Every Halloween I go to some show that is designed especially for the season. This year I saw The Witching Hour: Four Terrifying Tales of Horror at the Actor's Workout Studio in the NoHo Arts District on Lankershim Boulevard. I wasn’t really scared, but I don’t think that was the intention. Rather, I think the writers and producers wanted to present four stories like those you might find on Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone.
In that they succeeded, but sometimes the stories were overwritten and it was too easy to see where they were going. However, younger kids might like the show, because the tales are more creepy and funny than really really scary.
The first was called “Fear is Only Skin Deep,” by L. G. Ross, directed by Jimmi James. It's an inside-Hollywood horror story in which a young screenwriter meets a producer of horror films who thinks his material is crap. The writer volunteers to scare him. The cast consisted of L. G. Ross and Joshua Jackson.
The second story, “All in The Cards,” was written and directed by L. G. Ross and featured Jimmi James, Elana Blank, Doug Uchansky, Chuck Loring, and Lucien Current. It concerned the strange goings-on in a wayside coffee shop where fates were being determined by a fortune-telling device on a table.
“The Other Side,” written and directed by Rodney Sciba, was about a man who has a terrible traffic accident and stops by a house on a lonely road to ask for help. The cast consisted of Lucien Current, Barbara Barkley, Mark Kogan, and Dave Uchansky.
The fourth tale, written and directed by Sciba, was “All Hallows Eve,” about a boorish husband, an unfaithful wife, and a maniac on the loose and, well – I don’t want to give it away.
The theater was decorated with skulls, cobwebs, ghoulish masks, and a poster of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Surprisingly the design did not carry over to the set, which consisted mainly of an old couch, a table, and two metal chairs. The acting for the most part was amateurish, but I wasn’t expecting much considering the occasion. I did, however, enjoy devilish narrator Rodney Sciba dressed in horns and a robe. The costumes and some of the props were first-rate; possibly they came from the collection of our narrator, who bills himself as “Scary Sciba” specializing in Halloween extravaganzas.
This wasn’t exactly an extravaganza, but it was mildly enjoyable, with a few chilling moments along the way. Boo and Happy Halloween.
The Witching Hour can be seen at the Actor's Workout Studio until Nov. 9th. Information can be found at the Terrifying Tales website or by calling 323.378.5910.Powered by Sidelines