Hunt Zombies (and Aliens) on the Streets of Downtown Vancouver: Zombie Syndrome is Back for 2015

Screenshot from Alien Contagion

Screenshot from Alien Contagion

Zombies are big in Vancouver, judging from the turnout for his month’s zombie parade through downtown. But combine zombies with aliens and you’ve got a serious hit on your hands.

That’s the premise of the newest instalment of The Zombie Syndrome – the interactive, zombie-chasing adventure staged in downtown Vancouver in the lead-up to Halloween. Starting Oct. 6, you can grab your smartphone and join other zombie hunters on a quest to save the world as part of Alien Contagion: Rise of The Zombie Syndrome. Just watch your back and don’t get bit along the way.

The unique piece of interactive theatre – staged by local company the Virtual Stage – has won rave reviews from press, critics and, most importantly, participants. Audience members meet up in a secret location and then use GPS-enabled smartphones to gather clues from across the city. Along the way, they confront all sorts of ghoulish adversaries as they move from site to site, from walking corpses to menacing extraterrestrials.

unnamed (2)This year’s plot – the fourth annual instalment in the Zombie Syndrome drama dating back to 2012 – offers an intriguing twist on the zombie narrative. A highly confidential NASA report reveals that a UFO has crashed on earth, though the exact location is unknown. Adding to the mystery, the alien pilot is reportedly injured, has escaped and is hiding in Vancouver. Then there’s the whole zombie thing: It just so happens that every NASA official sent to locate the UFO has returned in a zombie-like state.

The exact starting point of the show remains a secret until the day before, when ticket holders receive a phone call or email from a character in the story with instructions on when and where to meet. Once assembled at the secret rendezvous point, you and your zombie-fighting colleagues are briefed on the situation. Groups then race out into the city to find the downed spacecraft, quell the nearby zombie uprising and save the human race from the brink of extinction.

Image from Virtual Stage

Image from Virtual Stage

The Zombie Syndrome runs Tuesday-Sunday from Oct. 6-Nov. 1, with shows every 30 minutes from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Regular tickets are $25-$35, while special Halloween shows are $40-$50. The show has been given a PG-13 rating by its creators and, due to the horrifying nature of the content, kids under 13 won’t be admitted without a parent or guardian.

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