Fright Dome gets monster makeover, teams up with ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’

Leatherface is on the loose in Las Vegas, and he’s headed for Fright Dome at Circus Circus.

Leatherface will be looking for you at Fright Dome Las Vegas. Courtesy Fright Dome.

The pepto pink 5-acre Adventuredome theme park will transform into a maccabre monster-filled massacre, starting Oct. 3, with six haunted houses, four scare zones and 25 rides and attractions.

But that’s just the tip of the chainsaw.

This year, Fright Dome has teamed up with “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (available via iTunes) in conjunction with the horror film’s 40th anniversary.

“For the first time ever they allowed us to get the rights to the movie,” said Fright Dome creator Jason Egan. “I’ve been working with Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel to actually recreate the 1974 classic.”

Monster makeovers

To ensure a truly gruesome experience, Egan brought out Hollywood special effects artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe to coach Fright Dome’s makeup staff and provide some tricks of the trade. Tunnicliffe’s work has been seen in blockbuster horror movies like “Scream,” “Hellraiser” and “The Exorcist.”

Vegas Insider Aleza Freeman encounters a sticky situation with Hollywood FX artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe. Photos by Ryan Shewchuk.

“We need to up the bar every year,” said Egan, “and he’s one of the most famous, notorious horror movie makeup artist of all time.”

When it comes to making up movie actors versus Fright Dome’s live scare actors, Tunnicliffe said there isn’t much difference.

“The makeup artists here are exactly the same,” he said. “I might do makeup on Robert De Niro or John Travolta but it’s still just applying stuff to the skin, taking care of a performer and trying to elicit a response from an audience.”

As for applying stuff to the skin, Tunnicliffe said the stickier the better.

“I like to make people extra sticky, because I’m a sado-masochistic [CENSORED],” he joked.

Here are some photos from Tunnicliffe’s visit (photos by Ryan Shewchuk):

More Fright Dome firsts

In addition to securing the rights to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and working with a movie makeup artist, Fright Dome is also scaring up some other frightful firsts.

One of the Top 5 haunted attractions in the United States, Fright Dome is spreading the terror worldwide — Egan has expanded operations to Hong Kong.

“It’s up on The Peak in Hong Kong, it’s a really iconic location, it’s on the $20 bill. You have to take a scary tram ride up to the top,” said Egan. “It’s going to be unbelievable. I’m so excited that our brand is going to expand. Who knows where we’ll go next year.”

Additionally, Egan said, he has been listening to customer requests. This year, along with its normal run, Fright Dome Las Vegas will kick off its first-ever Afterlife Day of the Dead,  an after-hours party for the 18 and older crowd.

“Fright Dome is an event for all ages, but this will be the one night adults can come and let their hair down and have a blast,” he said.

The rave-like party will take place on Nov. 1 and will include performances by the Academy of Villains dance troupe, as well as DJs and a variety of other entertainers.

Guests will also have a chance to compete for $5,000 in a killer costume contest.

Fright Dome runs from 7 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 3, 4, 10-12, 16-19, 23-26 and 29-31 at Circus Circus. The adults-only Afterlife Day of the Dead is from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Nov. 1. For more information on Fright Dome 2014, visit