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Creepy Classic Sci-Fi Film Inspired Hotels in Wisconsin

This weekend saw the wedding of friend of the Blogulator Andy and his new wife Cristy, which meant Brigitte, Chris and I met up with DoktorPeace in the land of cheese and cows (not to mention the filming location of this summer's likely Johnny Depp-Michael Mann blockbuster Public Enemies), Lake Geneva, WI. Naturally, the wedding was great fun and full of awesome times and intense dinnertime discussions about the dreaminess of Gabriel Byrne on In Treatment, the insanity of everything ever that happens on Lost, ironic-but-not-really-ironic dancing to Pat Benetar's "Love is a Battlefield", and so on. Yet, on our drive over and back, on the long interstate of I-94 between Minneapolis and Madison, WI, one location haunted Brigitte and I to no end.

A Fritz Lang's seminal 1927 silent sci-fi film Metropolis-themed hotel.

Yes. You read that right. A hotel, outside of a western Wisconsin city of 50,000, next door to a mini theme park called Action City that features go-karts and mini golf, with a waterslide poking out of it, with all the decor black and white, and nearby billboards that advertise the hotel in black and white with simple messages below like "Best breakfast in town." And "Join us tonight."

Yes. It is true.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I REALLY WANT TO STAY THERE SOME DAY. But, there are so many creepy things about this.

1. The advertising. All the "Join us tonight" business is creepy. I'm discomforted by the fact that they refuse to use exlamation points in their billboards. They might as well say things like "You'll never leave." Or "Seriously, you won't end up a post-modern sci-fi ghost upon staying here."

2. Waterslides coming out. There ain't nothin' I think about more when I think about seminal silent films of the 1920s than waterslides that actually come out of the building to demonstrate the fact that there is, indeed a waterslide here. (On a side note, I really like waterslides.)

3. The monochromatic style of the exterior. In a landscape of farms, green rolling hills, beautiful sunsets, it is truly unsettling to see a giant building that is that well-lit, even at night, that is completely black and white.

4. The website. None of the images on the website seem to be actual photographs of things within the hotel. In fact, the external image seems to be computer generated. And this section on Hotel Security is maybe the most creepy of all -- it describes how Eau Claire, WI is one of the safest cities in the USA but then details all of the enhanced security features the hotel has. AND a creepy picture of a camera that could be out of a David Lynch film. And this negative review of the hotel on TripAdvisor.com includes a weirdly specific and vindictive response by "management".

5. Everything else. Of course, maybe this isn't really a hotel based after the silent film Metropolis, but there are more than a few weird coincidences between this hotel and a secretive facility designed to invite lovers of post-modern travel like Blogulutionees in and perhaps suck our very souls out of our bodies.

Needless to stay, I think the Blogulator needs to have a convention at this hotel. Who's with me?

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  1. Blogger Brigitte | 10:26 AM |  

    I WANT TO STAY AT THIS HOTEL SO BAD!!!

  2. Blogger chris | 2:19 PM |  

    I totally saw this on the way back up to MPLS. Soooo strange looking on the highway. I wish the interior was black and white only too. And that when you walked inside, you became black and white. And then someone made a Roger Rabbit-esque movie about it.

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