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Shocktoberfest at Thrillpeddlers

We're becoming alarmingly hard to shock these days, what with all our newfangled technology and mummified naivete. But Thrillpeddlers does its damnedest to shock the unshockable generation - and succeeds admirably. So if you want blood, titillation, and a higher-than-average possibility of high-pitched screaming this Halloween, check out Thrillpeddlers’ latest Shocktoberfest.

Culling the really juicy bits from Grand Guignol, that grand madame of classic Parisian shock theatre, Kiss of Blood caused a French uproar when it debuted in 1929 - a rather major accomplishment. The curtain rises on a brain surgery, a field of medicine very much in its infancy at the time and still somewhat...imprecise. Less gory, but far more frightening is the rest of the short play, which operates under the assumption that insanity is a surgically operable affliction.
 
The other two shorts, Lips of the Damned and Empress of Colma, feature antique guillotines, starving rats, illicit love affairs, and the wrong bottle of recreational pharmaceuticals. And, yes, copious quantities of fake blood.
Spooky add-ons include a demonstration of an 18th-century guillotine, ghostly apparitions, and corner shock boxes. (Electrocution? Dude with a sharp stick poking you at crucial plot points?)
 
If you go for steak afterward, don’t order it rare.
 
September 30 - November 19. Hypnodrome Theatre, 575 10th Street. $25 ($35 for Shock Boxes and Turkish Lounges) at thrillpeddlers.com