Episode #12 – JAWS Actor Robert Shaw with Actor and Son Ian Shaw

Join us for more spooky fun as we chat to actor and writer Ian Shaw about his new play ‘The Shark is Broken’ which debuts in London’s West End after a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe.  We also chat with him about his famous father and how he is now destined to return to the character of Quint which his father is most fondly remembered for.  Tickets will be available here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-shark-is-broken/ambassadors-theatre/

Plus we have our usual spooky news, we talk a few HHN rumors and discuss our favorite shows right now on Shudder including a deep-dive into the Cursed Film series.

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams

This podcast is a part of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com

Visit us at thehalloweenhalfhour.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Episode #11 of The Halloween Half Hour – John Kassir the Voice of the Cryptkeeper

Join us for more spooky fun as we welcome John Kassir to the podcast to discuss his life and career.  John tells us some amazing stories of how he became the Cryptkeeper, working on Halloween Horror Nights, doing stand-up with Robin Williams and how he saved Jack Nicholson’s life!  Be careful what you axe-for as you won’t wanna miss this kiddies!

Plus we have our usual spooky news, we talk a few HHN rumors and discuss what you creeps at home are watching during this lock-down!

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy.

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams.

This podcast is a part of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com

This show is available on Apple, all good podcast apps or listen below NOW!

 

Rumor: Two HHN Type Events Every Year?

We have heard rumors going back for over a year now that indicated that Universal was possibly looking to do something with Nintendo in the shorter term before the new Epic Universe opens up.  The rumors appeared to be pointing at a brand new seasonal event that would be the same format as HHN but with a Sci-fi theme and at a different time of year.

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Simpson’s Disney Already Did It

This “second HHN” is interesting as Disney started doing the exact same thing last year.  Since the 90s they have run their family-friendly-extra-ticket-event “Mickey’s Not So Scary” through the months of September, October and November (sometimes starting as early as August!).  However, starting last year they debuted Disney Villains After Hours at the Magic Kingdom Park which ran from February to July on select nights, and whilst this was a “diet coke” or slimed down version of their MNSSHP it would enable Disney to have spooky offerings from February through to November – a whopping 10 months of hard-ticket spooky type events!

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Already Testing the Water…

So using Disney as a business case, Universal must have thought that they could do a similar action and provide a more horror sided type event outside of their popular HHN; which is exactly what they have tested (read our thoughts here)!  Starting this year at the popular Mardi Gras events, they started to test the waters with a little more voodoo than before: more street performers were added, a tribute store (which was arguable creepier than HHN29’s version!) complete with a Voodoo King mannequin and faux bayou shack, revised voodoo art and far more food offerings; sound familiar?  It was all well received and I am sure next year’s event will be even spookier.
The Evidence

We wrote an article back in February where we obtained an information request from the BBC as to whether Universal had approached them to use Doctor Who in any of their parks, you can read that lengthy investigation piece here.  We were then intrigued to see Doctor Who and a whole host of other sci-fi properties pop-up in a questionnaire that was send out yesterday to select participants.  The questionnaire supposedly made references to the following franchises:

·     Star Trek
·     Doctor Who
·     Back to the Future
·     Lord of the rings
·     The Witcher
·     Black Mirror
·     Zelda
·     Pokémon

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Additionally, there was another earlier questionnaire sent out in January which referenced a similar event that would be solely based around Pokémon with the following features:

·     Hard ticket event to be run in the evenings
·     Special tasks
·     New Pokestops
·     Obtain special event only Pokémon for the app
·     Themed lounges
·     Special dining opportunities
·     Special merchandise
·     Beta testing new generation of Pokémon
·     And much more!

Provisionally named within the questionnaire as “Universal’s Pokémon GO Fest” it would feature a whole plethora of Pokémon challenges, quests and experience for the fans of the popular video game and movie franchise.  One of the questions related to whether it should be a duel event and not just feature Pokémon, so as this might have been a popular option it would appear that Universal are now possibly looking to see what properties could be folded into this event to make its appear more reaching and to a variety of demographics.


When could it be released?

Right now, it is all possibly just blue sky thinking with the survey questions leading the design process.  We all know about the widely publicized deal Universal has with Nintendo, so it would be easy to think that any of their properties from Wario to Zelda could easily find their way to any such event.  Likewise, The Witcher which is produced by Netflix is a possible as Universal has very good links to that organization.  Back to the Future is a Universal property, Doctor Who we have discussed and Star Trek has been loooong rumoured to be appearing in the future at Universal.

Likewise, the calendar does provide some clues as right now on the Marquee Events landing page it only lists Mardi Gras (Spring), HHN (Sept to Nov), Christmas (Nov to Dec) and New Year’s Eve; no other events are listed (though this might be due to Covid-19).

Total possible events include:

·     Jan: Rock the Universe
·     Feb: Running Universal
·     Feb to April: Mardi Gras
·     May to June: Summer Concert Series
·     July: Fourth of July Celebration Nights
·     Sept to Nov: HHN
·     Nov to Dec: Holiday Celebrations

Looking at the above, the schedule does seem pretty full, however, Universal wasn’t planning to run the Summer Concert Series (it’s had an on and off history and this is as far as we know), therefore a new sci-fi themed event would be perfect for this window!

So there you have it, a speculative article with some evidence of blue sky thinking.  Let’s hope it pulls off and it amounts to something.  Would you like to see a “Sci-Fi Summer Nights” event at Universal?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember these are just speculative rumors and nothing is confirmed until Universal says otherwise.

And the winner is…

Congratulations to Nicholas G who was the only team/person from our 31 entries to correctly get all 13 questions right!  Well done Nicholas, we will be in touch over your prize pack!

The scores were:

13
Nicholas G
12
K Chang
12
Palace Theatre Patrons
12
Schitties Kidz
11
E Moore
11
Alex A
11
The Carey Ohio Blood ‘N’ Guts Sponsored by Meetz Meats.
11
Twisted Taters Suicide
11
The Town of Carey Gang
10
M Led
8
E Thaler
6
Addison C
6
Anthony P
5
Pizza Fries 4 Life
5
Jack’s Freaks
5
M White
5
J Smith
5
M Franks
5
Sara M
5
Ren P
5
D Baker
5
Michael W
4
Haunters Squad
4
A Austin
4
fREAKERS
4
Passholders Anoymous
3
S Reins
3
The Mummy’s Mommy
3
L Rodrique
3
Pete J
1
Paula P

 

The answers were:

1.     Who was technically the first icon of HHN to appear in the marketing of HHN?

The Cryptkeeper

2.     At HHN14, how many hurricanes would thump Central Florida before Field of Screams was destroyed?

Four

3.     Which movie that spawned a horror franchise was made from an idea at HHN?

House of 1000 Corpses

4.     Which social media star portrayed Bloody Mary in the commercials of HHN18?

Laura Clery – check her out she is hilarious!

5.     Which kid’s TV show had a promotion tie-in to HHN for one year, but never featured a house at the event?  It would in-fact have a temporary attraction at Disney World a year later…

Goosebumps

6.     What was the name of the ‘extreme house’ that was designed but never built?  It included being locked in a coffin!

Severe Fear

7.     What is the name of the travelling carnival that Jack the Clown originally appeared with?

Dr. Oddfellow’s Carnival of Thrills.

8.     Which HHN year did the little remembered Alfred Hitchcock lagoon mini-show debut?

HHN22

9.     Which male character would often appear alongside ‘The Rat Lady’ with his own body covered in a different type of crawling critters?

The Roach Wrangler or Roach Man

10.  How many HHN events are held around the world?  Including locations that no longer present them.  You must list the locations.

Five: Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore, Japan and Spain

11.  Which icon was planned for the 2001 event but was replaced at the last minute?

Eddie

12.  How many years was HHN held between both the Studios and the Islands parks?

Three

13.  Which house was rumored to have actual props from the Jurassic Park franchise contained within it?

Project Evilution

 

Congratulations to Nicholas and thank you all for playing!  We hope this has provided some little relief during these awful times.  We may do this again as a few people have asked to do another one.  Please let us know in the comments if you’d like to take part in another Quiz!  For now, thank you for playing and stay safe.

 

The HHH Show Episode 10: Leigh Whannell and The Invisible Man (2020)

Join us for more spooky fun as we go all out on the latest Universal blockbuster ‘The Invisible Man’ with legendary film director Leigh Whannell who we chat to about his creations Saw, Insidious and Dead Silence. Plus he tells us about an hilarious incident he caused at Halloween Horror Nights! We also have Amanda’s trip report to Comic-Con, our non-spoiler review of ‘The Invisible Man’ and a Spooky Story!

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy. Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams.

This podcast is apart of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com — This episode is sponsored by Anchor.

Listen now on Apple or on all other podcast outlets!

BOGO US Tickets on SALE NOW

The BOGOs are back! Guests can now make plans to get a double dose of horror with a special “Buy an Event Night, Get a Second Night Free” offer for the highly-anticipated 30th anniversary year of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, running select nights September 10 through November 1.

Plus, guests who book a vacation package that includes this incredible offer can be among the first to book event upgrades that will take their Halloween Horror Nights experience to the next level, like RIP Tours and Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror tours, before they go on sale to the general public.

Available for purchase online only through June 3, the “Buy an Event Night, Get a Second Night Free” offer gives guests the utmost flexibility as they’re able to choose two nights from 36 set dates, including select Saturdays, to attend the world’s premier Halloween event. And the chosen dates don’t have to be consecutive – so guests can face the event’s horrifying haunted houses, scare zones and shows on one night, then take a few days or weeks to recuperate before facing their worst nightmares for a second time.

Guests can also stay in the heart of the screams with a vacation package that includes Halloween Horror Nights admission with this special ticket offer, Universal Orlando hotel accommodations, tickets to Universal Orlando’s three world-class theme parks and more. They also have first dibs on booking an RIP tour – a guided tour experience that gives guests front-of-line access to all haunted houses and more – and a Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror tour – a daytime, lights-on tour of the haunted houses that gives guests a glimpse into how the scares are brought to life.

Here’s the terms:

Get your tickets today directly with Universal at halloweenhorrornights.com

Do you go BOGO or do you prefer FFP? Let us know in the comments! (FFPs are not on sale yet!)

Blumhouse wants to make HHN into a movie!

It was confirmed to Collider this week that Blumhouse have had discussions with Universal and the key stakeholders of HHN, to turn our beloved Halloween event into a movie. Jason Blum was asked about the rumor and had this to say:

“Yes! Definitely! We’ve actually talked about it. We haven’t quite figured it out, but there’s definitely a movie in Halloween Horror Nights somewhere.”

So one day we might just see HHN at the movies! Which leaves just one question, does that mean we’ll get a maze based on a HHN movie at HHN?? Now that’s meta!

Would you go see a movie set at HHN? Let us know in the comments!!

More details added for epic HHN panel at Peacock Live

We recently reported on the new Universal fan event to rival D23. The new event is named Peacock Live and you can read all about that here.

We also informed you all of the great experiences coming to this new event. The panels and experiences will be presented on the famous Universal backlot one Hollywood and will give guests an unforgettable day of thrills and surprises!

That’s why we had to tell you all about a once-in-a-lifetime HHN panel will be presented on March 28 with HHN designers from the four corners of the globe from Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore!

The panel will include such HHN luminaries as Charles Gray from Orlando, Dan Perez from Japan, Gemma Lafraucheur from Singapore and the ghoulish John Murdy from HHN in Hollywood. It will also mark the first time that creatives from all 4 Universal theme parks that do HHN will be together on one stage at the same time! And just to be extra awesome, former HHN creative director Mike Aiello will also be moderating the HHN goodness!

If you’d like to attend you can get your tickets here!

Let us know in the comments if you will be attending!

Is Universal Trying to Bring Doctor Who to HHN or the Wider Resort?

It’s a bold question but is Universal trying to bring Doctor Who to HHN?  We thought we would investigate to see if we can dig an answer up…

It’s all about licensing these days.  Whether you’re a Funko pop provider or a lunch box maker, licensing other peoples IPs for your product is a very lengthy and complex process, often taking years, even decades to complete.

Both The Exorcist and The Shining for their part in years’ past HHN both took many years of negotiation, sign-off, approval and design before the owners of these properties allowed their characters, sets and stories to be used for HHN.  Pepper into the mix the duration it took for Harry Potter to come to IOA or even how long Avatar took before it *finally* opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

But why Doctor Who?

The British TV series has been airing in the UK and around since 1963 with well over a dozen different actors taking on the eponymous character.  It has a following in the US and UK, though I would speculate that it is not in the same leagues as other big sci-fi fandoms such as Trek or Wars; however, it is a known brand and is well-liked, if not well followed.

We also know that many of the higher-ups at Universal love this property.  Former Head Honcho of HHN Mike Aiello expressed his love for the show on the ScareZone Podcast back in 2016, you can listen here.  When asked which show would be very, very hard to bring to HHN but one you would love to see, he answered: Doctor Who.

We do also know that the BBC, who own the rights to the time-travelling show, are not so easy to obtain permission from.  We recently reached out to the BBC and they told us:

The producer shall be in control of licensing the rights in their content which are primarily and directly designed to generate secondary commercial revenues, subject to:

a) a period of exclusivity in favour of the BBC which is sufficient for the BBC to deliver its audience promise;

AKA, the BBC would want to test the water first with the use of their characters and shows in their own uses first.  Which would suggest that they would want to see their own theme parks and experiences developed first before they ever reach out and license these to other companies.  To my knowledge, there aren’t any current running theme park productions out there but that doesn’t mean they’re not being worked on.  The rumored “Disneyland of Kent” is rumored to contain BBC properties but its construction has been long delayed.

b) certain provisions to protect the value of the BBC’s licence, reputation, and the investment it has made into the content and the content’s brand; and

Typical with all licensing agreements as they would want to protect their brand and ensure it is not exploited in an inappropriate manner.  This is settled by very long design meetings to ensure that every last detail is ironed out before it is released.

c) an appropriate share of revenue payable to the BBC.

Finances to be agreed etc.

d) the BBC recognises that other stakeholders (for example the producer itself and any commercial distributors) may have invested in the content.

Fairly standard wording for any contract, to ensure “open-book” and collaborative working is inspired.

When we reached out to the BBC they neither confirmed nor denied whether any attempts from Universal, NBC, or Comcast have been made to obtain the rights to the show.  However, in the UK, if you are not satisfied with the response, you can launch a “Freedom of Information Request” and should you provide the information needed to obtain such a request, you can obtain information from any organization that is publically run, such as the BBC.

We did this, waited a number of weeks and this was the response:

Annotation 2020-02-20 141517.jpg

As you can see, they said such matters are handled with the number of profit-making subsidiaries as listed above.  The one that would handle such negotiations (should they exist) would be BBC Studios Ltd, and as they are a private company they are not subject to this informational releasing law.  That being said, it gives us no confirmation as to whether any discussions have ever been held but it does show us that such programs are routinely being explored for future use at prestigious outlets such as Universal.  The company accounts for the period show that:

“various BBC owned properties are being discussed for licensing of experiential events and attractions.”

Could the good Doctor be one of them?

Only time will tell whether we will ever see the Timelord make an appearance at HHN or even Universal Orlando Resort.  What with Comcast’s dedication to using their own properties, it might be that such IPs are never realized in the future of Universal Orlando but should any discussions be found or even leaked we will be sure to let you know first!

We’re always on the case, though for this fan speculation we will mark it into the very, very, very unlikely category!

Would you like to see this BBC property or any other BBC property at Univeral Orlando?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember: all speculations (such as this) and rumor are just that and nothing is confirmed until Universal says officially.

Universal accidentally announces first house for 2020

Universal Studios in Hollywood have accidentally-on-purpose announced their first maze/house for 2020.

In a press release for the upcoming closure of their full-time The Walking Dead attraction they announced that the TV show would return this fall as a maze for HHN Hollywood. Here’s the sentence buried in the text:

“We look forward to the return of ‘The Walking Dead’ as a focal point in our slate of Halloween Horror Nights mazes this fall.”

This has to be the first time this has happened? And as hilarious as it may sound, it does give fans of the show something to look forward to even though the full-time attraction is going away!

Going to HHN Hollywood this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

The original story can be read here.