At once dark, delicious descent into a pageant of gore, and luminous musical romp through the most ignoble archetypes inhabiting our collective image repertoire, playing late nights in the heart of Noho, writer-director Zombie Joe’s, Urban Death, drives the final stake through the heart of the mere notion that anything is or can be sacred – at least not anything ordained as such by the despicable creatures paraded before us in scene after lurid scene, creatures we can only recognize as us.
Jake McDonald – NoHoArtsDistrict
I hesitate to call anyone a genius on the basis of two productions, but if Sotto Voce alerted me to the unique talents of Zombie Joe, then Urban Death, the beautifully strange and ever evolving Saturday late night show at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, confirmed and validated my impression that there is a genius living inside the director’s crazily radical head.
Harvey Perr – Stage and Cinema
In the course of an hour show, audiences will be treated to nearly fifty of these mini-scenes, some terrifying, some dark comedy, that perhaps are best described as living portraits or statues.
David Markland – CreepyLA
But putting Urban Death into words will never really do it full justice, especially because the show itself lacks dialogue of any kind. There’s plenty of laughing and screaming, both in the audience and onstage, but no words are spoken.
Craigh Clough – North Hollywood Patch
Urban Death is a collection of 46 horror vignettes. Some are shocking and scary. Some are inappropriately funny. Some are just disturbing.
Fred Topel – North Hollywood Patch
Every once in a while you see something in the horror world that’s so smart, so different, so entertaining that you have to tell everyone about it. Well lucky you because that’s what just happened to me this past weekend in North Hollywood at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group. Their new signature horror production, Urban Death, is the most entertaining live show I’ve seen in years, and single-handedly proves that horror is not only alive but thriving, if you know where to look for it.
Drew Daywalt – Fear.net
One of the most successful shows at Zombie Joe’s Underground, “Urban Death,” explores the depths of horror in theater. Through music and color, “Urban Death” splashes vivid and disgustingly beautiful images on the bloody canvas of the stage. If you’re seeking heart-pounding thrills, “Urban Death” is the play for you.
Nataly Chavez – Campus Circle
Those who’ve already seen one of the earlier productions of “Urban Death” should return like the Living Dead and get ready to party because Zombie Joe has added more to his repertoire. The tried and true terrors like listening to the scuttling of rats in total darkness or seeing a baby eat his excrement are all still there for your twisted viewing pleasure. There’s vomit, drugs, semen, rape and other garden-variety misfortunes as well as the outright freakish and strange.
M.R. Hunter – EyeSpyLA
ZJU’s been doing this show in various forms since 2005 – including an East Coast edition – and the years of experience show in this tightly-paced, uniquely macabre work, directed for maximum effect by ZJ with atmospheric music by Michael Maio.
Kurt Gardner – Blog Critics
If you haven’t been to see Urban Death at Zombie Joes in North Hollywood yet go now. If you’ve already been go again it is worth the price of admission.
Spencer Cotter – The_Detective
I am lost in a sea of words that describe this masterpiece. Much like that old adage water water everywhere, and not a drop of it to drink. Words words everywhere, and none do justice.
Spencer Cotter – The_Detective
Directed with humor and panache by Zombie Joe, who utilizes a creepy and eclectic score by Christopher Reiner and Michael Maio, this is no bleak worldview, but a sensory-inducing shockfest of images and short scenes, some of which contain better storytelling in 15 seconds than most other Horror Shows known as Los Angeles Theater achieve in 90 minutes.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema
What you carry away from this hour-long event remains up to you. This is not Arthur Miller or George Bernard Shaw, telling you want to think. Nor is it a history, albeit fictional, from which you derive what lessons you can (thus we’re not in the land of Tennessee Williams or William Shakespeare). Rather we experience something, and take from it only what the visceral sense of events can. A bit of Ionesco, a few touches of Edward Albee, some dashes of Lady Gaga–but also first and foremost Zombie Joe.
David MacDowell Blue – Night-Tinted Glasses
There’s nothing else in town quite like it. Really, there’s nothing else anywhere quite like it.
Lyle Zimskind – LAist
I was disturbed. I was aroused. I was confused. Frightened. Overjoyed. Stunned.
Abel Horwitz – A Bull
Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre
4850 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(ONGOING) EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 8, 2013
Saturdays @ 11 p.m.
Tickets: $15; (818) 202-4120
Filed Under: LemonMeter
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.