The song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is starting to ring even more true in recent years, thanks to the many zombie apocalypse movies and shows that the state has played host to. In many ways, the state has helped to redefine the horror genre. From "The Walking Dead" (which doesn't even use the z-word), to "Zombieland," which delivered a fresh, fun take on flesh-eating, nightmare-inducing, undead monsters, to "The Crazies," a relatively under-the-radar horror film that turned the zombie thriller on its head, there's no denying that the undead have played a major role in Georgia's film history. These are a few of the best zombie-themed filming locations across the state.
One of the deepest plot lines in "The Walking Dead" came in seasons four and five, when Rick and his band of survivors arrived at the abandoned rail yard known as Terminus. The inhabitants of Terminus have been driven mad by the pressure of living in a post-apocalyptic society, and finding them leads Rick and his group to face a tough question: Is it worth succumbing to a paranoid existence in this world, or is it better to risk your life trying to keep a spark of good alive? The symbolism gets even deeper when you consider that one of the original names for the city of Atlanta was "Terminus," since it was the end of the line for the Western and Atlantic railroad.
The scenes at Terminus were filmed at Collier Metals in the heart of Atlanta. Feel free to drive past and ponder whether you would join the Terminants... just remember not to trespass!
If you remember "Live Bait,” episode six from season four of "The Walking Dead," then this barn might look familiar. It was the barn that was graffitied with memorials to a man named Brian Heriot. The episode delves into the backstory of The Governor, an incredibly complex character, and how he "borrows" the name Brian Heriot after encountering the barn. The graffiti has been painted over, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit, but at least you won't have to worry about running into any walkers when you visit.
It's delightfully ironic that a TV show about the undead has brought the sleepy little town of Grantville back to life! It was once a bustling village that saw business as the only place in the county to buy bottles of booze, but time began to take its toll on the town, and by the time "The Walking Dead" started filming here, Grantville's downtown was mostly empty storefronts. Some shops have started to capitalize on the TV show, which has brought lots of tourists to the town. You can visit Morgan's apartment, which has been decorated as it looked in the show and features memorabilia from the series, take a Walking Dead-themed tour, or just stroll around town and feel like you're in a post-apocalyptic universe.
The episodes of "The Walking Dead" that take place in Woodbury, which is controlled by The Governor, are some of the most interesting. In one, we see that The Governor puts on gladiator-style fights that feature humans dispatching hordes of zombies for entertainment, and to "blow off steam." The scenes in the makeshift Arena were filmed in the town of Newnan, at the corner of Perry Street and Salbide Avenue.
Speaking of Woodbury in "The Walking Dead," a lot of the other scenes that take place there were filmed in the town of Senoia. Explore the town to see the house where Carl finds chocolate pudding, The Governor's house, and the building where Rick and Carl take shelter are all in this area.
Lighten things up on your adventure into the world of the undead with a trip to Wild Adventures in Valdosta, which served as the filming location for the Pacific Playground theme park in the horror-comedy "Zombieland." The theme park was the intended final destination for sisters Wichita and Little Rock, two survivors of a zombie apocalypse, since it was rumored to be free of zombies. Of course, once they reach the park, they wind up simultaneously enjoying themselves and having one heck of a showdown with a massive horde of zombies. You won't want to miss a chance to hop on Blast Off, the ride that Wichita and Little Rock were on when the zombies finally entered the park... in real life, it's called Firecracker.
"The Crazies" is a bone-chilling remake of the 1970s George Romero-helmed zombie classic of the same name. While the movie takes place in a small Iowa town, a lot of filming was done in Georgia. Priester's Pecans and the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry were used for some scenes, and you can also visit the car wash from the movie (Fountain Car Wash in Macon) and the high school where residents were quarantined (Peach County High School in Fort Valley).
Whether it's a dark and brooding zombie show, a black comedy starring crowds of undead monsters, or a classic horror film, zombie flicks can run the gamut. But, no matter the tone, Georgia serves as the perfect setting. And, a trip to Georgia is the perfect way to live out your zombie apocalypse fantasies... without, you know, having to worry about actually encountering the undead!
Discover Georgia’s scenic beauty from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal islands. Along the way, stop into historic small towns, homegrown restaurants and unique local shops. Experience outdoor fun at Georgia’s state parks filled with breathtaking foliage, trails, waterfalls and much more.