When I first went into the small, intimate Hollywood Fringe space to see Slashed! The Musical, I had no idea what to expect. I’d only seen a couple of horror musicals up to that point (if Rocky Horror even really counts as a horror musical), and I wasn’t sure of what would await me. Would there be singing, and dancing? Fun props? Blood splatter effects?
In short, Slashed! had all of these, and then some. It was one of the most delightful, entertaining experiences I’ve had at a live horror production in a long time, and in just over 40 minutes, I couldn’t believe how much cheesy fun there was to be had.
For one, the cast was fantastic – all animated to the point of ridiculousness, with their comedic timing all sharpened to a fine point. Everyone got a chance to shine in each of their stereotypical horror cliche roles, from the virgin (Tim Kopacz, a surprising and hilarious subversion to the “Final Girl” cliche) to the “crazy lady in the woods” (Fayna Sanchez, complete with voodoo dolls) to the vengeful killer (played by musical scribe Sean Keller), who had an amazing musical moment that I won’t spoil here. There wasn’t a dull or under-acted part in the whole production, and it was fantastic to see such a fun group of actors all play off of each other.
Considering that indie productions such as this can often fall victim to their own limitations – shooting for something grander or more complicated than what they’re capable of in whatever space / budget the show has – Slashed! went the opposite direction and used its indie theater setting to its full advantage. One of the best parts of Slashed! is just how much camp-per-capita was present in every square inch of the show, from the set pieces (two tents on either side of the stage, used in a number of creative and hilarious ways) to the writing and dialogue (“I knew I shouldn’t have smoked that bowl in the eighth grade!”) to the fantastic musical numbers, complete with choreography and harmonies. The embracing of the B-movie fare that the show clearly drew such inspiration from was one of the reasons why Slashed was so successful – it wasn’t afraid to laugh at itself and throw in a Dirty Dancing reference here and there.
Speaking of which, the music in this show was essentially the secret, final cast member: it was fun, catchy, and laugh-out-loud funny. As previously stated, the puns and references abound in Slashed!, and the show milks them for all they’re worth. At one point in a song, the background singers even break into a “Hack! Hack! Chop! Chop!” in a style reminiscent of the infamous “Ki ki ki ki ma ma ma ma” from Harry Manfredini’s iconic Friday the 13th score, in full cheesy seriousness. There was some serious thought put into the music for Slashed!, and I can’t thank writer and lyricist Sean Keller enough for his attention to detail that made little moments like that stand out throughout the show.
I happened to see Slashed! on its closing night, and I gotta be honest – I was sad to see it go. It was a secret gem, one that caught me completely off-guard with its genuine spirit, ability, and wit. There’s talks of the show continuing and having another run, and believe us, we here at PopHorror will be the first to let you know. This is a show not to be missed. It has something for every horror fan, casual or not, and it was legitimately some of the most fun I’ve had at an independent production in a while.
You can listen to the soundtrack here, and find more info at the show’s official Facebook page! Again, we will post / update this page if the show does decide to continue its run – it would be a huge mistake to miss it!