Returning for another year of films and events, Cinepocalypse always promises programming that scares, thrills, and satisfies the legions of ardent genre fans dying to experience it. This year won’t be any different. And, as always, the workhorses at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre are behind all of the madness. The festival begins tonight (June 13) and runs through June 20.
The first Cinepocalypse took place in 2014 and has been a major attraction for five years running. The celebration, originally known as Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival, has played host to heavy-hitters such as John Carpenter, Eli Roth, Scott Derrickson, and a slew of other prominent horror-loving filmmakers. This year’s lineup is as weird and wondrous as ever, and genre fans with various appetites will be stuffed silly with guests, parties, and goodies that are guaranteed to satiate them.
Like Michael Ironside from Total Recall? He’s coming. Fan of GWAR? Well, they’ll be there too. Itching to immerse yourself in Child’s Play? There’s a speakeasy for that. For more detailed on this year’s offerings, keep reading for a carefully curated list of must-see screenings and attractions, and see the full lineup here.
Verotika (World Premiere)
It wouldn’t be incorrect to call Misfits founder/vocalist Glenn Danzig one of the leaders behind the horror-punk sub-genre. Structured as an anthology, his directorial debut, Verotika, smashes the words “violence” and “erotic” together, an unsettling meshing which, phonetically, checks out. A lifelong comic book fan with his own publishing company, Danzig wanted the film to reflect both his love for the medium and his obsession with the occult and the macabre. If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Danzig will appear live and answer questions after the screening. So yeah, this is a must-see. Screens Thursday, June 13 at 7:00p.m.
Villains (Midwest Premiere)
Villains first opened at SXSW, where it received rave reviews from both critics and audiences. Now, as it makes its way to the Midwest, it’s guaranteed to elicit a similar response from even the most discerning moviegoers. Starring Bill Skarsgard and Maika Monroe, the film follows a love-struck couple as they attempt to start a new life in the Sunshine State. But when their car dies and they break in to a nearby house, they realize that the owners have a dark secret. One they’re determined to never let out. The film will receive both a release this fall. We’re betting you want to see it early, so don’t mis it! Screens Friday, June 14 at 10:00p.m.
Total Recall (in 70mm)
You know it. You love it. You want it. Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall is coming to Cinepocalypse in glorious 70mm. Since its debut in 1990, the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led classic has captivated countless genre-lovers, Philip K. Dick fans, and Schwarzenegger die-hards in a way few films have. An awards ceremony celebrating Michael Ironside (who appeared in the movie) will follow the screening. The Canadian actor will receive the festival’s annual Achievement Award. Honestly, just watching him take the award would be worth admission price. What a guy. Screens Saturday, June 15 at 6:45p.m.
Tammy and the T-Rex R-Rated “Gore Cut” (World Premiere)
Do we even need to explain this one? The title says more about the film than the film says about, well, anything, but for the sake of context, we’ll enlighten you. 21-year-old Michael is dead. But when a mad scientist puts his brain into a robotic T-Rex, the deceased boy strikes out to find his high school lover, Tammy, and destroy his bullies. Presented in 35mm, this special screening will warm your heart and awaken a thirst for blood you didn’t know you had. And yeah, it’s just as fantastic as you’d ever hope it could be. Don’t miss it! Screens Monday, June 17 at 7:00p.m.
For those who may not know: Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, and Steve Buscemi all starred in a movie together, and that movie was Airheads. Now, 25 years later, this cultural spoof returns to theaters to charm us all over again. Oh, and Chris Farley, Judd Nelson, and many of that era’s movers and shakers make appearances, too. Accompanied by a live Q and A with director Michael Lehmann (of Heathers fame), this screening/closing night party promises limited-edition burgers (available at Kuma’s Corner for the entirety of Cinepocalypse), and a whole lotta onscreen stupidity. It’s a fitting end to a truly special year at the Music Box. Screens Thursday, June 20 at 8:00 PM
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