Hiatus

by on Jun.02, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Foolish Mortals,

The blog is going to be on hiatus for a little while. I am not sure when I will get back to posting so keep an eye out. I’ll be sure to keep you all “In the Loop”.
I’ll see you all a little later…
-Master Gracey

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Behind The Thrills NETHERWORLD Haunted House Info

by on May.28, 2011, under Haunted Houses

http://behindthethrills.com/2010/10/bsquares-big-ass-haunt-report-2010-part-1-netherworld-atlanta-ga/

One of the Most Depraved and Scary Haunts in the Nation!

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Terrified ELLEN Staffer in a Haunted House

by on May.25, 2011, under Haunted Houses

This is great …She is terrified!

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Haunted Mansion 2011, A Full Report

by on Apr.25, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Welcome Foolish Mortals,
The following WDW report is going to be quite different then some of my others, in that it will be based mostly on the recent changes rather than a full scene by scene breakdown. With that, lets get started.
The mansion’s facade and grounds (not including the new queue) are in tip-top shape. Never better, actually. The Mansion line is supposed to split when approaching the new queue. By going to the right you are able to go the “Normal” way and walk right up to the door, and by going to the left you are directed into the interactive queue. Choosing which way to go is supposed to be up to the guest (and the main argument “pro-queue” people are trying to tell Haunted Mansion fans that are against the additions). Ah, but this is not the case, at least at night and in the morning. From 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M the shorter way was chained off, forcing myself and others, to take the long way to get to the ride. I, in my totally unprofessional opinion, think this make no sense whatsoever. If there is no line for the ride, why not chain off the interactive queue and let guests get right into the Mansion. And when the line begins to lengthen, why not open up both lanes?
OK, for the most part this is forgivable, but when it is mid-day, the line for the ride is long, and both lanes are open, why is there NO CAST MEMBER DIRECTING TRAFFIC. Absolutely NO GUEST realized that both lanes are open causing the entire line to be backed up. There is no cast member, no sign, no anything identifying how you can use both lanes.
Anyway, moving into the new queue…
The divider between the lanes is tall, cramped and tacky. it should be replaced by some sort of a low fence. Oh, I almost forgot:
The Following Description is a bit harsh, those who like/worked-on, the new queue should scroll down to the positive points.
When entering, you run into those over-the-top cartoonish busts. Personally, I like the way they look and are executed, but it does not fit in the setting.

You are supposed to read each of their plaques’ and decide who killed who, but the average guest doesn’t realize this, and think that they are just a photo opportunity. Next up are Marc and X’s tombstones. Please, don’t even get me started on how many people continuously leaned on them or had their children (get this) sit on them for a photo! *Shivers*
The Composer’s tomb, despite it’s faulty art design, is the best of all 3 crypts. It’s music is loud, the “touch pad” does not feel like stone (and actually bends when pressed too hard), and it has ghosts carved into it ( but I already get into that in THIS post). The biggest downsides are the “Crazy” sounds that the Crump inspired side has and the fact that the organ’s keys are soaking wet. “WaltzingGhost” on MiceChat overheard a child say, after pressing the organ’s keys’, “Eww, it’s wet, thats not cool”. To the far left of Harriet’s tombstone is this large green “T” thing,

I have no Idea what it is, but it gets in the way. Venturing forward there was, in fact, a rose sitting on my tombstone. But alas, I was unable to take a nice picture of it because the guest in front of me was leaning on it. The whole area surrounding the Captain’s tomb is disgusting. the ground looks unfinished, everything is soaking wet, and his voice is ridiclious and needs to be removed. Guests avoided this area like the plague, and, as I’ve stated before, it is an accident waiting to happen.

The overall design of Prudence’s tomb is lovely, and actually looks good. The “Whack-a-book” effect is un-doubly the most popular interactive feature. My only beef is that they come out to rapidly, and nothing happens after you push them in. Prudence herself is obnoxious. She sounds like a second grade teacher screaming at you for an answer to her low-class poem.

When exiting the New queue you can see Collin Campell’s tombstone shoved in a corner, which is EXTREMELY disrespectful since he passed away so recently (April 2nd, HERE is a nice article remembering him and his legacy)
Overall, the queue feels cramped and dirty. The water effects will obviously not last, and its sound pollution is horrendous. Yes, the Captain’s goofy singing and and prudence’s yelping carries out of the interactive queue and up to the mansion’s front doors.
My favorite guest quote after exiting the new queue:
Person 1 : “That was kinda weird”
His friend: “Yea, they are trying to make it more like the Eddy Murphy Movie”
OK, lets get positive!
The all of the new tributes, including Harriet’s tombstone (even though it is a bit hard to read) are very nice and long overdue. The hill and all of the headstones that were added to the old section of the queue look FANTASTIC (despite most of them not having full names/do not fit in a family plot). It adds so much depth and perspective that was so desperately needed in that area:

Another, odd, positive point is the lighting fixtures that positioned under the canopy:

I also adore the view of the Rivers of America that the new queue provides.
Unfortunately, that is it. If you are a Haunted Mansion Fan and have the option of bypassing the interactive queue, I suggest you do so. Other than the sound bleeding of the captain’s singing and sneezing, you will be able to have the whole mansion experience the way it was supposed to be.
The mansion’s interior is looking better than ever. Remember how we’ve been complaining for a while about how no one is ever able to see my full portrait transformation? Well, it seems like someone is trying to address it. Instead of one Maid/butler manning both the foyer and stretching galleries there are now two. One stays in the foyer while the other guides you into the gallery. By doing this one maid/butler does not have to rush to the front doors before the GH’s spiel starts. The new process is effective, but only operates when crowd capacity is at moderate-large.
I mentioned in an earlier post that construction was going on in the former “Chicken’s exit” to become a possible “Photo opportunity” with the HHGs. Thankfully I was wrong. The door to the chicken’s exit has been expanded to reveal two passageways. There is a sign between the two that says “For those of you too full of fear, there’s one last chance to exit here” and points to the right. Underneath that, there is a wheelchair symbol and an arrow to the left. Thats right folks, the foyer and stretching galleries are finally wheelchair accessible. When a guest accommodating a wheelchair exits the gallery, they are directed into the new passage that guides them into the exit crypt so that they can board safely:

:
The passage from the loading area.

The passage from the exit crypt
The passage does give off a little too much light, but I don’t really mind.
I think I will move onto the new HHGs.
They really do look great. They are surprisingly three dimensional and very fun. When there is no guest in a buggy they revert to a generic animation, Phineas waves while his head slowly begins to float off his shoulders, Gus sits atop a buggy, looses his balance and falls, and Ezra tips his hat causing bats to fly out of it. Due to some odd circumstance, the computers were unable to detect I was in a buggy 2/3 times, leaving me with one of the generic animations. I wasn’t really upset, because I think all of that head-switching is overly flashy and would be happy with more simple animations, but still. Otherwise everything seemed to be working just dandy. WaltzingGhost, who I mentioned before, recently went to WDW and was able to see these effects first-hand. But alas, things did not go well. She said that the effect broke mid-trip and was replaced with those goofy floating-by ghosts and also stated that under the ghosts were computer codes, since they weren’t prepared for the breakdown. Oh well.
Finally, all previous bat shaped “Servants Quarters” signs have been replaced with these wonderful antique-looking plaques, a very good job by imagineering!

So, all in all the mansion is in good shape, at least if you ignore the fact that the new queue is trying to take you out of the “real world” and set you up in some sort of made up land.
If only management would shell out the money to fix the new queue.
If only…
On a less sour note here are some non-flash pictures from the trip:
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DO NOT SHARE/USE ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE
I am going to be uploading more *Nice* photos of my trip on Facebook, and eventually to my website. A full ride-through of the Mansion will be posted on Youtube ASAP. Both links are in the sidebar.
RIP,
Master Gracey
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Niagra Falls Haunted Houses!

by on Apr.23, 2011, under Exclusive Spooky Fun House Blogs, Haunted Houses

From the NETHERWORLD Network


From The NETHERWORLD Network

Some of the many Haunted Houses in Niagra Falls..

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New Hitchhiking Ghosts

by on Apr.22, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

I know the new queue at the WDW Haunted Mansion is now old news and still a sore spot for most mansion fans, but the new Hitchhiking Ghosts are unbelievably cool!

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Dark Ride Links!

by on Apr.12, 2011, under Exclusive Spooky Fun House Blogs, Rides

Although not as prevailant as one may think, there are a number of entertaining sites dedicated to dark rides and funhouses. If bounding blindly through a maze of leering animatronics and eerie sound effects is your cup of tea, or if you long for the days of crazy mirrors and surprise air blasts, then any of the following links may provide you with some enjoyment.

Laff in the Dark is dedicated to paying tribute to fun houses and the dark rides we’ve come to love: http://www.laffinthedark.com/

Another nice site is Ultimate Roller Coaster – focusing primarily on coasters it also updates amusement park news regularly: http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/

You can find a delightful gallery of funhouse photos at: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/80594621/

There is also something to be enjoyed at each of the following sites:

http://www.darkinthepark.com/
http://ctacke.tripod.com/
http://coasterbuzz.com/
http://www.funchase.com/Funchase.htm

Stay in touch with other dark ride fanatics and keep up to date at Rue Morgue magazine’s Travelogue of Terror forums:
http://www.rue-morgue.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?s=4ad80426ce1338910713a7ef9a59cd98&f=31

And just in case you’re thinking of starting your own funhouse, you might find some vital supplies at:
http://www.italintl.com/category.php?category=Fun%20House%20and%20Dark%20Rides

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Corey Burton on voicing the ‘Ghost Host’

by on Apr.10, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

burton_as_ghost_host.mp3 Listen on Posterous

DoomBuggies.com’s Chef Mayhem, along with the rest of the Mousetalgia podcast crew, recently interviewed Disney voice actor Corey Burton for the April 18, 2011 episode of the Mousetalgia podcast. In this advance excerpt, Burton discusses channeling legendary voice actor Paul Frees to voice the Ghost Host for the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, which has been installed annually at Disneyland since the fall of 2001.

Posted via email from DoomBuggies.com’s posterous

** Get DoomBuggies’ official Guide to the Secrets of Disney’s Haunted Mansion: Just $14.95! **
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You think It can’t get any worse…

by on Mar.26, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Mortals,
If you read my facebook page you are aware the the Hitchhiking ghost animatronics are back, and looking better than ever. You also are aware that some props are added next to Phineas, such as luggage and a portrait. But Dan Olson (aka HBG2) has uncovered the most disturbing photo I have seen in my entire (after)-Life
Take a look:
(Photo Credit: Dan Olson)
Yes, the portrait next to Phineas is of one of the busts sitting in the new queue.
Speculation believes that portraits (or some other likeness) of all five of the busts will be added to different parts of the mansion, as part of their “story”.
A cartoon queue, flat Hitchhiking ghost “follow you home” projections, photo opportunities.
This is bad mansionites, very very bad.
-MG
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The SHAG Interview!

by on Mar.24, 2011, under Exclusive Spooky Fun House Blogs


Hell meets the Playboy Mansion, circa 1966 – a brief chat with Shag!
by Thom Trainor (The Netherworld Network)

The last decade-and-a-half has witnessed a real renaissance in the world of contemporary pop art. Bored with the stagnant pool of fine art that had developed in galleries and private collections, a new breed of artist plunged headlong into the murky depths and turned a small ripple into a churning whirlpool of exciting, innovative imagery spawned by nostalgia and pop culture. Soon, traditional 2D works evolved into an aesthetic…inspiring fans to rethink just what it was that they considered “fine art” and embrace this diverse and intriguing community of creators through paintings, prints, designer toys, apparel and home decor. Often labeled urban art, lowbrow, pop surreal, and any other number of monikers, contemporary pop art is everything but definable.

Leading this charge was Shag. Blending popular iconic themes with a slightly avant garde cast of characters and design elements, Shag has become synonymous with modern retro cool..a gentleman’s gentleman who invites us into a past that never existed outside of our own minds, where lovely lasses in stylish cocktail dresses and cat-rimmed glasses mix it up with dapper werewolves and fez-wearing skeletons.

The Netherworld Network was extremely fortunate in stealing a few moments of Shag’s time in order to ask a few questions and catch up with this modern master…

You recently created some amazing work for Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride – how did this come about? Was this one of those dream-come-true projects – were you a longtime fan of the ride?
I’ve worked with Disneyland for about ten years; they’ve sort of given me carte blanche to pick and choose projects I find interesting. Most of what I do revolves around anniversaries of rides, or attractions at the theme parks. In fact, I’ve told Disney I won’t paint, reinterpret, or represent any of their characters like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck; I’m only interested in the theme park attractions. And my three favorite attractions, going back to my youth, were the Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, and the Pirates of the Caribbean. It was natural that I would take the opportunity to do art for the Haunted Mansion when I found out its 40th Anniversary was approaching.

Will we be seeing any new Haunted Mansion pieces or merchandise, with the announcement of the new Gullermo del Toro-directed film?

No, part of my contracts with Disneyland states that they can only display and sell my art and merchandise for a limited time, and can only sell it in the theme parks. I don’t want it competing with the galleries that display and sell my art outside the Magic Kingdom. By the time that movie comes out, the stuff I created will be long gone. I am pleased to hear that del Toro is doing a Haunted Mansion movie – anything to make me forget about that Eddie Murphy travesty that came out a few years ago.

Are you a fan of dark rides or funhouses in general? Do you celebrate the Halloween season with a visit to the local haunted houses? If so, do you have any favorites you recommend?

I do like funhouses and dark rides, especially the cheesy ones at state fairs. At the Balboa Fun Zone, a small boardwalk amusement park near where I live, there used to be an attraction called Scary Dark Ride. It was definitely dark, but it wasn’t very scary. My kids are too young to appreciate haunted houses (they just get freaked out and have a bad time) but when they’re older, I’ll definitely seek out some good local haunted houses.

Your work often features many darker denizens – devils, wolfmen, skeletal gents – but in a delightfully relaxed manner, typically frolicking with lovely ladies or enjoying a cocktail. Do these characters represent any particular aspect of yourself, or are they simply favorite icons drawn from your own interests?

Those are iconic things from my childhood – I loved monsters when I was a kid. As an artist, you paint what you love, so it makes sense. At the same time, the world in my paintings is pretty hedonistic and most of the characters that populate my world are cool customers, so the monsters and devils tend to be pretty relaxed, too.

During Atlanta’s Dragon*Con 2010 event, you released a limited print set of Crypto-hominids. What is it about these shaggy brutes that inspired this release? Are you a believer in the existence of man-apes – ever spied a Bigfoot in the wild (or having a wild time among the civilized)?

I’m a big skeptic when it comes to cryptozoological species, but I still think it’s fun to research them and listen to what true believers have to say about them. The Crypto-Hominid print set was inspired by those 18th and 19th century artist-naturalists like J. J. Audubon – I even included a spec sheet with descriptions of the beasts in their natural habitat. Like the monsters I paint, these bigfoots and sasquatches were kept pretty mellow.

Can you recall your favorite Halloween costume(s) growing up? Were you a store-bought kind of trick-or-treater or did your creative side push you toward the homegrown? Will we ever see a line of Ben Cooper-style Shag costumes (preferably for adults)?

My favorite costume was something I didn’t wear myself, but I made it for my younger brother around 1976. It was a recreation of Gene Simmons’ costume from the Kiss Destroyer album cover, the one with the scaly dragon-head boots. I spent months working on that thing. I was 13 or 14 at the time, and had the free time to cut out dragon scales and put metal studs into black vinyl for hours on end. The finished costume looked pretty faithful to the original, though it probably weighed about five times as much, in that I made the armor and spikes in my junior high metal shop class out of heavy gauge steel.
People sometimes ask me about creating Shag costumes – It’s hard to translate my art into 3-D objects satisfactorily, and I’m usually disappointed. I wouldn’t completely rule it out in the future, though.

Can you give us an idea of what would make the perfect Shag-tastic Halloween party? Recommended drinks, music, decor?

Oh, think Hell-meets-the-Playboy Mansion circa 1966, and that would be the theme for the perfect Halloween party. Dark liquors served out of oversized decanters, Playboy Bunnies with devil horns, purple crushed velvet, red velour, round beds and rugs, and a DJ spinning hot bachelor pad music would complete the scene.

Do you ever cut loose (pun intended) on Shag jack-o-lanterns? Any pictures you can share with us? Ever consider a line of Shag pumpkin carving patterns? Only the most diabolical prankster could even consider smashing a Shag pumpkin!!!

Oh! My friends and neighbors always want to see the jack-o-lanterns I carve for my kids at Halloween, and they’re always disappointed. I let my kids draw what they want, and I carve it. But they always draw the typical jack-o-lantern: triangle eyes, big square teeth. I can carve two of those in about 20 minutes, then get back to painting…

Your work of late has seemed to lean toward a slightly darker aesthetic. Can you give us a bit of insight into this new direction?

I was getting tired of the bright colors and happy scenes, so I took a little vacation from that. The more recent stuff is darker and more introspective, and relies less on kitsch and pop culture imagery than most of my other work. It split the fans of my art – some thought it was tremendous and some were really put off by it.

Do you have a favorite scary movie? Anything that screams “Halloween” for you?

I like scary movies that rely on psychological build up rather than special effects or gore, like Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, or The Omen. The first Halloween movie fits that bill, too. My recent favorite is Let The Right One In (the original Swedish version).

Any upcoming releases or events you can share with us? Any chance we’ll ever see a Shag Netherworld Haunted House image on a print or t-shirt (hint, hint)?
Oh, I think it would be fun to do a Netherworld Haunted House image!

More info can be found at Shag’s official site at www.shag.com

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