WELL, IT’S HAPPENED: “It” being World War Z. The best-selling zombie book since the Bible is finally in theaters, and it is showing every sign of being the #1 zombie film in an otherwise slow year.
No joke, this was World War Z’s biggest competition.
So, what has the film taught us? Any juicy details on how to survive a zombie outbreak in real life? Not really, since it seems just about every zombie film ever made avoids the following tips that would be pretty damn helpful if a zombie apocalypse ever happened.
5. PREPARE A KIT
We know what you’re thinking: Preparing a kit for a zombie uprising sort of defeats the purpose of disaster movies. However, there’s a reason why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually has a website and a handbook dedicated to surviving zombie apocalypses: Emergency kits are the types of things people should have handy for any reason, be it a hurricane, a nuclear war, an accident at the workplace, or yet another zombie movie/video game. Ditto for hunger games.
How long to do you think Katniss would have lasted without this?
As such, emergency kits are sort of like smoke alarms or fire extinguishers: In an entire apartment building, there’s got to be at least one or two people who actually keep theirs up to date. However, zombie films never focus on the person who had the sensibility to keep a first aid kit in the trunk of his car, and for good reason: It sort of kills the fun. Surviving a zombie apocalypse is not nearly as exciting as almost surviving one.
What a buzzkill.
4. RIDE A BIKE
Why is it that nobody in zombie films, including smart ones like I Am Legend, have the sense to peddle their way through humanity’s post-apocalyptic landscape?
This is the closest thing we could find.
Think about it: It’s probably going to be a long time before anyone opens a gas station again, and a typical cyclist can move faster at a leisurely pace than most humans can run. Even if humanity was faced with zombies who could run as fast Usain Bolt without resting, a racing bicycle would be all you’d need to keep yourself safely ahead of an approaching zombie hordes.
The only explanation is that everyone with a bike already left New York City.
3. THINK BEYOND GUNS
Yes, zombie uprising make for particularly fun first-person shooters, but in real life you’d probably be better off saving your bullets to defend against some other lunatic with a gun.
Such as this guy.
Guns have two major problems in every zombie movie: They’re loud as hell, and they’re only as useful as the amount of ammo you have. However, for some dumbass reason, guns continue to be the weapon of choice in just about every zombie film ever made. Shaun of the Dead is probably the only exception to this, and for good reason: Not only did Shaun end up killing way more zombies with a cricket stick than a Winchester, but the film went out of its way to show how even heroes in a zombie uprising can still be terrible shots.
Despite years of TimeSplitters 2 training.
As such, bats, clubs, and axes have been shown to be much smarter weapons to use in zombie movies. They require no training to use, are far quieter than firearms, require no ammo, and don’t fuck up if you get them wet. Whether these weapons trump samurai swords, however, has yet to be proven.
Ditto for how the hell Cherry fires this thing.
2. WAIT UNTIL WINTER
No matter how the mechanics of a zombie works in a film, it seems pretty clear that they’re still susceptible to the kind of things that would destroy an otherwise healthy human body. For example, if you set a zombie on fire, it’s probably going to burn itself up at some point. If you chop a zombie’s head off, you probably won’t have to worry about it crawling after you with its eyelids. And lastly, if you turn your adversary into a popsicle like Arnold did in Terminator 2, odds are it probably won’t be able to do you much harm.
Good thing that’s precisely what happens to a human body when it’s exposed to cold temperatures.
If Luke Skywalker couldn’t survive this, we’re pretty sure no zombie could either.
We’re guessing this is the main reason zombie films never take place in the winter. If there was ever a zombie outbreak during Christmas, most people would probably be advised to stay comfortably at their homes while the undead turned into ice sculptures outside. After that, smashing said frozen zombies with baseball bats and axes would probably become a new yuletide tradition that children throughout the country would look forward to each year.
“Oh Whacking Day, Oh Whacking Day…”
1. HOLE UP SOMEPLACE OUTSIDE THE BOX
If there’s a zombie apocalypse, everybody already knows where they’re going to hide out: at the mall, at the supermarket, or at a gun store.
Or, in rare cases, the pub.
However, this is where people barricade themselves all too often in movies. As a result, the maneuver is so cliché that you’d probably have to fight through a horde of undead monsters and healthy people just to get killed at the front door. Besides, a gun store would be pretty damn hard to conquer. Ditto for supermarkets and malls. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to hide during a zombie apocalypse that have plenty of supplies while at the same time being completely off everyone’s radar.
Think about it: You’ll have a whole arsenal of bikes and baseball bats to equip yourself with, way more candy and snacks than the Sports Authority offers, excellent visibility, and a lifetime of amusements to pass the time with. Such are the benefits of thinking outside the box when disaster strikes. Also, let’s face it: A zombie apocalypse in a Toys “R” Us would make an excellent movie.
It’d be like if this scene from Planet Terror lasted the whole movie.
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