For me, the horror genre is like the ultimate refrigerator. I’m talking fancy, high-tech, revolving compartments amidst a plethora of shelves, all different sizes to suit one’s fancy. This particular fridge is always so full of diverse delicacies that making a decision is often a painstaking process. Each shelf represents a different subgenre, containing various activities within that type of dark compartment. Horror culture is a way of life for some, being an endless source of entertainment for all lovers of things that go bump in the night. One giant, stuffed refrigerator. Some feed on it all year long, while others only thirst for it around Halloween. “Do I want the ’80s slasher pizza with extra cheese, or the dark, brooding noir hiding on the bottom shelf behind the Turkish Horror Delights?”
Chicago has become a fruitful haven of horror over the past few years. If you scour hard enough, there will always be a spooky fun time waiting for you to discover it. For instance, let’s talk about what’s happening this very weekend...
Friday, May 11th
Tired from working all day and just want to plop down onto a sofa and relax, but you don’t want to sit at home on a Friday night? Stella Espresso has you covered. Stop by around 7:30pm for creepy readings by horror author Martin Mundt and science fiction writer Richard Chwedyk. Aside from a possible cup of joe, it won’t cost anything, and if you arrive early enough – grab that couch! 1259 W. Devon.
Maybe you’d rather have some wine with dinner and head out in search of weird modern art. Best bet: American Academy of Art 2012 Illustration BFA Show exhibition opening and artist reception. Meet the graduates from 7pm-10pm. Kosart Effects Studios & Gallery. The exhibit runs through June 14th, so plenty of time to catch it if you end up sleeping all weekend.
Obsessed with the undead? Limited screenings of movie Zombie Dawn (AMC Showplace Cicero 14 and AMC Showplace Galewood 14 only) - ticket buyers get a free limited edition Zombie Dawn: Safehouse comic book!
Saturday, May 12
It’s Saturday. You slept in and have more energy than last night. Try the rowdy “Roller Jam” fundraiser at the Portage Theater at 5pm to help complete Scotchworthy Productions’ latest film, The Storm, an action-horror roller derby flick. Babes on wheels fighting slug-like aliens from a crashed meteorite. Dig it. View Nazi zombie short A Chance In Hell, watch a live Battle of the Bands, and meet the cast and crew.
Want to dress up and be seen, but not in a clubbing mood? Fitzgerald’s Realm needs gothy-looking extras to be in their upcoming movie, DARK REALM. Audience members are needed on May 14th in South Bend, IN at the State Theatre. See the gothic illusion show for free. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org asap.
Why the absurd refrigerator talk? Strangely, the inspiration came from a dream. A long lost relative was missing, and my family and I were taking care of her house. Her refrigerator was not what it should have been. The doors were permanently left open with the lights on and its contents spilling out. Upon closer inspection, this was not a true appliance at all. No decipherable hum of a fridge, yet it appeared as such, displaying shelves filled with strange moving objects. The closer I got to this secret, magical wonder, the more I smiled. One shelf had a herd of miniature, pearlescent white horses running in place, practically enshrouded by a swirling fog. The shelf above that was shooting out water streams that stopped in mid-air. Exotic plants crawled throughout. Everything was running on its own, as if self-aware. I could even hear a faint melody floating from somewhere. (Cue the Hellraiser “Seduction and Pursuit” jingle.) Things aren’t always what they seem.
In the same vein, the horror genre has much more to offer than your typical scary movie. It’s an open refrigerator. (Okay, more like an open book, but I’m sticking with a theme here.) One never knows what they’ll find, and there is usually something of interest for just about every type of person – horror fan or not. There are different shelves for different tastes, and if you are hungry and curious enough, what you find just may surprise you. Just open the door.
Welcome to The Chicago Creepout.