Saturday, September 24, 2011

Raising Hell at The Oaks Theater

by Bratzilla

As horror fans, most of us are well trained to embrace, and find no shortage of thrills in, “the unknown.” After making plans to see Clive Barker’s Hellraiser – one of Brizblack’s favorite movies of all time – at The Oaks Theater in Oakmont, we were appeased enough just to experience it on the big screen. But when the unexpected happened, and our most beloved cenobite turned up in the flesh, our souls were nearly torn apart with excitement.

With a well-earned place in horror history as the iconic Pinhead, Doug Bradley lurks somewhere in the brains of most people – even if they have no idea what his real name is. Tall, pale and bald like his character, when the man who’s caused countless people to literally or figuratively crap their pants since the 80s strolled up to the front of the theater, the entire crowd was captivated. And, as he began to speak, graciously spending an hour answering questions, there was no mistaking the dark shades of Pinhead discernable in “real life” Bradley, who was similarly smart and in control.

So why the hell did our dear sadist friend materialize in the theater? Well, naturally our initial assumption was that one of The Oaks proprietors somehow got a hold of “the box,” but the less fantastic answer is that he is moving to Pittsburgh. Yes, you heard right, Pinhead is going to be a yinzer! And, if that wasn't news enough, Bradley also announced that he’d be appearing in a local film called Scream Park gratis and might consider getting involved in other projects, too.

At the end of the day, more awesome than this experience is the place that made it possible. As Bradley said himself, we are so fortunate to have a cinema like The Oaks. A 430-seat single screener since 1938, the theater, with its Twin Peaks-esque red curtains, is spacious and stunning. And, more importantly, they regularly show great films. Most notably, we saw Hobo with a Shotgun here (if you haven’t seen this yet you are in for a blood-drenched treat) and a National Theatre Live production of Danny Boyle’s stage rendition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that was incredible as well.

Looking ahead at dread to come, upcoming Moonlit Matinees include Let the Right One In, Silence of the Lambs, Amityville Horror, the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, and Halloween 4, and we also recommend that you keep your eyes and ears open for other impromptu events that may creep up. So, now that you are in the know about The Oaks, you need only ask yourself one question: What is your pleasure?


  1. A band called Coil has a 10" record called the Unreleased Themes from Hellraiser (from the late '80s). I really should play it -- or some other Coil -- this Sunday.

  2. Funny someone actually brought that up to Doug Bradley at the screening, asking if he had heard it and what he thought about it. That would be a really cool pick for your show, which, by the way, my sister wanted me to tell you that she absolutely loved! She especially appreciated your Nick Cave story. - Bratzilla