Lisa Vertiel and Lisa Branham in
Attack of the Killer Murder of Death
Photo credit: D Hastings

Scream queens, atomic monsters and aliens abound. And that's even before the murder in Theatre Schmeater's first full production in their new space, "Attack of the Killer Murder of ... Death". B grade movies haven't been this much fun since Mystery Science Theater 3000 as director and author Wayne Rawley has concocted a behind the scenes look of a 50's B movie set where the aging diva of the film is suddenly MURDERED!!! (DUN DUN DUUUUN!)

And all the requisite stereotypes are here. The beleaguered director (J.D. Lloyd), the ball busting producer (Lisa Viertel), the wanna be star (Alyssa Keene), the dimwitted and chisel jawed hero (Tim Moore), the plucky crew (Allie Pratt, Lantz Wagner, Corey McDaniel, Alyssa Bostwick and Nik Doner) and the aging Diva (Lisa Branham) who has secrets on them all. So with all her dirt it's no surprise that the Diva gets bumped off, but who did it and how will the rest of them get off the isolated island they're stuck on til morning with their lives? Well never fear because the hardboiled detective is here (Ashley Bagwell) and he can ferret them out. It's a fun romp through a mystery with enough twists and turns for a roller coaster and enough laughs for everyone all guided by Rawley who brought us the award winning "Live From the Last Night of My Life".

The cast takes on the camp and kitsch of the 50's style with glee especially Moore who has had enough practice from his prior work on Schmeater's "Twilight Zones". The entire ensemble each kills (metaphorically) with their hilarious antics and spot on comedic timing. But there were some absolutely hilarious stand outs. Branham has her bitchy diva act down pat and is one actress you'd never want to cross. She even managed to elicit applause in one scene without ever saying a word. Doner with his hysterical facial expressions even made his time in the background of scenes stand out. And McDaniel's home spun cowboy was amazing and got even better when he ... whoops, can't give that away. (wink wink)

I really can't say too much else without letting loose some spoilers but the mystery will keep you guessing through all the red herrings and accusations down to the final moments. Complete with perfect mood music from Al Angel and the most deliciously ridiculous monster from Cole Hornaday and Amy LaZerte "Attack of the Killer Murder of ... Death" has earned itself a macabre YAY with my three letter rating system. Belly laughs, blood and bottom of the barrel horror. What more can you ask for?

"Attack of the Killer Murder of ... Death" performs at Theater Schmeater through August 16th. For tickets or information visit them online at

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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