Evil Dead the Musical
Directed by Christopher Bond and Hinton Battle
The Diesel Playhouse
Recently extended, closing August 4th, 2007.
By Miles Baker
This play is exactly what it should be. It’s tongue-in-cheek camp with gratuitous blood splatter, a healthy helping of slapstick, and full of lines from the movies. You can also drink heavily while watching, something I could really use more of at theatres.
Evil Dead the Musical combines the story and characters from the first two Evil Dead movies (obviously, the location is the same for both, which really makes very little sense) to create a hybrid that is more in the flavour of the second movie, only now it has songs. Very funny songs like, “What the Fuck was That?”, “Cabin in the Woods,” and “Do the Necronomicon” (the latter also comes with a surprisingly good dance sequence).
The performances are all enormous: the ditz is a huge ditz, the ingenue could not be more naive, and the jerk has no redeeming qualities. But this isn’t O’Neill; it’s about demons that sing and make bad puns. The actors do exactly what they have to do — be giant hams.
I also got a kick out of trying to figure out how the set was constructed. I’ve since heard that there are a series of tubes all around the set so the actors can suck up blood before spitting it out onto the audience.
Oh, yeah. The first three rows or so of the audience leave drenched in fake blood. The “Splatter Zone” they call it. I’ve heard from reliable sources that the blood washes out easily, so if you’re into gore than this is your chance to pretend you’re in a Troma movie.
The singing isn’t the best, the acting isn’t the best, the play isn’t the best — it doesn’t have to be and, in this case, shouldn’t be.