Spooky season is not complete without a haunted house and its share of lonesome ghosts. Well, our Chicagoland readers are in luck because Bloody Disgusting and Halloweenies: A Horror Franchise Podcast invite you to see one of the greatest haunted house movies of all time on the big screen: Peter Medak’s 1980 classic The Changeling starring George C. Scott.
The one-night only event takes place on Monday, October 2nd at 8:00 p.m. at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. In addition to this rare screening, the night will also include an exclusive live show recording of the Halloweenies, who will list out the top 10 greatest haunted house movies of all time. They’ll also be selling their new Fall merchandise!
Tickets are available here. This event is part of The Bride of Music Box of Horrors, an electrifying month of unholy horror programming at the theatre that’ll make your hair stand on end. No tricks, only treats all through October, specifically fan favorites, rare screenings, special guests, interactive events, and their annual 24-hour horror marathon!
Peruse the full schedule below, and we’ll see you next Monday. Outside the Chicagoland area? Have no fear. The Changeling is currently streaming on Screambox.
Bride of Music Box of Horrors
Sunday, October 1 at 7pm— Phantom of the Monastery
Dir. Fernando De Fuentes, 1934, 85 mins, DCP, In Spanish with English Subtitles
Alfonso, Eduardo, and his wife Cristina are lost, and a strange monk takes them to an ancient convent where their personalities change. Inexplicable situations occur, and Cristina tries to seduce Alfonso. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and in collaboration with the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive and Filmoteca de la UNAM. The film will be presented by Chicago film programmer Raul Benitez and Viviana García Besne of the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive.
Monday, October 2 at 9:15pm — The Changeling
Dir. Peter Medak, 1980, 106 mins, DCP)
Co-Presented by Bloody Disgusting and Halloweenies
An old-fashioned chiller that’s both elegant and really f’in scary, The Changeling is the epitome of a classy ghost story. Ten years before The Exorcist III, George C. Scott stars as John Russell, a composer who retreats into a dusty, run-down Victorian mansion in Seattle (really Vancouver) in order to mourn the sudden deaths of his wife and daughter. Of course the place turns out to be haunted, forcing John to confront death in the past as well as the present. Director Peter Medak’s chilly, slow burn style amps the tension up to almost unbearable levels, building to an ending that’s both terrifying and overwhelmingly sad. This one will follow you all the way home.
Tuesday, October 3 at 9:15pm— The Mothman Prophecies
Dir. Mark Pellington, 2002, 119 mins, 35mm
John Keel’s chilling tale of high strangeness in West Virginia made it to the big screen in 2002, reborn as a millennial sci-fi thriller in the X-Files mold. Richard Gere stars as an inexplicably handsome reporter plagued by visions of a moth-like creature with glowing red eyes, alongside Laura Linney as the sheriff who’s here to make sure Mr. Big City doesn’t smear her town as a bunch of backwards hicks. This underrated gem takes some liberties with Keel’s original report, but still delves deep into the world of the bizarre, inexplicable, and just plain weird. And with the recent wave of Mothman sightings over O’Hare airport, maybe the big winged guy himself will make an appearance…
Wednesday, October 4 at 9:15pm — Horrors of Malformed Men
Dir. Teruo Ishii, 1969, 99 mins, DCP, In Japanese with English Subtitles
To crib a line from the Suspiria poster, the only thing weirder than the first 60 minutes of Horrors of Malformed Men are the last 39! This horrific Japanese take on The Island of Dr. Moreau opens in an insane asylum, shifts into a bizarre body-swap sex comedy, and then transforms again into a monstrous psychedelic freakout that would make Coffin Joe and Jodorowsky proud. To create this unholy creature, director Teruo Ishii (Blind Woman’s Curse, Orgies of Edo) combines several short stories from famed Japanese horror writer Edogawa Ranpo, whose “ero-guro” (erotic grotesque) style is on full, freaky display in the film. See it with a crowd, if only to confirm that you didn’t hallucinate it.
Thursday, October 5 at 9:15pm — Near Dark
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 1987, 95 mins, 35mm
An ‘80s cult classic with a vicious bite, Near Dark gets the carnal appeal of vampires better than almost any other movie. Lance Henricksen stars as vampire ringleader Jesse, alongside Jenny Wright as bloodsucking sweetheart Mae and Adrian Pasar as Caleb Colton, the clueless cowboy who’s initiated into the vampire lifestyle after picking up what he thinks is an attractive girl at a bar. But Bill Paxton steals the show as Severen, a sadistic rockabilly vamp who oozes dangerous sex appeal. This movie bleeds motor oil as well as the usual red stuff, embarking on a deranged homicidal road trip across the American West that parties ‘til the sun comes up.
Friday October 6 at 10pm— The Crow
Dir. Alex Proyas, 1994, 102 mins, DCP
Co-Presented by The Horror House
Actress Bai Ling in person for post film Q&A
Released in 1994, this atmospheric urban fantasy cult classic is based on James O’Barr’s independent comic and directed by Alex Proyas, the mind behind the masterful Dark City. Brandon Lee’s commanding — and, tragically, final — star turn is backed by a grunge/industrial/shoegaze soundtrack that includes the Chicago-based My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, plus The Cure, STP, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and so many more. A deceptively simple tale of a man who loses it all on Devil’s Night and is reborn as the fabulously ghoulish Crow, The Crow uniquely captures the angst-ridden grimy glamor of ‘90s post-industrial rot.
Saturday, October 7 at 11:30pm – Unfriended: Dark Web
Dir. Stephen Susco, 2018, 93mins, DCP
Stephen Susco in attendance for post film Q&A!
In the sequel to Unfriended, Matias finds an abandoned laptop and heads home for a night of online gaming, only to discover a mysterious folder on the computer filled with what appear to be snuff films. Shortly after, a message pops up, directed towards the owner of the laptop. But before Matias can return it, he and his friends realize it’s much too late —the world of the dark web has begun to pull them into its immeasurable depths.
Sunday, October 8 at 2:30pm and 7:00pm— The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920, 75 mins, DCP
Featuring live score by The Invincible Czars
This Halloween season, The Invincible Czars bring their nightmarishly fun soundtrack to the world’s first feature-length horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has inspired filmmakers like Tim Burton and musicians like David Bowie with its strikingly modern visuals. Its craggy edges, disjointed backgrounds, and heavy makeup have earned this dark fairy tale a reputation as the quintessential German Expressionist film.
The Czars’ immersive live soundtrack experience transports audiences back 100+ years with a chilling, tastefully modern score featuring an impressive blend of traditional acoustic and present-day electric instruments. The Invincible Czars return for two shows to the Music Box Theatre after their sold out 2022 screening and performance of Nosferatu.
Monday, October 9 at 9:15pm — Angel Heart
Dir. Alan Parker, 1987, 113 mins, 35mm
Co-Presented by The Satanic Temple Illinois; 35mm print courtesy of Chicago Cinema Society
In Alan Parker’s steamy neo-noir Angel Heart, Mickey Rourke embodies private detective Harry Angel, who’s hired by the intriguing and sinister Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro, absolutely living for every moment) to track down a missing musician who owes him a debt. Soon, Angel begins to realize things are far darker and more horrifying than he could’ve imagined. But by that point, it’s too late.
Tuesday, October 10 at 9:15pm —Ganja and Hess
Dir. Bill Gunn, 1973, 113 mins, DCP
Dramatically chopped up and released under a handful of exploitation titles that sold a very different film — Blood Couple, Black Vampire, Vampires of Harlem — Bill Gunn’s 1973 masterpiece Ganja and Hess was long misunderstood. Now, this arthouse vampire film has been restored to its original run time to beguile a new generation. One of only two starring roles from lead actor Duane Jones (the other, of course, was Night of the Living Dead), the film revolves around an ancient African ceremonial dagger that curses an anthropologist (Jones) with eternal life.
Wednesday, October 11 at 10pm—Departing Seniors
Dir. Clare Cooney, 2023, 85 min, DCP
Cast and Crew in attendance for post film Q&A
Co-Presentation with Chicago International Film Festival After Dark
Mexican-American and queer, high school student Javier doesn’t exactly fit in with the popular kids. But he might be the only one who can save them. After an act of bullying sends Javier to the hospital, he begins experiencing visions that foresee glimpses of shocking murders at his school right before they happen. Now, in between navigating the social hierarchies and prejudices of clique culture, Javier (Primo’s Ignacio Diaz-Silverio) and his best friend Bianca (Candyman’s Ireon Roach) must try to unmask a serial killer before he strikes again.
Thursday, October 12 at 9:45pm — Bride of Chucky
Dir. Ronny Yu, 1998, 89 mins, 35mm
Co-Presented and Hosted by Rated Q and Ramona Slick
Pre-show Drinks with DJ in Music Box Lounge starting at 9pm
Drag show performances by XO Carrington, Baby Toothless, and Ramona Slick
Seven years after Child’s Play 3, Chucky returned to the big screen horny, self-aware, and itching to kill! After Chucky’s dismemberment and seeming death in the last outing, Tiffany Valentine, played with gleefully sexy sleaze by Jennifer Tilly, is determined to stitch him back together and bring her lover back to life one more time, kicking off a maniacal road trip from hell for all who cross their path! Fueled by a soundtrack bursting with nü metal stalwarts like Powerman 5000, Static-X, and Coal Chamber, Bride of Chucky was mischievously penned by series creator Don Mancini and slickly directed by Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair, Freddy Vs. Jason). It’s a treasure trove of horror-comedy fuckery at its finest.
Friday, October 13 at 10pm — Srigala
Dir. Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1981, 88 mins, DCP
Sisworo Gautama Putra was just starting what would become a prolific career when Friday the 13th inspired the Indonesian filmmaker to helm Srigala (“Wolf”) a year later. The nods to Cunningham’s slasher whodunit are obvious, but Putra’s love for the color-drenched storytelling of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci’s rotting ghouls are also present in a movie that would go on to become a benchmark in Southeast Asian horror cinema. Terror Vision is proud to present a new 2K scan of Putra’s original camera negative for Srigala, with two minutes of previously unseen additional footage! More blood! More guts! More scuba diving!
Saturday, October 14 at 10pm — Aliens
Dir. James Cameron, 1986, 137 mins, 35mm
Before tackling giant ocean liners and the future of 3-D, James Cameron blasted out genre film highlights like Aliens, his masterpiece of technical virtuosity, high tension, and peace through superior firepower. Sidestepping the horror focus of Ridley Scott’s franchise-starter, Aliens ratchets up the action, full-blooded machismo, and fascination with all things mechanical while cementing Sigourney Weaver as the female action hero of the ‘80s. (The role would earn her an Oscar nomination, and a Time magazine cover to boot.) And it’s a critique of American involvement in Vietnam!
Sunday, October 15 at 9:15pm— Late Night with the Devil
Dir. Cameron and Colin Cairnes, 2023, 93 mins, DCP
Actor David Dastmalchian in attendance for post film Q&A
Co-Presentation with Chicago International Film Festival After Dark
Jack Delroy, a fictional ’70s talk show host played by rising horror star David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Last Voyage of the Demeter), is in trouble. Jack and his show Night Owls were once the biggest names in late night. But now, with his personal life marred by tragedy and his ratings in free fall, he’s struggling to keep up. So Jack and his producers cook up a controversial plan for their 1977 Halloween special: A live possession, as performed by parapsychologist Dr. June Ross-Mitchell (Laura Gordon) and 13-year-old Lilly (Ingrid Torelli), the sole survivor of a Satanic mass suicide. What could possibly go wrong?
Monday, October 16 at 9:30pm— Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Dir. Philip Kaufman, 1978, 115 minutes, DCP
To celebrate its 45th anniversary, the pulse-pounding sci-fi shocker Invasion of the Body Snatchers is newly restored from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, approved and color graded by director Philip Kaufman!
A whip-smart statement on urban paranoia and loss of individuality, this 1978 chiller combines a dazzling screenplay, masterful cinematography from Raging Bull‘s Michael Chapman, and awe-inspiring special effects to create the perfect big screen classic for this Halloween season. Remember: If you notice an eerie change in someone very close to you, chances are you’re next! Text courtesy of Park Circus.
Tuesday, October 17 at 9:30pm — Bacchanale
Dir. John Amero & Lem Amero, 1970, 77 min., 35mm
Hosted by programmer and archivist Liz Purchell (AGFA, Ask Any Buddy)
Taking equal inspiration from Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and the camp-laden works of Jack Smith, this dreamy voyage into absurdism centers on a young woman who leaves her body as she sleeps, embarking on an increasingly strange journey to find her brother, a possibly dead soldier in Vietnam. A rare example of surrealist filmmaking in sexploitation and a unique and unjustly forgotten piece of American underground cinema.
Wednesday, October 18 at 9:45pm— Thirst
Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2009, 134 mins, 35mm
No longer mired in the ultraviolence of his Vengeance Trilogy, but not yet the mature master filmmaker of Decision to Leave, Thirst (2009) was made during a transitional period for Korean New Wave legend Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden). Heightened emotion, devious schemes, Song Kang-ho as a vampiric Catholic priest who drinks from the blood bags of coma patients like a Capri Sun — this movie has it all, and then some! Co-starring Kim Ok-bin (The Villainess) as the downtrodden wife of one of Song’s childhood friends, Thirst is a bizarre, bloody, and ravishingly sensual vampire film that takes the horny cinema revival to literal new heights.
Thursday, October 19 — Raging Grace
Dir. Paris Zarcilla, 2023, 100 mins, DCP
Co-Presentation with Chicago International Film Festival After Dark
In a posh London neighborhood, undocumented Filipina worker Joy arrives at her latest job with her young daughter Grace smuggled in her suitcase. As Grace hides in an upstairs bedroom, Joy takes care of the estate’s patriarch, Mr. Garrett, who’s bedridden and slowly dying of cancer. Then an ominous revelation emerges, threatening to destroy everything that Joy has strived for in her new life.
Friday, October 20 at 10pm — You’re Next
Dir. Adam Wingard, 2013, 95 mins, 35mm
Talent in Attendance!
Set to a catchy New Wave beat, You’re Next brought the indie-horror revival of the late ‘00s and early ‘10s to its bloody, thrilling climax. A legendary festival title that built major buzz in the two years between its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its eventual theatrical release, the film stars a murderer’s row (no pun intended) of independent filmmakers like Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, and Ti West, alongside ‘80s horror legend Barbara Crampton in the role that revived her career. But it was Australian newcomer Sharni Vinson who stole the show, playing a rugged survivalist who turns the tables on a gang of wealthy weirdos when they try to set her up at a family reunion. You’ll never look at a blender the same way again.
Saturday, October 21 — Music Box of Horrors 24-Hour Marathon
This October, THE MUSIC BOX OF HORRORS rises from the grave with a 24 hour movie marathon guaranteed to drive you MAD! Featuring frightening flicks on the big screen, plus special guests, giveaways, vendors, and much more! Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements on this page. The terror begins at Noon on Saturday October 21st. Festival passes are sold out, but half-marathon passes will go on sale here in the near future.
Sunday, October 22 at 9pm — The Vampire Lovers
Dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1970, 91 mins, 35mm
A pleasantly old-fashioned vampire tale from the legendary Hammer House of Horror, The Vampire Lovers has everything you could want from a British horror movie of a certain vintage: Heaving bosoms. Misty Gothic castles. Peter Cushing as a clueless patriarch. Ingrid Pitt seducing innocent young maidens under the light of the full moon. It’s about as campy as adaptations of the iconic lesbian-vampire novel Carmilla get — and that’s exactly what makes it so deliciously satisfying.
Monday, October 23 at 9:30pm — Ravenous
Dir. Antonia Bird, 1999, 101mins, 35mm
There’s nothing quite like the offbeat cannibal Western Ravenous. Set in a snowbound frontier outpost in 1840s California, the film stars Guy Pearce as a cowardly U.S. Army officer who hides out in the mountains trying to avoid the Mexican-American War. Instead, he comes face-to-face with the legend of the Wendingo, a creature from Native American folklore that warns humans against consuming the flesh of their own kind, lest they become consumed with insatiable bloodlust.
Tuesday, October 24 — Doctor X and Mystery at the Wax Museum
Co-Presented by Chicago Film Society
Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1932 & 1933
From the illustrious career of Michael Curtiz, the Hungarian-American film director renowned for titles such as Mildred Pierce, White Christmas, and Casablanca, comes a gripping pre-Code horror mystery. The first horror film shot in color and starring the first-ever scream queen, Fay Wray, Doctor X follows reporter Lee Taylor (Lee Tracy) on the beat with the Daily World News as he attempts to unmask the face behind the gruesome Moon Killer murders plaguing New York City with every full moon. For many years, the Technicolor version was thought to be lost, but it was found in Jack Warner’s personal collection after his death in 1978. Obligatory viewing for any horror aficionado and especially for anyone with an affinity for the moon. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.
Like its sister film, Doctor X, The Mystery of the Wax Museum was thought to be lost, but it too was found in ex-studio head Jack Warner’s collection. Complete with bodies hanging from windows, monsters creeping in the morgue, wax figurines engulfed in flames, grotesque imagery, and salacious humor, this movie was among Warner Bros.’ top 5 grossing films of 1933 and is considered a unique pre-Code classic today. The Mystery of the Wax Museum was one of the last films to be shot with the two-color Technicolor process, but its unique visual influence made a lingering impact that spawned multiple remakes, including the polarized 3D remake House of Wax starring Vincent Price. Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation in association with Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Wednesday, October 25 at 7pm— Anaconda and Killer Crocodile
Dir. Luis Llosa, 1997, 89 mins, 35mm; Dir. Fabrizio De Angelis, 1989, DCP
Co-Presented by Severin Films
Two titans of the reptilian kingdom enter the ring for a creature-feature showdown that can only have one winner! Are you Team Snake, or Team Crocodile? Either way, you’re in for a super-sized smackdown between two creatures whose oversized anatomy not only represents humanity’s arrogant disrespect for the natural world — a lack of fear these films seek to solve — it also makes for a dang fun night at the movies!
Thursday, October 26 at 7pm and 9:30pm— The Tingler
Dir. William Castle, 1959, 82 mins, DCP
The lunatics that raised Emergo from the dead for House on Haunted Hill are back with another William Castle classic! Vincent Price returns as Dr. Warren Chapin, a scientist (the mad kind, of course) who discovers the secret to that spine-tingling sensation we call fear. As it turns out, it’s caused by a parasite Dr. Chapin dubs The Tingler … a parasite that’s loose in this very theater right now! Brace yourselves, horror fans, as the Music Box Theatre unleashes the vibrating menace of The Tingler on unsuspecting audience members for a night of classic ballyhoo and unabashed fun!
Friday, October 27 at 11:45pm (in T2) — The Jar aka Charon
Dir. Bruce Toscano, 1984, 85 min., DCP
Co-Presented by Terror Vision
Though foolishly in the past tossed aside as a “poor man’s Eraserhead” or other such silliness, The Jar is an astonishingly singular work of harrowing personal expression that will in equal parts confound, enrage, enrapture, endear, and eventually swallow you whole if you let yourself plug into its otherworldly wavelength. Previously only available in abysmal VHS rips, Terror Vision is proud to present this undersung stunner fully restored from a partial camera negative & the director’s personal 35mm print to finally present it in the correct aspect ratio and all its delirium-inducing glory!
Saturday, October 28 at 11:30am — Diabolique
Dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955, 117mins, 35mm, In French with English subtitles
Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique. This thriller from Henri‑Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women—the fragile wife and the willful mistress of the sadistic headmaster of a boys’ boarding school—who hatch a daring revenge plot. With its unprecedented narrative twists and terrifying images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse. (Text courtesy of Janus Films)
Sunday, October 29 at 11:30am — Young Frankenstein
Dir. Mel Brooks, 1974, 106 mins, DCP
Co-Hosted by The Mercury Theatre, with the cast of their stage adaptation in attendance
A parody that’s become as much of a classic as the movie that inspired it, Young Frankenstein isn’t just one of the best horror-comedies of all time. It’s one of the best comedies, period. Gene Wilder gives a full-tilt performance as the mad doctor’s even madder grandson, alongside Marty Feldman as the doctor’s wacky assistant Igor (pronounced Eye-gor) and Peter Boyle as their tap-dancing creation. Add in Cloris Leachman and Teri Garr in delightfully silly supporting roles, and you’ve got a highly quotable screwball classic. Come see this beloved film on the big screen!
Monday, October 30 at 6pm (in T2) — Psycho Paul’s Film Festival
Dir. Paul Van Dan Elzen, 1990, 99 min., DCP
Co-Presented by VHShitfest
A bloody, sadistically funny satire of cheap horror exploitation films, Psycho Paul’s Film Festival revolves around Psycho Paul, a sinister, egotistical filmmaker who believes that his films are both the greatest and worst films ever made. In the film, he introduces previews and scenes from his films as a tribute to himself. VHSHITFEST is so proud to present this mesmerizing outsider art epic for the first time ever on the big screen!
Tuesday, October 31 at 7pm — Ginger Snaps
Dir. John Fawcett, 2000, 108 mins, 35mm
An entire generation of horror filmmakers owes a debt to Ginger Snaps. Released at the turn of the millennium, John Fawcett’s Canadian feminist werewolf movie was an early entry into the menstrual-horror subgenre, taking the coming-of-age of a suburban outcast and turning it into a sharp and subversive werewolf story. Katharine Isabelle stars as Ginger, the elder of two death-obsessed sisters who’s attacked by a werewolf on the same night she starts her first period. Emily Perkins plays Ginger’s younger sibling Brigitte, who has to save Ginger from herself when the full moon rises on Halloween night.