Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Is Terrifying Fun!
by Shawn Depasquale on October 12, 2013
WARNING: THE IMAGES, CONTENT AND SUBJECT MATTER CONTAINED WITHIN ARE OF AN ADULT NATURE AND PROBABLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
NOTE: I love horror but hate to be scared. I’m not afraid of ghosts or monsters or anything like that; I’m just extremely senseItive to “jump-scares,” and get no enjoyment from the rush of adrenaline that follows. Therefore, as much as I love horror and gore, I tend to avoid “haunted houses”. I went to Halloween Horror Nights once and used my female friend as a human shield while plugging my ears and humming until the first maze was over. I really don’t like jump-scares. Preface the following article with my private shame, because I need to emphasis how traumatic covering this event was. You’re welcome. Send cookies and/or free comics as payment.
This week I’ve had the privilege of being involved with the promotions for a California (sorry rest of the world) Haunted House exhibit, co-created by musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie called Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare. I’m happy to report that this is one of the most twisted, depraved, horrific haunted houses I’ve been though. Ever.
The week began with a behind the scenes tour of the facilities. The attraction contains three haunted mazes, food, drinks and live music; A small group of press was taken through two of the three mazes contained within a massive warehouse on the Pomona Fairplex (re-christened FEARplex) fairgrounds near Los Angeles. The still-under-construction mazes were well-lit, but the chilling set designs suggested the final product would be heart-attack inducing. Although I can’t tell you much for fear of spoiling one of the delicious scares (I WILL post a full walk-through of the mazes after the attraction closes in early November, for those interested) , I can (and will) show you an official behind-the-scenes clip. Within said clip you will see images from the mazes, haunted-house guru Steve Kopleman, and Mr Zombie himself. Enjoy:
The two mazes on our tour were the Haunted World of El Superbeasto 3D a highly NSFW walk through the twisted world of Zombie’s animated feature, and Haunt of 1,000 Corpses, which takes visitors on a walking journey through a recreation of the film’s “Museum of Monsters & Madmen” along with an expanded “Murder Ride,” confronting notorious serial killers along the way. The third maze, The Lords of Salem, is based around the film of the same name; however, the reason we were not given a tour is because this maze is a “sensory deprivation” haunt, where a BAG IS PLACED OVER YOUR HEAD, as you FEEL YOUR WAY down twisting, narrow hallways and THINGS TOUCH YOU!
Oh yeah, now is probably a great time to mention YOU WILL BE TOUCHED, but only if you want to, as indicated by a clever (and sick) system of marking those who wish to be “dammed” with crosses on their forehead before entering the mazes.
Additionally, I was allowed to snap a few behind the scenes photos of certain rooms on the tour that were deemed “non-spoilers.” However, if you want to go in with zero knowledge, skip this part of the article. Also, please keep in mind they had only started construction a few days prior, so none of this stuff is 100% finished yet.
Haunted World of El Superbeasto 3D – Pics and Notes
…is the entrance to the maze. Yes. That is what you think it is. And yes, you walk through it. Here’s another angle:
Here is a fellow reporter uh…. entering the maze…
Next up we were allow to snap some shots of some of the art used. Everything is painted with a special (READ: Magic) 3D paint. You get 3D glasses before you walk through. It should be an amazing effect (I’ll be back this weekend with my experience going through the fully operational mazes, I expect I’ll pee myself a little at some point… honestly, I don’t even know if I can bring myself to put a bag over my head) and will add to the hallucinogenic-cartoon feel of the maze.
Haunt of 1,000 Corpses – Pics and Notes
A ton of cool design work went into this maze in order to set it apart from the previous one. Take a look at the detail on the outside of the maze alone:
And a closer shot of the monkey in the rocket:
We were not allowed to take as many pictures in this maze; there are surprises around every corner. Literally, every single corner. It’s going to mess you up, kids. It’s also uncomfortably violent, and there is one scene in particular (which we’ll discuss in the wrap-up post in November) that made me wonder if they went too far and another reporter audibly gasp in shock.
I can’t tell you how excited/scared I am for this event. I’ll be there opening night to actually go through the mazes and sit down for an interview with Kopelman (and a few words from Zombie), so expect to see that soon. In the meantime, if you’re in California or planning a trip during the month of October purchase a ticket and join the fun!