Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Mess Hall

Oh, Good Lord, what am I looking at up there?

Glad you asked! It's a closeup of the coloring that enhances the folds of the effluvia of the vomitus. Because I love you that much.

Behold the "Complainer Box." There is neither setup nor justification for this element, but there is a quality about this piece that speaks to raw childhood fears. This is the stuff of playground gossip, whispered and embellished by schoolkids, that explains why a classmate is suddenly not around after being taken away by the principal.

As reprehensible as I am for thinking this up, I'm sure some reader of this blog is going to use it to warn their kids of the dangers of not finishing everything on their plate. "Do you want to go into the Complainer Box?" the parent will ask with a sardonic smile, and the child will comply, if just to be in  the gag. Or because they're actually terrified. Tomato, Tomahto.

Now, there are companies who sell animatronic versions of this gag right off the shelf  (and that is an alternative), but there is something so visceral about a live person thrashing about, clawing at the tank's windows, and spewing an impossible stream of vomit that compounds the disturbance.

An audio loop of recorded emesis and a Scent Cannon discharging the putrid stink of puke shall augment this display. Now, there is the consideration that the sum total of these enhancements actually qualify as a Sonic Weapon and military-grade Malodorant on par with riot police crowd dispersal gear. A horrible process of beta testing would be required to finesse the setting to be just shy of that, but nevertheless, amenities shall be provided to handle the instances of actual nausea. The sink basin just in front of the "Complainer Box" shall functionally drain to an exterior cistern, and bench seating for recovery shall be installed right outside the adjacent exit. As a preparatory forewarning, guests can be issued before entry a suitable souvenir: a commemorative barf bag. No, I'm not just mashing words together; Observe:

Hat tip to for the source material.

I condone the revival of this marketing gimmick. Not necessarily for Horror Movies. Just, you know, in general.

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Still, the "Complainer Box" is not the most horrifying thing in the room: that distinction goes to the "Chainsaw Gladiators" event organized by the Camp Counselors.

Clenched dollar bills and money on the table is the only single narrative clue needed to communicate that this is considered both entertainment and sport for the sociopathic staff. Scouts are apparently hoisted to the rafters and forced into a bloody deathmatch for amusement. (In actuality, the harnesses integrated into the costumes are accessed by the performers from an adjacent walkway ledge within grabbing distance.) A remote Hudson Tank can squirt warm water on the audience below, startlingly simulating drawn blood.

A show-stopping but ultimately dismissed-for-safety-reasons refinement to this duel involves the theatrical sparking of the chainsaw blades as they contact. Rigging and insulating the blades to complete an electrical circuit when they touch is an established stage magic trick. How established? They've been doing this since the late 1800s!

A "Chainsaw Puppeteer" will add an extra jump scare to people in line by suddenly dropping a bungee-tethered chainsaw into the spotlit area overhead while simultaneously activating an audio cue of a revving engine.

Once again, I would like to reiterate that all you see here is blue-sky proposal level, a presentation to get the client excited about possibilities. It is possible, yes, but practical? Given that one wants changeouts of the ScareActors to preferably be seconds and not over a minute, this feature may be the one of the first to be Value Engineered out of the production. An acceptable alternative would be a forced cage match between two campers, through which the guests would have to traverse between the warring chainsaws. This arena would be delineated by upended cafeteria tables and purloined chainlink fence partitions.

Tomorrow: Arts and Crafts


  1. what does the sign say in the image of the Complainer setup?
    amazing concept and ideas, by the way!

  2. The sign off to the side? It says, "Eat All You Want, But Eat All You Take," a normally innocuous motivational poster about courtesy, given awful new implications.

    And thank you for the compliment! I hope the entire walkthrough feels like a legitimate experience.