Event Report: Dread Central visits Las Vegas for Fright Dome 2017 - Dread Central
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Event Report: Dread Central visits Las Vegas for Fright Dome 2017

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Fright Dome

Dread Central hopped a flight to Las Vegas, Nevada, this past Friday, September 29th, in order to cover the highly-anticipated opening of the haunt attraction Fright Dome (at Adventuredome at Circus Circus), now in its fifteenth year of scaring the hell out of Sin City.

Arriving to the carpet, we were beset on by the jaw-dropping menagerie of scare actors historically hired by Fright Dome creator and owner Jason Egan, who in true Tod Browning fashion once again has employed individuals with actual physical anomalies, which were accentuated by entirely professional makeups. In addition to the duo of Johnny Eck-like young women with truncated torsos (made up as a carnival performer and a zombie, who traversed the carpet using their hands as locomotion), a motley assortment of sinister clowns, black-shrouded witches and chainsaw-wielding madmen also stalked the press line.

In attendance for the carpet, which unfortunately this year was light in genre talent (with the exception of indie darling actress Sarah Nicklin of Ama Lea’s From Hell She Rises and the upcoming feature The Basement – video below) was UFC’s Dana White, who arrived to the event with Egan himself, the latter who dished on the amount of work it takes in order to deliver Fright Dome each year (video also below).

As for the mazes, new for 2017 is the 15,000 square foot maze entitled Zombie City, the macabre Happy Hell-idays attraction (which put a gruesome spin on holiday traditions, replete with killer Easter bunnies and one hell of an animatronic Krampus), and the brand new maze HEX, with fan favorites Chainsaw Massacre and Killer Clowns in 4D making their encores.

For this writer though, the standout attraction of the evening was Lights Out, an isolation-style maze available to Fast Pass or VIP Tour purchasing customers only (purchasing them is highly recommended), taking over the space of last year’s Ouija maze. After a thirty minute or so strobe-lit wait, we were granted access individually, and found ourselves navigating the pitch black within, with only a less than reliable flashlight to guide our way. Having attended dozens of haunts over the course of my life, and having lived on a steady diet of horror films since my youth, I’m notoriously difficult to scare, and Lights Out did so on both occasions I went through.

With Lights Out, Egan and his team have constructed a maze which seeps into your being. You will feel utterly alone. You will be entirely impressed by the set design, and by the creatures which lay within, who seem to dance ghostlike in and out of reality (when the pre-programmed flashlight, which interacts with the environment and set pieces around you, allows you to see them). And by the time you are requested to sit in an old wheel chair, and are spun one hundred and eighty degrees into the final heart-pounding scene, you’ll be attempting to catch your breath. The entire experience sent chills up my spine, and the finale? I won’t spoil it, but I will say, you’ll never forget it.

Lights Out raises the bar for haunts everywhere.

As for the rest of the attraction, Egan’s stepped it up this year, with the main floor positively shrouded in fog (as the attraction is within an enclosed structure, precise control of it is possible), and Fright Dome’s use of laser lighting in conjunction creates for an entirely eerie spectacle. The scare actors which populate the space are beautifully committed to their roles, as evidenced by the consistent shrieks of guests which continually erupted, heard over even the din of the dome’s two heart-stopping rollercoasters which screamed overhead.

As we’ve been there for the last four years running, and have been positively blown away by the sheer levels of production, fright and fun, we can attest to the fact that Fright Dome has grown past its roots of simply being a Las Vegas attraction, and has transformed into a destination for fright fans worldwide.

Don’t miss it.

Writer’s note: My thanks to Mandi McCary of MMGNV for arranging our visit.

Fright Dome is open select nights from 7 p.m. to Midnight, Sept. 29 – Oct. 31, with general admission tickets only $37.95, with additional fast pass upgrades starting at $20.00. For all things Fright Dome, you can click here, and be sure to “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter  and Instagram.

Fright Dome

Fright dome

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Interview: Jimmy Hayward Dives Into the Nautical World of Legend of the Seagullmen

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Musical supergroups aren’t a new thing. Bad Company, Audioslave, Mad Season, Them Crooked Vultures, Traveling Wilburys… Each of these, plus more, have created incredible music that drew listeners in because of the talent behind each instrument. For those who love such collaborations, I want to introduce you to Legend of the Seagullmen, a new rock group with names that may make your head spin!

Featuring Brent Hinds of Mastodon and Fiend Without a Face, Danny Carey of Tool and Volto, Pete Griffin of Zappa Plays Zappa and Dethklok, David Dreyer, Chris DiGiovanni, Tim Dawson, and Jimmy Hayward (Jonah Hex, Free Birds), Legend of the Seagullmen have just released their self-titled debut album through Dine Alone Records and it’s packed with eight tracks of blistering nautical-themed psychedelic rock. With lyrics focused on “…ship wrecks and giant mutant squid“, Legend of the Seagullmen aimed to create an epic conceptual album and it seems like fans are in agreement!

Today, we’ve got an interview with Hayward about the group’s debut album, how they all got together, and what their inspirations were. You can read it all below.

You can buy the album through the band’s official website and follow them on Facebook.

Dread Central: Let’s start at the beginning. How’d you get to know everyone in Legend of the Seagullmen?

Jimmy Hayward: Danny and I had been jamming for a long time when I did a movie with Brent. He introduced me to the Doctor who had this idea for a nautical western and the rest fell into place. It was very organic and we took our time.

DC: What brought all of you together to start creating music?

JH: Friendship and a shared love of music. We were all working together already so it fell into place around this organizing principle.

DC: Was it always the intention to release an album or did this start off as something just for fun?

JH: I think we knew fairly quickly that we had to record it and make a record but it started out as something we enjoyed doing. We knew we wanted to do something with it whether it was a movie or a record.

DC: The talent on this album is pretty incredible. What do you think Legend of the Seagullmen adds to the metal community?

JH: We don’t know what we add to any community but we know we are making stuff we love and we really hope other people dig. We are already all doing other stuff so we aren’t beholden to any schedule or demands. We just made what we wanted to make and really enjoyed it. We all dig the theme and concept and so it became something we couldn’t deny. If the metal community embraces it then we are stoked but we aren’t sure where we fit in.

DC: Giant sea creature lore is something that horror fans have a lot of love for, thanks to the immediate connotations of H.P. Lovecraft. You’re also known in the horror community for Jonah Hex. So, I gotta ask, were there any horror influences that played a part in the creation of this album?

JH: I think horror influences guide a lot of us. Brent loves ‘The Creature From The Black Lagoon’ and one of my favorite films of all time is Tobe Hooper’s ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. I love horror pictures. Danny has a huge original painting by Clive Barker hanging over the control room where we record all the guitars and edit. I’d say we love horror and it’s a part of what we do.

DC: I’ve read that you all create pretty much everything in-house, such as merch and visuals. It feels like you’re creating a full package that makes people realize that music is more than just listening to some songs. Can you tell me a bit about the goal of maintaining that kind of control?

JH: Dr, myself and his brother Frank, who does most of our graphic design, work together to maintain a cinematic feel that represents the tone of the guiding concept. It grounds it in the lore and we feel like it’s really important to marry the music with a visual component. In movies I always maintain that sound is half the experience so in our music we feel like a strong visual representation helps tie the whole thing together. The music is very important to us and we feel like the visual component really augments that importance.

DC: What’s the plan going to be for Legend of the Seagullmen? Will there be a tour? Are there some tracks that might make their way onto a second album?

JH: We just played live with Primus and it was really great to realize these tunes in front of an audience. We fully plan to do a lot more and see festivals and short tours in our future. We are many demos into our second album.

DC: If you could tell people one thing before they hit ‘Play’ on the album to help set the proper expectations, what would it be?

JH: The Seagull God King thanks you for your soul.

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Trailer and Poster Revealed for Adam MacDonald’s Pyewacket Starring Laurie Holden

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Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat, the title Pyewacket refers to:

One of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the “witchfinder general” Matthew Hopkins in March 1644 in the town of Manningtree, Essex, England. Hopkins claimed he spied on the witches as they held their meeting close by his house, and heard them mention the name of a local woman.”

Moving on, it was a whopping five months ago that we let you guys know that the new black magic horror flick had found a home with IFC Midnight.

The film is directed by Adam MacDonald – who we all know as the man behind the (no pun intended) killer bear flick Backcountry – and co-stars Laurie Holden aka Andrea from AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

If just that quick collection of talent behind the camera wasn’t enough to pique your interest then maybe the film’s trailer and the poster will help. I’m really digging everything I’m seeing from this film thus far and I cannot wait to check it out once it hits theaters and VOD this March.

Peep the poster to the right and the trailer below, then let us know what you think!

The film is written and directed by Adam MacDonald and stars Nicole Muñoz, Laurie Holden (“The Walking Dead”), Chloe Rose, and Eric Osborne.

Pyewacket hits select theaters and VOD on March 23.

Synopsis:

When you’re dealing with demons, be careful what you wish for… In this ultra-unsettling occult nightmare, teenage Leah (Nicole Muñoz) finds solace from the recent death of her father—and from her strained relationship with her mother (Laurie Holden)—by dabbling in the dark arts. It all seems like harmless fun at first, until a blow out argument leads Leah to do the unthinkable: put a death curse on her mother. No sooner has the girl performed the ritual than she regrets it. But it may be too late, as an evil presence known as Pyewacket begins to make itself known—and threatens to destroy both mother and daughter.

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A Quiet Place Gets New Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

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A Quiet Place opens in April but before then we have an all-new featurette from the film for your viewing pleasure.

It features director John Krasinski talking a bit about the film and what we can expect to have nightmares about afterward.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

John Krasinski directs the film which will be the opening night entry at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX. It will then open wide on April 6. Emily Blunt stars alongside Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds.

Synopsis:

In the modern horror thriller A Quiet Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threatens their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

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