Where To Watch Two Of Bill Hader's Favorite Horror Movies This Halloween

Comedian and actor Bill Hader really knows his vintage horror. During our interview for his latest film, the animated "The Addams Family 2," which is in theaters now, he mentioned the wealth of good pre-Code horror movies that end up streaming or on TV this time of year. Speaking about some of his favorites, he recommended two Michael Curtiz horror films from the 1930s. If you want to celebrate Halloween like Hader, we found where you can stream them both and widen your spooky cinematic horizons!

Time for Pre-Code Movies and Chill

When I asked if Hader had any Halloween plans, he explained that he does pretty much the same thing every year:

No, I like this time of year because TCM and Criterion Channel, all places like that start playing horror movies and old grade horror movies. I also love Halloween specials, like Charlie Brown and stuff like that.

His favorites? Two Michael Curtiz flicks that recently got restorations, "Doctor X" and "Mystery of the Wax Museum." Both star Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray, and both feature the kinds of salacious content that make pre-Hays Code movies so fun. (The Hays Code was a self-imposed series of guidelines for all Hollywood films released between 1934 and 1968, often removing sexual or violent content.) Hader explains that there's just something special about them: 

Those are great, just weird. It's really gruesome, it's pre-Code so there's a lot of cannibalism and stuff, but then there's also this really weird comic relief characters in it. I mean, they're one, gorgeous, those early color, but they're also just incredibly strange.

Where to Watch These Curtiz Classics

"Doctor X" is a 1932 American horror movie based on the play titled "The Terror," by Howard W. Comstock and Allen C. Miller. It was jointly produced by First National and Warner Bros., who also produced "Mystery of the Wax Museum" in 1933. Both films were some of the last made with the early two-color Technicolor process. Separate black-and-white prints were created as well, mostly for foreign and smaller markets. 

Here's the official synopsis for "Doctor X," which is streaming now on Criterion:

Cannibals, strange research experiments, a serial killer who only strikes when the moon is full . . . Something strange is afoot at the cliffside laboratory of the mysterious Dr. Xavier (Lionel Atwill), suspected by police of harboring the murderer—or of committing the grisly crimes himself. When an intrepid reporter (Lee Tracy) sneaks onto the grounds of the laboratory in search of a scoop, he stumbles into Xavier's plan to catch the seemingly supernatural killer—using his own daughter (Fay Wray) as bait. Expressionistic art direction and hallucinatory two-strip Technicolor cinematography enhance the dreamlike mood of this pre-Code chiller from classic Hollywood's consummate craftsman Michael Curtiz.

In "The Mystery of the Wax Museum," a deranged sculptor starts turning human victims into wax statues. Atwill stars as Ivan Igor, the disfigured sculptor whose creations are just a little too real. While the beautifully restored color version of "Doctor X" is on Criterion, only the black and white version of "Mystery of the Wax Museum" is available for streaming. You can find it on both HBO Max and the Turner Classic Movies website