Exclusive: Inside The 2010 Eyegore Awards and Universal Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights!
Dread Central (in this case writers Heather Wixson, Andrew Kasch and yours truly, Sean Decker) hit the red carpet this past Friday night for the Eyegore Awards and opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, CA, and brought back a bit of video (see that below, as well as video interviews from the carpet) from the rather boisterous festivities.
Celebrating excellence in the horror genre, the Eyegore Awards were hosted for the third year in a row by Corey (The Lost Boys) Feldman, and awards were bestowed upon honorees Christopher Lloyd (Piranha 3D, Back to the Future); Saw series actors Betsy Russell and Gina Holden; director Elizabeth Scheiffer, who accepted an award for her short film "Jasper", which won the Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights-Rob Zombie Film Competition (video of reel below); filmmaker Eli Roth (who told us pre-show that he’s currently finishing up his script for the feature film Thanksgiving), who was presented the award by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre director Tobe Hooper (video below), and genre vet Sid Haig, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him by Rob Zombie (see videos of that below as well).
Speaking with Dread Central on the carpet pre-show, actor Haig (best know to horror fans for his portrayal of Captain Spaulding in Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects) stated of receiving the award, “It feels great. It’s something you don’t expect or shoot for, but when someone comes up and says, 'Here, take this,' it’s amazing!”
Fresh from shooting the Fred (The Crow: Wicked Prayer) Andrews-directed feature Blood Is Blood, Haig teased of the swamp-monster flick, “I just finished the film in Baton Rouge, and I think it’s going to be really good. It’s kind of intense, which is good, and the monster is fantastic. I’ve seen clips of the monster and it looks great, but I’m not going to tell you what it looks like. No spoilers!”
Inside, drinks flowed and horror clips screened while revelers schmoozed and the press snapped away. An understandably genre-centric crowd, those in attendance included "True Blood"’s Mariana Klaveno, actor Tom Malloy (The Alphabet Killer), Bridget Marquardt of "The Girls Next Door", Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn), Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Jamison Newlander and Chance Michael Corbitt (The Lost Boys) and director Mike Mendez (The Gravedancers), as well as Derek Mears (Friday The 13th redux), Tyler Mane (Michael Myers from Zombie’s Halloween films), Christopher Williams and Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, Rogue River), who along with this writer and Tobe Hooper took a personally-guided (by Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy) tour of Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses: In 3D Zombievision maze just following the festivities.
For a full overview of the event click on our Halloween Horror Nights database – and be sure to follow @HorrorNights on Twitter, join the official Halloween Horror Nights Facebook page, and of course visit "Halloween Horror Nights" website.
Dread would like to give thanks to Nicole Canizales and Shannon Paulk for arranging the visit. I'll now turn this over to my cohort Andrew Kasch for the park report!
Screw Christmas! For this horror fan, the greatest day of the year is the opening of Halloween Horror Nights and their annual Eyegore Awards celebration! Always imitated and never topped, Universal Studios has long been the dominant force in Halloween entertainment – with professional movie makers crafting their monsters, mazes, and scare zones - and this year they’ve outdone themselves again.
After another kickass Eyegore Awards festivity – complete with Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander in character as the Frog Brothers – we gobble some bahn mi and take off into the park for another night of rides and spookhouses. With Horror Nights mastermind John Murdy leading the way, we join a large group of guests – including Derek Mears, Tyler Mane and Bill Moseley – and are escorted through the park’s various mazes. First stop: House of 1000 Corpses!
Hard to believe things have come full circle for Rob Zombie after the original Corpses controversy. Thankfully, Universal has welcomed him back with open arms and the result is one of the best attractions ever seen at Horror Nights! Since Zombie’s flick is basically a carnival-style freak-out attraction, it makes for the perfect maze, and every little detail has been recreated as guests stroll in through the front door of a Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters & Madmen. Tossing on our 3D glasses, we’re escorted to the “Murder Ride” with all the serial killer displays, through the Firefly family’s house and into Dr Satan’s underground lair. The 3D images and neon sets make things extra trippy, like being trapped in Zombie’s brain on LSD. If you hit up one maze at Universal, make it this one!
Afterwards, we all go over to Friday the 13th: Kill, Jason, Kill. Walking through the maze, all the Jasons inevitably target Derek Mears, much to everyone’s amusement. We pass plenty of disemboweled campers and get sprayed with some hefty doses of blood as we walk through Jason’s underground lair and the woods of Crystal Lake. This attraction has been so faithfully recreated that Mears quips, “I’m starting to remember every moment of filming.” Those who have been to one of Murdy’s previous Friday mazes will be glad to know that this one is every bit as fun and gruesome.
Next stop: Elm Street. The Freddy mazes have always been the best attractions at Halloween Horror Nights, but A Nightmare on Elm Street: Never Sleep Again isn’t quite up to par with previous years. The original series mazes had an infinite amount of imaginative setpieces – the Roach Motel, the Freddy worm, etc. - but this one is mostly confined to school halls and basements. The few fans of the remake will enjoy it for its level of detail, and the set work is impressive, but here’s hoping they return to old-school Elm Street next year.
After a quick trip to King Kong 360 3D on the “Kong Island Express” (always badass!), we head over to this year’s Saw: Game Over, which was the most popular attraction last year. It’s pretty much the same maze as before with a few tweaks and the addition of a Saw 6 trap, but this one is well worth revisiting! One girl behind the group is so terrified she runs through screaming bloody murder and grabs my arm so tight it leaves bruises.
Finally, we hit up “Chucky’s Revenge” and “Vampyre: Caste of the Undead” which are souped-up versions of the Terror Tram and House of Horrors, respectively. There’s still nothing like walking through the chaos of Spielberg’s War of the Worlds set with undead ghouls leaping at you!
All in all, this was one of the most fun nights this writer has had at Universal in years. With better scare zones, more attractions and some of the best mazes yet, there’s no better time to get your October freak on! Halloween Horror Nights is currently running at Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida from now until October 31st. Click here to get your tickets. You won’t regret it!
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