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FILMEDGE MAZE PREVIEWS FOR HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 2011
AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
ALICE COOPER: WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE

Can you survive the chiller terror of THE THING: ASSIMILATION in Halloween Horror Nights 2011 at Universal Studios Hollywood?

MAZE THEME

The Billion Dollar Baby himself, shock rocker Alice Cooper, also makes his Universal Studios debut as a maze co-creator as he beckons Halloween Horror Nights fans in 2011 WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE. Inspired by Cooper's classic concept album blending horror and heavy rock and his new sequel CD Welcome 2 My Nightmare that drops September 13th, this new maze takes guests on a journey into Alice Cooper's darkest imagination through terrifying sights and songs. The monsters, murderers and hallucinations that populate the stage with Alice in concert are now unleashed on the world to taunt and terrify HHN fans. With his maze debut, Cooper joins Rob Zombie in Universal's annual haunt event, a rocking reunion from their Gruesome Twosome tour where they teamed up on stage at Universal's Gibson Amphitheatre in 2010. 

WHAT WE EXPECT IN THE MAZE:
A FEVERISH NIGHTMARE OF SHOCK AND ROCK

Blending Alice Cooper's legacy of darkly themed rock songs and his outrageous stage act filled with mock-violent illusions and antics, WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE is a bold, experimental maze for Universal Hollywood. Creative Director John Murdy and the HHN design team have had success mixing screaming guests and horror rock before, partnering with Rob Zombie for several mazes including this year's returning HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, so the concept has a solid track record attracting Halloween fans. What remains to be seen is how well Cooper's classic and current musical mayhem translates into a concept maze on its own. There is no arguing against Alice's credentials earned while entertaining his fanbase for nearly four decades: he and his original band are often credited with innovating the fusion of rock music and horror as both a recording style and an on-stage performance. A range of top rock artists claim Cooper as highly influential on their music and careers, including Zombie, John Lydon of the Sex Pistols and even Bob Dylan praised him as "an overlooked songwriter." But will Alice Cooper's larger-than-life persona and concert-scaled nightmare imagination become all the more frightening to HHN fans up close and personal in a haunt attraction maze?

Cover art for Alice Cooper's new CD 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' which inspires his maze at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights 2011 Humanary Stew character design for Alice Cooper's WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE maze at Halloween Horror Nights. Image © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. Executioner character design for Alice Cooper's WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE maze at Halloween Horror Nights. Image © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. Black Widow Throne design for Alice Cooper's WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE maze at Halloween Horror Nights. Image © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

Spawned by Cooper's distinctive 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare, bookended with its 2011 sequel releasing this month, expect a greatest hits of his song and stage horrors brought to life before your eyes and ears. Always fond of stage illusion executions, no doubt heads will roll from a bloody guillotine and flesh will fry in the electric chair to keep it warm for your visit. The concept art below previews a giant Black Widow throne (inspired by the song of the same name) to creep out all you arachnophobes whose skin crawls as you become entrapped in its maze-like web. If spiders don't shake you, snakes will as another staple of Cooper's concert acts.

While Alice Cooper's use of themes like insane asylums and psychopathic killers were daring elements to introduce into rock concept albums and concert venues, today's HHN fans know them as common stapes of haunt mazes and attractions. We've all encountered lairs of poisonous predator spiders and wriggling snake pits in our tours of haunts for decades now. The trick for Murdy's team is to freshen up these classic scares and scenes with Alice's distinct musical brand, to mix the music in with the terror, allowing HHN fans to view these typical elements with new eyes and hear them with open ears.

By including Cooper's songs and incorporating his macabre sense of humor, WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE might end up lighter on horrifying scares than some other mazes this year if only because the musical element should be enjoyable if not familiar to fans, and thus a bit less threatening. Its success will likely depend on how well Alice Cooper's nightmarish, surreal visions depicted in his songs are physically translated into monstrous characters and disorienting environments which overwhelm HHN fans' sense of reality.

Download Alice Cooper's original landmark album WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE on iTunes

Welcome to My Nightmare - Alice Cooper

WHAT WE WANT IN THE MAZE:
SICK THINGS STARRING IN A THEATER OF DEATH

Beyond a collection of Alice Cooper's greatest hits, the WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE maze should take its title to heart and conjure up a bizarre netherworld of themes characters populating the shock rocker's songs for decades. Cooper's dark-toned music always exploited the frailties of human psychology and his stage act often had Alice bound in a straight jacket, so the insane asylum scenario in the maze is a natural fit. A wealth of such material can be mined from early tracks like Sick Things and Steven to later works like the rare and aptly-named song Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me and his new track The Nightmare Returns. Alice Cooper's own kingdom of the spiders, inspired by songs Black Widow and I Am the Spider, ought to ensnare those who fear a worldwide web of terror and carnivorous insects. While many HHN mazes may strive for bloody realism in their crazed killer themes, here the more fantastical, strange and exaggerated the rooms and characters are, the better!  Still, expect plenty of gruesome horror inspired by songs like Dead Babies, I Love the Dead and Killer to set the tone as murderous monsters take their punishment on the head-lopping guillotine and electric chair. Alice Cooper's demented nightmares, like his music, should embody a frightening rebellion against the rules and logic of the waking world, pressing enough fear buttons in maze goers to infect their minds after they exit. We expect Murdy and crew to have some fun with the Alice Cooper theme and celebrate the horror rock icon's years of musical madness.

The potential for great creature effects and props raises the scare potential for THE THING- ASSIMILATION maze at Halloween Horror Nights 2011

FILMEDGE'S POTENTIAL FRIGHT RATING:
YOUR CLASSIC SHOCK STATION

The WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE maze is Universal's opportunity to experiment with classic haunt scares and shock rock from the past but spin it on its ear with the Alice Cooper twist. Perhaps leaning more toward gruesome fun than terrifying frights, there will still be enough beheadings, electrocutions and ghoulish demons to haunt your nightmares. The puppet master Alice Cooper will be pulling your strings as he entangles you in his web of night terrors this Halloween season.

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READ MORE HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 2011 MAZE PREVIEWS FROM FILMEDGE
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Assimilation
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The Curse of Talbot Hall
ROB ZOMBIE'S
House of 1000 Corpses 3D
RETURN TO
MAIN MENU
HOSTEL
Hunting Season
LA LLORONA
Villa de Almas Perdidas

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HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS opens select nights September 23 - October 31, 2011
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