Ever see something you can’t fully wrap your head around or even describe? Well that’s what Urban Death is. UD is a macabre play that will make you jump. From the moment the lights go out and the clickity clack of unknown horrors and the shuffle of dead bodies fill the air you know you are in for a scary night.
The play itself has no dialogue and is composed of several vignettes ranging anywhere from thirty seconds to five-ish minutes. Between each vignette the lights go out plunging you into unexpected darkness. Several times they even found a way to make it go from pitch black to an even darker black that you didn’t think was possible. The effect is so surreal that you instantly feel compressed and isolated. Your ears begin to strain for the slightest movement, your eyes not used to being blind dart from place to place never finding an object to focus on. Suddenly the lights flash on and standing not two feet from you is a completely naked woman shivering and staring off into space. It’s literally like looking into another reality she pays the audience no heed concerned only with some horror you cannot see. Then out of nowhere comes a deranged clown sneaking up on her with a garrote. He takes his time tip toeing with psychotic glee as violin strings scratch at your ears with every determined step. His victim unaware becomes calm for a moment when suddenly he jerks her up by the neck, she screams and the lights plunge you into darkness yet again…
From there the night progressed down many more dark turns, each more macabre than the last. You start to notice a pattern though. There are many many forms of death in the urban landscape. The loss of a loved one which leaves you hollow inside. The death of your innocence. The death of your sanity. The death of your purity, coming around to even the death of your sexuality. No longer do the dalliances of your youth satiate your desires. The macabre urban landscape we live in drives us to deeper darker desires until eventually nothing will satisfy us and we castrate ourselves.
What can I say Urban Death is about all types of death and is macabre from end to end. Hollywood could learn a thing or two from this director and actors. Learn that sometimes that which we do not see is far more scary. Even the cheap scares aren’t what you think they would be, if you are a fan of horror you are used to the “look over here while we put the monster behind you”, what we aren’t used to is the “look over here while we reflect the monster that was inside you all along”.
If you haven’t been to see Urban Death at Zombie Joes in North Hollywood yet go now. If you’ve already been go again it is worth the price of admission.