It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it wouldn’t be Christmas time without the jolly holiday theatrics from our friends at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater. If you’ve been reading Nightmarish Conjurings for awhile, then you are familiar with my undying love of Zombie Joe’s Blood Alley. There is something about that show that just speaks to me in a way that few others have and is always a performance I can’t wait to attend. Now that the holidays are upon us, Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater wants to help you get into the Christmas spirit with their Blood Alley Christmas show and let me tell you, you’ll never look at Santa Claus the same again.

Blood Alley Christmas is directed by Zombie Joe himself, and features a cast of extremely talented performers who are willing to push the limits of what is considered unacceptable social behavior to the extreme while also using satire to poke fun at how commercialized and hypocritical the holiday season is. The show is touted as an experience in which “traumatic memories of a forgotten street-alley are haunted by the longing, beauty and unspeakable yuletide events of its cold, diabolical past; a cursed place of no mercy, inhabited by a hundred-year accumulation of apparitions, phantasms and seductive sub-breeds that desperately await their next victim”. This description, derived from the press release, perfectly encapsulates what audiences will experience during the hour long performance.

With the backdrop being all things holiday, it makes for an interesting experience to see such opposing stories during what is considered “the most wonderful time of the year”. I like that the curtain is drawn back to showcase the horrors that are behind so many fake smiles and hollow cheers. During the show viewers witness performances that simulate everything from suicide, to murder, to sex, to the supernatural, and much, much more. Usually, I like when my Blood Alleyshows are a bit more on the dark and disturbed side; however, I enjoyed the immense amount of humor that this show brought as it was a good way to offset the more unsettling moments of the show. As always, I like to tell people that if you are triggered by assault of any kind or topics such as what I have mentioned, to please use caution before going.

Performer Vanessa Cate (Courtesy of Zombie Joe)

One of my favorite aspects of this year’s Blood Alley Christmas was the focus on women empowerment. I hate to single anyone out but I have to give huge props to Vanessa Cate as she was the true Queen of this show. Whether it be suffocating men with her breasts or commanding the spotlight for her performances, she was a true pillar of womanhood and strength. I was blown away by her performance, and though I have seen her in other Zombie Joe shows in the past, I really felt as if she owned everything she was presenting. It almost was as if she was shedding a part of herself as her performance just seemed so raw and unapologetic with a no fucks given attitude. I was here for it and she most certainly delivered and she definitely deserves to be recognized for that.

Along with the fantastic acting from everyone, I also am a huge fan of the live music that is performed throughout the duration of the show. I’ve only seen this happen during the Blood Alleyshows and it’s always something that I enjoy immensely. It’s not a huge set up, it’s just one guy mainly playing the drums (and sometimes other instruments) like a muthafuckin maniac and he kills it every single time. His tempo and his instrumentals correlate beautifully with intensity during whatever vignette is being played out by the actors. I will say, the few lines he does have work perfectly with the overall story that is being told and he does have a way of making the audience laugh.

All in all, Blood Alley Christmas once again delivers. Sure, I love my more serious Blood Alleyshows, but this Christmas one definitely has become one of my favorite performances of the year. With strong female leads, women empowerment, plenty of horror, and some holiday spirit, this is a show you will NOT want to miss.

Blood Alley Christmas will have performances December 8, 9, 15 & 16 at 11pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at ZombieJoes.Tix.com.

Cast Photo (Courtesy of Zombie Joe)
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Shannon McGrew

Founder/Editor-in-Chief at Nightmarish Conjurings
Shannon is the Founder of Nightmarish Conjurings and a lover of all things horror and haunt related. When she's not obsessively collecting all things "Trick 'R Treat" related, or trying to convince everyone that "Hereditary" is one of the greatest horror films ever made, you can find her designing interiors for commercial restaurants. An avid haunt fan, Shannon spends the entire year visiting haunts and immersive experiences throughout the Southern California area and hopes to one day design her own haunted attraction.
Shannon McGrew
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Live Theatre

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