For the uninitiated, the subject of the new documentary Spooktacular! is the Massachusetts Halloween theme park SpookyWorld. Touted as "the original horror scream park" SpookyWorld opened its doors in 1991. What started as a haunted hayride in the small farming town of Berlin exploded into a full-blown cultural phenomenon. The documentary traces the roots from the origins to the unfortunate ending, in a similar vein to 2020's Class Action Park. I will tell you Spooktacular! made me nostalgic for a place I've never been. Growing up on the West Coast, this exemplifies everything I imagined New England Halloweens to be, and I am entirely envious of everyone who got to experience SpookyWorld in the flesh. I can only imagine how nostalgic this documentary will be for folks who actually attended the haunt in its heyday.
SpookyWorld mastermind David Betolino was ahead of his time, combining amusement park-style haunts with a horror convention roster of celebrity guests. Betolino had everyone from Elvira and Linda Blair to Tom Savini and Kane Hodder in attendance. Savini also designed a haunted house attraction for SpookyWorkd and executive produced this documentary. After premiering at Fantastic Fest, Spooktacular! went on to play Beyond Fest, and is making its way to its Internation Premiere at Sitges. Here's the official synopsis.
Director Quinn Monahan's gripping documentary unravels the secrets behind SpookyWorld, America's iconic Halloween extravaganza, which set the template for the multi-billion-dollar industry of terror. At the heart of it all stands David Bertolino, the mastermind behind SpookyWorld, the first-ever multi-attraction Halloween theme park that redefined the haunted house experience. From humble beginnings as a whoopee cushion salesman, Bertolino's journey culminated in a terrifying hayride trail through the woods that captured the imaginations of thousands, and soon became a sensation.
Check out the official website to keep up-to-date on Spooktacular, including distribution updates.