Ever stopped by a shop and spied something that pays tribute to the business's beginnings? Perhaps in a frame on the wall, near the counter? It might be the first dollar bill earned, or the first shoelace made, or a meaningful early object tied to how the shop got successful.
Universal Studios has its meaningful early earners and business-growers, though they wouldn't dare be framed on a wall. Vampires and werewolves and monsters and invisible men helped lay the bricks of one of Hollywood's most robust movie factories, and every chiller that's come later owes an amount of dastardly debt.
But Universal remembers its roots, and will again, during Halloween Horror Nights, the annual autumn spectacular that brims with mazes and other macabre to-dos. A vampire is set to show, not in the form of the traditional 1930s Universal Count Dracula but a new take: "Dracula Untold," the new film set for an October release, shall get the "foreboding maze" treatment.
What to do, where to go and what to see
It's an unusual twist: How often does one get to venture into the world of a film before the film's release? Vampire fans, you're in luck.
As are fans of 1981's "An American Werewolf in London." The John Landis-directed film is also getting its own snarly Halloween Horror Nights maze, complete with the pub from the flick (The Slaughtered Lamb -- good memory). Shall there be moors inside the maze? You bet. Hold a friend close before wandering by moonlight.
The shapeshifting werewolf and newly re-imagined vampire join "The Walking Dead: End of the Line," "The Purge: Anarchy," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Face Off: In the Flesh," "AVP: Alien vs. Predator," and the Terror Tram on the 2014 Halloween Horror Nights roster.
The screamy spectacle opens on Friday, Sept. 19 and runs on select nights through Halloween.
Cue baying at the moon and/or evil vampiric chuckling...