Festival season continues this weekend with the Chicago Critics Film Festival and the First Nations Film and Video Festival. The annual Chicago Zombie Prom takes over the Cubby Bear for a night of undead dancing and ghastly festivities. The beautiful, grotesque, macabre works of artist Ivan Albright go on display today at the Art Institute of Chicago! Mary Shelley's Frankenstein hits the Chicago stage on the 8th, a Lovecraft-themed bar has a great selection of dark artwork on sale at a bazaar in Darien, more horror screenings, and still more options! Have a fantastic weekend and let's hope the weather is nice to the Midwest this time.
“Don't walk to the theater–RUN!”
Chicago Critics Film Festival - (May 4th-10th) Hosted by respected Chicago film critics, this festival returns to the Music Box Theatre for its 6th year! Special guests Gugu Mbatha-Raw (see her in sci-fi thriller FAST COLOR Friday at 7pm), Joseph Kahn, Bo Burnham, Paul Schrader, and more. Chicago film premieres, 25th Anniversary 35mm screening of JURASSIC PARK (Sunday, May 6th, at noon), horror thriller REVENGE (May 4th at Midnight & May 7th at 3pm), film shorts, and much more. Festival passes are $150; individual tickets will also be for sale. The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613. (Chicago Film Critics)
First Nations Film and Video Festival - (May 4th from 4pm-6pm) A celebration of Native American filmmaking, this festival offers a variety of genres in the form of short films. Includes “Ghost Cop,” “Secret of the Bigfoot Tribe,” and “The Smudging.” Free and open to the public; registration is not required. DePaul University CDM 708, Chicago, IL. Schedule (Click on event title)
ANNIHILATION - (Sat. @ 7pm & 9:30pm; Sun. @ 4pm) A personal favorite of 2018, Alex Garland (Ex Machina), brings terror in the form of a beautiful place that hides ugly secrets. (Best to not read much about it before viewing!) Doc Films, Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637.
LADY VENGEANCE [35mm] - (Sunday at 7pm) The final part in Park Chan-wook's highly stylized, violent Vengeance Trilogy (Symphony for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy). Doc Films, Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637.
GRACE JONES: Bloodlight and Bami - (April 27th-May 10th) An unconventional documentary about a brilliant, unconventional woman, Grace Jones. The doc offers insight into both her personal and professional life as a mother, businesswoman, and performer. Times vary. The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.
THE ENDLESS - (May 4th & 5th at Midnight) Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead team up for another interesting entry in the genre following indie horror favorites SPRING and RESOLUTION. In The Endless, after receiving a strange video message, two brothers decide to revisit a UFO death cult they'd escaped a decade earlier in the hopes of finding closure on this trip. (DCP) The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.
A QUIET PLACE - (May 4th-9th) Times vary. Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647. Also: Purple Rain, Super Troopers 2, Avengers: Infinity War.
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
Chicago Zombie Prom - (May 5th from 8pm-2am) Zombie Army Productions presents their annual extra ghoulish event, the Chicago Zombie Prom! Zombie-themed makeup and clothing is required. Zombies can get fancy, too! There will be makeup artists available to help you look your best/worst (depending on the look you're going for!) for a $10 donation. Live music by zombie band Libido Funk Circus. Located at the Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison, Chicago, IL 60613. 21+. Tickets are available now!
Chicago Metal Market - (May 5th from 12:30pm-4:30pm) Celebrate spring by shopping for metal music, clothing, patches, artwork, and more by vendors (Eric Rot, Metal Haven, Do or Die Records, Dark Light Candles, PutridGoreArt, Death Dealer Distribution, Utterly Somber, DMR Books, Pungent Basement Art, and Vee Adams). Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618.
Spring Art Bazaar - (May 5th from Noon-7pm) View some amazing artwork by 22 artists at this Lovecraft-themed bar, indulge in tasty beverages and a BBQ pop-up station (3pm-7pm), and live music. Miskatonic Brewing Company, 1000 N. Frontage Road, Unit C, Darien, IL 60561.
Near Death Experience with Neil Tobin - (May 5th & 6th at 3pm) Interactive, mortality-themed theatre with Neil Tobin. May Chapel, Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N. Ravenswood, Chicago, IL.
The Vampire Diaries / The Originals Official Convention - (May 4th-6th) Creation Entertainment presents a pop culture convention celebrating two popular television series. Westin O'Hare, 6100 North River Road, Rosemont, IL.
Bad Axe Throwing - (Days/times vary) You know you want to... Group rates apply or just do a walk-in for $20/hr. Bad Axe Chicago, 2828 N. Clark (Atrium Level), Chicago, IL. (888) 435-0001.
FLESH: IVAN ALBRIGHT artwork at the Art Institute - (May 4th-Aug. 5th) A nice selection of ghoulishly macabre works by painter Ivan Albright will be on display at the Art Institute of Chicago this spring! Native to 20th Century Chicago, Albright, a master of the macabre, began painting ghoulish subjects, including “Flesh” in 1928, which became an ongoing theme throughout his career. He felt very strongly about portraying the way of the flesh (as “fleshy” as possible) and this obsession is a big part of what makes his paintings so incredibly striking. Feast your eager eyes on the splendid beauty of decay. Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 273, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL.
Svengoolie Coffin & More - One of the cooler things to do on a tight budget 6 days out of the week! The highlight for horror fans, of course, is the Svengoolie exhibit with his original coffin and the show's set, along with pieces from Shock Theatre. There are plenty of other cool things to see related to Chicago television and film, like a large display of items from Bozo's Circus, retro TV sets, journalism history, advertising artifacts, and so much more. The SNL exhibit is also stationed in the building. Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State, Chicago, IL 60654.
Gun Ballet: The Aestheticization of Violence in Video Games - (March 2nd-June 24th) 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.
On/Off Grid - (April 6th-June 3rd) Curated by Lydia Fu in the Gallery/Café, this exhibit displays contemporary Asian American and Asian Diasporic artists who've explored ideas and dreams regarding society's relationships with technology. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601.
STAGE (Horror, Sci-Fi, Macabre):
WildClaw Theatre's FUTURE ECHOES - (April 27th-May 27th) Celebrating 10 years of bringing horror to the Chicago stage, WildClaw Theatre presents a new horror production written by Paul Foster and directed by Norine McGrath. A group of college friends reunite at a dinner party and reminisce about the past, soon realizing that time is no longer on their side. The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME - (April 20th-May 5th) Based on the classic Victor Hugo novel with songs from the Disney animated feature. Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804. Get half-off discounted tickets on Goldstar.com!
DOWN THE ROCKY ROAD AND ALL THE WAY TO BEDLAM - (April 5th-May 13th) Otherworld Theatre presents a sci-fi cyberpunk tale of a broken family dealing with the death of a daughter. An android named Zelazny struggles with conflicted feelings, dealing with her own evolution while the house of Bedlam is collapsing. Nox Arca Theatre, 4001 N. Ravenswood #405, Chicago, IL 60613.
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 May 25th, 2018.
TOURS, ESCAPE ROOM:
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.
Juggernaut Film Festival - (June 2nd & 3rd) Music Box Theatre. More info soon.
MY FRIEND DAHMER / BLOODLETTING - (May 11th at 7pm) Join Bucket O' Blood for a free serial killer double feature. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS - (May 23rd-Aug. 19th) Lookingglass Theatre presents a stage production of this wonderful classic tale.
THEY LIVE [35mm] Screening (FREE!) - (May 31st at 7pm) Block Museum, Evanston.
Chicago Underground Film Festival - (June 6th-10th) CUFF returns to Chicago!
Hearse Show at Brauerhouse - (June 9th) 5th anniversary show in Lombard, IL.
Cinepocalypse - (June 21st-28th) Held at the Music Box Theatre, a ton of special guests and horror movie premieres! Festival passes are available now.
Times are subject to change.
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