How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse

Because when the end comes, you had better be prepared...
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Because when the end comes, you had better be prepared...

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When, in day to day life, I casually mention how that tree would be great for escaping from the undead, or that old spade handle would come in handy for cracking a few skulls, my friends look at me as though I’m joking. To them, the zombie apocalypse is a joke. A flight of fantasy. Something that’s as likely to happen as (insert football reference here). However, I’ll be the one laughing when they’ve half an undead O.A.P hanging off their arm. I’ll laugh first, then drop a fridge on them, because, my friends, you cannot be too careful once the zombie apocalypse comes.

Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide is a sterling field manual of how to deal with those shuffling hordes of decomposing wankers, but, it can be a bit of a pain carrying the book round with you all the time. Naturally, I’ve memorised this book and can recite any chapter, at any time, much like a Buddhist monk of the undead. I suggest you do the same, in order to augment your zombie survival skills you’ve gleaned from TV shows, games and films. So here, in one condensed list, is how to survive the zombie apocalypse. And remember, the best weapon against the undead will always be common sense.

1. Be Prepared

The S.A.S have a saying ‘Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance’ (or P.P.P.P.P.P). This applies to most situations in life, but hardly any will be as life-threatening as the end of the world. Clearly, you’ll have studied all available material on zombies and you’ll have a basic plan, and a cellar full of tinned goods. What’s also important is your physical fitness. Of course you need to be strong, so that you can heft that axe into those rotting prick’s heads, but you also need to be fit. Your cardio must be top notch and your technique spot on, so that you don’t suffer a sprained ankle whilst running across empty fields, screaming ‘Oh Fuck! Oh Fuck! Ow Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck!’

2. Get Hold Of A Shit Ton Of Badass Weapons

If you’re in England, you might think it’d be hard to get hold of weapons, but you’re wrong! Why not raid your local dealer’s pad? He’s sure to have a few katanas, nunchucks and pistols lying around. Don’t forget the police station, as they’re sure to have rifles to deal with bank robberies, One Direction, etc. But, the true art of zombie survival is adaptation, and this should always be applied to your weapons. See that plant pot? Punt it out the window and you’ve got a dead zombie. Desk lamp? Electrocute the cunts. Guitar? Play them some Ben Howard until they fling themselves out of the window. See? The possibilities are endless. And deadly.

3. Don’t. Fucking. Leave. The. House.

I can’t stress this enough. Find somewhere safe, and hold up there. How many films have ended with people going, ‘Oooh, I wonder what’s outside? I’ll just go for a look. Lalalala. Oh wait. Shit! No, no noooooooooo, arrrrrrrrrrrgh!’ A lot of films is the answer. This happened in The Dawn of The Deadremake where everyone left A SAFE SHOPPING MALL in a big armoured truck. Inevitably, they all got chewed to fuck.

4. Sometimes Leave The House. But Be Careful.

Ok, ok, sometimes you’ll have to leave the house, but I really wouldn’t recommend it. Charlie Brooker’s an intelligent guy, right? Well he doesn’t recommend it either. Just look what happened when they went off to that supermarket in Dead Set. They nearly got eaten and then some rogue police officers tried to shoot them. Gathering supplies is almost more trouble than it’s worth, unless you’re with Woody Harrelson, in which case, you’re golden.

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5. Be A Ruthless Bastard.

Mum’s been bit? Shoot her. Little sister’s got a suspect cut? Off with her head. Best mate’s stubbed his toe? Too bad pal... There was a moment in Shaun of the Dead, just after they all got to the Winchester when you thought Shaun was going soft. His mum had took one for the team and Shaun’s face had gone all wobbly. Luckily, he manned up and merked her like a bad man, possibly saving at least his and Liz’s lives.

6. From Now On, This Is A Ricktatorship

Much like the last point, you’ll also want to be ruthless with jumpy little upstarts who now think they run the show. The Governor is such a prick in The Walking Dead, as is that idiot army fellow in Day of The Dead. Do like Rick did to Shane, and stab them right in the heart. That way, your group will stay under control and there’ll be no stupid arguments which lead to everyone getting munched to death.

7. Be In England

The daddy of zombie flicks, George A Romero set all of his films in America, but have you seen how many Americans there actually are? Lots. There are lots of Americans, and each one is a potential zombie. Remember in The Walking Dead when Rick rode into Atlanta and his horse got eaten and then he had to hide in that tank and then there was a zombie soldier in there and he nearly died?! It was tense, wasn’t it? Well, remember the end of 28 Days Later, where they’re living in a nice little cottage out in the countryside, with barely a zombie in sight? That’s the difference between the UK and the U.S.A, my friend.

8. Be As Quiet As Possible When Moving Around

If you’re Darryl Dixon, you can get away with a roaring great chopper thundering about the woods, but, it’s most likely that you’re not Darryl Dixon, in which case, leave your motorbike at home, and get hold of a fast, reliable car. There should be loads lying about unattended, you might just have to scrape the previous owners off the seats...

9. Forget Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Your girlfriend is trapped down the street? Well, guess what? Girls are tough too, in fact, maybe tougher than boys, just look at Resident Evil films (don’t really, they’re shit). Rather than rush off down the street trying to save your paramour as soon as the shit hits the fan, wait a few days, let things lie down, then make an intelligent plan to go and get them. If they’re worth the trouble, they’ll have been able to keep themselves alive for a few days without you.

10. Don’t Make Stupid Lists Of Rules

Zombieland was a great movie, and ultimately, it was about Jesse Eisenberg learning to loosen up and enjoy himself. His list of rules came in handy, but he was constantly adapting it along the way. As I said in the intro, COMMON SENSE is the best weapon in a zombie apocalypse, so if you only have one rule, make it to trust your guts. If your guts are all over the floor, you’ve taken a misstep somewhere.

11. BONUS RULE: DON’T FUCKING KILL BILL MURRAY.

Pretty self-explanatory, this one.

Tom's first novel, 'A Departure' deals with all this and more. Get your hands on a copy here and follow him on Twitter here.