Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Hand That Washed Ashore: Twin Cities Horror Fest XII

The Hand That Washed Ashore

Mischief Tales

In Short:
A construction crew must clean up a tourist island on Lake Superior; but their plans are delayed when a vengeful disembodied hand is discovered among the debris. 

Selected Cast/Creative Info:
Performed by Ellen Apel, Amanda Chial-Stewart, Gary Danciu, Derek Dirlam, and Lewis Youngren. Written by Vincent S. Hannam, directed by Patrick Kozicky. 

Our Thoughts:
The Hand That Washed Ashore grabs you immediately with the fantastic sound design. The rumbling of the storm that starts off the show rumbles through the theater, making vibrations that you can feel in your body. This is a great way to kick off a horror show. We then meet the members of the clean-up crew: family man Chubb, bitter vet Dutch, 'new guy' Pit, and the boss: Mac. All is proceeding apace when Tracy, a young journalist hops out of a helicopter, here to document the clean-up effort. Or IS SHE? But wait! What is in that mysterious old chest that washed up on shore? And why does is smell so badly?Check out the title for a hint! 

Although there is a lot going on in this show, what really stayed with me is the characters. Derek Dirlam's Chubb was a likeable and sympathetic everyman. (Dirlam plays another "part" later on in the show after Chubb meets a gruesome end.) Gary Danciu is also now on our list of actors to watch as he gave Dutch more depth than you'd expect in such a short play, which also speaks to the writing by Vincent S. Hannam. I really enjoyed the nostalgic, old-fashioned ghost story aspect of this show (and check out the wonderful show art!). I do wish that the visual effects came off a bit more successfully. Although I enjoyed the story, the tone fluctuated unnervingly between serious and silly. Both aspects which may smooth out in later showings or versions, which I'll be keeping an eye (or a hand) out for. 

You Should See This If You Like:
Sympathetic characters, ghost stories of Lake Superior, Evil Dead-like horror-comedy, and disembodied body parts with a mind of their own. 

Also, you know what's fun? Googling 'the hand that washed ashore.' APPARENTLY, this is not an infrequent occurrence. Eek. Yikes.