Thursday, June 21, 2018
Travel

Universal Orlando to scare up 'American Werewolf in London' for Halloween Horror Nights

After years of fanboy fantasizing and logistical geekery, the creative team at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is finally getting its wish: a "maze" based on 1981 flick An American Werewolf in London.

When the park's spooky season kicks off Sept. 20, those of us who flip for the darkly comic classic will relish in visiting:

• The Slaughtered Lamb pub

• The London Underground

• Piccadilly Circus

And for newbies who have no idea what I'm talking about, well, keep off the moors, boys.

"This one, for me and the teams, is as close to a passion project as it gets," says Michael Aiello, a creative guru for NBC/Universal Themeparks, who this year will also present mazes based on The Cabin in the Woods, The Evil Dead and The Walking Dead, among others.

Earlier this week we were invited to a limited conference call with American Werewolf director John Landis, above, who talked of a lengthy five-hour brain session with Aiello & Co, whom he calls "really passionate about ... scaring the s--- out of someone!"

Landis, the director also responsible for Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places and Michael Jackson's Thriller video, said the maze will indeed include a nasty nod to makeup/effects guru Rick Baker's Oscar-winning "transformation" scene, which is still a mind-blower.

The experience, Landis said, is "intense and visceral. Some of it is quite — what's the word? — gruesome." He laughs: "Do they have ratings for these things?!"

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

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