If the Cramps really wanted to give people a fright, they'd play under bright lights with no makeup, revealing the havoc 20 years in punk rock can wreak on a body. That won't happen when the band comes back for its fifth local Halloween show, of course: Fans will, instead, happily let themselves be spooked by the group's carnival freak show act and rock 'n' roll tales of terror ("I Was a Teenage Werewolf," "Don't Eat Stuff Off the Sidewalk," "What's Behind the Mask?" "Garbageman," "Rockin' Bones," and so on), all done in the shuddering psychobilly style the quartet mashed together from remnants of Elvis, women's prison movies, gas-huffing teens, Delta blues, and space aliens. Their scary reputation, embellished or not, precedes them: Singer Lux Interior picked up guitarist Poison Ivy as a hitchhiker; they fell in love; Lux dealt drugs and Ivy worked as a dominatrix to pay for a Manhattan dive with no natural light; they lived on lunch meat for years. Not unnerved yet? The Cramps are also one of the few famous bands ever to have played live from a mental institution. The Bomboras and Pearl Harbor open at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Warfield, Sixth Street & Market, S.F. Admission is $20; call 775-7722.
If psychobilly doesn't sound scary enough this Halloween, try industrial goth: Frontline Assembly and Switchblade Symphony play a party in which guests will compete in a Marilyn Manson look-alike contest (9 p.m. at Maritime Hall, 450 Harrison, S.F., 974-6644, $25). Or rap: Run-D.M.C. headlines Cyberfest '98, an all-night costume ball with DJs spinning from different rooms (8 p.m. at the Oakland Coliseum Plaza and Parking Grounds, 633 Hegenberger, Oakland, $25-30; call BASS for tickets). And for (neo)traditionalists, the city's official open-air party Halloween San Francisco features soul diva Melba Moore, the Johnny Nocturne & Kim Nalley Swing Band, Aranna Availa's Drag Show, and dance stages with Latin and house music (7 p.m. at Civic Center, S.F., 826-1401, $5). For complete holiday events listings, see the Halloween calendar, Page 34. (