As the Halloween season quickly races near, there are plenty of activities for those eager for some good, old-fashioned fear. Macabre plays, horror festivals, dark photography, spooky tours, zombie marches, and even a Turkish Exorcist. We've got it all, and it isn't even October yet.
I've listed the top ten events in order of start date, picking a variety of different things to do because not all horror fans are alike, yo. It's futile to try to pigeonhole a horror fan. Diehard or mainly seasonal, lovers of the macabre cannot be labeled. There are just too many ways to express enthusiasm for the genre, whether it's dressing dapper for a fancy Frankenstein play or tossing on a hoodie with jeans to spend the day in a movie theater. Maybe it's a cover-your-face-with-fake-blood kind of day or one to take a romantic stroll through the local cemetery. Any type of way you celebrate the season, Chicago's got your diverse tastes covered, and it doesn't matter what you're wearing, as long as you are happy to be there.
FRANKENSTEIN - Sept. 28th thru Nov. 4th
What better way to begin the season than with good ’ol Frankie? See the original Mary Shelley story adapted by Bo List and directed by Terry McCabe, this Chicago Premiere of Frankenstein kicks off City Lit Theater's fall season. Special Halloween performance October 31st. Tickets!
SCARRIE: THE MUSICAL - Sept. 28th thru Nov. 10th
Hell in a Handbag Productions presents this camp parody of both the cult classic Brian DePalma film and the Stephen King story, Carrie. Help them celebrate their 10th Anniversary with the same show that started all this madness. Located in Mary's Attic at Hamburger Mary's. Tickets!
CHICAGO HORROR FILM FESTIVAL - Sept. 28th, 29th, 30th
Spookshow Entertainment presents the annual CHFF with a slew of films such as: It's in the Blood, Cross Bearer, Below Zero, Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance, Doctor Spine, and many more! Guests, vendors, and a Music of Horror festival each night at The Nitecap afterwards. Band schedules HERE. Portage Theater $10-$35
KILL VIKTOR: VOL. 1 & 2 - Sept. 28th thru Oct. 28th
Tarantino might get a kick out of this mash-up of Frankenstein's Bride being out for revenge, using martial arts to fight monsters and hunt down her madman creator. Full of cult cinema and classic horror elements, this is sure to be a good time. New Millennium Theatre. $15-$18
MIAMI CONNECTION - Sept. 28th & Sept. 29th
In case you're in the mood for a crazy, psychotronic movie experience, Everything is Terrible presents Miami Connection at the Music Box Theatre. Picture it, 1987. Motorcycle ninjas controlling Florida's drug trade while a martial arts rock band unleashes justice upon them, roundhouse-style. Expect extreme levels of ninja fury, knife fights and beheadings. Find out more about this wild film HERE. Midnight. Tickets/info HERE.
FACETS FRIGHT SCHOOL - SEYTAN - Sept. 29th (Videocassette series thru Oct. 27th)
Facets Fright School Session 12: Death By Video begins this Saturday, and what better way to start than with the 1974 film Seytan aka Turkish Exorcist? This bonkers flick directly borrows, oh, everything from William Friedkin's The Exorcist, but the subtitles are quite comical. Lew Ojeda (Co-founder of The Underground Multiplex) presents the lecture, “The Outta-Mind Empire: The Crazy World of Seytan and Turkish Exploitation.” The film starts at midnight, but arrive early for vintage trailers and stick around later for a post-film discussion. Feel free to pick up free essays on Seytan on your way in. All of this for only $5!
HORROR PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM SORFLEET ART EXHIBIT AT HORRORBLES - Sept. 29th thru Oct. 31st
Jim Sorfleet of SnS-Photo has an opening reception this Saturday at 7pm at Horrorbles in Berwyn. His photography is very engaging, with horror-themed subjects of all kinds in the genre. A great example is the Nosferatu-themed feature image for this blog post! I personally prefer to call it “NosfeRONto.” SnS-Photo is a notable fixture in the Chicago horror community. High quality archival prints on display and for sale at the exhibit. Please note that the website contains sensitive material not suitable for young viewers. SnS-Photo.com
THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY - Sept. 29th thru Nov. 4th
Join Poe and his beloved wife Virginia on a tour through historic Mayslake Hall, sweeping room to room, from the garrets to creepy dungeons, finally straight into Edgar's madness. This interactive theater experience is presented by First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Peabody Estate Forest Preserve in Oak Brook, IL. Tickets range between $30-$37.
DON'T GIVE THAT BEAST A NAME - Sept. 29th thru Nov. 3rd
Here's a unique show by The Chicago Mammals involving a country western couple whose fortunes go awry after they become involved with a snake handling church. This southern gothic tale was written by Randall Colburn and Bob Fisher, with a few inspirations coming from classic country and Nick Cave's Murder Ballads. $20. The Chicago Mammals do great work!
WALGREENS ZOMBIE MARCH - Sept. 30th
The Walgreens Zombie March benefits the American Diabetes Association. There will be a zombie costume contest, free photos for all zombies, and members of the Psychosis Haunted House will airbrush zombie makeup, $5 donation to the diabetes fund. Meet at the corner of Golf and Elmhurst in Mount Prospect at 6:30pm.