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Haunt Report: Dread Central Visits Haunted Hollywood Sports



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Haunt Report: Dread Central Visits Haunted Hollywood SportsWe all long to experience a realistic zombie apocalypse simulation, and while I already fled the undead at Run for Your Lives and braved Halloween Horror Nights’ “The Walking Dead” maze, I did so unarmed. That wasn’t the case when Dread Central hit Haunted Hollywood Sports.

Located at 9030 Somerset Blvd. in Bellflower, CA, Haunted Hollywood Sports is the seasonal (and spooky) recreation of Hollywood Sports, a park dedicated year round to the pursuit of Airsoft and Paintball. The former is basically paintball without the messy paint and cumbersome guns. Resembling the military firearms they mimic with exacting detail, Airsoft weaponry eschews paint in favor of 6mm plastic BBs, which can be fired rapidly and with high velocity. The result is a training weapon platform that allows players to engage in fairly realistic combat scenarios (as long as proper face gear is worn: those BBs will easily knock teeth out).

Having just let my geek flag fly with that intro, I’ll fess up and say, ‘Yeah, I personally own an Airsoft M4 and all of the tactical gear required,’ and, ‘Yeah, I do on occasion spend a Saturday here or there engaging in C. Q. B. (that’s close quarter combat for you noobs) at the HSP Combat Center at Hollywood Sports.’ So imagine my excitement when I was made aware that two of my passions, military combat simulations and horror flicks, would be combined.

Haunted Hollywood Sports offers up the requisite scare mazes (‘The Abduction,’ ‘All-American Armageddon,’ ‘Cannibal Caverns’ and ‘City of Angels’), having repositioned a portion of their already well-dressed playing fields, as well as scare-zones (‘Carnival of the Damned’ and ‘Grid-X’), for which they have hired attractive and talented performers to roam (guys, there will be eye candy). They have also secured the talents of top-notch makeup artists and costumers. The scare actors we encountered were top of the line.

Having soaked this in, it was time for some combat.

First up, the Zombie Killhouse. We were outfitted with IR M4’s (they fire an infra red beam), and a group of fifteen or so of us were led by our squad leader into the park’s simulated Middle Eastern town. Our objectives were to locate and rescue three children and to secure a package (a cure to the plague which had turned the town’s inhabitants into the undead). Our visibility cut by darkness and fog, we moved house to house and room to room, firing on myriad attacking zombies who crept, lurched and shambled (and whose IR vests glowed red when shot, signifying a ‘kill’).

It wasn’t long before we came across our pre-pubescent trio, who were huddled in a building and whose cries were all too realistic. Their wailing added authenticity to the simulation, and we provided security for the three kids (one of them clutched a teddy bear as she sobbed) and escorted them to the ‘safe zone.’ On the way we located the package within another darkened structure, and following a brief but fierce skirmish with a dozen of so zombies, we completed the mission.

This was the high-point of the evening, and for those who ever wonder how they’d fare in a “The Walking Dead” type-scenario, it’s about as close as you are going to get.

Haunt Report: Dread Central Visits Haunted Hollywood Sports

Next up was the Voodoo Killhouse, and as the weaponry dispensed here were actual Airsoft pump shotguns, protective goggles were also issued. After a brief crash-course on Airsoft safety and our mission objective (‘Find the Voodoo Doll to end the curse’) delivered by a scare actor with an altogether believable Cajun accent, we were ushered into the Killhouse. Again, zombies shambled among the buildings and waited in darkened recesses. Some of our group don’t make it (though if ‘eaten’ you are able to continue along, albeit with the knowledge that you were killed in action). Like the Zombie Killhouse, this, too, was extremely entertaining.

Haunt Report: Dread Central Visits Haunted Hollywood Sports

Before heading out, with hit the park’s twenty-one and over bar and lounge ‘Club Crimson’ to grab a drink and were impressed by the structure’s dressing. Pulling favors, Hollywood Sports has acquired the Gothic columns and other set decor from director Jan De Bont’s 1999 film The Haunting and coupled with our edgy yet amiable (and altogether fetching) bartendress, stiff drinks and electro-funk (spun by two DJs), it was yet another good time.

Chatting with Hollywood Sports Park general manager Jon Asperin, he was enthusiastic regarding the future of the haunt. It’s their first year, which is surprising, given just how good of a job they’ve already done, and I won’t lie… I’m excited about their growth potential. True, some of their mazes were hard to navigate, and an influx of further scare actors wouldn’t hurt. Also, for hardcore Airsoft enthusiasts a more visceral, autonomous and extensive experience may be desired (a C02 or gas pistol night in a Killhouse might do they trick). This being said, Haunted Hollywood Sports still succeeds in delivering an entirely unique experience which should appeal to seasonal fans. It certainly seemed to do so for the throngs that waited enthusiastically for their chance to unload on the undead.

Haunted Hollywood Sports runs through October 31. For more info, visit the official Haunted Hollywood Sports website.

Photo credit: Dave Starbuck Dstar Photography.

Haunt Report: Dread Central Visits Haunted Hollywood Sports

Haunt Report: Dread Central Visits Haunted Hollywood Sports

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 140 – Pet Sematary 2



Ahoy there, fuckos! This week’s episode is brought to you by none other than Chris Franco! That’s right, it’s a Chris pick! So you know what that means, we’re cranking the cheese factor up to eleven! This week we’ve got $5 Furlongs, naked women with dog heads, and accents that are more forced than a Bill Cosby sexual encounter! That’s right, we watched  Pet Sematary 2 so you don’t have to!

Ever wonder which of us knows more lyrics to Ice, Ice, Baby? Well, Patreon found out, but perhaps there’s more singing in the actual episode. Download to find out!

Sometimes, dumb is better. It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 140!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Night of the Living Dead 4K and The Silence of the Lambs Come to the Criterion Collection



It’s been a long time coming for these two classics, especially Night of the Living Dead after the ridiculously bad transfer put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, whose transfer was supposedly remastered from a new 2K scan. I swear I thought it was some kind of a joke when I first put it on to watch. In any event…

IndieWire is reporting that horror classics Night of the Living Dead and The Silence of the Lambs will be added to the 2018 Criterion Collection, a hallmark label for home video cinephiles.

According to the site, Criterion will release a new 4K digital restoration of The Silence of the Lambs, which has been approved by the movie’s cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. Included on the DVD and Blu-ray sets are 35 minutes of deleted scenes and audio commentary from 1994 featuring the late Jonathan Demme (director), stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas.

Night of the Living Dead will also be released in 4K with never-before-seen 16mm dailies included as a bonus feature(!).

These will be added in February of 2018 so make sure you save up some cash after the holidays!

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DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!



Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

Directed by Adrian Corona

I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

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Director Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended!

User Rating 3.5 (6 votes)
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