Reverend Al — he of Cacophony Society fame – has nightmared up another Art of Bleeding outdoor, three-night affair titled Haunted Highway 2, featuring a full-scale car crash scene (where you can trick or treat!), plus an ambulance show, blood wrestling (hmmm), plus readings of personal emergency room stories by a rotating roster that includes Margaret Cho, Andy Dick, Kim Fowley, Neil Hamburger, Ron Lynch, Selene Luna, Don Bolles, Stephen Holman, Clint Catalyst and many more.
What about Highway to Hell 2 are you most excited about?
Piling up the cars into a realistic accident is greasy, destructive fun. All in the name of safety education, of course. We’re proud to be following the footsteps of the old roadshow huckster who traveled around dodging the law by presenting titillating, gruesome content as “educational.” The blood wrestling will take place atop a festively adorned stakebed truck, which I think will only enhance that fly-by-night carny feel. I’m seeing the whole thing as a carnival where it’s okay to laugh and stare at awful things. It’s something we all need to do. It’s healthy and even traditional. What we’re doing isn’t much different from the way Death is treated comically in Day of the Dead traditions. We don't have sugar skulls, but we’re giving away candy. Visitors are going to be given bags and allowed to trick-or-treat amid the “dead and dying” posed in the cars, who’ll greet them with bags of candy in their bloody laps.
And I’m excited that all these amazing guests have agreed to share their personal stories. I’m hoping this brings in similar stories from the audience. We’ll have a camera set up in a quite corner to record people if they want to contribute to our audio and video archive of “Gory Details Stories.” All this material we share online via our website and YouTube channel. This should jump-start our next round of recordings when we taking the ambulance out to record stories on city streets in the coming months.
Can you spill anything about the personal emergency room stories?
I’m guessing Neil Hamburger surely has some interesting stories about his liver, but I haven’t heard most of the specific stories yet. Everyone has some misery worth sharing, and we just invited people who would make that misery somehow entertaining.
I do know that Kim Fowley has been fighting various forms of cancer since 1993. He has to go in every 90 days for bladder cancer surgery. That’ll be the topic of a musical back-and-forth he’s doing with model/singer Brianna Garcia and UK punk-rocker Noizee on fiddle. He described it as essentially a comic, a Martin & Lewis routine. I think he’s going to make cancer cool again. I suspect when he’s done everybody will want to run out and get a cancer of their own.
Please describe Bouncehausen for us.
They will be creating their own little world inside on the theater stage and are playing not only before the outdoor performances, but also during them, and probably long after we go home. I don’t think they’ll stop for the three-day run. Catheters and IV feedings may be involved. They described something that sounded like Balinese shadow-puppet theater but also mentioned a “blood canon.” I expect there will be guitar, Theremins, sequenced loops, homemade instruments and God knows what else. Their stated goal is to sonically recreate the moment of impact in an auto crash – but extended into a three-day symphony. The band is composed of musicians from the bands Woodpussy, WACO, Millisecond Evolution and Gingerbread Swastika and directed by artist Jason Hadley.
The Steve Allen Theater at The Center For Inquiry, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlwyd.; Fri.-Sun., Oct. 28-30, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 666-4268; www.steveallentheater.com
Fri., Oct. 28, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 30, 8 p.m., 2011