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Tag: Chicago


Sci-Fi Spectacular Film Fest with Frank Henenlotter

In early March, I spent a weekend in Chicago to show my work at the Sci-Fi Spectacular and to meet director Frank Henenlotter. The Spectacular is an annual movie marathon that was 24 hours this year, screening mostly 35mm prints of classic horror and sci-fi movies. These festivals are great for meeting a lot of different people who love this weird stuff and it's always nice to meet fans in person. Not to mention seeing all my Chicago buddies!! I displayed my monster paintings new and old, art prints, shirts, knickknacks, and my new illustrated book.

Firstly, I came to the Portage Theater on Friday night as a fan. Spent time with my wife and friends watching the Basket Case trilogy with an introduction by Frank Henenlotter. How cool is that for a Friday night? Frank's also made some fun body horror flicks like Frankenhooker and Brain Damage!

Frank discussed how he really didn't have plans or ideas for Basket Case 4 until very recently. The ideas seem to be brewing in his head now, so maybe this could very well happen someday. Independent projects are really hard to get off the ground, which is something he's struggled with a lot. Of course, any horror fan will say his work is amazing, disturbingly gross and hilarious all in one, so he's definitely got our support!

On Saturday, Henenlotter was around for quite a while throughout the day meeting fans at the Spectacular and introduced Brain Damage early in the evening with a hilarious Q&A! He stressed how important absurdity in horror is for making you laugh. He uses very loose outlines of scripts and mostly wings it. He's totally into handmade horror, which is hard to do properly without at least a decent-sized budget. His movies are visceral, gross, and wildly comical. He said he got tired and bored when doing stop motion, so he'd just kick the props! But it works for him. I love no matter what he does. It was extremely cool meeting him!

Here's my BASKET CASE painting!


John Dies at the End with Don Coscarelli

Last weekend, I saw John Dies at the End which was presented by the director himself, Don Coscarelli! My wife and I made a trip into Chicago to see it at the Music Box Theatre. As you can see in the picture below, I was too busy chatting him up to think about posing. It happens! He's really nice and he signed some autographs for me. Cool guy. It was also great to hang out with some of my fantastic Chicago horror friends.

The movie is pretty good. It leans more towards Coscarelli's style in Bubba Ho-Tep than in the Phantasm films. It's just a really fun, trippy horror comedy. He said he didn't put much of the book in it, though there are certain familiarities for sure. The writing reminded me of A Scanner Darkly due to the snappy dialogue. The special effects are great. If I had to criticize anything, the friendship between the lead guys didn't feel very strong compared to the book. That gives some disconnect, but the movie was still damn enjoyable. It also has a Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer tone to it, too. I suppose it has a little bit of everything. Go see it!

 Another cool thing about John Dies at the End... Besides fun appearances by Doug Jones, Angus Scrimm, and Daniel Roebuck, one of my favorite modern illustrators worked on it! David Hartman aka “Sideshow Monkey” was the animator and he also acted as one of the spider victims! He's worked with Coscarelli before with Bubba Ho-Tep as an illustrator and the visual effects supervisor. Hartman does magnificent work. Check out his website here:

I've done a few Phantasm paintings in the past. Here's a color piece of The Tall Man!