Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, North Hollywood, CA
What can I say about Zombie Joe’s Underground that hasn’t already been said by so many other folks on the internet? (WARNING: This update contains vivid written imagery of things like um… buttsex.) But we’ll start at my favorite part… the beginning.
First, a word about the person responsible. Zombie Joe has become a bit of a pal of Westcoaster and for those who have met him, you’ll know he’s one of the kindest, most loving souls a human being could ever meet. If you met him on the street, you’d never assume he would run one of the most screwed up shows you could ever lay on your senses. I cannot stress this enough, we all truly love Zombie Joe. He is a gem in the Southern California haunt community and I am glad to know him. That said, he has produced some of the most shockingly weird things my eyes have ever seen… and y’know, I’m kinda grateful for that. It’s nice knowing there are people out there who are just as screwed up as me!
During late spring, Zombie Joe’s Underground produces their regular Urban Death show that runs nice and long and just a bit unnerving. Around Halloween however, gone is the lobby area, replaced by a makeshift maze of sorts that serves as a bit of an appetizer for the show in the theater space. It is dimly lit (to say the least), and you walk through with an equally as dim flashlight that helps you point out the disturbing images you see along the way…
Once in the theater, you find a place to sit and wait for the show to start. [Note: This is where I divert from the normal experience and discuss the family friendly portion first.] We were greeted for the family friendly portion of the show by a girl and her ukulele who couldn’t quite seem to remember the words of the song she was playing (and it was god damn hilarious, honestly, I could’ve watched it for much longer than the 5 minutes or so that we got). After seeing the normal Urban Death show first, I was curious about what this show might involve… especially given the dark nature of the normal show. How does a group like Zombie Joe’s Underground produce a show that kids could watch? Well, gone are the sketches featuring nudity for one… however, my wife and I both joked it would be amusing if we walked in and the family show was just everyone with dicks out. We were disappointed in that aspect. What we saw was something truly charming and very funny in place of schlongapalooza. A few of the more inoffensive elements of the normal Urban Death show were crossed over into the family show… a ghost hanging from the balcony, the nun who seemed to grow to insane heights, the skittering (oh the skittering). Along with unique elements like a girl who was incredibly allergic, a farting kid, a beautiful if not tragic take on bullying, and one of the best things involving the Tooth Fairy that I think I’ve ever seen (seriously, we were laughing so hard that we cried).
Would the family friendly version be truly appropriate for kids? Absolutely. I would gladly take kids (my own, not the ones I kidnapped earlier in the day) to see this. Of course my kids will be kinda messed up, so as with anything use good judgment and know your kids.
Now on to the main show… and the skittering (ohhhh the skittering). Full of love… and dicks. So many dicks. Like… so many. SO. MANY. DICKS. And y’know what? It’s fun… in a messed up kinda dicky way.
What follows are some truly haunting things… just your normal run of the mill predatory things, skull-buggery (not to be confused with skullduggery), violence, the aforementioned ghosts and nuns, and just so many dicks. SO. MANY. DICKS. One of the things Zombie Joe’s Underground does well (apart from lots of dicks) is the short almost interstitial ways they present their content. Each sketch lasts for 30-90 seconds depending on what it is. So it’s a lot to take in and sometimes you feel like you’re taking a drink of water through a firehose. In the best way. If variety is the spice of life, the Urban Death shows are basically the most heavenly Indian food buffet you could ever visit. Sometimes hilariously funny, other times completely horrifying and unnerving. And I cannot recommend it enough!
Zombie Joe’s Underground - Urban Death Tour of Terror runs on select nights from now until November 2nd. Tickets are available at http://zombiejoes.tix.com and are $16 advance sale (online) or $20 at the door. But we highly recommend buying in advance because this event regularly sells out. For more information visit http://www.zombiejoes.com or http://www.urbandeath.com or call (818) 202-4120.
That is all… GOO BAH!
Twerking Ice Cream Cone. Velociraptor. 5 Time Squirrel Herding Champion. Super Hero.