Fringe review: Evil Hot Rod – A Psychobilly Radio Musical

EVIL HOT ROD – A PSYCHOBILLY RADIO MUSICAL by Diana Di Mauro and Carlo Schefter (Cat Crew Inc./Digital Fringe). Streaming as part of Fringe On-Demand until August 15. Rating: NNNN

Get your ass in gear and listen to Evil Hot Rod – A Psychobilly Radio Musical.

Diana Di Mauro and Carlo Schefter’s entertaining old-time radio horror musical is like a souped-up show made up of elements from Grease, Christine and Little Shop Of Horrors.

It’s the 1950s, and New Yawk greaser Tony has just bought a rusty old car named Carmilla from a guy in a scrapyard. Tony’s hoping to ride it to glory in a drag race so his bros the Crushers can beat their rivals the Crowns.

The problem is, the car doesn’t start – until, that is, he accidentally cuts his hand and spills blood onto it. Which makes Carmilla roar into life.

Di Mauro and Schefter have crafted an affectionate homage to various genres. The structure of the show is perfect, right down to the bit of backstory at the two-thirds mark. It’s amazing how well-placed audio cues can efficiently move you from scene to scene.

The sound effects and balance are superb – I recommend listening to the show with headphones – and the performances are lots of fun, although at times the actor voicing Tony (there are no cast credits) sounds less like John Travolta and more like Woody Allen.

Whoever’s voicing his girlfriend Cherry, however, is gum-snapping perfection, as is the actor speaking the lines for the dim, breathy-voiced Lola.

When Carmilla – that name is in itself a clever joke – says “feed me,” it becomes clear that the creators know what they’re sending up. The songs, while not as polished as those from Little Shop Of Horrors, are catchy enough.

Enjoy the ride. And don’t be surprised if you’re craving some meatballs during the show’s last mile.


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