Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blackout Haunted House 2012 (Special K's Walkthrough)


Now that you've read my walkthrough of Blackout Haunted House, it's time you got a different perspective from Special K, a fellow female Survivor and friend who attended Blackout twice (that's her waiting to go in) She went in late October when Blackout started to mix things up and started to heavy up on the fucked up shit and started playing mind games. It's slightly similar to what happened to me but also far different in the levels of crazy. 

Go ahead and read Special K's walkthrough of Blackout HH NYC. You'll start to see what kind of fear manipulators these guys come up with when the spotlight is shining and Halloween was around the corner.  

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It's official, Blackout (quite literally) has my number.  This year marked my third event in two years with them and I found myself simultaneously horrified and charmed to feel new layers of fear. It's true that Blackout's trademark brutality delights and excites me.  But when it comes to legitimate terror, the subtle, introspective moments work more far more effectively.

The moment I enter and survey the setup, I freeze.  I can face naked actors, physical actors or repulsive elements but one of MY deepest, most personal fears IS acting.  Standing alone in a spotlight with all eyes on me and my vulnerable self awareness is NOT. OKAY. 

By the time they call my number, I have no one to look to for comfort.  Suddenly the room seems very crowded.  Where did all these people come from?  I hear the sound of a dull heartbeat and it seems to mirror my own.  I wish for whatever is behind the door to grab me, but it's making me wait, reveling in my fear.  I cannot safety before the show begins!  Oh, but this is their specialty.  Whomever designed this "stage" knew perfectly well what they were doing.
courtesy of Blackout Haunted House Facebook Page

I look sideways. I study my shoes. Only when I look up and notice a half dozen strangers waving, do I smile.  I finally relax.  Not to be outdone, the door slides open and my captor swirls me inside.  For the next thirty minutes, NYC vanishes.  This is the moment I wait for all year, where my dreams and nightmares collide.  I'm in their playground.

Captor 1 has done this before.  I follow his placid instructions and a mask is placed over my mouth and nose.  Then comes one of the highlights of the experience - the hottest frisking ever!  I figure I'm supposed to be scared.  Nah.  I am thankful there is a mask to hide my smile as I close my eyes and instinctively relax my hands from the wall.  Clearly he is not fooled as the scene takes an odd turn of intensity, before it ends all too soon.

I am taken to the next scene (more like pulled up and floated on tiptoe) where I am strapped to a table.  Tuneless, awful heavy metal music is assaulting my ears.  The track ends and the actor restarts it.  I smirk.  He places a metallic hammer on my hand and cold air flutters down the back of my neck.   The only thing I feel here is disorientation - the goggles make it hard to see and the music is distracting from the hammer about to do damage.  I guess if I didn't have such a twisted trust for the people running this, I might have been worried.   

I am waiting in a corner now, "don't fucking move."  Finally, "she's ready for you..."   I enter.  This man is naked from the neck down and stands in the corner boldly posing like Buffalo Bill a la the "would you f*ck me?" scene.  This room is brightly lit and he leaves nothing to the imagination.  I'm trying to be polite, I won't look down.  He won't start dancing until I do.  Finally he does a quick tuck and floats toward me, legs crossed, on perfect point.  With a music box in one ear, his lips right up into the other, we slow dance.  He sings in creepy, soft falsetto and stops midsong, to direct me "DANCE. SLOWER"  Sorry.  Can't imagine why I'm nervous.

His voice morphs into a deep, horrifying growl that I can hear even now. "Goodbyyyyyeeeee."  Cut scene.  And off I go.

Now I am in a room, a very dark room.  A very dark room with a naked man inside and he's… wait… where's the floor.  THIS MAN HAS LIFTED ME OFF THE FLOOR.  I'm trying so hard not to touch the actor but WE ARE TACKLING.  I'm thrown onto a bare mattress.  What kind of crack den is this?  Is that his crotch in my face?  This is rude!  And now my hand is on his bare chest and is he really?  Yeah he's really… jerking off to it.

Now I'm somewhere else and there's a staircase "GO DOWN THE STAIRS." I take off down the stairs like I've stolen something. Another voice, "SLOWER!"  I knock and the door opens into a brightly lit room littered with broken records.  A girl is wearing a hospital gown and she doesn't seem alright.  She starts yanking something out of her vagina.  Not another tampon… No this is, honey, don't you want some privac-  Oh god… no!  No no no no no no… it's a condom and wait, where are you going with that?  Stay back!  Stay back!  No luck there.  She gets very close to my face, drinks the cum inside as if it's killing her, and calls it a day.

Now there is a bag over my head.  I hear the girl hawk a loogie, my shirt is pulled forward and SPAT INTO.  It feels so realistic.  I gasp and yell an obscenity as I visualize the texture and consistency of whatever's sliding down my chest.  Suddenly my freak out moment is cut short by a kiss on the lips.  It's magic.  What spit?  He stays there for well longer than a minute, nibbles my face and asks me if I like it.  I just want to stay there with him but someone takes me away and the roller coaster twists again - fear, pleasure, now back to disgust. Another woman orders me to squat and yells "It's coming!"  Yes she is giving birth, but not to a human… how do I put this politely?  It's a bucket of shit.  And it smells no less real.  She guides my hand in and swirls it around, asks me to wash her.  Now I'm dry heaving.  It seems to be everywhere.

courtesy of Blackout Haunted House

I make my way down another hall into a scene that would turn out to be my favorite of the night.  "Hello 'K', don't worry. We are going to spend a LOT of quality time together."  I am ordered to kneel with my head on a table, hands out to the side, and told not to move until he gets back.  When the actor returns, we play a game. "Jog in place,"and I do.  "Jog faster."  He grabs my shoulders and we start to spin."FASTER!"  We are spinning for what seems like an eternity, I become dizzier and dizzier.  Finally he stops me.  The room is swirling at warp speed.  I whine a little.  It's brilliant.  "Sit in this chair. I want to see how long you can hold your breath, on the count of three… one…two three" Before I am able to take that breath, his hands clamp down and do not let up even slightly. "I never said I'd let go, K" a sinister voice teases. I suck hard against his hand but no air is getting in.  I am determined not to say safety but wonder briefly if something has gone terribly wrong.  Just when I think I might pass out I am thrown into a wall, strapped in, and (all too happily, with the little air left in my lungs) I scream.  There's the adrenaline.  Pure exhilaration!  I can't breathe, I can barely stand.

I'm in a new room.  Disorienting, bright, flashing lights are coming at me.  I would later to come to think of this as the most cinematic scene all night.  A small figure is taking photos and looking at me curiously. She lets me see that its a camera, and I am directed to kneel sideways.  I look to my right, and am confronted by a full wall of photos with a blank space in the middle (mine?).  The figure giggles maniacally as my confusion turns to fear and understanding that I'm the next victim in her collection.  She says "thank you" with a tone of reverence.  I leave in confusion at her parting words.

Lest I get too comfortable, my deer in the headlights moment is revisited as an aggressively playful actor sits me down and says he is going to ask me some questions.  Already I don't like this.  I look down and fiddle with the walkie talkie in my hands until he tells me to stop.  I'm wearing headphones and it sounds like we are both far away, as if in a game show.  "Requiem for a Dream" with Tappy Tibbons in front of me, here, right now. "Did you have a happy childhood?" "Are you close with your parents?" I giggle and play along but internally squirm and wonder if anyone tells the truth and what would happen.  Whenever Blackout requires answers from me, I freeze.  My boundaries are being pushed again.  I hate this.  I'm scared.  It's so effective.

That scene is where the plot started to turn for me.  No longer am I the victim, but an aggressor with an implicit fucked up past.  This was a place much darker and more intense that I've not yet explored with Blackout.

Finally after this, after all of this, I am handed a pair of pliers. I enter a room and a naked girl covered in blood screams and curls into a fetal position at the sight of me.  I hit my peak of vulnerability as she points to her teeth and shouts "You did this!"

In Blackout's realm, the safe word is not an option, no - my coping mechanism of choice is complete emotional shutdown, and this is the final (but not the first) time tonight I've had to rely on that. I refuse to accept the reality I'm confronted with, only later realizing - I pulled her teeth out?   But I didn't!

Did the photo girl frame me?!  I sink into guilt. Unsure which way this is going, I get into a small tugging match as she tries to pry the pliers from my hands.  Before I know what's happening I am lifted off my feet once again and physically ejected - yes THROWN - from the house.

It takes me a moment to realize where I am.  I stumble, dazed, out into the lobby, finishing in top form by crashing right through the waiting room rope.

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October 2011 marked my first taste of Blackout.  I left that year in an adrenaline-fueled high.  This time, 2012, had me in a somber, shell shocked, reflective disturbia that hit a much deeper note.  When I left that night, I was not smiling.

I was shocked by my own reaction to this -  tears, contrary to my nature.  My experiences with this extreme theater group have changed me and oddly enough helped me grow as a person, but never so intensely as this past season.

It's a cathartic process being forced through absolute not-no-but-HELL-NO moments that I never would have explored or gotten past on my own.  Blackout is now hitting genuinely ingrained fears, but I'm still surviving them.  They just tricked me into it by telling me its a horror show.

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 Have questions for K? Leave em here and you'll probably get a response.

Blackout Haunted House Reviews and Walkthroughs

Blackout Haunted House Invite Only, Off Season Spring Haunt Reviews and Walkthroughs
You can go also leave any comments/questions on The Jaded Viewer Facebook Page or on Twitter.




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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The 5 Best Movies from the Splat Pack


With Eli Roth about to give us The Green Inferno, a cannibal film! in the near future, I thought we should look at the filmographies of the Splat Pack, who according to Wikipedia: "The group has been credited with bringing back ultra-violent movies, as well as moving away from PG-13 rated movies and into the R-rated spectrum, all while operating with low budgets"

The names of the members are arbitrary at best. Aja, Bousman, Marshall, McLean, Roth, Rodriguez, Wan, Whannell and Zombie. But they have given us some solid motherfuckin flicks. Here are my 5 essential best movies from some of the Splat Pack directors. Chime in if you agree or disagree.

5.) Rob Zombie - The Devil's Rejects

The Jaded Viewer says: This is pure Zombie mayhem at its best. Hillbilly rednecks slaughtering in open America. Sheri Moon, Haig and Moseley are terrifying and it clicks. Lots of cringe worthy moments with that Freebird ending just pure awesomness.

4.) Alexandre Aja - Piranha 3D

The Jaded Viewer says: I didn't like Haute Tension. Too gimmicky and twisty. Piranha 3D is pure fun. Gore, boobs, gore, cheesy special effects, Riley Steele boobs, mutilated penis. It's a monster film that takes that camp horror back to the basics.

3.) Robert Rodriguez - Grindhouse Planet Terror 

The Jaded Viewer says: With R.R, you can go with the vamps or the angry Mexican but Planet Terror is the most explosive gore-riah film filled with one legged Cherry and zombied up super soldiers. I can deny the fact it's the one I can watch again over and over again in the Grindhouse double.

2.) Eli Roth - Hostel

The Jaded Viewer says:  Hostel came out in 2005. Man has it really been 7 years? Love it or hate it, it's the pinnacle film of the Splat Pack and the one that got the gorehounds spazzing again. Pure magnificent torturous fun, Bratislava is now destination #1 for foreigners looking to get their death on. You can't deny Hostel's impact on all the films that have come after.

1.) Neil Marshall - The Descent 

The Jaded Viewer says: The Descent is the best film any of the filmmakers from the Splat Pack and Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers is awesome, it's The Descent that will stand out as good old solid awesome horror.
Why Juno why????

Any other filmmakers that should gain Splat Pack status? Want to add your own list? Comment away! It's the damn internet right too!

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from The Jaded Viewer

Happy Turkey Day! I'd like to take today to thank all the new jaded viewers who've been following this blog the JV Facebook page and via Twitter. Reading your comments, e-mails, messages and interacting with people who have the same passion about horror and the oddball palette of stuff I like has been fun the last year or so.

I'll continue to keep writing about things I think you'll enjoy and review the horror movies that don't get the buzz they deserve. New jaded viewers will like to know my Blackout Haunted House Walkthrough is now live so be sure to check it out. I'll also have another walkthrough up next week via some different perspectives.

Also here is a letter I wrote for you poor souls waiting on line on Black Friday. Now remember kids, as you eat turkey and pie that there is always an other side of the story. Wednesday Addams says it best.



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Monday, November 19, 2012

Blackout Haunted House 2012 (Walkthrough and Spoilers)

It's now a bicoastal phenomenon.

When I first started writing these walkthroughs in 2010 and 2011, they were more so therapy for me to get what I had just experienced into some sort of coherent thought pattern. Also, I wanted to share this fringe theater experiment with the rest of the interwebs. I was excited to share what I had done and hoped others would try their luck at the baddest haunted house on the planet.

So let me first tell you what I know about Blackout Haunted House: Los Angeles Edition. I didn't get to go but a flurry of bloggers, critics, writers and reporters have splurged on what happened. Basically, Blackout LA was a "greatest hits" version of the last 2 years. You got eerie TVs, total darkness touching, suffocation, condoms and shoes, staple guns, rapists and naked chained victim girl. Sound familiar? That' because these are all elements from what NYC and myself experienced the last 2 October haunts. Cracked.com gives an overview of the LA experience if you want to read further.

But this year's NYC edition as I wrote in my review:  

"Blackout continues to remove you out of your normal world, scars you with  imagery you will have dreams and nightmares about for days to come and if you survive it, welcomes you in becoming part of the scariest and challenging horror events you will ever go through. Because of Blackout, I will never see a haunted house the same way again."

Tons of people have experienced themselves what they've only read about on this blog and others. But clearly from the e-mails, tweets, Facebook messages I've received, it seems my experience is the one people want to hear about. And I'm here to oblige. But this year, we're adding a bit of a twist. My fellow Survivor Special K has written about her experience, from a female perspective and having gone through twice. I'll be posting that soon and and possibly other Survivor perspectives as well.

Blackout Haunted House c/o of Blackout Facebook Page
I'm doing this because even though the people who went to Blackout all experienced about 70% or so the same horror formula, 30% was different throughout the run and each person wound up with some rather disturbing yet cool differences. Now you get to read about all the little nuances Blackout employed to get you go WTF when discussing with other Survivors.

I went in early October having convinced the Downtown Traveler that this was the baddest haunted house in NYC. When you get to scare the noobs, you totally do it. I also came to realize that if I asked if they read up on Blackout, they'd say they read a walkthrough on The Jaded Viewer which put a smile to my face. I sometimes would let them know who I was, but more so I listened as they would describe what I wrote. Pretty fuckin funny. Mind you, what I wrote below is as best as I can remember. Memories start to fade and months later, I'm still confused by events, dialogue and the order it all occured. But I'll have a few versions for you all to read so that should make up for it.

Now let's get to what all the fuss was all about shall we?

  • We start off where we began. Back to the semi abandoned storefront from 2010. The door is covered up (see photo above) and as you enter the space a mist of foggy gloom hovers in the air. Back near the door, two woman educate you on the Blackout experience, give you your ticket and your waiver to sign. After completing all that, you're given a number  which you stick on to the front of your shirt or whatever you're wearing. I was #17 and then you wait.

  • And wait. And wait. It's a waiting like no other. As you wait with other patrons who are all behind a rope in the middle of the room I see Josh (one of the masterminds of Blackout) directing the action and picking the next victims. A few feet from the rope is a lone door with an X taped in front of it. As you watch each person go through they stand on the X, their back to the door. And suddenly WHOOSH! The door opens they're grabbed into the darkness with the door loudly closing behind them. Now that's one helluva way to scare the shit out of the people in the waiting room.

  • Josh heads in my direction and though I had heard him go through the spiel with other firs timers ("Do you have epilepsy?" and "What is the SAFETY word?") He goes to me and says, you know the drill right? Of course I do. I'm a fuckin veteran.

  • I'm soon guided to the X and stand patiently with my back to the door. It's then I see goodbye to the crowd, a hand comes across my chest and I'm grabbed into the darkness.

    Blackout Haunted House c/o of Blackout Facebook Page

  • A voice calls from the darkness and puts a thin surgical mask over my mouth wrapping the string  around my ears. Then goggles are put on which partially blinds my view with a hazy cloud. I'm then told to put my hands on the wall, police brutality style. It's a physical pat down, one the NYPD would be proud of. Bear hugged I'm led into a room where I would have a soundtrack to my terror.

  • In the next room, my hands are placed face down on a table and roped across left to right and strapped down. I can barely see through my foggy goggles but I can feel somebody spreading my fingers across the table. Headphones are put on and now I can clearly here a crazy staticky metal tune that one Survivor pointed out was from Funny Games. Clearly Blackout has employed Jigsaw with a minimum wage job and once my hand is in place I hear the dreaded smash of a hammer on the table. SMASH! It starts on the far edge of the table and slowly inches towards my fingers. BANG! It's getting damn close and I'm getting a bit freaked out the actor might decide today is the day he'll accidentally take out his anger of his girlfriend dumping him or some shit. CRASH! It's now as close as can be and before I can brace for impact.  Then smoke emanates across my back. What seems to be a fire extinguisher has now engulfed my back and part of the room. It's an odd smell, an odd sensation  to feel it work across my back. The equipment is removed (headphones and goggles) and I'm screamed at to leave and into the next room.

  •  I'm led into a corner of a room where in far point in the room is what I now refer to as weird gay naked dancer. Though initially I thought I'd get my first feargasm I start to notice that who I thought was a she, is actually a he. He's naked from the waist down and I can see his bait and tackle and it's giving me Silence of the Lamb flashbacks. This isn't good at all. Handed a music box I hold to my left ear, it chimes melodic bells playing a tune while WGND asks me "Let's Dance". I oblige as what the hell right? Might as well play the part of "Victim #17". We start dancing and it's really awkward but somehow in a David Lynch way, it's a surreal creepy experience. He breathes heavy into my ear and my bat sense is tingling this is the lull before the storm. It seems this is designed to get those alpha male/gothtards uncomfortable and I'm sure SAFETIES are called due to a mild case of homophobia. But I push...because somebody grabs me and pushes me into the next room.

  • Down some stairs and now on to the next room is a scene that echoes all what I love about Blackout.
    I immediately hear music playing from a record player, the spin skipping every so often. The room is lit for maximum mesmerization. Broken records and by records I mean vinyl records (remember those kids?) litters the room and in the far corner is a girl, partially naked wearing what seems to be a hospital gown, ripped to shreds. I'm sure you're asking if I saw her lady parts and yes I did and it's quite yummy in a fucked up sort of way. Because my experience has always let me know nothing is what it seems here. She looks at me, in a plotting and conniving way then turns her back to me, hops on a step in the room. My back is against a wall in the other end of the room and I start to watch the show. She slowly starts to reach down to her vajayjay, between her legs and pulls out (oh god it's going to be tampon-mania again I think) but it's much worse. It's a fully loaded, PornHub approved condom and she's quite pleased with herself that she gave birth to this piece of latex. She slowly moves towards me, I look deep into her eyes as she dips her fingers into the used Trojan. My face is making an "O" face and it's not for the letter it usually stands for. She then proceeds to pull the condom and drink the yummerific white liquid inside....holy mother of Jenna! Thoughts of porn scenarios enter my head (not that I watch that filthy stuff ;-P) and that concludes our show. That free clip courtesy of the folks at Blackout Haunted House.

  • Now off to the next room and a beige plastic bag is thrown over my head. Here's your perspective. Surgical mask over your mouth and bag over your head. Breathing now becomes a premium. Now the first true twist I've seen in a while is thrown into my face as I'm led into the "Whiteout room". I call it the Whiteout room because it's very bright, like tons of illumination is making this room glow and making my bag feel like I'm in the inner part of a light bulb. I stand in what seems to be a shit load of time, my breathing now is taken in small bursts as the bag contracts with every breath. I'm shoved into a wall and smacked in the head. I see the silhouette of something through my bag and immediately I feel tongue smashing into my mouth through the bag. I start to squirm, turning my head to left and then to the right but this shape (a guy? a girl? a werewolf?) wants to get to 3rd fuckin base with me. I'm yelled at if "I like it" and my mouth would like to say something but it's constantly full of tongue. I feel kibbles and nibbles and bites oh my. I unwillingly made out with a stranger who I will never see their face. With that makeout session over, the bag finally removed I'm led out into a hallway to see what else they'd like to do with me.

  • via The Jaded Viewer Facebook Page
  • I see a girl in a blue dress, partially torn so that her breasts can breathe. But breathing and touching are going to be something that one does not want to do at this moment. My new feargasm friend is squatting over a bucket. She tells me to kneel and I comply and then she grabs my head and pushes it near the edge of the bucket. "It's coming!" she yells and so it is. I start to realize as she makes those #2 noises we all know so well that the bucket is full of shit. I thought when girls take a shit, bluebirds fly and it smells like lemon pie. Clearly I was mistaken. Because she's done her business into the bucket and I get to see it. Suddenly, she grabs my right wrist right into the bucket and I start feeling the contents. It's putrid, smelly when it hits my nostrils. I can feel it's squishiness, the texture like wood chips and oatmeal. God I hope it was only oatmeal. She then guides my now bacteria-ed hand onto her chest and I am forced to smear it all over her boobies. In any other fuckin context would this seem like a dream scenario, but no my friends. This is a nightmare. This shit shouldn't be taken lightly.

  • Now back to my feet I'm guided by a Blackout employee and given some sort of squishy toy. I soon realize it's a rag or sponge so I can clean off the vile feces from my hand. I proceed to do so but clearly it's not done it's job and I use my shirt instead. With this brief breather done, bizarro Neverland continues.

  • My memory of the order may be questioned here but here is what I can remember. Also what follows differs from person to person. I'm shoved into a wall where my head is strapped to the wall with some sort of rope. My head is turned to the left my face smacked against the grimy wall. Obscenities are yelled at me, my name is used and more taunting. I'm given a some sort of foam log and told to hold it and if I drop it the dude will bash my skull in. The rope is tightened and I can feel the strain on my head and neck but there is no god damn way I'm dropping this log. It's not an intense pain, it's more of a workout pain, lifting that last weight before a session ends. Oh yeah. I don't really work out. Soon the restraints are removed but I still don't drop the log from behind my back but soon it's taken from me. I passed motherfuckers! What's my reward?

  • Well the reward is a stream of flash bulbs, camera lights and flickering from a group of trigger happy photographers. It's a blinding wave of flashing and I'm sure this is the Instagram from Hell. I later realize this is Blackout's version of those pictures from Splash Mountain at Disney World. They're going to post my "Oh Shit" face for everyone to see.

  • As the flashing subsides, I have two angry dudes guide me into the middle of a room. One of them yells at me to "Kneel Down!". I proceed to do so on the hard concrete floor. Another yells at me to "Stand Up!" I obey. They circle around me like vultures. "Did I say to stand up? Kneel down motherfucker!" I concur. The other guy yells "I don't think I told you to kneel, fuckin stand up!" I do as I'm told. This goes on for what seems to be quite a while and my knees are getting semi fucked up. As this finally concludes, I'm shoved into a small room. I would then be here for a while.

  • Shoved into this closet or as I like to think of it, the closet underneath the stairs I can hear the gate close as they pull it down. I'm not claustrophobic so tight spaces don't bother me. I start to look around and see some tiny spaces I think I can crawl into but I'm not entirely sure if that's something I'm suppose to do. So I stand here, in the dark in this damp tiny space. Soon I hear the metal gate open and another person is thrown into the closet. This happens again and there are 3 of us trapped in the closet (hahahaha, I made a lame joke) Quiet for the first 2 minutes, my new closet-mates think I'm part of the show but I inform them I'm in here not of my own free will. Soon they are removed one by one until I'm alone again. I'm not sure what the point of that was. I can clearly see Blackout experimenting by having you interact with your fellow Survivors but it was quite weird. I guess claustrophobia and bottled in with others is suppose invoke that walls closing in feeling. It kinda didn't have that affect on me unfortunately.

  • Now finally led out of my closet home, I see a girl on her knees and am told to do the same. I am now facing her, kneeling down and told to scream. I do. As always my first scream isn't good enough and am told to scream louder. I yell like my dick got cut off. It works. Now I'm told to ask my fellow patron for forgiveness. I yell out "Please forgive me!" I don't hear her response, just a scream.

  • I'm then given a pair of pliers from a Blackout staff member and led into a bathroom. The room is covered with blood splatter and I see a girl who's completely naked in the corner. Her body is bloody, like she just had come from Dexter-ing a few victims, but she appears frightened like she was just a victim herself. As she comes closer, I can see her mouth is dripping blood and some of her teeth are partially missing. She looks at me and says "Did you do this?" I say no, shaking my head. She stares at the pliers I was holding. "Liar!" she yells and grabs the pliers from my hand. She then takes the pliers and soon there near my mouth and this is the pinnacle of my feargasm. I'm about exchange bodily fluids with a naked, bloodied hot girl but not the way I imagined. She then says get out of here and pushes me out the door and out into the lobby I go ending my Blackout experience.

I'm pretty sure I messed up the order and probably forgot a few things. It was almost 2 months ago but my fellow Survivors have helped me remember what I may have missed. My experience took place in early October as Blackout was probably experimenting with what worked and what didn't. What you'll read in Special K's Walkthrough may be a bit different but some stuff stays the same. Some of it got more intense as the month went on from what I read on Blackout's Facebook page and what I've been told. There were a few twists and turns and somethings were a bit more wicked as you'll find out.

Overall this is the Blackout experience LA wasn't ready for. It's the type of stuff people from all over the country road trip to, who visit from Canada and from across the pond. Goths, metal heads, punk rockers, alpha jocks, nerds and geeks all come to NYC to try their luck in Blackout NYC. They've heard the stories, mostly from me and this blog and want to see if I've been exaggerating all this time. Trust me I'm not.

To the readers who've only read about Blackout through this blog and via various reviews, I wish you could join in on the fun. Some of you might be saying I'd never do anything like that. OK, nobody is putting a fuckin gun to your head. You read this walk through in the safety of your home. But over 5000 people in LA and NYC went to Blackout this year (which I think is some sort of record). All of these survivors have now a pretty awesome story to tell.

Sure there are people who hated it. Fear is all relative. I'm not claustrophobic, but the person next me might be. Some heterosexual male might be feel too weirded out and call SAFETY once he starts to see some dude's cock. I also heard somebody SAFETIED 5 minutes in. Jeezus. So anything that might scare you, might not have the affect on somebody else. If this were a horror movie, you get your standard amounts of quick scares, blood and guts and lots and lots of disgusting shit (literally).

Whatever your fear may be, Blackout will eventually find it.

But if you need more, here is some trivia for you to salivate on. The creators of Blackout have informed me that some filming was done for one of The Travel Channel's programs on haunted houses! It should air sometime next year. Two of my close Survivor friends had cameras mounted on them as they experienced the haunt. So for the first time, you'll see on TV what you've only read about.

How about them razor bladed apples?

So now I open it all up. Did you go to Blackout Haunted House in Los Angeles or NYC this year? Leave a comment below, on The Jaded Viewer Facebook page or tweet me your thoughts. You may have loved it or hated it but let the conversation begin. I think a lot of people want to know if they'd like to take the plunge into the baddest haunted house in the country.

Check out all my walkthroughs and reviews of Blackout Haunted House including the invite only off season Spring haunt!

Blackout Haunted House Reviews and Walkthroughs
Blackout Haunted House Invite Only, Off Season Spring Haunt Reviews and Walkthroughs
If you have any questions or comments let me know. I was thinking of doing a Reddit AMA in addition to my standard walk through.If you think that's a good idea, let me know.

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Friday, November 09, 2012

Spinkick these Trailers: The latest Jean Claude Van Damme Movie trailers

For a blog with Frank Dux as it's logo and him spinkicking the shit out Chung Li as it's rating system, sometimes my focus wanes into horror movies then from the icon on my site. But I've kept tabs on the Muscles from Brussels, letting you know about Dragon Eyes and his other projects. I've seen Expendables 2 and Assassination Games.

But JCVD has been on a role since EX2. And I'm here to lay out the trailer frenzy he's been on. Below you'll find all the latest trailers for all his upcoming movies and my thoughts on them.

 Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)


The Jaded Viewer says: It isn't a JCVD film unless you have Scott Adkins in it. Adkins joins JCVD's Luc Deverauxas JCVD continues his villainy roles. I have no idea why JCVD's face is all painted white. Maybe he's going to star in Japanese kabuki theater. Also Dolph has died at least 20 times already.

6 Bullets (2012)


The Jaded Viewer says: Well somebody had to knock off and copy the Taken formula and make a straight to DVD film. Why not Jean Claude? Van Damme has been killing Albanians and Romanians for like the last decade. This looks pretty awesome, I saw spinkicks, gun play and JCVD firing a bazooka. All he needs is one classic line and I'm sold.

 U.F.O. (2013)


The Jaded Viewer says: Well this bit of sci fi action seems to be designed to give Bianca Bree (aka Bianca Van Varenberg) JCVD's daughter a lead in her own film. She's got the looks (amazingly she's kinda hot)  and her cameos in the other Van Damme flicks were OK. It's good dear old dad is there to wield a shotgun to give us Van Damme die hards a reason to go see this British flick. It also stars Pierce Bronan's son!

Welcome to the Jungle (2013)




The Jaded Viewer says: No trailer as of yet but check out these hilarious clips of Van Damme in this comedy. Bianca is also in this as well so if we get to see her in a bikini, I'm going to get Dim Mak-ed. Jean Claude plays Storm Rothchild, an unhinged team building coach. It's like the movie Severance but with a funny crazy wacky Van Damme. It also stars Kristen Schaal and the asian guy in the latest Wendys commercial.

So who's psyched for these films? Only me? 2013 is going to be the year of the Van Damme!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Maniac 2012 (Remake Review)

Maniac

Maniac (2012)

Directed by Franck Khalfoun

It's been a few weeks since I saw this flick at Film Society at Lincoln Center. I had seen American Mary the night before and though I was feeling horror-ized after seeing that I got the itch to  see this flick because...well shit it's a remake of one of the most fucked up films ever.

As I passed by on my way to the theater a surreal setting of men dressed in tuxedos and women in an evening gown competition because, shit we were next to the ballet for gods sake, a bunch of degenerate and hardcore horror fans (which included Fred Vogel, director of the August Underground trilogy and various Toe Tag Pictures who I briefly talked while waiting on line) went to see the Maniac remake. I also knew director Franck Khalfoun would be on hand to do a Q & A and Maniac was making it's NYC premiere, it was all horror gravy.

It's hard to not compare Maniac to it's 1980 original. Lustig, Spinell and Savini effects takes you back to grimy fucked up times. All I kept thinking about while watching was comparing. But I'm going to try my hardest not to do that in my review.

Maniac is a far departure of the normal horror movies in the indie circuit. It's a brutal and relentless 90 minute first person point of view of a slasher doing slasher things. With it's POV gimmick, it clearly forces you to LOOK directly at the horrific kills without a cutaway. It's this forced perspective that during the course of the movie makes you in every way live the life of Frank, our intrepid killer. The horror he creates is far from playing a Call of Duty game. It's realistically sickening and oddly sympathetic as Elijah Wood's performance transcends the Joe Spinnell one in an American Psycho sorta way.

Once you get over the fact it's a remake that follows the originals story, the POV hitch, and that it takes place in Los Angeles (say what?) it is a unique piece of horror cinema. I was shocked by how it made me care about this misogynistic motherfucker, his past and his longing for companionship. From it's shocking opening  to it's WTF ending, you can't ignore Maniac's rawness of bring a serial killer movie into a whole new level.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank's obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill. (via IMDB)

Awesome Review-O-Matic

Khalfoun (who directed P2) said during his Q&A that horror (or genre) movies are bankable because they cross cultures. Horror movies can go beyond language barriers because fear is universal. The fact that Maniac was screened at the Cannes Film Festival is a testament to that.

Frank (Elijah Wood) suffers from migraines but that doesn't stop him from stalking his victims. His obsession is unique to us because we see his predator habits first hand via the 1st person POV. We see him drive, we hear him curse and narrate and taunt. The night is not safe with Frank and we're now stuck seeing what he sees.

The opening scene is legendary perfect. Slow stalking, a few tense moments and a dumb hot girl to slaughter. When the title gets shown, it's mind blowing and fuckin awesome. The movie soon delves into Frank's online habits, meeting up with 80s obsessed red head Lucie (Megan Duffy). She's easy prey and as a record plays, it's highly recognizable in the throwback scene we get. What is different in this Maniac is seeing the aftermath of the slaughter. A regretful Frank is nauseously guilty and we see his regret in the toilet. Through mirrors, we glance at the face of our slasher assassin and also of Elijah Wood, who's boyish scruffy look, cords and plaid are a far cry of Spinnel's porn star stache.

We get through flashbacks a sense of Frank's childhood as his super slut mom (America Olivo) sleeps with anything that has anything pointy. His closet becomes his prison as young Frank learns an anti-morality. In other words, his childhood is fucked up.

In one of the more effective kills and an homage to the original, Frank trails a dancer through the streets of LA. From a train pursuit to the moonlit streets, it seems Frank is way smarter than we know stalking his prey and disposing of her in a most horrific fashion. Khlafoun employs some odd techniques besides straight POV. We get out of body Frank as we see slaughter as the camera hovers above the action. There is a borderline psychosis in POVs but it works if you buy into it.

As the movie progresses and a few slaughters later he meets Anna (Nora Arnezeder),a photographer who is intrigued by Frank's mannequin shop. They soon develop a friendship and Frank struggles for normalcy in a relationship with Anna. This leads to an art exhibit of Anna's photos with Frank's mannequins. But Frank can't break old habits and when Frank consoles a heartbroken Anna, a slip of the tongue leads to a most fucked up conclusion.

What Maniac does well is make Frank a believable serial killer. He's an artist who could be in the throws of a psychosis. Frank suffers from headaches, taking pills to relieve them. My theory is that Frank's headaches are there to take him back to saneness, but he takes the pills to be the evil bastard he is. But it's just a theory.

Wood plays Frank in a way where you think he's misunderstood, fucked up from childhood and is victim of his eccentric behavior. Being a killer is the result. It's almost revenge like killing. Kill the sluts, the princesses and the people who annoy you. It's not until he goes after Anna who we get to know and like, do we despise his actions and want him to get his comeuppance.

Maniac force feeds you to see Frank's psychosis in all it's mannequin glory. The trophies (scalps) he gets from his victims are decorated on his mannequins.It's this fantasy world that Frank adores above all else, these mannequin women find no faults, his ideals are personified (literally).

The blood does splatter everywhere and it is unrelenting. The effects are top notch and coming through the killer's eyes is like seeing that Carpenter Halloween child Michael perspective in a  whole new way. The ending is a WTF to all your senses.

What the remake doesn't have is the character of it's setting. Though unnamed, it's LA and LA just doesn't have the filth that is 1980s NYC. Drug and crime ridden New York was a character in the original. It's where roaches like Frank would have been created. The sense of fear riding the subway and going to see hooker-ville Times Square are devoid in the remake. The original Maniac is a product of a NYC we'd like to forget and it's like the filmmakers tried to find the most lookalike 80s NYC and replicate it. Unfortunately it just can't be.

Maniac also suffers from any memorable kills. It's mundane approach of a killer doing his killing in a documentary sorta way makes repeat viewing very limited. We all know the shotgun through the windshield scene. I wanted something similar and all I got was a weird ass flesh ripper ending.

All in all, one can say Maniac is straight up horror extract. You will witness a serial killer, one as repugnant and sadistic as Frank slaughter his victims in the most gruesome ways possible. You will question why he does this (mannequin fetish, raped childhood?) and you will want him to to be a normal when there is no way he can be one.

But in the end, it's a cold blooded motherfuckin killer getting his kill on. It's a  horror movie seemingly going back to the basics of fear. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And so is pure fucked up terror.

Nude-ipedia

Slut boobies
America Olivo boobies

Gore-ipedia

Scalp-o-ramma
Knife slaughter
Lots and lots of goreific moments

WTF moment

That crazy ending

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Maniac comes to theaters December 26th. It's not a film for everyone, even the most seasoned horror veteran. But for the most part, it's a remake that takes the original and goes off into a new direction. It's definitely one of the most sadistic and unique horror movies this year which is why it spawned 3 spinkicks.

Rating:


Check out the trailer.

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