The Horror Honeys: SLASHED! The Musical: A Hollywood Fringe Festival Review

SLASHED! The Musical: A Hollywood Fringe Festival Review


A Theatre Review with Horror TV Honey Kat Wells

Really good slasher films are already kind of like musicals: there’s a lot of buildup between the musical numbers (or gratuitous death scenes), and when you get there, there’s a much-anticipated explosion of emotion that bursts out of characters in song form (or, you know, blood and guts, spurting veins, and machetes through the face). The horror musical is nothing new, but it’s an absolute delight to see the 80s camp slasher fully exploited in this capacity. SLASHED! THE MUSICAL does this, and with the wink and nod that the subgenre deserves.

You know how this goes: a bunch of teens show up to Camp Doom (er...Freedom) for a summer full of fun, archery, and debauchery, but there’s one catch: a crazed killer is on the loose! Here, it’s little Peetie Jergins, who some years ago fell into a bonfire while the counselors were off sexing and drugging it up. Now, Peetie is all grown up and ready to hack and chop his way through the gang of teens who refuse to heed the warnings of the town prophet of doom, Looney Lucy (played with maniacal glee by Fayna Sanchez).

Part of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival, which is dedicated to providing a platform for self-produced theatre in Los Angeles, SLASHED! got a final boost on its long road toward realization through a Go Fund Me campaign, and you can’t help but feel the all-hands-on-deck energy that the production exudes. So many of the 80s slashers this musical comedy splatterfest pays tribute to were products of creative teams working with little money and lots of love (or, at the very least, joyfully sick senses of humor), and in this way, SLASHED! kind of feels like being in the middle of the battle zone on the set of one of those films, but with a modern twist.

Which is not to say that this show feels anything other than professional and well-produced. Director Chelsea Stardust has got a talented and game cast on her hands and knows how to use them. The music is well-written and performed (Clarke Wolfe sounds like a Disney princess), the character tropes are exploited and subverted in really fun ways, (Kristyn Chalker is deadpan comedy gold as the bad girl/final girl/slasher of slashers), and the kills are creatively staged (I got hit by an errant hand as it tumbled into the front row, a true highlight of the evening for me). Crazed killer Peetie Jergins even has his own spooky-synth theme music to let you know he’s near!

The cast of SLASHED! THE MUSICAL
(Photo courtesy of Fayna Sanchez's Instagram)
SLASHED! is a total blast to watch. The actors all know the show they’re in and play it to the hilt, whether they’re simulating raunchy teenage sex or dancing to the catchy “Camp Doom” theme that’s still stuck in my head (shout out to Blumhouse.com’s Rebekah McKendry for her campy and fun choreography). At a tight 45 minutes, it feels like there is room for expansion of the characters and songs into a full-length musical. Who knows if writer Sean Keller has any of that in mind, but I sure hope so. SLASHED! is already pretty much sold out for its Fringe run, but you can download the original cast album for FREE here!

SLASHED! THE MUSICAL is playing now at the OMR Theater as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Cast includes: Curt Bonnem, Kristyn Chalker, Acquah Dansoh, Sean Keller, Timothy Kopacz, Mary O’Neil, Fayna Sanchez, Elissa Wagner and Clarke Wolfe.

Directed by Chelsea Stardust

Book, Music & Lyrics by Sean Keller