Last year when heavy metal musician and horror icon Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare debuted in LA, I was pretty close to heading out there over Halloween to check out what The New York Times called "the best example yet of the upsizing of haunted houses in the last decade."
Imagine: the theatrics and entertainment of Zombie's live show -- a hodgepodge of vintage horror film clips, haunting makeup and costumes, stimulating pyro and lighting. Combine that with a classic freak show, musical entertainment, themed food and beverages, vendors, games, roaming characters, and three different fully interactive attractions based on three of Zombie's own horror films, and you have Great American Nightmare.
The huge haunted house affair closed out its 2013 run with a record-breaking night for a haunted house event in the U.S. And now Phoenix is in a for a real heavy metal horror treat.
Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare will debut at WestWorld in Scottsdale on select nights from September 19 through November 1. Plus, the opening night will feature Rob Zombie performing live.
The musician and filmmaker is no stranger to the Valley of the Sun. In fact, you can usually count on him to tour through town at least once a year. He's sold more than 15 million albums to date, and has grossed more than $100 million as the writer/director of five feature films. He's currently working on his sixth solo album and a brutal new horror flick called 31.
Zombie says he has one goal in mind for his Great American Nightmare in Phoenix: to make it even sicker than last year.
The first haunted house is The Lords Of Salem In Total Black Out, based on Zombie's 2012 film The Lords of Salem. It's a 60-degree maze that is designed to be a huge mind fuck, magnifying some of your senses while thwarting the others. Tailored to those who have issues with claustrophobia or the dark.
The second is Captain Spaulding's Clown School In 3D. Remember horror veteran Sid Haig as the psychotic twisted clown Captain Spaulding in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects? Yeah -- this takes you on a hallucinogenic trip through his brain with an array of animatronics. You might laugh or cry, but there will definitely be some screams of terror thrown in no matter what.
And last but certainly not least is The Devil's Rejects, based off of one of my personal favorite horror movies -- and it's not just because I have a huge crush on Zombie's wife who bares some (basically ass-less) killer jeans. If you've never seen it, the film is the sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, based around the homicidal Firefly family that's wanted for more than 75 murders and disappearances. In this movie, the family hits the road to escape a sheriff that's hellbent on taking out revenge since they killed his brother. In this experience, patrons walking through the house will become a part of the police force's mission against the Firefly family.
There are a few other people responsible for bringing the Great American Nightmare to Phoenix alongside Rob Zombie. One is Steve Kopelman, one of the most noted haunted house producers in the U.S. Over the past three decades he has produced countless attractions, including The Nest in Phoenix, Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House in New York. The other is Andy Gould with Spectacle Entertainment Group, who has worked in the music industry for more than four decades helping shape the careers of artists like Guns N' Roses, Pantera and White Zombie.
Tickets are already on sale, and start at just $25 (opening night is $45) and can be purchased at www.greatamericannightmare.com.
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