Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jason watches the Primitive Screwheads "Kentucky Jones and the Carpet of Doom"

I think a functional indicator of addiction could be when you fly home from vacation and instead of going home you go straight out to get your fix. Guess what, I didn't go straight to the movies from the airport...I went to a live stage play.

Another Hole in the Head presented a Primitive Screwheads production of "Kentucky Jones and the Carpet of Doom". The Primitive Screwheads, of course, are the (in)famous San Francisco theatre troupe who do blood-soaked comic adaptations of famous horror movies. Well, they've showered the city in so much fake blood that they can't get a performance space anymore, so for their Indiana Jones parody they took a whole new direction and went dry (and as a result, could book the beautiful Brava Theater). Sure, they still throw (fake) rocks and (also fake) snakes at the audience, they run through and over the audience, and I did get misted with water from a giant snake (which was nice and refreshing on an unseasonably hot night), but there are no pictures of my blood soaked underwear coming from this show.

To be honest, I was a little worried about the idea of a "dry" Screwheads show. Their comedy definitely falls to the corny and juvenile side, and I didn't know how well it would carry a show without the carnage of spraying blood. But an interesting thing happened. I think without the blood they forced themselves to tighten up the writing, acting, everything and actually put on a better comic performance. Previous Primitive Screwheads shows have been a pretty equally balanced combination of laughs (at the good jokes), groans (at the bad jokes), and shrieks (at the blood and guts). This show took out the shrieks, but also upped the laughs and minimized the groans. There was a large, raucous audience and from what I could tell everyone enjoyed it. You do have to know what you're getting into, as I said before their humor runs towards the corny and juvenile. There were many jokes about balls ("Belloq" became "Balzac/Ball Sack/Nut Sack"), ass ("very dangerous...I'll go first"), teabagging, etc. in this story of disgraced archaeologist Tiberius K. "Tucky" Jones and his mission to find the mythical flying carpet of Solomon. But I think there comic timing was tighter than ever before. And I can't put my finger on it, but for some reason the map sequences--where they replaced the classic red dot with a toy Millennium Falcon--still crack me up.

I'm just a little sad that I caught the last show of this run, since I can't tell all my loyal readers to go out and see it. However, I have it as a solid rumor that they might try to revive this show sometime in the August/September time frame, for a longer run. So I'll keep my eyes open, and let you know. Especially if you've been intrigued by the Primitive Screwheads shows before, but are afraid of getting soaked with blood.

By the way, you shouldn't let the fact that I'm the recognized #1 Screwhead fan make you think my review is somehow unreliable. Or maybe you should, I don't give a crap. You know I don't like tooting my own horn, but I'm going to go right ahead and do that anyway, because it's pretty fuckin' cool. First, they actually held the start of the show for 30 minutes to give me time to get to the theater (BTW, thank you Ira for picking me up and driving me there, I owe you). Then they introduced me as a special guest before the show (and I apologized for making everyone wait). Then the show. Then many drinks and hugs with the cast at the after party. Then they took me in a back room where they made me drink a foul green liqueur called Chartreuse, making me an honorary Primitive Screwhead--the only audience member ever honored in this manner. Despite the hangover the next morning, I'm deeply honored and only hope I prove able to bear this honor with distinction. Thank you guys!

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