Weekend: Chicago Irish Film Fest, Video Game Violence Exhibit, & More

Weekend: Chicago Irish Film Fest, Video Game Violence Exhibit, & More
Mystery thriller THE OBSERVER EFFECT (2017) will screen as part of the “Hearts in Darkness” horror short film block at the Chicago Irish Film Festival this Friday. (Image Source: IMDb.com.)

The great thing about the horror genre is how exceptionally diverse it can be. There's always a little something for everyone. Scour the program list of highlights at the Chicago Irish Film Festival, which includes horror shorts among the interesting films. The Picture of Dorian Gray opens at City Lit Theater, a horror escape room pop-up event celebrates The Strangers this weekend, Jean Rollin's Lips of Blood midnight movie fun, discover the aesthetics and history of violence at a video game exhibit... and more!

“Don't walk to the theater–RUN!”


CHICAGO IRISH FILM FESTIVAL - (March 1st-4th) Enjoy Irish cinema in a variety of genres including: horror, comedy, documentaries, action, animation, shorts, and more. The film shorts block on Friday at 9pm at the Logan Theatre focus on “Hearts in Darkness,” for those looking for darker themes! Please be sure to check which venue is screening your film(s) of choice. Three venues: Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647), Gallery Theatre (1112 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622), and Theater on the Lake (Fullerton Ave./Lake Shore Drive).

LIPS OF BLOOD - (March 2nd & 3rd at midnight) A trio of French director Jean Rollin's films are being presented at the Music Box Theatre by author Matthew Clark in anticipation of his book and LP release, Cathode Love. Rollin's THE IRON ROSE screens March 9th & 10th and FASCINATION screens on March 30th & 31st. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

THE LODGERS - (March 2nd & 3rd) - Recent Irish chiller directed by Brian O'Malley (Let Us Prey) about twins cursed by a sinister presence within their home which leaves them forced to follow a set of specific rules not to be broken. If one breaks the rules, the other's life is put into jeopardy. Midnight. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

THE DARK CRYSTAL - (March 3rd & 6th) This film was so ahead of its time, it still continues to inspire and impress. In theaters two more days!

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS [35mm] - (1974, Sidney Lumet)(March 4th at 7pm) Enjoy this classic starring Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, and Anthony Hopkins. Doc Films, Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW - As always, the Rocky Horror fun continues with a full cast performance each Saturday at Midnight at the Hollywood Blvd. Cinema, 1001 W. 75th St., Woodridge, IL 60517. (630) 427-1880. RHPS

Academy Awards Viewing Party - (March 4th from 6pm-11pm) Hang out in the Logan's swanky lounge, play Oscar bingo and movie trivia while watching this big event. (Fingers crossed for The Shape of Water!) Logan theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

Sinema Obscura presents Documentary Night - (Mar. 5th from 7pm-10pm) Works screened by various filmmakers. Live musical performance. Logan Bar, 2230 N. California, Chicago, IL 60647.

THE PENALTY - (Mar. 6th from 7:30pm-9:30pm) The Silent Film Society of Chicago presents a great performance by Lon Chaney in The Penalty! Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174.

Brunch/Movie Hangout - (March 3rd from 10am-3pm) The folks behind Trash Movie Night events are raising funds for upcoming film fest, the Windy City Film Festival. Fat Cat Chicago, Chicago, IL. 21+.

STAGE (Horror, Sci-Fi, Macabre):

dorian grayTHE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY - (March 2nd-April 15th) Adapted from Oscar Wilde's brilliantly disturbing novel about a truly vain man who is willing to sell his soul for permanent youth. The scene is set in NYC around 1970-1980. City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, IL 60660.

FAUST - (March 3rd-21st) Presented by The Lyric Opera of Chicago. Faust wants to be young forever, so he sells his soul to the Devil. Naturally, things go awry. (Sung in French with English translated via projection.) 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606.

SWEENEY TODD: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - (March 9th-April 29th) In the mood for bloody meat pies and sweet revenge? Previews March 9th, 10th, & 11th. See website for information on dinner packages. No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL 60626.

LOVE NEVER DIES - (Feb. 14th-March 4th) Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, taking place a decade after the phantom disappeared from the Paris Opera House. Living among the freak show circuit in Coney Island, news of Christine's being in town drives him to once again aim to win her love. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL 60603.

Hitch*Cocktails - (Fridays at 10pm) Alfred Hitchcock-themed improv skits based on audience suggestions. Live jazz band, parlor games. Actors must drink as the plot thickens. The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, 851 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657. Runs through March 23rd, 2018.


“Battle Chef Brigade” by Trinket Studios.

“Battle Chef Brigade” by Trinket Studios.

Gun Ballet: The Aestheticization of Violence in Video Games - (March 2nd-June 3rd) Opening reception Friday, March 2nd, from 5pm-8pm. View the most common styles of violence in video game history, ranging from beautiful to excessive. Video Game Art Gallery, 2418 W. Bloomingdale #102, Chicago, IL 60647. Regular hours: Wednesdays 5pm-8pm; Sundays noon-5pm or call by appointment 773-668-6797.

Bad Grammar Theater - (Mar. 2nd from 7pm-10pm) Authors read stories with themes of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, pulp fiction and more. Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622.

Bloody Reads #26 MY SOUL TO KEEP - (March 7th at 9pm) Join in on the discussion about Tananarive Due's first book in the four-part series, African Immortals. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.


Portrait Pick Up Art Show - (March 3rd from 7pm-11pm) Artist Folkgoblin will discuss his creative process working with Ferrotype/tintype/photography. Sideshow Gallery, 2219 N. Western, Chicago, IL 60647.

RODIN: Sculptor and Storyteller - (EXTENDED through April 1st, 2018) Seeing Auguste Rodin's famous sculptures up close and personal is definitely an experience to remember and cherish. Hours. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL.

WILLIAM BLAKE AND THE AGE OF AQUARIUS - (through March 11th, 2018) British visionary, poet, and artist who greatly impacted American artists. This exhibit seeks to display those influences of non-conformity and self-expression. Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 40 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, IL 60208.


Horror Escape Room - (March 2nd & 3rd) This weekend only! If you love to watch horror films and solve puzzles, this pop-up escape room challenge is for you. In anticipation of The Strangers release, “The Dollhouse” has a similar theme, and guests must find the real Dollhouse killer before they become the next victim. Minimum requirement of 3 players or $99/session. The Time Gallery, 1342 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60622.

Chicago Ghost Tours App - A free app for enjoying audio and photo tours of Chicago's Haunted Archer Avenue is available, courtesy of Edward Shanahan, a fellow ChicagoNOW blogger (check out his blog, Chicago Paranormal & Spiritual). He is also a psychic and paranormal host who has worked on making his app a great addition to fans of Haunted Archer. The app includes 16 locations and 6 cemeteries. Free download! Shanahan also has a free online magazine.

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie - Room Escape adventures where guests must figure out clues and puzzles to escape a room they share with a snarling, chained-up zombie. Ages 14+ or must have parent. Fine Arts Building, 408 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605.

Chicago Hauntings Bus Tours - One of the longest-running ghost tours in Chicago, each 2.5 hour tour is led by founder, paranormal investigator, and author Ursula Bielski and her partner, author David Cowan. Routine stops include locations of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Death Alley, gangland sites, murder sites, and more. Departs at the Congress Hotel. For schedules, all tours, and background information, please see ChicagoHauntings.com.


The CHICAGO EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL - (March 9th-April 5th) Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601.

THE BIRDS - (March 8th at 6:30pm) Screening and educational discussion. Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091.

THEY REMAIN - (Mar. 9th-15th) A pair of scientists are sent to study abnormal activity at a cult's campground. Facets Cinémathèque, 1517 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL.

METROPOLIS - (Mar. 14th - SOLD OUT) Live organ performance by Jay Warren at the Davis Theater! 4614 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.

VICTORIA PRICE / HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL - (Mar. 16th) Meet Victoria Price! She'll be speaking about her father, Vincent, and will introduce a screening of House on Haunted Hill. Tickets are only $10 pre-sale! Free autographs and photos. Hollywood Palm Cinema, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville, IL 60540.

The SCI-FI SPECTACULAR - (March 17th) Chicago's annual sci-fi film festival returns with guest VICTORIA PRICE, a slew of genre films, and more! Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625. (Look out for a big blog post on Victoria's return to Chicago and her events soon!)

SCI-FI SPIELBERG Film Series - (March 16th-22nd) The Music Box Theatre will be screening READY PLAYER ONE on 70mm! To get fans in the mood, they'll be screening five of the beloved director's films before the release: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, MINORITY REPORT, WAR OF THE WORLDS, and A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

FLESH: IVAN ALBRIGHT artwork at the Art Institute - (May 4th-Aug. 5th) A nice selection of ghoulishly macabre works by Ivan Albright will be on display at the Art Institute of Chicago this spring!

Windy City Horrorama Film Festival - (April 27th-29th) New independent film festival to debut at the Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.

Times are subject to change.

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    Kristin Wicks

    Horror movie fanatic. Sculptor of oddities. Owner of Chicago Creepster Yahoo!, festival volunteer, writer, artist, social media freelance. Officially a biomechanical Frankenlady. Doing what I can to support our spooky community.

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