“I remember everything,” survivor Summer murmurs, bracing herself against a brick wall for support, blood splattered down her face and through her generous curls. “The singing, the dancing, blood, horror…” And so her tale is told, how she came to be the final girl of All Killer, brought to the Edinburgh Fringe by The Midnight Beast and running in the Pleasance’s King Dome throughout the month.
With voices off, a keyboard, a projection screen at the back of the stage and pitta bread warmed in the microwave – who would commit such a terrible obscenity? – it is audition time and director Bea makes no attempt to hide that the lead roles in her new production will be filled by herself and her bad boy squeeze Ashley, while Summer, Dru and Stef will find themselves as understudies or on tech duty regardless of ability.
With showtime approaching the pressure becomes not just to perform but to survive, first Ashley injured when showing off but blaming the others for turning the lights off then worse as the artists are picked off one by one by a masked killer, forcing Bea to recast even as she implores her remaining budding stars to hide the bodies rather than call the police – at least until opening night.
Brought to Edinburgh by parody pop group The Midnight Beast, Stef Abingdon, Dru Wakely and Ashley Horne, stars of their own self-titled E4 sitcom, All Killer is billed as a musical comedy horror, presented in decreasing proportions and not particularly successful as any of the three, a far cry from the classics of the mashup genre which has produced everything from The Rocky Horror Show and Phantom of the Paradise to Re-Animator and He Had Hairy Hands.
Billed as an hour though running considerably shorter, its less a game of “who’s the better killer” than the considerably less engaging proposition of “who’s the bigger diva,” and with every song featuring almost the same arrangement it becomes a Möbius strip of musical wallpaper; while all the five can sing and harmonise rather than keeping the lights on they should be making the audience afraid of a darkness which never materialises.
The cast considerably better than their material, the talented ladies performing Bea and Summer in particular, with a plot as vaporous as the atmosphere despite the mounting body count All Killer is in fact a disappointing filler, little more than a high school musical of jealousy and rivalry whose knife lacks a sharp edge which never attempts to become as creative, outrageous or subversive as the more wholly realised ambition of Kill the Beast who performed in the same space last Fringe.