Kicking Off Halloween Horror Nights with Universal's Annual Eyegore Awards
Universal Studios has a long, storied history in the horror genre, which is why it makes perfect sense to turn the theme park and studio into THE home for horror this time of year.
The annual Eyegore Awards kicked off "Halloween Horror Nights" on the lot last Friday, honoring the likes of Danny Trejo, Ozzy Osbourne and Bruce Campbell before an onslaught of horror fans descended on the park to enjoy -- or dread -- being scared out of their wits.
By Stacie Hougland
This year's Eyegore recipients, from left: Danny Trejo, Geezer Butler, Bruce Campbell, The Walking Dead's Melissa McBride, Ozzy Osbourne, host McKenzie Westmore, Insidious series writer/costar Leigh Whannell and producer Jason Blum.
McKenzie Westmore, host of Syfy's effects makeup show Face Off, emceed the event for the second year, having taken the reins from Corey Feldman in 2012. Guests feasted on a New Orleans-themed buffet with crawfish ettouffe, Cajun shrimp, red beans and rice and specialty drinks.
Danny Trejo was the first to step up to the stage to claim his Eyegore, which looks like a little demon. He thanked God for his face, which gave him his career.
Horror legend Bruce "The Chin" Campbell looked nothing short of dapper in a white suit as clips from Evil Dead played him onstage. "My last award was for Little League. I was 'most improved player,' You have to suck bad to get [that] award," he joked. "I will hold down the finest papers on my desk with this...I thank Universal and the Eyegore awards for giving me the 'about f***ing time' award."
Bruce Campbell and Danny Trejo having a laugh--on us?
Ozzy Osbourne was recognized as well. Wife Sharon gave the heavy metal icon (who consulted on a new Black Sabbath-themed maze for the park this year) a lovely introduction.
“Rock and roll from the very beginning has always been very, very dangerous. From the first time Elvis shook his hips...critics decried rock music and rock bands as vulgar, rebellious, even the personification of evil. Fabulous!" She went on to introduce a clip from the band's new album 13, which recently debuted at No. 1. on the Billboard charts.
Ozzy's acceptance speech was short and sweet: "It’s been an amazing year, as Sharon just said. We had a number 1 record and a number 1 world tour, and now this. What more can I say? Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you."
Other honorees included Insidious Chapter 2 producer Jason Blum (pictured left) and writer/costar Leigh Whannell ("I planned to be a lot drunker," he joked) and AMC's zombie juggernaut The Walking Dead, the award accepted by Melissa McBride (Carol on the show).
Lurking in the audience we spotted Insidious star Lin Shaye, Grimm's Bitsie Tulloch, Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez, Pysch's Corbin Bernsen and Bill Moseley, and Jose Cantillo, also from The Walking Dead.
And then, it was on to the park, if we dared....
This year's mazes include:
"The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven" Highlights include floating heads in liquid and a soldier cut in half. "Evil Dead: Book of the Dead" Chainsaw to the mouth? That's a MUST GO "El Cucuy: The Boogeyman" This grisly one's narrated by Danny Trejo "Universal Monsters Remix" Offers bloody good appearances by the studio's classics plus some new additions care of fan-generated competitions, and it's one of the longer mazes "Insidious: Into the Further" Adheres closely to the film = fans will heart it "Black Sabbath: 13 3D" This year's requisite metal-themed attraction has 3D painted rooms to go along with the occult
Then of course you don't want to miss the Terror Tram, which normally passes by Norman Bates' Psycho house but this year detours into an abandoned town and an armed Woodbury inhabited, natch, by flesh-eating walkers.
image c. insideuniversal.net
If you still haven't had enough of people jumping out at you from the dark, more freakish fun can be had in the scare zones, this year themed after The Purge, The Walking Dead and Curse of Chucky. And beware the stilt-walking Scarecrowz on the lot's lower level...those things are nuts and they don't leave you alone.
"Halloween Horror Nights" runs 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. on September 27-28, October 4-6, 11-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31 and November 1-2 at Universal Studios. You can get tickets and info here.
image c. insideuniversal.net
Keep going for more photos of the event
Insidious Chapter 2's Lin Shaye gets a shocker of a surprise in the Insidious maze.
Looks like Jason Blum, Leigh Whannell and Lin Shaye made it out alive.
Ozzy and daughter Kelly brave the "13 3D" maze...
and this is how that went.
Machete Kills it on the red carpet. Danny Trejo shows us what he's hiding in his jacket.
Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler
Corbin Bernsen joins Chucky on the blood-red carpet.