Chicago’s first and foremost 24-hour marathon is back again this year for another fun-filled, terror-packed deluge of demented cinematic treasures! This year’s event will be taking place from noon on Saturday, Oct. 7th to the following noon on Sunday.
What do they have in store for you this time? Well, more details will be coming soon, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed. But so far, they have announced that they will be screening John Carpenter’s highly underrated, Lovecraftian tale, In the Mouth of Madness (1994), a rare screening from the only surviving 16mm print of Rusty Cundieff’s Tales from the Hood (1995), and one of the THE best Christmas horror movies ever filmed, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010).
This November, a new film festival will be coming to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre that will give genre fans a “full week of ass-kicking genre movies!” That was a sure way to get my attention! All I can say is that it is about time for something like this to come to the Music Box. With the success of their 24-hour marathons, it is only a natural fit.
Josh Goldbloom, Founder and Artistic Director of The Awesome Fest and what was known as Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival, has now joined Ryan Oestreich from the Music Box to give fans something “bigger, better and scarier than any in the festivals history.”
Next weekend at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, Odd Obsession Movies with another midnight screening. This time it will be Richard Stanley’s Hardware (1990), coming from Stanley’s own personal 35mm print. This movie is a visual, audio, and sensory overload, all intertwined in a story about a killer robot in an apartment building. It was Stanley’s first feature film and it remains one of my favorites. Starring Dylan McDermott, John Lynch, Stacey Travis, William Hootkins, Mark Northover, and even Lemmy from Motorhead has a cameo! You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to see a film like this on the big screen.
Chicagoland horror fans have two new flicks coming to the Music Box Theatre in February, ones that have been making quite a rumble in the horror world!
The first one is The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which I seen on a lot of Best of 2016 lists. Directed by André Øvredal (Troll Hunter) and stars Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, and Ophelia Lovibond. The story is about a small town in Virginia where the local sheriff comes across a terrifying murder scene, with multiple bodies. During the search of the residence, they discover another body in the basement, which is an unidentified female corpse, which is named Jane Doe. Once the body gets to the family-owned morgue, things start to get even more weirder. The more the coroner and his son dig deeper into Jane Doe, unnatural forces take hold of the place. This film opens this Friday at the Music Box.
Back in the early ’80s, when I worked at a movie theater, we had a strange movie playing there that looked very grainy for some reason. Years later I would find out that it was actually shot on video and then transferred to film to get an actual theatrical release. It looked cheesy, terrible acting, ultra gory, and one of the strangest films I’d seen. It was called BoardingHouse. And now, I’ll have the chance to see it in the theater once again!
This coming weekend, on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th, the Music Box Theatre will be having a midnight screening of this film, presented by Odd Obsessions Movies, and co-presented by Chicago Film Society. Though the film starts at midnight, there is a pre-party in the Music Box Lounge at 11pm. The fact that this is being screened from a 35mm print is just unreal.
I have checked with the theater and was told that it will in fact be screening in the large theater, which makes this event even better! If you haven’t seen this film and love cult and strange cinema, not to mention a gorefest, then you will want to check this out. Just watch the trailer below and see if it doesn’t make you want to see it!
Even though this year had plenty of downer moments, there were quite a few highlights that I think are worth mentioning. I know it is easy to remember the bad stuff that happens in our daily lives that I think we tend to forget all the good things, no matter how simple or small they might be. I think these are the moments that we need to focus on throughout lives, instead of the negative stuff. I think we’ll all find there are more of these high points than we realize. Here are a few of those moments that I’d like to revisit with you.
The Real Picture of Dorian Gray
I’m not sure why it took me so long to actually do this, but I finally made it out the Chicago Art Institute and got to see Ivan Albright’s painting that was used in the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray. I was taking my wife into the city for a little break from reality, knowing that she is a fan of the museum, even though it has been decades since she’d been there. My appreciation of artwork has grown considerably over the last decade or so, which might have something to do with the fact that I have several friends that are professional artists, who always blow my mind with their talent. So I knew this was going to be an interesting tour. Plus, I knew that Albright’s piece from one of my favorite films is on display there, and I’d really like to see it in person.
Wandering through the huge maze that is the Art Institute, we eventually came around the corner and there it was. This piece was just huge, standing just over seven feet tall. This massive painting is just stunning to look at in person. The colors, the details, the darkness to the painting as well as the subject matter, was all just mind blowing. Standing before this masterpiece, it is kind of like standing in the Evans City cemetery, where the opening to the original Night of the Living Dead was filmed. You’re not just looking at movie history through your TV screen, but you’re standing right in front of it. I now know how people can just stand in front of a painting, gazing into it, getting lost in the colors and the brushstrokes. Almost like stepping into an emotion.
I know it is a bit expensive, but if you’re in Chicago and have the chance to go to the Art Institute, I would highly recommend it. I’d say if only to see this painting, but there are some other amazing pieces there as well.
Some headlines just write themselves….
Just when you thought the zombie genre was dead and gone, we get this new one from South Korea that has been making a lot of buzz on this interweb thingy. Coming from writer/director Yeon Sang-Ho, Train to Busan has appeared on a lot of people’s Best Of 2016 lists, and has be getting a lot of praise from the critics.
Now if you live in the Chicagoland area, now you will have your chance to see this on the big screen, at the legendary Music Box Theatre this weekend! They will be screening this coming Friday and Saturday at their midnight shows.
The basic plot is about a train ride from Seoul to Busan when a zombie virus breaks out, causing the ride to be a little more hectic than originally planned! I know I’m planning on coming out on Saturday to see if this measures up to all the hype.
For more information, head over to the Music Box’s website HERE.