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MUSIC BOX MASSACRE IV
October 10th, 2009

Each year, the 24 hours of madness and movies known as the Music Box Massacre has become a regular event now to us Chicagoland horror fans.  Each year they give us an incredible line up of films and special guests that make the fans come out each and every time.  From the classic black & white films to cult films to even a few premieres, the lineup has something for everyone.  This year was no different.  When we arrived at the theater at 9am to get our table set up, there were people already lining up for the show.  And it wasn't the warmest outside either, which shows just how die hard these fans are.

I also want to point out the incredible poster art that was used, which is displayed above, done by local Chicago artist Putrid (aka Matt Car).  We've known Matt for a few years now and never does his artwork just knock us out each and every time.

Starting the lineup off was the classic Lon Chaney Sr. film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), giving the crowd a look at the genius of Chaney.  Next up was another icon of the genre, Boris Karloff in Val Lewton’s Isle of the Dead (1945).  The mood lightened up a bit with Roger Corman’s dark comedy A Bucket of Blood (1959), starring Dick Miller.  It’s always so great to see fans of all ages sitting and enjoying movies that 50 to 80 years old.  Gives us older horror fans hope.

Next up was the short film from the Masters of Horror series, The Black Cat (2007), directed by Stuart Gordon.  But before onto the other Gordon films and his appearance, they screened David Cronenberg’s The Brood (1979), starring Art Hindle.  Afterwards, Hindle came out for a very interesting Q&A, talking about the film and working with Cronenberg.

The next two films are classics in the genre, and were both directed by Stuart Gordon.  First up was Re-Animator (1985) and then From Beyond (1986), both based (somewhat loosely) on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  During his Q&A, which was moderated by Movieside's Rusty Nails and writer Adam Rockoff, Gordon talked about both films, working here in Chicago at the Organic Theatre, where he was one of the founding members.  As always, Gordon had some wonderful stories and is always entertaining to listen to.

The midnight show was a new film called Pontypool.  We had already seen this film and were blown away.  So we were pretty surprised to see it get a mixed reaction.  Maybe it was because it played that late, but really not sure.  We still think it’s a great film, highly original, and well worth your time.  Once it makes its way to DVD, make sure you check it out and decide for yourself.

After that was a film that was originally a made-for-TV movie from back in 1981, Dark Night of the Scarecrow.  If you had seen this film on TV as a kid, you were sure to remember it, since its one truly frightening film.  Not to mention that it was filled with extremely talented actors.  The story is about a retarded young man named Bubba is blamed for what happened to a child and some of the townspeople take the matters in their own hands.  But when they discover that Bubba didn’t do it, it seems somebody, or something, wants them to pay for it.  The writer of the film, J.D. Feigelson was there to talk about the film.  We had met J.D. at the HorrorHound show back in March.  While we were talking earlier that evening, he was asking me if there really would be anybody still in the theater at 2am to watch his film.   I assured him that the die-hard fans that come to this Massacre every year would definitely still be around for this.  I was right, and J.D. was blown away by the huge crowd of people still there.

The next films on the lineup were Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), H.G. Lewis’ Blood Feast (1963), Stephen King’s only film he directed, Maximum Overdrive (1986), and ending with Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976).

Since the second Massacre, we have been setting up our table in the lobby, selling our books, posters, and giving people someone to talk to when they come out of the theater.  Set up next to us for the second year was Joe Wallace from Turntabling.net, selling his selection of rare and out-of-print soundtrack selections.  It never ceases to surprise me on how many people are still into vinyl.

For some reason this year, the long hours were hitting us way harder than normal.  So after TCM 2 was finishing up, we started to pack up.  We thought about just going in and catching the rest of the films.  But by that point, had we sat down in the theater, we would have been out like a light.  So we decided to call it a night and just head for home.  It’s funny how one can seem pretty wide awake at that point, but 45 minutes later, when you’re only a few miles home and are fighting like hell just to stay awake enough to make it there, it just means you’ve had a long day!

So as always, we had a lot of fun at this year’s massacre and plan on being there again next year to put ourselves through it once again.  And loving it the whole time!  Congrats to Movieside again for giving us horror fans the chance to see and enjoy some of these great films and be able to meet some great guests.  See you  next year.


J.D. FEIGELSON

           

 

STUART GORDON

           

 

ART HINDLE