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Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on November 2, 2012.
Final Score: 8.86
E-Ville Studios is now in their 9th year of operation, 6 of which were under the ‘Asylum’ name and 2012 marks their 1st year in their new location! Experience the un-dead as you’ve never seen them before in this 2-story, 13,000 square-foot building and just pray that you make it out alive! These zombies have been penned up all year and their just waiting for some living flesh to come stumbling through! Are you near Evansville, Indiana and looking for some zombies for the Halloween haunt season? Then swing through E-Ville studios, Evansville’s newest haunted house!
22 paid actors hunt down all those brave enough to tour E-Ville Studios. Some of these are members of non-profit organizations that help the haunt with their zombie horde scene on the weekends. This number seems to be sufficient for the downstairs area, but a few dead spots were noticed and even more (dead spots) were present upstairs. These actors haven’t been through much training for this year, but they’re mostly veteran actors that have been with E-Ville for several years. The actors downstairs maintained context with the haunt’s ‘zombie’ theme, but it was more difficult to tell that the clowns upstairs were supposed to be zombies as well. Most of the actors were believable, but most of them could also work on their physical interaction skills (since zombies aren’t supposed to be able to talk). The most memorable characters were the clown in the first room with the balloons, the zombie eating the torso, the little girl showing off her recently-decapitated head and the zombie in the wheelchair due to their interactivity, intensity, and sheer creepiness!
Most of the costumes at E-Ville Studios are modified from clothing purchased from thrift stores rather than purchased and used right off the shelf. Makeup is applied by 2-4 highly skilled airbrush artists who prefer their own artwork over masks. Only 1 or 2 masks were noticed throughout the attraction (we were told), but we didn’t notice them during our tour so they must have been excellently detailed and seamlessly incorporated into the rest of the costume! Makeup was obviously the strong-point of this attraction, but the zombies’ costumes could have been a bit more ‘grungy’ to make them seem more like rotten, nasty zombies instead of ‘freshly-turned’ civilians. One of them was even wearing an unmodified Carhartt jacket. However, the blood that was used was incredibly realistic and detailed, which increased the actors’ believability that used it. We’ve also seen better clowns, but their 3D makeup was accented well by their surroundings. Another point of mention was the actor dressed in jet black from head to toe. This costume allowed him to make excellent use of his hiding spot, but he didn’t match the rest of his scene once he emerged.
Customer Service: 9.18
Parking was a bit tricky at E-Ville Studios. We were lucky enough to find a spot on the street nearby, but the large lot located on the property could have been used more efficiently. Several vehicles were actually blocking customers from utilizing this space for some unknown reason. As we approached the building, lighting was ample and we noticed a palm-reading booth, a zombie paintball shooting gallery, and carnival style games available for customers to win prizes! Once inside, t-shirts, zombie-hunting weapons, a photo booth, concessions, and a customized coffin simulator provide more entertainment and convenience for customers before they tour the attraction. As we made our way to the queue area, two portable restrooms are available as a last chance opportunity to go before you get inside (where you may not have a choice). The inside of the haunt is adequately lit for the most part with the exception of the stairs leading from the second floor down to the lower level. Several emergency exits were noticed upstairs, but not as many on the first level. Flooring is smooth and safe with the exception of aforementioned stairs, which helps counteract the downfall. Be informed, however, that all building, fire, and safety codes have been accepted and permits obtained before the attraction opened.
The outside atmosphere at E-Ville is modest, but original. An easily-noticeable, rotating, projected light on the side of the building begs for attention from nearly a half-mile away! The haunt’s hearse lets you know you have arrived and the various activities and sounds coming from inside can be heard outside the attraction and let you know you’re at a haunted house. Some spooky music and haunt-related d
Special Effects: 9.17
Most of the props and special effects at E-Ville studios have been purchased from various vendors, but some of them are created in-house. Some amazing and effective 3D artwork upstairs is accompanied by loud rock music, exceptional strobe lights, and horns that provided multiple scares for our review team! More attention to prop detail was noticed downstairs with the various zombie scenes which made everything seem very realistic. We particularly appreciated how several zombies had been boarded up in an effort to keep them away from customers as they tour the attraction! Though many of the scenes were detailed well throughout the haunt, it seemed that more props could have been added upstairs to break up some of the scenes and help solidify the theme. Also, one of the chainsaws downstairs had an interesting addition that we’ve never seen before (and you’ll have to find out for yourself), but it was out-of-place for being used on a chainsaw.
The theme for the 3D attraction upstairs was ‘zombie clowns.’ While the artwork was amazing and the actors remained very clown-like, their dialogue and scare techniques failed to let us know they were supposed to be zombies. Downstairs, however, provides a far more accurate representation of stereotypical zombies. Bloodthirsty characters growling and snarling at our review group as one of them ingested the insides of a torso right in front of us left little doubt as to what the theme was. But most of the scenes were still executed more accurately than others.
Fright Effect: 8.93
Scares range from creepy stares and loud rock music to horns, flashing lights/strobes, excellent hiding spots and relentless chainsaw attacks! The 3D artwork upstairs succeeded in providing distractions for our review group as the clowns were able to startle us from several different directions. Some of the scares were very unpredictable due to the techniques and hiding spots that were used, but when the same scares were attempted a few minutes later, we had our guards up. On the same note, when we heard log chains flopping around and growls coming from the scene we were about to walk into, we could tell it was going to be chaotic, but it made the scares in that scene quite predictable.
No VIP speed pass tickets were available for the 2012 haunt season, but general admission tickets ran $13 and $15 would gain you unlimited tours for the night! Zombie paintball prices are $1/5 shots, $10/60 shots, and $20 for a full hopper of paintballs! Palm readings are $10 and casket ride, carnival games, concession stand and photo room also offer entertainment at their own respective prices. Our review group spent an estimated 10 minutes on each level for a total time of 20 minutes, which figures up to about 11/2 minutes of entertainment for every dollar spent. For this amount of time and what you’ll experience inside, E-Ville Studios is a good deal! If you’re looking for some amazing 3D artwork and an original take at a zombie apocalypse near Evansville, Indiana, then we recommend E-Ville Studios!