Last week I posted about Universal Studios Hollywood getting back into the Halloween business in 2006, but details were scant. Now I've just received a press release regarding the event, giving a fuller picture of what to expect.
The concept behind Universal's Halloween Horror Nights is that the entire event is being staged as a production by a demented filmmaker known as "The Director." To this end, guests on the studio tour will actually be allowed to exit the tram and walk among the backlot sets, such as the famous Psycho house (home of Norman Bates).
With wonderfully overstated ad copy excess, the press release promises:
"Actors and guests will intermingle seamlessly for an immersive experience that will shatter pre-conceptions, transcending notions of horror genre theatrics and 'Halloween maze' experiences to take visitors to a stage of extreme dread, shock, and terror."
This sounds somewhat different from Universal's past Halloween presentations. When they first stuck their toes in the water back in the 1980s, the tour was going at night, but there was little tailored specifically to Halloween. You might have seen the Creature from the Black Lagoon or Frankenstein's Monster lurking on the backlot, but they were pretty much standard features at Universal Studios, even during regular business hours.
In the 1990s, when Universal resumed the Halloween shows after a long haitus, the backlot tour was not running; instead, several of the familiar shows and attractions were outfitted for Halloween, some of them as haunted mazes. This year will continue with that tradition (the Waterworld show becomes "Slaughter World," for example), but with the tour itself now transformed for the Halloween season.
Some of the entertainment promised includes:
Chucky's Insultorium - featuring the Don Rickles of horror
Carnival of Carnage - a freak show featuring swords swallors, glass-eaters, human pin cushions, etc
Trance music performance artists The Mutaytor
Starting on lucky Friday the 13th, Universal's Halloween Horror Nights will run every Friday and Saturday night in October, plus Halloween night. You can purchase advance tickets online now, at a reduced price.