If you’re an avid fan of all classic horror films—even or especially the ridiculously cliched ones—your weekend probably included taking in "Evil Dead: The Musical" at the Overture Center. When my editor sent out the email for someone to cover the musical, let’s just say I have never pounced that fast on anything. So come Thursday night, my friend and I headed on over to the Overture, to take in our very first show there. Needless to say, we could not have possibly picked a better one.
Unapologetically crude, hilariously gory and filled with obvious satires of horror cliches, The Evil Dead musical had you in the grips of laughter throughout—either laughing at them or with them. Right from the beginning, the curtain going up slapped you in the face with brilliantly screaming colors, slightly maniacal vocals and a picture perfect stereotypical group of five college students. Speaking only in obvious rips from the original Evil Dead film, the musical showed nothing but promise with the exclamation of, “We are spending our spring break in a deserted cabin in the middle of nowhere with only one path leading up to it and no one aware of our location... What could possibly go wrong, right?” The answer to that would be a lot, in case you were missing a few million brain cells and contemplating doing the same.
The musical’s high point though was its entertaining and extremely imaginative sound track. With winning duets like, “What the F**k Was That?," “Good Old Reliable Jake," “Look Who’s Evil Now," “Ode to an Accidental Stabbing," “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” and other equally charming songs, it left you scrambling to keep snippets of these lyrics in your mind for later use.
As per all bad horror movie traditions, you witness the turning of these friends into demons one by one, starting with the weakest and the most disposable—obviously. The male lead is then left to fight his sister, girlfriend and best friend by himself, until of course the well-timed and absolutely coincidental arrival of a busty heroine with a recently and again well-timed deceased boyfriend. Together, these two as the last hope of humanity go about defeating the demons amidst a lot of accidentally on purpose ripped clothes and sexual innuendoes so bad they started sounding good.
The show as a tributary ode to gore and blood cannot be overlooked. With the front few rows of audience designated as the ‘Splatter Row,' there was a lot of blood being sprayed about. Be it from the protagonist sawing off his own hand and screaming “Die” or his best friend clutching his own intestines and screaming “I am really about to die,” the gore mingled with gaudy humor prompted you to laugh without fail, every single time.
In the words of my esteemed and extremely eloquent bro August, “At the moment when the main character burst into song while simultaneously chainsawing a demon's head and choking on the resulting stream of spewing blood, I learned the true meaning of musical theater.” I could not possibly have put it better myself.