Review: Wildclaw Theatre Presents Deathscribe 2015
Whenever December rolls around I get excited for the annual Deathscribe radio play extravaganza from Wildclaw Theatre. This is the eighth year they’ve been hosting this party and TerrorDave Fuentes and I trekked up to the wilds of the northside of Chicago to enjoy an evening of laughs and gasps at the Mayne Stage.
Motel 666 presented by Wildclaw Theatre
Directed by Scott Cummins
After watching Wildclaw Theatre’s latest work Motel 666, a 7-play anthology based around a creepy hotel room, Terror Dave Fuentes said serveral times that he was reminded of old EC Comics series like Tales from the Crypt. Horror stories are particularly well adapted for short form stories since many revolve around archetypal characters and themes. The murderer facing karmic justice; the innocent person getting into serious trouble after touching an evil object; the monster in the basement taking an unsuspecting home owner by surprise.
The anthology format has worked very well for Wildclaw in their annual radio play competition Deathscribe, so it seems a logical progression to apply the same format to fully staged plays.
The Revenants presented by Wildclaw Theatre
Written by Scott T. Barsotti
Directed by Brad Akin
It’s a cliche nowadays to say that horror stories that become popular reflect the “zeitgeist of the times”. Giant monsters roam around due to radiation? We’re afraid of nuclear bombs. Space aliens secretly infiltrate a town? Communists are endangering our children! The current rage is zombies – faceless hordes wanting nothing more than to eat our flesh and turn us into one of them. Movies and TV shows starring either slow or fast hordes of zombies running amok in the world are everywhere.
Nothing says Happy Holidays like a little bit of horror!
For seven years Chicago’s Wildclaw Theatre has opened the holiday season with a fun performance of 5 radio horror plays. They invite a panel of judges to choose a winner of the coveted Bloody Axe award. The show takes place at the Mayne Stage (http://www.maynestage.com/) which adds to the fun – food and drinks flow freely to the enjoyment of all.
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Let me first get this out of the way: this movie kicks SERIOUS ASS. I can’t recommend it highly enough, so there are no excuses for not seeing this movie right now!
By Kim Newman
511 pp. Titan Books
It’s a tough thing, trying to find a new angle on a horror story. How many different spins could there actually be on the same monster? All the TV shows, movies, and books about vampires, werewolves, and zombies are blending together into an amalgam of brooding bad boys and naughty girls that is getting quite tiresome.
There is one classic horror story that has not been so overdone – the Faustian deal with the Devil story. Most stories that do center around the trope focus on the person making the deal, living a stupendous life, then getting his comeuppance – or getting out of it, depending on the hero – and the devil reaps his reward. Continue reading
Every year since 2008 Wildclaw Theatre has celebrated the holiday season with a Festival of short horror radio plays. Running only 10 minutes in length, these plays have to depend strictly on story and sound to get their ideas across.
I attended my first Deathscribe festival last year with Terror Dave Fuentes (read Dave’s review of it here). Last year I did not know what to expect at all. I’ve been to many theater productions around Chicago, but never to radio plays. It was a lot of fun, so I was really looking forward to this year now that I knew how it worked. Continue reading