“Blistered Hands Is A Creepy, Mysterious Macabre of Surprises!”

Written By Lorenzo Marchessi

Looking for a cleverly written, witty, cleverly staged, macabre-stylized comedy-ish/psycho-drama with a few surprises? Then run, don’t walk, to Zombie Joes Underground Theatre in North Hollywood to see “Blistered Hands and Bloody Mouths”.

zombie joes
Valorie Hubbard, Anastasia Charlambous, Sam LaFrance

The setting is somewhere in the south in present day and the creepy, somewhat sick past of each of these three characters unfolds before your eyes. Imagine a young English woman living with her roommate who is an older southern woman who both have very different attitudes about a man who is supposedly locked away for murder many times over. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Margaret is the older southern woman who gets paranoid, scared and down-right irrationally excited about everything that is ‘Ray’. Valorie Hubbard does an amazing job at giving the overly passionate and excited performance that is of a woman on the edge of losing touch with her own reality. Valorie gives a rich performance and is detailed in her looks and actions and at points you’re almost sympathetic to her delusional paranoia.

Millie is from London and through a very strange series of circumstances, ends up being roommates with Margaret. Anastasia Charlambous is a wonderfully fresh English actress who really gives Millie a real center. Anastasia also gives a performance that borders on what could be called ‘insanely quiet’ because at first she is the most rational of the three, but later…let me just say you would not wanna be left alone with her. Yikes!

Now there is Ray. Ray is just plain sick, mad, mentally disturbed and downright evil. Sam LaFrance gives a tour-de-force performance of this loud, obnoxious and absolutely morbid nut-case/psychopath. Sam gives a real straight out insane performance that will make the hair on your neck stand up especially when you see his disastrous works or ‘carvings’ (spoilers).

Now the best part for me are these two pieces of information. The wonderfully fresh, if gory, script was written by Sam LaFrance (Ray) himself and the entire production was masterfully and quite colorfully directed by Valorie Hubbard (Margaret) herself. So, not only do you have the dedicated performances from the actors in this show, but the literary and technical excellence from the cast as well. Making this a supremely personal journey for all of them!

The show is bloody, loud in places, there are gunshots and its defiantly not for the young, but the characters, story and graphic illustrations of Ray’s ‘work’ will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole performance. This is a nice short compact three-act story with a strange beginning, a bizarre middle and a more then shockingly ‘different’ ending. Go see it, now! Check them out at wwww.ZombieJoes.com.

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