Archive for Rob Zombie

The Realm of Haunted Minds Forever a Classic Treat

Posted in 2015, Realm of Haunted Minds, Review with tags , , , , , on June 6, 2016 by bluefall8

By dollar and distance it’s hard to best The Realm of Haunted Minds at the Huron Turkey Farm in Romulus. The place has never undergone a major overhaul instead change comes in drips and drabs. The country store has retained its humble but powerful atmosphere and the miniature town, just outside the haunted attraction, is still an interesting, fun and somewhat eerie curiosity that I will always take a few moments to explore. This year there was a two-story castle with an attached slide. How am I supposed to resist that?

The haunted attraction itself featured a simple but effective facade and as always has been the case, the wait to enter The Realm of Haunted Minds was very short. As it was with my most recent visit in 2013, patrons must listen to a series of instructions and rules delivered by a holographic bust that I have affectionately dubbed Ghoulface. When his booming monologue had concluded we boldly stepped through the unique iron maiden entrance.

The strong suit of The Realm of Haunted Minds has always been the application of haunt fundamentals — a solid, unpredictable layout reinforced by tight passages, hanging visual obstructions, engagement of the tactile sense and well-timed jump scares. These elements can comprise a strong foundation for a haunted attraction of any size and shape.

As we roamed the haunted attraction, the driven sound of Rob Zombie’s Living Dead Girl blared through the speakers and that, ladies and gentlemen, is always a good thing. A few scares of note included the chained zombie who broke free of his bonds near the beginning of the haunt and his cell-bound counterpart near the end of the attraction who surprised us when he breached the enclosure. Each of these scares was well-timed and seemed to be direct reactions to the taunts we had hurled at the monsters and there’s not much I love more at a haunted house than improvisation and interaction.

Elsewhere inside The Realm of Haunted Minds, we enjoyed a cretin in a sheep mask who surprised us in various ways from inside of a cage. There was also an unsettling doll shrine. And best of all was a frenzied, cackling clown who shot out of of drop panel as if powered by a piston! We would later discover this same harlequin delivering scares amidst the miniature town outside, and would you know it, he was kind enough to pose for a few pictures.

Rating: 3 stars

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Haunted Farm of Terror Throws A Monster Party

Posted in 2015, Haunted Farm of Terror, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2015 by bluefall8

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Haunted Farm of Terror was the last stop for opening night 2015 — the one-two punch of haunted house and hayride was exactly the combo we needed to end our nocturnal adventure. The night air was cool and the sky was clear; a smattering of thrill seekers roamed the expansive grounds. John and I wasted little time in acquiring our tickets and then walked straight to the entrance of the haunted house where an old friend waited to greet us.

MEMORABLE CHARACTERS DRIVE HAUNTED HOUSE

On a September night in 2012 we stood at the threshold of Scarefest Scream Park’s Castle of the Dead and were greeted by a large man who wore an elaborate Vicotorian-era outfit and possessed a curious, out-of-date accent to match. His name was Mathayus and one year later we would again encounter him at the Realm of Darkness in Pontiac and lo and behold here he was again at Haunted Farm of Terror with another impressive monologue that whisked us into the haunted house.

No sooner had we entered, we saw that aged newspaper clippings had been tacked to one wall — each article detailed the mysterious disappearance of some hapless local. However, there would be little time for such things as reading for this house teemed with all manner of nightmare creatures.

A crazed, white-haired woman handed me a jarred head that she then forcefully instructed me to place in a cupboard. Once that task was complete she grew angrier with each passing sentence; she shouted about a cemetery and accused me of not doing my job. Meanwhile, a psycho-eyed doctor who wore a strange mask over his mouth and nose crept out of the shadows. As John and I made our way through the medical area we encountered patients with ailments that ranged from catatonia to fits of screaming.

Once free of the drab medical facility we quite shockingly discovered that the circus was in town — more specifically Rigby Q. Quincey’s “Top Tent of Terror!” Rigby stood head and shoulders above the fairgoers and seemed to have pilfered his outfit from Uncle Sam. One side of his face sported a nasty burn but the disfigurement did nothing to stem his voice which boomed theatrically through a mega phone. Rigby Q. Quincey rattled off a dazzling array of freaks featured inside the Top Tent of Terror that included pickled punks but before we were allowed to feast our eyes on such curiosities, Rigby instructed that we enter a structure called the Hot Box.

The so-called Hot Box resembled what 1950’s America imagined as the space age home of the future — it was straight out of the mind of Buckminster Fuller and the whole thing was full of a dense fog. Inside the Hot Box visibility was zero and as we trudged forward the we could still hear the excitable voice of Rigby Q. Quincey as he ushered others into the structure. John and I emerged from the Hot Box and soon found ourselves among many of the oddities that Rigby had so proudly proclaimed just moments ago. There was a bearded lady, what looked to be a pale-paced pinhead and a strange doctor who insisted I hear the pun-driven story of the Jelly Fish Man.

Once free of the freaks we entered a brightly-colored area that was home to Shortcake the Clown, who was fueled by spunk and armed with jokes. Old timey music bounced off the walls of the tent while the beautiful Shortcake told us of her time in clown college and then snapped our photograph with a most peculiar camera. Reluctantly, we left the irrepressible Shortcake and soon found ourselves navigating the twists and turns of an outdoor maze. In one moment of humility I attempted to travel through a nonexistent door — a simple but effective silhouette gag that left me open to the ridicule of various ghouls.

With bruised ego in tow we forged ahead and soon found ourselves gathered at a table where someone had left a collection of Army paraphernalia, included among the rabble was an old radio. Transfixed, we stood and listened to the queer tale that was being broadcast — some weird business about a degenerate rabbit. Just then we were approached by a shifty character who instructed that we should continue ahead should we want to avoid the rabbit. The dude seemed as untrustworthy as they come but the rabbit was now in sight armed with a chainsaw and although he was caged he strode in our direction with purpose.

John and I entered an area to the right and as we did so the door to the rabbit’s cage opened and simultaneously closed the opening that we had just used to escape the mangy hare. We had been hoodwinked and locked into a cell of our own. Fortunately, the rabbit’s attention was diverted by a group of screaming girls who had materialized in our wake. The electronic door seemed to experience a malfunction and in the mayhem we slipped past the slime ball bunny and escaped to freedom.

Rating: 3.75 stars

THE DIRTY DEEDS OF LAZARUS ALONGI

The Haunted Farm of Terror has a sordid history indeed and that dark legacy was revealed during a wild ride through the woods — it’s safe to say that this is not your daddy’s haunted hayride. The story of Lazarus is told through an on-board narrator and further embellished by an eclectic playlist of music that was tailored to individual scenes along the journey. The resulting effect is a high energy production that sliced through a range of emotions from fun and fright to revenge and sorrow.

The rollicking adventure began in earnest when a scarecrow burst to life and assailed the wagon as the sound of “Killing In the Name” by Rage Against the Machine erupted into the night. The tone had been set and from here on out the wagon would be attacked from both sides by a horde of actors, flying puppets and various other gags that involved barrels and one runaway semi-truck.

One memorable scene made good use of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a County Boy” in which a transgendered hillbilly by the dual name of Cletus and Caitlyn waved suggestively to us from the porch of a redneck homestead. The scene inspired a lot of laughter but the merriment came to an abrupt end when the vicious, chainsaw-wielding zombie named Ferby emerged from the woods and with unanimous approval from all of us on the wagon decapitated one unlucky lass.

Another noteworthy scene included the circus tent where we witnessed one clown perform a back flip from atop a barrel energized as he was by the raucous tones of “Jump Around” by House of Pain. There was also the church scene in which an executioner coldly chopped off the arms of a captive girl while Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” blared through the speakers. We also enjoyed a huge spider that was nestled in a massive web that hung high in the trees; a great emission of bubbles seeped from the spider’s back end and floated down upon the wagon.

The haunted hayride was a fair length, featured moments of interaction and was well served by a mix of music from the mid-90’s to early-00’s that included The Smashing Pumpkins, Rob Zombie, The Beastie Boys and Disturbed. The narrative formula that initiated most of the scares did tip its hand after a time but all in all it was an energetic romp through the woods that mixed humor with horror and had patrons singing and screaming along.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Horrorlust Radio Episode #006

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by bluefall8

In this episode #006 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined by the Cik-Boy, Jason Cikalo. Cikalo and I discuss horror in literature and then detail our thoughts and experiences with The CikNis — our garage haunt.

Also in this episode of Horrorlust Radio is another installment of original segments, Serious Celluloid and Hosts & Hotties. In this edition of Serious Celluloid, I recommend a 2010 released entitled The Shrine and then in Hosts & Hotties we pay respect to a Detroit horror icon, Sir Graves Ghastly.

We also discuss our most recent haunted house visits and speculate which attractions we’ll visit to close out the 2014 haunt season. I also answer a listener question regarding crowd control at haunted attractions.

I’m actively seeking sponsors for Horrorlust Radio, if you own or operate a haunted attraction or are otherwise involved or connected to the haunt industry and are interested in such an opportunity you can contact me at the following email address: horrorlust@bluestarproductions.net

Email any questions or comments to the address above or feel welcome to post any reactions to this podcast in the comments section below.

HORRORLUST RADIO: EPISODE 006

This episode of Horrorlust Radio does contain explicit content; young ones cover your ears!

SHOW NOTES

Below is a promotional poster for the 2010 film, The Shrine. This is an under-the-radar horror film with a strong plot, solid acting and one unsettling twist — I believe it to be a worthy entry in our Serious Celluloid collection.

Promotional poster from the 2010 film, The Shrine.

In the words of Monty Python, “Run away, run away!”

Detroit mainstay and horror icon, Sir Graves Ghastly, pictured below. The actor who portrayed Sir Graves Ghastly was named Lawson Deming; he passed on April 24, 2007 — just one day after his 94th birthday.

Lawson Deming thrilled a generation of kids as Sir Graves Ghastly.

Lawson Deming thrilled a generation of kids as Sir Graves Ghastly.

The songs and audio clips featured in this episode are listed below in chronological order:

1. “Killer Klowns” by The Dickies (Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 1988)

2. Evil Dead Theatrical Trailer, 1981

3. “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)

4. Ash is Tormented from Evil Dead, 1981

5. “Dragula” by Rob Zombie (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)