USA 1931. Dir: James Whale. 71 min. DCP

“It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!” Sci-Fi Cinema Sunday cranks up the creepy this Halloween season with Universal’s 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel, without doubt the most enduring cinematic version of the oft-iterated tale. Colin Clive plays the titular mad genius seeking to play God; Boris Karloff, giving a remarkably nuanced performance underneath Jack Pierce’s now-iconic makeup, is the misunderstood, misshapen monster, assembled from various cadavers and jolted to life in truly spectacular fashion. The film made Karloff a star; British expat James Whale, here making his first horror film, directs with stylish, Expressionist flair. “The film has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made Beauty and the Beast ... Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time” (Tom Milne, Time Out).



Join world-class makeup effects studio Lindala Schminken Special Effects (LSFX) for a special presentation! LSFX specializes in character prosthetics, animatronics, and creatures, and has worked on such feature films as Warcraft and the upcoming Power Rangers, as well as television shows Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, and The X-Files.

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Cinema Sunday films are introduced by Vancouver film history teacher, critic, and intergalactic space pirate Michael van den Bos. In-theatre giveaways courtesy of Cinema Sunday community sponsors Videomatica SalesGolden Age Collectables, and Kidsbooks.


“One of the most deservedly famous and chilling horror films of all time.”

Chicago Reader | full review

“Handled with subtle change of pace and shift of tempo that keeps attention absorbed to a high voltage climax.”

Variety | full review