Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director John Murdy wasted no time when he took the stage at Midsummer Scream this afternoon. To the thousands of eager fans who'd packed the Long Beach Convention Center's ballroom, he dropped the news — Creepshow is coming to Halloween Horror Nights.
The new maze will feature scenes inspired by both the George Romero classic film and the new Greg Nicotero-helmed TV series coming to the streaming service Shudder this fall. For much of the hour-long presentation, Murdy talked the audience through the maze.
The Creepshow maze at Universal Studios Hollywood will feature three scenes from the original film: Father's Day, The Crate, and They're Creeping Up on You. The final scenes will feature two episodes from the upcoming series: Gray Matter and Bad Wolf Down.
Inspired by 1950s EC comics, Creepshow starts and end with "The Creep," the host of the anthology. That character will be the throughline for the maze, introduced to fans in a "Meet the Creep" prologue after they walk through the maze's comic book-inspired facade, Murdy said. The Creep also will feature in the maze's epilogue, entitles "Until Next Time," which evokes the ending to the movie and TV show episodes.
Murdy described each scenes of the maze, including Nathan Grantham's grave from Father's Day, Fluffy the Crate Beast, and Upson Pratt's penthouse apartment, where Universal will use practical and projection effects to recreate the swarm of cockroaches that consume the germaphobic billionaire. Not wanting to spoil upcoming episodes, Murdy provides less detail for the final scenes, which will include a decaying apartment in Gray Matter ("If you are a germaphobe, you're pretty much screwed," he warned), and a French jail in Bad Wolf Down, where a full moon and abundant claw marks suggest that, well, everyone who walks through is pretty much screwed, too.
After introducing Creepshow, Murdy talked a bit about the Holidayz in Hell maze that is getting promoted from last year's scarezone treatment, noting that the original property is inspired by the graphic design of classic, Victorian-era holiday cards. Murdy showed several examples to the Midsummer Scream audience, noting how the supposedly wholesome iconography looks creepy and unnerving to modern audiences.
But Murdy's best bit showed off the maze's creepy Easter bunnies, which he said were inspired by the Easter photo ops for children at the Puente Hills Mall where he worked in the 1980s. Being Murdy's age, I can attest to how insanely creepy mall Easter bunnies were back then — and heck, maybe still are today... but in part because of them, I avoid malls like the plague now, so I can't say.
Halloween Horror Nights kicks off at Universal Studios Hollywood with a limited-ticket Fan Preview Night on Thursday, September 12 before making its official debut the next night, on Friday the 13th. Other mazes announced for Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights include the return of Stranger Things, plus Ghostbusters, Holidayz in Hell, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, and the year-round Walking Dead Attraction. Three more mazes remain to be announced, but all tickets are on sale now at the Universal website.
Midsummer Scream continues tomorrow, with more announcements from Knott's Scary Farm and the Queen Mary.Tweet
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