Yes that’s right an original HHN house was later recreated into an actual movie. It’s not just Disney that can make their rides into movies, it’s also HHN!
Here’s the story…
15 years ago today Rob Zombie’s masterpiece House of 1000 Corpses was released in theaters. The cacophony of genre mixes, large set pieces and Zombie’s distinctive flair for horror and comedy worked together to make a movie that horrified the critics but was adored by fans.
The film gestated for 3 years on the Universal Studio backlot. Universal executives interfered with the production worried that the movie would get an explicit rating for the violence and graphic scenes. Release delays from nervous execs saw the production move from Universal to MGM and then to Lionsgate – nobody in Tinsel Town were quite sure the film should see the light of day. Zombie finally relented, trimmed the movie up and it was released to a solid R-rating. Within days Lionsgate had a hit on their hands.
But where did the movie come from?
It was 1999 and Universal approached Zombie to create a haunted house at HHN Hollywood. Working in partnership in Hollywood as they had done previously with Clive Barker, the production team worked closely with Zombie to create The Thrilling Chilling World of Rob Zombie, which became incredibly popular. The house was such a success that Universal immediately invited Zombie back to HHN to make another maze in the following year. It was this second maze that would be so successful that it would be expanded and upscaled into an actual movie. That maze was Rob Zombie’s The House of 1000 Corpses Maze.
The sets, the characters and the props were all created for HHN but then used in the production of this movie. Captain Spaulding, the Firefly family, the Murder Ride and The Museum of Monsters & Madmen were all created for HHN.
All of the following images are copyright to Ghost Ride Productions via horrornightnightmares.com/.
The maze was extreme! Zombie warned Universal that in the first year he was just learning his craft but by the second maze he wanted to ‘open the horror taps’ and really go for it. Blood and gore abounded and the public lapped it up. Universal executives greenlit the film production based solely on how popular the HHN maze was.
The HHN maze inspired movie would eventually be released and be wildly popular within the horror genre. The movie earned over $3 million in its opening weekend, and would later go on to gross over $16 million worldwide. Despite its initial negative critical reception, the film went on to develop a cult following. A sequel was rushed into development, The Devil’s Rejects (2005), where the characters move into a horror type caper territory.
House of 1000 Corpses is a unique horror picture that changed the genre and still to this day shocks and delights audiences 15 years later.
Which begs the question, would this movie have ever existed if Universal had not taken a chance on Zombie and allowed his twisted vision to become a HHN reality? Keep your Pirates of the Caribbean or Eddie Murphy’s Haunted Mansion for movies inspired from theme park attractions, there’s a new king in town!
Did you visit this maze? What other original mazes could be turned into Hollywood movies? Let us know in the comments!