Every fan of AMC's "The Walking Dead" knows its midseason premiere is Sunday. What they may not know is they can get an early taste of the show this weekend in Hollywood.
A "zombie invasion" display at the main entrance to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will be open to the public from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. (The show's return will air at 9 p.m. Sunday.) The casino's display will include a zombie-infested cage and barbed-wire fences with mangled music memorabilia, and patrons will be encouraged to take photos in the area.
Nearby are blackjack tables and two display-type (no coins) "Walking Dead" slot machines. Most slot machines based on TV series focus on old shows, such as "Sex and the City" and "Cheers." But the "Walking Dead" machine began rolling out in January, with the highly rated show still in its fourth season. (AMC says about 13 million people watched each of the season's first eight episodes.) Naturally, the Seminole Hard Rock has six live machines, located near the center bar.
Like most TV-based games, the machine employs clips from the show and icons that are familiar to fans. In this case, these include Laura's necklace and wedding ring, an RV, a screwdriver (it fixes things and kills people) and a bloody teddy bear. Images of Rick, Shane, Andrea and others also appear in a grisly, Atlanta backdrop, and the slot player's chair rumbles at times to make for as spooky an experience as a casino is comfortable offering.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, "The Walking Dead" is set in the months following a zombie apocalypse. The "Walking Dead" Slot Game made its debut at the Global Gaming Expo in late 2013, and the Las Vegas Sun reported that the game was "by far the most popular game at G2E."
Dallas Orchard, vice president of gaming operations for game manufacturer Aristocrat, says in a press release that the company wants to "capitalize on the show's dedicated following" and "stay true to the ethos of the AMC series."
For more gambling news, check Nick Sortal's column in today's Showtime. Nsortal@SouthFlorida.com