In light of the upcoming Zombie walk, the great holiday, and the blog entry posted for What’s New at HauntedFlower.com, I thought Indymojo would love to share in this zombie history and survival guide!
Whoever started the zombie craze clearly had some. What is it that makes us so into these lovable undead creatures? Is it that anyone who wants to be (or doesn’t want to be) can be one? Is it the absolute plethora of qualities each can have when portrayed in different movies the way it is with vampires, but less romantic? The transformation? The mindlessness? The flower-faces from Resident Evil Afterlife? Or my personal favorite, is it the rocking dance moves? Whether you like your zombies fast or slow, it seems everyone can’t help but be fascinated by movies about them and the fun of dressing up like them.
Zombies are created by humans contracting the Solanum virus. This virus uses the cells of the frontal lobe of the brain for replication and destroys them. All basic bodily functions shut down including the heart rendering the subject dead, but the brain stays alive but dormant as the subject is mutated into new organism. The subject no longer has a need for that all important resource for humans, oxygen, and has become a member of the living dead. The infection is 100% communicable and 100% fatal. It is only spread through bodily contact and an exchange of fluids, the most common example being the zombie bite. Even the tiniest exposure blooms into a full-blown infection too quickly and there is no antidote.
In the Middle ages, it was believed by many that the dead would come back to life and haunt the living and West African voodoo beliefs told of people being controlled by a powerful wizard, but it wasn’t until the age of the “Romero zombie” that the concept really came back to life with 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead.”
Zombies often take on similar traits: they look like dead people moving around jerkily, they usually move very slowly (though recent interpretations beg to differ!), their intellectual cognitive capacity is limited or nonexistent, they have increased strength, they are not under any individual’s control, they can only be defeated by blow to the head or decapitation, and have no need for normal biological requirements such as oxygen, conventional food, or sleep.
Zombies in recent pop culture have steadily increased their speed as in “Dawn of the Dead” the remake, “28 Days Later”, “Resident Evil”, and “Zombieland.” Zombies are their own disaster film culture as the infection always always ALWAYS results in an apocalyptic scenario that can’t be contained and a small band of warriors sticks it out as long as they can with individuals often sacrificing themselves so others can get away.
“Zombieland” is one of my favorite zombie movies and horror comedies and it stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Brelin as four people brought together for survival in a post-apocalyptic zombie world and the need to go to an amusement park and a much loved appearance by Bill Murray. The comedic duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star in my other favorite zombie horror comedy, “Shaun of the Dead” about one man’s quest to win back his girlfriend, come to terms with his mother and her husband, and save his friends from a hoard of zombies.
Zombies also find themselves in modern literature as in the popular 2009 mash-up novel, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” where the Jane Austin novel is supplemented with a plot of zombies taking over in the British regency period. On TV, one of the most famous music videos of all time was a horror parody of zombies dancing with Michael Jackson in “Thriller” and zombies have occasionally made appearances in shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The X-files”. In the gaming world, the Resident Evil series of games has really lasted the test of time along with newer popular game, Left 4 Dead and Dead Space and zombies often appear in collectible card games like Magic the Gathering. In the music business there is Rob Zombie, maker of music and movies and also the band The Devil Wears Prada released a zombie-themed album.
In the event of a mass infection resulting in a zombie apocalypse, what should you do?
1. Always bring a spike club, baseball bat or chainsaw with you! The argument for this is that small guns are difficult to aim long distance for the head, spray guns while effective end up attracting more zombies than you can ward off effectively, and lastly you are always going to run out of ammunition and feebly loft it into the crowd in a pathetic attempt to bump someone with it. Other long-range weapons that seem great until you run out of them are cross-bows and shuriken. Other short-range hand-to-hand weapons that would be really effective if you have them handy would be a katana, cricket bat, tire iron, golf club, ax, or for the real down and dirty work a machete or meat cleaver (but be careful with those because they might get stuck and then poof! You’re weaponless again!)
2. Walking and biking are the safest for transportation. They are quiet, need no fuel, and there’s no down-time of switching your shoes to switch to roller skates where someone can creep up on you. Sure cars, motorbikes, and big armored buses sound fantastic since they’re fast and have some shielding to the passengers, but you run into the fuel upkeep problem immediately.
3. If you are attacked by bandits, you must eliminate every single one. Why? Because it only takes one to get you and if they get away they might come back with friends who want your survival gear.
4. When looking for a base, keep these questions in mind:
•Can it be secured easily?
•Is it defendable?
•Is it big enough for your needs and those of your group?
•Does this location work with your survival plan?
•Is it far enough away from major zombie activity?
Look for a place with very few windows and doors and a second level to retreat to if the first gets overrun.
5. Pack food, water, water-purifying tablets, your weapons, and a flashlight.
6. It doesn’t matter if they are your sibling, parent, best friend, spouse, or one night stand — if they have turned, they have to go.
For the rest, you’re on your own. Good luck on Z-day! Don’t forget to check out zombie apparel at HauntedFlower.com while you’re packing your survival kit.