Music Box Massacre

Snack bars need pickles, shrimp rolls, & cigarettes.

2010 Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater.

It’s that time of year again: pumpkins get carved, costumes get flaunted, ghost stories get told, candy gets handed out, and I lock myself in a movie theater for twenty-four hours subjecting myself to the horrors of the horror film.

For the third year in a row I headed out to the Music Box Theater for their annual Music Box Massacre movie marathon: twenty-four hours of horror films, one after another from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday.

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.

We got to the theater to stand in line at about 9:30am — two and a half hours before the movie mayhem was to begin. We wanted to get good seats. We weren’t the first ones there but were close…

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.

Unfortunately we didn’t get the prime middle aisle seats, but we got decent enough seats…until a group of the tallest guys ever came and sat in front of us 🙁 I spent much of the movies tilting my head and with my friends tilting their heads toward me.

After some live DJing and after some shadow puppet making and after some random old horror previews it was time for the massacre to begin!

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.

The Phantom of the Opera
The day started off with the old black and white silent film of Phantom of the Opera. They even had a live organist come and play! I always enjoy old movies. Well, maybe not always, but I love that they could do so much with so little back then when now no one can make a movie without loading it with CGI effects.


The Raven
1:30 p.m.
Another old one. They always kind of start old and make their way to the 80s. It was pretty good — old crazy doctor falls for your woman and then tries to kill of everyone in her life to get to her.


The Wolf Man
2:45 p.m.
Man meets girl. Man and girl visit gypsies. Man gets bit by wolf. Man turns into wolf. Man as wolf tries to kill girl.


Season of the Witch
4:15 p.m.
Thanks to the new Windows 7 phone commercials and after seeing this movie I now constantly have the Song Season of the Witch in my head. This was a slow-moving one, and I’m not sure “horror” is necessarily the correct term, it was suspenseful though. And I enjoyed the movie. A woman stuck in a marriage meets a witch and then gets involved with witchcraft herself. After her daughter runs away she lures the man her daughter was sleeping with into sleeping with her…then she conjures a cat. Then after a series of bad dreams she ends up killing her husband. Every woman’s fantasy, eh?

After the movie there was a Q&A session with Jan White — the star of the movie who didn’t want to do it initially because she thought it was porn.

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.


Killer Klowns from Outer Space
6:15 p.m.
So Killer Klowns from Outer Space is one of my favorite bad stupid awful stupid horrorish movies of all time. Why? Because it’s the ultimate bad stupid awful stupid horrorish movie. It was one of if not the first movie I showed at the weekly horror film night I hosted in my apartment in college. If you couldn’t tell from the title it’s about killer klowns. From outer space.

Afterwards there was a Q&A session with the creators of the film the Chiodo Brothers. They are working on a remake/sequel…awesome right?!?!?!

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.


8:00 p.m.
Rabid is about a woman who gets in a motorcycle accident and then gets skin graft surgery and then wakes up from a coma with a tongue thing in her armpit that is hungry for blood and turns people into zombies. This was the only film that made me feel queasy all night. Because it had hospital blood. Hospital blood makes me sick.

Moral of that story is that I am never getting on a motorcycle again.


Basket Case
10:15 p.m.
Basket Case is an awesome movie. It’s about a guy and his deformed Siamese twin who was separated from him left to die but saved and kept in a basket…totally. plausible. Together they go on to seek revenge on the doctors who separated them. It’s one of my favorite movies. True. Story.

Afterwards was a talk with Kevin Van Hentenryck who starred in the movie. As the guy. Not as the deformed thing that lived in a basket.

Music Box Massacre at Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL.


Pet Sematary
12:30 a.m.
A Steven King classic that makes me a little sick if I see one particular scene in it. Luckily I managed to keep my eyes closed when I knew it was coming.


The Funhouse
2:30 a.m.
For some reason I’d remembered hating this movie and thinking it was boring. It was slow but not as boring as I remembered it being. In truth I probably just slept through it the first time I saw it. Still wasn’t my favorite though. But at least most of the cast actually looked like teenagers and not thirty-somethings.


House by the Cemetery
4:15 a.m.
Yeah, I decided to take a nap…


Theater of Blood
5:45 a.m.
Still napping…but woke up every so often to see Vincent Price reciting Shakespeare…it seemed really long…or maybe I just didn’t sleep as long as it felt between times of waking up…but others said it was good.


7:45 a.m.
An Alfred Hitchcock classic. Although I don’t know if I like it as much as I should. My friends complained about the long narrative at the end that was unnecessary. I think though people feel that way because we’ve seen it so many times that we know what’s wrong with him. If you look at the story though it is needed but shouldn’t have had to have been. If that makes sense. Show don’t tell people!


Fright Night
10:00 a.m.
I’ve never seen Fright Night before! It’s a classic case of vampire moves in next door and no one believes it. It was a fun campy way to end the night.


All in all it wasn’t one of the better massacres I’ve been to, but it was still a fine way to spend 24 hours of my life. By the end of it really could have gone for some pickles, shrimp rolls, or cigarettes from the snack bar…or maybe coffee. Let’s go with coffee. So I left the theater and got some coffee and stumbled home. I kind of felt like I was doing a walk of shame from the movie theater…but after spending a night with horror films I like to think of it more like a walk of pride.

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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