CASTLE TNUC (Chapter 2).
As they approached the glowing draw bridge entryway into the giant ceramic head of the TNUC Manimal, nervous excitement set in. It was hard to accept this reality but regardless they decided to ride out the surreal dream/nightmare. The visually appetizing airbrushed exterior alone of this funhouse castle was too good to not want to be completely immersed in.
Loud music continued to blast from the lo-fi speakers. This time it was Holocaust’s carnival-headbanger “Heavy Metal Mania”.
Greeting them at the entrance was Sir Nigel Penneyweight…(you know, the little guy from Ghoulies 2 who looks like a tiny Lionel Richie or John Oates). This was obviously very appropriate, as the setting for Ghoulies 2 was a seedy carnival! They all scratched their heads, confused but amazed. Then Mr. Penneyweight stood up on a stool and proclaimed loudly in a Shakespearean accent “Something is alive in Castle TNUC! Something that has the form of a long-blonde-haired Manimal, but is something else…something that feeds off the flesh and blood of young mischievous teens!”
The gang should’ve listened to the little man’s fair warning, but instead were downright rude and so distracted they blew him off and stormed inside, laughing and flicking a half-lit cigarette in his direction.
They were shoved aggressively into a mechanical cart that smelled of stale beer and rubber latex. A massive black handlebar came flying down from above and almost decapitated poor Linda (the innocent, presumed-to-be virgin of the group).
The cart began to take off, bucking and jolting uncontrollably, leaving a rain of sparks in its path. The black handlebar immediately came loose and fell into the bottomless pit below. They all looked at each other in pure terror, thinking this might be the last carnival “dark ride” they ever see if they can make it out alive. But each time one of the girls started whimpering or Ricky began giving some moral safety warning, Snake (intimidating dickhead of the group) started threatening them and screaming about how important it was for him to see Elvira’s big gothic mammaries in person. Based on the exterior artwork of Castle TNUC, he had this inkling she was signing autographs inside. But even as Snake took swigs of his Peach Schnapps and bumps of some powdery substance from his pinky ring, they could see the fear in his eyes.
The cart made a violent and drastic downward drop, followed by a smelly mist that entered the air. They passed through thick cobwebs, then were dowsed with an unidentifiable pink slimy goo. Ricky wiped the giant glop of slime from his face using the arm of his high school letter jacket. Linda was trembling. Roxie was still passed out from the handful of quaaludes she swallowed earlier in the parking lot (lucky her). Snake was so unnerved that he jumped into his own cart behind the group.
They heard a gurgling sound and looked back to see that Snake had been axed in the chest with a huge blade! As gross as it was to see him get butchered, they secretly sighed with relief because Snake was definitely that asshole of the group who nobody ever really wanted to be around. Roxie finally began to rise from her sedative-induced slumber to a nervous Ricky and terrified Linda. She lit up a cigarette as they tried to explain what happened.
The hazardous cart continued rumbling down the track into the bleak darkness. As they clenched onto each other with dear life, Ricky pointed out that the music getting louder in the distance was Paul Stanley’s “Shocker”. With both girls on opposite sides of him, seeking his embrace, Ricky was still fighting feelings of arousal even inside this dangerous arena of terror.
They passed by ceramic skeletons, dried up buckets of blood, multicolored ghouls and airbrushed reapers, then into a circular shaped room. The cart began rotating 360 degrees in view of display rooms containing abandoned horror props, gags and some shockingly impressive scenes. The first was The Cryptkeeper and Elvira competing in a Bud Light VS Coors Light promotional throw down. The once-working animatronics would’ve featured Cryptkeeper dressed in a tuxedo, passing out draft beers and decrepit looking “haunted hot dogs”. Elvira was dressed like Elvira, but her breasts had morphed 3x their original size and she was pushing around a foam cooler stocked with Night Brew™!
Suddenly sparks came down from the ceiling and a strange blue electrical current struck the stage. The cart motioned onto the next display. An animatronic, life-size dummy that Roxie identified as scream queen Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons) miraculously came to life before their eyes! Linnea and her aerobics class of rubber zombies began reenacting a scene from 1990’s Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout.
(Ricky bootlegged the audio from the performance on a cassette. Have a listen below!)
When the music was over, the cart drifted through purple fog and into a new realm that smelled of grizzly hair and expired Brut cologne. They all looked up in unison. A pair of bright reptilian eyes were set against a handsome face, surrounded by wild locks of blond hair that penetrated the darkness beyond the group. He was staring into Roxie, and she could no longer be distracted by the feeble morality of Linda or Ricky. The ride had taken her, and whoever – whatever lay ahead that they couldn’t yet see, was her ultimate destiny…
STAY TUNED FOR CHAPTER 3: THE FINAL CHAPTER!