Best Bonus Theater Experience - 2008
Shock Boxes at Hypnodrome
575 10th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Grand Guignol is French for "what people watched before horror movies existed." Before electricity brought us Evil Dead 2, obviously some folks had to figure out how to make that kind of thing happen onstage, and they did, and it was about as popular as slasher flicks are today. Described by one Yelper as "a series of vignettes that follow a shit your pants/boner/shit your pants/boner sequence," the art form has its own dedicated theater space, the Hypnodrome, here in town. Not content to merely throw around cow entrails onstage, resident Grand Guignol company the Thrillpeddlers (featured in the extras of the Sweeney Todd DVD!) devised an interactive audience-invading component called Shock Boxes. These are contraption-laden two-person theater seats that offer privacy (boner) as well as jolts and surprises perfectly timed to the action in the story (shit your pants). You'll pay a premium price for these augmented seats, but it's well worth the extra shekels for a one-of-a-kind, not-boring theater experience.