As my friend and I drove away from Zombie Joe’s latest presentation, “Blood Alley,” he asked me, “How do you review a show like that?”
My answer: “Like you do any theater piece: Consider how well the actors inhabited their roles, how much the stagecraft affected you, and how well the director realized their vision.”
So even though “Blood Alley” is nearly free of dialogue, is extremely avant-garde in its style, and is—like the long-running “Urban Death” (a Zombie Joe perennial)—a nightmare sequence of short vignettes full of horror, traumatic imagery and disturbing action… it’s readily reviewed.
And how is the show? It’s great! Capably directed by Zombie Joe himself, the ensemble metamorphoses from one grotesque moment to another. Accompanied with live music performed by Kevin Van Cott (who is also our sort of “POV character” for the hour-long performance), the players give us horrifying glimpses of murder, suicide, rape, spider-like creatures, serial killers, walking corpses, ghosts and cults and all manner of other things that gnaw at your brain. You can expect to be genuinely shocked by some of the lines that get crossed!
It’s not for the whole family by a long shot, but “Blood Alley” is for people who want a challenge in their theatergoing. There’s nothing else like Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater, and if you haven’t been already, you’re missing out. Go see “Blood Alley,” Friday and Saturday nights at 11 p.m., now through April 9.