Written by Michael Levine
Directed by Denise Devin
Running from October 14 through November 5, Sundays & Mondays at 8pm
Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, 91601
This play is a fictional re-imagining of a pivotal moment in the early years of Ted Bundy’s life. Specifically, the time just before he committed his first of many grisly murders.
Ted was working at a suicide prevention call line of all places, and it is there that we make his sorry acquaintance while he is busy trying to “talk down” a young girl preparing to kill herself. He befriends the girl and they begin a relationship, the girl desperate for any kind of attention and Ted aching for something more.
We also see the world through the young girl's eyes. Living with her two terrible and abusive parents, ignored, bullied, belittled. It’s no wonder she felt the way she did and it’s easy to understand why she might find a friend in the strange and weirdly mesmerizing Ted Bundy.
So we see their odd relationship play out. The fumbling, the flirting and the undoing of them both. This is absolutely not a play for the feint of heart. It is billed as a horror play and it really, really is. But not just for the blood and the gore. It’s horrifying because this young girl could be anyone we know. Her parents and their despicable behavior are all too commonplace and Ted is…well, he is charming and good looking and therefore his affectations are somehow easy to forgive until that is they begin to morph into his vile alter ego and he kills.
It’s a strange subject, although always relevant and very important to never forget. This time of year is strewn with plays that promise to frighten or scare but this play is very different and much more than a cheap thrill to speed your heart and dry your throat. It is visceral and disturbing and real.
The performances feel true, the actors channeling rather than acting and the effect of it all is honestly terrifying. Which is exactly the producer's plan of course.
“Possession: An American Serial Killer” is only performing at Zombie Joe’s for a few weeks and if you are drawn to this genre then you won't be at all disappointed. In the darkness of Zombie Joe’s, cut off from the outside world, you will be drawn into Ted Bundy’s warped mind, perhaps a little more than you may like to be. You will see through his eyes, feel a little of his cold heart and wonder why people like him exist and how they are made and perhaps even how best to avoid them.
If you have a penchant for horror and a need to understand those that make it in this world then this is right up your alley…
Chris Levine, Anza Seller, Berna Roberts and David O’Hara
Assistant to The Director - Ellen Bienenfeld
Theatre Technician - Alex Schetter