Today we go on location to Zombie Joe's new 20-minute Blind-Folded horror theatre experience that delves into your deepest nighttime terrors! Billed as a safe, non-aggressive, unique & personal phantasmagoric-immersion experience, the show is playing...
Today we go on location to Zombie Joe's new 20-minute Blind-Folded horror theatre experience that delves into your deepest nighttime terrors! Billed as a safe, non-aggressive, unique & personal phantasmagoric-immersion experience, the show is playing through May 30th, 2022. We’ll hear from the cast about what putting the show together was like. Featuring Ben Billand, Cochino Carlos, Charlotte Cocker, Jorge Lozano, Mery Piloyan, Ben Reynolds & Alex Schetter; Directed by Zombie Joe & Jorge Lozano.
Zombie: Good evening, everyone. Good evening. Philip, welcome Haunted Attractions Network to zombie Joe's underground theater group right here on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. Tonight, we're presenting The Bogeyman, which is a 20 minute, blind-folded, horror theater phantasmagoria just for you. Going through in small groups, we start at 7:30, last shows at 10:30 last call. It's a blindfolded experience through your nighttime terrors, it's going to blow you away. Tickets are only $20 bucks, and we're here to thrill and chill, and maybe even have a little bit of fun with y'all.
Philip: Okay, now that you've got the spoiler free gist of the show, let's hear from the cast and crew about its creation.
Jorge Lozano: Hi, my name is Jorge Lozano a co-director of the show with Zombie. This is like the fourth iteration of the show that we've done, it really started with an idea of like just lost and longing, and the shows morphed in, in various different ways, but that was the original feeling, I guess, of loss, of want, and longing, and we just tried to put a show up around that and it became this. We're all kind of wanting you guys to stay with us.
I just want people to feel like we care, and post COVID it's really become a much more tame show. The show really used to be right on top of people, and so we had to adjust. But, I just want to impart like a sort of care. And I think people are so touched the deprived that if they can come here and feel something, some sort of caring touch, that's what I would like to impart on audiences.
Cochino Carlos: To come back and be in this situation and be held and do things, I think it's a pretty good experience for people considering the times and everything. Yeah, this is my first time working with Zombie and George here, and I'm loving and having a great time. It's awesome. And it's something that you can't experience anywhere else, and that's what makes a show great.
Charlotte: I think it's important because, like previously mentioned, people come in here not really knowing what to expect. Initially going into it I was like, "how are people going to respond to this?" Right? And so far, as soon as you touch people, there's like this willingness, they kind of give themselves over to you. There's like this newfound trust that people have on you. Like, when you're leading the blind, they have no other choice, but there's a willingness to do so, they want to dance with you, they want to follow you through this adventure. And when people leave here, it's never like a, "yeah, that was cool." it's always like a, "holy shit!" Like, it's something that you don't really get to experience elsewhere. Yes, there's horror elements to it, but people come out of here almost like soothed. It's almost like therapy, but in a really like twisted manner. So, I think it's like everyone comes out too, and then tells you, they understood a different narrative. Like people are taking away from this what they needed to hear, and what they needed to experience. Oh, yeah. I'm Charlotte, by the way, one of the actors here, it's been a blast. Thanks for coming through and hope everyone else checks it out.
Ben: We first started coming to these shows the last couple of years, and then somehow now we're in the show, we drank the Kool-Aid.
Mary: I can tell the audience is like totally loving it too. They're scared and excited and they're leaving, I think, feeling pretty good about it, having a pretty good time.
Philip: What would you tell someone who hasn't experienced Zombie Joes?
Ben: Oh man, it's always. That's the question. How do you explain it?
Mary: It's really hard describing it.
Ben: Because you don't want to give anything away.
Mary: I say, if you want to get mind fucked and disturbed and slightly turned on, go to Zombie Joes, definitely.
Ben: Don't talk and you give the best answer.
Alex: I am Alex. I do the sound for Boogeyman. Mostly, if you hear music, if it's something that's kind of keeping us from being heard, creeping around in the room when we don't want you to, that's me covering it up. We started with a theme and just kind of trying to build something that would keep that a central sense of what you're feeling throughout the show is really the focus.
Ben Billand: Hello, I'm Ben Billand. I recently just heard of Zombie Joe's and reached out thought it'd be cool to get involved with something and do something unique that I haven't really gotten to do before, and support some local underground art, and it's been a blast. It's more interactive, more immersive. I mean, I don't think I've done much of any film or stage stuff where I get to touch the audience. So, pretty interesting.
Well, as someone with a psychology degree, yeah, touch is incredibly important, just to feel alive and release those oxytocins, and just feeling a connection to your fellow person. It's a beautiful thing, no matter how it's happening, and like we all crave touch and some of us go about it in unhealthy ways, but this is a pretty healthy way to do it, and have it, have some fun, and get some art. So yeah.
Philip: Okay, well, we can't give away the story. We did stop some guests outside and ask them what they thought of the experience.
Guest 1: The only thing that is constant in Zombie Joe's is an absolute cluster F-word of nonsense, horror, madness that you can't expect, and it's beautiful every single time.
Guest 2: I always feel like an eerie feeling, like I'm being haunted afterwards, you know? Like the experience is going to haunt me for life.
Guest 1: Basically, imagine a haunt that's not quite as scary, but much more intense, because you're in it. And buy in it I mean, expect to get touched, expect to get sprayed, expect to touch other people, expect stuff that you have to sign a waiver for.
Guest 2: What should you expect? To be touched a lot. So, if you don't like being touchy-feely, you know, maybe it's not for you, but I like being touchy, feely.
Guest 1: I think it's very important to bring an open mind when coming to this place because the experimental and the underground aspect to it is very, very strong, and you really have to use your own creative knowledge and wisdom to enjoy how insane it truly is.
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group aka Z.J.U. continues to push the limits of live horror and progressive theater as a vital experimental art form. Zombie has performed, directed and produced over 350 productions since ZJU's founding in Northridge, CA in August 1992. He is a huge fan and inspired by the prowess and game-changing stylings of the Great Antonin Artaud and Alfred Jarry (King Ubu), the Russian Masters Dostoevsky, Lermontov, Chekhov, Turgenev, Gogol and Tolstoy, plus historic theatrical visionaries Bertolt Brecht (Caucasian Chalk Circle) Gaspar Noe, George Lucas, Neo (from the Matrix), Denise Devin, and Jana Wimer.