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Category Archives: zombies

So You Want to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse


The credits roll up the screen as the movie ends. After watching World War Z, Shaun of the Dead, and every single episode of The Walking Dead, a feeling of calm flows over you.  Piles of tattered zombie books, with colorful post-it notes protruding from the pages, are scattered around your windowless room. The house is quiet, which means your mom’s medicine must have kicked in and she will give you a moment of peace allowing you to continue your plans. Since the collapse of your motivational speaking career, the criminal charges filed, and your destruction by your wife in the divorce (who would have thought she would be that upset about your mistress?) living in your mother’s basement became your best option. Anyway who needs a job when the end is near and there is a higher calling? You have it all figured out as you eagerly await the zombie apocalypse and begin your true destiny. You are going to be a zombie killer.

To learn how you ended up in your mom’s basement, here is a review.

Be Ready

After hours of practice killing zombies in Left for Dead 2, you have the skills needed to champion the minority of the living. The only thing needed now is the zombie apocalypse to occur and catch up with your mad skills. When the dead turn the world into an all-you-can-eat-buffet, you will be ready for greatness.

The “bug out bag” is prepared with all the emergency items you will need: hatchet, variety pack of Combo Snacks, the goggles you stole from your high school shop class, a copy of Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide, and a roll of soft toilet paper. You wouldn’t want to be caught at the end of the world having to use the harsh paper found in most public restrooms.

Research done through movies, books, video games and graphic novels, you have studied all types of possible zombies and are ready to wipe them off the face of the Earth. The slow moving “shamblers” that were first reported in George A. Romero’s insightful documentary, Night of the Living Dead, will be no match for your moves as you dance around them. The faster zombies of World War Z may give you more of a challenge, but if Brad Pitt can survive, you can too. Pitt is pretty old these days. The biggest worry is the rage filled zombies of 28 Days Later. However, most zombie experts do not consider these rabid creatures to be zombies so you might be safe.

As you make a mental inventory of the types of zombies you may face, it is now time to figure out your weapons.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the trade

Building the arsenal

What does any successful zombie annihilator require? Only the very best weapons will work for your new adventure. Since that pesky felony conviction (how can they say your motivational speaking career was a scam?) led to your probation, firearms are out of the question, well until the end comes.  You need alternate weaponry so locating the weapons for your arsenal becomes your priority.

Nothing tells the mindless undead that you mean business better than the right weapon. Anything will work in a dire situation, but you are a professional, so you will be prepared for the zombie apocalypse. Since your mom will not give you an allowance to buy the tools of your new zombie fighting trade, you have to start borrowing yard tools from your neighbors. The neighbors won’t need the tools back anytime soon and you need to build up your arsenal. In the dark corner of your basement command center, you have proudly built up a collection of axes, picks, shovels, and machetes. Who would have thought that people would be so generous and loan you their expensive yard tools? You have even talked the coach of the local little league into letting you borrow a few bats. See, the motivational speaker gig really did have potential.

Since you have to be mobile to save the world, it is now time to figure out your transportation.

The proper vehicle

Well, your mom’s car will never due for a proper post-apocalyptic world. Who wants to traverse the ruins of civilizations in a Geo Metro?

Zombie Monster Truck

Acquire the proper zombie killing vehicle

You need a bad-ass vehicle to go with your new zombie hunter/hero status. Since most of the world will not be as prepared as you, there isn’t a need to buy the perfect vehicle now. You plan to “acquire” the vehicle when most of the population suffers an untimely demise at the hands, or mouth, of the rampaging zombies. At this time you just need to keep an eye out for the perfect assault model befitting your hero status.

The military grade Humvee is a good choice. However, they might be difficult to find just parked in a driveway in your area. Thankfully, your neighborhood does seem to have an assortment of potential replacements. What better way to plow through the hordes of undead than with a “monster” truck? The large tires, high clearance, and multi-colored paint scheme will enhance your killing credentials. The roar of the loud exhaust will announce your presence as you rush in to rescue the damsel in distress. You can just picture yourself driving off into the sunset, spewing a black cloud of exhaust. Yep, that will be your moment of glory.

Unleash the fury

As you mentally check off the important items of your new zombie hunting trade, you grow even more confident in all your meticulous planning. The few pounds you have gained in recent months will only enhance your towering presence. The patchy beard and coffee stained teeth will give you the menacing appearance needed to strike fear in the non-beating heart of your zombie enemies. Your imagination drifts as visions of grandeur float in your head and your excitement builds to start wiping out zombies. You visualize the people you know karma will make into zombies and anticipate them suffering your wrath. It’s not like you have a list of potential people you want to be zombies… Oh, what a moment you will have as fear registers in the undead eyes of your victims. Greatness is only an apocalypse away!

Admiring you forward thinking abilities and total preparedness, you ease back into your sweat stained couch, knock the empty pizza boxes off the cinder-block coffee table with your feet and think to yourself, “When the zombies attack, I will be a legend…” 

Until next time…

jerryb

© 2013

Related articles:  So You Want to Be a Motivational Speaker; So You Want to Be A Blogger;

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Humor, zombies

 

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October is Zombie Month at TTMM


TTMM ZOMBIE Month

Halloween is the time of year where we embrace our fears and mock the things that would normally send us screaming from the darkness. Common villains such as witches, vampires, werewolves, and zombies that once drove our ancestors into hiding as the nights grew longer, are now common themes with their own fan bases in modern books, movies, and television. Times have changed since our superstitious ancestors hung bells on graves in case the dead would rise. Witches no longer hold the contempt that they once did when we believed they all wore pointy hats, were covered in warts, and their voices echoed with cackling laughter. The television show Charmed introduced audiences to the concept that witches could not only be good heroines but smoking hot, and not because they were burning at the stake. Thanks to Joss Wedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel series, vampires can be heroes and funny while witches are bubbly red headed sidekicks. Vampires have been reduced to characters in twisted love triangles with werewolves and some even sparkle in the sunlight. Book series like Laurell Hamilton’s “Anita Blake” read like a play by play of pornographic orgies between the heroine, vampires, and werewolves.  The werewolves have become less of a nightmare and more of panting pups in modern literature and media as witnessed in the Twilight Saga. All of these characters, historically so beloved for their malice and evil are now merely brooding, misunderstood, love struck wimps. Who fears a sparkling vampire or a werewolf that is trying to save the world? My childhood nemeses are modern anti-heroes. Then I remembered the last holdout in the romanticism of evil…zombies.

Zombies are unadulterated evil. Nobody wants to be romantically interested in a creature whose only desire is to eat your flesh. George A. Romero brought them to the screen in his classic “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 and started the zombie sub-culture that we know today. With the exception of titles like “World War Z” by Max Brooks, large publishing companies were slow to recognize the public’s hunger for zombie fiction. It wasn’t until indie authors were able to give voice to zombie stories with the invention of e-publishing, that the book industry was finally able to provide many different takes on zombie lore.

The popularity of the horror sub-genre of zombies and the indie author’s ability to publish new fiction prompted ground-breaking changings in other mediums as well. In 2010, AMC took a chance on a television series, based on Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore graphic novel “The Walking Dead”, to broadcast the first television series set around zombies. This month, “The Walking Dead” will begin its fourth season and rumor has it that there might be a spin-off related to Kirkman and Moore’s zombie world. Zombies have firmly rooted themselves into modern pop-culture.

I, personally, was one of the late-comers to the genre. Years after it was published, I picked up my copy of “World War Z”. I quickly followed with Bourne’s “Day by Day: Armageddon”. I couldn’t get enough of the genre and sought out more. This fascination with all things zombie, took place around the time I received my first e-Reader. As I was looking for more titles, I came across the listing for an indie author named Mark Tufo and his “Zombie Fallout” series. Mark led me to another indie author, James Cook, and the “Surviving the Dead” series. Book after book, I have been reading all that I could get my hands on for well over two years and eagerly awaiting the next installment of each in the series I am reading. What is it that I like so much about stories of the smelly, slow moving, undead?

Zombies fiction represents more than what is seen on the surface. While the zombie genre features the mindless, creatures that once were human; the stories are also about the fight to survive for those that are not infected. The survivors represent our fears of being alone, of battling something we cannot control, the will to hold on to our own humanity, and the importance of community. Zombie stories are stories of the choices we make in order to live another day. The stories are about the battle to continue on when everything around us has been lost. The stories of the zombie apocalypse are stories of hope.

The month of October will highlight one of my favorite horror genres, zombie apocalypse. Each Tuesday, a new piece will be published leading up to Halloween. I hope to introduce you to some of the authors and series that I have been enjoying over the years. With Halloween drawing nearer it is time to celebrate, with a month long dedication to the last holdout of evil creatures. Welcome to Zombie Month at TTMM. 

Until next time…

Jerry b.

©2013

Related articles: The Hills are Alive with…Zombies?;  When Research Goes to Hell

Follow TTMM on Twitter for the ideas before they grow into the stories here @trpthroughmymnd

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Writing, zombies

 

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When Research Goes to Hell


ZombieWalkOccasionally ideas bounce around my head, begging to be developed. One particular genre is currently calling to me.  I was considering creating a zombie (don’t laugh) themed blog. In the zombie blog, I would do some book and television show reviews, maybe get interviews with different authors or organizations, provide a platform for fan groups, have an online debate with vampire fans, and just have some fun with it. My zombie blog would be good fun, a way to separate the rantings and observations of my current blog with a more themed one. Zombie blog was inspired by the art, media and stories that have been on my reading list lately. I know an art student and admire her work so much I want her to create some original drawings making zombie blog even more creative.  Zombie blog is a pet project for fun and entertainment, where like-minded zombie fans can explore and be amused. It is in the spirit of creative, good clean (undead) fun.

And then I did some research on other zombie themed blogs….

As I researched, I began to rethink my zombie blog idea. A quick search of the internet led to a multitude of themed blogs, and yes many of them were zombies so much for the “original” part of my idea. Some of the zombie blogs are doing what I had in mind by promoting the genre, author interviews, book, movie, show reviews and links to fun events.  However most zombie blogs are, for a lack of better term, completely INSANE! Seriously, I hope that these blogs are a joke and not meant to be taken seriously otherwise there is some scary stuff out there.  Most of the zombie blogs contained so much nonsense from people about the “reality” of a zombie plague happening, or what weapons are the best to use, or exactly how a man-made virus would  turn people into zombies. On one blog there was even a study in Philadelphia that had a time line for a zombie epidemic infection that would begin an apocalypse. One company has created a line of weapons available on their websites to fight off the zombies. What in the name of all that is Romero is going on?

Maybe most of the zombie blogs started off as my idea had; a tongue in cheek idea. Then the infection of “zombism” came over them, making the site live long after its undead shelf life. I for one, am all for digging in and having a playful site, but the zombie blog populace actually seem to either 1) believe zombies are real or 2) promote very bad information to people who are mentally unstable enough to believe zombies are real.

Here is a case in point; a medical student in the UK wrote a paper attacking a zombie blog site. He referred to the creators of the blog as a bunch of conspiracy theorist who do not know a damn thing about medicine. He went on to argue that Max Brooks (yes, Mel Brook’s son and the writer of World War Z and Zombie survival guide) was not serious when he published the first book on surviving zombie Armageddon. Do we need scientific clarification of that little bit of information?

What happened to having fun? I am sure that there are people who TRULY believe in vampires and some even believe vampires sparkle. I just wonder what mental infliction causes people to believe in and fully embrace the idea of the reality of UFOs, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and the ability to cast spells. Truly, someone should have stepped in when they were children to take away their dungeons and dragons game. Oh wait, these are the same people who actually LARP their characters in the local park on the third Sunday of the month and have deep discussions on the merits of a spork as a weapon for their RPG character.

As I take a deep breath and calm down, I realize that maybe I am the one that is being a little over the top. I do not know the drive behind the blogs. It could be that they are sitting at their computer, getting people like me all wound up. I love the zombie apocalypse genre of books and movies. I feel that beyond the smelly, walking dead people, there is a social message. I also believe, as the organization Zombie Squad, that if you are prepared for the walking dead, then you will be prepared for any other disaster that may occur. There is a part of me that is sitting in the coffee house, listening to a group of people argue about what they will do WHEN, not if, the dead would rise. Not one of them had my answer…run like hell!

<storms off his soap box to search for a brief glimpse of sanity>

Until next time…

Jerry b.

©2013

Related articles: The Hills are Alive with…Zombies?;

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Humor, zombies

 

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The Hills are Alive with…Zombies?


October 31st, 2010 was a historical television moment. For the first time, a television series was brought to the small screen based on those loveable, flesh-eaters we refer to as zombies.  Enter the new AMC series, “The Walking Dead”. This six episode season, based on a graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, follows a small group of survivors outside Atlanta, Georgia as they attempt to find some hope after the world has been overtaken by the ever-hungry living dead. Their survival depends on not only out lasting the foot-dragging zombies but also holding on to their humanity as the world they know is turned upside-down. This is not your average horror movie, (though the makeup team pushes the envelope to get the feel of the graphic novel) but a character-driven story line that brings philosophical questions to the audience. How would you act if you woke up one morning and the world as you know it had been transformed into Chez Zombie and you are the main dish?

AMC-The-Walking-Dead

AMC brings zombies to your livingroom.

What is our fascination with the zombie lore? These mindless, representations of our more basic selves seem to be present throughout history in folklore and fantasy. It took a vision of George Romero in his 1969 movie “Night of the Living Dead” to bring the modern mythology to life as we now know it. His movie showed the base of how we now view the living dead; the continuously hungry, slow-moving lesser part of the used-to-be-human race. Could this be an analogy of our fears of what we could become if all of our morals and conscious were removed?

In most modern mythology, the world ends with an infectious virus that causes death and then reanimation. Only a small group survives and fight against all hope of having what is seen as the essence of humanity. The setting is a place where the dead, or not so dead, walk the earth without a belief in anything except for their need to satisfy their craving for food, in this case, living flesh. In most of these stories, the only way to kill the undead is trauma to the brain. Most prefer the single shot from a Dirty Harry sized weapon. This begs the question:  does everyone become a crack shot once the world ends?

The renewed craze in everything zombie has also had a few positive impacts on the real world. Organizations like the Zombie Squad have been popping up chapters across the country. They combine the fun and appeal of the zombie apocalypse with disaster preparation. The organization uses the fictitious (or is it?) end-of-the-world scenario as a springboard to educate communities on the importance of preparation for natural disasters. Their idea is that if one is prepared for an attack of killer zombies then they will be prepared for anything that might come along. I feel a little safer with the Zombie Squad patrolling my neighborhood, how about you?

Though vampires are all the rage these days, zombies bring more social reflection than the recent sparkling blood-sucker box office hits. It questions our society, the need to survive, and what makes us human. Part of our desire to connect with this unlikely foe is our need to belong to something larger, a need to feel emotionally connected to world around us.  If you are worried on how to survive, maybe some research is needed. One recommendation is to watch Zombieland (2009) for helpful hints and 32 rules, such as #4:  Doubletap. You won’t be disappointed.

the-walking-dead-poster

Catch AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Sundays at 10 p.m.

Whether you are a fan of the genre or just a passing observer, this dramatic adaptation of The Walking Dead is something to check out. The story draws you in, the cast makes you want to root for the living, and the effects feel like a big screen movie. Catch the first season Sunday nights at 10 pm on AMC network.

Until next time…

What are your favorite zombie movie moments? Over the next few weeks, I will delve into some of the zombie movies and mythology. Why? Because nothing can be as much fun as a mindless, undead eating machine.

jb

© 2010

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2010 in Graphic Novel, Television, zombies

 

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