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When a haunt begins with you walking up to a giant pair of legs and squeezing your way into an oversized vagina, you know you’re in for some serious shit. That’s what Dread Central is greeted with when we step foot on the FEARplex to preview Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare!
Zombie is no stranger to haunted attractions, having ironically worked with Universal the past several years on House of 1000 Corpses mazes for Halloween Horror Nights. But for this event, he’s gone off on his own and teamed up with producer Steve Kopelman to create three mazes based on his films: House of 1000 Corpses, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, and Lords of Salem.
Greeting us at the construction site, Zombie and Kopelman elaborate on the differences between this new House of 1000 Corpses maze compared to previous years:
“Universal was great to work with, too,” Zombie says, “Since it’s based off the movie, I guess it’s always my vision, but in both cases they chose to take different elements and run with it. This is more taking The Murder Ride and expanding it into its own big attraction, so it’s kind of different than Universal.”
Stepping through the Corpses maze, the biggest surprise is how large and graphic it is. Along with several set pieces from the movie, viewers get to experience a massively expanded Murder Ride that contains depictions of Elizabeth Bathory, Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz and the Manson/Sharon Tate murders – with no disgusting detail spared. The amount of gore and nudity packed into this event would never fly at a big theme park like Universal, and it’s clear that Zombie is throwing everything he has at these mazes.
Equally vile is the cartoon sex world of El Superbeasto, which is designed in psychedelic 3D, complete with devil strippers and party demons. But the biggest endurance test for visitors will be the Lords of Salem maze, which is a complete sensory deprivation experience that attendees will endure with a bag over their head. “About 50 percent of the people who enter will chicken out,” claims Kopelman.
Even touring the half-constructed mazes in broad daylight, there’s a definite feeling that the Great American Nightmare is a new Halloween staple in the works. If its inaugural year is successful, Zombie says he’d like to expand the attraction to different places across the USA: “That’s the plan, to do it every year and to do it in more markets next year, take it to other states… perhaps other countries.”
Tickets for Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare are available now starting at only $30 at the Great American Nightmare Website. Each ticket includes access to all haunted house attractions, concerts, and Bloody Boulevard activities. VIP packages will also be available for purchase at the Great American Nightmare Website.
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