CINEPOCALYPSE Announces Full 2018 Lineup!

 The Music Box Theatre is proud to announce their full slate of 2018 programming and guests for the sophomore year of CINEPOCALYPSE, which will take place June 21 – 28 at Chicago’s majestic Music Box Theatre. The Midwest’s largest gathering of genre films and fans, the festival’s organizers are proud to have Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill as Co-Presidents of their 2018 Feature Film Jury.

Alongside the previously-announced Derrickson and Cargill, the festival is deeply proud to welcome writer-director Lana Wachowski, who will host a special screening of her debut 1996 film Bound. Wachowski, along with her sister Lilly, changed the face of science fiction cinema with 1999’s The Matrix, and continue to open eyes and drop jaws with Netflix’s acclaimed Sense8, which comes to an epic close this June.

Accepting Cinepocalypse’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award is the legendary Ernest R. Dickerson!
The director of 1995’s Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, Dickerson began his career as a Director of Photography on John Sayles’ Brother from Another Planet (1984) and George A. Romero’s Tales from the Darkside television series (1985) before lensing the first five films from director Spike Lee. Having also directed the Tupac-starring gang drama Juice (1992) and Snoop Dogg horror title Bones (2001), Dickerson now regularly terrifies TV audiences as a director on Under the DomeDexter, and The Walking Dead. The festival is deeply humbled to also have Dickerson join them in hosting special 35mm screenings of both Juice and Demon Knight.
Also joining the festival this year is director Stephen Hopkins, who will host a special 25th Anniversary screening of his phenomenal Chicago-shot thriller, Judgment Night; and comedian Jonah Ray (Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000), who will appear on the first-ever live recording of Drew McWeeny and Scott Weinberg’s acclaimed, nostalgia-fueled podcast, “80s All Over.”
In addition to the previously-announced World Premiere of Michael Winnick’s Malicious (from Get Out producer Shaun Redick), Cinepocalypse is proud to host the first looks at eight other features, including our Opening Night film, Mike P. Nelson’s The Domestics (starring Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin); Blumhouse’s Boogeyman Pop (produced by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Chris Weitz); and Snowfort Pictures’ killer drone thriller Hover, starring The Last Man on Earth‘s Cleopatra Coleman. The full slate of phenomenal feature films are being released today, with this year’s incredible selection of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and action representing the latest and greatest in genre cinema from around the globe.

Here’s a taste of what will be screened at Cinepocalypse:

The Domestics (World Premiere)
USA, 2018
Dir: Mike P. Nelson

We’re kicking off Cinepocalypse 2018 with a thunderous bang in what will certainly be one of the most talked about genre films of the year. It’s Mad Max meets The Purge in The Domestics, an absolutely savage survival love story following a young couple (Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin) as they fight to return home through a post-apocalyptic, mid-western wasteland ravaged by terrifying and sadistic gangs. The Domestics is an action spectacle, boasting explosive set pieces and nonstop action, culminating in a suspense-filled finale that will leave your shattered jaw on the floor. With his feature length debut, writer/director Mike P. Nelson establishes himself as a breakout filmmaker, weaving together incredible performances from Bosworth, Hoechlin, Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina), and Lance Reddick (John Wick), into an epic, white-knuckled, roller coaster ride, destined for badass cult status.

Boogeyman Pop (World Premiere)
USA, 2018
Dir: Brad Michael Elmore

Set over the course of one summer weekend, a bat-wielding, masked killer in a rusted-out black Cadillac weaves in and out of three interlocking stories awash in sex, drugs, punk rock, black magic, and broken homes. Starring James Paxton (son of the late, great Bill Paxton) and produced by Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyscreenwriter Chris Weitz, who discovered writer/director Brad Michael Elmore’s micro-budget debut The Wolfman’s Hammer on Youtube, the film was eventually brought to the prolific Blumhouse team who hopped on board enthusiastically. That’s one hell of a creative force, and because of it Boogeyman Pop oozes with everything we love about genre cinema. Our favorite festival moments are the ones when we get to discover the emergence of a talented and unique filmmaker. This is punk rock filmmaking at its finest, and it’s one of those festival moments you won’t want to miss.

Empathy Inc. (World Premiere)
USA, 2018
Dir: Yedidya Gorsetman

In this twisted, sometimes-brutal, black-and-white work from director Yedidya Gorsetman, hotshot venture capitalist Joel (Zack Robidas) has a multimillion-dollar deal go up in smoke, and he and his actress wife Jessica (Kathy Searle) are forced to move in with her parents and  start from scratch. At the lowest and most desperate moment in his life, Joel meets old friend Nicolaus (Eric Berryman) and his business partner Lester (Jay Klaitz), who are seeking investors in a new technology known as XVR – Xtreme Virtual Reality – from their company Empathy, Inc., which is said to offer the most realistic and moving experiences for users by placing them in the lives of the less fortunate. Joel gets the startup its funds but soon discovers that the tech’s creators have far more sinister uses in store for their creation and that the reality it provides its customers isn’t virtual.
Gags (World Premiere)
USA, 2018
Director: Adam Krause

Remember the photos of a horrifying clown in Wisconsin that went viral and ended up on the nightly news scaring the hell out of Gags all across the world? This marketing stunt for Adam Krause short film, GAGS, sparked a nationwide resurgence in the clown-roaming phenomenon (yes, that’s a thing). Now a feature film designed to send those with coulrophobia (look it up) into a life-threatening panic, a mysterious clown named “Gags” appears in Green Bay, setting off a night of madness in which four separate subplots — involving a reporter, a right-wing podcast pundit, a pair of cops, and a trio of troublemaking teens — converge to solve the creepy case. Fans of “killer clown” cinema (clownsploitation?) will appreciate this flick’s new wrinkles, as well as its sly sense of humor that takes aim at socio-political issues and the news media (as represented by indie horror star Lauren Ashley Carter).Yes, you will be scared shitless, especially when you discover Gags’ true intentions.
Malicious (World Premiere)
USA, 2018
Dir: Michael Winnick

When young college professor Adam (Josh Stewart of The Collector and Insidious: Chapter Four) and his pregnant wife Lisa (Drag Me to Hell‘s Bojana Novakovic) suffer a traumatic event, they find themselves along with Lisa’s sister Becky (Melissa Bolona) haunted – and connected – to a malicious entity. Only when Adam calls upon colleague Dr. Clark (Delroy Lindo), a professor of parapsychology, does the true horror of what is happening become clear. From Executive Producer Shaun Reddick (Get Out).
Await Further Instructions (World Premiere)
USA, 2018
Dir: Johnny Kevorkian

Take the techno-paranoia of Black Mirror, add the intergalactic body horror of John Carpenter’s The Thing, adapt them into a VHS board game, and wrap it all up in a bitingly satirical Christmas-movie package, and what do you get? Await Further Instructions, the new film from British director Johnny Kevorkian that makes its world premiere at Cinepocalypse. David Bradley of Game Of ThronesDoctor Who, and Harry Potter fame co-stars as a crotchety old grandpa in the story of a family that wakes up on Christmas morning to find their house surrounded by a mysterious, seemingly alien substance and a cryptic message on their TV: “Await Further Instructions.’


And many, many more! You can check out the full lineup here!
Cinepocalypse 2018’s stunning poster is from legendary album artist Ed Repka. The creative director of NECA, Ed is best-known for creating the cover art to Megadeth’s “Peace Sells But Who’s Buying” and “Rust in Peace”. To celebrate his incredible contributions to the world of heavy metal, the festival is releasing its 2018 guide as a collectible 7″ vinyl sleeve, with their lineup information inside the pocket.

Four-day access and full festival badges are currently on sale at Single tickets will go on sale Wednesday, May 23rd.

Stay tuned for a special closing night screening announcement, along with the festival’s short film program, full schedule, and more!