|Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth: UPDATES 2012
Posted on 27 Jun 2012 - by cehhblogadmin
“Danger Dave” doesn’t like to talk about how he got his nickname. As head of the maintenance department for the Cutting Edge Haunted House, he’s had a few close calls, sort of like Tim Taylor on Home Improvements fictional “Tool Time.”
Of course, he’s been with the Cutting Edge since 1996 and still has all of his fingers, so he must be doing something right. During that time he’s seen a lot of changes, as the attraction continues to grow and expand. “This year we’re attempting to make more changes than we’ve ever done in one year,” he says of the frenzy of production going on at the massive old converted meat-packing factory.
Dave favorite new section of the attraction? Ruckus Land, a chaotic boneyard of old sets and props haunted by chainsaw wielding acrobats. “It’s going to be really, really cool.”
Not everybody in Dave’s family shares of his love of haunted houses. “My mom still refuses to come,” he says, “that’s not her cup of tea.” Dave’s wife and her family, however, are another story altogether. “Her family comes up pretty regularly,” he says proudly. And his wife, does she share his enthusiasm for the venue? “We all love it. That’s why we’ve worked there so long.”
Of his nearly 16 years with the Cutting Edge, Dave says, “We’ve all been together so long and worked together so much that we’ve all become family,” and he describes the core of regulars who have been with the Cutting Edge through the years as, “guys that I’ll do anything for.”
And his job, “It’s like hanging out with my friends every day. How many people can say they get to go to work and hang out with their friends?”
As to the overwhelming popularity of The Cutting Edge? “We take away many things that are really dear to you, sight and sound are my favorites.” You only see what we want you to see, and hear what we want you to hear, and being able to do that throughout the whole show, keeping that kind of consistency is one thing that really throws people off.”
It’s got to be an overwhelming experience, on a treacherous trail that is extremely long. “People ask ‘how long does it take?’” says Dave. “I don’t know, how fast can you run?”
Posted on 6 Jun 2012 - by cehhblogadmin In: Cutting Edge Haunted House Posts
Brent is a different kind of superhero. By day a humble firefighter-paramedic, by night he transforms into the chainsaw-wielding, eerily skeletal figure known only as “Chain Saw” to the regulars at the Cutting Edge Haunted House.
It’s a calling. Some people collect stamps, others build model airplanes. Brent’s passion is the Cutting Edge, where he volunteers to scare the daylights out of people as part of the “front line entertainment,” which he has been doing since 1994.
If the truth be told, he just gets a kick out of startling people, even going so far as to climb into their cars with them as they park. Just his presence near the line of porta-potties will keep the patrons at a distance, squeezing their knees together and waiting for him to leave the area.
“I’ve seen people wait for an hour, and wait for me to leave,” he says. “And as soon as I walk away, a hundred people will rush over to the toilets.”
Brent also puts his paramedic skills to good use on the “Band Aid Brigade,” providing first aid services wherever needed should someone manage to scrape a knee or twist an ankle, but his favorite part about the job is just seeing people’s reactions as he quietly appears beside them.
“What amazes me is, I’m out there with the parking lot lights on and everything, and people still manage to not see me. They actually know I’m there, and they forget I’m there and get scared anyway.” It’s the creep factor, a Cutting Edge trademark.
“That’s the whole thing about our style, especially outside, creeping is something that we can do.” It’s all part of a superhero’s mission to “give them a good time, and that’s what it’s all about.”
During the off season Brent helps with the sets, and has been very busy with all of the new additions this year. Asked about the major changes taking place he says, “Oh wow…to me it’s mind boggling, what we’re doing and the new scares that we’re setting up and getting ready for our victims… I mean guests. I think our “guests” will be really pleased with what we do.”
And his favorite new area? “The area I’m working on is our Dragon’s Lair – I’m really pleased with the way it’s turning out.” The big new attraction there is Drago, Cutting Edge’s newest pet dino-dragon. “That’s one of our new pet projects, literally.”
As for Brent’s family, they fully support his extracurricular activities, and patronize the Cutting Edge on a regular basis. “They think it’s great. They like being there all the time.” His friends, however are another story. Although his volunteer work entitles him to free passes, he rarely takes advantage of them. “Half my friends are afraid to go in.” It’s lonely being a superhero.
Posted on 15 May 2012 - by cehhblogadmin In: Cutting Edge Haunted House Posts
Walk Like a Zombie
May is Zombie Awareness Month, so as a public service we are here to provide some public safety tips on How to Survive a Zombie Attack. First and foremost, should you ever come face to face with a Zombie, play undead. This is a bit different than playing dead, which might work with a bear, but if a Zombie suspects you are a fresh kill he will set about to eat your brains. Instead, play undead, as in walk like a Zombie. Not an Egyptian, a Zombie. This is a little like walking on slippery ice, which is actually walking like a penguin, but with just a little less waddle. Put your arms out in front of you and assume a fixed, glazed expression. Above all, do not scream like a girl and run away; this will only attract more Zombies. Their ears are especially attuned to hone in on little girl squeals and one high pitched shriek will have every Zombie within a square mile on your trail. Once the Zombie is convinced you are a comrade, slowly amble away. It is very important to maintain your slow, ambling gait, no matter how terrified you may be. It can take a whole hour just to get away from a Zombie, but you must persevere. There are very proactive people the world over who practice this gait by conducting annual Zombie Walks, usually during the month of October. Check the internet to find a Zombie Walk near you. In the event of a full blown Zombie invasion, it’s important to be prepared with a full complement of emergency supplies. The Centers for Disease Control publishes a comprehensive pamphlet called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” which is available on their Website and will prepare you for just such an attack – along with hurricanes, tornados and other, less devastating natural disasters.
So stay alert, stay calm, stock up and be ready. Anyone can be a Zombie; your best friend, your neighbor, your wife or husband. Use caution when approaching teenagers. Oftentimes their “thousand yard stare” causes them to be mistaken for Zombies. And above all, check back often with the Cutting Edge for Zombie Alerts, in case, well, any of ours, accidentally, sort of…you know…get loose…
Posted on 7 May 2012 - by cehhblogadmin In: Cutting Edge Haunted House Posts
Posted on 7 May 2012 - by cehhblogadmin
Chris Marlow understands the “creep factor.” Though his official title at the Cutting Edge Haunted House is Head Stage Manager, he’s perhaps better known to patrons and staff as the “Rage Rabbit.”
“He just kind of happened,” he says of the eerie, strange-looking character that looks like something Alice may have seen through the looking glass after eating too many mushrooms. “I saw the mask on the shelf, an Easter mask, and I pulled it off the shelf and thought, ‘I can make this creepy.’ The next thing I knew, the rabbit started taking shape and coming out.”
That was nearly six years ago, and over time the Rage Rabbit has evolved and become a regular fixture at the Cutting Edge. You can often spot him lurking ominously in the background of photographs and see him in videos, beckoning silently to visitors to follow him into the waiting darkness.
In his Rage Rabbit “alter ego,” Chris doesn’t need to make noise and jump around to frighten people. That’s where the creep factor comes in. It is his somber, quiet demeanor that people find most disturbing. He was once nearly ejected from a taping of “Good Morning Texas” when the featured musical guest told her bodyguards that the evil-looking rabbit was “creeping me out.”
“It’s amazing how unnerving just staring at somebody can be,” says Marlow.
While playing the Rage Rabbit is a delightful diversion, there are nights that Chris Marlow’s stage manager duties keep him so busy that he doesn’t get to spend much time interacting with the customers. “Some days I put on the costume and then I end up spending all my time back stage working on stuff,” he says laughing, “so basically I’m just going to work in a rabbit suit.”
Each stage manager oversees one to two zones of the haunted meat packing plant, checking out props, managing actors, ensuring everyone stays hydrated and solving any problems that may arise during the night, and as the head stage manager, Chris has responsibility over all of it. With over 235,000 square feet of building, 100 plus live actors and a jaw-dropping array of props, lighting, fog makers and machinery, keeping it all running smoothly is no small feat. And this season, it’s going to get even bigger.
“I’m a little nervous; we’re biting off a big chunk,” he says of the many changes and additions being made to Cutting Edge for 2012. “So I’m hoping we can get it all finished as soon as we want and ready to go. I’m really excited.”
And what is the Rage Rabbit’s favorite new area? “I’m going to have to go with Ruckus Land.”
A brand new section being added on to the outside of the building, Ruckus Land is a sort of graveyard for old sets, props and equipment, including the Cutting Edge Monsta Bus, and a 13-foot tall dragon with a 27 foot wingspan.
And the theme behind Ruckus Land? “Complete and total chaos,” says Marlow, “pretty much like a giant jungle gym for chain saws.”
That’s right, the helter skelter jumbled maze of props and equipment will serve as a hunting ground through which live, chain-saw wielding psychopaths will relentlessly stalk their prey. Okay, now THAT’S Creepy!
Posted on 30 Apr 2012 - by cehhblogadmin
Frances Woodruff scares people for a living. To be precise, she makes other people scary in her job as Head Makeup Artist and Set Designer at the Cutting Edge Haunted House.
“This is like playtime every day, and this is what we do for a living,” she says of the work that she and nine other full time employees perform year round at the world famous house of horrors. Although the basic “season” for the Cutting Edge runs from around the second weekend of September through the first weekend in November, the work at the gigantic fear factory goes on year round. A ghoul’s work is never done.
Frances worked as a theatre set designer when she first met Cutting Edge owner Todd James back in 1998. As a single mother of two young children she found it difficult to travel to New York for work, so when James offered her a job right here in Fort Worth, she jumped at it, and she has never looked back.
“It’s just amazing how big this thing has gotten,” she says, referring to the enormous popularity of the Cutting Edge and the staunch loyalty of its patrons who return year after year. “People don’t throw away their parking passes,” she says, “and it’s a different color every year. And sometimes you’ll see someone with like, ten different colored parking passes hanging off their rear view mirror.”
In fact, she relates a story of how Todd James was driving to work recently when a motorist behind him began flashing his lights impatiently for James to pull over and allow him to pass. Todd was irate at first, but as the other car whizzed by, he spotted five or six Cutting Edge parking passes dangling from the vehicle’s rear view mirror. “I just let him go on by,” he told Frances later with a smile.
Frances Woodruff’s not the only one of her family to be bitten by the haunted house bug. Her daughter Jessie, now 21, started getting into the act when she was ten. “There were some nights when I couldn’t find a babysitter” says Frances, “and so I brought her in and let her stay in the cast room.” Jessie wanted to get into the action, though, and so one night Frances made her up to look like an evil little girl and put her in one of the tableau displays with an adult cast member to keep an eye on her.
Later that night, the adult cast member told Frances, “Your daughter is creeping me out.” It seems Jessie was taking plastic baby dolls from the tableau and hanging them all by the neck from the bed canopy. “That’s my girl,” said Frances. Jessie went on to become a regular cast member at the Cutting Edge.
So what is a typical working day for the Headmistress of Horrors in a haunted meatpacking plant? “I usually get there around noon,” says Frances, “to get all the costumes and things ready, organize the makeup and make sure we have what we need. Then the makeup artists and the costume girls come in. In October we have anywhere from six to eight makeup artists plus apprentices and two to three girls in the costume department.”
At around 3:30 to 4:00 the stage managers arrive, and by five o’clock Frances and her team are “hot and heavy” prepping 75 to 100 cast members for a night of shock and awe. “We have some amazing makeup people,” she says, “they work like a finely tuned clock.” By 7 o’clock if not sooner, the Cutting Edge is ready to open.
“Sometimes around Halloween people show up early because they don’t want to wait in line,” says Frances, adding that eager patrons often arrive as early as 5:00 on those nights, and if the cast is ready, James will sometimes open as early as 6:00 pm.
Although the lines can be quite long, fans don’t seem to mind. “It’s like a party outside,” says Frances. The carnival-like atmosphere includes a DJ playing outrageous sound tracks, a monster hearse motoring about providing photo opportunities, a full brass band of zombies and members of Cutting Edge’s eerie undead precision drum line keeping the crowds entertained and giving them a taste of what’s in store for them inside.
In addition to Cutting Edge’s own staff, the action in the parking lot is often enhanced by the presence of radio station personalities doing promotional giveaways.
For Frances and her team, the nights can be long, especially during the peak of the season, and they often do not close up shop until around 3:30 or 4 in the morning – if not later. It’s usually about one hour after “the kids” get into the cast room, she says, that she and security are able to finally lock up and go home. “I’ve been leaving as the sun comes up.”
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 - by cehhblogadmin
Introducing – DRAGO!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Cutting Edge has a new star!
Making his acting debut on the horror stage this year is
“Drago” the scariest pet dragon/dinosaur this side of Jurassic
Park. Drago lurks in a dark rainforest
with the other dinosaurs, just waiting for unsuspecting visitors to stop by and
admire the scenery. Then suddenly,
without warning, out he springs with a loud, ear-splitting, blood curdling roar
sure to make your heart leap into your throat.
Frozen in your tracks, face to face with the monster, though your
reasoning mind knows this couldn’t possibly be real, you think just maybe – he
- is – going – to – EAT YOU! Poor Drago,
we haven’t been feeding him lately, and he’s all skin and bones, well bones
anyway. So when you come to the Cutting
Edge Haunted House this year, be on the lookout for our newest pet. He can’t wait for you to come and visit -
he’s just dying for a bite.
Posted on 12 Apr 2012 - by cehhblogadmin
Coming Soon in 2012! Can you identify me??
Posted on 5 Nov 2011 - by cehhblogadmin In: Cutting Edge Haunted House Posts
Posted on 30 Oct 2011 - by cehhblogadmin In: Cutting Edge Haunted House Posts
|Posted On Tuesday, Jul 03,2012
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