Ever wanted to know what it’s like to try and survive in a world filled with blood-thirsty zombies? We’ve all seen depictions of the end of the world in films and books, but unless 2012 turns out to be for reals, we may never know what it’s like to shoot ghouls and see civilization deteriorate into madness and chaos.
Never, that is, unless you travel to the Safety Wolf Recreation Outpost just south of I-285 in Atlanta and check out the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse. The brainchild of Johnny Rej, owner of the historic Plaza Theatre, and Shane “Professor Morte” Morton, creator of the Silver Screen Spookshow, the AZA is an immersive experience unlike regular “haunted houses.”
Visitors/victims are led through a 90,000 square foot area of terror by trained military professionals while zombies and other terrors fly in from every direction. After the tour through hell, they can pick up a gun and get revenge by blasting angry monsters in the face.
Zombie Cat and friends wanted to see what the fuss was about, so we traveled to the middle of nowhere site to scope the scene Saturday night. After paying the $3 fee to park (really?), we got in the incredibly long line around 10:30. Soon the word traveled down: the wait would be over three hours! The people in front us screamed in terror and fled, sacrificing their three bucks to escape the horror of standing and talking to each other.
Luckily, the wait was only TWO hours. In the meantime, we were entertained by a zombie banging on a window, military personnel checking us out for bite marks and shooting in the air, and a man with a sandwich board informing us we were going to Hell. Oh, and one chick walked out exclaiming, “That was boring as shit!” to nobody in particular. Plus, there were port-a-pottys. Whew!
After getting scanned for weapons (seriously – check your pockets), we bought our tickets: $20 for the zombie tour, $15 for the shoot a zombie game, or $30 for the pair. Then, we got to stand in line again to wait for the tour. While we waited, a copy of Night of the Living Dead played on the ceiling and more military personnel checked us for signs of turning.
Suddenly, screams rang out – a woman was getting dragged out of line by soldiers while her friend tried to stop them! What the hell was going on? They shoved both of them behind a wall…then, gunshots, then silence. Whoa…
Shortly, it was time for us to go in. A doctor explains the situation; zombies started popping up, no explanation, military moved in, etc. Suddenly, one of them attacks, and we were off running for the rest of the trip, led by an angry soldier and his drunken friend. Our chances looked slim.
After running through the building, we escaped outside only to find more destruction and zombie CHILDREN, for God’s sakes. This also leads to a human outpost with some despicable people trying to make their way while the world collapses. This included trying to trade all our women for some cigarettes. We almost did it, but ran out of time.
More zombies, mad scientists, and rotting corpses later, we emerged out of the building, luckily unscathed. Our tour had taken around fifteen minutes. After waiting two hours, the time spent was a bit disproportionate, but it wasn’t “boring as shit.” Not the scariest thing in the world, but some nice set-ups, good props, fun actors and even a little storyline.
Since we survived the apocalypse, we headed over to shoot some zombies. There was only one old man in front of us, and he was quickly finished. We figured he had been shooting for a long time before we strolled up. Soon, our time came.
Twenty shots later, we were done, having killed a few zombies. We wandered off, a little bewildered. For a $15 entry fee for this section alone, there really needs to be more to it. More shots, a refill or two, ability to move around a bit, something. As it is, it’s wasted potential.
The “haunted house” (and that’s what it is, despite reviews saying otherwise – just a well done one) is definitely worth it, however. Just for your sake, get there early, especially Halloween weekend! As busy as it was for us, All Hallow’s Eve will be a literal nightmare.
Bundle up, put on some good walking shoes, and check with your doctor your health is in check and head down and check out the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse. I can see it doing it very well in the years to come if they keep it up, so go this year so you can say you were there first. Just make sure not to act too suspicious in line, or they may take you out back and shoot you!