Music Box offers box of horrors
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 18:10
Love scary movies, old scary movies, old scary movies that aren’t scary but ever the bit entertaining? At the Music Box Theatre on 3733 N. Southport Ave., the 8th Annual Music Box of Horrors played 24 straight hours of horror movies, ranging from ‘30s classics and cheesy or scary ‘80s flicks to the present.
“We wanted to make sure there was something for everybody,” said Buck LePard, assistant general manager.
Horror fans lined up in front of the theatre on Saturday, Oct. 13, waiting for admission to see some of their favorite bad scary movies. Besides the 14 flicks on the big screen, the Music Box also featured two short independent films directed by local artists, a series of Q-and-A questions with director Jeff Lieberman and actress Sybil Danning, auctions, and vendors selling horror paraphernalia and jewelry.
The first film, The Golem, was a silent film. Organist Dennis Scott provided an excellent score for the film from beginning to end, with applause and recognition from emcee and head projectionist Doug McLaren. McLaren is in charge of much of the programming at the Music Box, which includes contacting and solidifying relationships with film companies, archivists, and private collectors.
“Most of our [film] prints come from here in the states and the U.K.,” McLaren said.
He also commented on the growing popularity of the horror marathon, saying that every year its following gains momentum, with seats being sold out year after year.
Films shown included The Invisible Man, Lieberman’s Squirm and Satan’s Little Helper, Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Blood Diner, and Evil Dead 2.
The audience is something of a community, offering unwavering support for the event and all individuals involved. All auction money was matched by the theatre and donated to Vital Bridges, a non-profit HIV research center.
When McLaren offered up a Blu-Ray copy of the Japanese fight-to-the-death flick, Battle Royale, for auction, an audience member bellowed, “Suck it, Hunger Games!”
The elitism continued when another emcee offered up a Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 poster to be taken out back and set on fire. Whoever bought the poster had the honor of having a picture of them posted on Twitter while burning the poster, with the hashtag #burningdawn.
After boos from the crowd, Patrick Motherway, a first-timer at the event, outbid other audience members with a $50 offer. In front of the theatre, at 2:30 a.m., rubbing alcohol was applied to the poster and a small group of horror fans watched it burn.
Motherway was nothing short of elated.
“It’s for a good cause,” he said, addressing the charity as well as doing his part to tarnish the Twilight franchise. “I got to burn this and donate to a charity. It’s a win-win situation.”
Throughout the event, people slept and took food breaks at the food truck in the back and at local eateries. By the end of the marathon, about two-fifths of the attendees had left. When everything was over at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, weary “survivors” took a group photo in front of the theatre in traditional Music Box of Horrors fashion.
Lieberman, who received something of a hero’s welcome at the horror marathon, was happy to be a part of Music Box history as well as the horror genre.
“It’s great,” he said. “The fans are really into the genre...it reminds me of my youth.”
His advice for young horror directors was simple: be original.
“You’re not getting my blessing for a zombie movie,” he said, chuckling. “Be original. No zombies, that’s enough with the zombies! Zombies shombies.”