Non-Registered Critics: Dan Waldkirch

Jul

Beasts from the Sea!

Beasts features one of the most elaborately decorated sets seen at ZJU, with beautifully scrappy makeup and costumes, as well as painted walls, interesting lighting, and props strewn everywhere...

Beasts from the Sea is undoubtedly one of the silliest Zombie Joe productions in quite some time. Outside of the physical darkness, as well as a few classic jump scares, the show is colorful, hilarious, weird, and at times even cute. If you’re in the area and need a quick hit of insanity, Beasts from the Sea is worth a dive.

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Jul

URBAN DEATH for kidz

Make no mistake, Urban Death is creepy show, no matter one’s age. But this version is well-suited for ten-year-olds, and aims more for delightful chills and fun than abject terror. There are few, if any, jump scares, and the darker scenes will often produce a greater sense of wonder than fear. While less than half of the scenes could be described as pure horror (much of the rest being straight comedy), the creep factor emerges in short bursts, with increasing intensity, and leads to a delightful climax of spooky and magical scenes. The fear factor of the show could be compared to something like the Haunted Mansion, perhaps heightened by the intimacy of the theater and proximity of the performers.

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Jun

Monsters of Man: A Supernatural Anthology

Ruttan’s voice as a writer-director is strong, unique, and more than welcome. She seems most interested in playing with the rules of each world, and has a natural talent for parceling out information at just the right pace. She also manages to weave in social commentary and allegory, always tasteful and in service of the narrative. While her dialogue can be stiff at times, her big ideas more than make up for it, and it’s exciting to imagine future work where she finds a balance more consistently. That said, Monsters of Man contains a handful of lingering images and ideas that make it easily worth the price of admission.

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Mar

Cemetery of Tortured Souls

Zombie's immersive experiments are getting stronger, and likely heading toward something truly spectacular. On that road, Cemetery of Tortured Souls is a vibrant and entertaining step forward.

With Cemetery of Tortured Souls, ZJU continues to develop its own brand of immersive theater, with a wide array of creative interactions. It is thrilling to see Zombie and company continue their wild experimentation, developing what works and abandoning what doesn't.

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Dec

Blood Alley Christmas

If you've never seen a Zombie Joe show before, Blood Alley: Christmas is a great place to start. But be warned, this one might just get you placed on the naughty list... This writer's favorite recent discovery at ZJU is Warren Hall, whose slinky, twitchy, physical genius has been a joy to watch over the last few iterations of Urban Death and Blood Alley.

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    ADS
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