If you are familiar with my writings, then you know how much of a fan I am of Zombie Joe's BLOOD ALLEY performances, as their first one was my introduction into the dark and macabre world of Zombie Joe's Underground Theater. With that said, when I heard that there would be a new show, simply titled BLOOD ALLEY 3, I was beside myself with joy. As much as I love the other shows that perform at Zombie Joe's, I always felt much more connected to how morbid BLOOD ALLEY could be as well as how it always seemed to push the envelope of what was acceptable in these immersive performances.
I've always envisioned BLOOD ALLEY to be somewhere such as Boston, MA or even London, during the 1800's where the unpleasantries took place in back alleys when the moon was high and the world was asleep. It's hard not to imagine serial killers lurking about on the hung for their next kill or supernatural beings looking for a midnight snack. BLOOD ALLEY has a way of conjuring up these images without the use of any set design and it's always a feat in which I'm impressed with. That form of storytelling, through the movements of the actors bodies and facial features, tells a vast tale with little to no props and it's quite a sight to behold.
One aspect of BLOOD ALLEY that was not held back was that fuzzy grey area of nudity. 99% of the shows that I see at Zombie Joe's has that added element of nudity, but for whatever reason, this time it seemed much more raw and intense than previous shows. I have to give credit to the actors, for allowing themselves to perform with no inhibitions and using their their bodies and nudity as part of the story. Where most of us would be too scared to show that part of ourselves, these actors were not privy to that vulnerability and it's something that I have respected in each and every show I've gone too.
As for the overall theme of the show, there seemed to be a few hiccups with pacing and the overall fervor that I've come to expect. As I mentioned before, what I love so much about BLOOD ALLEY is how intense it is from start to finish and it's usually unlike anything I've ever witnessed before. However, in this case, I felt like the show wasn't as dark and disturbing as those in the past. This is not to say that BLOOD ALLEY wasn't enjoyable, it still was, but whatever that special spark that elevates this show to the caliber that it normally is seemed to be missing. With that said, people may like this show more because the intensity isn't as deafening as it could be, but for me, I just wanted more.
With all that said, BLOOD ALLEY 3 still manages to shine and bring to light topics that most people would run away from. At times, the brutality of what we are seeing makes it hard to not turn away, but the social commentary that accompanies it is one that is important. Sure, there are moments of vampirism and supernatural deities, but the real horror comes from what people are capable of inflicting on others. The true horror is the monster that may be living in all of us and honestly, that's more terrifying than vampires and ghosts.
All in all, though I had a few issues with the show, BLOOD ALLEY 3 is still a magnificent feat put on by the brilliance of director Zombie Joe and his assembly of incredibly talented actors. If you want to see a performance that pushes everything you know to the brink, then BLOOD ALLEY 3 is going to be right up your alley (pun intended?). I can promise you, you'll never see anything like it.
For more information on Zombie Joe's Underground Theater and to purchase tickets visit either ZombieJoes.com or ZombieJoes.Tix.com. BLOOD ALLEY 3 will be playing on Friday & Saturdays at 8:30pm June 2, 3, 9 & 10, 2017.