Travel Reviews

Published on September 23rd, 2014 | by gareth


Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights And Eyegore Awards

(Thanks to Mark and Eylat Poliner for the coverage)


On Friday September 19, Halloween kicked off to an early start this year as Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled its popular Halloween Horror Nights and the Eyegore Awards.


These awards honor those who have made an impact on horror movies and television.  The event was held at Universal Studio Hollywood, with a crowd that was filled with horror geeks and foaming at the mouth to get their scare on and run through the mazes.  McKenzie Westmore beautifully hosted the show.

Danny Trejo stated “The Eyegores are like the badass version of the Oscars.  Don’t get me wrong, the Oscars, that’s the shit. With the Oscars, you go, ‘Ahhh,’ But you get an Eyegore for scaring, and going ‘Aaargh!’ ” He finished with a rousing growl.

Trejo presented the award to his “longtime compadre,” producer, screenwriter and director Robert Rodriguez (”From Dusk till Dawn,” “El Mariachi,” “Sin City”). Rodriguez said he was thrilled with the honor, but couldn’t wait to check out the horror attraction HHN creative director John Murdy & Co. had created based on his El Rey Network TV series, “From Dusk till Dawn”

Rick Baker related the story of how he and Landis met and began their collaboration.  “I wouldn’t be the Rick Baker that I know and love.”  Baker also noted that he met his future wife on one Landis’ movies and that another movie led to a long and fruitful collaboration with Eddie Murphy.

Baker then presented the award to John Landis (“National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “The Blues Brothers,” “An American Werewolf in London” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video).  “Wow, I got this for one movie and one short,” said Landis in accepting the award.

Grammy award-winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and guitarist Slash was presented his Eyegore by fellow recipient, Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”).  Slash then performed the title track from his 2013 horror debut, “Nothing Left to Fear,” alongside vocalist Myles Kennedy.

Nicotero then received his Eyegore from Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”) and Chris Hardwick (“Talking Dead”).


When the show was over, the crowd got to the (dead) meat of the evening. Universal had created 7 new mazes for the celebrities and public to get the bejeezus scared out of them.

This year’s mazes include “Walking Dead, Dusk ‘Till Dawn”, “Werewolf in London”, “Dracula Untold”, “Clowns 3D”, “Face Off”, and “AVP Alien versus Predator”.  In addition there were several “scare zones”. These included “The Purge: Anarchy”, “Dark Christmas”, “Skulz”, and “Mask-a-Raid”.

Universal pulled out all the stops for this year’s event.  The mazes were broken into 3 areas, including the back lot, instead of all squeezed into one area.  The scare zones were well thought out and fun to walk through.  You never knew when a zombie or chain saw wielding maniac would creep behind you.

Mask-a-raid was a jolly terror-ridden romp through 18th century France, during the Revolution.  Dark Christmas included a promised visit by Krampus (the anti-Santa).  The Purge had plenty of chainsaw and machete wielding maniacs to give anyone nightmares (it gave my daughter plenty).

Wait times were a big issue for the mazes.  If you can afford, buy the additional front of line pass (limited availability) upgrade and plan your night accordingly.  Universal advises that to beat the crowds and traffic by arriving early. They recommend you arrive at Universal Studios Hollywood before 5:00pm. The event gates usually open half an hour early and the majority of guests are waiting at the gate to get in.

Halloween Horror Nights run now through November 2nd 7:00pm – 2:00am Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (beginning October 5th).

You can check out the event yourself and get tickets at

Halloween Horror Nights

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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