Home / Music & Arts / At Banksy’s ‘Dismaland,’ it’s a mauled world after all

At Banksy’s ‘Dismaland,’ it’s a mauled world after all

A “Dismaland” Punch and Judy puppet show comes with a dark twist.Lee Moran

A “Dismaland” Punch and Judy puppet show comes with a dark twist.

CALL IT the unhappiest place on Earth.

A walk through “Dismaland” in Somerset, England — a sinister take on a theme park by elusive guerrilla street artist Banksy — reveals that the staffers are just as unpleasant as the attractions.

“Piss off,” shouted one staffer, hired to look miserable and serve as an anti-guide for guests. When a reporter put on a cheesy smile in a bid to break her concentration, she looked him up and down and shot back her dismissal.

Their attitude suits their surroundings.

The park — housed in an abandoned swimming pool complex in a county that borders Bristol, where Banksy spends a lot of time — is packed with pieces taking pot-shots at governments, corporations, celebrities, the paparazzi and the selfie-obsessed.

A grumpy staffer refuses to smile at Banksy’s “Dismaland” exhibition. Lee Moran

A grumpy staffer refuses to smile at Banksy’s “Dismaland” exhibition.

Enlarge This mural in Banksy’s “Dismaland,” on view in Somerset, England, lets guests pose as a terrorist. Lee Moran

This mural in Banksy’s “Dismaland,” on view in Somerset, England, lets guests pose as a terrorist.

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If Banksy, whose identity has never been revealed, wanted to create an anti-theme park, then the artist got it spot on. It’s filthy, run-down and smells a bit funny.

You can enter a derelict Cinderella castle to find a dead blond princess tumbling out of a crashed carriage as paparazzi figures snap away. Security refused to comment, but it’s definitely a nod to Princess Diana’s deadly car crash.

For the first time ever, Banksy has also brought his friends along to create some of the works — including the bad boy of British art Damien Hirst.

Hirst’s “A Child’s Dream” will give you nightmares. A unicorn encased in formaldehyde is the centerpiece of this darkened room.

London-based graffiti artist Darren Cullen has created a mock loan shop for kids at the Banksy exhibition.Lee Moran

London-based graffiti artist Darren Cullen has created a mock loan shop for kids at the Banksy exhibition.

An overview of Banksy’s “Dismaland,” which is located in an abandoned swimming complex.Lee Moran

An overview of Banksy’s “Dismaland,” which is located in an abandoned swimming complex.

A cardboard “airport security” entrance greets visitors at the Banksy show.Lee Moran

A cardboard “airport security” entrance greets visitors at the Banksy show.

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After days of speculation following the discovery that a Hollywood movie wasn’t actually being filmed at the crumbling seaside resort, Banksy’s show was officially announced Thursday. It opens to the public Saturday.

From the moment you pass through tight “airport security,” made entirely out of cardboard, you realize this is a tourist attraction like no other.

The staff, dressed in “Dismal”-labeled jackets and wearing Mickey Mouse ears, don’t smile. Ever. “End joy,” they mouth at you, with many visitors mistakenly hearing “enjoy.”

They actually shout at you for asking questions.

Banksy’s dark take on Cinderella’s castle is a lowlight of “Dismaland.”Lee Moran

Banksy’s dark take on Cinderella’s castle is a lowlight of “Dismaland.”

Banksy offers a comment on the selfie-obsessed generation in “Dismaland.”Lee Moran

Banksy offers a comment on the selfie-obsessed generation in “Dismaland.”

Visitors sit next to a sculpture of a woman being attacked by seagulls, part of Banksy’s “Dismaland.”Lee Moran

Visitors sit next to a sculpture of a woman being attacked by seagulls, part of Banksy’s “Dismaland.”

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Meanwhile, chirpy yet sinister vacation-camp tunes are on loop, broken only by the voice of a small child chanting anarchist slogans. It’s terrifying, and so very surreal.

There’s also a puppet show about “Fifty Shades of Grey” and Jimmy Savile, an English TV and radio personality who was accused of being a pedophile and sex offender. This is not Walt’s Magic Kingdom.

“Dismaland” is Banksy’s first major exhibit since his October 2013 month-long show in New York City, when the artist unveiled different pieces across the boroughs each day, the locations of which he hinted at online. Fans then tracked the work down, but often defaced or removed it within hours.

At Dismaland, anarchists can flock to a converted bus, packed with cameras and detailed surveillance figures. There are several bars. A tent is dedicated to insurgent banners. Revolutionary books can be bought at the ironically named “No Borders” shop, and Bristol band Massive Attack will perform later in the exhibit’s run.

There are hours worth of work from 56 other artists to see at Dismaland, with up-and-comers like graffiti artist Darren Cullen among the highlights.

He’s opened a mock “pocket money loans” shop offering cheap cash to kids under 12. But as with everything at “Dismaland,” it’s not as it seems. Check the small print and the loans come with 5,000% interest.

Banksy is exhibiting only 10 pieces, but he’s still the star of the show. From his own Cinderella castle — a dirty, derelict structure with a “no entry” sign that appears from the outside to be falling apart — to a killer whale jumping through a hoop statue, his spray-paint stained fingerprints are everywhere.

Banksy returned to his old stamping ground to create the theme park no one should want to visit. But, of course, they do.

“Dismaland” runs Aug. 22 until Sept. 27. It costs £3 (roughly $ 4.70) to get in.

lmoran@nydailynews.com

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