After it became clear that items like Urinetown, Avenue Q, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Reefer Madness: the Musical could be Broadway hits (or, in the case of the latter two, at least be made into cult films), so many musicals in that style came out of the woodwork off-Broadway that bizarre subject matter practically became a cliché.
The problem is that this kind of quirky subject matter needs actual quirky writing to work properly, and before 2000, it generally only attracted the kind of countercultural creative people who were capable of providing it. But when these shows started becoming mainstream hits, very conventional writers who had no affinity for that kind of thing started trying to write them in an attempt to gain attention.
This show is a perfect example: There’s nothing particularly quirky about it except for its subject matter. The book, by Joe DiPietro, author of the moderately amusing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, is a fairly obvious comedy complete with such heavy-handed jokes as continually exploiting the female lead’s blindness. The score is by the same Bon Jovi backup musician who would write the score to Memphis a year later: It’s just as conventional and poppy as his Memphis score, only now the songs have titles like “Big Green Freak” and “Hot Toxic Love”.
The overall treatment is far too conventional for a musical based on a camp-classic sci-fi/horror film, and the witless, ham-fisted book and lyrics fail to find the humor in telling this bizarre story as a musical. This is essentially an ersatz off-Broadway cult show written by Broadway and Pop writers with a Broadway and Pop sensibility, and is simply far less interesting than its premise and choice of source material make it sound.