Evil Dead - The Musical (Ultimate 4D Las Vegas Experience) Review



   There are not many horror movies which can be successfully adapted into musicals for the stage. Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, however, isn't your conventional horror film and, accordingly, Evil Dead: The Musical isn't your run-of-the-mill stage show either.

   The production, currently running out of Las Vegas' Tommy Wind Theater, is a laugh out loud hilarious, madcap infectious production unlike any other you've ever seen before and well worth the pilgrimage to Nevada for fans of the source material.

   Taking the narrative of Raimi's movies as a starting point, Evil Dead: The Musical ramps up the already present slap-stick found in the films to ludicrously joyous levels - bloody violence has seldom been so hilarious and a repeated visual gag involving a missing appendage is worth the entrance fee alone. The production, too, is peppered with Broadway inspired numbers featuring titles such as "The Men In My Life Keep Getting Killed By Candarian Demons" and the appropriately named "What the Fuck Was That?".

   Taking on a role made iconic by the legendary Bruce Campbell is no easy ask but, thankfully, the current iteration of the show boasts Chris Weidman as its lead - a gleefully charismatic performer able to deliver the most ridiculous of lines with a Louis Theroux-esque naive earnesty when required or, as the action escalates, to ratchet up a maniacal intensity with equal abandon. He is a thrill to watch - the unbridled fun he is clearly having in spades on stage transfers to the audience easily. Its a delight to sit and witness his bravura performance anchoring a show riddled with chaotic speldour and splenderous chaos.



   For the bravest of fans, however, watching the show in the "splatter zone" (as this writer did) is an essential upgrade on a regular ticket. The 4D, interactive element of the Las Vegas production comes with an area of seats in front of the stage which get "splattered" in blood to coincide with unfolding violence taking place on stage. As hands are chopped and demons slayed, blood squirts out into the audience in abundance - "splatter" may be a misleading adjective as I left the show completely soaked, dripping fake blood as I rushed down the Las Vegas strip seeking the sanctuary of a warm shower. It says something profound about the town that the only reaction this sight received was a waitress, noting the torrents of gore over my T-shirt, asking if I'd had a good time.

   As I stood under the hot beams of water, rinsing off the blood which soaked through the cast signed T-shirt I'd been donated to watch the show in, I wondered which would wash away first - the copious red stains across my back or the smile on my face from witnessing such a euphoric performance.

   A week later, clean as a whistle and high on life, I found myself giggling as I reminisced of Ash crooning away about shooting the demon in the tits. These memories, I realised, are the ones that will live on and on... like an undead apparition haunting my thoughts. This is a deliriously fun and funny show which gets two, blood-splattered thumbs up from this writer.


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