Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween Horror Nights

Hola yall --

Yesterday me, Blanca, Justin, and Cinthya went to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights and had a pretty fun time. We got there late - around 1:30 - and left early - around 11:30 - and still managed to do everything we had planned, plus some extra stuff too.
If you dont know, HHN is Universal Studios redone for Halloween during seven days in October. The park closes at 6 and if you were lucky enough to get your hands on one of the limited tickets you get to go back in at 7 and stay until 2 in the morning. And like I said, the whole park is redone with blood, guts, gore, and death including new and changed shows, mazes, a ton of actors roaming the park doing their best to scare the Hell out of you, performance artists, freak shows, and for the first time ever... riding the tram at night, getting off, and walking through the portions of the backlot. And although there were kids in the park, its definitely an adult themed event. Ill skip what happened during the normal operating hours and jump straight to the night time fun...

House Of Horrors.
This was our first stop. They took the monsters from Val Helsings Fortress Dracula and replaced them with Universal movie monsters. So instead of zombies and werewolves, you had Michael Myers and Freddy. It wasnt really scary, but it was still fun to see all those classic monsters in one place.
Quick story - were inside and one of the non-costumed workers goes up to "Michael Myers" and says something to him which basically amounted to "Come with me" cuz Michael left his scare post and followed the guy. This happened just as we passed, so Michael is literally walking right next to me for a minute or two. I look over at him, he looks back at me and I could practically hear his thoughts of "Ok, fine, whatever" as he lifted his knife and made a few lame slashing motions in my direction. About ten seconds later were approaching a doorway and Michael goes first and right on the other side is another actor who jumps out to scare what he thought was a guest. The door guy goes "boo" or whatever and Michael gets scared since he wasnt expecting that and the door guy sees Michael and gets scared since he was unprepared for that either. Maybe that doesnt translate well written out, but it was hilarious to see.

Anway, one attraction down and were onto...

The Asylum.
The Asylum is a mental hospital gone... mental. The craziest of the residents have overpowered the staff and killed them, and have turned their attention to the other patients and the people unfortunate enough to walk through and view the spectacle. Theres even a Santa running through the hospital. Easily the most disturbing portion of the maze was the bathroom. All the stalls are open, theres a couple dead people who died expelling their last meal, and theres plenty over overflowing toilets and huge piles of crap left by people that didnt even bother to use one. What "makes" this area is the overpowering smell of human waste. Disgustingly realistic.
Quick story - were outside in the que and Leatherface is walking around scaring the heck out of everyone. Blanca is sitting on the railing facing away from most of the goings on. Justin says to her that she better be careful cuz Leatherface might scare her and shell fall back off the railing and crack her head oven. Her response was that shed be fine and she wasnt going to get scared. Almost on cue Leatherface pounds on something very loudly and Blanca literally jumps off the railing, through the air, and clings to me like a cat would cling to a tree. Again, hilarity appears in the midst of horror. How she managed to make it through the night without having a heart attack I dont know. She just ended up being the target of of all of the actors that saw her.

Another attraction down and onto...

The Terror Tram.
Although hes supposed to be your "host" for the night, this is the first and only time youre told about "The Director" and Universals problems with him. Even still, there isnt really any story here, you just board the tram and they take you straight to the Psycho area of the backlot where youre allowed to get off the tram and walk through the set. First you walk past the Whoville set thats full of killer clowns. From there its onto the Bates Motel set thats full of high school kids who are in various states of death and seem to be causing it themselves. From there its to the Psycho house where you encounter Mother and Norman. No real scares there, and you just keep walking until you get to the War Of The Worlds set. Oddly cool walking through a scene of a plane crash. There was a bunch of chainsaw guys, butchers, guys wearing pig masks, and Im not sure how that all tied into a plane crash. Whatever. After that area it was back onto the tram for the ride back to the park, but not before passing The Director killing a couple people in the woods and then a trip through the Mummys Tomb.
Quick story - As I mentioned, all the actors that saw her went out of their way to scare Blanca. She was an easy target. Her and I were holding hands, I was looking away from her to the right and didnt notice one of the actors heading straight for us. I believe his intention was to run between us, but since I didnt see him and he obviously didnt see us holding hands, he ran straight into our "clothesline" and crashed directly into Blanca. You could tell he felt horrible and hes holding her going "Are you ok? Are you ok? Im sorry. Are you ok?" Yep, more abuse for my girlie.

Now to...

Fear Factor Live: Dead Celebrity Edition.
Although we made into into the performance we didnt get to see the show cuz we were told we all had to leave the building. A guest a few feet away from us fell and apparently get hurt pretty bad cuz staff came from all over as did medical people. The guest was down for a long time and when they realized they wouldnt be able to start the show they told us to leave. Unfortunately, instead of caring about the injured person, alot of the audience started booing. I guess seeing Elvis eat a bug was more important to them than treating someone who got injured.

On to...

If youve seen the regular Waterworld show, theres not alot of difference to this one. They just added alot of blood to the death scenes, and a whole lot of sexual innuendo. I think Im ashamed of myself for saying that the best part was watching The Deacon dance around in a thong while it was on fire. Oh well.

And for our last attraction...

Carnival Of Carnage.
COC is a freak show and its the first time I had ever seen acts like these performed in person. A guy walking and jumping on broken glass, another sticking his face in the same broken glass and having an audience member stand on his head. A guy sticking needles through his neck and cheek. Another bending rebar with his throat. And a guy placing 100 firecrackers on his chest and setting them off. It wasnt a great show, it was slow and clumsy at times, but in the end its something I can scratch off my "to do" list.

There was also "scare zones" throughout the park. For example, the London streets had zombie policemen, Mr Hyde, and Jack The Ripper walking around while the Medieval Village had people infected with the Black Plague coming after you. My favorite though was Deadwood and its zombified and dead cowboys. To me, they just looked the best
And there was also Chuckies Insult Emporium which was basically Chuckie from Childs Play insulting an audience of onlookers. It varied from R to X rated material, and honestly, it was nothing I hadnt heard in junior high. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, but I thought it was dull and unimaginative. Maybe Im just old.

The only things we didnt get to do during Halloween Horror Nights was seeing Fear Factor and riding Jurassic Park at night. But what we did do was fun and hopefully well do it again next year too. And if you didnt go this year, make an effort to do so next year cuz its worth it.

Until next time...

-- DBW --

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