Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Chicago Photos

by  on Oct.16, 2014, under Haunted Houses, Rob Zombie

heidi_sweater2concert_zombieOpening weekend at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Chicago was an awesome experience!  I was invited out to shoot photos and video of the opening night where Rob Zombie himself played to a sold out crowd!  The concert was amazing even though Rob wasn’t able to do some of his more advanced stage effects such as the pyrotechnics but it was still an amazing show!  I think regardless of whether or not you like Rob’s music you’ll still love his show. He’s a true entertainer and really gets into his performances!  The night was a little extra special since it was Shari Moon Zombie’s Birthday as well!

The haunts are of course stunning and highly detailed!  The murder ride features all the murderer’s from House of 1000 corpses and then some including John Wayne Gacy which has been causing quite a stir in the Chicago area since that’s where the murders took place.  However this is a haunted house and more over its a Rob Zombie Haunted House so if you are expecting puppy dogs and fairy tales then you should probably go somewhere else. Rob’s never shied away from controversy so its only fitting that John Wayne Gacy be a comical addition to the “Sick, Twisted, Haunted House” that the event advertises!

capt_spauldingThe event also includes the Haunted World of El Superbeasto in 3D as well as the Lords of Salem in Blackout.  Its a full night of “sick and twisted” entertainment and once I highly recommend Chicagoland check out especially for fans of Rob’s music or films!

You can find lots more photos I took at the event on my Flickr Album Here! Check them out!

 

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Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Scottsdale

by  on Oct.15, 2014, under Haunted Houses, Rob Zombie

fireflyhouse_angleHDRIspaulding had the opportunity to fly out to Arizona for the opening weekend of Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Scottsdale in September.  For 2014 The Great American Nightmare expanded to two locations, One in Scottsdale AZ and one in Chicago IL, more on the Chicago location later in the week.  The Scottsdale location has 3 attractions including The Lords of Salem in Blackout, Captain Spaulding’s Clown School, and the Devils Rejects.  The Lords of Salem Blackout is the only attraction that was also used last year in LA but its been update with a much better intro and a facade that looks like the apartment building from the film.  The Clown School is an all new 3D attraction that combines the crude humor of Captain Spaulding with amazing cutting edge 3D effects and props.

My favorite attraction however had to be the Devils Rejects.  This attraction follows the film closely and begins with a shootout between the Firefly clan and the cops while the queue line waits to get into the attraction.  The cops play out the scene just like in the movie complete with real cop cars, lights, pyrotechnic effects and smoke.  When the shootout starts all hell breaks looks and the crowd is stuck in the middle of this huge old rundown house and a bunch of 1970’s style cops.  Its a pretty amazing scene and one of the coolest I’ve been witness to at any haunted house!

After that there’s the firefly house where you run into Otis, Baby, Mother Firefly and Tiny.  Once you getrob through the horrors of the house you’ll end up at the motel from The Devils Rejects where you’ll be shoved into a room and locked in there with some crazy motel guests!

If you’re a Rob Zombie fan then you’ll love this event!  Its like being in the movies and its pretty amazing to see the films recreated as attractions!  I honestly can’t wait to see where these attractions go.  Its no secret now that Rob is working on a new film that was inspired by the haunted houses.  31 starts filming soon and I’m excited to see if it becomes an attraction in the future as well!

Lots More Photos from the event can be found on my Flickr album here!

 

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House of Shock Photos 2014

by  on Oct.13, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, Haunted Houses, photography

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I had the honor of going to a haunt I’ve always wanted to see for 15 years! The House of Shock in New Orleans has been one of those infamous haunts that has had more than its share of controversy due to its themes of Satanism.  Its also one of those haunts that’s just as well known for its amazing sets and awesome stage show with pyrotechnics!  It was a real honor to get asked to come out and shoot some photos this year, their final year, for use on their site and promotions.  I have to say the show lives up to its legend!

bad_priest2When you first visit the House of Shock you’re treated to a stage show that is mind blowing! Its something out of the most intense heavy metal concert ever seen.  Lord Belial, the satanic priest comes out and talks about how the Antichrist was born at the House of Shock and now they’re ready to take on God and bring about the apocalypse! Jesus shows up, nailed to a cross, and blows away the Antichrist and a televangelist preacher in a huge pyrotechnic explosion of fire and sparks!  It’s just as crazy as it sounds and then some.  Its something that has to be seen to be believed and now that its in its final year your chance to go see it is quickly coming to an end!

The rooms are some of the most detailed I’ve ever seen in any haunt.  The Voodoo priestess house with its intricate statues, paintings, and ritual paraphernalia is awesome!  There’s so much to take in and I was very glad I had time to shoot the haunt before it opened so I could document as much of it as I could.  But the photos don’t do justice to what its like actually being in that room and experiencing it with all your senses.  The actors are intense and really into what they do!  Again its something you have to see to fully appreciate.

templeThe Satanic themes are pretty heavy in the house and there’s an amazing satanic temple room that just seems to explode into chaos when you walk into it and its all due to the amazing performances of the actors!  There’s screaming chained up woman, a satanic priest preaching at you and of course the Antichrist himself watches you from above!

The House of Shock is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever been to! It’s a nightmarish trip through a dark vision of New Orleans fused with the underworld and its like nothing I’ve seen before!  Now that its ending I highly recommend you go see this haunt before its gone forever!

Visit House of Shock.com for details and tickets

To Check out more Photos from my trip please visit my Flickr album!

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Millennium Re-watch Episode 1 “Pilot”

by  on Sep.30, 2014, under chris carter, Millennium, Retro TV

millennium tvad100aI’ve made several posts about “Millennium”, Chris Carter’s sophomore tv series after the X-Files that he sort of forgot about after the first season.  Its no secret that this series had a tremendous influence on me at a very crucial time in my life and set me on the path to where I am today!  Recently there’s been some resurgence of interest in The X-Files with Kamail Nanjiani’s excellent podcast series, The X-File Files, which I can’t recommend enough even if you are new to the X-Files! But this has inspired me to really delve back into Millennium for my blog!

I loved the X-Files but for a variety of reasons, Millennium spoke to me on a very deep level and re-awakened my love of horror at a time when I had sort of moved away from it.  Hey Horror was in bad shape in the early to mid 90’s and it really didn’t take off again until a little movie called Scream came out.  But Millennium’s look and ad campaign also really inspired me artistically and pushed me back into creating dark art and video again for the first time in years.

In the Summer of 1996 during the summer reruns on Fox, these very short and weird promo videos began airing.  Fast cuts of horrible things, quickly ending with the image of character actor Lance Henriksen frantically clawing at the ground and then it goes to black and a voice says “You Can’t stop it” while the Millennium logo appears on the screen followed by a deep Bum, bump sound.  I was blown away by these promos! I couldn’t believe how cool the imagery was and how dark and weird it seemed.  “From the creator of The X-Files” was the only tagline and that was all needed to sell me.

Finally on October 25th 1996 Millennium finally aired and it was shocking!

With this series of reviews I will be going into spoiler territory so if you have never watched Millennium I recommend watching the episode then reading my review.  You can find some of the series online on youtube or buy the box set following the link at the bottom of this article.  At the time I’m writing this there is no legal streaming of the series on Netflix, hulu or anywhere else.

October 25th, 1996 Millennium aired for the first time on Fox at 9PM.  I wasn’t really prepared for how dark and gruesome this episode would be and neither was the majority of TV Viewers.  The episode opens during a heavy downpour in Seattle Washington where we follow a man into a rather sleazy looking strip club.  White Zombie’s “More human than human” pounds on the soundtrack as the camera wanders the club giving us a voyeuristic view of some of the weird individuals that are enjoying the show.  One of the girls is getting ready to go home for the night when the manager comes to tell her she has a “Private” dance request.  She reluctantly agrees and we cut to the girl dancing in a private room.  There’s a man sitting in the dark behind a glass booth watching.  “I want to watch you dance” he says.  He holds up a piece of paper against the glass written in French.  We start to see the flashes of what the man is seeing as he watches the woman dance.  The walls behind her oooze with blood. Flashes of knives and a struggle,  then as she dances blood starts to drip down from her head all over her body. The man in the booth struggles and sounds frustrated, his voice breaking as he says “I want to see you dance on the blood dimmed tide..”  He hangs his head and the titles come up.  (more…)

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New Video Tagsylvania (2014)

by  on Aug.26, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, haunted house commercials, Haunted Houses, HDSLR Filmmaking

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New Video trailer we shot for Tagsylvania Haunted Houses in New York state.  This is a great event with one of my favorite haunted trails!  There’s some very creative things going on here with the set  design including a real crashed plane that someone died in!  Creepy Dolls, amazing make up and one of the best 3D scenes I’ve ever witnessed in person!  Its well worth your time if you live near Big Flats NY!

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Indiana Fear Farm Trailer (2014)

by  on Aug.25, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, haunted house commercials, Haunted Houses, HDSLR Filmmaking

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Here’s another new video I shot on site at The Indiana Fear Farm last October. It was one of the final events I went to that season and it was a breath of fresh air!  I had been to several big budget big name events with major effects and Indiana Fear Farm was a nice home spun event that did amazing things with its location.  The hayride featured actors on ziplines, dancing skeletons, evil possessed pick up trucks, exploding gas stations and of course a headless horseman that chased down the hay rack!  Its a creative and smart event that does so much with custom made props an sets. If you live in the Indianapolis area I can’t recommend this one enough! Go check it out and be charmed and terrified by a truly fun and unique haunted house!

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Retro Movie Review: The ‘Burbs (1989)

by  on Jul.11, 2014, under Retro Horror Movies, reviews

the-burbs-posterIn the 80’s Tom Hanks was still coming up in his career and he did a lot of movies, some were great, and some were not so much.  Its easy to point to films like “Big” or “splash” as his big break out roles that are still considered classics today.  But for me the movie that was my favorite as a kid and still finds its way into my summer viewing schedule each year is “The ‘Burbs”.

Having recently moved into a suburb near Columbus OH the movie suddenly has more meaning than it did before.  Screenwriter Dana Olsen wrote the film based on his own childhood where there was always that one house that seemed really creepy or that one neighbor that never came out of their house.  Olsen states it best with “…As a kid, it was fascinating to think that Mr. Flanagan down the street could turn out to be Jack the Ripper. And where there’s fear, there’s comedy. So I approached The ‘Burbs as Ozzie and Harriet Meet Charles Manson.”

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Horror Movie Review: Wolf Creek 2

by  on Jun.26, 2014, under horror movies, Movie Review

ItWOLF CREEK 2 movie poster -- exclusive EW.com images been nearly a decade since Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek (2005) was in theaters right about the time the “torture porn” craze was at its peak.  Wolf Creek was marketed as a “saw” type but it never felt quite like that type of movie.  It took its time getting to where it needed to go and while I liked it I haven’t revisited it since I originally saw it in theaters. It felt like a good minor horror entry with a decent villain but it wasn’t something that really spoke to me.

Now Mclean is back with a sequel that both exceeded expectations and failed them at the same time.  The film has a great cold opening with our serial killer from the first film, Mick Taylor, played once again by John Jarret, being hassled by a couple asshole highway patrol officers.  Mick smiles and takes their abuse like he’s the cheeriest man in all of Australia but of course the two cops get what’s coming to them.  The sequence really sets you up for the film the follows, its darkly comic and Mick has become almost a ghoulishly funny icon like Freddy Krueger.   (more…)

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