Build Your Own Universal Monster

A Halloween Horror Nights contest is on the search for an inventive idea

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Universal Pictures
    Monsters and Universal Studios have gone hand in, er, claw, for the better part of a century. Want to invent a fresh take on a classic monster for Universal Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights? Here's your chance.

    Universal Studios and classic movie monsters? Peanut butter and jelly have nothing on this duo. Nor do spaghetti and meatballs, peaches and cream, cookies and milk, or any other twosome that may or may not be food-related.

    In short, Dracula and the Wolfman and Frankenstein all have found their longtime cinematic home at the famous studio on the hill (or just below the hill, if you want to get technical). That means Drac's castle, and Dr. Frankestein's lab, and the Wolfman's woods? Yeah, they were all created just off the 101, long ago. (Think of that next time you're sitting in a traffic at Universal City.)

    Now Universal is sending out the "aaawooooo" -- that's a wolf baying at the moon, of course -- to film fans and enjoyers of Halloween Horror Nights, the annual autumntime scare-tacular at the studio's theme park. The "aaawooooo" says this: There's a contest on for lovers of those vintage movie monsters. Just design a new spin on a classic Universal monster and maybe possibly see it groan to life during Halloween Horror Nights.

    An illustration of your character or a written description is your entry. Details here.

    You'll also get invited to the opening red night carpet event, if your design wins, and you'll get to ask your eeriest pal to accompany you. (You'd totally choose your eeriest pal to invite, right? Don't pick someone who doesn't know their Creature from the Black Lagoon from their Invisible Man, please.)

    There's a PDF describing the whole contest, and listing the characters in play. Serious chill buffs will be happy to see that Renfield is one of the characters which is up for a rethink -- what would Dracula do without his creepy assistant? -- and Ygor, the helper to Dr. Frankstein. In short? Top headliners are in contention, but some of the fun and frightening B players are in the macabre mix.

    (Don't be sore we called Renfield a B player; he's crucial, yes, and we're of the opinion that any horror story worth its spilled salt is held up on the caped shoulders of its dastardly B players.)

    Monday, July 1 is the deadline to submit your monster design. Finalists will premiere on the Halloween Horror Nights Facebook page on July 2, for voting purposes.

    And just imagine if you do win. You'll get to meet your monstery creation in person -- or, um, in monster? -- at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you don't snap a photo -- you and your monster, happy together -- and send it out to everyone you've ever met, we'll bay dolefully in your general direction.

    Please don't make us go all Wolfman here. Thank you.

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