Weekend: Sci-Fi Spectacular, Spielberg Series, Zombie Laser Tag

Weekend: Sci-Fi Spectacular, Spielberg Series, Zombie Laser Tag
Flyer artwork by artist Mitch O'Connell.

Chicago horror and sci-fi events this weekend include the annual Sci-Fi Spectacular film fest, a Spielberg film series, a nice selection of genre plays, and more. If you're a big St. Patrick's Day horror enthusiast, check out the Zombie Leprechaun laser tag event at Zombie Outbreak Chicago. Even more screenings and events are listed below!

“Don't walk to the theater–RUN!”


VICTORIA PRICE / HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL - (Mar. 16th at 8pm) Meet Victoria Price, author of Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography! She'll be speaking about her father, horror icon and beloved actor Vincent Price, and will introduce a screening of House on Haunted Hill. Tickets are only $10 pre-sale! Free autographs and photos with her. Hollywood Palms Cinema, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville, IL 60540.

The SCI-FI SPECTACULAR - (March 17th) Chicago's annual sci-fi film festival returns with special guests Victoria Price, Sybil Danning, and Noah Hathaway. 14 hours of genre fun! Films include: A TRIP TO THE MOON, ZARDOZ, THE BLOB, ROBOCOP, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, THE NEVER ENDING STORY, and SCANNERS. Vendors, prizes, charity auction, free autographs, short film block, and more. Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625. $30 advance/$35 at the door. Doors open at 11am. Films begin at noon. I'll be personally bringing a ton of promo fun for Insidious: The Last Key... T-shirts, keychain/bottle openers, beanies, and flashlights.

spielbergSCI-FI SPIELBERG Film Series - (March 16th-22nd) The Music Box Theatre will be screening READY PLAYER ONE on 70mm on March 30th! 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. Passes: $30 General Admission/$25 Music Box Members. Individual Tickets: $11/$7 Members. 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

The CHICAGO EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL - (March 9th-April 5th) The 21st annual Chicago European Union Film Festival offers 61 film premieres from 28 EU nations. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601. Film info HERE.

THE DARK BACKWARD [35mm] - (March 16th & 17th) The Front Row presents Midnight weirdness sponsored by the Daily Grindhouse and The AV Club. A comedian's career dreams are threatened once a third arm begins growing out of his back. The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

ANNIHILATION - (March 16th-21st) Brilliant, strange, and disturbing. Recommended! Times vary. Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

VERTIGO - (March 18th & 21st) Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Hitchcock's classic thriller with TCM Classics in theaters two days only.

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

SOULTANGLER / BASKET CASE - (March 16th from 7pm-11pm) Lovecraft-inspired double feature. BYOB. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.

THE SHAPE OF WATER - (March 20th at 7pm) Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062. Register on the site.

GET OUT - (March 21st at 1pm & 7pm) Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062. Register on the site.

Be sure to catch these genre flicks in mainstream theaters: Annihilation, The Strangers: Prey at Night, The Shape of Water.

STAGE (Horror, Sci-Fi, Macabre):

39-stepsTHE 39 STEPS - (March 9th-25th) Hitchcock's great whodunit story adapted by Patrick Barlow and directed by Magdalene Spanuello. Tickets $25-$30. No children under the age of 5 allowed. Bright Side Theatre, Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Avenue, Naperville, IL.

THE 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? See website for information on dinner packages. No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL 60626.

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.


zombie-outbreakZombie Leprechaun Outbreak - (March 16th & 17th) Live action laser tag with zombies! Text “ZOMBIE” to 31996 for a free gift! Closes at 10pm. Basement of the Dead, 42 W. New York Street, Aurora, IL 60506. (630) 896-2466.

Sci-Fi Book Club - ON BASILISK STATION - (March 19th from 9pm-11pm) This month's selection for Bucket O' Blood's “Another Dimension” sci-fi book club is by author David Weber. Free event! Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618. BYOB.

Murder and Mayhem in Chicago - (March 17th from 9am-5pm) Join Chicago's top mystery and crime writers for a day of events. Roosevelt University, Chicago Campus, 430 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605. ($35-$65 - possibly sold out)


Gun Ballet: The Aestheticization of Violence in Video Games - (March 2nd-June 3rd) 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.

Animalium - (through March 16th) Adam Nardi's solo exhibition exploring man vs. beast. Northeastern University, Fine Arts Building, Fine Art Gallery 217, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625.

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.


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.

Mind Trap Escape Rooms - Solve the clues to get out within 60 minutes! 299 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery, IL 60538. (630) 216-9609.

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.


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!

A Celebration of Slashers - (April 28th, all day) Pop Culture Conference with horror-themed panels and keynote speaker, director Rachel Talalay (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Tank Girl, Riverdale, Doctor Who).

HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME - (April 12th) Silent with live organ by Jay Warren. Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln.

Juggernaut Film Festival - (June 2nd & 3rd) Music Box Theatre. More info soon.

Brushes with Death - (April 21st) Learn about funerary culture. Sells out fast!

Near Death Experience with Neil Tobin - (April 14th & 15th; May 5th & 6th) Interactive, mortality-themed theatre with Neil Tobin. May Chapel, Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N. Ravenswood, Chicago, IL.

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.

Please join The Chicago Creepout for current updates on Facebook HERE!

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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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