What a time to be alive!
Sure, our President is probably going to cause WWIII any day now, but if he can hold off until at least the end of January, I’ll be able to catch Franco Prosperi’s Wild Beasts (1984) at a midnight screening at the Music Box Theatre! Now if you’ve never seen this little film before, boy are you in for a treat. Though, a little warning though, if you’re a card-carrying member of PETA, you might want to miss this one. They say no animals were killed in this film, but I’d beg to differ, not to mention I’d make a bet that a stuntman or two might have turned up missing!
I’m usually not one for these mondo-type of films, and there are a few parts in here that are hard for me to watch, but the rest of the film is just so damn crazy, I’m amazed it ever got made! I mean, when is the last time you see a pack of elephants attack an airport! Or a cheetah chasing a lady in a convertible down a city street? This film is a perfect example of Italian exploitation cinema. And to be able to see this on the big screen? Wow.
For most people, yesterday was an ordinary Monday, heading back to work after our short but sweet weekend. But for me, I had plans for that evening after work….heading into Chicago to the Music Box Theatre to catch three movies at their Cinepocalypse Film Festival. Granted, the idea of watching movies until close to 2am, after being up at 5am to go to work that morning, didn’t seem like the smartest thing to do. But when you have the chance to see an old classic, as well as two new films, all from different countries and from directors I like, it seemed like I had no other choice.
As if I didn’t love the Music Box Theatre enough already, they have made a deal with Scorpion Releasing to distribute a few of Scorpion’s titles on Blu-ray and DVD, through their Doppelgänger Releasing division. The first of these titles to be coming out is one of my personal favorites of Dario Argento, his 1987 film Opera, which should be out before the end of this year. With the release of Suspiria from Synapse Films, this is going to make a great way to end the year for Italian horror fans.
This last Thursday, the new film festival Cinepocalypse started at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. With over 60 films selected that are running through Thursday the 9th, there are plenty of new films, as well as some old classics, that are just going to blow you away.
This Monday alone is going to be one hell of a special night. At 7pm, they will be screening a rare 35mm Italian print of Dario Argento’s Suspiria! For this 40th year anniversary, this uncut print will be in Italian with English subtitles. And if that wasn’t enough to excite you, how about the fact that actress Jessica Harper will be in attendance!!!
For those couple out there that haven’t seen Suspiria, then here’s the trailer.
Many, many years ago, while set up at a little movie memorabilia show in Rosemont, Il, a young lady came strolling by our table. For some reason, she looked a bit familiar, but we just couldn’t place her. As it turns out, it was none other than Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, an actress who had appeared in a few Italian films like Demons 2 (1986) and Opera (1987). How and why would she be just wandering around this show, here in the states?!?! Turns out that she had been living in Chicago for a while and was dragged to the show by a friend. We started talking and became friends over the next couple of decades. We introduced her to Ken Kish, who quickly had her appear at his Cinema Wasteland show in 2001. In fact, he even had her back once again in 2008. At that show, because of Coralina, I had the glorious opportunity to meet the talented director Mariano Baino, director of Dark Waters (1993), a film that I have always loved and admired, for its look, atmosphere, and originality.
Fast forward to 2016, at the annual Music Box of Horrors, while I was chatting with Will Morris, the genius who has been programming the marathon the last couple of years. I asked him if he knew of the film Dark Waters and immediately his eyes lit up and said, “I love that movie!” I then told him that I knew the director, Mariano, and I’m sure he’d love to come out here if they would screen his film. And now, as they say, the rest is now history. Well, there was a lot more to that, but let’s just say that thanks to Will, Ryan at the Music Box, and of course the fine folks at Severin Films, it all came together for this year’s Music Box of Horrors.
Our little trivia contest is over and Mother Superior has given us the 4 names from the people that sent in the correct answers. The correct answers were:
- This film is one of three versions that has hit the theaters. – The Cat and the Canary (1927)
- The film features members of The Order of the Gash. – Hellraiser (1987)
- One directors that has a film in the lineup, one of his earlier movies featured a title that would make Leatherface proud. What is the movie title? William Girdler’s Three on a Meathook (1972).
So thank you to everyone who did send in their guesses, most of which were correct. But there can only be the 4, so here they are:
With only a month to go, the Music Box Theater announced on their website more titles for their upcoming 24-hour marathon, known as the Music Box of Horrors, as well as a special guest announcement.