Have you ever watched a zombie movie or TV show and thought to yourself, “No way do I ever get infected or become zombie food like these whiny dolts. I could totally kick some zombie ass!”? Well, the creators behind The Walking Dead comic book provided attendees of Comic-Con 2012 the opportunity to put their zombie survival skills to the test.
The San Diego Padres stadium, Petco Park, was turned into zombie-infested nightmare, complete with hordes of wandering undead attempting to feast upon your entrails. There were three ways attendees could participate in this event – as a spectator, a survivor, or a blood-thirsty zombie.
So I, along with my Screen Rant co-worker Anthony Ocasio, decided to lace up our running shoes and swallow our fear in an effort to bring this experience to our readers who weren’t able to make the trip to San Diego.
Was I able to make it out uninfected? Read on to find out. (Note: Anthony wussed out after signing the liability waiver and watched from the spectator’s area. You may heckle him on Twitter - @AnthonyOcasio.)
Check out this video of my epic ‘Walking Dead Escape’ experience below, then read on for the full account of my journey through the Zompocalypse:
STAGE ONE – INITATION
Before the we start fleeing for our lives, the
fresh meat survivors were told that in order to survive the nearly mile-long course, it would be in our best interests to group up. I took a moment to look over my options:
- A guy in dress slacks and loafers – Will be dead by turn one.
- A couple of power-walking 50-year-old moms in yoga pants – Worm food before the halfway point.
- Two 13-year-old kids in skater shorts – Too short to survive the course.
- A group of teenage girls who wouldn’t stop squealing every time a zombie growled at them from behind a fence – Good chance they die before the start.
- A couple dressed as Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw and Iron Fist – Now we’re talking.
- A nice guy name Aaron who walked up to me and said he was a fan of our site - Screen Rant, we love our fans.
I think it’s fairly obvious who my choices should’ve been. So Juliet Starling, Iron Fist, Aaron and myself formed a group determined to make it through the course alive.
As the FEMA guide took us around the corner to start the course (which they claim isn’t a race, but this is America – we make everything a race!) we saw soldiers using neck chains to transport zombies to a holding pen. As we gathered near the start point, the zombies overtook the soldiers then turned their attention to us. The FEMA guide screamed into a megaphone, “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! GO! GO! GO!”
The ensuing scene was reminiscent of a sale at Macy’s on the day after Thanksgiving, as a couple dozen survivors pushed their way through a tiny opening in the fence. I know for sure the women in yoga pants were infected by the pursuing Walkers after taking a faceplant just a few feet into the course – faceplants that I may or may not have caused.
At this stage, the obstacle was quite simple: climb up a wooden 10-foot ladder, then go down a slide while trying to avoid the two mindless zombies at the bottom. Sounds easy enough, but the zombies still managed to infect a handful of people. After dodging several more zombies in a twisting path, we made it to the first set of stairs in the course . Much like Po in Kung Fu Panda, I don’t do stairs.
STAGE TWO – FEMA RESUPPLY DEPOT
We headed up what felt like 700 stairs just to be told that we had to go back down a different set of 700 stairs. Apparently, electricity stops working during a zombie infestation and we weren’t allowed to use the escalators. It was at this stage I immediately regretted not properly hydrating myself before starting the course, as I had a severe case of dry-mouth and a splitting ache in my side.
The second obstacle we encountered had us climbing a cargo net, up 10 feet then back down 10 feet, but no zombies were lurking at the bottom to ensnare us this time. That’s because there were MORE stairs around the corner – and honestly, those were scarier than any of the zombies we encountered.