I want to first start out by saying that the staff at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut where the event was held was extremely friendly and accommodating. I was excited when I saw a couple dressed as a Walker bride and groom where they could remain in matrimony until whatever constitutes real death during an apocalypse occurs. What I was also impressed about was the effort and dedication the people who signed up to be Walkers put into their parts. You essentially start the actual course by hearing screams and fleeing for your life as you foolishly mull over the decision to actually run whole heartedly or not, because you know it’s not technically real. I found myself at a pileup of cars, presumably abandoned once the infestation set in and using your own two feet was a more docile mode of transportation than a clunky car that has a time limit and can’t quite hide as well. As I exited the gates and made my way up the road I passed a couple that asked me: “Is it worth it?” and I hesitated before I answered. Other than the obstacle course, the event held an after party where fans could listen to music, dance, play games, and purchase The Walking Dead items. Zombie culture is more than just the gore and fear of being snacked upon by your undead mother who only lusts for your brains rather than your well-being.
And I think the most important idea that The Walking Dead especially brings to the forefront is how humans can turn to monsters when faced with such monstrous consequences. Copyright © 2010 - PortaldeMisterios - Privacy policy This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons. I ate up Zombie apocalypse shows, watched World War Z one and a HALF times because I fell asleep the first time and had strange zombie dreams, and played hours upon hours of Plants VS Zombies Garden Warfare. Professional makeup artists were brought in to give humans their undead makeover, and that was part of the package if people opted to be a Walker during the course.
I’ll admit that I started off at a slow clip, feeling somewhat foolish as I clutched my bag and teetered over the rocks while trying not to be knocked over by the stampede of other survivors behind me. The more clumsily I progressed through this challenge, the more I felt that I was in an actual zombie apocalypse. The FanFest area where the party was held was decorated in the finest apocalypse dressings imaginable, complete with body bags of infected victims. What I especially think is important about the entire genre is the blurred idea about humanity. Okay, there’s flesh eating creatures walking the streets, let’s band together to protect each other. They directed me to each location of the event, and told me what I could find at each point. People showed up in costumes; I saw a few doctors, a woman in hair rollers, and a woman in a nightgown.


Even before the first wave began people stumbled around with ghoulishly grey faces and tingling fingers itching to dig into your fresh, live flesh. I realized quickly that running for your life is no joke when I found myself becoming winded. I decided to jump up on the cars, and was the spectacle of the spectators for a good few minutes. At this moment I knew that this obstacle course wasn’t specific to one person; how you chose to navigate the course was up to each individual and this is what makes The Walking Dead Escape worth the admission. Survivors got to run the course while Walkers received professional makeup and got to moan around on the obstacle course and gracelessly trip over air while their glazed eyes combed the crowd for fresh yet slow meat. Overall, the event was a way for zombie fans to indulge in their obsession and meet with likeminded individuals who revel in their interest in the undead. There is supposed to be the black and white differentiation between good and evil; the undead want to kill, the living want to survive. When the FanFest zone wasn’t open yet the staff helpfully pointed to the makeup tent where I could witness all of the made up Walkers in all their grotesque glory. The only thing zombies are capable of loving is your flesh, but you have to admire their dedication.
It was uncomfortable at first, but the good kind of uncomfortable- the unnerving discomfort of an undead creature trying to consume you. At this point I knew I couldn’t run past a Walker quickly enough but I COULD run backwards behind other survivors and let them distract the Walkers. No one had attempted this feat yet, and they all flocked to the fence with their cameras and cheers.
With any sort of event, you are responsible for getting out of it the money that you put into it. Yet anyone who has seen the latest episode of The Walking Dead on AMC can understand the concept of humanity not necessarily being humane. Walkers have no conscious thought; they only obey the hunger and agitation that is present in the only part of the brain that operates. I would participate at this location and event again simply because people were eager to make the time unforgettable. They would jump through hoops (if they could jump), and impale themselves upon sharp objects to obtain the object of their obsessive affection.
There were nuances throughout the course that gave me the heebie-jeebies… painted signs on the fences warning others of the apocalypse, and there were even buses broken into by Walkers with blood smeared over them. Zombie culture also begs the question about whether or not being humane is actually beneficial in an apocalypse.


Now it is no longer about protecting your skin from Walkers when every walking creature is after a piece of your flesh. Humans on the other hand can differentiate between what is right and wrong, and essentially what the show does is show how even though humans are supposed to be different, in some ways they’re not. There were even water stations outfitted around the entire premises so I was happy to save quite a few dollars on the inevitable overly priced beverages at big events. I think it is the innocence associated with buses that unnerved me the most about them being overrun and abandoned. The constant barrage of new obstacles that bring life to chaos and deviant behavior might make the context of humanity a bit different. I know a lot of people who complain about the direction that The Walking Dead is taking, and that is what bothers me a lot about the societal expectations of today’s generation. We’re all slaves to the most basic parts of our brains that require feeding and relief from anger or hostility. The fun part of the obstacle course was finding out your own niche in escape plans and discovering who you are and how you might react if ever faced with this impending doom of a situation. Not only did they get to run the course as both a Walker and a Survivor, gifts were given out at the end which contained a shirt, a book, and a comic, at the very least. You think of grade school when you think of yellow school buses, but in an apocalypse, bus and blood are somewhat synonymous. People want instant gratification, and there’s only so many times a Zombie’s head can be decapitated before it becomes boring. It is an eat or be eaten world during an apocalypse, quite literally, and it is every man for himself whether or not people believe they’re in groups.
At one point I was witnessing doctors experimenting on Walkers, and encouraging humans to succumb to the Walkers so that they could do more testing. I would like to say that I am courageous and valiant, wielding weapons with great finesse and saving every human I came in contact with.
Fans could also pay $20.00 to be a Spectator and stand on the sidelines while people made their way through the course.
The next day, when bombarded with questions about how the event was, I couldn’t help smiling and recalling parts of the day that were memorable for me, and that is why I think this event is a success.



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