Thursday marked the opening of Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, his venture into Halloween haunt territory. This ambitious project sets to redefine the bounds of adult haunt entertainment and for the most part, it was successful. Is this something that you may want to venture to? Shock is here to shed some light on it and help you along the way.
Zombie hit the red carpet to much anticipation of how this would play out. Shock managed to grab a couple of minutes with Zombie and talk about how this transpired.
When asked if there would be the potential of taking the event on the road, he said, “There would be several causes this isn’t mobile in any practical way. We toyed with the idea of touring it but it’s impossible. It’s hard enough setting up once. I couldn’t imagine doing it weekly.”
The selection of bands involved in this endeavor, Zombie says, was about availability. ”Location wasn’t a factor but there were a lot of people who were going to do it but had to cancel cause of tours and other things. The main thing was trying to get variety because everyone doesn’t like the same type of music. The music is secondary. After you’re scared you can party your pants off!”
And there is a party to be had. Everywhere you look. When you first enter the arena, you come across the Bloody Boulevard. This is a series of shops, eateries, alcohol, and amusements to entertain you and get you in the spirit. There is a carousel, a freak show (besides the ones roaming free), and other mini activities. This is all warm up for the main attractions, the mazes!
The mazes are structured as a one…two…three punch of horror goodness, each attacking you in a different way. I won’t spoil this but here is a breakdown of the general set up.
The Lords of Salem: This is the first in the series of mazes that you enter and it is very much like stepping into Heidi’s personal hell. The entrance is dark, red, and ominous with Heidi standing at the entrance, reaching out to you and screaming in pain.
Once you are beyond the entrance, you walk through Heidi’s apartment hall and into a satanic hell. You are hooded at that point and trust me; you must experience the rest yourself. This maze is much like the movie, which is to say that you will either love it, be disturbed by it, or not get it at all.
Next is El Superbeasto: This is an assault on your senses and good taste, much like the animated film. It begins with an entrance that you may love or hate depending on how easily you are offended. You dive between a set of spread female legs. This maze is like a perverted wonderland and is not to be missed. Obviously it is for adults, so this will be interesting as far as the public is concerned. This maze is also in eye (and pants) popping 3D which will mess with your senses further. A can’t miss!
All roads end with House of 1000 Haunts: The culmination of the maze section takes you into Captain Spalding’s Museum of Monsters and Mad Men like never before. When walking in you are greeted by Baby and Tiny who will ask if you are good with being touched. I advise you to say “Yes” for the full experience.
The “Murder Ride” is an expanded and terrifying walk through experience. Instead of simply walking past them as they do their deeds, you are actually transported to their world. Be warned; this maze actually may upset some on a moral, physical, and/or psychological level more than any other. Are lines crossed? Yes! Will I tell you what? No! Just trust me.
Across from the maze venue is the concert hall where bands will be playing throughout the run, bands like Twisted, TSOL, The Vandals, Power man 5000, and of course Rob Zombie. For the band schedule, please check out the official site.
This new haunt has a lot going for it but it also needs time to mature. There are some layout problems which is great for flow but detrimental to the overall experience. Is it worth the time and drive? For the money, you really can’t beat it. Just be sure to check on the bands to make sure that you are down with the musical acts since that is half the show. It’s a fun new idea and there is some great merch for sale as well. If you’re looking for the next step in adult orientated Halloween fun, then this may be it.