Posts tagged “USO

No Escape…Halloween Horror Nights 22

Happy October, My Freaky Darlings! It’s that time again! The joyous time of year where all of us freaks, madmen, monsters, and weirdos feel are just a little more accepted (Not that it really matters!) Well, a week ago we made our annual trip to Halloween Horror Nights. I have to say another great year down, was a shaky start at first with lack of website among other things. They really surprised me this year though. Not to say it was perfect, but definately some of my favorite houses. I will warn, this year I didn’t make it to the shows. Funds being what they were, we just couldn’t go Express (Something that will be remedied next year!) The last couple of years though I haven’t been too impressed with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure anyway…so no big deal. Would have really enjoyed 20 Penny Circus, but alas it wasn’t in the cards. Let’s stop the dilly with the dally and jump into this thing huh?

No Escape…Halloween Horror Nights 22

We ended up getting out…they are going to be soooo pissed!!!

Houses

7) Universal’s House of Horrors– I really wanted to like this house more. I loved the concept, I think there was a lot of room for good scares. I did receives at least two really good scares. I just think it could have been better. What made me have a bad taste about this one? Simple! The house scenes and everything were done in UV paint. I know what they were going for, trying to make you feel as if you were walking into the living film, it just could have been better. In fact, I really feel houses like this are lazy. To top it off, there was no facade. You just walked into the beginning scenes which were very much like the beginning to All Nite DIE-in: Take 2. What was the reason for this house being so thrown together? Again…Simple! Remember a couple of months back when I reported that the seventh house was going in SS44? I have no proof, but it’s my opinion that this house really was thrown together pretty quick. I never did find anybody who posted a building permit for that location. Also looking around, the floats that were supposed to be housed in that area were next to it in a rather temporary storage. Not bad if they did throw it together last minuet…but it had room for improvement.

6) Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare– This house was a lot better than people give it credit! I love Alice Cooper and his style of shock. This house displayed that nicely…Alice’s own personal brand of madness. Why so low on the list then? Well that’s just how good the other houses were! I managed to go through with a real energetic cast. You had twisted nurses, asylum patients, angst teens, and of course Steven and Alice. The theory was you walked through several of his greatest hits showing the personification of the songs themselves. My only real problem was I wanted more! I think the one in Hollywood was better. I know they wanted to make it different, but maybe they should have made it the same. At any rate, don’t miss it…Alice will know! (P.S…Keep an eye to the writing on the walls for a hint to what you are about to see next. If you’re an Alice Cooper Fan…you’ll know.)

5) Silent Hill– First house of the night and really set the pace. I love Silent Hill and I love this house. I was in total fanboy overload!! The nurses, the music, the other creepy tidbits…every Silent Hill fans dream. Even managed to catch Pyramid Head, which Seras tried to take home…I think she scared him. The best parts are the opening scene and facade, the janitor scene (which is very disturbing to say the least), and Pyramid Head. Really wish there would have been more of him. You did have a mess load of nurses though…I suppose that made up for it. Room for improvement? Maybe a little more energy on the scareactors part. As far as design wise, Universal possess tech to make it ten fold scarier. Maybe when they optioned the rights, they got a few more years out of it…and this won’t be the last we will see of good ol’ Silent Hill. One could hope! Either way…don’t miss it!

4) Penn & Teller New(Kd) Las Vegas– For a funny house this was higher on the list because A) it was trippy B) it had surprisingly good scares C) the interactive aspect D) Penn and Teller paid my $40 bucks to bump it up! LOL Just Kidding…they gave me $10 and thats why it’s #4! Anyway, this was the best of the typical fun houses I have been though. For years, Psychoscarapy: Home for the Holidays was my favorite…this house dethroned it. In this house you will find everything you love about sin city…everything you love horribly irradiated with nuclear waste. You see, Penn and Teller aren’t the kind of people to let a little thing like nuclear waste get them down…NO!! In fact the see the wonderful opportunity to turn a negative into a positive…and make some cash on the side. My favorite parts in this house is the kitchen scene and then the wedding scene. Both got me good…some more than others…Seras. Would have been higher on the list if we would have went the week before when Penn and Teller were actually there!!! Would have been number one!!!

3) Gothic– You know I almost skipped this house? We were running low on time, and so far all night I hadn’t heard any good things about this one. We ended up lucking out though and hit Gothic and Dead End last minuet…I would have been mad if I had missed it. I was taken away by how cool this house really was. You really felt like you walked onto the site of an old cathedral being renovated. So many good scares…I really lost count! Kudo’s to the Gargoyle that got into the Italian “Eh!” match with me…you made my night. I absolutely loved the candle scene, the catwalk scene, and the nice midnight stroll on the roof. You will be scared in this house and you will be taken away by the beauty at the same time (Pretty much how they get you! Bait and Switch!) This house again proving that Uni doesn’t require fancy movie and TV properties to scare the crap out of you…however…the next house sort of ruins what I just said…

2) The Walking Dead: Dead Inside– This is THE perfect zombie house…never will there be anything more accurate for a zombie house or scarezone. So many emotions felt in one house! Universal was able to bring to life The Walking Dead in a way I never though possible. The scenes that you walk through are every bit as iconic as they are in the show. You really never know when a walker is going to come at you. Could be here…could be there! The very end is my favorite part. Let’s say…i think they were lying when they said House of Horrors had more scareactors in a single scene…wait till you get to the end of this one. Without giving too much away…let’s say your personal bubble is greatly reduced and if you are afraid of zombies…your going to love this. Don’t miss it…as a matter of fact…go through it twice!!!

1) Dead End– Well we are at the end of the count down…may favorite house of the year. Another one I nearly didn’t get too. Boy I’m glad I went. Really wish I could have moved into this old house…it has a certain character…By character I mean it scares the piss right out of you at every turn. By far the most scares in one house all night. This is why it got number one!! Could tell whether it was all the things that weren’t what they seemed…or the glowy white ghost that get’s you at every turn…but this house just got me! And that’s rare!!! Do not…and I repeat…do not miss this house! It will become your White Buffalo. I can’t even peg down a favorite scene it was that good. I suppose the scenes with the glowy white ghost were the best…BEWARE OF THE GLOWY WHITE GHOST!!!

Street Performance

I will touch on this real quick. I wasn’t big fan of the idea of roaming hordes of scareactors. The no scarezone idea had been tried before in 07′ and failed horribly. This year made me a believer. You never know who is going to catch you and where they are just kept moving all night. What I thought was even cooler was the music queue was moving all night. They actually moved the sound track to fit who was in the area…nice touch. I also loved that fact that when I was amongst the vampires…I was mistaken as scareactor…like 20 times! Had three pictures taken of me…(I hope they caught my good side!) I really wish I would have gotten more pictures of them for you, but that night was hectic…little one was sick, no express passes, having to rush whilst being worried…pictures were just not on my mind this year. I will add what I have though to the Encyclopedia Psychotika Facebook page though if you want to have a look. I think my favorites ended up being the Vampires (Real surprise there!)

In closing, this was a good year to go. I definitely felt like it was money well spent. Can’t wait for next year, and wish I could go again this year! As I said i was not able to hit the shows. My dear friend Samhain however was able to hit Bill and Ted, so maybe she will be so kind as to send me a small review. Also!! I will be collecting some reviews from our fellow cast of weirdos that went with us, and post them as well…why just take my opinion on the night…right? (Hee Hee That rhymed) Stay tuned for more madness to come!

Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,

Malice Psychotik

P.S I re-preposed to Seras under the archway to the cemetery….SHE SAID YES!! CONGRATS TO ME!!

Seras, Me, and ArnieFreeze…the rest of you should have been there damn it!!!

Advertisements

Halloween Horror Nights 22 Revealed!! And Ranked!!

Holy Shit on  a carbuncle!! It has been ages since I have anything new to say about Halloween Horror Nights! A bit slow to the punchline they’ve been this year! Top that with massive amounts of depression, massive amounts of happiness, total loads of debauchery, and boat load of liquor and what you get is quite possibly the biggest bi-polar orgasm the world has ever seen!!! AT ANY RATE!!! We have some Halloween Horror Nights 22 business to get down to…let’s begin!

Theme and Icon:

This year really doesn’t have one.  No icon…No theme. Well I suppose with the list of houses you could say the Theme is AWESOME!! One word with a shit load of exclamation points! What I’m taking from all of this is they are trying to strip the event down to the basics…haunted houses. Maybe they are trying to see if they can survive on the mazes alone. Maybe I’m over thinking it and they were a bit busy. Maybe they spent have the year pulling the pud and threw this stuff together at the last-minute! I DON’T KNOW!! What I do know is, they have a hell of a house line up and this is all I really have to say on this bullet point…moving on!

Website:

I look forward to this year in and year out. After one HHN falls I begin the wait for the next…the only thing that tides me over is the website coming active over the summer. So what do I think of the website this year? DAMN PATHETIC!!! No Games…No Extras…And they made us all wait until a month before the event to give us anything!!! Uni this is not your A-Game in this area. As craptastic as 19’s website was, it was still better than a hallow frame-work! Shame on you!!! The lack of website could be explained by the lack of theme…but still…a game or two wouldn’t have killed ya!

Shows:

As you might have guessed I’m saving the best for last…the houses. However, I’m impressed with the shows (or rather the new show!) Yeah they only ever add one show, and I’m cool with that. As long as it’s not the bad 30 minuet mockery of Rocky Horror Picture Show…or freakin’ Brian Brushwood…I’m cool. The 20 Penny Circus looks like the perfect act to fit in with HHN. Bill and Ted has been hit and miss the last couple of year to be honest. Last year was good, but still not up to snuff from years like 05′-07′. Maybe they will pull out some stops this year. Just look at what has been in pop culture for 2012…and there you have it!

**If you would like to know more about 20 Penny Circus, check out their Facebook page HERE

Scarezones:

Not to thrilled to say this but I will. there will be no set zones this year. Yep, all of the barriers are down! If someone wants to chase you from one end of the park to the other…they can! One thing that does have me excited is that supposedly there is going to be no personal space. They can touch you. Now in years past, I’ve had scareactors do this anyway…so I’m curious as to how this will all pan out. The only thing is they tried this back in 07′, and it didn’t work. Maybe this year will be different, It’s anyone’s guess. The different “hordes” of scareactors include: Vampires, Warriors, Prisoners, Traditionals, Beasts, and a new breed The Iniquitus. At least the scareactors sound interesting…

***UPDATE***

As I am writing this HHN Crypt posted on their Facebook page some photos of the street elements for this years event. I’m a little impressed. They are going to have some sort of set dressing. It appears that the Walking Dead: Dead Inside will spill out onto the street with a walker area. Other areas look to be taken over by cemetery. There was also some pictures of vampire posters posted. I’m a little more hopeful.

Houses:

The meat an potatoes of this article…the moment you have been waiting for…my pre-ranking for this year’s event!! Now, yesterday was the media preview, and I’ve seen a bit. So far I’m impressed with what I have seen. Thank you to all the websites that were there and spread the word over the internet. So here we go…

7) Gothic- The only reason I’ve ranked this last is I don’t know much about it like I do the rest. The premise is there, to be honest I think it will be cool…I’m just not convinced it will be better than the other ones. I could be very wrong with this house, but hey I’m ready to be proved wrong. Just something doesn’t seem that scary about Gargoyles…not sure what it is.

6) Dead End– I’ve seen very interesting things about this house. However, I can’t rank it that high because this house was done two years ago. I think I will like it, because I liked that house! I love the real hidden scares. Sneaky is good…I just hope I don’t keep getting the feeling of Deja Vu.

5) Penn & Teller New(kd) Vegas- I only put this one here because I know it’s going to be a fun house. I can’t very well put a fun house in a pre-rank above some of the phenomenal looking ones. You never know though, Penn and Teller are who they are. The thought of it being a fun house could prove to be a load of…well…Bull Shit!

4) Alice Cooper- Welcome to My Nightmare- I have seen the walk through of Hollywood’s version of this last year. Damn impressive! HHN meshes so well with Alice Coopers particular brand of rock music. The godfather of shock rock’s HHN maze may prove to be quite…shocking! Alice Cooper said it best with his announcement, “Welcome to my nightmare…I think you’re gonna like it!”

3) The Walking Dead- I’m going out on a limb making this my number 3. I wanted to make it 2 or 1 but the other two have my attention more. At the core of it this house is still a zombie house. I’m not saying it won’t stand out against other zombie houses. Far from it! There are some pretty iconic scenes in this house. My problem is with the fact it’s going to be a walk through of those scenes instead of a linear house. I could be wrong, but that’s the fun of these things…

2) Universal’s House of Horrors- This one…this is one to watch. The news on this house is there will be two firsts. One is a scene in which you have to crawl on your hands and knees while scareactors loom over head. The second achievement comes in the final room of the house. Supposedly it will set a record for the most scareactors in a single scene. It would also appear that the house will be in Black and White, I’m not sure though. Why not number one you ask…well I’ll tell you!

1) Silent Hill- I have been hoping and dreaming for this house since the first time I ever went to a HHN back in 2005. Silent Hill offers so much to a haunted house…it’s like the game was practically made to be put in other mediums just to be awesome! I can wait to feel the ash, to see the foggy scenes, to be nearly sliced to death by a nurse, and have my skin taken off by Pyramid Head. This house just has so much going for it. They didn’t reveal a whole lot media night (and you could tell it!) This makes me one excited Psychopath!

Well this article has taken me a lot longer to write than usual. Lot’s of stuff has been going on lately and to be honest I’m still trying to get back into the routine. At any rate, we will be at Halloween Horror Nights 22 on Sept. 28th doing the Annual Passholder thing. The group will be there with our freak hats on, so you won’t miss us. Everyone from Myself, to Seras, to ArnieFreeze!! We even have some new comers going with! Good friend Samhain and Magic Bob!! So come on out, say hello, get scared, and get your mug posted on a website!

Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,

Malice Psychotik

Special Thanks to all of those that went to the Media Preview night and provided everyone with the awesome video and photo thrills. You help make the wait go a lot less painfully. Encyclopedia Psychotika thanks the following Screamscape, Inside the Magic, HHN Nightmares, Behind the Thrills, Attractions Magazine, and HHN Crypt. You guys get the best info!


Spiderman Get’s a Makeover!

Good Morning, My Freaky Darlings! I’ve been dying to talk about this for some time now, but the craziness that’s called life has prevented me from doing so. My favorite ride at Islands of Adventure recently got a little more than your average refurbishment. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman got a new look, and let me say it was damn impressive. Normally, when you see a ride go down for refurbish, it’s just paint and a few minor tweaks. Universal announced almost a year ago that the ride was going to get a big retorque. Not only were they going to redo the old screens and bring them up to date with new High Definition ones, but they also planned to introduce a more realistic ride video. I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to ride the new tricked out Spiderman ride since that tidbit of info went across my screen. Last week, I got my chance! Before I get into this though, let me take you on a trip back to what made the ride so special before it had the “Pimp My Ride” experience…

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ( 1999 )

When Islands of Adventure first opened back in 1999, this young Psychotik couldn’t have been happier. I was finally going to get to go to a theme park involving my childhood hero’s, The Marvel Comic’s Superheroes. I was excited for Jurassic Park Island too, but I could have spent ALL DAY in Marvel Island. I remember the first ride I wanted to go on was Spiderman, unfortunately my cousins wanted to ride Doctor Dooms Fear Fall (Something I didn’t mind at the time. Their first choice was The Incredible Hulkcoaster. Which since I was less experienced with rollercoasters, I was absolutely terrified of! I knew the Fear Fall would take that idea right out of their head) So alas, I had to wait. When we did get to ride it, we had to wait like 2 hours. (Average wait time back then…and you people bellyache over 30 minutes) It was soooooo worth it. A 3D romp through the pages of my favorite superhero! HOW COULD YOU GET ANY BETTER!?

As you can see...Day and Night difference between the two...

The main story line follows Doc Ock and the rest of the Sinister Syndicate (Hobgolblin, Shreik, Electro, and Hydroman) stealing an experimental levitation gun from Stark Industries. J.J. Jameson not having any reporters left to cover this mess, sends you and your other fellow riders in the experimental SCOOP vehicle. Now the SCOOP is supposed to be the most amazing invention to hit media. Capable of going anywhere, and getting any shot…how could anything go wrong? Well, after a warning from your friendly, neighborhood, wall crawler…the screwy thing takes you right into the hideout of the Sinister Syndicate. And in true J.J. fasion, he opens his big yap and get’s you found. From their the Syndicate tries it’s best to catch you while Spiderman tries to save your silly ass. You first encounter Electro, who gives you a rather…eh hmm…”Shocking” experiance (No ladies he didn’t pull his pants down…family friendly) From there you rattle on over to a room withe a tank where you have a close encounter of the symbiotic kind. As you are trying to escape, Doc Ock fires a few levitation blasts over head making some pieces of the stolen Statue of Liberty float above you. Escaping down, what seems to be a sewer way, Spidey and the SCOOP get a few second break before you are attacked by Hydro. As you get hit by a flying pipe your sent to a room where Doc Ock busts through a brick wall to roast your hide (I mean it too…) From there you jerk back and forth before you bust out onto the street. Think your safe, think again! Hobgoblin tries to blow you away with some pumpkin bombs (I must also add that he has one of the most quotable lines from the whole ride! lol) Spidey saves you from getting blown up, but unfortunately finely get’s bested by Doc Ock and you get blasted with the levitation ray sending you up, up, up…all the way to the top of the sky scrapers. Spiderman tries to web you down sending you on one bumpy ride as you get pulled around through the air while a fight ensues. The end result? The Doc reverses the effects of the ray, sending you on a simulated 450 foot free fall! Spidey spins a web just in time, setting you on the ground where you can get safely back to the Daily Bugel! So tell me…What could possibly be wrong with this ride entailing an overhaul?

"You would think a revision of my graphics would have helped to make me thinner! They did offer me this happening new jacket though. I suppose I will let the animators live...for the time being!"

Simply put, it was made in the 90’s! The animation wasn’t the best, the 3D was sort of fuzzy, and there were even a few scenes (that up until now) you could completely tell what was going on unless you were a seasoned veteran. STILL!!! This ride was completely innovative and way ahead of it’s time. Even after the release of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey some, including myself, still held this ride in higher regards. Now that you get the idea for the ride, let’s talk about what they did to make an epic ride even better…

"I don't know what Ock is complaining about! I look absolutely SHOCKING!!! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa! What theirs broccoli in my teeth?! Where...!? NOOOOO"

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman: The Ride ( 2012 )

To start off with, like I said, they added some High Definition screens to provide a much better picture and better 3D effects. Then they totally remade the ride video to look more realistic AND have even more depth. The difference between the two is just staggering. Were the old video made the rooms have a bit more depth, the new ride video really gives you the feeling of being in a wide open space. With much better video and the HD screens you are able to see all of the scenes the way they were meant to be seen with no blurring. You don’t even get the weird cross-eyed effect that most 3D attractions give you. The new way that the characters are all presented are just out of this world as well. You can actually see the stitching on Spiderman’s glove. Doc Ock has a sort of combination between Spiderman 2 version and the comic book. Shreik just looks absolutely terrifying. You can even make facial expressions out on some of the other characters!

"Well at least they didn't give me the "Sam Raimi" treatment! Ha ha ha haaa!!"

In addition to all of the above mentioned, sound effects and the ride soundtrack were made much better. The soundtrack now has a much more modern rock and roll tone to it. The added sound effect of squealing tires and many others add even more to the experience. Quite possibly one of the coolest additions for fans is the appearance of Stan Lee! (If you look at the couple running away when Doc Ock levitates the theater marquee and then again at the final scene with the man in the green sweater….you will see Stan “The Man” Lee) I just couldn’t believe how different the ride was, but at the same time how it was still my old childhood favorite. You could say the ride was…well…”Amazing!” (I will post a video of the ride below from Coaster Force…Mind you it in no way captures the overall effect or feel. But if you are veteran as I am, you will see some of the changes that have been made.)

It still amazes me how with Shreik we go from mildly threatening to...."OH MY GOD THAT THING IS GOING TO KILL ME!!! DEAR LORD WHY!? OH GOD WHYYYYYY!?" You people think I'm over telling it? Go ride it ya' chump!

In closing, I encourage all of you to make a trip to ride the new version of the ride. I assure you, it is worth the trip. Any self-respecting Spiderman fan will just love it. That’s all for now my Freaky Darlings…I’m rather liking this regular posting thing! Now I just have to think of some more to talk about…alas…this is the only problem.

Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,

Malice Psychotik


JAWS…Closed…FOREVER!?

You know, I really hate it when Universal Studios decides to kill a classic ride. It pained me to see Hannah Barbara go (like wise for Jimmy Neutron)…Shot my dreams down when Ghostbusters made way for Twister…Wrecked me when Kongfrontation took a dirt nap…and DESTROYED ME when Back to the Future was shut down for The Simpsons. Now another one of the legends is about to go belly up…JAWS The Ride will stop their shark filled Amity boat tours FOREVER effective January 2nd 2012. This is a huge blow to us lovers of the classic Uni. To be honest, I thought E.T would have bitten the big one first. To be even more honest, I would have thought anything that had Steven Spielberg attached to it would be immune forever! To make matters worst, the blow isn’t even softened with a hint to what the next attraction may be. This is a sad time indeed…The future at my favorite theme park is hazy and unclear…So to try to brighten things up…I do so hate dreary posts…Let’s speculate on a few things that this announcement has begun to toil in my head!!! What is going in the area? What kind of ride will it be? What will they do with one of the eight HHN locations down? SO MANY QUESTIONS AND NO  ANSWERS!!!! ALL WE HAVE ARE….

SPECULATIONS!!!

What IS going to replace JAWS and Amity? Their has actually been talk of JAWS getting the ax for a little while now. At the very least the las couple years. The first rumor I had heard was just after completion of the Wizarding World. The rumor was an expansion to Harry Potter. Some seemed to think it was a valid idea for them to add a Harry Potter themed area and attraction to Universal. I suppose it may be possible. Harry Potter is a large enough world to spill over to Uni as well. I just hope it doesn’t! As much as I would love to see Diagon Ally in real, too much is too much!!! I’m sure they could make it work, but this is at the bottom of my list for hopeful ideas. PLUS…their really is no evidence that would point to this. They have said WWOHP will have a Phase 2, but as far as I know that will be the rest of the Lost Continent….Cthulhu’s Tentecles, I hope that’s not what replaces JAWS and Amity…

Another theory I have thought of is…TRANSFORMERS!!! Awesome ride in Disguise! Seriously, they could put it there…it could happen. As far as the area, they could just make it an expansion to the World Expo area. I’m just not sure what it would all look like. As much as I want to see the ride, I’m thinking more and more as I type this that ir won’t happen. They would have to tear down EVERYTHING, fill in the area, construct a building…I just don’t know. No evidence that this may happen at all, but if I find something I’ll let you know…

Either way, we are talking about a large piece of land being developed. Whatever comes in I’m sure will impress. Universal hasn’t let me down yet. However, there is still one more question on my mind…The JAWS que has been home to HHN Haunts for quite some time. What are they going to do with a missing location….well….

What about Halloween Horror Nights?…My second favorite house from 21 was housed in the que for this ride. In years past, this has always been a location for a house when HHN has been at USO. So what about next year? Are they going to ax a house? Will they find a new location?….OR…Will we see a return of the Islands of Fear. Next year will be the 10 year anniversary. Uni is really good about playing up numbers. I can tell you they’re were many hints at it this past year. Hints that the event may find its way back to IOA. I’m not going to lie, I would love to see this. If not just to see WWOHP taken over by Death Eaters, and a Harry Potter themes house. Rest assured, I’m keeping an ear to the ground for this one.

Either way, JAWS…The Ride will join the ranks of other classics taken out to pasture. I sure am going to miss that Shark. If I get too lonesome hearted though, I could always find a way to Universal Tokyo. Not only are they keeping their JAWS…BUT they have the only surviving Back to the Future The Ride. That’s all for now Freaky Darlings…If I find anything in the future I will let you all know. As of right now, I should be going to Universal the 22nd of this month. I’m good at sleuthing, and if there is a rock to be turned over…I’ll find it.

Until Next Time, My freaky Darlings,

Malice Psychotik