Monthly Archives: October 2009

Halloween Scream Concert

Although I ended my contribution to the 2008 Halloween countdown with a cover of a Frank Zappa song, it hadn’t dawned on me how appropriate it was to do so until now. At the time, I just wanted to use it since I’m a Zappa fan and wanted a video that ended with someone saying “Happy Halloween.” But now that I think about it, the choice was doubly appropriate, as Zappa was known for his yearly Halloween concerts and the mask-wearing musician with a KFC bucket on his head would have undoubtedly appealed to FZ’s love of the bizarre.

In fact, that love of his resulted in the creation of “Cheepnis.” The song is a loving tribute to the low budget monster movies, with a title which both refers to the budgets of many such films and his name for the cucumber-looking monster from It Conquered the World (said creature was dubbed “Beulah” by its creator, Paul Blaisdell). It was also this love of both monster flicks and general weirdness that led to him trying to make a musical tribute film about a giant spider with Best Brains, the company behind Mystery Science Theater 3000. Apparently, Mr. Zappa was so impressed by the weirdness of a particular sketch he had stumbled across that he immediately contacted the company. Despite the Brains being big FZ fans, the project was sadly never realized (although I seem to recall that the songs prepared for it were eventually released).

Since GdL shares that love, I thought I’d post a video of the song itself. Like last year, it’s a cover, but it isn’t an ordinary cover song; it’s done by Frank’s eldest son Dweezil and some of FZ’s old friends/band mates. So, thanks to zappaplayszappadvd, here’s a little “Cheepnis” for you all:

I don’t know if Oingo Boingo ever tried doing a concert with Frank Zappa, but I doubt it. It’s a shame, as I think they’d both appreciate each other’s love of the weird. Boingo’s cult film Forbidden Zone would definitely be up FZ’s alley. But since Zappa passed away in 1993 and Oingo Boingo probably won’t ever reunite officially due to Danny Elfman’s concern over hearing loss, such a team-up can only exist in our minds. To aid in the process, here are some quick Halloween-themed song lists I came up with for each band (in no particular order):

Frank Zappa:

Goblin Girl
Zomby Woof
The Torture Never Stops
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

As Zappa often did numerous versions of each of his songs, I’m going to recommend my favorite versions to you (with the exception of “Cheepnis” since I’ve only heard the “Zappa Plays Zappa” version). I enjoy the live version of “Zomby Woof” and original version of “The Torture Never Stops” from Cheap Thrills, the You Are What You Is version of “Goblin Girl,” the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Volume 3 version of “Drowning Witch” and the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Volume 6 variant of “Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance.” I know that last one might seem like an unusual choice for a Halloween tune, but I’ve always felt that particular version of the song has a “harvest dance” quality to it.

Oingo Boingo:

Weird Science
Dead Man’s Party
Heard Somebody Cry

As I’m a bit of a Boingo newbie, I can’t really make any recommendations on any song versions. I do know that their Dead Man’s Party album has all three songs on bit, but I’ve heard that they might use a different version of “Weird Science” than the one heard in the film. Oh, and “Heard Somebody Cry” totally needs to be the theme for a Ghost Hunters parody.

Now that I think about it, we’ve been making an awful lot of music recommendations this year. Maybe Gravedigger’s Local 16 could make a Halloween song list for the next countdown. In the mean time, be sure to keep visiting the site come November.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

From all of us here at Gravedigger’s Local #16, we wish each and every one of you out there a safe and Happy Halloween.

Stay tuned! (and Oh boy! A bonus, Billy!)

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I imagine that many of you readers will be too busy to read any GdL posts made on Halloween, which is why I’m posting this notice now. I want to stress to you all that Gravedigger’s Local 16 will stay open (and active) after October 31st ends. We won’t post every single day like we do for the Halloween Countdown, but we won’t vanish into thin air like in 2008.

Returning readers might remember that we had attempted to do this last year, but this was cut short due to certain issues keeping the gravediggers from posting. By the time everything was resolved and I was doing several updates a month, most of our audience was gone and many of the new entries went more or less unnoticed. So if you’re wondering why so many posts made for the 2009 countdown reference (and link to) older GdL entries, now you know. My sincerest thanks goes out to those of you who stuck with us doing those times.

So please keep visiting come November. At the GdL, the spooky stuff doesn’t stop after October. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff waiting in the wings and you definitely don’t want to miss it. See you then!

As a special bonus, Greg from the Opie and Anthony Audio Archive was kind enough to upload “Evil Barney on Halloween” on his site for me after I sent in a request. Last year, a chance discovery of a YTMND featuring audio from one of Opie and Anthony’s old “Evil Barney” sketches prompted to me look for the rest of the sketches online. I was mostly unsuccessful and my plan to use the Halloween one (my favorite, naturally) as a GdL update had to be put on hold. However, the search itself led to me rediscovering Opie and Anthony.

Back in the mid-to-late 90’s, I was a big O&A fan. Like the Evil Barney YTMD, I had discovered the show by accident while my younger brother and I were flipping through radio stations on a particularly boring day in 1995 or 1996. It wasn’t until we stopped on 107.3 FM that we found something interesting enough to make us spend more than a few seconds listening. I’ve long since forgotten what Opie and Anthony were talking about when we first tuned it, but I’ll always remember the bit they led into: “Evil Barney on Masturbation.” After the vaguely menacing opening theme played, Anthony Cumia did his dead-on impersonation of the hated purple dinosaur and immediately launched into a lengthy list of masturbation innuendos for the benefit of some boy named “Billy.” When the bit ended, listeners were treated by a Spanish version allegedly translated by the “Funky Puerto Rican.”

The very idea of someone doing something like that on the radio blew our minds. Needless to say, we were hooked. WAAF became our station of choice and we listened whenever we got the chance to. I have many happy memories of my brother and I blasting each other in Goldeneye 64 deathmatches while a radio tuned to WAAF played in the background. If one of us was in another room when the telltale evil music started, the sibling by the radio would frantically calling for the other to get into the room for another evil Barney sketch. But all that came to an end after Opie and Anthony got fired over an April Fool’s Day prank in 1998. Oh, we tried to keep listening to WAAF, secretly hoping that O&A would return from their new gig in New York, but it just wasn’t the same without our favorite hosts. We eventually moved on to other stations and our increased workload from school kept our free time to a bare minimum.

Having caught up with the duo thanks to Youtube uploads, I’ve since learned that Opie and Anthony are embarrassed by their old material, especially the Evil Barney material. They’ve even been known to play old tapes and let their comedian friends tear it apart while they suffer in the background. While I agree that a lot of stuff from their WAAF days isn’t as funny as it seemed when I first heard it (sometimes I even cringe at their new material and wonder why I listen), I still have a soft spot for Evil Barney. Sure, the “cute/innocent figure doing violent and nasty acts” is a very easy (and often hacky) form of comedy and the production values are very bare-bones. However, I will maintain that most of the ones I heard had at least one really good line in them (that would work in sketches not involving a “cute” character gone bad). Barney’s reaction to getting a Hersey Kiss in the bus driver sketch is a good example of this and I recommend waiting for the bit involving baseball in the Halloween sketch.

Barney and Friends was about three or four years old when I first listened to Opie and Anthony and despite the show still being on the air, one would think that the hatred of Barney’s sugary-sweetness that immediately arose when the show first came out would have faded a bit. After all, a show from 1992 is downright ancient by today’s standards. But Barney is still intensely loathed to this day. The popularity of Youtube videos and YTMNDs dedicated to killing Barney (including ones based around O&A “Evil Barney” bits) are a testament to that fact. Maybe it’s the over-the-top happiness of the cast. Maybe it’s how the show never seriously tackles difficult issues, whereas programs like Sesame Street are willing to tackle subjects like death. I think it was a writer from Animaniacs who once noted the implausibility of children willingly staying at school after the last bell rang like they do on Barney. I guess good educational children’s programming should feel like the real world with somewhat unreal characters in it, rather than taking place in a world completely removed from reality.

As regular readers might have noted, I usually use the “Linger longer” title one the occasions when I post an Opie and Anthony video. I chose not to do it for this post, as it was originally intended just to tell people to stay tuned. Then I got a last minute surprise after being informed of the Evil Barney upload and needed to place to put it (as I’d already put together a special post for Halloween). I figured that readers would probably appreciate a little extra surprise in an otherwise boring “site news” post. From what I’ve been told, “linger longer” is a reference to a phrase uttered by radio host Doug Tracht that was adopted by O&A. Apparently, it’s often used after a reference to an older show is made, as a way of telling listeners to tune in more and pay attention so that they don’t miss out/learn what’s going on. I think that ties in nicely both with the audio file and with the general theme of this entry. Okay, that’s enough writing for me; just enjoy the comedy sketch and keep checking out the blog.

Horror trivia

Some prints of Tombs of the Blind Dead were given a new title card (Revenge of the Planet Ape) and opening narration in an attempt to pass the movie off as a Planet of the Apes-style science fiction film!

Not unlike how Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster was initially written as a vehicle for Toho’s version of King Kong, Mind Ripper was originally intended to be the third entry in the original The Hills Have Eyes franchise, with one of the Jupiter clan wreaking havoc at a government installation (instead of the suicide-turned-bioweapon we see in the finished version).

Similarly, Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor originally went into production as a sequel to The Deadly Spawn called The Deadly Spawn 2: The Transformation.

C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. is rumored to have originally been a rejected sequel script for Return of the Living Dead. It certainly would explain why the C.H.U.D.s suddenly look and act like comedic zombies in it.

Pamela Springsteen, who played the murderous Angela Baker in Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, is Bruce Springsteen’s sister. Not only that, but she currently works as a still photographer.

Fans of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 will undoubtedly remember the twisted character that is Chop Top. Chop Top was supposed to appear in a short spin-off film called All American Massacre, but the project has been languishing in development hell for years.

Abbott and Costello actually met The Creature from the Black Lagoon in a television comedy sketch.

The costume used in The Monster of Piedras Blancas was reused in an episode of Flipper called “Flipper’s Monster.”

The female protagonist in Night of the Demons was originally supposed to have a black boyfriend. That aspect of the script, along with a planned gay couple, were removed for being “too controversial.” Remember: the film was made in 1988!

Inspired by the success of their Mr. Vampire franchise in the 19080’s, Hong Kong film company Golden Harvest started production of a remake targeted at English-speaking audiences called Demon Hunters. Jack Scalia and Michelle Phillips were hired to act as the American “name actors,” but the project fell apart after a few days due to their difficulties working in a non-Hollywood studio environment (The differences between making movies in Hollywood and Hong Kong are more than just a change of languages). I can only hope that the shelved footage will be made available one day, either as an extra on a DVD for one of the Mr. Vampire films or included as an injoke in another film (such as having the footage appear in a theater or on TV).

Some of you might be aware that Attack of the Mushroom People is based on a story by William Hope Hodgson called The Voice in the Night. However, I bet that most of you don’t know that the same story was adapted as an American made-for-TV movie long before Attack of the Mushroom People went into production.

Have you ever wondered why Frankenstein’s monster is usually depicted with green skin? You see, Boris Karloff had to wear green makeup in order to achieve a pale-skinned look on black and white film. However, there were some behind-the-scenes publicity photographs of Karloff in costume that were taken in color. As soon as those pictures were released, the idea of the monster having green skin was cemented in the mind of the general public.

DEAD (Milkmen)

Correct me if I’m wrong. Not a lot of songs out there for guys named ‘Jason.’ There was the blow-up in the eighties (there’s like, a MILLION of us just walking around) of the name, but it’s not a name to inspire. You have Jason and the Argonauts, Jason Priestley. But there’s the big one, the main man – Mr. Camp Blood himself.

Growing up, it was always ‘Jason,’ not ‘Jason Voorhees.’ Freddy Krueger had the scary-sounding last name. Jason was entitled to the single-word moniker. Don’t know how it happened, but it did for me. Perhaps you got a kick out of going ‘Voooorheeeeees’ but hey, you dig your own grave.

Thankfully, the Dead Milkmen decided to do the un-do-able and write a song about Jason. Could be about me(no), could be about the Camp Crystal Lake legend (yes). It’s a song for Jason everywhere (like Moose, the plural of Jason is like the singular. If someone named Jason Moose RSVPs to a party, you can’t be sure if he is coming by himself or is bringing a guest.)

Off of ‘Not Richard but Dick,” the song ‘Jason’s Head’ is a catchy beat. The bass-line reminds me of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ by the Cure. Jason vs. Freddy vs. Robert Smith. Coming Summer 2011.

Attack of the Anime Adaptations

Animation is not always for children, and the two films I’m going to discuss are definite proof of this.

The slice of insanity you just witnessed is from an anime called Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned, a Japanese adaptation of Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula comic book. In fact, it was produced as part of the same Toei/Marvel deal that was responsible for Battle Fever J and the infamous Japanese Spider-Man series. You can find out more (and see proof that Dracula loves burgers) at the Anime Bargain Bin’s highly informative review. The Anime Bargain Bin also covered Toei’s Frankenstein anime, which was put into production due to the success of Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned. Despite rumors to the contrary, this was not an adaptation of Marvel’s The Monster of Frankenstein series.

It came from Wikipedia II

According to this article, Godzilla made a licensed appearance in an audio drama spin-off of the Idol Defense Force Hummingbird OVA series.

Color me surprised: Dracula’s Daughter was created as a result of Universal getting the license to adapt Dracula’s Guest.

As many of you all know, King Kong Lives was the sequel to the 1970’s remake of King Kong. But you probably didn’t know that it inspired two Japanese video games: King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch and King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu. That movie would’ve been so much more tolerable if it had Kong battle giant robots and blobs like he did in King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch.

Speaking of King Kong, the old “Kongfrontation” ride once had a crossover of sorts with Darkman and the now-defunct “King Kong Encounter” ride will be replaced with a new Kong ride in 2010.

While we’re on the topic of amusement attractions based on horror movies, the UK-based “Alien War” attraction (based on the Alien franchise and once featured a cameo by a Predator) has since been rethemed as “Alien Wars.” The use of xenomorphs has been dropped in favor of a generic “extraterrestrial attack” theme, presumably in order to save money on licensing fees.

Here’s a shocker: the movie A*P*E was originally advertised as The New King Kong in America, in a presumably desperate attempt to sucker people eager to see the then-current Kong remake into seeing the shoddy Korean rip-off. Unsurprisingly, RKO sued and the title had to be changed. I’d love to know how the hell they thought they could have gotten away with that. As a special bonus, here’s an older version of that Wikpedia entry where they link to a picture of the original poster.

If this is to be believed, William Peter Blatty once said that he considered The Ninth Configuration to be the true sequel to The Exorcist.

Wow, Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon musical attraction sounds awful. The article has plenty of spoilers, although I can’t see how one could “spoil” that piece of crap.

This claims that one of the entries in the Bloody Murder series is set at the same camp as the other two films, but doesn’t mention Trevor Moorehouse or any of the killings from the other films. That’s almost as surprising as how the filmmakers weren’t sued over their blatant Jason Voorhees rip-off.

Mystery on Monster Island is advertised as being based on a Jules Verne novel. What they don’t tell you is that the novel in question didn’t have any monsters in it!

Finally, check out this article on the great and noble profession of grave digging.

What’s a countdown without a count?

Count von Count, that is.

I know these mildly NSFW videos are old news, but I immediately thought of the “censored Count” videos after chancing upon a Sesame Street segment parodying Mad Men (what’s next, a Breaking Bad parody?).

According to uploader mrmagoo312, Lemon Demon (aka Neil Cicierega) was responsible for the audio while wattamack4 provided the video for the following:

According to creator MrNick01, the vacation video was based on an idea by one noodles347. It’s almost frightening just how well the innocent songs about counting become hilarious songs about an insatiable sex drive with only some choice bleeps. To quote Strange Jason, “the Count’s prowess is unrivaled!”

Doo Wop and Ghoulish Things

Poor weather to be working outside these past few days in this part of the world. In the break rooms of life, it’s good to have something warm to drink, eat and listen to while waiting for the rain to fade.

Two releases that seem to work best when the weather isn’t working at all are ‘These Ghoulish Things’ and ‘Do Wop Halloween is a Scream.

Released on ACE Records out in the UK, ‘These Ghoulish Things’ is a collection of some noted and forgotten songs. Ace Records has spent the last twenty-five years dealing with licensing and releasing old recordings. Weird Jon would have better ideas about legal copyrights regarding international law. The way Ace present themselves, they look like that Ace might be on the up-and-up. Buyer beware, always.

‘These Ghoulish Things’ is a collection of fun songs, and you can tell when you get to The Verdicts “The Mummy’s Ball.”  The mock Dracula breakdown shows that this record was really to make someone laugh, get a few plays on the radio and make the group some money. Novelty records, but more innocent in nature. The release has some ‘serious’ songs, like a cut from Zacherley the cool Ghoul and Buddy “Boris” Pickett’s ‘Monster Mash.’ 

‘Screaming Jay Hawkins is on here with ‘Feast of the Mau Mau’ as well as Virgil Holmes with “Ghost Train” and Bo Diddley’s “Bo Meets the Monster.” The whole record has a throwback feel to it, harking to the heyday of the classic monsters. It’s light listening, making for a good pick-me-up when your bones are soaked and heavy.

Similarly, ‘Doo Wop Halloween is a Scream,’ a release on WANDA and that’s as much as I can tell you right now. Might have been a release effort to collect more novelty singles, getting cuts like Chotalls’ ‘Queen of Halloween’ and Pete & the Bloodsuckers ‘My Baby Likes Scary Movies.’ Anyone with more information is invited to contact me here. Would love to get more info on this release.

Consider it a short rest before the big night. Three days and counting. Ha-ah-ha-ha.

Maximum Carnage

The time was October 2002. Universal Studios Florida had decided to integrate their “Islands of Adventure” into their “Halloween Horror Nights” celebration. Not only that, but the event would be moved to the islands for several years. To play off this, the event’s theme for the year (“Islands of Fear”) was that each island would be “taken over” and altered for Halloween (with one exception).

So, who would be taking over Marvel Super Hero Island? Traditional Marvel supervillains like Dr. Doom or Magneto wouldn’t be scary enough and the gliders used by Halloween-themed villains like the Green Goblin and Jack O’Lantern would be too difficult (and dangerous) to utilize realistically. Eventually, somebody hit on the idea of adapting the “Maximum Carnage” story arc that appeared across several Spider-Man comic books in 1993. The idea of a super-powered serial killer and his freakish helpers inciting riots across a city certainly must have sounded like a good idea for a haunted attraction on paper. In practice, it was a very different story.

One of the first big mistakes was how they chose to realize Carnage for the attraction. The interesting look of his writhing, living alien costume (spawned from another enemy of Spider-Man’s) could have been represented by using a rubber costume with minor animatronic effects and a slimy coating or having Carnage appear as a CGI creation on a series of television monitors scattered throughout the island. Not only would that last option have provided for some interesting variation of the “living wall” haunted house effect (imagine a Carnage head pushing out of a TV) and Carnage apparently had developed the ability to travel across the internet at one point. Instead, Carnage was portrayed by someone wearing a rubber mask and an airbrushed spandex bodysuit. Although one could probably do that with Venom and get away with it due to his simple black and white coloration, the effect looked laughably cheap on Carnage. His prancing about in a tower over the event only made things worse.

Another problem that leapt out at my while watching a Travel Channel-produced special on Islands of Fear years ago was the use of supervillains. If what I saw in the special was any indication, the island largely consisted of people dressed as supervillains randomly jumping out at people. This is bound to get old very quickly and didn’t fit in with the motivations of many villains. The choices of bad guys were also less than stellar. Although I haven’t really read comic books since 1996, I know enough to know that a mercenary like Crossbones doesn’t get his jollies by randomly spooking people. He seems to have been picked solely because of the skull on his mask, which doesn’t say a whole lot about the people who put this attraction together. Although that would explain why they randomly decided on having the Punisher run around. Having a skull on one’s costume does not necessarily make one “scary.” Nor was the ninja in a silver lamé costume running around, either. That’s probably the reason they padded things out with chainsaw-wielding lunatics and mutilated police officers.

The “Carnage Warehouse” didn’t seem to have much in the way of scares, either. More villains randomly jumping out (including multiple Crossbones), some dead bodies and a reactor leaking radiation (gamma radiation, according to the excited HHN employee giving the behind-the-scenes tour in the special). The final, and arguably biggest mistake, was who the corpses depicted. Some promotional material had mentioned how the Marvel superheroes were defeated and that’s why Carnage and co. had free run of the island. However, it turned out that the defeated heroes had been killed and their gory remains were scattered throughout the island! Apparently, there were other such items on display as well. It would not surprise me if this was based on the trophies of a “possible future” villain called “the Maestro” from The Incredible Hulk

I’m amazed Marvel approved of this, as nothing pisses fans off more than when you mess with (especially kill off) their favorite characters. Interest in Spider-Man was at an all-time high that year thanks to his movie, so killing him was even more of a bad idea than usual. Perhaps whoever pitched the idea argued that people would realize that the attraction didn’t really count since the heroes would still be appearing in their comics or that people rarely stay dead in comic books. As if the appearance of the Punisher wasn’t enough of a contradiction to the idea that all the heroes were dead, attractions such as “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man” and “Storm Force Accelatron” depicted certain characters as being alive when rode during HHN. It would have made more sense to have the rides slightly retooled for the event so that the heroes are creating pockets of resistance against the supervillain takeover. At the end of each night, the superheroes (using costumes from “Meet Spider-Man and the Marvel Super Heroes”) would regroup and fight off the villains in a staged battle, not unlike how another year’s HHN show had Robosaurus fight off a horde of zombies. It wouldn’t make up for the event’s lackluster scares, but it’d be a good start.

Reviews for “Maximum Carnage” were terrible and no Marvel characters were seen in the 2003 event. Instead, the island used a “(mutated) people rampaging through a city” theme inspired by “Maximum Carnage” and HHN moved off the Islands of Adventure in 2006. Rumor has it that Marvel forbid Universal from ever using Marvel characters as part of Halloween Horror Nights after hearing about the backlash over the handling of the characters in 2002. Whatever the case was, Marvel saw fit to okay the video game Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects in 2005, which also had Marvel characters getting killed off.

Thanks to some old comic reading memories and check around the internet to refresh my knowledge of the subject, I’ve come up with some other ways Universal could have improved Maximum Carnage and do some other Marvel-themed haunts (complete with comic book-style melodramatic titles) to close this article with:

The warehouse haunt should have ditched the gamma reactor and opted for stuff like falling crates and barrels. Perhaps one of Carnage’s partners from the original comic storyline, such as Carrion or Shriek, could chase visitors through a fog-filled boiler room. Having multiple people dressed in the same costume hidden in various sections of the room could give the appearance that the villain could appear from anywhere. Another ally from the comics, Doppleganger, could make for a good animatronic-based scare.

As for the street performers, they should have dropped Crossbones in favor of villains one would expect to go on a mindless rampage (Vermin and Sabretooth would be pretty scary, especially with bloody claws). Instead of jumping out at you, the various gangs and bad guys should chase people until they “become too tired” or get distracted by an easier target (like, say, employees pretending to be victims who get brutally murdered).

If Universal was married to the idea of superhero corpses, why not do a theme based on Marvel Zombies? They could play up the “alternate reality” aspect of the theme by using a “vortex tunnel” as the entryway. The same tactics I suggested for Maximum Carnage’s street performers could also be used for this event and they could use both zombified heroes and villains. Some of the “warehouse” could be devoted to attacks by Marvel zombies, such as a zombie Spider-Man climbing down behind someone while they’re distracted by a webbed-up victim or a zombie Hulk bursting through a wall. Since such scares would get old fast, it could be revealed that this is all the work of Dormammu and that visitors can only escape by traveling through “Dormammu’s Domain” using mystical visors (IE Put on polarized glasses and walk through a haunted house using UV-reactive 3D paint). Upon completing the journey, they’d exit through the headquarters of Dormammu’s foe, Dr. Strange (whose study could be filled with strange items like living statues and moving books).

Invasion of the Brood/In the Clutches of…The Devastator!

A crashed alien spaceship turns out to be infested with Marvel’s answer to Aliens, the Brood. Visitors get to see recordings of a frantic alien giving their final video log entry (with visitors getting attacked at the same moment the person in the video is) and various bodies, some of which come to screaming life if one gets too close. And, of course, the Brood will pop out of air vents and control consoles in an attempt to make people into their incubators.

Escaping from the craft leads people to another spaceship, this one owned by Devos the Devastator. After surprising them with a laser scan, Devos announces that his uninvited visitors are potentially infected by the Brood and therefore must be destroyed to insure the safety of the universe. Guests will be attacked by security robots, alien beasts unleashed from their cells by Devos and by the legendary Devastator himself. Upon realizing that his prey are about to escape, Devos flees and unleashes a deadly “purification gas” (tinted fog) that results in encounters with melting monsters. After escaping, each group will be taken through a special Brood detecting/removing device, with randomly selected people being revealed as the infected party.

Behold Giganto!/In the Depths of Subterranea

Looks like the Mole Man is acting up again. Not only did he send one of his nastiest monsters to attack the surface world, but an attempted expedition to his kingdom of Subterranea hasn’t contacting their surface base in hours. Although the Fantastic Four defeated and restrained Giganto(which patrons can walk through in the manner of an old FF comic and the inflatable “Beast” attraction by Distortions Unlimited), there’s still the matter of the lost expedition. Visitors can ride the crashing elevator (a variation of the old “Hellavtor” trick) into Subterranea and discover an enchanting cave of glowing crystals…only to have the peaceful beauty shattered by the discovery of the dismembered expedition crew. As if the various monsters, Moloids and lava men weren’t bad enough, guests still have to brave earthquakes and bottomless chasms if they ever want to see the surface again.

Captain America’s Weird Tales/The Malice of Mysterio

Wait, why is Captain America doing his best Cryptkeeper imitation and hosting a haunted house based on old horror comics? Oh, it’s just a trap set up by Mysterio to help him get revenge on Universal for snubbing him back when he was just a special effects artist. But what he doesn’t realize is that his “hostages” won’t just cooperate and will instead try to make a run for it. But can they get past his various illusions, funhouse-style tricks and glass maze? And how did he manage to shrink everyone down to an inch in size? Things are never what they seem when Mysterio is involved…

Mayhem at Murderworld/The Lair of the Lizard

Looks like things have settled down a bit in the city for Halloween this year. Sure, people are cleaning up after an attack by the Hobgoblin (including his glider being embedded into the sidewalk),but Spider-Man did manage to defeat him before anyone could get hurt. And the occasional costumed super hero (played by trained stuntpeople) seen climbing and leaping from building to building seems to have kept any other villains from pulling any funny business. Say, that new haunted house over there seems like it could be fun…to bad it’s just Murderworld in disguise. Don’t think you’re safe if you manage to survive his various deathtraps and robotic henchmen as your “escape” lands you smack-dab in the middle of the Lizard’s sewer-based territory. The stale, green waters are swimming with gators and reptiles of all kinds have taken up residence in the various tunnels and pipes in the sewer system. A sudden appearance of reptilian humanoids reveals that the Lizard has something cooking up in his mad lab. And lucky you, tonight’s the night he’s looking for some new test subjects!