There are many shows and events to attend in Los Angeles, and if there is one thing I've learned this Halloween season is that LA is a mecca for all things horror and Halloween related. This past year I've had the honor of attending many of Zombie Joe's Urban Death show, but the one I kept hearing about, the one I was looking forward to the most, was there Halloween show - Tour of Terror. Not only would this show have Zombie Joe's signature "Urban Death" touch to it, but there would also be an added surprise - their own "haunted maze" which led 2-3 people down a dark and winding hallway into the performance space. This element was not only fun, but downright creepy, as it allowed the viewer to come face to face with individuals performing acts from the deepest recesses of our nightmares. In all honesty, this set up, this maze, was more effective at scaring me than most well-known haunts that I go to. For that, I applaud the team behind this because the whole experience was chilling and unsettling, and what more do you want to feel than that during the spookiest time of the year?
As with all "Urban Death" shows that I've been to, the performers once again touched on social issues in such a raw and unapologetic matter that it makes it difficult to fully comprehend what is happening in front of you. It's not because of the often abstract ways that these short vignettes are being depicted, but more because our brain has a hard time fully registering that there are such horrors to behold in this world. The simplicity of these shows (in terms of set design) is what really sells the performances because the viewer isn't distracted by unnecessary fluff - we are forced to see what is in front of us and often times it elicits such strong emotions. You will laugh at times, which helps to break up the intensity of the majority of these acts, and often times you will be struck with sadness, anger, and disbelief. These feelings and emotions are one of the many things that I love about Zombie Joe's shows - you always leave feeling something.
Once the show ends, the audience is once again broken into pairs and led through the darkness of the maze. It's pitch black and throughout this area of the building unsettling noises can be heard - crying, giggling, agony. My guest and I weave through the makeshift hallways with a tiny flashlight pretending to act as if we aren't bothered by the sites in front of us. I continuously hear laughter coming from afar and I hope and pray that I will not be encountering the one thing that I would never want to encounter in a dark hallway: a deranged clown. However, this is not how this story ends, because hiding in the shadows is a clown waiting to pounce. Luckily, as we exit their is candy awaiting us and the nightmare, for now, is over.
Even though Halloween is over, Urban Death's: Tour of Terror is not. If you want to extend your holiday without dropping major cash then I highly suggest going to this show this weekend. There are five showtimes tonight (Nov. 4) and tomorrow (Nov. 5) starting at 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm and 11:30pm and tickets are only $15. As always, thank you to Zombie Joe and his amazing cast and crew for always putting on such a great show and for continously leaving me shocked and speechless.
For more information and to order tickets visit ZombieJoes.Tix.com or call (818) 202-4120.