Thursday, December 8
The Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle presents CONTRACTED, followed by a live Skype Q&A with actress Najarra Townsend and director Eric England conducted by Michael Glover Smith! 8:00 p.m. Free.
Samantha (Najarra Townsend), a young woman feeling low after being dumped by her lesbian lover, gets drunk at a party and engages in a one-night stand with a strange man named B.J. (a sinister, out-of-focus Simon Barrett). The next day she fears she has contracted an STI but, as her symptoms worsen, realizes that her body is actually rotting from the inside out. Writer/director Eric England, aided immeasurably by a brave lead performance by Townsend and terrific, old-fashioned make-up effects, mines not only genuine terror from this Cronenbergian body-horror scenario but also a surprisingly rich vein of black comedy. The result is an awesome low-budget shocker that creates and sustains a spirit of nasty fun that filmmakers with much higher budgets would no doubt love to buy.
Michael Glover Smith is co-author of the book ‘Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry’ and director of the indie feature 'Cool Apocalypse.’ His blog is White City Cinema, and his Transistor Radio series is The White City Cinema Radio Hour.