Weird History

Zombie horror show helps people ‘unwind’ from stresses of the pandemic

Taking self isolation to a new level (Picture: Reuters)

Those finding the pandemic too much have been offered the chance to unwind – by lying down in a coffin surrounded by chainsaw-wielding zombies.

Thrill-seekers in Tokyo with a few yen to spare can spend 15 minutes being scared by something else for a while, thanks a group of out-of-work actors.

The new form of Covid-safe ‘entertainment’ takes self isolation to higher levels and sees participants lie in a two-metre windowed coffin, listening to a horror story.

As they try to relax in the somewhat unusual surroundings, actors masquerading as the undead perform around them, poking them with fake hands and squirting them with water.

‘The pandemic is stressful, and we hope people can get a bit of relief by having a good scream,’ said Kenta Iwana, coordinator of production company Kowagarasetai aka ‘Scare Squad’.

The group is trialling the 15-minute shows in the horror-mad nation, known as the birthplace of films like ‘The Ring’, ‘The Grudge’ and hundreds of other movies far more terrifying than anything ever dreamt up in Hollywood. 

It comes as Japan experiences a Covid 19 upswing – with 1,034 infections of the new coronavirus on Friday.

The perfect way to unwind (Picture: Reuters)
Welcome to 2020 (Picture: Reuters)
You have to pay for this (Picture: Reuters)
Thank god for social distancing (Picture: Reuters)
Feel better yet? (Picture: Reuters)

Kenta, 25, is scrambling to find work for his actors, who normally perform at venues such as theme parks.

Earlier in the pandemic they organised drive-in horror shows but were looking for something that could be more easily moved from place to place.

And it apparently works, judging by the reactions of the first few ‘guests’.

‘Lots of events have been cancelled because of the coronavirus, and I was looking for a way to get rid of my stress,’ said Kazushiro Hashiguchi, 36, after lying through the 800-yen ($7.60) show.

‘I feel relaxed now, he added, in the most unlikely reaction anyone has ever had to anything ever.

Customers for the shows, held in a rest lounge usually used by passengers arriving in the capital on overnight bus trips, include shopping mall owners and operators of other venues who Kenta hopes will be happy to host them in future.

‘We needed to have something that we could take anywhere, and coffins are easy to move. All you need to do is put them in a dark room,’ said Kenta. ‘It’s good business for us and satisfying for our customers.’

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