Alice in Slasherland – Off Broadway Theater Review
BLOOD, GUTS, DEMONS, AND A TALKING TEDDY BEAR – WHAT'S
NOT TO LIKE?
by Shawn C. Harris
published April 4, 2010
Alice in Slasherland
written (in human blood) by Qui Nguyen
directed (from the pits of hell) by Robert Ross Parker
now playing Off Broadway at HERE Arts Center
through April 10
When you go see Vampire Cowboys' Alice in Slasherland, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
1. Turn off your cell phone, or the Devil's Usher will make you
2. If you have to go to the bathroom when Total Eclipse of the
Heart starts playing – hold it.
3. Try not to have anything in your mouth. The person sitting in
front of you is not going to like you very much when you laugh and spit it out all over them.
Lewis Diaz (Carlo Alban) accidentally resurrects the soul of Alice (Amy Kim Waschke) and literally unleashes Hell
on earth. With infernal emissaries ripping through the town (and its yummy intestines), Lewis and the other survivors (for now) must find a way
to close the portal to Hell before Satan (aka Prince of Darkness aka Evil Incarnate aka The Really Bad Guy aka Andrea Marie Smith) shows up. With
a ton of fake blood and cheesy synth pop riffs, Vampire Cowboys' Alice in Slasherland delivers a laugh-out-loud smorgasbord of horrible
hilarity that's part parody and part love-letter to '80s slasher flicks. And that's not even counting the talking teddy bear.
Alice in Slasherland in no way resembles Lewis Carroll's Alice in
Wonderland (“not even in theme” says the animated video sequence). There is a girl named Alice, but she has . . . issues. And there is a
guy who sort of has a rabbit head (Tom Meyers), but he's really big and carries a machete instead of a pocket watch. Slasherland has
more in common with '80s horror classics like Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Halloween,
and Romero's zombie flicks than with that Victorian trip down the rabbit hole.
And what a trip it is! From the moment the lights dim, Slasherland focuses on the funny for every beat in
its 100 minutes. And it doesn't let up until curtain call. Qui Nguyen's writing is fiendishly funny. He presents you with the same clichés we've
come to love and hate, then injects little twists that jolt your expectations of the story. So you care about the characters even as you wait
(and hope) for them to be slaughtered.
But Slasherland doesn't become truly inspired until Margaret May
(Bonnie Sherman) opens her school locker and we see . . . Edgar, the talking [bleep]-ing teddy bear. Imagine Jim Henson with a Tarantino
twist. That's Edgar. Pay no attention to the man behind the fur (Sheldon Best). Edgar is real. He's real like Kermit the Frog.
By relishing the inherent silliness of '80s horror movies instead of just making fun of it, Alice in
Slasherland succeeds where the Scream films fail. Keeping things light and fresh, it's a welcome change from the ironic disdain so
many film and theatre aficionados have for horror. With Alice in Slasherland, Vampire Cowboys doesn't just tell a story but creates an
experience you'll remember.
Alice in Slasherland shows at HERE Arts Center until April 10. You can buy tickets here. It will only cost your soul.
shawncharris @ stageandcinema.com
photos by Jim Baldassare
read the review by Cindy Pierre