ThrillRide! Special Features


Universal Studios Hollywood HHN 2008
Oct. 18th

Before getting into the meat of the matter, I will say this: the level of make-up, special effects, set design, even the, uh, olfactory treats, are unparalleled, a reminder that you're in a park that's part of one of the world's greatest movie and television studios. And they sure know how to get the party started.

We were all pressed up in a seething mass, waiting for the gates to part, and we heard this sound... some kind of whining machinery... coming from the distance. And once we realized what was making those sounds, they were tearing through us: zombies 'n' monsters with real, smoke-belching chainsaws. That seething mass broke up pretty damn fast. Nice!

The HHN features seven "scare zones" and each of them has their own special vibe."The Nightmare Begins" is the welcome mat for the affair. "The Black Death" and "The Streets of London" are Euro-historical treats, all "Bring out yer dead!" and Jack The Ripper and stuff. Loved the werewolf in the London area:


Nice doggy!

Black Death = nasty

Low light, fog, and monsters = good times.

"Deadwood" has your Wild West-themed thrills, and "The Dead Shall Rise" is all about a toxic virus that's soured things in New York.

Not going so well for the army guys

Creey AND sexy!

"So, uh, what are you doing later?"

Then there's "The Strangers" section, where the three stars of that flick - "The Man in the Mask," "Pin Up Girl," and "Doll Face" - romp, and "Revenge of the Pigs," downstairs and near the Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze, where some pig-faced, chainsaw-wielding dudes go nuts.

All of the scare zones rock. My only complaint was that there seemed to be a lot of places where you were relatively safe from assault. At Knott's, you feel vulnerable everywhere.

"Slaughter" rhymes with "Water"

The only show we saw was "Slaughter World 3," the sexed-up, gore-splattered version of the WaterWorld stunt show. The ladies were super-fine, the jokes were relatively funny, and the blood flowed in copious amounts. Really, really R-rated violence, if that's your bag. And the whole arena looked great at night.

Like its G-rated daytime version, everything ends with wild pyro:



I know the Bill and Ted show is supposed to be a winner, but neither of us felt compelled.




© Robert Coker
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