"Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" has been a staple of the Universal theme parks since 1992, but this year the pop-culture spoof reaches a new peak of hilarity by taking on such subjects as The Hunger Games, the presidential race, and Chris Brown and Rihanna's reunion during its annual return to San Dimas High School.
Spinoff Online was invited to attend the opening night of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 22, where we were treated to the one of the first "Bill & Ted" shows of the season. The 2012 version of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" follows our two heroes as they decide to run against each another for San Dimas High School president. It turns out the students have changed a lot since we last visited San Dimas in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
The Universal Orlando and Hollywood teams have been keeping the world of Bill & Ted alive for more than two decades, and folks like Universal Orlando show director Patrick Braillard expressed excitement that a third Bill & Ted movie is on the way.
The Universal Orlando team may not have any idea of where that new film is headed, but the Halloween show surely demonstrates that the franchise remains relevant. The show pokes fun at some of the biggest and best movies from the past year: The Avengers, The Hunger Games and Brave all are teased for their archers (the San Dimas High archery club was canceled due to lack of interest), Channing Tatum earned both 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike references, and apparently the Men in Black are the reason Rihanna decided to get back with Chris Brown.
But films aren't the only ones being thrown under the bus. There are obligatory Stefon and Zooey Deschandel/Siri jokes, a "Gagnam Style" dance-off and a bit too much Honey Boo Boo for our comfort. Pregnant Snooki makes an appearance, Don Draper can't seem to get a gig working at San Dimas High, and angel Dick Clark comes in to save the day. The rap-off between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is one for the ages, and the show's finale is a great mash-up of the greatest hits from the Beastie Boys, Carly Rae Jepsen and Nicki Minaj. And just wait until you find out who the villain is in this whole mess.
"Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" might not pack on the scares of some of the other Universal Halloween Horror Nights Events, but it certainly is heavy on the fun. Plus, watching it should help tide you over until Bill & Ted 3 eventually comes out.
Universal Hollywood has its own version of this show, and both air several times nightly while Halloween Horror Nights continues its run through Oct. 31.