5 Things Movies Teach About Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Guest post by: Zack Mandell is a zombie movie enthusiast, writer of movie reviews, and owner of www.movieroomreviews.com, which has great information on movies, actors, and upcoming films such as World War Z. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites like Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium. zombie_movie_survey

If you’re like me, then you love zombie movies. You love watching them, you love analyzing them, and you love arguing with your friends over what the main characters did wrong, what they should have done, and what you would do in their place. The point is that zombie movies can be a great tool to discuss what would happen in the event of an actual zombie outbreak scenario. Here are five things the movies taught me about surviving the zombie apocalypse.

#1. Shoot Them in the Head

If you’ve ever seen any zombie movie ever, then you know that the most important thing to remember when facing zombies is that you have to shoot them in the head. It’s ironic that nobody in zombie movies has ever seen a zombie movie before themselves, or else a lot of fatalities would probably have been preventable. One of my favorite scenes in the Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake occurs at the very beginning when the mall cops go downstairs to find a zombie flailing about in a fountain. The dumber of the cops calls him a “twitcher”, a term they hear on TV, and decide to try out the broadcast’s advice of shooting him in the head. This establishes that it works to the characters, as well as to the audience— but seriously, everybody knows to shoot zombies in the head!

#2. Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down

Ok, I know that we all have burning desires and human needs—and our humanity is what we need to hold on to!—but control your urges people. Unless you are in the process of repopulating the earth after all of the zombies have been cleared out, there is no reason for you to be… ahem, “kinoodling”. Trust me, this one sucks for everybody, but I’m fairly positive that most people would rather be alive and “unserviced” than dead. Or undead. Not only do you risk getting eaten in the act, but you also can end up with a pregnancy on your hands, which, as we have seen in AMC’s TV show, The Walking Dead, is not an easy thing to cope with.

#3. Stay Stealthy

The amount of stupid mistakes that people make when trying to not to attract zombies in the movies is appalling. Don’t shoot your guns when you don’t have to, don’t yell, don’t even light your cigarettes because you’ll end up dead. Stealth is key when dealing with zombies, and not engaging them at all is something that we can learn from survival horror video games like the Resident Evil titles. The worst example that I have ever seen of this in a movie? The ending of Zombieland, where the main characters decide that powering up a Disney Land-type theme park with blaring carnival music and the biggest Christmas lights you’ve ever seen is somehow a good idea. Do yourself a favor, stay under the radar.

#4. Know Where to Go and Be Prepared

One thing that always comes up in zombie scenarios is “where you’re not supposed to go”. For example, we should all know that hospitals are most likely one of the absolute worst places to be during a zombie outbreak. Why? Because they generally start there. Forget 28 Days Later, and The Walking Dead, where the protagonists wake up in hospitals. The surrounding wreckage and shambling corpses should be an indicator that these places are not the places to be. Other no-no areas? Malls and large buildings (plenty of people will flock to these centers) and gun shops (another area people will be flocking to). Prepping is key, so load up on food, ammo, and medication BEFOREHAND. Don’t get caught in the hustle and bustle, because large groups of people are just walking zombie-buffets.

#5. Use Your Guns!

Last but not least, going one on one with the undead in close quarters combat is NOT the way to go. Yes you want to conserve ammo, but that means running whenever you possibly can. Max Brooks’ survival guide may have shunned the use of guns, but in all reality, conserving your ammo and using firearms is the safest way to go about your business. Hand-to-hand combat is messy. First it puts you close enough to get bitten. Second, the spray of blood touching any mucous membrane or open cut will turn you into one a zombie yourself. Lastly, unless you are Alice from the Resident Evil movies, chances are that you are not familiar with lethal, unarmed combat. Going at a zombie like a spider-monkey with no weapons is essentially serving yourself up on a silver platter.

What else do the movies teach us about zombie survival?