Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar

A Full Month of Movie Madness, Special Guests, and Other Surprises—Saturday, October 1 to Monday, October 31, 2022—opening with an overnight, five-film FINAL DESTINATION Marathon in 35mm!!!

Tickets for all MUSIC BOX OF HORRORS: SCARED STUPID events, presented by Shudder, are ON SALE NOW Here:

Music Box of Horrors 2022 24-Hour Movie Marathon, presented by Shudder includes screenings of BLADE, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II, IDLE HANDS, and ERNEST SCARED STUPID. Passes and other announced titles in the marathon can be found here:

The Music Box of Horrors team has brought genre fans 143 feature films each October since 2020 (but who’s counting?). For its third supersized installment, the team is getting Scared Stupid! In honor of the bimbos, himbos, and thembos who are taking over pop culture in 2022, we’re bringing you 31 nights of horror films that range from the refined to the ridiculous. Kicking off with a FINAL DESTINATION marathon and ending with a 35mm screening of Rob Zombie’s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, this year’s lineup features The Ninth Circle—a sidebar of transgressive underground films guaranteed to shake the most jaded horror fan—plus vampires, a Sex Demon, Yokai Monsters, succubi, slashers, zombies, killer cars, Lindsay Lohan, and more.

With mind-melting visuals and high body counts, this year’s lineup is perfectly in line with the Music Box’s eclectic taste in horror offerings and events—a combination of audience favorites and rarely screened titles, specialized intros, and of course, some surprises.

For tickets, information, and the full schedule, please click here:


FINAL DESTINATION Marathon: All 5 films on 35mm! (Saturday, October 1)

FINAL DESTINATION began as an X-Files spec script, before morphing into a feature film for New Line Cinema that starred some of the biggest young actors of the time, including Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, an up-and-coming Seann William Scott, and the legendary Tony Todd. And whether or not critics of the time agreed, the premise of an unseen, unstoppable force stalking and killing teenagers (and adults) in gruesome & inventive ways took hold with audiences. What better way to escape from the real life hellscape of modern-day existence than joining your fellow death-loving maniacs for a 5-film, 35mm marathon reminding you why you’re still deeply terrified of flights to Paris, logging trucks on the highway, pool drains, roller coasters, and tanning beds?

The 35mm print of Final Destination 3 courtesy of the Sundance Collection at the UCLA Film &Television Archive.


Where does the obsessive horror viewer turn when everything begins to feel the same? When every story feels unoriginal, every kill uninspired, every beat predictable, and every denouement lifeless and uninspiring? The only answer lies in the deepest netherworld of Hell. When the mainstream and the alternative fail you, you must turn to the underground: The outsiders. The pariahs. Those willing to die for their art. The rejects of society who birth unholy, transcendent, aberrant abominations of pure, uncut creation, uninhibited by any puritanical or societal chains designed to create braindead consumers out of the human race.

With this in mind, we invite you to join us in The Ninth Circle of Hell, a four-film exploration of stunning trash, degenerate transgression, and innovation determined to challenge everything the powers that be want you to blindly worship. From borderline-arthouse 16mm masterpieces to backyard, family-made SOV films so inept they become sublime magnum opuses, this series is for those who need to be reminded that there’s always more to discover—and always another true weirdo out there to renew your faith in existence.

964 PINOCCHIO (Monday, October 10)

Dir. Shôjin Fukui, 1991, 97 min

964 PINOCCHIO is the story of an impotent sex slave thrown away onto the streets and a memory-wiped girl on a journey to understand where and why they came from, and how they can exist in the brutal hellscape they encounter at every turn. Directed by Shôjin Fukui (RUBBER’S LOVER), 964 PINOCCHIO is a challenging experience. But those willing to take the journey will find something singular and shockingly prescient. It’s a cyberpunk body-horror aggro-tone poem of a film, relentlessly raging against a world ready to objectify and ultimately throw away anyone deemed monetarily useless. Fueled by an unstoppable industrial soundtrack, astonishing cinematography, a seemingly endless onslaught of grunts, screams, and vomit, and horrifyingly committed central performances, the film is full of surprising beauty, visceral filth, and anger that never lets up.


Dir. Michael Pollklesener, 1990/1991, 60 min (combined)

Co-presented by Lunchmeat & Strange Tapes

Preceded by a custom VHS mixtape from Strange Tapes

Exploding out of the German horror underground, FUCK THE DEVIL (1990) + FUCK THE DEVIL 2: RETURN OF THE FUCKER (1991) are cinematic equivalents of DIY comic books that were made by a teenage stoner while experimenting with bootleg acid. And there's nothing else like them. The films tell the story of The Fucker—a phantasmagorical death machine who materializes from haunted VHS tapes of EVIL DEAD 2 and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET to wreak havoc on unsuspecting parents, teens, and babies. Fueled by subversive violence, experimental techniques, and an unconditional love for the horror genre, these Casiocore-driven miracles teleport us into a dream-like panic state where Rambo posters, 8-bit sound barfs, and Nightmare Freddys rule our subconsciousness. AGFA + Bleeding Skull! are overjoyed to welcome The Fucker to US theaters & home video for the first time ever—complete with new 2022 director's cuts, the original cuts, and a fuck-ton of extras.


Dir. Chester Novell Turner, 1987, 62 min

Presented by Massacre Video

TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE is Chester N. Turner’s second and final dig into self-released SOV sludge. Following up the exhausting-yet-hilarious filth of BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL (1984), Turner and friends honed the skillz, cut the sex, and unwittingly churned out the greatest SOV trash film of all time. No exceptions. Logic, be it godly or mortal, has gone missing during QUADEAD’s 62 deranged minutes. Therefore, we must be prepared for anything. Don’t knock ‘em for the plastic Casiotone; take heed of the ceramic titty-mug. In the mind of Chester Turner, these things may be the substance of life. The original intent will baffle to no end, but one thing’s for sure: This is an experience that can never be replicated, repeated, or equaled. The theme song cinches it.

CORNSHUCKER (Sunday, October 30)

Dir. Brando Snider, 1997, 63 min


The Cornshukker is a mythical creature who lives simply and peacefully with nature. But now he is besieged by urban sprawl, forcing him to deal with varmints and outlandishly odd townsfolk. As his food supply diminishes, The Cornshukker is confronted by the bigoted Old Man Thomas, and, in an act of desperation, The Cornshukker is forced to do the unthinkable. His existence is in peril, and the mysterious world he inhabits could be destroyed. The Cornshukker is a home-grown, 16mm-lensed love letter to regional, low-budget, surrealist, gonzo DIY filmmaking that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. It will sear itself into your gray matter—whether you like it or not.

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Sunday, October 2)

Dir. Roger Corman, 1964, 90 min

35mm from the Academy Film Archive

Preceded by: “Bimbo’s Initiation” (Fleischer Studios, 1931) – 16mm – 7 min

Presented by Chicago Film Society

Between 1960 and 1965, Roger Corman, master of exploitation filmmaking and financing, made a string of eight films for low-budget powerhouse American International Pictures from unusual source material: the decidedly antiquarian (and public domain!) short stories of 19th-century writer Edgar Allan Poe. The seventh of these films, a comparatively more expensive production (only by Corman’s standards, mind you), is a medieval tale of a villainous prince and his castle guests attempting to outwit and outwait the mysterious “red death,” which ravages the countryside around them. They pass the time with sadomasochistic masquerade balls and satanic rituals (“let me speak to you about the anatomy of terror” is a party pick-up line for the ages), but even deals with the devil may not be enough when the plague without becomes the plague within. Vincent Price is truly at home as Prince Prospero, a genteel monster who enjoys commanding his party guests to bark like dogs and mansplaining Satanism to Francesca, a young God-fearing girl he’s kidnapped from the village, played by a wide-eyed 19-year-old Jane Asher. Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.


Dir. Ana Lily Amirpuour, 2014, 101 min

Coming out of the gate with a singular sense of style and a knack for mixing and matching genres, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature became an instant classic of vampire cinema when it first hit theaters in 2014. Commonly described as an “Iranian vampire Western,” this eerie, atmospheric film fights the patriarchy with a candor and a kickflip, telling the story of an unnamed avenger known only as The Girl (Sheila Vand) who skateboards through the tough streets of Bad City — an Iranian ghost town by way of inland California. In Bad City, it’s the men who are afraid to go out alone after dark, lest they are caught and drained for their sins against women by the vampiric Girl. Shot in poetic, striking anamorphic black-and-white and accompanied by an impeccably curated soundtrack with tunes from Radio Tehran, Federale, Kiosk, Farah, White Lies, and more, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT is a movie for cinephiles, music lovers, angry women, skater bois, cat people, hopeless romantics, lonely hearts, and night owls.

DEADSTREAM (Tuesday, October 4)

Dir. Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter, 2022, 87 min

Presented by Shudder

Much of the cast and crew of the new indie horror-comedy DEADSTREAM got their start as horror creatives working at haunted attractions. And their dedication to—not to mention talent for—creating a non-stop thrill ride designed to make audiences squeal (and giggle and jump and throw popcorn in the air) is evident in this absolute blast of a haunted-house movie. DEADSTREAM makes smart use of the found-footage format, using it to tell the story of perhaps the world’s most annoying YouTuber (a competitive prize, but he deserves it), who attempts to make up for an unnamed transgression by live-streaming his night in a haunted house. This guy likes to complain about “cancel culture,” but the thing that’s coming to get him tonight is so much worse. With impressive practical effects, a grim sense of humor, and killer timing, DEADSTREAM is best experienced with a crowd.


Dir. John Gilling, 1966, 90 min; Dir. Terence Fisher, 1966, 90 min

Presented by Windy City Double Feature Picture Show podcast

The Windy City Double Feature Picture Show sets their time machine for January 14, 1966, recreating a classic Hammer double feature that opened at theaters across the Chicagoland area. Plague of the Zombies has been cited as one of the major influences on the modern zombie subgenre. Dracula: Prince Of Darkness is the third film in Hammer’s Dracula series, and features Christopher Lee returning as the titular vamp after missing out on The Brides Of Dracula in 1960. We’ll be screening this classic double feature as it played in 1966, featuring trailers for the other movies playing around town, local news clips, and offering commemorative zombie eyeballs and Dracula fangs for everyone in attendance—just like in the original ad! And don’t forget to listen to the Windy City Double Feature Picture Show podcast, in which hosts Adam Carston and Mike Vanderbilt deep dive into both films.

WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL (Thursday, October 6)

Dir. Chris LaMartina, 2013, 82 min

Co-presented with Terror Vision; with special video introduction by the film's director, Chris LaMartina

Originally broadcast live on October 31, 1987, the WNUF Halloween Special is a stunning expose of terrifying supernatural activity that unfolded at the infamous Webber House, the site of ghastly murders. Local television personality Frank Stewart leads a group of paranormal investigators, including Catholic exorcist Father Joseph Matheson and the prolific husband-and-wife team Louis and Claire Berger. Together, the experts explore the darkest corners of the supposedly haunted Webber House, trying to prove the existence of the demonic entities within. Did they find the horrific truth or simply put superstitious rumors to rest?

HOUSE (Friday, October, 7)

Dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977, 88 min

House is at once the most unlikely and the most obvious of Halloween classics. On the one hand, the film was largely unknown outside of Japan until the 2010s, when the Criterion Collection launched it from a gray-market favorite to an official part of the company’s unofficial canon. On the other hand, it’s a film whose mischievous spirit is perfectly suited to the holiday—which may partially explain why it’s become so beloved so quickly. Either way, it’s a deliriously fun and delightfully surreal film with color and imagination to spare. That’s thanks to its visionary director, Nobuhiko Obayashi, who wrote the story—about a group of Japanese schoolgirls, a spinster witch, and a fluffy white cat—inspired by one of his young daughter’s nightmares. Perhaps best described by Criterion, which calls it “an episode of Scooby-Doo directed by Mario Bava,” this psychedelic freakout of a haunted house movie is unmissable, whether you’ve never seen it or you’ve seen it a hundred times.

GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (Saturday, October 8)

Dir. Joe Dante, 1990, 106 min

Possibly the most anarchic film ever unleashed out of Hollywood, Gremlins 2: The New Batch is a chaotic, live-action Looney Tunes cartoon that could only come from the mind of auteur Joe Dante. Taking the piss out of his own original Gremlins and sequels in general, Gremlins 2’s wild tone showcases what art can happen when a studio—in this case, Warner Bros.—gives over complete control to a director with a vision. That’s not to discredit the script from Charlie Haas (Over The Edge, Matinee), which folds right into Dante’s influences of cartoons, monster movies, and an irreverent sense of humor. Chock full of easter eggs and cameos, from Christopher Lee carrying an Invasion Of The Body Snatchers pod to Leonard Maltin and the return of Dick Miller, Gremlins 2: The New Batch answers the question: What if someone made a live-action Mad Magazine parody of Gremlins?


Dir. Bob Kelljan, 1973, 96 min

Although not quite as sophisticated as its predecessor, Scream Blacula Scream is still one of the groovier horror movies of the blaxploitation era. William Marshall returns in the title role, once again infusing the tragic story of African prince-turned-vampire Prince Mamuwalde with what Roger Ebert called “a terrifying dignity.” It takes a powerful leading lady to go toe-to-toe with Marshall and his Shakespearean acting chops. And luckily for this movie, Pam Grier takes on the challenge with her usual confidence and grace. The story, about a voodoo priestess in Los Angeles (Grier) who stumbles into a romance with the seductive, immortal Mamuwalde, can be rather silly at times. And the film looks like the low-budget rush job that it was. But beyond the pleasure of watching Marshall and Grier interact on screen—worth the price of admission all on its own—Scream Blacula Scream is also a funky time capsule that’s full of Gothic atmosphere and good old-fashioned scenery chewing.

KILLER PARTY (Tuesday, October 11)

Dir. William Fruet, 1986, 91 min

Often unfairly lumped in with the glut of third-wave slashers that overtook multiplexes in the ‘80s, Killer Party is an overlooked supernatural possession gem—and arguably the better of the two slasher pictures set on April Fool’s Day released in 1986. Penned by Barney Cohen (Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter) and directed by Canadian cult favorite William Fruet (The House By The Lake, Funeral Home, Spasms, Blue Monkey), Killer Party features an abundance of tricks—including a memorable opening sequence that will keep audiences on their toes—and treats galore, including appearances by ‘80s character actor favorites Elaine Wilkes, Ralph Seymour, and Paul Bartel. That’s not to mention a killer costume for the villain: an old diving suit, complete with trident.

SICK (Wednesday, October 12)

Co-presented with the Chicago International Film Festival After Dark

Dir. John Hyams, 2022, 83 min

In the early days of the pandemic, college students Parker and Miri head out to quarantine in style at a remote lake house in the forest. With their masks off, the young women can finally breathe easier—until a mysterious man shows up outside their door. Co-written by Kevin Williamson (Scream) and Katelyn Crabb and directed by John Hyams (Alone), Sick is a classic bare-knuckled slasher thrill-ride with a timely sardonic edge. At a time when any stranger invading your space—let alone one wielding a knife—might shred one’s nerves, Sick feels next-level, filled to the brim with excruciating moments of suspense and horror while giving the word “asymptomatic” a whole new level of dread.

JENNIFER’S BODY (Thursday, October 13)

Dir. Karyn Kusama, 2009, 102 min

Presented by Rated Q and Ramona Slick

Now that we can all agree that the people of 2009 really fucked up by not appreciating Jennifer’s Body as the masterpiece of teen-girl horror that it is, it’s time to have some fun with bisexual succubus Jennifer (Megan Fox), her mousy BFF Needy (Amanda Seyfried), and those wallet-chain douchebags in Cold Shoulder. Rated Q and Ramona Slick return to the Music Box for a screening of Karyn Kusama’s cult-classic horror flick with a side of drag performance, for a queer, campy Halloween celebration with bite. Don’t worry—they only kill boys.


Dir. Ken Wiederhorn, 1988, 89 min

Presented by Halloweenies: A Horror Franchise Podcast

If you grew up a horror-movie kid, you know how cool it is to have a comic book-loving youngster as the lead. It’s just more relatable for those years before you’re a sex crazed teenager or a disbeliving adult. Return Of The Living Dead II sits alongside The Gate and Monster Squad as perfect “intro to horror pictures” for pre-teens with an irreverent, winking sense of humor, plenty of over the top gore, and a hard rockin’ soundtrack thanks to music supervisor David Chackler. The film also features genre favorites Dana Ashbrook, Mitch Pileggi, and The Ackermonster himself, Forrest J. Ackerman. Even Thom Matthews and James Karen from the original Return Of The LIving Dead are back for the ride, giving it their comedic all. Before the film, Chicago’s very own horror hounds, Bloody Disgusting Network's the Halloweenies, will be recording a live podcast about the movie in the Music Box Lounge.

WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (Saturday, October. 15)

Dir. Wes Craven, 1994, 112 min

“Every kid knows about Freddy. He’s like Santa Claus.” With that line—delivered by Heather Langenkamp—Wes Craven put a pin in the complicated legacy of his creation, Freddy Krueger. From his beginnings as a vicious child murderer in 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street, Freddy evolved into a pop-culture phenomenon that saw his face emblazoned on bubble gum and talking dolls. The character would be christened the “Henny Youngman of horror” by critics and fans alike, thanks to the one-liners delivered by Robert Englund throughout the series’ run. Ten years after the release of the original horror classic, Craven returned to write and direct New Nightmare, Craven’s own attempt—to paraphrase him in the film—put the genie back in the bottle and bring Freddy back to his dark origins…by bringing him into the real world. This meta-commentary on horror pictures (and fans) would set the stage for Scream in 1996. And despite its more intellectual stretches, New Nightmare still features memorable kills, a few one-liners from Englund as Freddy, and cameos galore that will have Music Box Of Horrors audiences cheering.This is a midnight screening, so whatever you do, don’t fall asleep!


Dir. Michele Soavi, 1994, 105 min., 35mm

Underseen and fiercely loved, Cemetery Man is the definition of a cult classic. Directed by Argento protégé Michele Soavi (Stage Fright, The Church), Cemetery Man is a unique mix of styles, blending the go-for-broke surrealism of Italian horror with pitch-black comedy and a swooning (necro-)romantic streak. Star Rupert Everett bridges these disparate moods as Francisco Dellamorte, a cemetery attendant facing the ultimate Gen-X nightmare: A demanding, dead-end job. The corpses at Francisco’s work just won’t stay dead, you see, an annoyance that’s frankly beyond Francisco’s pay grade. An encounter with a beautiful widow briefly changes his attitude, until those darned zombies ruin that for him, too. Or have they?

35mm collection print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

THE CAR (Monday, October 17)

Dir. Elliott Silverstein, 1977, 98 min

The success of Jaws inspired countless ripoffs featuring wild animals, ranging from rattlesnakes to alligators to grizzly bears terrorizing hapless victims. However one of the more inspired Jaws-ploitation entries doesn’t feature an animal at all, but rather a souped up 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark II. 1977’s The Car is a two-for-one Spielberg riff, taking inspiration not only from the director’s 1975 blockbuster but also his 1971 made-for-TV favorite Duel. The titular menace was designed by Hollywood car customizer George Barris, who was also responsible for both the Munster Koach and DRAG-U-LA from The Munsters. And the film got the Satanic seal of approval from Church Of Satan leader Anton La Vey, who was given a “technical advisor credit” on the picture.

I KNOW WHO KILLED ME (Tuesday, October 18)

Dir. Chris Sivertson, 2007, 106 min

I Know Who Killed Me is an overlooked American giallo that earns the title in several ways. First, this movie doesn’t make a lick of sense. Second, it’s sleazier than a truck-stop strip club. And third, if you’re a fan of Argento-style pools of bright, pure primary colors: get stoked. This campy, grimy, outrageous serial-killer thriller is mostly remembered for the tabloid drama and relentless paparazzi that surrounded star Lindsay Lohan during the movie’s filming. That lends an eerie real-life resonance to the film’s Twin Peaks-esque storyline, about an all-American high school student who, after being attacked by a serial killer, wakes up from a coma convinced that she’s actually a hard-living exotic dancer named Dakota Moss. If the parallels between that arc and Lohan’s career intrigue you, then get in, losers—we’re re-evaluating the ‘00s canon.

DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (Wednesday, October 19)

Dir. Harry Kümel, 1971, 97 min

A dreamy hothouse of pansexual lust that’ll set your blood pumping and your head spinning, Daughters of Darkness queers the vampire paradigm with elegance and more than a little existential angst. The story takes place at an nearly abandoned Belgian seaside resort in winter, where the exquisitely languid Countess Bathóry (Delphine Seyrig) spends her days asleep and her nights lying around luxurious hotel suites in fabulous outfits alongside her doe-eyed “secretary”/lover Ilona (Andrea Rau). Then a newly married English couple arrives at the resort for their honeymoon, sending Ilona and the Countess’s quiet lives into chaos. Sexy, stylish, and sophisticated, with rich color cinematography and devastatingly fabulous costumes, Daughters of Darkness is a crown jewel of ‘70s Euro-horror—an era obsessed with films about lesbian vampires and the straight men they cuckold.

HUESERA (Thursday, October 20)

Co-presented with the Chicago International Film Festival After Dark.

Dir. Michelle Garza Cevera, 2022, 93 min

After years of trying to conceive, Valeria and her husband Raúl are overjoyed to learn that they are finally about to become parents. But Valeria's elation soon turns to dread, as terrifying visions lead her to believe she has been cursed by a sinister entity, “La Huesera.” As her picture-perfect life begins to splinter around her, her desperate search for answers takes her back to her rebellious past and her dabblings with the occult—embracing the dark magic that threatens to consume her might be the only way to rid herself of this spirit and safeguard her family's future. With her profoundly chilling yet intimate supernatural tale, director Michelle Garza Cevera provocatively deploys folklore and witchcraft to explore the anxieties of early motherhood.


Co-presented with the Chicago International Film Festival After Dark

Dir. Alex Phillips, 2022, 72 min

An unforgettable, highly disturbing psychedelic odyssey, All Jacked Up and Full of Worms is packed with cringe-inducing images that linger long after the credits roll. Desperate for a child, Benny, a disturbed recluse, goes to sex worker Henrietta hoping she’ll be able to help. Although she cannot give him exactly what he wants, she does offer up a small tin canister full of hallucinogenic earthworms. Good enough. Along with an adrift hotel maintenance man, Roscoe, the three soon embark on a journey down the rabbit hole of consciousness and perception. Once again training his camera on a pack of intriguing societal outcasts, director and Festival alum Alex Phillips (Who’s a Good Boy?) imbues his work with a visionary microbudget surreality. 72 min.

Music Box of Horrors 2022 (Saturday, October 22, Noon - Sunday, October 23, Noon)

Presented by Shudder

That chill creeping up your spine can only mean one thing: The return of THE MUSIC BOX OF HORRORS! Join us for 24 hours of movie madness, featuring the spookiest scares, creepiest creature features, and rare cult oddities. Plus, special guests, giveaways, vendors, and much more. Featuring such modern classics as IDLE HANDS, ERNEST SCARED STUPID, BLADE, and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2. Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements on this page:


Dir. Yoshiyuki Koroda, 1968, 90 min

The Yokai Monsters series combines the stop-motion playfulness of a Sid and Marty Krofft production with the intriguing world of yokai, traditional Japanese spirits whose incarnations range from the whimsical (a one-eyed umbrella yokai that bounces around on its curved handle) to the terrifying (the gashadokuro, a gigantic skeleton 15 times the size of an average human that rips the heads off of unwary travelers and drinks their blood). In general, the Yokai Monsters movies lean towards the former, with a childlike sense of wonder and delightful stop-motion and puppetry effects. But they do have their spine-tingling moments. In Spook Warfare, all the ghosts, monsters, and yokai in Japan are called into battle when an ancient Mesopotamian vampire demon is unleashed, possessing a samurai warlord and putting all of feudal Japan—human and supernatural alike—in danger.

NOSFERATU (Monday, October 24)

Dir. F.W. Murnau, 1922, 81 min

Featuring a live score by the Invincible Czars

The vampire movie upon which all other vampire movies are built, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu has set imaginations aflame and inspired writers, filmmakers, artists, and musicians for a century. This silent masterpiece still has the power to send a chill down viewers’ spines, and Texas sextet The Invincible Czars will bring the fright to the Music Box with a live score designed to enhance the chilling atmosphere and nightmarish power of this Halloween-season classic. The Invincible Czars make cinematic, experimental “rock” for music nerds, horror fans, film lovers, followers of science fiction and fact, comics, cartoons & humor and anyone with a complicated relationship with heavy metal and classical music.

SEX DEMON (Wednesday, October 26)

Dir. J.C. Cricket, 1975, 60 min

Preceded by a Gay XXX Trailer Reel

All hell breaks loose when John’s last-minute anniversary gift inadvertently causes his younger lover Jim to become possessed by a Sex Demon in J.C. Cricket’s all-male horror film. Openly inspired by both The Exorcist and its Blaxploitation cousin, Abby, Sex Demon is a ferocious mix of the erotic and the grotesque that’s primed and ready to shock audiences again after being lost for the past forty years. In the words of Gay Scene critic Bruce King, “the squeamish may not want to watch, but if you do, you won’t forget it!”

MALIGNANT (Thursday, October 27)

Dir. James Wan, 2021, 111 min

Upon its release in September 2021, Malignant entered into the zeitgeist quickly, mainly due to its simultaneous release to theaters and streaming. In short, everyone was watching it, and everyone had an opinion about it. Audiences and critics responded mostly positively to director James Wan’s Italian horror-tinged picture, thanks to its camp sensibility and a memorable monster, combined with the director's own slick, modern video-game-inspired aesthetic. A film that owes a great deal to midnight movie favorites Basket Case and The Manitou, Malignant has a weird and wild energy that is best enjoyed with a packed audience of psychotronic horror hounds. And if you missed that first time around, this is your chance to see it on the big screen.

AATMA (Saturday, October 29)

Dir. Deepak Ramsay, 2006, 107 min

Bollywood Night! Presented by Mondo Macabro

India-based genre specialists Deepak, Tulsi, and Gangu Ramsay (Purana Mandir) team up for this visually inventive tale of demonic possession and supernatural revenge. Neha is a young doctor preparing to celebrate his wedding anniversary when a mysterious stranger warns him that an upcoming autopsy will be the catalyst for a terrifying sequence of events. The following day, he is deeply disturbed to see the stranger’s corpse awaiting dissection in the hospital morgue. But this shocking development is only the beginning of Neha’s horror. One of the last horror films from the legendary Ramsay family (Mahakaal), Aatma scratches every itch Bollywood horror fans can imagine, from terrifying eye close-ups, never-ending screams, and dubious gender politics to stunning color gels, ridiculously catchy dance numbers, and vengeful spirits taking form in delectably practical and digital mashup makeup effects. Don’t miss the ultra-rare chance to see an unfairly overlooked late-stage Bollywood horror extravaganza from the family that put the genre on the map.

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (Monday, October 31)

Dir. Rob Zombie, 2003, 88 min

Love him or hate him, Rob Zombie came out of the gate with his gritty, self-consciously tasteless take on the horror genre fully formed. House of 1000 Corpses was Zombie’s first feature film as a director, and it establishes many of his pet themes: Murder clowns, true crime, homicidal backwoods families, Spirit Halloween aesthetics, and the camera ogling Zombie’s future wife Sheri Moon are all essential elements of this cult classic splatter flick. Even more mean-spirited than contemporaries like House of Wax and Platinum Dunes’ Texas Chainsaw remake, House of 1000 Corpses will take you back to the last time violent nationalism and ultra-low-rise jeans were on the rise in American culture.



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Pricing & Scheduling:

All films except FINAL DESTINATION Marathon and 24-hour Marathon - $11 General Admission / $8 MBT Members

FINAL DESTINATION Marathon - $20 General Admission / $15 MBT Members

New 10-film pass - $66.60 General Admission / $55.50 MBT Members (redeemable for all films, except 24-hour marathon)

Advanced 24-hour Marathon (beginning October 22, Noon) - $30 General Admission / $25 MBT Members

Day Of 24-hour Marathon - $35 General Admission / $30 Music Box Members

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About The Music Box of Horrors:

Recent editions of Music Box of Horrors have included Guillermo Del Toro introducing his legendary horror/action work BLADE 2; filmmaker William Crain, with his wildly inventive DR. BLACK, MR. HYDE; POSSESSOR, with writer/director Brandon Cronenberg Q&A; director Karyn Kusama presenting her film JENNIFER’S BODY; director Jill Gevargizian, presenting her groundbreaking film THE STYLIST; director John Hancock, presenting his landmark film LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH; director William Lustig, presenting MANIAC; actor Ethan Embry, presenting the Chicago premiere of THE DEVIL’S CANDY; Gary Sherman and John McNaughton, presenting DEATH LINE; director Jim Muro, presenting STREET TRASH; actor Kevin J. O’Connor with LORD OF ILLUSIONS; and writer Don Mancini for the Chicago-shot CHILD’S PLAY.

About Music Box Theatre:

Operating since 1929, the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films for more than three decades, playing host to over 200,000 patrons annually. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD, and television markets throughout the United States; and through its Music Box Direct subsidiary, operates an online streaming service offering the best of foreign and independent films.

Regular events produced, presented and hosted at Music Box Theatre include the 70mm Film Festival; the genre film festival Cinepocalypse; the annual 24-hour horror-movie marathon Music Box of Horrors; and Noir City: Chicago, co-presented by the Film Noir Foundation.

Follow the Music Box Theatre on Facebook (, Twitter (@musicboxtheatre), and Instagram (@musicboxchicago)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Music Box Theatre Virtual Cinema Streaming WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES Starting 7/10/20

Missing Indie Cinema? 
Chicago's Music Box Theatre Virtually Has You Covered

Oscilloscope Laboratories and Music Box Theatre present the acclaimed, smile-inducing, toe-tapping debut feature from Japanese writer/director Makoto Nagahisa, WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES, which will be available as a Virtual Cinema presentation, beginning Friday, July 10, 2020.

The Virtual Cinema experience was created to assist temporarily closed and gradually reopening independent theaters. By purchasing a “ticket,” you’ll be directly supporting Music Box Theatre, as all revenue is being shared between distributor and exhibitor just as if you bought your ticket at the theater’s box office.

For information on rentals, click here:
(The Virtual Cinema Link will be live on July 10.)

“Explosively ingenious and energetic...A hyper-stylized, hyperactive and hyper-fun movie spectacular.” — Variety

“A rainbow-colored scream into the abyss...One of the most exciting premieres at Sundance 2019.” — New York Magazine

When four young orphans—Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura—first meet, their parents’ bodies are being turned into dust, like fine Parmesan atop a plate of spaghetti Bolognese, and yet none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies; devoid of all emotion. With no family, no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, the young teens decide that the first level of this new existence involves salvaging a gaming console, an old electric bass, and a charred wok from their former homes—just enough to start a band and then conquer the world. Tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst are all subsumed in this eccentric cinematic tsunami. 

Pricing & Scheduling:
Rentals are $12, and are good for 72 hours. Your purchase will go toward supporting Music Box Theatre during our gradual reopening.

Become a member:

About Music Box Theatre:
Operating since 1929, the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films for more than three decades, playing host to over 200,000 patrons annually. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD, and television markets throughout the United States.

Regular events produced, presented and hosted at Music Box Theatre include the 70mm Film Festival; the genre film festival Cinepocalypse; the annual 24-hour horror-movie marathon Music Box of Horrors; and Noir City: Chicago, co-presented by the Film Noir Foundation.

Follow the Music Box Theatre on Facebook (, Twitter (@musicboxtheatre), and Instagram (@musicboxchicago)

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