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Universal Studios Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights 2012 Report

Sept. 30, 2012

Have I ever mentioned how much I love that Halloween is no longer one night of ghoulish revelry, but weeks of it? I think I have. Anyway, it bears repeating because Halloween is awesome. Halloween dominates. All your other holidays BUH-LOW compared to Halloween.

Humanity's report card is weak in a lot of areas, but when it comes to Halloween, we're doing that right. And some folks are doing Halloween exceptionally right, including Universal Studios. The 2012 West Coast Halloween Horror Nights lived up to all the lofty expectations set by prior years' editions, with one minor exception: I really missed The Thing: Assimilation maze from last season a bunch. Man, that was a superlative maze, SO scary, so well put together, so many freaky monsters... (And better than its Florida counterpart, I thought. Had the movie been a bigger box-office earner, might we have gotten a repeat appearance of that one? Who knows?)

Despite that omission, I had yet another fantastic night with The Season Pass at the media preview event, and this time, we got co-host Brent Young in on the action which was extra-fun because Brent had never done a Halloween haunt event like this before. Ever.

This year, we skipped the Eyegore Awards and I'm sort of sorry about that in hindsight, but arriving after dark and jumping right into the, uh, meat of the matter was pretty groovy.

LOVE THE GATE! Seriously, that is aces.

Have you seen any of AMC's The Walking Dead series? I've only watched the first few episodes of the first season, but wow, I was impressed. It's all played very straight, and played for real horror, with moments of real pathos (I actually choked up once during the opening two hours). And the blood and gore is far nastier than you'd expect for a basic-cable show; honestly, some of it puts many an R-rated movie to shame, which ROCKS. So I was jazzed to learn that there would be a load of putrescent walking dead at this year's HHN, on both the Terror Tram, and in a dedicated WD maze.

Even though we arrived well after the Eyegore ceremony had been completed, there were still lots of people milling around inside and out; food and drink were still available. We poked around for a bit, grabbed a beer.

Then we saw someone being interviewed on camera in front of the theater. Wait... Is that... ?

Holy crap, it is. Alice Cooper. Alice Freaking Cooper.





© Robert Coker
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