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movieworldticket.jpg (24832 bytes)

Surfers Paradise

October 26, 1998


After breakfast, I went out on my trip for the day: a fun-filled expedition to Movieworld, the Warner Brothers amusement park.  A few others went with me: most of the rest went shopping or on to Sea World.

Carmen, Penny, Rob, Eric and myself went around as a group, with Carmen in the lead: she had out the map of the place, and within a few minutes had figured out the optimum path through the park to see all the different shows that were playing that day!   I would have wandered around at random and missed most of them on my own, I think.

We started out with a tour of Movieworld, which showed some of the costumes, sets and the props from various movies.  We were then brought into a series of  four different stage shows.  The first showed the original Riddler Lair set from Batman Forever, and had a little light-show with a "Riddler" showing some of the effects that were used.

The next three included audience participation: the first demonstrated how blue-screen effects were made.  They got one girl to seem as if she was on a high ledge above the city: the thing I noticed (that they didn't mention, as I recall) was that the "ledge" she was on was not only just a few inches above the ground (as you would expect), but it also jutted *forward*, so that you could not just stand straight up on it, you had to lean forward a bit.  I wondered if this was to enhance the effect.   There was a second shot that they made with a guy dressed in a Superman outfit, and they did a blue-screen of him flying through the air: pretty funny!  Of course, later it wouldn't seem so funny... :-)

As luck would have it, Rob was picked in this next set.  It showed how sound effects were made, and had several members of the audience attempting to reproduce all the effects from a scene from "Lethal Weapon II".  First they demonstrated how the effects were done, then they showed the participants what they needed to do, and in what order.  The result was not *quite* what the original was. :-)   Poor Rob: he didn't get *quite* the same splash as Mel Gibson did when he jumped in the pool (Mel Gibson, not Rob).

The third show involved reproducing a scene from "Memphis Belle", a W.W.II movie.  The guy they picked to be the pilot never quite got into the swing of things: he was either pretty confused or had had his sense of humor surgically removed.  Fortunately the girl with him could provide some comic relief!

Almost immediately after the show, the Loony Tunes parade started, with lots of WB characters, including the Loony Toons, Superman, Wonder Woman, Marvin the Martian, Batman, etc, etc.

maverickshow.jpg (56827 bytes)Magic Shows and Other Stuff

After the parade, we rushed over to the "Maverick Grand Illusion Show", which turned out to be really good!  Before the show, there was this guy wandering around dressed like an undertaker "interacting" with the audience.   Whenever he'd see a pretty girl, he'd grab their bag or purse and would not let go.   THEN he would indicate he'd want a kiss by pointing at his cheek.  When the girl finally complied, he would turn around and kissed them on the lips!!  Many a girl was making "yuck" noises that day, I can tell you.  In fact, I managed to get the shot just as Penny was getting kissed: what a Kodak moment!

Another of the better shows we saw was the Police Academy Stunt Show.   These guys showed some real daring, driving full-size cars and little scooters around a tiny area a breakneck speed, but with perfect coordination and timing.  Good thing, too: any one of them would have ended up as roadkill, otherwise!

At the beginning of the show, they picked a few people out of the audience to "spot" the bad guys by blowing whistles.  I don't know if you have seen the original "Police Academy" movies, but the guy doing the picking was acting just like the hardass bad-guy sergeant  in that film.  When he tried to pick one guy who apparently didn't speak English, he found another person who would play along.   This guy was a real clown: dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and ridiculous hat.   When the "policeman" told him to "take of that ridiculous hat", he took off the sergeants instead!  He also claimed he was from Tasmania, which has a "country bumpkin" association to the Ozzies.  The sergeant said that that explained everything.

The guy was hilarious: falling off the bench when a whistle blew, and generally carrying on.  However, it turned out he was a "ringer", especially when he fell out of the building where he was "spotting", on to the awning below, and started getting blown up left and right by the stunts.  I was almost offended, but it was too hilarious to complain!

superman.gif (5394 bytes)After that show we saw a "Great Gremlins Adventure" (really mostly for kids).  Rob got his picture taken with Catwoman (meoouww!).   We also saw a 3-D Marvin the Martian cartoon (Marvin in the 3rd Dimension): poor Penny fell asleep during part of it (it was really good, though!)  Oh, and remember the guy getting his picture taken as Superman?  Well, later in the day I spotted a booth where they will do that same shot and video tape it for you, so guess what I did!   (I've digitized the movie and put it on here for your entertainment and my embarrassment). (type: Quicktime MOV file file size: 7.2 MB (zipped))

Batman and Beyond

Watch out for them jellyfish...One of the last bits was a run through the "Batman Adventure" ride.  As we piled in, a girl was welcoming us to Wayne Manor, when an emergency bell started, and we all had to get into the ride.  She spoke *much* too fast, by the way, and her "English" accent was laying it on a bit thick, but anyway...

The ride is one of those where you sit in a mechanized box and are jostled around a bit.  I've never actually been in one, but it didn't look too bad.  We all piled in, got our seatbelts on, and waited for it to start.  They said you could hold on to the seat in front of you or to the handles at your sides but I thought "Nah, I can just sit back and watch, I don't need any silly handles.."  Mr. Macho, eh?

BLAMMO!  That whole box shook like it was in an earthquake!   DOWN go my hands to the bars, UP almost comes my lunch!  That ride was INTENSE!  Between the jostling and the screen in front of us showing the action, it felt like you were really there!

Dinner and Stuff

Staggering out of the "Batman" ride, we made our way to the exit, where a giant lizard was waiting for us.  Despited that, we made it back to the waiting bus, and the hotel for dinner.  On the way, we heard this really weird radio show, where they were doing a topic called "Please Explain" (apparently what some local Australian politician said) where they talked about all the really weird things that happen.  They had people calling in and asking about things to be explained: one woman called in to ask "if there are so many divorced women, where are all the divorced men?"

They also did a parody of a commercial: it appeared that Elle MacPherson did a commercial for the Australian tourist board, which cost them about a million or so.   This was pretty controversial, and some people were quite upset.  They claimed to have the commecial on hand, and from the sound of it Elle is considered quite the "bimbo!"  It was a voiceover of a sultry woman's voice (supposed to be Elle) with the director yelling corrections back to her.  It went something like this:

Elle: "Hi there: it feels so great to be here on a photo shoot in Western Morocco..."

Director: "Australia!"

Elle: "I've heard some people were upset about the commecial I did for the Canadian..."

Director: "AUSTRALIAN!!"

Elle: "...tourist board, that it could have been put towards hospitals.  But I mean really: who wants to see me lying seductively on a hospital cot?"

Director: "I'm going home..."

Elle: "Eeeww!  What's that?   There's something wriggling on this bed!"

Director: "It's a baby."

Elle: "Ooo Ew!  Who's is it?"

Director: "It's YOURS, you silly bint..."

etc. etc.

After dinner, we went off to club "Melba's" for more dancing and drinking.   The club was not as fun as "Shooters", though: almost totally dead (the only people there were our group) and a bit more loud, too: I could feel the music vibrating the hair on my legs!  Afterwards, I went back to the hotel for a good nights sleep: gotta get up early for Downhill Downunder!


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1995-2002 William Geoffrey Shotts. Last update: Tuesday, March 09, 2004