Pressure from mental health professionals prompted Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., the parent company of Knott's Berry Farm, to shut down the Knott's Scary Farm attraction FearVR: 5150.
Why? Because it depicted a possessed girl in a medical facility and 5150 is the California Welfare and Institutions Code section that allows someone suspected of having a dangerous mental disorder to be temporarily committed.
A new counter-petition drive mounted by the people who loved FearVR: 5150 (2,300 and counting at last word) aims to convince Cedar Fair to reinstate the attraction, which is essentially dark rooms filled with flashy lights, creepy sounds and Vampire Circus/Fear the Walking Dead/Chrisley Knows Best rejects acting … what is the clinical term? Oh yes … cray-cray.
As you know, OC Weekly is all about compromise. It's how our office ended up in Fountain Valley. So we present these lucky seven ideas to change FearVR: 5150 into a win-win for mental health advocates and rubes who will plop down 90 bucks for a Knott's Scary Farm Pass. 1) MAKE IT A POSSESSED GIRL AT A GUN SHOW: It is not the fact that an abnormal demonic entity has manifested itself inside the soul of a young female that has all those mental health professionals' two-ply panties in a bunch. It's the fact that “a 5150” treated at a medical facility would be admitted to a mental health ward. Any negative depiction of such a patient is an affront to everyone who has ever been diagnosed mentally ill or mentally challenged or mentally questioning. However, the spot where a gun show is held is the most sacred land on the planet, free from any negative connotations, as explained in the graphic novel version of the Second Amendment; First Thessalonians; Sixth Chapter. A possessed girl at a gun show? It's quite the opposite of controversial. It's versial. 2) CHANGE FEARVR 5150 TO FEARVH 5150: Van Halen's first studio album with Sammy Hagar replacing David Lee Roth ushered in one of the darkest periods in South Pasadena backyard kegger rock 'n' roll history. (“Dude, I saw 'em in Otis Chandler's backyard in '76!”) 5150 was a freak show for two reasons: It made us actually feel sorry for Diamond Dave, even though he'd totally blown out his pipes by the album's 1986 release, and it made us actually feel sorry for the Red Rocker, even though he helped craft the biggest songs in the band's catalog with the artist formerly known as Eddie Van Halen. If Knott's were to base an attraction on this shit show, there would only be four, five guys tops who would sign the petition to close it.
4) MAKE IT A POSSESSED BOY AT A WORKOUT FACILITY: Take the bulging bicepped and thick necked and popping-vein-foreheaded monster truck drivers at your local gym, amplify the grunts coming from the squat machines and toss dry ice on top of the pools of sweat dripping from the steroid-shrunken ball sacks to create the scariest attraction this side of a Trump rally.
5) MAKE IT A POSSESSED TRANSGENDER AT AN AWARDS SHOW: From Transparent to Orange is the New Black to I Am Cait to The 700 Club, transgender performers are all the rage. Actors who portray the transitioning or transitioned scoop up awards from fellow celebrities like I scoop up Chiclets from Tijuana street urchins. Only a terrifying hater would object to depictions of becoming one's inner gender, so if one happens to try to get your new FearTR attraction closed, expose his/her/shis/sher shameful closed mindedness—then hand them an application for a role in next year's fright fest. 6) MAKE IT A POSSESSED GIRL AT A COLLEGE COMEDY SHOW: Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock agree that no place is more politically correct these days than the auditoriums of college campuses where touring standups perform. To hear them tell it, it is colleges that are killing comedy, not Tina Fey. So instead of a medical facility, where laughs are aplenty, let's shift the scary action to a spooky institution of higher learning. Think about it: Most slasher movies open with college kids holing up in a cabin or tent by a lake. Save them the gas and Uber money by bringing the bloodbath to campus. Heck, even a demonically possessed girl can get a general-ed degree. 7) CHANGE FEARVR 5150 TO FEARPD 444: Take the craz, er, intellectually disabled completely out of it by substituting in the police code 444, which indicates officer-involved shooting. This is a beautiful solution because there is absolutely no controversy surrounding officer-involved shootings nowadays. Few even know they exist. The line for FearPD tickets will extend all the way to Ferguson.