Weekend: Chicago Critics Film Festival, Dark Arts Market

Weekend: Chicago Critics Film Festival, Dark Arts Market
Star Tom Skerritt will be in attendance at the 40th anniversary 35mm screening of Ridley Scott's ALIEN (1979) at the Music Box Theatre in connection with the Chicago Critics Film Festival.

Things are heating up in the land of Chicago genre events. Choose wisely! Enjoy your weekend!

“Don't walk to the theater–RUN!”


CHICAGO CRITICS FILM FESTIVAL - (May 17th-23rd) Chicago critics pick their favorite acclaimed films. Genre fun includes a 40th Anniversary 35mm screening of ALIEN with actor Tom Skerritt in person! New film THE NIGHTINGALE by Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), IN FABRIC, THE PERFECTION, and more! Tickets.

HAIL SATAN? - (May 8th-23rd) Charming, compelling documentary chronicling the rise of  The Satanic Temple and the political activism by members striving for equality and justice. Times vary. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

CLIMAX - (May 17th & 18th) Midnight! Gaspar Noé's film about a dance troupe practicing inside an empty building until the night takes a wild turn, as their sangria has been spiked with LSD. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

CONQUEST / ZOMBIE - (May 17th at 7pm) Fulci night presented by Windy City Horrorama. (4K restoration of Zombie.) BYOB. $5 suggested donation. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW - (Late Saturdays at 11:55pm) Full cast performance each Saturday at midnight. Hollywood Boulevard Cinema, 1001 W. 75th St., Woodridge, IL 60517.

BEETLEJUICE - (May 20th at 8pm) Manic Movie Mondays hosted by Lucy Stoole. Costumes encouraged! 4614 N. Davis Theater, N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60625.

Movie Trivia Night - (Tuesdays at 8pm) Every Tuesday in the lounge! Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

THE MATRIX - (May 22nd at 7:30pm) 20th anniversary screening! Full bar and free parking. Tickets $6/$5 BAC members. Beverly Art Center, 2407 w. 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60655.

Sinema Obscura TV Party S3E5 - (May 22nd at 7pm) Free. Meet them in the Lounge with Trust this Ghost. Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

Ready Freddy Films Sci-Fi Showcase - (May 25th at 7pm) Short independent films, videos, and musical guests. The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622.


FOUR CHORDS AND A GUN - (May 18th-June 2nd) Love the Ramones? This black comedy highlights their infamous 1979 recording session with producer Phil Spector and how the fantastic punk album “End of the Century” came to be. It's a play followed by a concert! Broadway Playhouse, Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611.

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 Aug. 30th, 2019.

I WANNA BELIEVE! AN X-FILES PARODY - (through June 13th) Musical parody following agents Mulder and Scully as they investigate a strange, deadly dancing epidemic. The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL.

THE KILLING GAME - (May 2nd-June 23rd) Humorous take on society's responses (paranoia, hypocrisy, opportunism) during a crisis. A town has a plague causing bodies to pile up, resulting in more speculations than answers. Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, Chicago, IL.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - (Extended through June 30th) Head down to Skid Row where Seymour, Audrey, and Audrey II are stuck in a bloody love triangle (of sorts!). Ages 10 and up. Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport, Chicago, IL 60613.

MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN - (May 8th-Aug. 4th) Lookingglass Theatre presents an adaptation of Mary Shelley's powerful story of creation, destruction, horror, and love. Written and directed by David Catlin. Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL.

RABBIT HOLE SOCIETY: SPRING EDITION - (May 21st at 7pm) Once Upon a Reality Production presents The Rabbit Hole Society, written and directed by Erika Jenko. After meeting in secret for generations, the society finally opens their doors to the public for a night of storytelling. Three original short stories will be told by an all-female ensemble, taking inspirations from “Alice in Wonderland,” “Thumbelina,” and the “Hag as Hare” lore. Doors open at 6:30pm. Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660.

SPACE SCUM: The Musical - (Sundays through June 2nd) A crew of space cleaners dispose of space junk until one day when their ship is pulled much too close to the sun. The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL.

THE CHILDREN - (April 18th-June 9th) A pair of retired nuclear scientists receive a visit from an old colleague one summer evening at a remote seaside cottage in England. Pleasantries are exchanged until the eventual disturbing reason for the visit is revealed. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL.


Chicago! The Play, The Movies, The Musical... The Murders - (Jan. 26th-July 28th) The famous play, Chicago, premiered in 1926. This led to inspirations for 3 films and a long-running Broadway musical. Lead characters Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly were based on two real-life murderesses in 1920s Chicago. This exhibit includes rare posters, photographs, and original artifacts documenting the play's evolution over a span of nine decades. Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph Lobby, 1st Floor North, 78 E. Washington, Chicago, IL 60602.

Wired to Wear™ - (March 21st - Spring 2020) Learn how digital technology is helping our lives by transforming our clothes to help us stay safer and stronger. Find out more about jet suits, jackets that help you see in the dark, and wearables that express your emotions! Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637.


Dark Arts Market - (May 20th from 5pm-9pm) Chicago artists display their work for sale at the Dark Arts Craft Market and Art Exhibition. Co-presented with Sideshow Gallery. Each art purchase is an entry to win a $50 Kuma's Corner gift card. Drink deals, desserts, make your own art using a metal printing press thanks to printmaker Bryn R. Gleason. Kuma's Corner West Loop, 852 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607.

Sci-Fi Book Club: Passing for Human - (May 20th at 9pm) Join in the discussion about Jody Scott's novel, Passing for Human for the Another Dimension #41 sci-fi book club. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.

Chicago Zine Fest (May 16th-18th) 250+ vendors. All events are free and open to the public. Exhibition day is Saturday, May 18th at Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd., in the West Loop.

Anime Central - (May 17th-19th) Midwest anime and manga pop culture con. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont, IL 60018.

Metal Bingo - (Mondays through June 24th) Play metal bingo at Brauer House! FREE event. All metal DJ. Bingo prizes, appetizers half-off, $5 Long Islands/Zombies, $1.50 PBR pints, $2.50 call shots. Roll call begins at 8pm; games start at 9pm. Brauer House Lombard, 1000 N. Rohlwing Rd., Lombard, IL 60148.

Troll Hunt! - (through the summer of 2019) Search across 1700 acres of The Morton Arboretum for troll sculptures ranging from 15ft. to 30ft. tall! Tips: Check the site for info, maps, and locations so you do not get lost and please do not go without wearing some form of strong bug spray. Extra tips HERE. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532. Troll Cheat Sheet!

Space Golf - (Daily) Alien-themed outer space fun with blacklight mini golf, 3D golfing, holograms, a Sci-Fi Cafe, and more. 15611 S. 94th Ave., Orland Park, IL 60462.

Bad Axe Throwing - (Days/times vary) Group rates apply or do a walk-in for $20 for one hour. Bad Axe Chicago, 2828 N. Clark (Atrium Level), Chicago, IL. (888) 435-0001.


Fox in a Box Escape Room - Visit their newest room, Zodiac, which is themed on the successor to the Zodiac Killer. The room was scenically designed by a designer from the Field Museum. 47 W. Polk, Suite L5, Chicago, IL 60605. (Recently ranked #1 escape room in the USA and #2 in the world for the month of March 2019.)

Chicago Rage Room - Got rage? Get rid of it pronto with the sweetest release (without hurting anyone!). Pay for items to break or bring your own! Room prices begin at $15. (Reservations required.) 153 W. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60654.

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.

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.

Listings are subject to change.

Have a great weekend!

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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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