We all like to think we’d survive a zombie outbreak. But if oodles of zombie movies are to be believed, we’d all get chomped on far sooner than we’d like. While The Girl With All The Gifts (out now on Virgin Movies) is as cliché-free as undead horror flicks come (it’s great - go watch it), there are a still a host of lessons to be learnt from its protagonists’ attempts to survive in the midst of a cannibalistic flesh-eating outbreak.
Because no matter where you are or when it happens, zombie apocalypses are never a good place to be. Here are a host of handy hints of things to avoid and tips to help you survive when the inevitable happens…
Every news report seems to talk about disease outbreaks (but no-one pays any attention)
We get it. Nowadays, everyone has the attention span of a squirrel hopped up on a cocktail of skittles, coke and mocha frappuccinos. But even so, the hilarious ambivalence with which zombie movie characters ignore background news reports of virus outbreaks, hyper-violent random attacks, and troublesome cannibalism is kinda astounding.
Next time the news comes on the TV/radio/Twitter, just spend an extra couple of seconds listening to the lead story - it may just save your life.
People around you look like they’re dying but insist they’re not
You know when you’re in the office, and some illness martyr valiantly soldiers on next to you, coughing, spluttering and phlegming all over their keyboard/your desk/the coffee machine?
Zombie movies take that contagious, courageous, ‘I’m totally fine, honest’ idiocy to its murderous conclusion. In every zombie outbreak, there’s always one self-serving twonk who gets bitten when no-one notices, and then proceeds to hide the infection, slowly succumbing to the disease with all manner of sweat/vomit explosions, before turning and chowing down on one of their survival group.
THANKS HEALTHY JAN YOU’VE DOOMED US ALL.
You find yourself trapped in a metaphor for capitalism
The world goes to pot, everyone’s eating or being eaten around you, and you have nowhere else to go. So you run as far and fast as you can and find yourself coming upon a mall, or seeking refuge in a luxury high-rise blocked off from the mindless zombie hordes.
Sure, this is more a Romero trope than most, but zombies are almost always a metaphor for something (Stephen King’s ‘Cell’ attacks technology and consumption, while The Walking Dead’s characters are happiest when they live off the land at a farm).
In short, avoid malls and businessmen, and head for the countryside instead.
Every car has keys in the ignition
It doesn’t matter where we are when the zombie apocalypse hits (school/home/work), we know that getting outta dodge is going to be a headache. But in zombie movies, our heroes often run straight to a car with the keys already in the ignition, know exactly where their car keys are in the house as they’re running screaming out of it, or magically know how to hotwire every kind of vehicle, from scooter to monster truck.
You develop a complete lack of spatial awareness
Most of us have pretty good spatial awareness. Whether you’re battling for pavement space during the Christmas sales, fighting for a spot on the tube, or just busting a groove on the dance floor, we all need to appreciate there are other people around us, otherwise we become walking Bridget Jones’.
But victims-in-waiting in horror films are positively clueless to the regular onset of shuffling zombies. They can often get within 50cm without people being any the wiser. Sure, we know they’re all slow and such, but surely the undead groaning - or even SMELL - would wake you up to the fact there’s a cannibal behind you? Eh. Darwinism.
You have to blow the brains out of a beloved one
First thing’s first - you’re going to have to rid yourself of your family members, spouses and kids. Because when everything hits the fan, one of them WILL be bitten, they WILL turn, you WILL find it difficult to murderise them, and you WILL be taken down by your own feels as a result.