TOY MASTERS (Sneak Preview Screening) with filmmakers in attendance hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.


We are incredibly excited to be hosting a sneak preview screening of the amazing HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE documentary TOY MASTERS “The Real Story Behind the Greatest Toy Line ever Created …” with our friends at Chicago Filmmakers! Also, for this screening, director Roger Lay Jr. and producer Corey Landis will be in attendance for a Q&A after the film! This will be on August 16th, 8:00pm at Chicago Filmmakers!

There is not a formal trailer as of yet but here is a 7:49 minute preview (Note that this is an older preview and the film is still being re-worked and edited.):


Chances are, if you were a young fantasy nut growing up in the early ’80s, you had a collection of Mattel’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toys piled high in your bedroom, you grooved to the animated Filmation cartoon series and even waited on line for Cannon’s ill-fated movie version, starring a well-oiled Dolph Lundgren. TOY MASTERS is the first-ever feature-length documentary on the world-wide phenomenon that inspired an entire generation of kids and grossed over a billion dollars in the then-booming boys’ toys market. Nor can we forget to mention the immensely popular HE-MAN cartoon shows that had school kids running home every day to watch the muscle-bulging Prince Adam (designed to make Schwarzenegger look like a “wimp”) battle skull-faced nemesis Skeletor.

But He-Man’s biggest struggles took place behind the scenes, which TOY MASTERS divulges in fascinating, hilarious and revealing details. Over the last 30 years, several former Mattel employees, namely preliminary designer Roger Sweet, visual designer Mark Taylor and marketing executive Paul Cleveland, all claim to be responsible for creating these beloved characters and product line. In TOY MASTERS, childhood He-Man fans-turned-filmmakers Roger Lay Jr. and Corey Landis set out to track down every single player in the development and production of the mega-selling toy line in order to get to the bottom of this decades-old rivalry and bitter clash over credit. But that’s not all — TOY MASTERS features interviews with the key creative personnel behind every version of those action figures and all other incarnations of Masters of the Universe (television, film, stage, print and even cheesy strip-mall appearances!), thus tracing the inception and ups and downs of the fantasy juggernaut. Everyone involved in the 30-year history of this franchise turns up in TOY MASTERS, including such genre luminaries as J. Michael Straczyski (BABYLON 5), FX Oscar-winner Richard Edlund (STAR WARS), movie concept artist William Stout (CONAN THE BARBARIAN), Filmation co-founder Lou Scheimer (a hoot!), MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie director Gary Goddard, the animated show’s key voice cast and many others. In TOY MASTERS, you will learn that the fight for the universe pales in comparison to the one waged for creative acknowledgment.

Do not miss a very rare chance to see this amazing film! Here is all of the info:

Digital Projection ~90mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, August 16th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $8.00 in advance and can be purchased by clicking onto this sentence.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


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ACROSS THE RIVER (Chicago premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

AtR poster (2)

We are incredibly excited to be hosting the Chicago Premiere of the wonderful Italian atmospheric horror film ACROSS THE RIVER with our wonderful friends over at Chicago Filmmakers. This screening will be on June 7th at 8pm. For more information, here is the synopsis:

“A wildlife biologist has set up a variety of trophy cameras along a path in the remote Italian mountains. Living alone in a cabin, he collects data daily, reviewing footage, studying animal behaviour and their tracks, on the hunt for ever-elusive wild beasts. Occasionally, strange items appear, such as a beautiful piece of cloth flowing down the river, from what appears to have been a dress. One day, he takes his camper further down the road and ventures past the river, which traps him unknowingly on its opposite shore. Wandering deeper and deeper within the forest, an abandoned village catches his attention, and what he discovers within its walls, lurking at night, unseen, is far more unnerving than he could have imagined. The darkness engulfs him. Meanwhile, an old man watches over it all, guardian of a terrible secret.”

One of the most downright efficient, atmospheric horror film of 2013 and a chilling discovery from Italy, ACROSS THE RIVER prioritizes a slow-building, intense crescendo approach to its atmosphere of disorientation and dread, forsaking cheap scares for the sake of terrific sound design, carefully placed shadows and rustling leaves. Thrusting you deeper and deeper into the clutches of his dark, otherworldly woods, director Lorenzo Bianchini offers an almost dialogue-less hybrid of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (without it being subjective found footage) and INTO THE WILD, pulling you into the supernatural wilderness one discovery at a time, insidiously even, until you are, like his protagonist, completely trapped and at the mercy of what lies within. The unique infrared wildlife footage peppered throughout takes on a vividly evocative quality, as uncanny images of the wilderness are produced, forcing you to wonder as to what is really there. A classical horror tale spun from the interstices of man and his digital technologies as confronted with the (super)natural world of yore, ACROSS THE RIVER is a brilliant opposition of new and old narratives, building towards a downright terrifying finale. Wander, wonder and dare cross the river, you will be glad you did. (Thanks to Ariel Esteban Cayer of Fantasia and Pop Montreal for the write up!)

Do not miss this special ,one night only, opportunity to see this wonderful Italian horror film. Here is all of the info:

Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, June 7th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $7.00 at door

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

ATR Frame 4

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THE BURNING BUDDHA MAN (U.S. premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

bbm1We are proud to be able to bring to America one of the most fascinating films that we had seen in all of 2013, THE BURNING BUDDHA MAN, with our friends over at Chicago Filmmakers on April 5th at 8:00pm. This insane, one-of-a-kind movie wowed audiences at film festivals all over the world! Created by first-time director Ujicha, “The Burning Buddha Man” uses a technique called “gekimation” in which paper cut-outs are shot live on camera against elaborately hand-drawn backgrounds like puppets. You’ve probably never seen anything quite like this before! Check out the trailer below:

Here is the synopsis:

“Sacred Buddha statues of Kyoto are being stolen in a series of crimes that are even stranger than one might first imagine — the true perpetrators, modus operandi and motivation for the thefts lie far beyond the threshold of familiar reality. High-school student Beniko is dragged into this waking nightmare when the statue at her family’s temple is taken — and her parents slain in a most gruesome manner. Alone now and shaken to the core, Beniko is taken under the wing of the mysterious monk Enju. He claims to be a close friend of her parents, and to have insights into the enigma they are confronted with. Beniko is brought to Enju’s sanctuary and given the liberty to roam its calm yet somehow unsettling grounds. When she discovers a secret room and its uncanny inhabitant, Beniko begins to realize that her situation is far darker and more disorienting than she can comprehend…”

Do not miss a very rare chance to see this amazing film! Here is all of the info:

Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, April 5th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $7.00 at door

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


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VANNIN’ (special sneak preview screening) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society and Little Cabin Films!

The Chicago Cinema Society and Little Cabin Films Inc present a special “sneak preview” of Vannin’ – The Movie at the Patio Theater on Saturday, November 16th!

Doors at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:00 p.m.

Discussion with Filmmakers and Vanners to follow screening. (Nick Nummerdor, Andrew Morgan, Howard Furtak, & David “Matchstick” Brooks)

“Vannin’ – Its a way of life”

Often thought of as the outcasts of the automotive world, Vanner’s and their vans provide an extraordinary glimpse into a a subculture that saw it’s rise and high-water mark in the late 70’s. Vans were everywhere back then. They became affordable rolling rooms filled with shag carpet, bubble windows, moon roofs, wet bars, and full size beds. The customized van was representative of a parent’s worst nightmare and a young person’s wet dream. But, just as fast as they rose in popularity, they faded; leaving only an echo on american pop culture.

This film by Nick Nummerdor and Andrew Morgan features interviews with hardcore Van enthusiasts taken over the course of six days at the 40th National Truck-In (known as the Van Nationals) in Elkhorn, WI. Set to a roaring soundtrack by RED DESERTEasyrider Records), Heavy Times (HoZac Records), & DANAVA (Kemado). Vannin’ is a glimpse into an unusual American subculture. (58 minutes)

Directed by Andrew Morgan and Nick Nummerdor


Vannin’ – A Documentary Trailer from Little Cabin Films on Vimeo.

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50’S HORROR SCI-FI DOUBLE FEATURE! Hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society & Fans for Living.

The Giant Spider



Co-Presented by Chicago Cinema Society and Fans For Living.

Fans For Living Screening Room
920 W. Wilson Ave
Chicago Illinois 60640

$6 at the door.

Show starts at 7 pm Doors open at 6:30

Double Feature of The Giant Spider,” and “Terror from Beneath the Earth” With a Director Christopher Mihm Q&A!

Giant Spider head available for photos!

CAUTION This event is BYOI (Bring Your Own Insecticide)

Christopher R. Mihm is the writer, director, and producer of the films of the “Mihmiverse,” a series of award winning, loosely interlinked feature-length films styled after 1950s-era “drive-in cinema.”

Mr. Mihm’s filmmaking career officially began in 2006 with the release of his first retro-styled film, “The Monster of Phantom Lake.” Made on a nearly non-existent budget, the film went on to garner much critical acclaim, appear in many film festivals, win multiple awards, and, to this day, continues to screen across the world.

Since “The Monster of Phantom Lake,” Mr. Mihm has released one new as-authentic-as-possible 1950s-style feature a year, many of which have received numerous accolades, nominations, and awards. His sixth film, “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” raked in the most “2011 Dead Letter Awards” at “House of Ghosts,” Mr. Mihm’s tribute to the films of classic horror master William Castle, won the coveted Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for “Best Independent Feature” and the “Best Action/Horror Feature” award at the Highway 61 Film Festival.

Christopher R. Mihm has been featured in many publications, both online and off, including SCI-FI Magazine, Screem, and Scary Monsters Magazine. Mr. Mihm was the recipient of the first-ever “Roger & Julie Corman Intrepid Filmmaker” award at the 37th annual ValleyCON in Fargo, ND and won the “Best Director” award from

Mr. Mihm’s latest film, “The Giant Spider,” a tribute to the “giant bug” films of the 1950s, premiered in the Twin Cities on May 22nd, 2013 and has been earning rave reviews ever since!

RSVP at the Facebook event page here:

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FREE SCREENING of FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD! Hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society and Fangoria.


The Chicago Cinema Society is excited to be partnering up with our good friends over at Fangoria to present a FREE SCREENING of the Chicago premiere of FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD which is directed by Eduardo Rodriguez (CURANDERO, FEAR ITSELF) and written by Matt Venne (BAG OF BONES, MASTERS OF HORROR, WHITE NOISE 2). FRIGHT NIGHT 2 stars Will Payner (ELFIE HOPKINS), Jaime Murray (DEATHS OF IAN STONE, Lila from season two of DEXTER), Chris Waller (INBRED) and Sean Power (BAD KARMA). This screening will be at The Patio Theater. You will not need to RSVP tickets for this free screening. Seating will be first come, first served so make sure to get to the Patio Theater rather early. Here are the specifics:

FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD (Chicago Premiere)
Where: The Patio Theater (click onto this sentence for specific directions)
When: Tuesday, September 24th
Time: 8:00pm
Price: $0.00 (aka: FREE)
Synopsis: By day Gerri Dandridge is a sexy professor, but by night she transforms into a real-life vampire with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. So when a group of high school students travel abroad to study in Romania, they find themselves ensnared in Gerri’s chilling web of lust and terror. Charley and “Evil” Ed must stop Gerri from drinking and bathing in the blood of a “new moon virgin,” which just so happens to be Charley’s ex-girlfriend, Amy. They enlist help from Peter Vincent, the vampire hunting host of a reality show called “Fright Night,” to drive a stake through Gerri’s plan and save Amy from a fate far worse than death.


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Andy Milligan’s GURU, THE MAD MONK (35mm print) presented by Chicago Cinema Society @ Facets Fright School!

Guru poster


The Chicago Cinema Society and Facets Night School present a rare 35mm screening of Andy Milligan’s “Guru, The Mad Monk” as part of this year’s Fright School! The 35mm print is from The Chicago Cinema Society Film Archive.

This screening takes place Friday night, October 11th at Midnight at Facets Multi-Media! Presented by CCS programmer Jason Coffman, with a brief talk about Andy Milligan before the show and Q&A after.

Guru, The Mad Monk
1970, 62 minutes, dir. Andy Milligan
Andy Milligan was the quintessential grindhouse filmmaker, shooting movies for next to nothing and, legend has it, occasionally editing with his teeth and some scotch tape! Milligan was a control freak on a level that made Stanley Kubrick look positively relaxed: he built sets, sewed costumes, wrote, directed, edited, and basically did everything a person can do on a film set. There’s no mistaking an Andy Milligan film for the work of any other director. His period pieces are particularly interesting, one of the best being “Guru, the Mad Monk,” in which Milligan regular Neil Flanagan plays the titular insane “holy man” who uses his position to cover up his evil deeds.

$5 or FREE for Facets members! Check out the Facebook event page here, and keep an eye out for the full Fright School schedule coming soon from Facets!

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Jim Kelly Martial Arts Extravaganza & 40th Anniversary “Enter the Dragon” screening!


Chatham 14 Theaters in association with Black World Cinema, South Side Projections & the Chicago Cinema Society present a very special screening in memory of Jim Kelly, and a 40th anniversary screening of “Enter the Dragon” along with martial arts demonstrations and a screening of the documentary “South Side Warriors!”

For more information, stay tuned to the Facebook page for the event created by South Side Projections!

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CCS summer updates!

Hello Everyone!

Hope that you all are having a great summer thus far. We just wanted to provide some brief updates as to what the Chicago Cinema Society has been up to as of late.

As you may know, the Patio Theater is semi-closed over the summer due to inability to fund repairs to their air conditioning unit. Repairs for such an AC unit housed in a theater built in the mid 1920s are rather expensive. As a result, we cancelled a few Chicago premieres that we had lined up (which were subsequently picked up by other local theaters) and have pushed back a few retrospective 35mm screenings to the fall. The weather has been rather erratic this summer where many days have been unseasonably cool but then days reaching the upper 90s. When we learned of the AC situation back in early May, we felt it would be best to not screen films in what could potentially be “oven-like” conditions. We love presenting films at the ever beautiful the Patio Theater and will continue our screenings this fall.

In the meantime, we will be making an announcement very soon for a screening that we have going on in mid-August. It will be a multi-film event and we are just finalizing all the details for our upcoming press release. We are really excited about it as the event is at a venue that we have not had a chance to host screenings at as of yet. We are also collaborating with some other wonderful Chicago film groups on this event. More details on this event coming very soon.

That is all for now. We look forward to sharing more films with you! Stay tuned for updates.


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The Chicago Cinema Society presents Brandon Cronenberg’s debut feature ANTIVIRAL!

Antiviral Poster

The Chicago Cinema Society is bringing Brandon Cronenberg’s brilliant debut feature Antiviral to The Patio Theater for an exclusive theatrical run on:

April 19th thru April 24th
9:00 pm daily
Tickets: $7.00

This is one of the very best horror/sci-fi films of the year, and is not to be missed on the big screen!

Syd March (Caleb Landry Jones) is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body.

When he becomes infected with a mysterious disease afflicting super sensation Hannah Geist (Sarah Gadon), Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding the disease before it’s too late.

Antiviral has been gathering raves during its run on the film festival circuit, and has won a number of awards including: the Gold Hugo at the 2012 Chicago International Film Festival (“After Dark” Competition), the Carnet Jove Jury Award and Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation at the 2012 Sitges Catalonian International Film Festival, and Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to being nominated for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival’s “Un Certain Regard” award.

Check out the trailer below:

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