It’s no secret that Greg Nicotero likes hiding treats in “The Walking Dead.” He’s dropped in tribute walkers here and there over the years more for himself than anyone else, but now he’s stretching his wings a bit.
Zap2it spoke to Nicotero about Universal Studios Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights when the topic came up. “In episode 1 for this season, when Rick and the guys are running to the train car to let the crazy tattooed guy with long hair out, one of the crates in the foreground says ‘Horlicks University via Julia Carpenter,” he says. “That’s from George Romero’s film ‘Creepshow.’ It was written on that crate, like the creature was inside.”
If you’re wondering how that fits into a zombie show, don’t. “Now I’m starting to get a little rambunctious and putting little nods in there that don’t have anything to do with zombies, but just stuff that inspires me,” he admits.
“I love throwing them in there. I never really put them in there hoping people would notice them,” he says. “I put them in there as a reiteration of my respect and admiration for the genre.”
If you visit Halloween Horror Nights, you might notice a couple special treats, as well. Universal Orlando Director of Entertainment – Creative Development Michael Aiello teases, “I will admit our maze last year, based on Season 3, we did have Ben Gardner’s head from “Jaws” in The Governor’s fish tank.”
Just because they’re in there doesn’t mean you’ll see them, though. “I don’t know if there’s time to look at that kind of stuff because you’re literally being attacked the entire way,” he says. “If you have time to look at those things we’re probably not doing our job right.”
Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights runs through Nov. 1.