture the look and sound of Count Dracula in Todd Browning’s original Dracula. After the aristocratic inhabitant of the Carpathian Mountain castle sets his sights, and fangs, on Mina (Helen Chandler), vampire-hunter Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) is enlisted to stop him.

November 5 – Night of the Living Dead (Romero 1968)
George Romero’s cult zombie classic, known for its unprecedented level of gore and casting, follows seven people trapped in a rural farmhouse while under attack by special creatures.

November 12 – Dracula: Dead and Loving It (Brooks 1995)
Mel Brooks delivers his love letter to the vampire legend and the Hollywood genre. The film stars Leslie Nielsen as the Count, Brooks as Van Helsing, and includes Harvey Korman, Chuck McCann, Avery Schreiber, Charlie Callas, and Anne Bancroft.

November 19 – Shaun of the Dead (Wright 2004)
This 21st century comedy/horror flick follows slacker Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his buddy Ed (Nick Frost) as they venture off to save girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) from the zombie apocalypse that has just hit the outskirts of London.

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