- Associated Press - Sunday, October 16, 2011

UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. (AP) - Heroes and villains from the worlds of horror, fantasy and sci-fi shared the stage at Spike TVs annual Scream Awards.

More television event than traditional awards ceremony, the Scream Awards were presented in an amphitheater built on the Universal Studios backlot just for the occasion.

The Saturday night show was as much about how the awards were presented as who got them, but for starters, the top honorees were Harry Potter, Darth Vader, Nicolas Cage, Pee Wee Herman and Robert Downey, Jr.

Resembling a psychedelic circus, one side of the stage was a life-sized dollhouse populated by costumed characters, the other a staircase topped by a giant keyhole, and in the middle was a lake that lit up with fire.

Fans picked the night’s winners and also filled the makeshift theater for the 2 1/2 -hour presentation, which is set to air Tuesday as a two-hour special on Spike TV and VH1.

The show literally began with a scream, opening with a giant crane carrying a woman across the sky, then dropping her into the fiery lake. Blasts of fire and various stunts continued throughout the program.

Potter took the night’s top prize. The eight-part film franchise was named the Ultimate Scream, which awards presenter Chloe Grace Moretz described as “the most awesome, most rocking thing that the universe has ever seen.”

Audience members were given glow sticks before the winner was announced, and when “Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe accepted the prize by video from New York, fans there were waving the same lights. Co-star Ralph Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort, also appeared by video to accept an award for favorite villain.

Vader, though, won the Ultimate Villain award. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas presented the Sith Lord with his prize.

Vader, who accepted the award personally, said he’s found it difficult to concentrate on his work recently because he’s constantly “living in fear of how George Lucas is going to digitally enhance you for the next DVD.”

Meanwhile, Lucas announced that the first “Star Wars” film converted to 3-D will open in February. He also offered a peek at his latest project, “Red Tails,” about the Tuskegee airmen.

Herman, also known as actor-comedian Paul Reubens, rode his shiny red bicycle across the lake (on floaties) to accept the Visionary award. He thanked his fans and “the academy of Spike TV.”

When Cage received the Maverick award from Quentin Tarantino, a motorcycle appeared on stage and the lake blasted with fire.

Before Downey accepted the Hero award, audience members were given placards emblazoned with his image and the word “hero” and told to raise the signs when the actor made his entrance. They practiced a few times before the big moment.

Colin Farrell introduced the “Iron Man” star by saying, “No one plays the hero with more swagger than this man.” Up went the placards. Fireworks shot from the stage.

Story Continues →