"World War Z", the film adaptation of Max Brooks's smash hit novel, is out today. In it, a zombie outbreak has hit the United States and the government needs Brad Pitt because...uh...they just do, okay? He's important.
We won't pretend to be able to give you a comprehensive guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse. After all, the book the movie's based on already covered a lot of that. We do, however, have a few helpful tips we haven't seen anywhere else that we think will get you on your way towards not being eaten alive.
People assume that a good pair of running sneakers are the key to surviving a zombie apocalypse. This is a fatal error. If you're wearing running sneakers, you're going to focus more on fleeing than on surviving. They aren't mutually inclusive. What you need a good, steady boots to get you through a variety of environments, endure harsh weather, and most importantly, put the boots to zombies. Speaking of which:
FIGHT, DON'T RUN
In our reptilian brain (that's what those of us who aren't very smart about how the mind and body call it), we have what's called "fight or flight response." That means that when faced with danger, we instinctively either confront the danger or flee from it. The truth is, though, that you can only run so far, so often. It's exhausting. Learn to fight and kill the zombies. It's easy enough; from what we've observed on shows like "The Walking Dead," if you so much as hit them in the head they explode. Also, it's the courteous thing to do. The zombie you dispatch now won't try to eat your neighbor. Show a little courtesy, will ya?
DON'T FORGET A MEDICAL MASK
The thing that nobody surviving the zombie apocalypse wants to talk about, but everybody hates, is the smell. In a way it works in your favor, because it's literally impossible for a zombie to sneak up on you. You'll smell one a full minute before you see it. That stank is like thunder to a zombie's lightning. A surgical mask or bandana won't eliminate the smell, but it will make it more bearable.
DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHY IT'S HAPPENING
Was it a virus? Are we all already infected? Did they rise from graves or escape from a lab? It doesn't matter. What matters is surviving and/or getting rid of them as soon as possible. Hell, it was probably a bunch of drunk teenagers with a Ouija board that accidentally caused the dead to rise from their graves. Who cares? They're probably long gone, and what're you going to do, punish them? They learned their lesson. Let's move on with what's left of our lives.
HUMANS ARE THE REAL ENEMY
Zombies aren't really evil. They're like wild animals, just doing what comes natural to them. They don't make the decision to eat brains, it's just all they know. But those other bastard humans, the ones competing with you for food and running their barricaded town as a fascist police state, don't have an excuse. They're just plain jerks, and their jerkiness (sometimes called "evil") is more dangerous because it has intent and it's focused. This is especially true if they wear an eyepatch. You're better off trusting someone missing their lower jaw than someone missing an eye.
NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT AT LEAST AN 80% CHARGE
I know it always looks bad in books, on television, and in movies, but the truth is that it would take a LOT for a zombie outbreak and infestation to completely wipe out our infrastructure and set us back hundreds of years. Still, it will make the world a dangerous place. So never leave the house without an 80% charge on your phone. We don't have anything witty to say here. Just keep your phone charged.
IF SOMEONE KNOCKS ON THE DOOR AND SAYS "TELLLLLL AAAA GRAAAAAMMMMMM," DON'T ANSWER IT
It's probably a zombie. Zombies aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, but if you can teach a dog to go through one of those adorable little obstacle courses they set up on "Animal Planet," you can bet that a zombie might learn a trick or two. This is a likely one they'll pick up. Don't fall for it! The big tip-off? They don't even do telegrams anymore. Zombies don't know that, because they're dumb and/or been in a grave for twenty, thirty years. But you know better, don't you?
REMEMBER: A ZOMBIE IS A ZOMBIE IS A ZOMBIE
Source: United Film Distribution Company
A zombie cannot become human again. You'll occasionally come across a zombie that used to be a loved one, or a dead celebrity you really liked, or an adorable child. You may think that you can reach them or even trick yourself into thinking they recognize you. Actually, they do: they recognize you as a delicious meal. Don't get sentimental. Just get your sword, baseball bat, or whatever your weapon of choice may be.
Remember that not every zombie or zombie outbreak is the same. Guides are a good starting point, but more than anything you need to trust in yourself and have confidence. Good luck and stay alive!
Earlier this season, All Access Weekly talked to Norman Reedus and even gave him some tools to help him survive an outbreak. Take a look."