Friday, 13 July 2012

Okay But Seriously, What if There WAS a Zombie Apocalypse?

Hubby and I love a good horror movie. Heck, we love a good movie full stop but I think a good horror tops our list.

Couple that with my love of Heat magazine, who ran an article in SA’s June edition entitled “A Daughters Despair: I Now Know Who my Father is Because His Face Was Eaten Off” possibly led us to have, one night last week, the ‘Zombie Apocalypse conversation’.

And if you’re frowning right now, wondering to what I refer, then you obviously haven’t read or seen the harrowing news stories about Ronald Poppo. Or Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie. Or Jun Lin. And don’t follow those links if you are at all squeamish or easily shocked. No really, please don’t. And don’t say I didn’t warn you if you do.

Rather check out the awesome Katoninetales, written by the lovely and talented Kat who has a bit of a Zombie ‘thing’. Sure she’ll have a category on her blog that covers all you need to know As does the equally lovely and talented Nicki on her blog TheLoadedHandbag. See? Not just me ...

For those that don’t need that much gory detail, the idea of the Zombie Apocalypse is basically this; your government are testing mind altering drugs in a secret location near you. And this is happening right now! Drugs that turn normal people into people eating zombies. And some of them are escaping on to the streets … and it’s contagious, soon they’ll be Zombies everywhere. AAAHHHHHH!!! The Zombie Apocalypse is coming!!!!!!

No don’t panic, it’s okay. It’s all about preparation. Make a plan, survive the initial feeding frenzy somewhere safe and then just wait it out. The zombies will all die of hunger eventually.

Ridiculous maybe, but ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ was still listed in June as the most Googled phrase of the month and Hubby and I found ourselves discussing it. A little tongue in cheek but all the same, with some seriousness also.

We discussed preparation for the ‘imminent’ attack. How we’d possibly need to find a more secure building to start with, not confident we could prevent a super-strength fast-paced Zombie (oh yeah) from breaking into our house. I was thinking of the classic ‘Dawn of the Dead’ scenario and excitedly suggested the nearest Mall. We’d have food, weapons, bathrooms. And an endless supply of cool outfits to wear if our clothes got all blood and brain spattered.

But Hubby had concerns about access to a Mall, both getting it and controlling it with so many entrances and exits. We settled on a plan to bundle the kids in the car and drive to the nearest police station at first attack, until we could find a more secure home. Initially at least, a Police Station is a very secure building and they have loads of weaponry and ammo. Lots of coffee and possibly donut machines. That last one may just be a rumour though.

There’s also police folk there … okay, in SA that’s not always something to get so excited about but we decided the security, the armoury, access to communications and possible donuts was a winner for us. Okay, so newsflash on the TV screens, Zombies are coming? We’re going to the police station. Planned.

Next we discussed weapons. We decided that we would have to get used to wielding one, and wield we will if the Zombies are coming. We have kids to protect as well as ourselves. And at this point we suspended belief for a moment (up until now, we hadn’t of course) seemingly forgetting we were holed up in the Police Station and excitedly - yes, I said ‘excitedly’ - discussed our ideal weapons as if we’d have access to anything we wanted.

I immediately and without hesitation said “crossbow”, to which Hubby nodded keenly in agreement. “Yes, YES! Crossbow’s a good one”.

Yup, I'll have a Van Helsing style Crossbow

“Feels right to me somehow, why is that?” I carried on “I feel like the Crossbow is ‘my’ weapon. Do you think we all have a weapon? I’ve never used a weapon in my life, why do I feel so akin to the crossbow?” I struck a pose, as if I was holding a Crossbow.

Hubby wasn’t sure, but he was with me on a long-range weapon. Ninja and cool though it would be, neither of us fancied any close up sword or chainsaw action. Messy stuff.

We remembered that in our plan, we do have the police stations armoury and confiscated weapons at our disposal and in SA, that could mean anything’s possible. Pump action shotguns, pockets full of grenades. Maybe even a rocket launcher or two.

Okay. Now we’ve planned safety, and weapons.

Supplies, we have to have supplies right? This could be a long-term thing, those Zombies aren’t going to die of hunger in a few days.

I started talking dreamily about malls again, empty and everything for the taking. There’s no need for money in the Zombie Apocalypse people. Hubby agreed that supplies would be plentiful and for the taking (yay!) but he added that he wasn’t convinced on the theory of many a Zombie Apocalypse movie, namely that the Zombies will mainly come out and hunt after dark. By sunset, you’d better be locked up inside. But during the DAY, we can all mooch about relatively safely gathering supplies, with our weapons casually over our shoulders. Maybe occasionally coming across a rogue Zombie in hiding we have to take care of.

We’re not sure though, who can be? So we plan heavily armed supply runs during the day and ‘Zombie Watch’ missions to learn what we can about their habits.

Hubby’s convinced there’d be no electricity though. I wasn’t so sure, surely it’s all largely computerised these days? And there’d be enough of the Hierarchy left amongst the survivors, certainly in the Government and Military, to keep things running? I could understand faults not getting fixed, systems breaking down over time but Hubby remains convinced that without manpower, we’d soon be out of power.

Poster produced in the Blitz
Which could be okay .. we could live British Blitz style in the evenings. Candlelight, food on an open fire, parlour games and such. Or we could get ourselves a big f*@k off Generator. Fuel shouldn’t be an issue, plenty of abandoned cars to be syphoned. And while we’re at it, we’re trading our Bakkie in for a Hummer. Or maybe an armoured vehicle of some sort. Because you can just take whatever car you fancy in the Zombie Apocalypse. Folk don’t tend to think to lock their cars when they’re under Zombie attack.

Okay, so now we’re talking buying a generator. Hubbys still excited at the prospect of me behind a crossbow so he’s also suggesting buying me one and getting me some lessons. Something about a Lara Croft style outfit …

And then I’m laughing, and the bubble bursts. We start talking about the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ phenomenon, as opposed the actuality itself.

If it could happen, it wouldn’t happen in a busy American/Canadian/European city surely? The theory being that Government Doctors and Scientists who are prescribing these experimental drugs are choosing a type of person who’d be an easy victim. Someone without family. Depressed, mental issues. An addict maybe.

But what about the ‘Jacobs Ladder’ movie theory? That kind of secret, government testing would start out in the military surely? Some poor platoon of Privates just out of training, being tested on out in some far flung and largely unknown section of jungle somewhere?

Or on some deep in the African bush undeveloped tribe maybe? Oh my word, Hubby and I live in Africa! And they’re not exeptionally good at controlling things here. Aids, TB, Malaria. Joburg could end up being one of the first major cities hit!

Good job we’ve talked about this, made our plans hey? Have you guys? I’d love to know your plans. Weapons of choice. I know Kat will tell me hers …

We ended our chat by going through our movie selection, and watching some old Zombie movies for further tips. Zombie Apocalypse theory storylines have been around in movies for a long while now, but lately there’s been a fair plethora of new ones, jumping on the bandwagon. Some good, some diabolically dire. In a “let’s just make a Zombie Apocalypse movie to make money off the trend” kind of way.

We haven’t added any of the new ones to our collection yet, but inadvertently we created a list of our older ones, which I’ll pass on to you in case any of you out there are still in the dark about all of this. There’s worse ways of becoming more informed than by watching a good horror movie or two. Especially if you’re a fan, like Hubby and I.

So, in our humble opinions, the Top 4 Older Zombie Apocalypse movies in our collection are … (imagine a drumroll if you like. I am).

In fourth position, and there as much for the classic feel of the original as well as for the downright fun and silliness of the remake … it’s DAWN OF THE DEAD!! Okay, so I don’t actually recall much (if any?) mention of any government testing in the story, but all the other main elements are there for me. Including a big mall. The remake includes such gems as a Zombie birth scene and the hilarious Zombie Celeb Look-a-Like shooting game. Get up on the roof with your long-range weapon of choice, marauding crowd of Zombies below wishing they could get in and eat your brains. Now pick them off one by one, making your choices based on celeb look-a-likes. “Look, that one looks like Burt Reynolds. Shoot Burt Reynolds! Haha look, there’s a Paris Hilton! Get Paris next”. Ah, funny funny. Early on in the list, so we're still dealing with slow moving, easy to pick off zombies.

Third place, while we’re laughing, goes to … SHAUN OF THE DEAD!! (I’m now imagining tumultuous applause). It makes only third place despite much sulking from me because of only vague mentions of Government testing. But they are there in the TV news reports, along with hilarious British Government tips for killing Zombies read out by a very stern British newsreader “destroy the brains, or sever the head”.

It’s a British comedy, so that’s ‘one for me’ in our house. So real and so funny, how the average British fella would deal with a Zombie Apocalypse. And yet so gory too. In this movie, our gang of unlikely heroes choose the local pub as their safe house. And a vast selection of weapons that none of them have any expertise with. Ranging from shovels, old vinyl 12 inch singles (having decided first which one’s they can do without), a cricket bat, a rotary washing line pole, a glass ashtray and finally, a shotgun. Which they find in the pub. Still with the old fashioned, slow-moving Zombies.

Second place, with a big ol’ slice of Hollywood glam and sparkle, goes to … I AM LEGEND!! Actually, for a Big Hollywood movie it’s pretty cool and edgy too. And Will Smith’s in it. Do I need to go on? Bob Marley tunes, and Will Smith gets to do that face he does so well. The one where he’s trying not to cry, but is about to explode if he doesn’t. I won’t spoil the scene, but it’s the last scene with his dog in. Oo, and now we’re moving up the list too so we have the new and improved super-strength and fast-paced Zombies I mentioned earlier. Not so easy to deal with now huh?

First place. Possibly a sentimental choice, but then this is Hubby and I’s list. First place goes to … 28 DAYS LATER!! And damn it, throw the sequel in too if you fancy. It was, for me, the first Zombie Apocalypse movie to introduce the super-strength fast-paced Zombie now common and it was such a shock, seeing it that first time. 

The opening scenes are awesome too. A young man wakes up from a coma to find himself in an abandoned hospital. He steps outside to find himself on the abandoned streets of London. Took some organising, filming on empty streets in London. I think they had to get special permission to close the streets to shoot at dawn on a Summers day. First Zombie movie I remember properly introducing the idea of a Government leaked virus also. The ‘Rage’ virus. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Those infected f*@ckers can move FAST man!

We've not added any new ones to our collection yet, although we're always keen to learn of any good ones? Just while we're waiting for Brad Pitt in 'World War Z' to hit the cinemas next year that is. BRAD PITT??! In a Zombie Apocalyspe movie???!! Oh yeah.