Written by Shannon McGrew
Tiki drinks, a cursed idol, a handsome Indiana Jones inspired expeditioner, and a massacre with the Devil waiting in the wings, is the best way to describe Drunken Devil Production’s newest show, “Curse of the Jungle Drums.” Infused with elements of horror and 1950’s Old Hollywood glamour, “Curse of the Jungle Drums” was the perfect summer event for those looking for a taste of the enchanting macabre.
Drunken Devil Productions, which puts on three to four shows a year in Los Angeles, has been a growing force within the LA event scene; most notably due to the nature of these productions, as they are inspired by the horror genre and other mythology and lore. Influencing all the debauchery that ultimately unfold is the Drunken Devil himself, who plays MC for the evening with a serpentine grin on his face, all the while being charming with his Southern drawl.
The “Curse of the Jungle Drums” centers on the return of Dr. John Washburn, a famed expeditioner who has returned with a special artifact. This artifact is of course cursed, resulting in those who have come to celebrate Dr. Washburn’s return, to go crazy, killing everyone at the club. When us partygoers arrived at 8pm, we were greeted by actors who had no recollection of their demise, though it was quite clear from their attire and bloody wounds that they were victims of this cursed relic.
I’ve attended most every Drunken Devil event, which has allowed me to see this production company grow, and I have to say that the “Curse of the Jungle Drums” may be their best one yet. I’ve always appreciated the horror aspect of the shows, especially when mixed with other elements. Throughout the night the audience had the chance to experience top-notch burlesque performances along with tarot card reading, immersive elements relating to the narrative of the evening, dancing, live music from The Jennifer Keith Quintet, and an interactie photo-booth where you could take a picture with the Drunken Devil himself.
One of the aspects that makes a Drunken Devil Production what it is, is the booze that flows freely. With a ticket purchase, patrons get to utilize the open bar, which boasts signature cocktails related to the event at hand. As someone who is sober and doesn’t drink alcohol, I have to give thanks to the creator of Drunken Devil, Matt Dorado, for supplying non-alcoholic drinks to those of us who couldn’t partake. Though this may seem minute, it’s something that I appreciated wholeheartedly.
There are a few critiques I had about the event overall. Even with the air conditioning on and the space being quite large, it was incredibly hot inside. This is not a slight against Drunken Devil, as they couldn’t have known that this was going to happen, and even looking back, though we were all dying a bit from the heat, it kind of lent itself to the jungle theme at hand. My only other critique would be to have more seating available for patrons, especially in a location as large and accommodating as this space was.
I spent the majority of my evening interacting with some of the performers, most notably the actors who were tragically killed by the artifact’s curse. I enjoyed hearing their stories while acting like I had no idea they were dead, as they didn’t know they had perished. At one point, I had the chance to speak with Dr. Washburn and upon telling him that I had touched the artifact he laughed and immediately turned to my friends and informed them to stay away from me while also reassuring me I had nothing to worry about. As for the burlesque performers, I was absolutely blown away by the sheer talent possessed by Scarlette Fox, Jessabelle Thunder, and Olivia Bellafontaine, who had no problem bringing down the house and eliciting cheers and applause from the entire audience.
Overall, the “Curse of the Jungle Drums” was a complete smash hit and the perfect event for those looking for more horror themed events in the Los Angeles area. Sure, the heat was intense, but part of me feels like that just added to the jungle ambiance and made the entire event that much more realistic. If you are interested in learning more about Drunken Devil productions, visit their website at thedrunkendevil.com as they will be putting on another show this Halloween which is sure to be unlike anything we’ve seen from this emerging production company. Lastly, if you like the VIP treatment, make sure to check out Drunken Devil’s “Sinner’s Social Club”, a membership that allows access to a private pre-show before the event, with exclusive cabaret performances, small bites and specialized cocktails. Membership are going fast so make sure to grab one while you still can as the Devil is waiting to meet you!