Saturday a friend and I made the couple of hour drive from San Diego to Hollywood to fulfill a bit of seasonal entertainment. Using some discount combo passes I got through my day job we planned to do Universal Studios in the afternoon then stay for their ‘Halloween Horror Nights‘ before taking off for the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd and the World Premier of the 3-D version of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead.
For the most part the trip went as planned. The drive to Universal wasn’t too bad, moderate traffic, but a lot more than what I normally run into when I did the same thing on early Sunday mornings. Our Combo passes allowed entry into the theme parks after 2 pm so there was a lot of time but we of course visited the new attraction, a scarehouse inspired by the AMC program The Walking Dead. We got in a few rides and then it was time for dinner.
After a brief meal we re-entered the park for the Halloween Horror Nights. Here the park has set up themed mazes, more scarehouse really, and themed area with some fo their attractions still running. Because we had a movie to get to at 10 o’clock we knew we’d be fighting time and opted as our first maze the one with the shortest posted wait time – Freddy vs Jason.
Okay it may have had the shortest posted wait time, but it was beyond the park itself at the far end of the backlot. The hike to reach was long, but I did get to see sections of the lot I had never seen before. The maze itself was fun, with clever practical effects.
After that we returned to the upper lot of the theme parks – another long hike – and selected as our final maze Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers. This was a longer line and after the maze we departed straight for the Egyptian.
We arrived and discovered a line that stretched form the box office, through the theaters courtyard, down the sidewalk and around the corner. I had purchased our tickets on line we there was little fear of being locked out due to a sold out performance.
The show time was 10 pm but we weren’t even inside and the appoint hour came and left. We did eventually get in and I turned away from the crowd leading us up to the balcony. The Egyptian is an old school movie palace, huge and lovely. We had pretty decent seats and after getting our snacks settled in for the blood and mayhem.
Before the show there was a short talk by the film’s producers who over saw the 3-D retro-scan, making that start time even later. In the end I didn’t care.
The film looked gorgeous. The image was sharp and bright, the 3-D effect better than many films shot and released in the 3-D today. There were times when I thought to myself ‘This is like looking through a window, not at a screen.’ I was very nice seeing the film in a theater. I own it on blu-ray and consider it to be Romero’s best Zombie movie, but I had never seen it in a proper theater. During the 1979 run I did see the film – at a Drive-in theater with spotty sound, a washed out picture, and while sitting on a bicycle. (I owned no car in high school.) So this was a real treat and worth not getting home until 3 o’clock in the morning. If you like this movie, or bloody gory zombies films, and this plays in your area, see it.