While I was in Salt Lake City last week, I took advantage of the Comic Con performance of Evil Dead: The Musical. I’m completely torn on how to review this.
First off: It’s not for kids. At all. Not even sorta. DON’T TAKE THEM!
The play had what the Evil Dead franchise has been bringing us for years… to the max! Blood, swearing, and underwear were rampant throughout. The swearing, however, was considerable more than the films. I went into expecting all these things during the performance, so they really didn’t surprise me when they occurred.
The biggest problem I had with the performance were the emcees. A man wearing one of the show’s demon masks and a sidekick demon introduced the play, and “entertained” during intermission. Essentially, their “entertainment” consisted of insulting people and dropping F-bombs. In the play, the swearing was expected and usually appropriate for the scene. These two guys felt like they were trying way too hard. Like, “Whatever I say will be funnier if I say ‘f***.'” They also required the audience to flip off a camera for a photo. I opted not to. (I was very glad my wife chose not to go.)
The 4-D aspect of hitting the front of the audience with blood was a fun addition. I was not in the “splatter zone,” however I was in the next row back. I got hit by some overshot splatter a few times. Sadly, I did not get the free t-shirt for it though.
The acting was dry during the first half of the show. Ash didn’t seem like he was having much fun up there. They got into a groove by Act II and their performances all improved. The one exception to this was Ash’s sister Cheryl. She was perfectly acted throughout the evening, even after she… transformed. (No spoilers!) The actress playing Annie was great, but she doubled as Shelly in the first scenes where she was less-than-great. She also ended up the most naked, although every female character had a bra showing through a ripped shirt at some point. (I was very glad my wife chose not to go.)
The music was silly, as it was supposed to be, but was not great. I didn’t leave the theater humming any of the tunes.
The plot was loose, but so is the movie’s plot. However, it seemed that things were happening for no reason. Demons would appear out of nowhere and with no real motivation.
The play itself could be very entertaining. It referenced the movies several times in hilarious ways, quoting some of Bruce Campbell’s most popular lines from the Evil Deads and Army of Darkness. The jokes were funny, especially when Ash loses his hand (okay, one spoiler).
This performance was disappointing, but this could be because we were not at their standard Vegas venue. Overall though, the Evil Dead 4-D Musical Experience was not my favorite. (I was very glad my wife chose not to go.)
So, Evil Dead fans, does this sound like YOUR kind of show?