A Nightmare On Love Street
left hand productions @ Gluttony – La Petite Grande
10:30pm, Wed 12 Mar 2014
It sounds like a great premise: two charismatic performers with ten horror scenes under their belts, coagulating a story from five of those scenes at the audience’s request. Throw in a deliberately B-grade movie aesthetic, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a rollicking good time.
Alas, no. Whilst performers Kurt Phelan and Branden Christine – playing the love-torn characters Freddy and Carrie – certainly don’t lack enthusiasm, the relentless pace and raucous delivery got a little tiresome after a while, with the cacophony of noise and colour feeling a little too one-note-ish. Of course, I’d felt immediately disenfranchised during the voting process: with ten movie posters on display to the audience, we were asked to applaud for each one to determine the scenes to be used for the performance; sure, Poltergeist, The Shining, and Evil Dead received healthy support from the rest of the audience, but so did Carrie, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th… and when it came time to support Twin Peaks, I was the only member of the audience to hoot and holler. The rest of the crowd turned and looked at me, quizzically; “Oh, come on, you fuckers!” was the only way I could express my disappointment.
Freddy and Carrie lusted after each other through the five disconnected scenes, interleaved with lascivious lounging: the safety word “Pineapple” was used a few times to jolt the next scene into action. But, for me, there was very little to connect with here, and – with the Evil Dead tree rape scene being the notable exception – there was little empathy for the snippets of material on show.
And that’s a shame, really, because I do like a good bit of schlock horror… it’s just that I never really had a reason to engage with A Nightmare On Love Street. It felt like it was targeting people for whom Scream was a credible horror movie… and I found that incredibly difficult to reconcile.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 12, 2014