Horror Props

Sheer Bloody Lunacy’s brief and none-too-subtle ode to The Rocky Horror Picture Show makes perfect sense, despite the fact that — in the context of the actual production — it makes no sense at all. In addition to delivering a humorous twist on the horror genre and a quick tribute to that deathless object of camp idolatry, Sheer Bloody Lunacy — playing at the Overtime Theater through November 8 — features ridiculously over-the-top performances, humorous song and dance, and, of course, half-naked hardbodies trying to stave off certain death.

I enjoyed every minute of it.

The plot, lifted from hoary Italian flick Bloody Pit of Horror, is straightforward. Seeking out an ideal location for a magazine shoot, a troupe of models stumbles upon an old castle that houses the remains of a deceased murderous maniac, the Crimson Executioner. The photo shoot begins. The slow-witted, easy-on-the-eyes models start dropping. There’s a hair-raising climax, and a simple story resolution. The end.

Fortunately, the pandemonium between the onslaught of violence and the rather predictable conclusion is anything but formulaic. Sheer Bloody Lunacy’s antagonist — castle proprietor and former action star turned recluse Travis Anderson — is portrayed with perfection by Chris Berry. In addition to fitting the physical bill — dude is ripped — Berry nails the role of Anderson as an insecure, vanity-stricken hermit who believes himself to be the Crimson Executioner. With the fleshiest, most layered role of any cast member, he shines as the twisted villain — who might have been engaged to a member of the magazine crew in a previous life. The stable of expiration-date hotties includes the radiant Priscilla Stanley, who shines as one of the damsels in distress.

Although it’s billed as a Halloween musical, Sheer Bloody Lunacy features music only intermittently. And although the music — composed by Phillip Luna, with lyrics by Jon Gillespie and accompanying choreography by co-director Charles Barksdale — is enjoyably campy, the actors’ singing voices were often drowned out by booming background music and poor microphone quality. The production thrives when the music is turned off, and when Berry is onstage.

Sure, Sheer Bloody Lunacy is ridiculous; at one point late in the production, Anderson up and joins a group of Rocky Horror Picture Show devotees on their way to the show. From where those devotees came, and their purpose in the plot? Not a clue. And, yes, the production features enough blow-up dolls and body oil to satisfy the Megaplexxx crowd. Fortunately, the production’s silliness and so-bad-its-good style are intentional. And for those who don’t mind leaving pretentiousness — not to mention good taste — at the door, the Overtime Theater’s latest makes for one hell of a bloody good time.


Sheer Bloody Lunacy
8pm Fri & Sun
9:30pm Sat
Through Nov 1
$12, $9 teachers
Thu, roll the die
Overtime Theater
1216 West Ave.
(210) 380-0306

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