For the zombies to stalk Halloween Horror Nights this month at Universal Studios Hollywood, it won't be just blood to scare the beejeezus out of lost soul visitors.
It'll be the inner demons released from hundreds of Hollywood horror actors.
“It's taking makeup to the next level,” said Larry Bones, lead makeup artist for the Universal theme park horror show. “The makeup brings out something dark — it just changes the personality.
“They become wicked. Their voice changes. You see something evil in their eyes.”
The Universal Studios Hollywood hounds of horror shed some of their most gruesome secrets Tuesday during a sneak peek at its Halloween Horror Nights gore.
The Universal City theme park nightmare will run from Sept. 20 through Nov. 2 during 21 of the darkest nights. Www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/hhn.
The haunted nights bring together some of the sickest minds in horror. And some of the scariest makeup artists, costume designers and graphic whizzes in the business.
Around a darkened theater not far from giddy studio tourists from across the world stood a pantheon of severed heads, leering masks, bleeding wounds and slashed throats.
“Watching ‘Twighlight Zone,' for real,” said Lucas Culshaw, of Los Feliz, a Universal graphic designer putting the finishing touches on a grim El Cucuy to reap victims of “The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven” attraction, based on AMC's Golden-Globe nominated show. “The secret of the scary character: nightmares — my own.”
Next to him stood Kimber Parrish, a North Hollywood makeup artists, who was putting some eerie paint on El Cucuy's mask. “This is the boogie man,” she said, as her creation came to life. “It's terrifying.”
The Halloween Horror Nights event will feature a warren of skin-crawling mazes, terror-filled Scare Zones and a re-imagined Terror Tram. Besides “The Walking Dead,” guests may be driven mad by scenes from Sony Picture's “Evil Dead: Book of the Dead,” the heavy metal band's “Black Sabbath 13 3-D,” and “Insidious: Into the Further,” from the 2010 thriller.
New scare zones will include The Purge, based on the Universal Picture's blockbuster and Curse of Chucky, featuring the killer doll with dimples.
Around the room, Frankenstein's ghastly bride was being made up next to a ghoulish convict from “The Walking Dead.” A French killer clown smock hung near a coat designed for a helmeted Black Sabbath war pig.
With more than 500 actors playing each horror, would it be the makeup, or inner demons, that unleashed their terror?
A bloody man grabs an astonished visitor, brains dripping from half his head, the whites of his eyes hoping to explain a dead man's tale.
“I think I've unleashed a demon,” declares Lisette Santana, a makeup artist from East Los Angeles, as her creature scurries before a throng of Hollywood news cameras.