Horror movies are never in short supply as Halloween nears, but nothing really compares to the Music Box Massacre, a 24-hour marathon held from noon Saturday to noon Sunday in October (this year the 13th-14th). Organized by local filmmaker and cinema buff Rusty Nails, it usually begins with an austere German silent (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and continues in chronological order, wrapping up the next day with some 80s splatterfest. Vintage trailers punctuate the features and a circus atmosphere prevails: some patrons wear costumes, and vendors hawk horror memorabilia in the lobby.
Nails always rounds up some celeb for the evening program, but the biggest fun comes later, when the fire’s burned down to glowing coals. One year I got up early Sunday morning to see the last two movies, crossing over from the deserted yuppie playground of Southport into a darkened theater populated by twentysomething ghouls who’d been up all night watching horror movies. Whenever an unlikable character came on-screen, a hiss spread across the theater like thick fog, and whenever some unlucky soul got his throat ripped out, the carnage elicited a chorus of approving finger pops. After the marathon was over, Nails dragged all the survivors outside for a group photo, though I’m sure when he developed it there was no one in the frame. 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com. —J.R. Jones
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