bar and grill horror movies

Body Parts and Labor Halloween Movie Marathon Report

Friday, November 07, 2014 Rob Samuelson

Last weekend, Parts and Labor in Logan Square had a full weekend of horror movies to celebrate Halloween. Halfstacker Rob Samuelson was there for Sunday's finale. Here's his report.

When I walk into Parts and Labor, I'm a little put out. There are only a handful of people sitting around, all of them talking to themselves about their lives. It's a typical bar and grill setting, essentially. But this is no ordinary bar and grill today. It's the spooky setting of a horror movie marathon they have dubbed Body Parts and Labor. The sound is up, 1997's space nightmare Event Horizon is playing, and the atmosphere of the movie is growing in dread.

As I sit and order my first drink, I notice the others are beginning to take note. A guy behind me says to his friends, “This is a sweet one!” when he notices what's playing. They sit in rapt attention throughout the rest of the film, in which people fall like bloody rag dolls down giant holes and Sam Neill takes some extreme measures to avert his eyes from terror.

“He has no eyes!” a girl behind me shouts. All right, people are into it now. Seeing Dr. Grant himself tear his own eyeballs out of his head might do that to you.

My friends join me as Event Horizon's credits begin to roll, and we get to talking about how the place has changed since the last time we were here. It's all part of the marathon. Whereas before geometric shapes were painted on the walls, now we're looking at blown up black and white stills from the films they have shown all weekend at the marathon. I see little Danny from The Shining, looking down at me in his little Apollo shirt. Shaun and his dead-fighting friends are there, too. And don't get me started on the glory of Kurt Russell's beard from The Thing, lest you want to have a swooning adult man on your hands – prepare the smelling salts.

Next up is Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow's 1987 vampire thriller. Bigelow is now an Oscar-winning director, but her early days were filled with genre fare, like this, where Bill Paxton goes full-on maniacal surfer on us. Between bites of my double burger – I cannot recommend Parts and Labor's food enough – I pick up enough of Near Dark to know it's a lot of fun. Semi trucks are used as battering rams to fight against evil, the vampires smoke gloriously when they are outside during the day, and there's even a procedure to reverse the effects of being bitten by vampires. With a couple beers, burgers, and fries in my belly, I'm having a great time.

Near Dark ends, I get excited. I know the schedule because I'm an important member of the press, and I know I'll be able to share one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade with my friends: The Descent. The story of a group of women, one dealing with the recent loss of her husband and daughter, going spelunking in some caves that are more than they seem is horrifying.

“You guys have to see this,” I say as I order another drink.

Things go great as we get through the initial shocking moments, which were accompanied by the screams of people at the table next to me – good on you for being successful, movie – and the start of their expedition. But the screen froze. A message about the file being corrupted flashed. I am disappointed but hopeful they'll figure out how to fix it.

Instead they start playing the last scheduled movie of the marathon,
The Midnight Meat Train, a stupendous title if I've ever heard one. It has a surprising group of talent, including future Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, right before he blew up with The Hangover.

But, sadly, it's a dialogue-heavy movie, at least in the early parts. With the crowd noise and nearly mute quietness of the talking onscreen, we couldn't hear a word of what was being said, therefore being unable to get invested.

We decided to call it a night, happy, ready to burst with our food and beers. I make a promise to show my friends The Descent in the near future, and I look at the bright side that Body Parts and Labor 2015 can begin with a non-corrupted version of the movie.

I can't wait to see what Parts and Labor in store for their next themed event. You can be sure to read about it when it happens, Halfstackers. And in the meantime, go check them out at 2700 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square. 

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