Inductiō by Santu Deliria

Exciting and tense debut show from a brand new group.

Experienced: June 10, 2017
Location: Zombie Joe’s Underground
Address: 4850 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood CA 91601
Price: $15.00
Audience Size: 1
Runtime: 20 minutes
More Information: Santu Deliria site

I picked up tickets immediately to this show thinking it was put on by Zombie Joe since I had previously done Tortured Souls and had a great time. I soon found out that this was a show being put on by a brand new group and got a little nervous.

Santu Deliria

This is a full-contact immersive experience.
Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
Participants will be required to read and sign a simple waiver before entering.
Participants should dress comfortably.
Persons of a sensitive disposition should not attend.
Persons with medical conditions should contact to determine whether this theatrical experience is suitable for them.
Please contact with any further questions.

Disclaimer for Inductiō

On the day of my show I got a phone call from Santu Deliria asking if I could show up at midnight instead of my ticketed 11:30pm timeslot. The line was very short when I got there with maybe 6 or 7 people standing outside of Zombie Joe’s Underground. I waited about an hour and a half contemplating what I was getting myself into.

Note this was posted well after the show’s run and extensions. There are strong spoilers ahead:

Before letting the next guest (victim?) go into the theater a security guard does what looks almost like a quick field sobriety test. Maybe to make sure the patron is in decent enough shape to go through whatever goes on in that building. Or maybe just to psyche everyone out. Whatever the reason it’s a pretty effective way to start the show.

Once inside it was very dark and I was told to follow the path. The path was very long and there was atmospheric lighting and music. It reminded me of a haunted house and I was extremely tense walking down the path into the next room. Slowly inching into the room I was permanently wincing in anticipation. It’s one of those moments where you know something is going to happen it’s just a matter of when.

Sure enough I got grabbed from the side and a whirlwind of activity began: There was me being forced to the ground, pressure applied to my body, forced to sit on a chair, getting tied to said chair, blindfolded, cloth being tied to my arm, a needle injecting me, whispers and questions in my ear by what sounded like Satan himself. Fingers, there were fingers, forcing my mouth open, pouring unknown liquids into my mouth, touching the insides of my mouth, my teeth, my tongue. Luckily there were also medical gloves. Sanitation is important and appreciated in a full-contact immersive experience.

I was wondering if my whole experience would be with blindfold but we were just beginning. When the blindfold was finally lifted I saw a few intimidating characters in my face. I was led to another area where I met with 2 or 3 different characters one after another. These short scenes were the highlight of the experience with scripted monologues ranging from paranoid psychosis to sad desperation. These characters made me feel unsafe, uncomfortable, and disgusted at times.

I was sent back into the room with the chair. Someone else was tied up to the chair, blindfolded, and struggling. It took me a moment to realize that the person in the chair was the next patron going through the experience. It evoked a strange form of déjà vu and awareness with me on the other side. One of the actors put a medical glove on my hand. I knew exactly what to do.

Immediately afterwards I was handed a gun. The guy handing it to me made sure to cock the gun first. He told me to point it at the unknowing patron tied to the chair and to pull the trigger. I pointed the gun at the girl in the chair and at the last moment pointed it away before firing the gun. I was led out of the experience with some disappointed commentary from the guy who gave me the gun “What happened man? I thought you could do it..”

I hadn’t been through this scene before but had heard of one similar from Blackout. Some have questioned if this was a rip off but I took it as an homage. It is one of those classic scenes that is undeniably Blackout but I can see why people ask.

Overall I enjoyed this show a lot. The acting, environments, situations, and pacing were all fantastic. It felt like a nice mix of traditional and extreme haunted house elements with some acted scenes and interactions you see in great immersive theater. There’s great potential for Santu Deliria and I will definitely be checking out their future shows.