Beasts from the Sea: An Interview with Zombie Joe

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater has been on an absolute tear in recent months, with successive performances of Blood Alley, the immersive Father’s Day show Dad, and the seemingly oxymoronic Urban Death for Kidz. Continuing their breakneck pace, Zombie and Co. announced Beasts of the Sea, another thrilling project from the minds behind DarkDark-RideRide which will begin just one week after Urban Death concludes. Tickets are on sale now. We reached out to Zombie via email to learn a bit more about their new deep-sea adventure.


Beasts of the Sea - ZJU


What is Beasts from the Sea?

First of all, thank you soooo much Dan, Taylor, and all of Haunting / HVRTING for all that you do, and for all that you bring to our community! From the Salty Crew that brought you Urban Death and DarkDark-RideRide! Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater Group proudly presents their wild, new, fun and scary, mid-summer, deep-sea, haunted-maze, horror-theater attraction, Beasts from the Sea! This is a super-fun and scary haunted maze with a twist of adventurous theater, and bizarre, emotionally-colorful underworld characters unfolding a mysterious tale submerged within the Sea of Nebulox!


With so many different sub-genres of immersive theater/horror, what is the format of this experience? Will guests be led in a linear fashion from room to room, or will guests have moments of free exploration? Will audiences be able to interact or participate in any scenes, or is it more of a spectator performance?

All of the above, good sir! Audience members will be brought through in groups of up to eight in size through a scary adventurous maze, with moments of free exploration built-in – with some fun and optional unique group and personal interactions/participation within the performance!


Beasts of the Sea - ZJU


You mentioned on some of the promotional materials that this is a haunted maze. Do you consider this a horror show? What level of intensity can audiences expect? Are there any immersive elements (e.g., touch)?

Yes, Yesss and more Yessssss! Beasts from the Sea is a summertime maze of horror and suspense – fun, sorta-scary and delightfully shocking and terrifying – hopefully this monstrosity cools us all off during hot summer months in preparation for our big haunt season! It’s more experiential and theatrical in its haunted-theater-maze aspect, though not deeply immersive in the “touchy-feely” sense, but definitely captures familiar immersive aspects. It’s not very intense, as intense as Reign of Terror might be; for ages 13 and up. There are very few and light immersive elements that involve actual physical touching/contact (like slight touching/handling/leading of the hands and shoulders). No release is to be signed prior to entry.


What, in your opinion, makes for a successful maze? What made the maze format appealing for a deep-sea adventure show?

A successful maze is one that you can actually get through alive in one F-ing piece! 🙂 In our opinion, a successful maze should embark loads of fun, adventure and terror, harboring strange, and boast a plethora of provocative moments (individually as well as their collective sum) within its labyrinth. A successful maze should envelop you into another world – entirely! In Beasts from the Sea, you will be venturing through our deep-sea underworld of Nebulx, unfolding the horror, majesty, and mysteries of its estranged characters, its heroes and villains, and the sheer darkened beauty of its nautical existence. DO IT!!!


Beasts of the Sea - ZJU


How does Beasts from the Sea compare to your other long-running maze, Urban Death: Tour of Terror?

Though something entirely new and different from Urban Death: Tour of Terror, ZJU is creating this new, haunted experience utilizing the building blocks we’ve accrued from our productions throughout the years, from much we’ve learned over time – from our trials, tribulations, triumphs, and even from the challenging elements that we’re constantly tinkering with and improving upon – to build something new, fresh, and fabulous… and hopefully worth coming out to North Hollywood to get your scare on for! But most importantly, Dan, ZJU is about crafting a production and attraction that we can experience and celebrate with joy and excitement, have a blast with, and grow with our beloved community.


What is your process for transforming your theater space for a show like this? How long do you typically spend designing and executing the physical layout?

We might spend quite a bit of time chewing over our designs and concepts – for months or years, even – before we move forward with a layout and its ultimate execution. Much of our creative and production process is not only private, but sorta difficult to explain – possibly something that one needs to be in the center of to fully experience its purpose and specific momentum and heartbeat. We are very much an energy- and emotion-driven theater company and we work with each other quickly, collectively, and with positive, technicolor vibration to build our productions from the ground up.


What can we expect from the theatrical portion? What do you want your audience to walk away with or learn from the experience?

Pray for mercy, justice, and grace from our delightfully horrifying creatures that inhabit our fantastical, psychedelic underworld of Nebulox! We can be pretty insane and outlandish – but definitely expect deep-sea, emotional, monstrous, beautifully terrifying, highly physical and darkly ominous performances from our amazing Beasts from the Sea cast and production team! We would love our peeps to come away with a feeling of joy, elation, freaky-wonderment and an eyebrow-bending, “What the F was THAT?!” and that Beasts from the Sea was something special and memorable, worth coming out for. Expect only the freakiest fun from ZJU and our Beasts from the Sea! Thank you again Dan, and happy HAUNTING!


Beasts of the Sea - ZJU


Find out more about Zombie Joe’s Underground on their website and Facebook page. Buy tickets to Beasts of the Sea here, and follow our Event Guide for more horror and immersive entertainment throughout the year.



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About The Author

Dan Waldkirch
Dan is an artist, musician, chess player, and broken Swedish speaker from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. As the jumpiest man in Los Angeles, he's every scare actor's dream come true.

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