Santos Party House. Written and directed by Thomas Blake. With Christi Waldon, Joya Mia Italiano, Conor Tansey. 2hrs. One intermission.
At some point during the loud, messy Terminator Too, Judgment Play, an actor in a serape handed me a shot of tequila. A little buzz is appropriate for writer-director Thomas Blake’s blood-soaked ’90s sendup, staged with nothing more high budget than a Super Soaker and nothing classier than assless chaps.
A live sweding of James Cameron’s 1991 action-movie classic, Terminator Too is the brainchild of the same enterprising minds who created the Los Angeles cult hit Point Break Live! Like that show, this one pivots on a risky premise: At each performance, audience members are called upon to “audition” for the Schwarzenegger role, at which point a handful of dudes (urged on by eager girlfriends and drinking buddies) flex their muscles and try out their “Hasta la vista” for the crowd. The night I attended, we cast a beefcakey guy who not only did a convincing Ahnold voice, but was game for whatever the performers (literally) threw his way. His lines were fed to him via cue card by a Latina maid (Yesenia Ayala), an unsubtle poke at the ex-Governator’s recently outed affair.
Audience members are issued ponchos with their tickets—for the stage blood and water spatter that will ensue. (Hoods up, people: They don’t skimp.) Wearing an appropriately ridiculous wig, Joya Mia Italiano channels baby Edward Furlong like a champ as the fidgety John Connor; Christi Waldon has less fun, but glowers plenty, as his gun-toting mom.
Terminator Too is at its best when re-creating Cameron’s special effects with low-budget glee: The villainous T-1000 (Conor Tansey) sticks disks of aluminum foil on himself whenever the Terminator shoots him with a squirt gun; a gutted Little Tikes toy car stands in for an 18-wheeler roaring down the highway. There are plenty of missed joke opportunities as well, and gags that simply fall flat. But you hardly notice with all the havoc that’s going on around you. Either you’re into this kind of thing or you’re not. Maybe it’s the Cuervo talking, but I had a pretty swell time.—Jenna Scherer