Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Survived The GORETORIUM!

When I visited Las Vegas with a group of friends for a wedding last weekend, there were a few things I knew I had to do before I left—see the desert, lose some money at the slot machines—but as a horror devotee, my top priority was to make a trip to Eli Roth’s new Goretorium attraction. I’d been following its progress since the release of this bloody teaser some months back, and there was no way I was missing out. My girlfriend Hillary is far too easily scared for such things (“I don’t like it when things jump out!” is a common reason why she won’t watch a lot of horror movies with me), but thankfully my pal Jess Smallwood was also in town for the wedding. Hillary refers to Jess as my “Horror Wife”, since she loves horror movies as much as I do, if not moreso. Jess is so committed, in fact, that she’s trying to watch a whopping 365 horror movies this year, which makes my paltry 31-film October attempt look pretty lame by comparison. In any event, Jess was going to visit the Goretorium even if she had to go it alone, but we partnered up to see the place for ourselves.
Located at the corner of Harmon and Las Vegas Blvd., the Goretorium is fronted by a bar and some suitably grotesque wall art, not to mention a chandelier constructed from skeletal remains and blood-filled hypodermic needles. There’s also a projection system that makes it look as though there are bugs crawling all over the floor, and an electric chair that you can have your picture taken in. The armrests actually deliver a mild electric shock—one that apparently doesn’t work as a deterrent, because I kept stupidly putting my hands on them. It took me about three zaps before I clued in to keep my hands up.
After a fairly long wait to get in to the actual attraction, followed by an even longer wait within the entrance, the fun began in earnest. While waiting, guests are treated to a history of the Goretorium’s location—the attraction is located on the site of the fictitious Delmont Hotel and Casino, founded in the 1960s by a deranged family of psychos and cannibals. According to the placards in the lobby and the accompanying news footage that plays on a loop in the waiting area, the police raided the Delmont and found the bodies of hundreds of unlucky guests in the basement. The murderous family members either killed themselves or were apprehended, with the exception of young Victor Delmont, who is said to have disappeared into the desert. Upon finally entering the attraction, we quickly learned what happens to any individual foolish enough to have his or her cellphone out. Our elevator, instead of lifting us up to view the Strip from the Hotel’s upper floors, plunged us into the hellish depths of the Delmont, where we were chased through a series of increasingly gory torture dens. We visited a cannibal’s kitchen, a twisted beauty salon, and an infernal wedding chapel. There was even a walkway that led us through a rotating cylinder that appeared to be made entirely of gristle and bone. All of the various rooms are decorated with gruesome props like severed limbs and the decaying relics of the Casino, and each area is inhabited by actors portraying both the twisted inhabitants of the Delmont and their unlucky victims. I don’t really want to give away too much of what’s in store for you if you visit the attraction—the less you know about what’s coming, the more fun it is. Truthfully, though, I probably couldn’t spoil it even if I wanted to. Our trip through the Goretorium lasted only about 15 minutes, but there was so much detail in the various sets and props that it’s pretty tough to take it all in. I can’t help but hope that someday the tour is documented on DVD or something so guests can fully appreciate all the hard work that clearly went in to making it such a wild experience. I especially don’t want to give away the final moments of the tour, where you are chased into an increasingly narrow tunnel that opens you out onto…never mind, it’s best if you see it for yourself. For a couple of horror nuts like Jess and myself, it was bliss. Our nerves were on edge waiting for a crazy butcher or mad doctor to jump out and leer at us or hiss threats, while we tried to drink in all the details of the place. I know that I jumped and screamed on at least one occasion. We even hit the gift shop afterwards, where Jess picked up a hoodie and I bought a t-shirt. We also were able to buy a cool photo souvenir of our trip through the nightmarish corridors of the Delmont Hotel.
As for Hillary? She rode the outdoor roller coaster at the New York, New York Casino, while I held her purse for her. I was too scared for that ride. I have a taste for terror, but even I have my limits.

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