Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Horror Nights XXIII, pt 2

            While at Universal Studios some weeks back now I went to a lot of effort to talk about the Haunted Houses which were the main attraction, but there are of course other points of interest, two of which are stage shows, the first being the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and the other, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure", whose west coast counterpart has been taking heat for being homophobic.  There were also rides which I had never been on: Despicable Me, The Mummy, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
            Starting with the rides and speaking as a man whose last trip to the studios included "Jaws", "King Kong" and "ET" all of which are now gone I was a little blown away by their replacements.  "The Mummy" is huge fun and has some meta humor and is actually an indoor roller coaster rather than just a tour of the movie, ending with Brendan Fraser being charming.  It is a lot of fun.
            "Despicable Me" has a cute little story and the same cute characters that work in the movies... Movies I have not scene.  I got the dynamic and the setting and it too was fun, it was a 3D immersion ride that had the audience bouncing around with the smell of banana all around.  Again, fun enough.
            I like roller coasters and the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit was very cool.  Pick a song to listen to on the ride, I picked Kanye West's "Stronger" and it made things move at a good pace... What am I talking about I was on a roller coaster, it did nothing to the pace.  The pace was already fast.  That was the point.  I barely heard the music because I laugh like a fool on coasters.  Still immense fun even if that particular gimmick has less impact on me than it might others.

            The real highlights were the shows, The first being "Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure at Universal Studios", or as my brother called it, "Bill and Ted's Halloween Topical Reference Musical Number".  I really had no idea what to expect from this, apparently it just takes a lot of pop culture references (mostly memes) and some legitimately good group performances of pop music and strings them together.  Lot of fart jokes, lot of stupid crap... and yes I know it is "Bill and Ted" but those movies, cartoons, and TV shows were more clever than just fart jokes and references, they were more like retard "Doctor Who" (There was a live action "Bill and Ted" show.  Seriously.  Do you believe that?  It looks and was terrible).  I guess it was worth watching, but once they had a "Sharknado" costume walk out to help fight Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus (the obvious missing joke for me was not having the actor playing Robin Thicke in the black and white stripe suit turn into "Beetlejuice").  I was just thinking of "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans" and wanting to strangle someone.  It bounced back with the final pop music mash up though.

            The real-real highlight was the other show, which was a bit less packed but a hell of a lot less crap.  I had never been to an audience participation presentation of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and it was a lot of fun.  Water guns, corsets, and a lot of very fit dancer/singers playing it up with real reverence toward the goofy material that they were performing.  "Rocky Horror" is a legendarily "bad" movie, a "Sharknado" of its time, but was made with zero cynical mindset and the people who made it had a soul.  If nothing else you can say, "it is like nothing else".  That is what sets it apart from "Bill and Ted".  Both are musical, but one is a quick and legit presentation of material that is original and heartfelt, the other is a cynical chain of, "that thing, and that other thing, and that other-other thing", which is not all that fun.
Seriously, everyone had a six pack.  So many crunches must have been done in preparation for this show.

(Next will be on the subsequent trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and the Epcot World Food Festival)

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