Existing Howl-O-Scream Fiends

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Zimmy

Nessie thinks it is not polite to ask her age!
Sep 28, 2013
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Virginia Beach
I was at a table for the first show and I noticed him with a guitar but it definitely didn't sound like he was playing it, maybe I missed something. Also RIP leather pants :(
The couple of times I have suffered through this abomination it was clear that it was all or largely pre-recorded and not live. This is frankly not uncommon and and reasonable given the climbing and whatnot.
 
Aug 1, 2010
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Seven Pines, Virginia
I saw the show Friday night and it's pretty good. It will tighten up as the season progresses. I'm liking the sexy werewolf. She does need fangs to sell it better, but i imagine they would interfere with singing.
 
Mar 25, 2011
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I saw the 2:30 show of Saturday and almost the entire cast of Britmania was in attendance in the front row. It was really cool seeing their enthusiasm and support for Fiends. They were all in face paint. Guess they are scare actors now.
 
Aug 27, 2010
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I just really don't get where slutty Halloween fits in an amusement park...
You ever see Bill and Ted at HHN? Or the Hanging at Knott's Scary Farm? Or watch almost any modern horror film?


The "sexy" has been apart of Horror for a long time... And for a very good reason too, even though it has been a bit overdone and loaded with camp in recent years.

One of My favorite haunted houses of all time, Club Blood had pole dancers near the beginning of the maze. You either got really uncomfortable or your mind drifted for a second until you got to the next corridor and room where you were bombarded with scares, and advanced the story of the maze to the more scary part. It was very effective in it's heyday.

Quick lesson on the psychology of horror, and how it translates to your experience at a haunt.

Horror films tend to play on fear, and your mind and body responds to fear in a similar way when as to when you become "turned on"... the release of serotonin and dopamine and adrenaline to be particular. The effects compliment each other and can make you more susceptible to a scare. It's why Horror as a genre has the most sex scenes out of any film genre... and typically the most gratuitous. These scenes serve the purpose of making you uncomfortable and/or giving you that rush of body drugs to make you more susceptible to the coming horror.

Halloween Events, especially at theme parks started in the 1970's where Horror and exploitation as genres were at it's peak, and they have only evolved from there. The events have changed with the times, incorporating more elements of black comedy, and the general taboo nature of Halloween. I consider Fiends in it's previous iterations(Haven't seen this year) a love letter to black comedy, the taboo, and it's place in horror AND Halloween.


"Slutty" Halloween serves it's purpose within the confines and lens of horror, humor, taboo culture and serving up scares... Which is generally what Halloween is celebrating. Though I really don't agree with how we view sex in America... Nor do I agree dressing "sexy" makes you slutty. Honestly, I see more skin walking down the street in the summertime than I ever have at HOS... Can't say the same for HHN.
 
Aug 27, 2010
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You can say "trashy" if you will, but the way I see it, It's gratuitous sexual camp... And taken in context with the show, what it's doing and where it came from and why it's in the event in the first place, and my last post I'm just going to have to completely disagree with you. They aren't going for burlesque at all, the show that did that (and well might I add, even if it was fairly tame) was Monster Stomp while it was in Ireland.

Fiends is playing into Camp, Black Comedy, and the Taboo. It's the other side of the same coin. It is recognizing popular Halloween and Horror tropes, and turning them up to an 11(For Virginia anyways). It fits, and it does what it is trying to achieve, and I've tended to love it every year, and this is coming from a man who admired Night Beats as well (I love musical theater as well). As for the low cut Nurse outfits... They fit within the frame of campy Halloween, Horror film, and the exploitation genre of yesteryear, (and much horror today). Art takes many different shapes, and if you don't agree with it... Why don't you ask yourself why? Are you really that upset about some scantly clad nurses? Why?

To ignore the ideas that generated the show, it's place in the event, and the history and ongoing spirit of the Halloween season so you can frame the show the way you perceive it... "Trashy" Is... Not fair, and fairly mean spirited if you ask me.

If it's not your cup of tea, that is fine. It's okay not to like things, and have preferences. What I try to achieve in discussion is a healthy examination of different points of views. I don't think "Trashy" is a fair assessment or critique of a show, It is an insult... And knowing very well that they read these boards, It's a direct insult to the cast, writers, directors and producers etc. of the show.
 

lce

The best digger in Cairo
Silver Donor
Jan 5, 2018
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Frederick, MD
Honestly, I see more skin walking down the street in the summertime than I ever have at HOS
This is a good point that I really haven't thought much of.

I really don't see the big deal, if you don't like seeing skimpily dressed women or men, don't watch. It is these actors' choice to take on that role and dress that way, it is not like the park is forcing these people to dress that way. That is my opinion on the matter, anyhow.

But away from opinion, to discuss more in matters of what it is, it isn't that skimpy of a costume in all honesty. It is just boosted by the "naughty nurse" fantasy making it taboo. Turn that into a normal dress and nobody would bat an eye, just a female getting in touch with her femininity. Seems hypocritical to shame a woman for dressing the way she wants to if you see a woman in a tight dress and fishnets out and about, but as soon as it winds up on the stage, it isn't suitable or acceptable. I know we aren't shaming the actors here, but the production for "objectifying women" or whatever, but keep in mind, there is a near naked fella that jumps out at you that gets groped. Nobody is complaining about that.

I am aware that the counter argument is not to be upset at the "objectifying" portion, but to complain at the lack of equal representation. Equal representation as a whole is a topic that irks me, as it isn't realistic, nor should it be, but I don't want to get into the logistics of that. (I also don't want to come across as a pig, so before anyone accuses me of so, I do not think equal representation in any aspect is unrealistic because of gender or any of that, but more so comes down to behavioral traits that trend in one sex versus the other). Put simply, if the production is headed with the intent of equal representation, is that not inherently more sexist than not even thinking about it? Planning a production with the thought of "oh we need this as a guy since we had a girl there" brings sex into it, whereas just writing it with no thought of sex doesn't. Unless we are dealing with a subconsciously sexist pig of a writer. It is a thin line, but it is something that could go either way, and either way shouldn't really upset anyone, since they both have their "sexism" in a way.

I just break it down into 'who is it really harming?", and if it really isn't harming anyone, I tend to let it go. The only people being "harmed" by this production are those that choose to find offense in it, because none of it is inherently offensive. I feel no pity for those that over-analyze something as innocent as a seasonal theme park show and find themselves not liking the spot they put themselves in.

EDIT: Another note on the "equal representation", I don't see anyone complaining about the shirtless guys in Monster Stomp but no really scantily dressed women in it, unless I am vastly wrong in my recollection of the show. If you choose to believe in "equal representation", that's a two way street. People who notice the lack of equality tend to be one-sighted, and don't look the other way around for the same questions they are posing.
 
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Aug 23, 2017
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One could make the argument that any sort of musical talent is overshadowed by the flaunting of about half a dozen less than stellar looking women. Any dancing ability is forgone to display the occasional flash of ass as the skirts twirl in just the right way.

I feel I should be clear here. I am not any sort of Puritan. I don’t think it is a crime to come off as actractive, or even sexual. However, as fiends has continued to love on it has served to do nothing for the talent it employs but flash skin and make jokes of it. It’s target audience seems to be those that want to see tits, not those that want a good show.

Finally, as a show that is not only in a primarily family park, it’s presence has been an issue on more than one occasion. Though the park seems to be better at keeping the actors inside the show or at least confined to the later, more adult hours of operation, it does not serve to bolster any aspect of the event.

You might enjoy it, and there is nothing wrong with that. You might think that it’s a shame that such a thing is frowned upon in today’s culture, nothing wrong with that. But to think that the show is received in any other way but what amounts to a pg13 striptease with a couple dudes thrown in, would be remiss.

I can’t really go much further without getting into gender politics, and that’s a bear I’d rather not poke.
 

Applesauce

未来の月
May 22, 2010
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Virginia Beach
Wow... it's suddenly 2011 again, what a simple argument that will never have an end. Ultimately, it'll be the viewers choice as to what they see the show as. I don't think it's fair to call them slutty as it becomes less and less about the characters and more and more about the dancers/actress/bar staff themselves, which really isn't cool. They're just their to do a job. Even if the person saying it doesn't mean it as a personal attack towards them, it definitely comes off that way.

But to reply to Ice, it's not really fair to compare shows which have different tones and themes. There were complaints in MMRR as the women do become less dressed throughout the show, however there's the balance of the men there at the same time. Not to mention the fact that they suddenly go to hell for what? Being prostitutes? Shaming them for making money using a means they know works? They were murdered, why should they go to hell for that? They're the victims. Meanwhile Fiends has an imbalance, 1 barely dressed guy =/= 8 nurses and now female werewolf. Balance should be based in the shows themselves not just the park as a whole.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Arlington, VA
To be clear, I don’t personally care, since I don’t have to watch it. But I do believe that the choreography was lacking any sophistication the last time I saw it. For me it wasn’t clever or coy or camp. It was just sleazy.
 

Zachary

𝓡oyal 𝓜ango 𝓒réme Frappuccino Survivor
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Sep 23, 2009
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I couldn't agree more with @Youhow2 regarding the presence of scantily clad people at a Halloween event marketed (and supposedly for) adults. Shrugging off typical cultural norms is a core aspect of the holiday. Sexuality has long played a big role in that. Does it make some people uncomfortable? Yes. That's a good thing. That's part of the idea.

Putting that argument aside, I believe the real question here is whether or not Fiends feels exploitative.

Thanks to the show's nearly constant state of cultural regression—evidenced in part by a complete lack of any attempt at equal representation—the show does feel pretty damn exploitative to me at this point. The show should be breaking norms across the board—across genders, classes, etc. Instead it spends 90% of its time objectifying one category in the show: women.

Shows that remove viewers from their comfort zones (like Fiends) offer a unique opportunity for the theater to open minds in the audience to typically marginalized ideas. Instead of capitalizing on this fact by addressing potentially controversial topics like fragile masculinity or stigmas related to sexual identity or orientation, Busch Gardens Williamsburg squanders the opportunity.

At the end of the day, in its current state, I think Fiends is a moderately distasteful production without anything of use to say about the world in which it is set (let alone our own). I think that is very unfortunate.
 
Aug 27, 2010
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One could make the argument that any sort of musical talent is overshadowed by the flaunting of about half a dozen less than stellar looking women. Any dancing ability is forgone to display the occasional flash of ass as the skirts twirl in just the right way.
No, one could make the argument that considering what the show is on a cohesive level, taking everything into account I said in my previous 2 post. You chose to percieve the show that way... And quite frankly that's your problem alone. I think the women tend to be attractive. That doesn't mean I'm watching the show for a quick flash of ass covered in tights and spanks which is standard dance attire, used by women and girls of all ages in athletics, cheerleading, etc. The show is sexual, yes... But it's clearly camp. It's not taking itself seriously. I watch it and love it for it's campy dark comedy and adult humor, and many others do for the same reasons. The nurses add to the show, without them it's be kind of weird. If you have sexual humor, you have to have roles and people filling that can be considered attractive, and you got to show the sexy. The dialogue and the dancing does it without going too overboard.


I feel I should be clear here. I am not any sort of Puritan. I don’t think it is a crime to come off as actractive, or even sexual. However, as fiends has continued to love on it has served to do nothing for the talent it employs but flash skin and make jokes of it. It’s target audience seems to be those that want to see tits, not those that want a good show.
I watch the show for a good spooky campy time. If I want to see tits, between the internet, my significant other, or a strip club I have options... Also nowadays if you're feeling some kind of way tinder is pretty easy and bars still work. Even for the teenagers viewing the show I'm sure they're like w/e. Again, I see more skin on the streets on the regular. No one is naked in the show... There is zero nudity, not even implied nudity, and the most naked member has traditionally been the experiment(a dude), a fun shout-out to the Rocky horror picture show... Which is in the same vein of comedy and "trashiness" as fiends.

Finally, as a show that is not only in a primarily family park, it’s presence has been an issue on more than one occasion. Though the park seems to be better at keeping the actors inside the show or at least confined to the later, more adult hours of operation, it does not serve to bolster any aspect of the event.
Oh wow, a "family park" has a show that has adult themes that is not acceptable for some people's children, during an event that is generally not acceptable for children. Seriously, Fiends is the one show the park has ever really produced with some edge to it. It's okay. That fact a family park also has entertainment that panders to a more mature audience is fine. It doesn't make it any less of a family park and has nothing to do with your argument of the show being trashy... Let's keep it on you think the show is trashy, and why don't you instead of pandering your argument argue that the show is indeed trashy. I've already gone to great lengths to post about what the show is, where it comes from and the place it has in the park as a Halloween feature. You've done nothing of the sort, just resorting to offhand strawman remarks about how people want to just see tits, and there is zero substance to the show. I've demonstrated that there isand it fits within the confines of the event.


You might enjoy it, and there is nothing wrong with that. You might think that it’s a shame that such a thing is frowned upon in today’s culture, nothing wrong with that. But to think that the show is received in any other way but what amounts to a pg13 striptease with a couple dudes thrown in, would be remiss.
Clearly, you are missing the point. It's making light of the taboo. It's relishing in the fact it's doing what it's doing, and giving zero care to the world that it is what it is. It is making light of dark, unrealistic situations, while a chorus line shimmies and dances scantily clad, making fun of the fact they are being taboo. The sexuality isn't implied or nuanced, it's shoved down your throat, because they can, and the show is laughing with you at itself.

I actually appalled at your line of thinking. You are no judge of morality, and your idea of it isn't the end all be all in the world... And to ignore all the information I'm giving you to berate and call the cast and the show trashy and slutty isn't only infuriating, it's kind of sad.

Again, if it's not your cup o tea fine. Hold your opinion, but that doesn't give you the right to claim people who enjoy the show are just looking for a striptease. I could get more of a "show" for less than half of what I spend at the park in a day at strip joint. I watch and like the show for the entertainment value, the spirit of the Halloween season, and cause it's just a good campy time. If you don't get it... fine. But don't berate the cast members, the people who enjoy it, like you're so much better off for not enjoying the show. At the end of the day, your opinion isn't as important or even well thought out as the arguments for.

Also, just going to touch on the "equality" thing. How ridiculous would it be if we lived in a world where we had to measure everything at a 1:1 ratio for everyone. The casting fits the show. That should be good enough.
 
Aug 23, 2017
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Well this certainly got heated.

To close out my comments:

-I shouldn't have said that the show could only be perceived one way. Not sure if that bugged anyone but I saw it when I went back and read it.
-Any reference to slutty nurses was only made due to the fact that AFAIK that's the common name for the costume.
 
Apr 4, 2017
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I actually walked out of this show about 10 minutes into it. It's that bad. Too much talking instead of singing first of all. The sexual content of this show does absolutely NOTHING to make it entertaining and actually demeans the performers IMO. I can honestly say this is the worst thing I have ever seen at Busch Gardens of any show, attraction or anything else.
 
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