Phoenix Comicon's preview night has never been the biggest part of the annual four-day fandom free-for-all. And that's not a slight by any means. It's always has a good turnout, typically amongst the more die-hard members of local geekdom who are eager for a peek at what's going down in the exhibition hall, but never gets so chaotic and crowded that people have to fight for breathing room.
And if you happened to be one of these early birds who was out and about on the Thursday before this year's Comicon officially started, be sure to program the DVR to record the Travel Channel on Sunday evening, since you might be on national television. The cable network's horror-themed reality show Making Monsters airs its season premiere this weekend, that includes footage shot at Chambers of Fear's booth during preview night.
The episode -- entitled "Mirror, Mirror Giant Zombie" -- will feature the program's famous haunted house prop-makers Ed and Marsha Edmunds and their Colorado-based company Distortions Unlimited creating a gigantic animatronic display for Chambers of Fear.
Paul Boyd, owner of the Surprise-based haunted attraction, says that the Travel Channel camera crew that was filming the Edmunds and their crew installing the massive and macabre prop (which involves a trio of dismembered and impaled corpses coming to life) at their Comicon booth "shot just a ton of footage of the convention."
"If you were walking by or were part of the crowd we had on preview night, there's a good chance you made it on the show," he says. "The cameras were going all over the booth and taking different angles of the prop and talking to myself and Ed and Marsha during the segment."
While the creation and installation of Chambers of Fear's new prop, which is currently a part of the Halloween attraction, won't take up the entirety of the hour-long episode, Boyd says it's an honor to be on Making Monsters, which depicts the artists of Distortions Unlimited building props, masks, and displays for haunted houses around the country.
"We're really excited about being a part of the show's season premiere," he says. "There are a lot of highlights of our 'graveyard crew' working in the background of the booth, which is kind of nice they'll be on TV too."
And, of course, it also will also prominently showcase the 12-foot-by-15-foot display, which resembles a creepy laboratory and is described by Boyd as the "ultimate zombie illusion prop and showpiece." He also says it's been spooking many of people who have visited Chambers of Fear since the haunt opened in mid-September.
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"People have been blown away, just like they were at the convention," he says. "You look at it and the illusion sets in where you're like, 'What am I looking at? Am I looking at an animatronic or is it a live character?' The illusion kind of messes with your mind and then springs out and scares you. That was kind of our whole objective."
Making Monsters' season premiere featuring Chambers of Fear airs at 8 p.m. on Sunday night on the Travel Channel.
Chambers of Fear is open every weekend and various weeknights through November 2. Visit its website for a full schedule.