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First look: Inside the Alice Cooper maze at Halloween Horror Nights

September 20, 2011|By Brady MacDonald | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
(Universal Studios )

Boa constrictor snakes, black widowspiders, guillotine decapitations, electrifying electrocutions, sadistic insane asylums. Welcome toAlice Cooper's walk-through nightmare. The "Alice Cooper: Welcome to my Nightmare" maze at Halloween Horror Nights 2011 turns the shock-rocker's songs, characters and theatrical concerts into a walk-through haunted attraction.

I took a tour of the Alice Cooper maze this week in the Jurassic Park ride queue at Universal Studios Hollywood with Horror Nights creative director John Murdy.

“Alice has been through the maze a couple of times already," said Murdy, during the tour of the nightmare labyrinth with the sound off, the lights on and the monsters away. "Alice was overjoyed. He was thrilled.”

> Photos and concept art of the Alice Cooper maze at Halloween Horror Nights

The maze takes visitors through the abandoned home and recurring nightmares of Steven, a semi-autobiographical character in Alice Cooper songs.

A horror movie-style soundtrack will feature a mash-up of tunes from the Alice Cooper songbook, including the 1975 concept album "Welcome to My Nightmare."

Hard-core Alice Cooper fans are traveling from as far away as Norway, Germany and Australia just to see the maze, said Murdy, who has been in touch with fans via Twitter.

> Halloween Horror Nights 2011: Preview | Photos

Spoiler alert: What follows is a sometimes graphic scene-by-scene preview of the Alice Cooper maze. For those who want to be surprised (or are a bit squeamish), turn away now.

* Entrance

The facade of Steven's decrepit and foreclosed home transforms under lighting effects to reveal windows trimmed in Alice Cooper's iconic eye makeup. The voice of Alice serves as the visitor's guide to the maze's backstory.

Out front, a gag real estate sign makes reference to the singer's real name (Vince Furnier) and uses a photo from his high school yearbook.

* Steven's Bedroom

After entering the house to the opening piano from the song, “Steven,” visitors hear Alice say, “I must be dreaming.”

Inside Steven's childhood bedroom, it's clear the man-child is still living in the abandoned house.

A mirror on the wall transforms to reveal Steven dressed in Alice Cooper's trademark makeup. Childhood photos of Steven as well as various toys throughout the room are defaced with the same iconic makeup. From here on, Steven is Alice.

Alice leaps from a closet door with a chainsaw. The character will reappear throughout the maze as a crazed serial killer.

Soundtrack music: "Years Ago"

* Bedroom Closet

Maze visitors leave the real world and head into Steven's nightmare via his bedroom closet, navigating through disemboweled bodies hanging from the ceiling amid children's clothes and a musty, moldy smell.

Skeletons pop out of the closet walls at four locations as a mother's voice whispers: "Steven, come home."

Soundtrack: "Steven"

* Toy Room

Emerging from the closet into Steven's nightmare world, visitors step into a toy room filled with the playthings of a troubled child: clowns, skeletons,spiders and puppets.

Oversized babies with pacifiers and bibs -- some of them stuffed dolls, others with actors inside – fill the toy room in a nod to Cooper's 1973 release "Billion Dollar Babies."

Around the corner, visitors pass through a series of babies with glowing eyes hanging from ceiling.

Soundtrack: "Dead Babies"

* Guillotine Execution

In a surreal scene created in the style of the French Reign of Terror era, visitors pass a series of rotting severed heads impaled on spikes on the way to a guillotine execution.

A stilt-walking Executioner Alice character wearing French revolution garb and a Napoleon-style hat stalks visitors, setting up another scare by a headless character.

Soundtrack: "Killer"

* Insane Asylum

Amid spinning red beacon lights and the smell of antiseptic cleanser, stilt-walker inmates roam the halls of Gordon’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane where visitors encounter a Mad Doctor Alice character.

Soundtrack: "Inmates (We're All Crazy)"

* Electric Chair

A flirty and sexy nurse shocks an inmate in an electric chair. Graffiti scrawled on the walls references Alice Cooper songs and lyrics.

Soundtrack: "Nurse Rosetta"

* Morgue

The Sick Thing zombie characters pop out of a dozen coffin drawers in the confining morgue scene. At the end of the hall, a Sick Thing who appears to be kissing the sexy nurse from the previous scene reveals he is actually gnawing on her face just as "blood" sprays visitors in the face.

Soundtrack: "I Love the Dead"

* Embalming Room

An obese corpse pumped full of embalming fluid oozes bubbling green liquid on a table in the embalming room. Over in the corner, Doctor Alice cuts up a cadaver on an examination table before turning the bone saw on passing visitors.

Soundtrack: "Halo of Flies"

* Science Classroom

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