GRINDHOUSE FRIDAYS (Double features)
On Fridays, we celebrate the movies your parents warned you about! Long since replaced by bland suburban multiplexes, grindhouse theaters reveled in humanity's underbelly with twisted double features designed to turn your stomach, offend your sensibilities, and make you scream. Whether it be exploitation, splatter, perverse, transgressive, or just plain gross, Fridays are for sickos--and we can't wait!
NIGHTBREED (1990) — 120 min. (Director's Cut), Dir. Clive Barker
DEF BY TEMPTATION (1990) — 95 min., Dir. James Bond III
In Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED, we meet Aaron Boone, who inexplicably dreams of Midian, a hidden subterranean world where monsters have created a haven from humanity. In DEF BY TEMPTATION we meet Joel, who grew up in the Church, but has recently been questioning his faith. The ghost of Joel’s father compels him to visit his cousin in New York, where things quickly descend into macabre madness as a bloodthirsty woman sets her sights on his cousin. With impeccable, pitch-black senses of humor, obsessions with religious mysticism and iconography, and appearances from a young Samuel L. Jackson, and David Cronenberg, NIGHTBREED and DEF BY TEMPTATION offer up nightmare-inducing fantasy worlds like no other.
Clint Howard Double Feature!
EVILSPEAK (1981) — 97 min., Dir. Eric Weston
ICE CREAM MAN (1995) — 84 min., Dir. Norman Apstein
Clint Howard is an unsung hero of horror cinema, always ready to lend a clammy hand when the script calls for a sympathetic outsider—or an unsympathetic one. Our tribute to this veteran character actor explores both sides of the Clint Howard horror coin, beginning with his performance as a bullied outcast seduced by a demonic computer in 1981’sEVILSPEAK before going totally over-the-top with a campy turn as a homicidal purveyor of sweet summery treats in 1995’s ICE CREAM MAN. Both films offer up two scoops of outrageous horror fun, building to outrageous climaxes that you won’t soon forget.
Christmas in October!
BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) — 98 min., Dir: Bob Clark
SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 5: THE TOY MAKER (1991) — 90 min., Dir. Martin Kitrosser
Not many directors can claim two undisputed holiday classics, but Bob Clark did just that with A CHRISTMAS STORY and BLACK CHRISTMAS. A favorite of Steve Martin’s, this proto-slasher delicately balances melodrama, a goofy sense of humor, and a palpable sense of dread up until its final chilling moments. SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 5: THE TOY MAKER, meanwhile, has the goofy sense of humor down. A California Christmas classic featuring one of the best bits of stunt casting in genre cinema, THE TOYMAKER features Mickey Rooney commanding an army of killer toys designed by Screaming Mad George, as well as a life-size robot that just wants to be loved… or something like that.
RIP-OFF SATURDAYS (Double features)
There's only one thing better than watching a horror classic on the big screen, and that’s watching a blatant, unauthorized rip-off immediately afterwards! On Saturdays, we offer up the heavy hitters you know and love, and then give you the chance to stick around and watch some mind-melting, unhinged insanity! With everything from Anglo-Italian exorcisms to Bollywood Freddy Kreugers, we gleefully invite you to expand your mind with the rip-offs you didn't know you needed!
ALIEN (1979) — 117 min., Dir. Ridley Scott
GALAXY OF TERROR (1981) — 81 min., Dir. B.D. Clark
Essentially a "monster in the house" movie set in outer space, ALIEN developed from a low-budget Roger Corman schlocker titled STAR BEAST into one of the most iconic American horror movies of the ‘70s, introducing audiences to one of the most memorable onscreen cinematic duos: Ellen Ripley and the xenomorph. But Roger Corman wasn’t going to let ALIEN conquer the box office without lining his pockets, too. GALAXY OF TERROR is the producer’s finest foray into ALIEN-sploitation, and features cult-film icons Robert Englund, Sid Haig, and Grace Zabriskie in a weird and wild intergalactic psychological horror tale. Production designer James Cameron—who would self-plagiarize for ALIENS five years later—gives this low-budget shlocker an awe-inspiring sheen that elevates GALAXY OF TERRORabove other low-rent knockoffs like ALIEN 2: ON EARTH and CONTAMINATION.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) — 91 min., Dir. Wes Craven
MAHAKAAL (1994) — 132 min, Dirs. Shyam Ramsay & Tulsi Ramsay
Unfairly lumped in with the slasher boom of the ‘80s, Wes Craven’s seminal shocker A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET has more in common with classic ghost stories about a malevolent spirit on a quest for revenge. Craven’s imaginative script gets under your skin, while unwittingly creating a sliver-screen icon in Freddy Krueger. But have you ever thought to yourself, “I likeA NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but I wish it was twice as long and featured musical numbers?” MAHAKAAL plays out like an ELM STREET greatest hits compilation, weaving in elements of mysticism, black magic, and slapstick comedy into this mesmerizing Bollywood production. There truly is nothing like it.
THE EXORCIST (1973) — 121 min., Dir. William Friedkin
BEYOND THE DOOR (1974) — 108 min. (Uncut English Export Version), Dirs. Ovidio G. Assonitis & Robert Barrett
There’s no denying it: almost fifty years on, THE EXORCIST remains the scariest movie of all time. William Friedkin’s matter-of-fact, almost documentary-style camerawork sells the realistic world of the characters so effortlessly that, as the supernatural elements begin to creep in, he’s already got the audience on the hook, building up to a climax that grabs you and never lets go. That kind of game-changing filmmaking is bound to “inspire” other filmmakers, but few were as shameless about it as BEYOND THE DOOR. This Italo-American co-production combines elements of both THE EXORCIST and ROSEMARY'S BABYinto a surrealist exploitation stew that’s undoubtedly cheap, but surprisingly entertaining for a movie completed less than a year after the film it was ripping off.
SEQUEL SUNDAYS (Single features)
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when doing deep dives into horror franchises, trying to dig through all a series has to offer. Lucky for you, we’ve done the work and are proud to offer up some of the best of the best in the realm of sequels!
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (1986) — 101 min, Dir. Tobe Hooper
Relocating the cannibalistic Sawyer clan to a cavernous, labyrinthian dwelling beneath an amusement park, Tobe Hooper’s deliciously demented sequel sees Leatherface and Co. continue their murderous exploits afresh. This time around, local DJ Stretch (Caroline Willimas) runs afoul of the Sawyers when she gets mixed up in the brutal slaying of two youngsters. Meanwhile, Lieutenant ‘Lefty’ Enright (Dennis Hopper) is hellbent on avenging the murder of his nephew Franklin, who perished in the original massacre. (Description provided by Arrow Video)
PSYCHO III (1986) — 93 min., Dir. Anthony Perkins
Picking up a few months after the events of PSYCHO II, Norman Bates is back at it again. This time, a former nun with an eerie resemblance to Marion Crane and a reporter who just won't quit digging into his past set him off, which begins a chain of horrific events. Directed by Norman himself, Anthony Perkins, PSYCHO III sees the series lean into the neon-tinged ‘80s and go sleazier, bloodier, more action packed, and more insane than ever as poor Norman slides deeper into psychosis.
HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT II (1987) — 97 min., Dir. Bruce Pittman
Thirty years after her death at senior prom, the spirit of Mary Lou Maloney is back at school and ready for her revenge. And she’s burning to be prom queen, even if it kills her again. The PROM NIGHT franchise kicks into delirious supernatural slasher overdrive with this delightfully energetic, in-name-only follow-up. It’s an extremely ‘80s Canuxploitation mashup of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and CARRIE, stacked with stellar kill sequences and super-ambitious SFX work. (Description provided by the New Beverly Cinema)
SINGLE FEATURES (Weekdays)
ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011) — 88 min., Dir. Joe CornishStarring John Boyega, ATTACK THE BLOCK is a fast, funny, and terrifying alien-invasion flick that turns a London housing project into a sci-fi battleground, the low-income apartment complex into a fortress under siege, and a crazy mix of tough street kids into a team of ass-kicking heroes. It’s inner city vs outer space and it’s going to explode.
THE BEING (1983) — 82 min., Dir. Jackie KongOne of the only horror movies set on Easter and featuring a severely pissed off, toxic-waste-infused sludge creature roaming and killing in the small town of Pottsville, Idaho. Set partly at a Drive-In, and starring Martin Landau, Marianne Gordon, José Ferrer, & Ruth Buzzi, don’t sleep on this trashy, slimy, grimy, no-budget, creature-feature extravaganza from the one and only Jackie Kong (BLOOD DINER)!
BONES (2001) — 96 min., Dir. Ernest Dickerson
In this love letter to Blaxploitation, Ernest Dickerson masterfully tells the tale of Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg), who in 1979 was a beloved neighborhood protector, until he’s betrayed and murdered by a corrupt cop. Twenty-two years later — the neighborhood now a ghetto & his home a gothic ruin — a group of teens unintentionally release Jimmy’s spirit, ready to exact revenge on those who wronged him.
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992) — 128 min., Dir. Francis Ford CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola’s version of Dracula features not only some of the most sumptuous cinematography in horror-film history, but also one of the genre’s most enchanting romances. Pairing Gary Oldman as the grotesque, seductive Count with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder at the height of their early-’90s powers, BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA is a feast for the senses as rich and intoxicating as…wine.
DEAD OF NIGHT (1945) — 103 min., Dirs. Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, & Robert Hamer
The legendary Ealing Studios took everyone by surprise releasing this eerie anthology film just days after WWII officially ended. Considered by many a horror lover to be the greatest anthology film of them all, featuring a horrifying ventriloquist's dummy, haunted mirrors, premonitions, Christmas ghosts, and a chilling coda to keep you up for days.
FINAL DESTINATION (2000) — 98 min., Dir. James Wong
Premonitions! Fate! Death! Devon Sawa! Tony Todd! Originally pitched as an episode of “The X-Files,” FINAL DESTINATION remains one of the greatest, smartest, and scariest Dead Teen Horror movies of the ’90s/aughts cycle.
THE HOST (2006) — 120 min., Dir. Bong Joon HoBong Joon-ho’s take on the creature feature is a signature Bong genre-bender, combining unabashed big-screen spectacle with sharp social satire for an environmentally-minded, anti-imperialist monster movie that has teeth in more ways than one. The highest-grossing South Korean film of all time upon its release in 2006, THE HOST has only grown more relevant in the 14 years since its completion.
LA LLORONA (1933) — 70 min., Dir. Ramón Peón
The first ever Mexican Horror film LA LLORONA has been restored by Viviana García Besne of Permanencia Voluntaria Archivo Cinematográfico and will be screened for the first time in Chicago. Presented by The Music Box Theatre and Chicago Film Programmer, Raul Benitez.
La primera película de terror mexicana La Llorona (1933) ha sido restaurada por Viviana García Besne de Permanencia Voluntaria Archivo Cinematográfico y proyectada por primera vez en Chicago. Presentado por The Music Box Theatre y el programador de cine de Chicago Raúl Benítez.
RE-ANIMATOR (1985) — 86 min. (Unrated Version), Dir. Stuart GordonJoin us as we pay tribute to the genre titan and Chicago-born Stuart Gordon with the splatter-horror trashterpiece that started it all! More details TBA THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985) — 91 min., Dir. Dan O'Bannon
A quintessential horror comedy, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is a semi-sequel to George Romero’s original zombie classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Notable as the film that introduced audiences to brain-eating zombies, RETURN expertly blends scares and laughs with a fun and funny punk rock aesthetic. Featuring genre favorites Linnea Quigley, Miguel A. Núñez, Clu Gulager, Thom Mathews, and Don Calfa.
SILVER BULLET (1985) — 95 min., Dir. Daniel Attias
Written by Stephen King and featuring Corey Haim & Gary Busey doing battle with a werewolf picking off residents in a close-knit community unable to accept what’s truly happening.
Music Box Theatre is bringing you 31 Days of Horror at the Drive-In, and your friends at Creepy Co.® are coming along for the ride! As the screams play out on the big screen, we’ll also be going bump in the night as the proud sponsor of this year’s Music Box of Horrors. Buckle up for ghoulish giveaways of the special collectable merch you crave from Chicago’s own Creepy Co.®, a company—and a community—that celebrates all things Halloween, 365 days of the year. Like the ghoulish passenger in the backseat, or the terrifying hitchhiker on the roadside, we can’t wait to see YOU at the Drive-In!
Single Feature - $30 per car
Double Feature - $40 per car
***31 Day Passes Not Available***
Tickets for October 1-15 screenings, go on sale Thursday, Sept. 10; tickets for October 16-31 screenings go on sale Thursday, Sept. 17.
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