- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Zack Snyder revealed in May that the apocalyptic, zombie-infested world he created in Netflix’s Army of the Dead would be hitting the road this summer with a “truly immersive” virtual reality experience. Snyder teased that fans of the film — or anyone with a penchant for picking off hyper-speed, blood-crazed undead — would have a chance to board a Sin City Tacos truck and join the Las Vengeance team to bring back some survivors. That time is now and the first place to host the traveling Viva Las Vengeance experience is the 5th-floor rooftop of Westfield Century City.
Presented by Netflix with partners Pure Imagination Studios, Fever and The Stone Quarry, Viva Las Vengeance opened to the public July 28, a day after a preview for VIPs and press. The 30-minute experience offers participants a chance to select an avatar and firepower before boarding one of two tactical taco trucks on site. Each group (up to six at a time) is then presented with a brief virtual introduction to the mission from crew member Cruz, played by Ana de la Reguera. After that, it’s time to take a position in the motorized truck, put on a VR headset, grab a gun and try to survive the ride.
Greg Lombardo, head of experiences at Netflix, said the streamer is “thrilled” to provide Army of the Dead fans the chance to experience zombie hordes in real life. “The zombie-infested world of Las Vegas Zack created is larger than life and it was only fitting to leverage the immersive power of VR to bring fans closer to the action and join the Las Vengeance crew,” Lombardo explained. “We are always seeking new ways to immerse our fans in the stories they love. VR is certainly one way to do that.”
The VR experience portion of the event is close to 12 minutes long and, after the game ends, participants can browse merch, pose in a photo booth and refuel at a concession stand with a menu by SBE’s global tech-food platform C3 that features street taco-inspired items like Zombie Mulitas, Tacos Alphas and the Viva Burrito.
Pure Imagination Studios chief Josh Wexler compared it to bringing a theme park ride straight to the people. “It’s a VR experience with a level of immersion that, honestly, compares to the best of what Disney and Universal have out there,” he noted. “Zack built a fun, fantastical world and put a spin on the genre that hadn’t been seen before. Right out of the gate, it was something different, and as soon as we saw the armored taco truck, that’s when the bells went off.”
Plans started rolling in late 2019 but the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into some of the blueprints, including the acquisition of necessary taco trucks. Demand for delivery-style vehicles soared, making it hard to acquire a fleet needed to build out the traveling experience that will post up in cities across the globe. Viva Las Vengeance remains in Century City through Sept. 12 with New York, Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and London opening in the weeks to come. “Future cities to be rescued” include Atlanta, Miami, San Diego, Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, Orlando, Seattle, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston and Phoenix with international locations planned in Berlin, Paris and Madrid.
“It’s a massive undertaking to pull off an experience like this in ordinary times. Add a pandemic and you are also facing supply chain challenges across the board-from taco trucks to microchips and battery packs,” Wexler said. “We built our own taco trucks.”
Now that they pulled it off, it would seem likely that the experience would find a permanent home, either at an existing theme park or a location in a major city like Las Vegas. But Lombardo wasn’t ready to discuss the future. “Our focus is on the tour and providing our members across the U.S. and Europe a chance to go toe to toe with the zombie hordes.”
More information about the event, ticketing and reservations can be found here.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day