October is more than just the month of cold weather, great movie releases and Halloween. To us horror fans and movie geeks in Chicago, we look forward to the yearly event of the Music Box Massacre!
I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than to sit in a theater and watch horror movies for 24 straight hours.
I’ve been attending this event every year and the line-up gets better and better (which helps when you’re struggling to stay awake)
The first movie to kick off the fest was Hunchback of Notre Dame. Fuck the Disney version, this fantastic 1923 silent film features the great Lon Chaney.
At previous Massacre events, the silent films have been accompanied by a live organ player but that was missing this year. Oh well, it didn’t change the fact that this movie is a timeless classic and it was a great start for the day.
Next was Isle of the Dead, starring another icon in horror, Boris Karloff.
This was my first time seeing this B&W film and I thought it was an enjoyable psychological thriller.
Next was A Bucket of Blood.
Walter Paisley (a very young Dick Miller) is a struggling sculptor whom discovers that murder + clay= fame! What starts off as an accident with his cat leads to murder and art. This is a great Corman film and though it’s pretty original it does remind me of the Tales from the Crypt episode: Easel Kill Ya.
To celebrate the birthday bicentennial of the amazing Edgar Allen Poe, we were graciously treated with reading of his work by Tim Kazurinsky and Greg Hollimon. This was one of the best highlights of the night. Stuart Gordon introduced them to the stage and Tim and Greg took turns reading two poems, one of which was Annabelle Lee, one of my favorites.
The reading was followed by the Masters of Horror episode, The Black Cat.
This is one of the best episodes out of the entire series. Jeffrey Combs takes on the tortured, complex role of Poe and adds a sense of compassion and humor.
Next was The Brood, starring a special guest, Art Hindle.
Sometimes I don’t always “get” Cronenberg’s stuff but I can’t help but be so engaged with every one of his films. This had creepy dwarfy kids and a fucked up vagina-thingy. My kind of movie.
Afterwards Art Hindle did a Q&A
What’s not to love about a movie that blends comedy/horror and has a scene with a head giving head? This was such a great movie to watch on a big screen and in a packed theater.
I’ve seen From Beyond on the big screen before and it was introduced by Ken Foree but it’s always good to see such a movie again with a new audience.
Stuart Gordon Q&A
(Host Rusty Nails, Going to Pieces writer Adam Rockoff, Gordon)
Next the Midwest premiere of PontyPool
I really wanted to love this movie but there’s something not there. I watched this once before and thought it was just ok. I thought maybe a second viewing in the theater would improve my feeling but I just can’t get over how off the movie seems. This is definitely a new, fresh “zombie” movie. The infection doesn’t spread by a bite or a scratch but through spoken words. In a way it’s pretty creepy since language is an easy thing to spread but the “cure” in the movie threw me off too much so I just can’t settled on the last part of the film. I know a lot of people who loved this so to each their own.
Also, I can’t watch any Bing commercials without thinking of this movie.
I haven’t seen this movie since I was a little kid so it was a delight to experience the restored version with an add-in scene at the end. For a tv movie 20 years ago, the ending is still strongly effective and kind of touching. I can’t wait for the dvd release next month!
The writer J.D. Fiegelson Q&A
A great follow-up to the original film and also, a great movie to beat the 4 a.m. drowsiness.
I love Herschell Gordon Lewis movies. They are kind of cheesy but the amounts of gore overcompensates for everything!
Before getting into the next movie, we had a musical intermission with the Michael Jackson’s Thriller and AC/DC videos. Dancing zombies and hard rock was all the breakfast I needed.
When I was younger, my parents like to take us on trips to Mississippi and Florida all the time. When we would be on a bridge over the water, I always had this fear that the bridge would be raised and we’d all drown. The opening scene of this always stuck with me and of course, that freaky ass devil truck! At this point, if I was feeling any kind of sleepiness, it was destroyed by the start of this movie.
A while ago I wrote about my favorite movie scenes, one of which was, PLUG IT UP! Imagine how great it was to see that scene of the big screen. Again, it’s apart of my sick sense of humor but I can’t help but find it absolutely hilarious! This was a great ending to the fest.
After the movie’s credits were over, everyone who survivied the Massacre went outside for the yearly, in the street, group picture.
I had a great time, did not sleep with the help of junk food, tea, ballz, friends and great movies.
Till Next Year.