Every time something like this year’s Cinepocalypse gets announced, I consider quitting my job and really trying to figure out a way to make money writing about things like this. I wish everything made me so excited.

Going through the list of films, I started looking for themes, and while it’s pretty obvious that the festival is highlighting women in horror since it’s right there in the press release —  “CINEPOCALYPSE SPOTLIGHTS THE BADASS WOMEN OF HORROR” — there are some other themes making their way into the festival programming this year.

To wit: there are three movies about Satan/demons, with Eric Power’s Attack of the Demons, Emilio Portes’ Belzebuth, and the much anticipated Satanic Panic by director Chelsea Stardust, from a script by Cinepunx favorites Ted Geoghegan and Grady Hendrix.

Then, we have two YouTube-centric flicks (or at least movies about the stars of the streaming platform) in Caryn Waechter’s Deadcon and Ghost Killers Vs. Bloody Mary, a Brazilian film by Fabrício Bittar. “Rate, Review, Survive” better be a tagline at some point (copyright 2019 Nick Spacek).

It’s exciting enough that they’ve lined up a Joel Schumacher retrospective, which goes nicely with the recent reappraisal of Falling Down, the director’s 1993 movie with Michael Douglas. But then Michael Ironside’s getting the festival’s annual achievement award, along with a 70mm screening of Total Recall? Glen Danzig’s new movie, Verotika, is having a world premiere with Danzig himself? There’s an R-rated cut of Tammy & the T-Rex? BälSäc and Sleazy P. from Gwar riff Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare?

Oh, and Graham Skipper’s pop-up speakeasy, Rated R, will make its first appearance outside L.A. with a Child’s Play-themed experience, loaded with music and drinks and movies and oh, yeah, they’ll be offering a limited edition vinyl release of the soundtrack to The Ranger. I did a podcast on it. It’s amazing. You should check it out. If you get a copy, understand I’ll be ridiculously jealous.

It’s a veritable cornucopia of genre fare, all calculated to make you wish you were there. It’s a mixture of charming and weird and unexpected and anticipated, to the point where I feel like I should just sell some records, book an AirBnB, and live with the consequences later. It all takes place Thursday, June 13, through Thursday, June 20, at the Music Box Theater in Chicago.

As an added bonus, I tracked down every trailer or clip I could find from the films playing, and you can check them all out below. If that clip from Villains doesn’t sell you on the movie, I don’t know what to tell you, folks.


Attack of the Demons




Ghost Killers Vs. Bloody Mary

The Lodge


The Mute

Punta Muerto

The Swerve


Why Don’t You Just Die?