News : Halloween Horror Nights
Alice Cooper is looking forward to seeing his new maze at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The attraction will debut Friday, Sept. 21, on opening night of the park's Halloween Horror Nights.
His year's maze is based on is 1976 album "Alice Cooper Goes to Hell."
"This one's going to be in 3-D," Cooper said in a phone interview from his home in Phoenix, where he is resting before going out on tour in mid-October. I don't even know what that means. But I can't wait to see it myself."
Cooper said he was impressed by what John Murdy, creative director of Horror Nights, did with "Welcome to My Nightmare."
"This guy is so good at it that we just let him go crazy," he said. "He's really good at getting your attention on one thing. You think the scare is coming from there, but it's not. It's coming from the side. His misdirection is really good. ...
"I went through it with my band, and we had no idea what was going to happen. And I was genuinely jumped four or five times - and laughed because I said I can't believe you got me. You psyched me out on that one."
Cooper described Murdy as an "Alice aficionado" who brought his knowledge to the job.
"Even if you didn't know the lyrics, it would still be creepy ... You'd be in a room and going, 'What is this about?' And then you'd see the lyric in there somewhere. So you're kind of walking through Alice's lyrics."
Cooper said that what scares him is conveyed in his recurring character Steven, who was depicted in the maze.
"Somebody asked me during this sci-fi thing, 'Who is Steven?' ... He's almost like Kilgore Trout, who runs through all the Vonnegut stories. He's the 7-year-old little boy that lives inside us that doesn't want to grow up and loves being scared, and loves the idea of going to a haunted house. And loves going on the roller coaster because it's going to scare him. I keep saying no matter how old you are, don't ever let that character grow up. Because that's what keep things fun for us."
Cooper has a lot of experience tapping into that impulse at his concerts. He said when he got started parents assumed he was an evil influence on their children. Then they started picking up on the sense of humor.
"Now at our shows, the first 40 rows are 15 to 25 years old. And they're all kids whose parents are at the same show in the back."
Grand guignol, including ritual executions, are a part of Cooper's show and the challenge of putting together a tour.
"One thing I learned about getting killed on stage is that you can't do anything subtle because it takes too long," he said. "We tried the electrocution and realized the electrocution was too slow! It doesn't have any impact too it. So I said you have to have something that is final. It's definite. When the guillotine comes on, it builds all of that tension. And then when the blade does drop and makes that horrible sound and there's the scream, that's effective."
Cooper will be at Universal on Friday for the Eyegore Awards, a ceremony that honors the creators of horror. He won an award last year, and this year he is presenting to producer/director Guillermo del Toro.
Cooper said that 800,000 people went through the "Welcome to My Nightmare" maze last year. It was on the lower level, behind the Jurassic Park ride.
"Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3-D," is at the Terminator attraction, much closer to the main entrance.
Cooper described the plot of his album as "almost like the play 'Damn Yankees.'
"Alice goes to hell and tries to out-con the greatest con artist of all time. He's in a con battle with the devil. So there's a lot of humor in it."
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