Eminent Domain

Can the Zombie Apocalypse Save Detroit?


Living Dead-troit.

Now wait just a second, Reason contributor Shikha Dalmia. Maybe bankruptcy isn't the answer to Detroit's economic woes. Maybe it's zombies.

Enter Z World Detroit, the latest and possibly greatest scheme to save the Motor City. The concept, developed by entrepreneur Mark Siwak, sort of sounds like the end result from a Cheech and Chong brainstorming session. Take a 200-acre plot of Detroit's abandoned warehouses and neighborhoods. Now turn it in to apocalyptic amusement park, where visitors stay overnight to fight the zombies–or turn into one. Says Siwak:

People look at [Detroit's abandonded buildings] and see a problem. A huge liability. But we think that's looking at it the wrong way. This is actually an opportunity we would like to take an advantage of. We want to embrace what's left behind and turn it to something unique and spectacular.

The group admits that they still have work to go, in terms of locating an ideal site, refining the specifics of the actual game, not to mention questions of eminent domain (what happens when the one guy who doesn't want to leave his home is now living in the middle of a zombie takeover?). Nevertheless, it's certainly a creative attempt to get people—both living and undead—back to the city. As the Z World Detroit team puts it, "who doesn't want to live through at least one night in the zombie apocalypse?"

Good question.

For more on the zombie uprising, check out Z World Detroit's video below:

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  1. I’d rebuild Detroit as two competing theme parks: Robocopland and Crowland.

    1. Will Crowland have death in freak accidents as a feature?

      1. Well, more intentional killings than accidents.

        1. OK, you’ll have to use real bullets then and not dummy bullets with blanks.

          1. That was a mafia conspiracy against the Lees! It’s all lies!

          2. Its safer that way.

    2. I like the themepark idea…What was the movie with Yul Brenner, westworld? As an alternative, just wall it off a la Escape from New York. The feds can then throw all the drug felons there.

      1. And sell urban decay tourism trips to the adventurous. Or stage reality TV shows there.

        1. Or stage reality TV shows there.

          like Running Man! survive and you get relocated to a tropical paradise.

  2. “No, no. No, see, this is a really shit idea. You know why? Because it’s really obviously a shit idea.”

    1. Zombies are so hot right now. But can it last?

      1. “They use…consume maybe 5% of the food available in the human body. With that small amount, the body is usually intact enough to be mobile when it revives.”

    2. “Maybe if we tried working together we could ease some of the tensions. We’re all pulling in different directions.”
      “That’s the trouble with the world, Sarah darlin’. People got different ideas concernin’ what they want out of life.”

      1. “When Tallahassee goes Hulk on a zombie, he sets the standard for ‘not to be fucked with’.”

  3. It’s interesting concept, but no one will go there because it means going to Detroit.

    People like the horror themed park. I grew up only a few miles from Knott’s Berry Farm which every October turns into Knott’s Scary Farm and draws sizeable crowds with horror themed mazes and such. I think this idea could work in a better location and maybe if the concept were refined to include more than just zombies.

  4. I hear about a theme park consisting of 200 hundred acres of abandoned buildings, and I have two thoughts:

    (1) Cool!

    (2) Liability.

    1. (2) Liability.

      Aww yes, the smell of liability lawsuits are to lawyers what the smell of fresh blood is to zombies.

      1. For us in-house guys, the fear of liability lawsuits is more like kryptonite to Superman.

        1. I had to lie down just reading the word.

    2. Not if the city and state declare Detroit a lawsuit-free zone.

  5. What about commissioning a new Fallout game based on Detroit? They could then make a park that involves live, yet interactive battles. Maybe with Google Glasses to augment the reality. Naturally, some buildings will have to be blown up.

  6. “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

    I think this should be brought up in every discussion of what to do with or about Detroit.

    1. Works very well with my Fallout: Detroit, Rock City plans. Nuke it first, then build the park! Using a neutron bomb, of course, and only after the city has finished its current evacuation.

  7. At best, this would end up being like Zombie-themed paintball. If I can’t shoot an actual zombie with a crossbow, I have no interest.

  8. Look at all the libertarian chicks suddenly coming out of the woodwork!

    I’ll have you know that I was a libertarian chick before it was cool to be a libertarian chick.

    1. I’m not sure I’d call Episiarch a “chick.”

      1. Well, he does lack a Y chromosome.

      2. I am all things to all people. And I don’t like the term “hermaphrodite”. I’m not a worm, damn it!

      3. “Omni-asexual” is as close as we can get with Epi.

    2. We’re up to what, 8? I’m not sure sloopy and Banjos can be our only breeders, if that’s gonna be our strategy.

      1. Never insult the rugged and efficient nature of Banjos’ bajooey ever again.

        1. So we’re definitely part of the pregnant, but barefoot if you choose and in any room you like school of patriarchy?

          1. It’s not about feminism or patriarchal blah blahh or any of that jibber-jabber… it’s about Banjos’ miraculous super-womb.

            1. You’re right. I will never refer to it, no matter how obliquely, as anything but miraculous and super.

              1. Many people assume, after seeing the sonogram, that we some how surgically implanted a top hat and monocle into the womb, it’s not true. My super womb provides the fetus with them.

        2. That. That right there. That is funny.

      2. Hey, don’t forget the rest of us breeders!

  9. There’s no way they’ll let them do that in Detroit unless all the zombies are unionized.

    1. Shouldn’t be too difficult to mandate. The UZW has many friends in the Obama administration.

    2. Since most union members are already zombies, I’d think this would be a given.

  10. I can see some dude freaking out and braining one of the “zombies” with a stray piece of rebar.

    1. Or some kid accidentally impaling himself on rebar. “Liability,” sayeth RC, “liability.”

      1. Cutting themselves on broken glass and bleeding to death, hypothermia, rape and assault…

        Too many bong hits went into this idea.

    2. Speaking of, that dude who did the zombie pranking in Miami tried another one where he would set down a suitcase and run away like he was up to no good and got the shit beat out of him.

      1. The victim, later identified by the Sun Sentinel as Andre Brown, initially runs in fear that the suitcase will explode. But when Vanegas, who poses as a Russian hitman, reveals that he is only being pranked, Brown fights back.

        I wouldn’t exactly characterize that as fighting back.

        1. Yeah, that’s just beating up a guy.

        2. Honestly, I got no sympathy. Scare a man for your own amusement and he gets a free pass on whipping your ass in my book. Probably violates the NAP, but I’m okay with it.

          1. Although I’m not a fan of assault, I don’t have too much sympathy, either. But fighting back suggests responding in kind. Fighting back in this case would be pranking the Russky.

          2. In the Miami zombie prank video, one of the victims pulled out a gun. The guy’s lucky he didn’t get shot. Some people just have no sense of humor.

            1. Guy got startled and the first thing he did was pull a guy?

              This man has police potential!

              1. *gun* – paging RC

                1. Oh, yeah. That’s a winner.

              2. Nah, someone with real cop potential would’ve shot the dude 16 times before thinking, “maybe this is staged”.

  11. I think letting people buy demolition rights would be a better idea. Sort of like that theme park in Vegas where you get to play with heavy equipment, except here you get to destroy actual buildings.

    1. Combine them with the guy in Minnesota who lets you run things over with a tank.

      Maybe let you shoot the gun at buildings.

    2. My favorite part of Vegas – going to a shooting range to fire automatic weapons.

    3. That’s an idea I could get behind. Who hasn’t wanted to blow shit up at least once?

  12. I can only wish them luck. It is an ambitious idea and more than a little crazy, sounds like an American project for the ages.

  13. I thought Detroit already was the archetype for what a Zombie Apocalypse would look like. I mean, for real, not theater.

    1. Looks like Atlanta.

  14. This is yet another smoke screen by the government to hide the fact that their zombie experiments have gotten away from them. “Oh, you see a zombie? Must be performance art. Must be bath salts. Must be a theme park attraction.” No, mister government scientist, IT’S A FUCKING ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

    Also, who’s going to insure this thing? Detroit is already tetanus waiting to happen. They’re actually going to have to clean the shithole up to make it a believable urban disaster area.

    1. I thought it was the Umbrella Corporation’s fault. Now you’re telling me it’s the government?

      1. And the Trilateral Commission.

    2. What if the tetanus mutated and actually turned the actors into zombies?

      1. What if you mutated into a rational commenter and recognized how silly that idea is. Obviously it’s fluoridation gone awry that’s causing the zombies. Why do you think it happened in the Sunshine State first? Florida, fluoridation. Connect the fucking dots.

        Although, the tetanus thing would be an interesting movie idea… NOBODY STEAL THAT.

        1. Well at least your comment had at least four sentences, but unfortunately it had about as much substance as SugarFree.

  15. Hmm. Advert for trueswords.com in the side bar.

    1. I’m getting World of Tanks.

  16. what happens when the one guy who doesn’t want to leave his home is now living in the middle of a zombie takeover?

    Depends on what types of guns he has, how much ammo, and how strong the boards over his doors and windows are.

    1. He attaches a bunch of balloons to his house and flies away. Duh.

      1. Also a good way to avoid the Wrath of Kelo.

  17. A bit off-topic but one guy on the City-Data forum posted a interesting rant titled “Detroit: A Libertarian’s paradise” http://www.city-data.com/forum…..adise.html

    Might be a more interesting alternative to zombies.

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