Produced by Zombie Joe
Directed & Created by Zombie Joe and Jana Wimer
Zombie Joe’s Underground Urban Death Tour of Terror is not exactly a lighthearted romantic comedy, as you can probably tell from the title…although there is romance of a sort, a very twisted and scary sort…but you’ll have to go yourself to gauge the comparison.
At this time of year, namely around the hallo’d ween, all kinds of scary themed plays pop up over the city, the place is positively resplendent with witches and vampires and ghosts, oh my!
But there is a particular tradition in NoHo now, four years in the making, of heading down Lankershim Blvd, past the NoHo sign to the seemingly modest theater of Zombie Joe’s, nestled between a nutrition store and a massage parlor, and taking part in what is modestly known as the Urban Death Tour of Terror. A celebration of all that is terrifying, of images and scenarios direct from our most nightmarish imaginations and beyond.
As the nervous and excited punters line up outside the theatre for the five times nightly tour, I marveled at the endless variety of beings chattering away. Teenager, giggling groups of friends, tattoo’d couples, hipsters, rockers, ‘normals’ and even the odd grandma..myself being one of them.
Here they all were, eager to have the pants frightened off them, thrilled at the prospect of petrification at the hands, or quite possibly the teeth, of the performers of the macabre and the creepy, the strange and the vividly disturbing.
Handed a flashlight by the charming host of the event as we were ushered through the front door of the theatre, and assured that there would be no physical contact, my husband and I nervously tiptoed to the beginning of a maze, leading to the theatre at the back. In total darkness we trembled our way passed the dimly lit and half naked, the stupefied, drooling and seriously terrifying actors scattered along our repellant route.
Once through the horror’s we entered the theatre, and stood along the rear wall. Honestly I was too mortified to sit…the rest of the audience continued to pile in, all in various states of alarm.
The lights went out, to my dismay we were plunged once agin into darkness, with only our shallow breathing and raising hairs to fill the silence.
What followed then was a series of gruesome, disturbing, fearsome, lurid and unforgettable images, creations, performances or vignettes, each one more unnerving than the last. I can’t go into detail…I’m still beyond traumatized…but what I can tell you is that Zombie Joe has created an event so brilliantly brutal, so majestically macabre that it is beyond me to describe it. The actors are menacing, heartbreaking and ghoulish. The moments we spent with them, some frantic, some harrowing, some nightmarish and some unearthly and alarming are all quite masterful in their execution and are clearly designed with precision and formidable attention to detail. The work is so brutally realistic and painfully awesome that I can hardly remember taking a breath throughout the entire performance, which thankfully lasts about half an hour.
And then, after all that mind blowing, we must return through the maze to the outside world! I used my husband as a human shield of course, running the gauntlet through a fresh bevy of menacing monstrosities…all to be met on the other side with a lollypop for our troubles, as if sugar can cure panic and distress...although it did help to calm my nerves a bit.
If you appreciate the art of horror, the skill of the scare, then Zombie Joe’s is right up your street.
Believe me when I say that The Urban Death Tour of Terror is not for the faint of heart, Zombie pulls no punches, and takes every opportunity to twist and creep his way inside your mind. However many times you repeat to yourself that you are safe, that this is just a show, you will be frightened…I guarantee it.
But isn’t that what we all want from horror, to actually feel fear, not some Hollywood souped up version of it, but the real thing? Your heart pounding, your minds perception of reality challenged and images seared into your waking mind to relive later in your sleeping one?
I am still reliving what I saw, shocking memories of it, as if I were underwater, all dimly lit and distorted and very, very scary…brilliant stuff!!
I highly recommend Zombie Joe’s Urban Death Tour of Terror….salacious subversion at its finest. It’s the perfect October indulgence. I know totaly understand why he has such a loyal and admiring following.
Zombie Joe’s Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601
For ages 15 and up
Fridays and Saturdays 7:30p / 8:30p / 9:30p / 10:30p / 11:30p
October 7 - November 5
Produced by Zombie Joe
The Killer URBAN DEATH TOUR OF TERROR 2016 Cast & Crew:
Emily Charouhas, Nicole A. Craig, Andre Devin, Denise Devin, Eric Estrada, Trevor Fisch, Kelly Glaubig, Abel Horwitz, Randy "Kernel" Long, Jorge Lozano, Amanda McKenna, Ian Michaels, Cara Jade Myers, Jonica Patella, Tina Preston, Christopher Reiner, Elif Savas, Brandon Slezak, Michaela Slezak, Kevin Van Cott, Matthew Vorce, Roger K. Weiss, Jana Wimer, Zombie Joe