Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Slasher!": ☼ ☼

You get a lot in Allison Moore's "Slasher" -- a few quarts of blood, a pretty girl in a purple bra, a spoof of Hollywood low-budget flasher movies and some spirited and delightfully demented performances. What, you want all the parts to fit together?

Susi Damilano plays a feminist mom who is also a lunatic ("I'm gonna force feed you the collected works of Betty Friedan"), Robert Parsons is a sleezeball horror film producer and director Jon Tracy tries hard to help us keep track of whose blood is whose, despite an insane amount of scene changes and an ambulance full of plot points that are never quite explained.

Starting out with...how does Sheena McKinney (Tonya Glanz), the Texas barmaid, know how to so perfectly handle her negotiations with the Hollywood film producer (Robert Parsons)? And speaking of Texas, if that's where all the characters in the show come from, how come nobody has a Texas accent?

On a philosophical level, the concepts of sexploitation and Hollywood worship of youth are worth discussing. That the horror film genre appears to be becoming more popular as real life gets more and more impossible to believe is a topic well worth pondering.

Everything gets touched upon but there is no time for reflection. Sets are flying open, weapons appearing and disappearing, actors walking, crawling and zipping across the stage in a battery powered wheel chair. It's hard to follow, and not always easy to see -- for example, if you're sitting in the back of the theater you have to stand up to realize -- hey, there's a body on the floor! Did they mean it when that riser was still being pushed into place while the actors were already speaking their lines?

It's early. This SF Playhouse production is a Bay Area Premiere of Moore's 2009 show. It's promising but could use a few bandages.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Slasher" Two Stars. There are some fine performances (Damilano, Robert Parsons and Cole Alexander Smith, in particular) but they are easy to overlook in all the mayhem. "Slasher" holds our interest but, like life, it needs a better ending.

San Francisco Playhouse
533 Sutter St., San Francisco
Through June 5

1 comment:

jj-aka-pp said...

This is about to open at Actor's Express here in ATL. This script was a winner at the Humana Festival (last year?, I think)
I was thinking I'd go see it, but now I must so that we can kibitz!