[UPDATED BELOW] Today Universal Studios creative director John Murdy and shock rocker Alice Cooper made the Halloween Horror Nights news official with a video announcement: Cooper will return to Universal Hollywood with a new 3D haunt maze based loosely on the Alice Cooper Goes To Hell album and make his debut at Uni Orlando with his Welcome To My Nightmare maze.
Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare maze was a popular success at Hollywood’s HHN in 2011, and Murdy admitted that the idea to adapt Goes to Hell arose last year while collaborating with the singer on that first maze. In a way, it’s fitting that this maze will follow last year’s Nightmare since Cooper’s 1976 Goes to Hell concept album was his sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare from 1975. This new Cooper maze adds the element of 3D design, presumably replacing Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses 3D maze which ran in Hollywood for the past two seasons. Orlando fans get treated to their first sampling of Alice Cooper’s musical Nightmares in 2012 and should look forward to this introduction as Cooper and Murdy proved to be a great mix for haunt creation last year.
Murdy has tweeted that this second Cooper maze takes its inspiration from the Goes to Hell album as well as his 1994 The Last Temptation album, plus lyrics to other Cooper songs all “combined with Dante’s Inferno,” Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century opening to the Divine Comedy, describing an allegorical descent of the author into the nine circles of Hell. Sounds like a good match!
This is the third official maze theme reveal from Murdy this month, following his announcements of the horror video game/feature film franchise SILENT HILL and and eagerly anticipated adaptation of AMC’s hit horror show THE WALKING DEAD. There are two more maze themes waiting to be unveiled, so stay tuned HHN fans!
[UPDATE] John Murdy tweeted a little more info about the ALICE COOPER GOES TO HELL 3D maze debuting at Halloween Horror Nights this fall:
Here’s more terrifying tidbits about “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D” The video we released today is just the tease, more video to come…
The maze will feature music from Coop’s entire career, from his first album in the 60’s to his more recent work. A dark opera if you will…
This is an ALL NEW MAZE. New characters, new scenes, new facade, new soundtrack, new location, new thrills, new chills and….new smells!
It sounds like Murdy’s enlarging the scope if not scale of this Alice-based maze, given his loose description of a “dark opera” which fits Cooper’s horrific themes well. Also we now know the maze will not be in the Jurassic Park overflow queue area on USH Lower Lot where it debuted in 2011. It seems like a wise creative move to adapt and exploit lyrics from Cooper’s entire discography since Goes To Hell only generated one single in 1977, I Never Cry, a tune about his drinking habit that fell just short of piercing the Top Ten pop charts. There is no doubt Coop has plenty of notable and popular songs in his career to really highlight the breadth of his creativity, and as a lifelong fan of Coop’s, there is also no doubt Murdy will adapt such songs with haunting gusto!