STUCK?
Some of Eye Spy LA's favorite places to go & things to do anytime. READ MORE

EYE SPY LA GOOD EATS


Read all about our recent dining and other food adventures around town as we explore the grand buffet that is L.A. READ MORE

ON STAGE in L.A.
Los Angeles has a tremendous pool of performing arts talent. Read all of Eye Spy LA's RECENT REVIEWS.






Looking for "Things to do this weekend in L.A."
EYE SPY LA is #1

EYE SPY LA in the News
"Other good sites for free or inexpensive activities and up-to-the-minute tips are EyeSpyLA.com, sf.funcheap.com, and londonforfree.net.” - shopping & travel writer Jennifer Paull for FOXNEWS.com

We get mail
"Just wanted to tell you how much I look forward to seeing your Eye Spy in my In Box. Keep up the good work....you are my social secretary!"
-Rosemary C


"Had the most incredible time at the New Boyz free concert today with
my kids. Would never had known about it if not for your website. Thank you!!" -Elizabeth T


"Thank you so much for putting out this great resource! I just saw the hot air balloon festival and am over the moon happy about it!
Thanks & have a GREAT weekend:-)" - Ann

"Eye Spy LA is the greatest events calendar for LA. Period. Not only do we always list our Spirited Woman events in it and have pulled great results - but it is my own weekly "whats-going-on" bible, and I personally don't make a plan before checking the listings." - Nancy Mills Founder, Spirited Woman

"I so look forward to this [newsletter] every Friday. Thank you" - Icetea3

"Thank you for writing wonderful editions of Eye Spy LA. Every Fri. I look forward to open my e-mail. It comes so handy to know about places or events that my family and I can attend on the weekends. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season!!!!" - Patricia Arias

Subscribe
FREE Eye Spy LA
Weekly eNews
Don't miss out on free & discount ticket offers, contests and all of the other fun things to do in LA each week. Take a look at some past issues HERE

For Email you can trust

ABOUT EYE SPY LA





THEY WON’T STAY DEAD! IN “URBAN DEATH”
By M.R. Hunter
04/05/2012


TELL YOUR FRIENDS



“They won’t stay dead!”

If you recognize the tagline to this classic zombie film, then you’re the perfect victim viewer for Zombie Joe’s Underground inurbane “Urban Death” back by popular demand. Macabre fans and lovers of all things dark and disturbing can’t get enough of the horror-centric company whose humble beginnings inside a Northridge garage in 1992 has seen them to their own home in NoHo, earning several nods and awards (most recently Jonica Patella of “Turbo Tartuffe” for Best Female Comedy Performance at the 2012 LA Weekly’s Awards). This ghoulish production puts the MORE in morbid with its rapidly paced one-act of 42 vignettes featuring the oddest assortment of visceral scenes ranging from the creepy crawly to the shockingly sinister.

Whatever the phobia, be it a fear of the dark, clowns, blood, rats, ghosts, or a broken condom, every conceivable nightmare is exploited to good measure. The intimate black box space adds a slightly claustrophobic/voyeuristic atmosphere and ensures no easy escape for its audience once the show starts. Pregnant women and those suffering from heart conditions should probably pass on this immersive sensory experience as total darkness precedes each scene. For everyone else who enjoys things that go bump in the night, you won’t be disappointed here.

Those who’ve already seen one of the earlier productions of “Urban Death” should return like the Living Dead and get ready to party because Zombie Joe has added more to his repertoire. The tried and true terrors like listening to the scuttling of rats in total darkness or seeing a baby eat his excrement are all still there for your twisted viewing pleasure. There’s vomit, drugs, semen, rape and other garden-variety misfortunes as well as the outright freakish and strange.

The real brilliance to this theatrical funhouse of terrors is in the brevity of the spectacle itself. Each scene lasts no more than a couple of minutes, much like a Guignol-esque peep show. The audience is treated to a mere glimpse of the bizarre, the imminently dangerous or the profane. In this, spectacle in turn creates spectators who become as much a part of the show as the dedicated cast who contort themselves in a frenzy of vampy lust, shiver nude or beat on their chests with enough conviction to make one wince. And that’s the secret ingredient in this brew.



It takes a very special cast to create this type of gooseflesh inspiring show without being corny. While a few of the scenes are funnier than they are scary, the total commitment to, at the very least, unnerve is more than evident. These cast members want to see you squirm in your seat. And they go to great lengths to achieve the spine-tingling effect with sudden appearances, heavy breathing, rigor facial expressions and screams. Granted no one when seeing it live considers the breathless pace requiring quick set/dress changes, instantaneous poses in total darkness between scenes, and immediate ensemble tableaus, but on reflection, the coordinated efforts and stealthy ability to move around without being audible is extraordinary.

The one unifying story to all these white-knuckling vignettes is that a majority of us want to see something so fantastically horrible or frightening that it leaves us a little more prepared for the real horrors of our day. Or maybe it scars us for life. Who knows? Like any self-respecting zombie, “Urban Death” just won’t die and keeps grabbing more victims. I know I’m a goner.


UPDATED FOR 2014
“Urban Death”
Runs through April 26
Saturdays @ 8:30 pm
ZJU Theatre Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91604
Tickets: $15
Reservations are strongly recommended. It’s a sell-out!
PH: 818-202-4120
www.Zombiejoes.com
www.UrbanDeath.com

--M.R. Hunter (eyespylareviews[at]gmail.com)

For more on theatre, or to read our latest reviews visit our ON STAGE IN LA page. To find local listings of theatres in your area please see our THEATRE or general ENTERTAINMENT page.


Want to know what other Theatre Critics are saying? Check out Bitter Lemons to see if others have reviewed this production.



Follow Eye Spy LA
on TWITTER

TELL YOUR FRIENDS


SUBSCRIBE
FREE Eye Spy LA
Weekly eNews
Don't miss out on our editorials, free & discount ticket offers, and all of the other fun things
to do in LA each week. Take a look at some past issues HERE

For Email you can trust







SUBSCRIBE
FREE Eye Spy LA
Weekly eNews
Don't miss out on free & discount ticket offers
and all of the other fun things to do in LA each week.
Take a look at some past issues HERE

For Email you can trust





MONTHLY LA EVENTS CALENDAR

OCTOBER LA Calendar
Harvests to Halloween and
everything in between this month


HALLOWEEN EVENTS GUIDE
Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Spooks, Haunts and Day of the Dead activities and events


HALLOWEEN HORRORS
Eye Spy LA has been to these and survived





This Month's
EYESTROLOGY FORECAST

If you like to consult the stars before you
venture out - READ THIS














ART THIS WEEK IN L.A.




LOOKING FOR
SOMETHING SPECIFIC?





Eye Spy LA 2003-2013 all rights reserved