Categories: Arts

‘Guignol’ is a bloody good time

Murder, madness, humor and satire fill “Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Horror Halloween Event” this week at Z Space in The City.

Set in 1903 Paris, the production, a psycho-comedy-thriller, comes from the wild imagination of British playwright Carl Grose (“49 Donkeys Hanged,” “Superstition Mountain”). It’s one reason why horror-film writer-director Mitchell Altieri jumped at the chance to become a part of it.

“The producer said that they wanted something dramatic, and for me, Carl’s script was what made me say yes. It was funny, it was dark. I share the same kind of twisted humor he has. The first thing I thought was, ‘This could really be a movie.’ And that’s what really excited me about it,” says Altieri, who, along with filmmaking partner Phil Flores, has a cult following under the alter egos The Butcher Brothers. Their movies include “The Hamiltons,” “April Fools Day” and “The Violent Kind.”

Action in the show unfolds in the back streets of Montmartre, right about the time the Theatre du Grand Guignol — known for its productions packed with madness, murder, maiming and mutilation — swings its doors open to the public.

At the forefront is Dr. Alfred Binet, an obsessed psychiatrist who inadvertently becomes part of the theater company. In an attempt to understand why the playwright pens horror stories, he somehow becomes the writer’s new muse.

Suddenly, the Grand Guignol is a burgeoning success — until a serial killer goes on a rampage.

IF YOU GO

Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Horror Halloween Event

Where: Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F.

When: 7 and 10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $15 to $195

Contact: (866) 811-4111, www.GrandGuignolsf.com

Note: Halloween performances Thursday are followed by an after-party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Caña Cuban Parlor, 500 Florida St., S.F.

SF Examiner

Recent Posts

3 rescued at Aquatic Park, 1 with serious injuries

Fire department crews rescued three people at Aquatic Park in San Francisco Thursday morning, including one person who has suffered…

2 hours ago

Calling for help shouldn’t leave tenants at risk for eviction

Last month, California took an important step toward keeping residents safe in their homes. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law…

7 hours ago

The changing face of diversity: more Asians entering America than Latinos

More minority babies are being born in the country today than ever before. In San Francisco — a city where…

8 hours ago

SFUSD needs a better plan for Lowell admissions

On Sept. 25, the San Francisco Board of Education (SFUSD) plans to vote on an unprecedented proposal that weakens Lowell…

8 hours ago

San Francisco has gone to the dogs

I’ve got a pretty fantastic living situation. Solid rent control, great roommates, centrally located. Sure we don’t have a living…

8 hours ago

Protections against gender identity harassment

This week’s question comes from Lindsay in San Francisco, who writes: Q: A coworker with whom I work closely recently…

8 hours ago