Special to Peace Arch News
Halloween is long past, but the undead continue to give rise to thrill-seekers on the Semiahmoo Peninsula for a few more days.
Blood, gore, guts and violence is the focal point for this year’s Zombie Combat Zone, which moved to First Nation land in Semiahmoo Park earlier this year after founders Ron McCall and Carl Sutherland first brought to life a zombie-themed paintball apocalypse on private property in South Surrey last year.
An avid fan of the Walking Dead graphic novels – though he thinks the television show has strayed too far from the originals – McCall takes his zombies seriously.
“There’s something different about them compared to regular movie monsters. I mean they’re us right? Believe it or not, they do have an emotional range – although limited – and the fact that of all the possibilities for evil to manifest itself this would be most likely” said McCall.
Zombie Combat Zone is an outdoor paintball circuit built to replicate a zombie apocalypse. Up to 12 teammates battle their way to survival armed with only their paintball guns and their wits.
The objective is simple: shoot the zombies to stay alive.
Each team has rules – never point your weapon at other players and refrain from touching the actors, to name a couple – and a distinct mission.
“The mission this year is to find all three parts of a virus that, when uploaded to three different locations in the game, will shut down all of our cyber-zombies,” McCall said.
“Our zombies are the cream of the crop, this isn’t for everyone and it takes a special breed to be a zombie or a monster.”
The zombies are paid actors and are hired through staff connections.
Each player is supplied with a Tippmann Tango One Paintball Gun, eye protection and their ammo, which is unlimited for 30 minutes of gameplay. An additional 15-minute orientation is required prior to the experience.
For those with a low pain tolerance, beware. Paintball is a sport you play at your own risk.
“Our demographic is pretty much all ages and walks of life,” McCall said.
“I was surprised, but it seems to interest all kinds of people.”
Although it is recommended that players be over the age of 13, younger children may play with adult supervision.
For those who prefer zombie target shooting as opposed to an apocalypse, there is a zombie shooting gallery. This is a special fenced-off section where one or two zombies are kept for people to practice on.
Considering the East Beach location is in an active neighbourhood, McCall said he is surprised none of the local surrounding residents have complained about the late-night noise.
“(It’s a) great bonus that we can run an event like this and not disturb anyone this late at night.”
ZCZ is located at 15782 Marine Dr., Semiahmoo Park. It is open Thursday through to Saturday, 7 p.m. to midnight until the end of November.
For more information, visit www.zombiecombatzone.com