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zombieman last won the day on March 19

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About zombieman

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  1. In my opinion, Hollywood has suffered from a "use it to death" mentality. There was a period where they had a hallways in every-single-house where they had hanging bodies, body parts, body bags, pigs, heads, etc. Then there was a period where they had in every-single-house a picture frame that would have a drop slam. Then they had the static prop (zombies, a car, vampires, etc) on a moving rail that they used everywhere. In one TWD house they used two of them in the same hallway. Now its the black hallways in every-single-house I imagine there is some budget aspect behind the scenes - buy 10 of them and it's cheaper. But these folks just have no concept of overusing an idea until it's no longer effective. Orlando just doesn't suffer from this at all. Some may say "Puppets" as of late, and I might agree with that. But if an effect is used in different ways and different circumstances, it continues to be unique. Even Murdy in his own tweets acknowledges the disgust with the black walls, yet they refuse to do anything but install more. As long as people go to HHN Hollywood in droves, it won't change. And here's the punchline worthy of the year 2020 - when HHN does eventually happen again, it will most likely have most scares behind plexiglass. Guess what overused scare Hollywood has that is already set up for adding a sheet of Plexi? So expect to see the black hallway strobe box for many years to come.
  2. Hollywood has soundstages, as it is an operating movie studio. And I'm not talking about wrestling events. In the pre-2006 days they used these, and the results were very good. They have done a couple of houses in a backlot SS, and this has been very disappointing. They had the opportunity to do AWIL in a soundstage, but they chose to put AVP in it instead. Creative decision, but AWIL suffered greatly, being put in the smaller JP queue. So what else did Hollywood choose to put in the backlot SS? Black freaking Sabbath. A 3D house that could have gone anywhere. What a waste. Stranger Things also got to be in a different soundstage, and of course it looked incredible as it was a headliner property.
  3. Hollywood's quality did not begin to fall off a cliff until around 2013/2014 when they decided that every house needed to be filled with black hallways with a boo-hole strobe at the end. Chucky in Hollywood was just an overlay in their year-round maze, so it is not a fair comparison in terms of quality. That maze always had a Chucky room in it, and for the overlay they simply added more of him. Chucky in Orlando was unique in that it although it was an IP house, it was a comedy house and told an original story. However, it was still a funhouse theme at its core, and Orlando has never put very much detail into funhouse themed houses. So in my opinion, it was on the low end of the Orlando scale in terms of theme. Saw ran three years in Hollywood (2009/2010, and 2017), and two years in Orlando (2009 and 2017). There were also TWO Saw-based houses in 2008 at Fright Dome in Las Vegas. IMHO, the best Saw house ever was at Sinister Pointe in Brea, CA in 2008, which included actual TRAPS that you had to participate in. In terms of quality, both Hollywood and Orlando did an equally good job in those first years. They each presented their favorite traps, with some overlap. Orlando and Hollywood design teams work separately - moreso back then. The general consensus was that the 2017 house at each event was unnecessary and did not live up to whatever small amount of hype there was. Although recent, their detail was forgettable. Back in the day, it was always a tossup as to which coast would do a better job with their IP. These were my past feelings as to who did a better job for the FIRST appearance. In terms of detail, Hollywood has been an equal to Orlando in the distant past. And back in the days when they used Soundstages, they were outstanding. But since relying on adding black hallways to stretch budget to add more houses, Hollywood has gone down the toilet, to the point where Knotts consistently beats them in detail. Hollywood CAN still do an outstanding detailed house, if it is something that really interests Murdy. The good old days of Hollywood: TCM: Hollywood (detail) F13: Orlando (detail) NOES: Orlando (detail) Saw: Both were quite good Halloween: Hollywood HOTC: Hollywood did a fantastic job in 2010, but in 2019 Orlando won. Alice Cooper: Hollywood , by far. I don't think Orlando team wanted to do it at all. Thing: Orlando (Detail, final monster) Wolfman: Orlando (Orlando detail was outstanding, Hollywood was an overlay) La Llorona: Hollywood (far better detail) TWD: Orlando (does anyone really remember one year form another?) Silent Hill: Orlando (far better detail) Evil Dead: Hollywood Insidious: Hollywood (the only house where black hallways helped) Chucky: Orlando (Not a fair comparison. Hollywood was an overlay) The decline of Hollywood: AWIL: Orlando by a thousand miles Dracula Untold: Orlando made the film look interesting FDTD: Both were quite good AVP: Orlando by a mile. Told their own story. Queen at end was fantastic. Halloween II: Hollywood , for its original ending. Neither were very detailed. AHS: Orlando , for their Season 1-3 house. Amazing. FvJ: Orlando (Unique ending, detail) Exorcist: Hollywood (Story, scares). Orlando for detail. Krampus: Hollywood (Detail) Hollywood in the crapper: Shining: Orlando , by a big margin (unique telling of story, detail) Ash Vs Evil Dead: Orlando (Hollywood was just a bunch of black hallways) Blumhouse: Both were atrocious, but Hollywood did Sinister 2 fair justice Trick R Treat: Orlando (Detail) Stranger Things: Orlando Purge: Both were not very good Poltergeist: Orlando (GOAT for me along with Graveyard Games. IP presented from a completely unique perspective). Hollywood missed the boat. Halloween IV: Both were not very good Ghostbusters: Orlando (Detail) Us: Both were not very good KKFOS: Orlando . (Klownzilla) Universal Monsters: Hollywood did an A+ job. Orlando's Frankenstein vs Wolfman was also quite good. Detail on both were great. It was the only Hollywood house in recent history that did not have any black hallways. Hollywood could return to greatness if they treated every house like they treated this one.
  4. Thanks for that link! I had not seen a raw track like that before. I very well might be able to piece this together
  5. Ah, I didn't realize he pieced the whole thing together. Was hoping he was sampling from some already available techno version... Unfortunately there is not enough in the show for me to pull 2 minutes of content. I have decided to piece together one of these two for my show. If I manage to get a decent light show sequence, I'll post it. Takes many days to do even 30 seconds of sequencing... Thank you for the link, though! I remember listening to that, but forgot how he made it.
  6. Went with my daughter last night - some REALLY GOOD stuff! SUMMARY: If you love Stranger Things, you are going to LOVE this. If you have little to no experience with ST, you will still really enjoy the first half, but the last half will be very confusing. I have to give huge props to the development team for the handling of this event. What could have been a logistical nightmare turned out to be an extremely well organized, well paced event. The background theme of the event is that you are invited to a class reunion of Hawkins High alumni, taking place at the Starcourt Mall. Leading up to the event, you will receive emails asking for you to enter your school profile, and urging you to dress in your 80's best for the occasion. The reason behind this will add to your experience while you wait for your timeslot (and may even win you prizes!). When they scan your entrance ticket, they might use your profile information to call out PA announcements to you personally. Very cool idea! Time slots - this was really weird. We had a timeslot for 8:45pm. We arrived at 7:15, and had no problem. We were wondering how cars that were too early or too late would be turned around. Didn't happen. So timeslots seem to be unenforced. And when they finally scan your ticket, there is really no opportunity to turn someone away anyhow. The arrival is smooth as silk - you are funneled into two one of two lanes, and directed to VIP or regular entrance. Phone is scanned. And then you queue up. Queue - This is also interesting, as once you are in the queue, timeslots mean NOTHING. They don't direct you to a holding area based on timeslot. Once your ticket is scanned, it's a waiting game with equality to all. So there is a very short single file queue and then they direct you to one of about 10 single file final queues (maybe a dozen cars per final queue). Here, you wait outside the Starcourt Mall, with the class reunion festivities hosted by science teacher Mr. Clark. This, in my opinion was the best part of the whole experience. That's not to put down the rest of the show. Think of it as how we all thought of Marathon of Mayhem as being among the best of 2019 HHN. The time flies by here, with Mr. Clark presenting some really fun in-car games, while small parts of the experience are revealed. They stuck to the 80's theme tightly. When they saw people taking pictures on their phones, actors referred to them as "Polaroids". I'd say about 30% of the customers tried to dress for the occasion. Some of the more fun games you will play are: Glove Box Bingo Twister Best Dressed What freaking good ideas for a safe yet socially distanced experience! You will also see most of the cast roaming about and interacting with cars. You can order food while in the queue as well. You order online (super smooth) and can pay using the CC you used to pay for your ticket. The food is delivered with a couple of minutes. I had the soft pretzels and they were excellent. The hot food was properly hot and the cold food was properly cold. The food is EXPENSIVE, but I didn't mind supporting this event as so many are hurting during this time. I should note that all of the sound is broadcast to your car over unused FM stations, this is both in the queue as well as in the experience. Wait time - We waited about 25 minutes in the queue. none of the activities repeated in that time. It seems as if there are 30 minutes of planned activities, and the queue holds 30 minutes of capacity. Again - this was so well executed. So we got into the experience at about 1 hour ahead of our timeslot. Experience - Once inside, the experience does last about one full hour. It is divided into three acts. Acts 1 and 2 are inside the parking structure, while Act 3 is on the roof. Act 1 is FANTASTIC! The cast is great, the acting is great, the interaction with every single car is great. The car arrangement is GREAT. Everyone has a great view. Because the "stage area" is so large with card surrounding it, there are multiple casts acting out the exact same dialog in synchronization. This is really weird, yet compelling. Act 2 takes place in the Upside Down. Entering the portal and finding yourself in the Upside Down is a "Whoa!" moment. And then all the action comes to a complete stop. It is nothing more than parking and watching scenes from the show on screens. No surprises. No advancing the story. Just watching 15 minutes of "best of" clips of all 3 seasons.... It is a massive winding single-file conga line of cars, with projection screens at intervals on one side. It takes forever to squish cars into the area, then all lights need to be turned off, which also takes forever. Then if you are lucky, you might be able to actually see a screen (we were at an extreme angle so only saw blurs). Act 2 SUCKS, and detracted from the show. It would be a better experience without this at all. Act 3 is a combination of live actors and screens. You are surrounded on 3 sides by screens. The stage is HUGE and once again there are multiple sets of actors on all 3 sides, sometimes doing the same scene in sync. Other times one giant performance. There are stunts. If you know the show, you will love it. If you don't you will be very confused, yet impressed. Characters also roam around the cars. The downside to Act 3 is that you are essentially in a parking lot on a roof. Although the action is well above your head, an SUV or truck directly in front of you will obstruct your view. This happened to us. There are no spoilers for Season 4 given in the event. Exit - On the way out, everyone is diverted to a parking space and asked if they want to buy merch. Really expensive merch (like $30 for a hat). If you don't want to buy, you can leave. There is also a "photo op" which seems to be just a big Stranger Things logo that you can use as a backdrop for a selfie (not allowed to leave your car). Grades: Pre-show (queue): A+ Act 1: A Act 2: D Act 3: B What about VIP? VIP is a massive upcharge per person. We did not do the VIP, but from what I understand it includes snacks and drinks, I think a T-shirt, priority entrance, and a "car wash" experience that is really a photo op. If the VIP people had less of a wait I think they missed out, because the queue was so much fun. Were there scares? None whatsoever. This was not intended to be a Halloween event, and it will continue well into 2021 unless California institutes Lockdown 9.0... Is it suited for kids? There are a lot of S-bombs dropped, and in the queue some women in practically painted-on jazzercise outfits. Otherwise, it's great for kids. How well did they nail the cast? PERFECTLY! The facemasks helped greatly, though. It was cool that the facemasks were made the same material as the costumes, so they blended in well. How was social distancing? Worked very well. If your window is rolled down, you MUST be wearing your mask. Actors wore masks unless they were on stage. It felt very safe. How was the voice acting? The pre show was pretty much live. There were some Mike/Elle parts that were lip synced. Acts 1 & 3 were entirely lip synced, as there were multiple sets of casts. Act 2 had no voice actors. Most of the character voices were spot on. But whoever voiced Dustin was really mis-cast; didn't sound anything like him and no lisp. Was anyone missing from the experience? Of note, Nancy, Joyce and Bob were completely missing. That's strange, as characters as obscure as Eleven's mom were present. Hopper was only briefly present in Act 3. Were there Demigorgons? Yup Any other monsters? Nope How big was the cast? I estimate: Pre-show/Queue: 12+ Act 1: 24+ Act 2: 3 Act 3: 24+ And who knows if there was an A/B cast. Also, for all I know there may have been duplicate stages that I did not see. Recommended? Definitely! Tickets are available for March 2021 timeframe. I remember turning to my daughter as were leaving Act I that if the experience ended right then, I would think it was worth the money. Act 2 threatened to reverse that thought, but Act 3 made up for it. Just keep in mind that if you never watched ST, anything after the pre-show will be utterly confusing. Don't even try to make sense of it.
  7. Unless there is a contractual stipulation for any of the IP, I have no doubt these will be back next year. No way will Universal blow money on a teardown and rebuild just to keep things fresh, nor would I want them to. At this point I don't care if they present these same houses for 2021 and 2022 if it would help them recover from the shutdowns. I wonder more than a little bit if there was a contractual obligation that required them to present Beetlejuice in some way at the event, and the one day house was a way to fulfill it. But the better part of me believes they did it out of appreciation for the fans.
  8. I'm thinking we have 100% certainty in 4 of the houses. Unless they switch them out at the last second for Scream and The Conjuring.
  9. I'd MUCH rather be walking through the Beetlejuice house right now, but since I'm stuck in California, the Roblox version of The Shining is better than nothing. BTW, we had NO trick or treaters at all yesterday. A lot of nearby houses were decked out. No trick or treaters. What a miserable Halloween. Still debating whether to do my home light show this year...
  10. I don't see why they couldn't. But I could see why they wouldn't: She is only known by the most diehard fans. We haven't really seen her image pre-Bloody Mary. We heard her voice on the website. As far as the GP knows, she would just be a psychiatrist character who had "unconventional" therapy techniques - not that this wouldn't be a great standalone icon it itself. To me, Dr. Agana is akin to Dr. Rich Oddfellow - a part of the backstory of Jack but not a person we necessarily need to see at HHN. It would only invite Bobbie Weiner to chase a new settlement, baseless as it would be. The Icon house that year was a bomb - completely forgettable. However should Legendary Truth one day become a major part of a future HHN, I could see the good Dr. being mentioned without bringing up Bloody Mary in name. I doubt we would get anything more than that.
  11. I guess they have a bonus house every week. It was Halloween 2 last week and will be The Shining for the final weekend. Gotta say again how much fun it has been. Would much rather be in Orlando, but at least I got to (kind of) experience HHN and air conditioning at the same time. By the way, this weekend you can get into the "event" for FREE. That's right, you can save a whole $1.10!
  12. It will be interesting to see how they handle the numbering. My guess is they will start referring to the event by the calendar year for the foreseeable future. I'm sure they will still have the anniversary house that has already been built, but will probably call it a "best of" or tribute house. And that's OK with me. This year has been a gut punch to the industry, and they can do what they need to. Gonna play Debbie Downer again, but I'd say there's a 30% chance this time next year looks like it does now - with mass gatherings still verboten. The world seems to be entering a second wave, and the US has lagged the world by a month or two. We might not have a real HHN again until 2022.
  13. Anyone know if the Swan Lake track from the show is available in its pure form (no sound form the audience or water elements)? Preferably no IP themes mixed in. I'd love to use it in my Christmas Light Show this year.
  14. Do they have a standby line or is it reservation only?
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