Music Box of Horrors Returns For Another Year of 35mm Grainy Evil

Photograph by Lightning Pictures Photograph by Lightning Pictures Every October, for an exhausting but enriching 24 hours, the Music Box Theatre unleashes some of the creepiest, bloodiest, scariest and just plain weirdest horror films in existence, most of which are 35mm prints. From classics to a few truly obscure works, this year’s Music Box of Horrors is no different. One of the highlights is a screening of the rare director’s cut of Gary Sherman’s Raw Meat. Sherman will do a post-screening Q&A, with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer director John McNaughton moderating the discussion. Another high point is a screening of Jim Muro’s classic Street Trash, with a Q&A with Muro afterwards. What I’m really looking forward to is the recently restored silent horror film, Seven Footprints To Satan. Dennis Scott, a prolific silent film organic, will provide a live musical score to accompany it. Also on the agenda is the darkly humorous but still quite scary, yet-to-be-released Another Evil (which played at the Chicago Critics Film Festival in May); an archival 16mm print of the criminally under-appreciated Halloween III: Season of the Witch; the largely unknown, newly rediscovered Eyes of Fire; the early-’90s cult hit Popcorn; the truly demented Zombie Holocaust (aka Dr. Butcher M.D.); and one of my personal favorites, the comedy classic Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, with a host of Universal monsters on parade. Rounding out the lineup is 1973’s Torso, from the great Italian director Sergio Martino; the impressive sequel Jeepers Creepers 2 from 2003, featuring the great Ray Wise; and 1969’s feline-centric scarefest Eye of the Cat. For the second year in a row, the Music Box of Horrors 2016 has been meticulously guest programmed by Will Morris, Assistant Programmer at Los Angeles’ Cinefamily. As I said, all of the films (with the exception of Another Evil) are slated to be played in either 16mm or 35mm, to give you that extra layer of scratchy, grainy evil. There will also be horror shorts selections, and a sizable vendors set up in the Music Box Lounge. Music Box of Horrors kicks off this Saturday (Oct 15th) at noon and goes on until Sunday (Oct 16th) at noon. For tickets and details, go to the Music Box of Horrors 2016 site. See you there, I hope.
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Steve Prokopy

Steve Prokopy is chief film critic for the Chicago-based arts outlet Third Coast Review. For nearly 20 years, he was the Chicago editor for Ain’t It Cool News, where he contributed film reviews and filmmaker/actor interviews under the name “Capone.” Currently, he’s a frequent contributor at /Film ( and Backstory Magazine. He is also the public relations director for Chicago's independently owned Music Box Theatre, and holds the position of Vice President for the Chicago Film Critics Association. In addition, he is a programmer for the Chicago Critics Film Festival, which has been one of the city's most anticipated festivals since 2013.