Funtown Mountain to Release a Kraken of Fun in the Summer of 2016!

Local entrepreneur, Will Russell, plans to turn the defunct Guntown Mountain roadside attraction in Cave City, KY into a bizzaro Disneyland tribute to the creative spirit of Kentucky!

The love of roadside attractions, and one rickety old haunted house in particular, has turned WHY Louisville store owner and Lebowski Fest creator, Will Russell, into Kentucky’s latest theme park owner. Just this week, Russell finalized the deal to purchase Guntown Mountain, and the ink on the contract was still wet when I met with him in his subterranean funhouse on Baxter Avenue that serves as the office for his multiple business ventures.

Amid the collection of curios found lying about his office are giant abominable snow monster heads, vintage Halloween blow molds, laboratory skeletons, Gremlins, “Big Lebowski” memorabilia and the Chinese Wild Man monster costume from John Carpenter’sBig Trouble in Little China” which he bought recently in a Profiles in History auction.

Russell takes the whole “Keep Louisville Weird” agenda to another level.

“I love roadside attractions,” says Russell. “I think they are the core of American entrepreneurism.”

“It was actually the Haunted House, sitting on the top of the hill by Guntown Mountain, that captured my attention when I was driving by there and saw the FOR SALE signs,” he confesses. “At first I had no idea that the Haunted House was part of Guntown Mountain. I thought it might have been a separate attraction, but when I found out it was part of park, I had no choice. I had to buy it.”

Russell’s Land of Tomorrow Productions has purchased the park with plans to both preserve it and to add many new attractions to it.

“The Haunted House still works,” he says. “We went through it the other day, and I want to preserve it mostly the way it is because it’s the oldest standing attraction of its kind in the country.”

“The goal is to preserve as much of the spirit of Guntown Mountain as we can. In fact, I feel that the ghost of Guntown Mountain will remain in the park,” states Russell. “I love this place. I proposed to my wife on the chairlift.”

Russell has big dreams for Funtown Mountain, and to that end he has secured the creative services of the Weber Group in Sellersburg, IN, the same company who designed the twin spires logo for Churchill Downs, the giant baseball bat for the Louisville Slugger Museum, the troll for the Troll Pub Under the Bridge and many other iconic creations for theme parks and zoos across the country.

“They build dreams,” says Russell about the Weber Group.

Some of Russell’s dreams for Funtown Mountain must remain a secret at this time, but he graciously shared some of his plans for new attractions that he intends to make part of Phase One in 2016.

“The centerpiece of the park will be Lolleyland,” he reveals. Lolleyland refers to the work of local artist, Kathleen Lolley (, who has a longtime working relationship with Russell and whose work can be found in many of the best art galleries in Louisville.

The other major new attraction, which he had told no other media outlet about at the time of this article’s publishing, is the Kentucky Wondershow Theater, which will be built in the current location of the Opera House in the western town.

“The Wondershow Theater will be a place where we can show movies and have concerts,” says Russell. “We’d like to have concerts with local musicians like Will Oldham, Jim James and other talented Kentucky artists, and then we’ll be having hologram concerts.”

Excuse me? Hologram concerts?

“Yeah,” he promises. “We’ll be using new technology to record actual live performances of bands that can be played back in the Wondershow Theater in three dimensions, so it will look and sound like they’re really there.”

Russell promises to build a giant clown head that will be visible from the highway as well as “pirate rides” and elaborate adult/kid’s playgrounds. He also dreams of releasing a giant Kraken like the one created by special effects artist, Ray Harryhausen, in the 1981 fantasy film, “Clash of the Titans,” to tower above tourists who visit Funtown Mountain.

That’s just for Phase One. If everything goes well, Russell would like to add a roller coaster and, possibly, his dream of a Kentucky Mount Rushmore in Phase Two.

“I’d like to use Funtown Mountain as the location for Roadside Attraction Enthusiasts Conventions and Steampunk Conventions,” he confesses. “Don’t you think Steampunk kids would like hanging out at a place like this?”


“This is a collaborative effort and a whole bunch of extremely talented local artists, musicians and creative folks are involved,” says Russell. “Ultimately, it’s a celebration of Kentucky and everything Kentucky has to offer. Kentucky is a lot more than fried chicken, bourbon and horses.”

The Phantom of The Ville

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