HHNXX: Kelly's Review

Kelly meets Jack


HHN Review Update – The Shows and
Unmasking the Horror

At the time of writing my original
review, I did not feel comfortable reviewing the Brian Brushwood
show, as I had only seen Menace once and had not seen Malice at all.
I have now seen each of his two performances several times, and feel
they need some coverage. I also wanted to update my review on Bill
and Ted, since the show has gone through many changes by now.


The first of the two Brian Brushwood
performances is called Menace. If you’ve seen Brian perform at HHN in
past years, this half of the show will probably be familiar to you.
He opens the show with an incredible fire-eating performance. I’m a
bit of a pyro, so I absolutely love this part. He then invites a male
volunteer up to the stage for something he swore he’d never do as a
magician, a card trick. Its your classic identify a card, destroy the
card, find the card – with a twist. With a bit of blood and a
somewhat adult surprise at the end, its a very suitable trick for
HHN. To open his third trick, Brian laments that his particular brand
of magic and comedy does not translate well for children’s birthday
parties. He feels he is missing out on significant income because of
this, so he created Mr. Happy Pants, the kid-friendly hand puppet. Or
is he? Actually, he’s more of a demon-possessed hand puppet, who
Shwood stabs through the chest (and incidentally his own hand) with a
very large needle. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have Mr.
Happy Pants at my kid’s birthday party 🙂 For his fourth and final
trick, he asks the audience to get out their cell phones,
specifically their cell phone cameras, to see a cool ghost illusion.
I like this because it lets the entire audience participate in the
trick. I won’t give away the surprise ending, but it definitely made
me jump the first time I saw it.


On the flip side, is Brian’s other
show, Malice. This show is new for HHN, and while these tricks have
been around for ages (as opposed to the all-Shwood-original tricks in
Menace) they are amazing physical feats that impress me no matter how
many times I watch the show. He begins with a trick that dates back
to the 1800’s. If you listen carefully, Brian tells you where he
found this trick. I did some research and was able to find the exact
book he references (it wasn’t easy). I can assure you, everything he
says about the origins of this trick is completely true. He then
proceeds to pass a small nail from his right eye to his left eye. He
returns the nail to his right eye, and passes through his sinuses
into his mouth, all while an audience volunteer describes the process
(again with the licking!). His second trick, he likes to call the
Human Crazy Straw. The name explains it all. He mixes an awful
concoction of water, milk, orange juice and beer, then wraps a long
tube around his body, finishing by pushing the tube up his nose and
out his mouth (I love the face he makes before he does this). He
strikes a graceful pose and you watch as the vile liquid passes
through the straw, spouts out through his mouth, and empties
perfectly into an awaiting glass. After unwinding himself, Brian
takes a sip of the foul mixture, and we applaud for Scott who has to
clean the whole mess up. Poor Scott. The third trick is one of my
favorites, the bed of nails. Not only does Brian lay on the bed of
nail shirtless (woo-hoo!) after demonstrating the dangers on an
unfortunate apple, but he also invites two female volunteers up on
stage to stand on him (you may applaud now!). I hold my breath every
time, terrified something will go horribly wrong. Brian closes the
show with a straight jacket escape, beating even Houdini’s record by
escaping from the straight jacket in under two minutes. After two
large male volunteers verify its not a trick jacket, and strap him in
very tight (you bastards!) Brian begins his escape while the audience
counts him down.

After every performance, Brian waits
out front to meet his fans (and he hopes each and every one of you
will stop by to say hey). As exhausted as he must be, it never shows.
He is always willing to pose for pictures and sign autographs, even
to take off his shirt and let you see the small dimples still
impressed into his back from the bed of nails. So stop by and check
out the shows, you won’t be disappointed!

Bill and Ted

The Bill and Ted show has come a
loooong way since EP. If you hadn’t seen one of its earlier
incarnations, you might be perplexed as to why there was so much
negativity to begin with. One of the things I am really enjoying, is
all of the improv lines. I literally have not seen the same show
twice, there is always a joke or two they are testing out. Some of
them have stuck, some have not. I also have to show some love to an
actor whose name I sadly do not know. You may recognize him as last
year’s John Connor, and I’m told he also plays the security guard in
this year’s HHN/Coke Zero commercial. He has done an “excellent”
job seamlessly filling in for many of the male actors on their nights
off this year. I’ve seen him in at least 3 different roles, and he’s
never missed a line, or a beat.

And so, although it means the end of
this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event, I am eagerly waiting to
see what they have in store for us in the final performance on
Halloween night.

Unmasking the Horror Tour

I had the opportunity to go on the
Unmasking the Horror tour on Sunday afternoon, and I really enjoyed
it. After a brief review (not as brief as Chad would have liked) of the past 20 years of the event, including
back stories of all the icons and mascots, our tour began. The tour
includes a lights-on walkthrough of the three soundstage houses,
Legendary Truth, Hades and Psychoscareapy. I loved walking through
with the lights on because for me, the amazing amount of detail that
goes into each house is what I go for. You don’t get that when you’re
going through the conga line in the dark. We stopped in each room of
the three houses as the tour guides shared stories and various bits
information about the rooms. We had several minutes in each spot to
look around and take it all in. We were also allowed to explore the
many passages the scareactors can utilize to watch people as they
walk through the house, and to jump out and scare them. While most of
the information shared by the tour guides were things we already knew
or had speculated on, I was able to confirm that “a” lantern (not
necessarily the HHN XX lantern) is hidden in each house, and found
them in two of the three we walked through. It was also confirmed
that an icon is hidden in each house, some overtly (like Jack in
Scareapy or the Storyteller in Legendary Truth) while others are
merely hinted at, and one is yet to have been found, at least
according the the tour guides. If I have the chance, will I do the
tour again in years to come? Absolutely!

Chad Burton

Hello, My name is Chad and I run HHNRumors. I'm a self described super fan of all things HHN. I've managed some high profile theme park blogs in the past, even been on the news for breaking stories. Yet, none of it compared to some fresh HHN Rumors.