NETHERWORLD Monster of the Month: June 2012 Atomic Mutants!

by on Jun.17, 2012, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

NETHERWORLD Monster of the Month: June 2012 Atomic Mutants!








July 16, 1945. The Trinity site, located in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, at the new White Sands Proving Ground. The first occurrence of a nuclear detonation, an implosion-design plutonium device nicknamed “The Gadget”.

The beginning of the Atomic Age.

The fear that Nazi Germany was developing atomic bombs, coupled with a growing awareness of various fascist threats from European countries, prompted the United States to further explore plans to develop its own nuclear-based weaponry. Thus was born The Manhattan Project, and the arms race was forever changed.

With the threat of the atomic bomb came the fear of nuclear fallout in the atmosphere, and the potential for injury and mutation. Paranoia spread among the population. Bomb shelters were constructed as a precaution to protect people from the impending nuclear doom of the cold war, allowing citizens to exist underground until the effects of any fallout had diminished to a safe level. With the danger over, they could return to the surface unharmed. In 1963 the Partial Test Ban Treaty restricted all nuclear testing to underground nuclear testing, to prevent contamination of the atmosphere and surface from nuclear fallout.

But what of those who were not fortunate enough to take safe haven? What about the humans and creatures that may have been exposed to the few tests that did take place above ground? Speculation arose as to what the possible effects of radiation exposure could be. And Hollywood was happy to provide a few theories…

Such classic films as “Them” and “Godzilla” grew out of our fascination with the Atomic Age and spawned an entire generation of motion pictures warning of the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons. In these two movies, mutated giant ants and an awakened prehistoric reptile are the result of man’s flirtation with the atom. “The Amazing Colossal Man” tells of a gigantic rampaging army officer who grows to a height of 60 feet and goes insane after exposure to plutonium radiation. Oddly enough, the exact opposite happens to a vacationing businessman in “The Incredible Shrinking Man” – lending credence to the unpredictability of radioactive mutation! B-movies abounded, detailing the disastrous results of the Atomic Age. Yet whether humongous insects or miniscule men,  one message was abundantly clear: man’s arrogance and thirst for power would prove his undoing.

Over the years the threat of irradiated mutations has intrigued and entertained us in a wide variety of interpretations. While the popularity of massive rampaging creatures has never really waned, it seems to be the effects on man that have the greatest impact on us. 1985’s beloved “Return of the Living Dead” details the horrific (yet comically charged) events that unfold when a failed military experiment unleashes brain-eating zombies. Following the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine in 1986, we discovered the all-too-real repercussions of nuclear crisis. Numerous illnesses and deformities have been reported, the imagery of which is still staggering some 25 years later. This seems to have played a huge part in the birth of the contemporary template of mutation we find prevalent in science fiction and horror today. “The Hills Have Eyes” features a traveling family at the mercy of mutated cannibals living in a nuclear testing zone. And while the catalyst for mutation may not always be a direct result of radiation, the idea of mutated people hunting humans (such as the backwoods villains from the “Wrong Turn” films) continues to intrigue us.  The prospect of physically-deformed humans among us, driven insane and prone to prey on an unsuspecting population still sends shivers down our spines. Our basic belief that there is good in everyone flies out the window when gazing into the hollow eyes of an atomic attacker.

Atlanta’s Netherworld Haunted House is no stranger to the chaos brought about by the deranged and maddened mutant. As the primary retailer for the infamous Zombie Rampage energy drink, the very halls of this haunted attraction were overrun by crazed cannibals and reanimated corpses when a tanker truck transporting the potent elixir overturned in nearby Whyshburg Cemetery. The toxic beverage contained Necromuten 7, developed by bioweapons defense contractor Necrotech as a means of producing stronger, more powerful soldiers. The end result was a faster, more durable undead killing machine, capable of holding its own against even the most diabolical Netherspawn.

Numerous experiments and scientific studies performed behind Netherworld’s bolted doors have resulted in unimaginable radiation-bred horrors. The building is infested with deformed animals, abnormal insects, flesh-hungry fiends and abominations heretofore unseen by normal human eyes. Slavering zombies amble aimlessly throughout its corridors, seeking relief from their never ending craving for living victims. Hideously disfigured creatures – both human and inhuman – dwell within, eagerly awaiting each evening’s delivery of innocent vict…errr…visitors.

The threat of atomic danger may not seem as overpowering as it did decades ago, but the rumors of leftover mutants holding out in the dessert hidden away from prying eyes will perhaps always linger in the back of our minds. So the next time you take the family on that remote camping trip – or a Halloween excursion to Netherworld Haunted House – you may want to download that geiger counter app to your smart phone. Simply for peace of mind.

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