Monday, December 14, 2009

Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson

I'm sure I'm not the only one that's noticed how many similarities there are between Pop Icon Lady Gaga and Shock Rocker Marilyn Manson.
Aside from their clothing choices (and believe me they have a lot more outfits in common than just this one) and love of ridiculously high platforms and heels they have had both their sexuality and gender brought into question in the tabloids (Manson's true gender became a popular topic after the images released for his Mechanical Animals album). They have both taken their music a step further than their competitors in an attempt to shock and inspire their audiences.
Both stars love to cause controversy, especially when being interviewed personally. So why was everyone so shocked when it was announced that they recorded a remix of Gaga's single Love Game? To me Gaga and Manson doing anything together just seems right, they seem to be doing the exact same thing but in two different sections of the music industry. Apparently they both have a crush on each other too so let's hope they will team up together again in the future.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gears Of War 2 Collectibles Guide

I wrote this walkthrough a while ago and I feel its not reaching enough people so I'm posting it here too.
It seems that every game is getting pushed to the side now that Modern Warfare 2 has been released (not that I'm complaing - I love the game).
I'm planning on posting some more guides for Modern Warfare 2 here soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book review: Living With The Dead - Kelley Armstrong

Firstly I want to thank the people of Little Brown and Orbit publishing for granting me a review copy of the following book.

Living with the dead is a book that reminds me of Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake vampire Hunter Series but with more realistic characters. When I say realistic I am comparing Armstrong's characters to Anita Blake - Blake is the overly brave main character in the Anita Blake series. All of Blake's characteristics are very strong - almost to the point where she seems unrealistic.
Armstrong's characters, however, are very believable. There are six major characters in the story - Robyn, Karl, Hope, Colm and Adele. Robyn is the only character devoid of any supernatural powers.

Adele is a paparazzo who's assignment is to follow Portia Kane (basically Armstrong's version of Paris Hilton - very famous and very pointless). Adele is also somewhat psychic and has the power to remote view through other's eyes, a useful power for a paparazzo. Colm is her arranged fiance - arranged by the psychic family they're apart of. He's clumsy and always messing things up even though his main aim is usually to please Adele.
At the beginning of the story Portia takes a snapshot of her 'frenemy' jasmine wearing a hideous dress, but she has also, unknowingly, taken a picture of something much more important. Portia forwards the image to her PR Robyn - who later turns out to be the prime suspect in Portia's murder. Robyn's best friend Hop and her boyfriend Karl (who's a werewolf) try their best to solve the murder and clear Robyn's name, all the while they are being followed by Adele who needs to delete that picture.
The cop who's investigating the case also has an advantage - he can see ghosts, and he has a very helpful one for this case.

Each chapter is written from a different character's point of view, which adds a nice touch because it allows the detective's efforts in solving the crime to become part of the story even though he doesn't have much interaction with the other characters. Robyn has the most page time in the book, which means that for the beginning of the book there's not a lot of supernatural activity. As the story continues the detailed and interwoven supernatural society of Armstong's world is slowly revealed and you won't be able to put the book down until you find out how it ends.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review: Free Zombie Music Graphic Novel - Zombies Can't Dance

For the first time you can experience a graphic novel through the medium of music! And its free and fully downloadable too!

And this isn't just any story either - its a zombie apocalypse. Unlike the usual zombie apocalypse idea Zombies Can't Dance introduced zombie-killing robots and more. Each chapter is sung in a different musical style, and the lyrics tell the story of the apocalypse, in an almost humorous way that is sure to make you smile. Each song is accompanied by an illustration that aids the lyrics telling the story.

My favourite song/chapter is No. 4 'Aim For The Head'. The song has a country feel to it, which really reminds me of the demo level for Left 4 Dead 2 (the level is based down South y'all). The story that the lyrics tell about survivors climbing a tree will make you grin (and remind you the importance of zombie preparedness).

For those of you who like the zombie apocalypse genre (yes I consider it to be its own genre) this is something you just have to experience. It's unique, it's fun and quiet frankly I'm kinda pissed I didn't think of it first.

In case you didn;t see the prvious links you can click HERE to visit and download a copy of the album.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Modern Warfare 2 Special Operations Mission

With the release date (November 10th) for Modern Warfare 2 slowly drawing nearer, everyone wants to know about the new Special Operations Mission mode and what it has to offer.

Spec ops is essentially an arcade mode, with very little emphasis being placed on cut-scenes or storyline. The game's designers claim that the bonus level from Call Of Duty 4; Mile High Club was their main inspiration, then when they couldn't fit everything they wanted into the campaign on Modern Warfare 2 they ended up making Spec Ops into a full-blown mode of its own. Battle through hoards of enemies (think about the hoard mode in Gears of War 2) while avoiding to kill too many civilians. Collect stars and unlock new levels in solo and co-op mode. The game series that we thought had everything has just gotten even better.

Modern Warfare 2 is easily the biggest title to hit the gaming shelves this year, and with the addition of a new mode the suspense has only increased.

Read The Full Special Operations Mission Details Here

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Review: New Moon - Stephanie Meyer

A couple of months ago my teenage cousin forced the first of the Twilight series book onto me. I had previously had no interest in the Twilight series - books or movies; it all seemed a little too young for me.
This week after constantly being bombarded by news, banners and other advertisements for New Moon I decided to read the book to see if the hype was actually earned.

The twilight series, for me, is much more of an emotional love story than a vampire novel, and New Moon isn't any different. This time round the story doesn't focus on Edward; who leaves in an attempt to make Bella's life easier and restore some normality to it. Bella's main love interest (though she won't admit it) is Jacob, the soon to become werewolf in the story.

As an emotional writer Meyer is great; she can easily tap into and mould the emotions of her readers - which is possibly one of the most difficult parts of a writer's job, but I also feel her writing lacks that 'something' (but this might just be me over-reading my action-packed Anne Rice novels again). I think that Meyer's ability to allow her reader to identify with Bella is the reason the books are so popular - Bella's love for Edward is exactly how every woman wants to feel, and how every teenage girl feels about their first love.

Regardless of how well the emotional side of the book is written, it's still missing the action that I like to experience in a good book. Ok, Meyer did build up the suspense when Bella and Alice travelled to Italy to save Edward, but the suspense flatly imploded when Edward was easily released by Aro, without even a crooked glance. (NOTE: from looking at the trailer it seems as though there might be a fight in the actual movie - yes!).
Basically what I'm trying to say is - The book is good because Meyer is not a bad writer, but it lacks a good amount of action. From a vampire/horror fan's perspective - it's not in my 'must-have' pile.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Feed Address

The Zombie Bait's feed address has changed, so if you have previously subscribed to our feed please subscribe to our new feed by clicking on the feed icon on the right-hand side of the screen.

Thank you.

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant: An Unhappy Review

I saw the Vampire's Assistant last night for the first time. The only reason I left it until this morning to write my review of it is because I was so upset after seeing it that I wanted to let myself ooff overnight. Unfortunately I am still pissed off about what I saw.

The movie started out really well, giving the illusion that it was going to follow the original storyline in a decent manner, making a few differences for screen writing etc. Then suddenly the entire storyline changes. Gavner Purl is introduced, his character is portrayed completely inaccurately, Mr Tiny makes an appearance from the very beginning, only new he is no longer the strange little man in green wellington boots. That I can forgive, aesthetically (and for film purposes) I could be persuaded that a purple tinged existence in a pin-stripe suit would suit him better, but then Murlough made his entrance.
When i read Tunnels Of Blood I loved Murlough; he was completely insane, and nothing spices up a story like the insane - they have no boundaries, look at Batman's Joker for example. Insanity is the spice of life.
In this film however, Murlough seemed somewhat sane, and nothing more than a bodyguard/ puppet for Mr Tiny. In fact, now that I think about it the entire opening credits of the movie was basically just puppets being pulled around - an obvious reference to Mr Tiny's involvement, which completely ruins any future films in the series because the major shock in the books themselves is the fact that Mr had puppeteered everything the entire time and no one had any idea until the very end.
Another thing that also pissed me off greatly was the fact that they introduced a new, and completely unnecessary character named Rebecca, who spent all of fifteen seconds being Darren's love interest in the movie, which didn't fit in with the plot and was just wholly unnecessary. The plot would have made much more sense without her, and they could have easily had Darren drunk from a more important member of the cast (Sam Grest anyone?) and kept that ridiculous side-plot in the gravyard where it belongs (and I'm not being punny).
Mr Crepsly also had the misfortune of suffering another totally unnecessary love interest, with the introduction of him dating the Truska, the Bearded Lady, who can conveniently see the future too which was just stupid, seeing as no one took any notice of her predictions. This totally undermined the original Mr Crepsley's personality as he is supposedly into being a lone wolf, who is now regrettably stuck with a child, but the film made them seem more like a happy family.

Also even though the movie only had the rights to the first three books, they went ahead anyway and had a huge face-off between Darren and Steve (while Darren's family hung from the ceiling, even though they thought he was dead till now). Oh, and the Vampaneze announce Steve to be their next Lord and Murlough becomes his mentor (? so much for being insane, the real Murlough would have killed and eaten him). The last half hour of the movie is an absolute train-wreck, and it looks to me as though they were three-quarters through the movie and then realised 'oh shit, we forgot to put in all this other crap' so they stuffed as much of the storyline in there as possible.

The storyline was also so badly explained and the characters were so badly introduced that anyone who hasn't read the books will find this extremely hard to follow (just ask my boyfriend - he had no idea what was going on).

The best thing about the movie was John C. Reilly. He was the only on that could act in the entire movie. Well done man, you saved it from suffering my full hatred.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Darren Shan: The Vampire's Assistant (#2 In The Darren Shan Saga)

I picked The Vampire's Assistant to review for two reasons; firstly it's one of my favourite of all of the Darren Shan series, and secondly the majority of the upcoming Darren Shan movie is based on this book so I felt it made for a fitting review.
When I first started reading the Darren Shan series all those years ago I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the storyline from The Vampire's Assistant is one of the ones I remember the best, and after rereading it today I am still satisfied that it stays in my pile of favourites.
One of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much is because of the sheer imagination Shan puts into creating his characters. Each of the member of the Cirque Du Freak have amazingly unique talents that ofter range on being inhuman. Evra is the main character in the Cirque that Darren befriends; he's a snake-boy with the ability to fluidly charm any snake. Darren also befriends a local boy named Sam, who decides his new dream is to join the Cirque.

As I said before this book is only the second in the series which means Darren has only been a vampire for a few months. Since he has departed from home in the previous book Darren refuses to drink human blood, fearing that it will mean the loss of his last strands of humanity. As each event unfurls is the book Darren is also finding himself weaker, and eventually on the brink of death due to his refusal of human blood. Each chapter builds suspense to the final shocking act.

This is a book for young adults but I think any adult with a speck of imagination will certainly enjoy this as much as I did.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

5 Of The Best Vampire Books

5. Hellsing Volume 1 - Kouta Hirano
Even though Hellsing is a graphic novel I'm still putting it in my Top 5 due to its sheer genius in terms of plot line. The Hellsing series is loosely based around the original Dracula by Bram Stoker. It makes a lot of references to Stoker's novel but also has a modern twist on it. The character's are all part of the Hellsing Organisation which tracks down vampires and kills them. the organisation is Protestant and working on behalf of the Queen Of England who believes vampires are unholy creatures that should be sent to hell. The twist is that Alucard that vampire is helping them to execute these creatures. If you read farther into the series you will start to uncover hints about Alucard's past and some Nazi involvement in the sudden surge of Vampirism.

4. Guilty Pleasures - Laurell K. Hamilton
Guilty Pleasures is the first book in the Anita Black Vampire Hunter Series. The series itself is excellent but there is something about Guilty Pleasures that allows me to reread it again and agin and still find meself completely absorbed by it. The book is action-paked with fighting and a mysterious crime that Anita is helping the police solve. Like most other vampire stories these days werewolves are a huge part in Guilty Pleasures but so are zomies, a rarity nowadays. Anita is constantly being harassed by guys and feels a need to constsntly confirm her own power in each situation she's in, so expect a lot of shooting and one-liners.

3.The Darren Shan Series - Darren Shan

I couldn't pick just one of the books from this series as each book is just an extension of the storyline - so they don't actually make sense when they are read separately. The series has been written for a young teen audience but many adults read it (mostly in secret). The Darren Shan Series is one if the most original I have ever read, with some of the most intriguing characters I have ever encountered. The series begins around a freak show; The Crique Du Freak, but Darren eventually ends up reigniting a 200 year old vampire war and finds himself on a quest to end it once and for all.

2. Interview With The Vampire - Anne Rice

This is a modern classic, although it is a little to mature for the new generation of Twilight fanatics. This book is perfect for anyone who wants the vampire genre to mix with a sprinkle of action and some romance. Romantic is actually the perfect adjective for Rice's style of writing. All of her books portray New Orleans in a sensuous and reminiscent manner, drawing the reader into the story and making you feel a part of it. The book literally is an interview with a vampire - Louis, who describes LeStat recklessly turning him into a vampire ina n attemp to become part of Louis' expensive lifestyle.

1. Dracula - Bram Stoker

Often claimed to be the definitive novel that began the vampire genre. Nearly every vampire writer cites Stoker's infamous classic as being their biggest influence. The book is written in diary-form by various characters in the story. The plot line is original and so ahead of its time, several movies have been based on its characters and it has seen Van Hellsing become one of the most famous vampire hunters in history.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Laurell K Hamilton: Guilty Pleasures Review

I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical all those months ago as I stood in my local comic book store and the clerk (a friend of mine) forced the first book of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series into my hands. He claimed the series was 'great' especially the first book. "Once you read it you'll just have to read the rest of 'em". (Thinking back on it I suspect he was hoping my future addiction would make him a lot of profit.)

So I bought Guilty Pleasures and my curiosity forced me to begin reading it as soon as I got home.
Within reading the first few pages I felt myself becoming glued to the book. From the very first sentence it was interesting. Hamilton is a genius, writing so that she only gives out partial facts about the storyline and making the reader yearn to recover the rest of those facts. The story also delves directly into Anita's job - raising zombies. How could I not read a book about that? It also becomes apparent quiet quickly that the author is writing from an alternative history point of view; vampires are legal citizens of the United States and Anita Blake is the state's legal vampire executioner.
But aside from Anita's amazing career roles she also finds herself being wooed by the owner of the local vampire strip club, all the while being dragged in to solve a mysterious murder case by the local police.

Guilty Pleasures ticked every single one of my boxes; it has vampires, zombies, werewolves, mystery, suspense, action and a great alternative history storyline. Every part of the story has been though through completely which makes it even more convincing and interesting.

If you want a new series of books to read that are alternative and engaging or just a great book then Guilty Pleasures has it all.

WARNING: You will almost definitely be compelled to read the entire series after reading Guilty Pleasures.

NOTE: Guilty pleasures has now also been published as a graphic novel in two parts by Marvel Comics; if you want to experience this amazing story accompanied with amazingly detailed art and beautifully accurate characters it is definitely worth buying.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Darren Shan Movie Trailer

Over six years ago I won a competition. The answer to it was simple; who wrote Dracula? (that's Bram Stoker, shame on you if you didn't already know that). The prize for said competition was the Darren Shan Saga (only about six or seven of the books had been written at the time). When I received the books I hadn't ever heard of them before, but I liked the idea of reading a series without getting half-way through and running out of money. I instantly fell in love with the saga and since then I have read the entire series (all twelve books) five times.

Then about three years ago Darren Shan did a reading in my hometown of Kilkenny. I was gutted that I couldn't go; I had already promised to babysit and couldn't get out of it. Luckily an awesome friend of mine offered to bring one of my Darren Shan books and try get him to sign it. I was really touched by this but didn't expect to actually get my book signed.
Incredibly, the next day I found myself holding my beloved, and well-thumbed book signed by the man himself; reading "To Lynda, sorry you couldn't come along!! Maybe our paths will cross some other time!!". I was ecstatic. I was sure at that moment that I would never outgrow the series.

Now as I sit here a newly made adult I still love the books, and I am currently undertaking my sixth reading of them. I have finally seen the trailer for the first Darren Shan Movie; Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, and unlike so many of the stories I grew to love while I was younger, it didn't disappoint me. The movie will be released on 23rd Of October and you will be sure to see me queuing alongside many other fans.
The Darren Shan Saga is a brilliantly written series and I hope that the movies will get the fame they deserve and in turn give the books the recognition they deserve. I think that this movie will be huge anyway because of the vampire phenomenon that the Twilight Series has already started. Even though I know a lot of Twilight fans are going to jump onto the vampire bandwagon and 'love' the Darren Shan movie I don't care because I love it so much myself and I think that more fans means more readers and Darren Shan needs to be read.

Summary Of Plot line
I don't want to give too much away so I will just give some brief outlines. Also it seems that some of the movie plot differs from the actual books and certain parts have been omitted.

Darren Shan is still in school when he and his friend Steve decide to sneak out and visit the Cirque Du Freak. Entranced by the tarantula in one of the performing acts Darren decides to steal her for himself. He then decided to introduce his new pet to Steve who she bites and sends into a near-death state. The spider's owner, the vampire Mr Crepsley, offers to save Steve in return for Darren becoming a vampire. With the aid of Mr Crepsley, Darren fakes his death and joins the Cirque as the vampire's assistant. The cirque is full of some...interesting characters, and Darren happens to restart a 200 year old vampire feud along his journey.

This is not a movie to be missed, it's funny, interesting and downright original.
God I love vampires.


When I did finally get to see the movie I ended up writing this not so great review. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Thinking Of Branching Out... (Oh, And Modern Warefare 2)

As much as I love zombies I have other interests too. I'm thinking of generalizing this blog a bit more. And no I'm not doing it for money - I don't think I'll ever make money from this (and I'm not trying to). The reason I'm thinking about this is so I will have more topics that I can post about, thus more regular posting.
I know I have a few regular readers out there and I don't know if this idea will make you foam at the mouth with rage or smile with delight; either way I'd love to hear from you.
Oh and by the way, if I do end up branching out I'll still include some zombie-related posts!

New upcoming CoD has Zombie Mode without the zombies?!
I don't completely know the facts so I'm just going to relay what I have heard to all you other CoD lovers out there (even though if you're a fan you will probably already know). Modern Warefare 2 is supposed not going to feature a Zombie Mode as CoD 5 did. Instead a new mode is supposedly going to be introduced. this new mode will allow you to kill hoards of terrorists in place of zombies. This does sound awesome, but I will miss the zombies.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Zombie Contingency Plan

So I've been reading through a number of blogs and websites offering various zombie contingency plans.
Shamefully (because I am so obsessed with zombies) I do not have a definite contingency plan of my own. This is due to the simple fact that each time I plan one I find serious flaws that will ultimately lead to my death, and, being a perfectionist, I have to decide on an almost flawless plan.
My current plan is simple, but hopefully effective.

I live in a very small city in Ireland called Kilkenny. Kilkenny was build during Norman times and subsequently still has many Norman buildings standing today. one such building is Canice's tower. The tower is made of stone and stands at 108 ft. it was originally used by monks during times of invasion; they would run up the tower and take the ladder with them. They usually stored food and valuables in the tower also.

In my opinion the first place the majority of people in my town are going to run to is the Garda (those are Irish cops) Station or the single gun shop. I already have weapons available to me in my home so I'm taking the possibility of securing more weapons out of the equation.

Making my way to the tower will pose a problem because it is basically on the edge of the town, which means the area will not exactly be devoid of humans (and possible zombies). I cannot take a vehicle because the roads leading to it will probably be jammed with cars. I am hoping on leaving so early on in the panic (or before panic breaks out if possible) that I can reach the tower without too much hassle.

The entrance to the tower has been refurbished since the monks used it. The entrance is high off of the ground with a metal staircase leading up to it. Taking out the staircase (with a lot of force) should make the tower relatively safe. For added safety the first staircase inside of the tower is wooden and can easily be disposed off.

1. Too close to town - will draw zombies once everyone is dead/zombies/gone.
2. Wooden staircase and floors are huge fire hazard.
3. Storing food prior to event is impossible as the tower is open to the public; also there is no where to hide food.
4. Travelling there during zombie outbreak could mean death.
5. Not getting there early enough could mean i arrive there only to find the staircase ripped out and entrance boarded up by someone faster than me.

1. Zombies can be easily dispatched from the top of the tower using various long-range weapons.
2. Even if zombies get into the first floor ripping out the staircase will make it impossible for them to go any further.
3. The tower provides a huge amount of storage space for food.

As you can see there is considerable more disadvantages as I would like. This strategy is not my final solution, more a work in progress. I will post any of my better contingency plans soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Call Of Duty 5: World At War Der Reise Zombie Map Survival Guide (Map Pack 3)

Yes I've mentioned this particular CoD zombie map before (I think). I nearly had kittens when it was first released because I was so excited. I've been playing it for long enough to develop a really good survival strategy with my friends. And let me tell you there is nothing more rewarding than killing hoards of mindless decomposing zombies with your friends.
Unfortunately I can't post the guide here (though I really want to) as I've alreadly sold it to Brighthub. I'm really proud of this guide as it is really effective.

In other CoD news I have heard rumors that Modern Warfare 2 (that's the new CoD game coming out if you're a NOOB and don't know) will have a hoard/zombie system as well. The rumor is that terrorists will be replacing the zombies though, but I think if they make the terrorists that mindless it could lead to complaints about racism.

Also I have to mention - If you play the Der Reise Map Pack 3 zombie map and you have heard rumors that if you survive enough rounds you will be forced to have a showdown with Hitler himself - this is not true. But it would be awesome.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

De-Animator Zombie Flash Game

De-animator is a very basic flash game, but it is also really addictive. The figures in the game are depicted as silhouettes. You play an elderly looking old guy (or it could be a weird looking old lady). Your only weapon is a gun. Click on the zombies to shoot them until you have to reload. Reloading leaves you open to zombies so make sure to de-animate the zombies closest to you first.

The games's main downfall is the fact that a shot to the head will not kill most of the zombies, which dissapointed me a little. Regardless, as a basic zombie game it's good. Think of it as a good exercise to keep your hand-eye coordination at an acceptable level while waiting for a real zombie attack.

Hand-eye coordination is important when shooting in real life too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Preparing Your Home For A Zombie Attack

The Following Guide Has Been Written With The Average Citizen In Mind

If you are currently living in a small town or city it is important not to panic when you hear the breaking news of a zombie outbreak. Do Not Try To Flee. Everyone else is thinking the same thing. Think about all the zombie movies with scenes depicting motorways full of discarded vehicles. You will get stuck in this. The alternative is to stay in your home and defend it until you are ready to locate to a safer position.

If you live a one storey house, the first thing you need to do is barricade all doors and windows. Do this in whatever way you feel is necessary. Keep in mind that furniture and boarding will only deter fast-moving zombies for a couple of hours at most.
If you have the option of retreating to a basement, I would strongly advise against it unless you have a water supply available down there. Being at the bottom of a hole when the zombies find a way in is not a nice place to be. If there is no other alternative choose the basement.

If you are currently living in a a two storey house or higher, you will also need to barricade all windows and doors. In the case of a slow moving zombie outbreak retreating to a higher level is the perfect option. In the case of fast moving zombies it may not be such a great idea as you may find yourself defending the second floor with no escape to the ground. In this instance i would advise gathering your supplies to the ground floor and barricading the stairs so a zombie won't find it's way in through an upstairs window and sneak up on you.

If you live in an apartment you are at both an advantage and a disadvantage; the buildings height gives you time to prepare yourself and defend the entrances; while large glass windows can be an easy entry point.
If you find yourself faced with slow zombies, then you just need to wait for the right moment and scale down the building, or, alternatively, fight your way downstairs floor by floor.
those unfortunates who find themselves faced with giant glass windows, no matter how high up, should not presume 'I am too high up for a zombie to get in the window'. Prepare for the worst. Vacate your position. If you can, try find an appropriate room on the ground floor (most people will be gone soon anyway).

Make A Checklist

Always be prepared. As soon as you begin barricading your home turn on all the taps and fill any bats and sinks. The water pressure might not work in the future and you do not want to die from thirst. If you have someone else with you, have them fill buckets and bottles and other containers with water too.

You should have been stockpiling already. If you didn't you could be in a lot of trouble. My advice would be to ration whatever food you have and try to make it last as long as possible. Once people have vacated the area (and hopefully drawn a lot of zombies with them), arm yourself and loot homes nearby. If you are living in an apartment this should be relatively easy.

The majority of people have at least one gun in their home. Arming yourself is literally what could save you.

This Article discusses items you can find aroundthe home to defend yourself with.

If you are planning on staying in your home for a considerable period of time, entertainment can be the only thing that stands between you and insanity. Reading a book is a very good idea because it leaves you able to hear any sounds of intrusion. Watching a movie, playing video games and listening to music could get you killed if they are so loud you can't hear a zombie breach your defenses. NEVER listen to music through headphones; they block outside noise.
Board Games are also a good alternative.

Once you have all of the above done, it is important to set guard duty and have someone patrolling the boarder. You can also have someone stationed at strategic positions so they can view and defend entrances.

Have a backpack of all necessary equipment packed and ready to go.

Attempt to stay fit, especially if you are eventually planning on leaving for a safer location.

Try to do everything as quietly as possible. Drawing attention means drawing lots of zombies. If they're fast moving this could mean death.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Zombies Of The Future

I think the most likely way that humans will become zombies is through the evolution of the toxoplasma gondii parasite.

The toxoplasma gondii parasite live an breeds in the intestine of the common cat. When a rat comes into contact with infected cats' feces it too becomes infected. Amazingly, the infection reaches the rat's brain and its normal behaviours is altered.
The rat will completely ignore its survival instinct and become attracted to cats and cats' urine. This leads to the rat becoming easy prey for any nearby cats.
One a cat has digested an infected rat, the parasite grows inside the cat's intestines and the cycle begins all over again.

I find it amazing how a simple parasite can infect a brain and alter a huge part of it completely.
I think it is only a matter of time before the parasite evolves and moves onto larger mammals, and eventually humans.

In the future it is highly possible that we could find ourselves faced with a parasite that turns alters our behaviours, and basically making us into zombies, as we pursue whatever needs the parasite has. A scary thought? For me yes. Simply because it is realistic. Evolution is a fact, and it is only a matter of time before it catches up with us.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Swine Flu = Fast Moving Zombies

In case anyone is wondering, the reason I haven't posted anything in the last few days is because I am sick. At first I did freak out and jump to the conclusion that it was swine flu, but apparently it isn't. Anyway thinking about the whole topic of swine flu leads me into thinking about the swine flu zombie hoax that recently infected the Internet.

The 'new strain' of the virus plaguing the Netherlands that was infecting people and making them reanimated after approximately two hours and attack anyone in the vicinity, gave no reason as to how or why the infected victims were reanimating, or why they were so vicious, although this could easily be mistaken for an actual zombie outbreak where the information would be extremely limited. I would provide a link to the site making these claims but it has unfortunately been shut down; which could also be another sign of a zombie outbreak as it could me the government(s) are trying to contain the virus and limit information further to avoid public panic.

So far the story seems pretty convincing, to the zombie enthusiast anyway, well unfortunately for the author he made an obvious mistake and declared the new strain to be H1Z1. For various chemical reasons this can not be true, thus the story is more than likely a hoax.

But regardless of whether a zombie outbreak is currently happening or not, it is vital that everyone be preparing for it, or at least making some kind of survival plan.

If the flu is in fact responsible for the reanimation of human corpses, I'm afraid that nearly all hope for a slow moving zombie will die with them. The H1N1 influenza virus only has the ability to infect the cells in the lungs and throat and can only cause tissue damage to these areas, and regular symptoms such as stiffness, soreness and fatigue are caused by the body's immune system fighting the virus.
If the bodies are taking two hours to reanimate then there is a good chance that a lot of the brain cells will no longer be functioning, which could mean a huge decrease in mental capacity, physical capacity, or both.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Choosing The Best Realistic Weapons For Close Combat


OK so if you've read 'The Zombie Survival Guide' by Max Brooks, you're thinking 'Shaolin spade' right now. Yeah its the perfect choice, but do you have one? Can you get one within short notice? What weapons do you grab when new of the infestation breaks and you find yourself unprepared?

When choosing a weapon to defend yourself from zombies you have to base your choice on the following:

1. Can it crush a skull?
2. How heavy is it?

3. Is it so close that I can be bitten while trying to defend myself?

4. Is it durable?

These questions will differ in their importance depending on your situation e.g. if you are travelling weight will be a larger factor than if you are defending a building.

One of the first things people tend to pick up to defend themselves is a knife. Unfortunately this means you will have to be considerably close to your attacker to strike a blow, which also means you have a higher chance of being bitten. If a knife is the only weapon you posses then try to choose one with a smooth edge as serrated edges tend to get stuck.
Presuming you are equipped with a household knife, aiming for the temple, or going through the eye if the blade is considerably long, is your best option.

Two of the most common household objects that people tend to choose to defend themselves with are hammers and crowbars. Yes, hammers could potentially crack, and even smash a skull, but hammers usually have a fairly small reach which means you'll have to get very up close and personal. A crowbar is one of the best weapons there is for close combat against zombies. Crowbars are generally durable and weigh enough that, with the right amount of force, they can demolish a skull. Both weapons also have the advantage of usefulness in terms of blockading or entering a building, they both also have the advantage of not being especially shiny, and therefore easier to conceal and use at night.

The majority of homes also include a baseball bat and/or a set of golf clubs. In emergency situations these can be used as weapons, but they are not even nearly suitable to be used long-term. Aluminium bats have a tendency to bend after prolonged usage, much like a golf club will if you hit the shaft off a zombie. A wooden bat can possible splinter, and none of these have enough weight to deliver that killer blow (unless you get an extremely lucky strike with a golf club).

In a lot of countries it is quiet easy for the public to gain access to is a machete and other swords. A machete is not a very good choice in terms of defense against zombies, even though it keeps you far enough away to avoid getting bitten. Decapitating a zombie will be quiet a difficult feat unless you are wielding a two-handed medieval-style sword (which is highly unrecommended because of its weight, which allows for slower movement and swinging). With decapitation ruled out you will not have to smash the skull and destroy the brain; a feat that seems highly unlikely with a machete.

A lot of people romanticise the idea of burning an oncoming horde of the undead with a flamethrower. Considering that zombies generally do not feel pain they will not stop when they catch fire. They will only stop moving when it is no longer physically possible. Please refrain from using a flamethrower against zombies, unless you want you undead pursuers to be flaming as well as hungry.

Using power tools is one of the biggest (and last) mistakes you could ever make. They are loud, and thus attract attention, and they require power which might not always be readily available. In other words; don't even think about it.

Some people may find a slingshot of some type in their home (and they're relatively easy to make. Slingshots are not very good to kill anything really as they don't provide enough force, so I don not recommend using them for anything other that drawing attention away from yourself with a well-placed shot.

Like slingshots a bow is pretty easy to make, but it too lacks the force necessary to kill a zombie. As Max Brooks recommends; it is best to use them to start fires silently at a long distance, and to set distant zombies alight.

What's Your Rate Of Survival?

Take this quiz to see what your chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse are.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Outpost: Movie Review

Outpost was released directly to DVD in 2008, and received mixed reviews from both horror and zombie-film fans.
A mysterious businessman going by the name of Hunt assembles a team of ex-soldiers to act as mercenaries and protect him on a seemingly very safe journey into Eastern Europe to check The movie starts out innocently enough, almost leading you to believe it's and action flick and not a horror. But then they find the bodies, with a survivor hidden among them. The mercenaries eventually realise that the bunker had been used to conduct various experiments by the SS on soldiers, in an attempt to create an army of invincible soldiers. When Hunt is confronted he admits to knowing this already, and that he is in fact here to research the technology they used for the experiments.
During the night a number of the mercenary group are killed off by uniformed Nazi soldiers, and their bodies are left behind for the others to find.
After these deaths, Hunt is confronted again and explains that the Nazis were trying to make soldiers invincible though reanimation and reality-changing experiments.
Fater a few more weird incidents and Nazi sightings, the group decide its time to leave, only to find their way barred by the undead Nazi army, who are also invincable thanks to the various experiments. The group is killed, and the movie ends by showing the arrival of another group arriving and finding the live survivor hidden in the bodies once again.
The special effects were impressive, the story line was detailed and well-thought out, but as a horror movie it just didn't scare me. I was left really intruiged by the idea of the Nazi experiments, but not frightened.
As a zombie film? I don't know if the soldiers realy counted as undead, seeing as how they were invicible. They weren't decaying, and they had full control over themselves, even though they seemed, to me, unaware that they were 'dead'. I like my zombies to be in large enough hordes and not easily able to chase you down after being pumped full of led. In terms of plot and storyline it gets 7/10, but as a zombie film it only gets 5/10.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dead Frontier Free Online Zombie MMORPG

The current version of the free MMORPG entitled 'Dead Frontier' is, at present, a beta version. But it's still pretty awesome!
The game really sticks to the survival storyline and your character's abilities are greatly affected by how healthily and nourished you are. You are also given the option of picking which skills you were previously educated in before the apparent zombie attack. These skills can give you a fighting edge, literally, or line your pockets that little bit more, depending on which you choose. Both money and skills are important in the game, although being able to defend yourself is a huge bonus the first time you decide to wander into the city by yourself. You will find yourself walking walking through the streets (very awkwardly if you're using a laptop) covered with a circle of light. You can search any bodies or vehicles on the road side for weapons, medical supplies etc. Like the famous Resident Evil series you are cursed with having a limited amount of inventory spaces (much like in real life) fortunately you can leave supplies in storage at the outpost each time you return. The outpost also provides you with a marketplace to buy and sell items.

Like all MMORPGs, you are faced with a leveling system; each zombie kill gets you experience points, and when you gather enough you go up a level. This also means your strength, health and any relevant skills, such as cooking, medical skills etc go up a level, making them more advanced, and a lot more useful.

The game is also set to have the outpost face a large zombie attack once every twenty four hours, meaning the humans have to defend said outpost. I think this makes the survivalism all the more realistic.

In terms of graphics the game is not visually amazing; it used the same view that was featured in the original Playstation One 'Grand Theft Auto' games (which means your looking at your character from above). But I think this is quiet acceptable considering the other options the game provides, along with the fact that it is free. The game also uses the regular mouse and keypad synchronization, which made it very difficult to play on a laptop. Also each time you die you will have to endure a painfully long respawn time, which is higher depending on your level. Various missions are also available if you choose to take them.

In terms of a zombie game I would give this 9/10 (the zombies weren't close enough for my liking), but in terms of an MMORPG it only gets 6/10 because of the very inconvenient respawn time and the outdated graphics.

You can experience Dead Frontier now by clicking on this link.

Monday, August 10, 2009

How Voodoo Zombies Are Made

A 'bokur' is a sorcerer in the Voodoo religion, who is believed to be blessed with the power to perform black magic. Powders used by the sorcerers give them power over their victims, with one of these being the power to create zombies.
In Haiti, the punishment of zombification is only reserved for those who commit really serious crimes.
'Coupre Powdre' is the name giving to the powder that the bokur used to initiate zombification, which applied all over the face any body of the victim to be absorbed into their system. The main active ingredient of the powder is tetradotoxin (TTX), a chemical produced by certain types of puffer fish. TTX is an extremely powerful neurotoxin which stops the nerve and heart cells from sending electrical impulses to the brain. In small doses this causes paralysis a near-death state, and makes breath and pulse undetectable, although the victims brain is still functioning.
Usually after this state has been reached, the zombie is then buried alive.
After a few days the zombie is dug up and given a powder made from atropine and scopolamine. which cause the victim to hallucinate and fall into a permanent state of delirium. The victim is usually very disorientated, and can be easily influenced to do menial jobs in order to repay the debt which their crime caused.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Am Legend Book Vs. Movie


The 'I Am Legend' novel was written by Richard Matheson in 1954, and has been adapted into three movies so far; 'The Last Man On Earth' in 1964, The Omega Man in 1971 and 'I am Legend' in 2007.
The novel itself played a huge part in the development both the vampire and zombie genres. It was one of the first to explore the idea of zombie/vampirism as a disease. The novel shares a very basic storyline with the film of the same name, most of the important details are completely changed; this was a big disappointment as I was hoping for a close adaptation of the book.
One of the most obvious differences between them is that the novel's main character, Robert Neville, is a white male with a very Aryan appearance, whereas in the film Robert is played by Will Smith, who I think played the part very well, but it did not match the storyline in the novel.
Also, since the film was set closer to our modern time, Robert is a talented scientist, searching for a cure to this rampant disease. The storyline in the book is much more compelling; it takes Robert a while to realise the infection is carried in the blood, so he breaks into a library to do some research on the subject, and spends moths doing so (there's no rush, he's the last man on Earth after all).
The zombie/vampires in the movie are portrayed as being very animalistic, where as Matheson describes their nightly ritual of crowding around Robert's house, taunting him in an effort to get him to leave his man-made fortress. Because of this huge difference in the portrayal of the vampire/zombies, the film and novel were led to have completely different conclusions. In the 2007 adaptation Robert dies leaving the cure to the disease behind him, in the hands of another human, hoping it will lead to a rebuilt society in the future. Matheson, however, took a more creative route a had the infected create a society of their own, and even scientific advancements that allowed them to move about during the day. Robert, of course, was not aware of this, and continues on his daily regime of hunting and destroying any infected he can. This eventually leads the new society of infected to imprison and execute him for murder.

In my opinion if the 2007 version had stuck more closely to the original novel, it would have been a lot scarier, a bigger hit, and a more original 'Infected' movie, rather than trying to conform to make the infected mindless and animalistic like so many other modern movies.
I rate the 2007 movie 7/10 and the book 9/10 (it was very short).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Call Of Duty: World At War Nazi Zombie Map Pack 3

Oh my god this new map pack is amazing, both visually and from an interactive point of view. As with the previous map pack, you encounter a flaming (yes literally on fire) zombie dog round, every so often. A new knife has also been introduced, now available to buy from a wall near you. The knife is now one-'shot'-one-kill per zombie, which makes the dog rounds much more manageable.
The zombies themselves look different from the previous two map pack. They're still in Nazi very detailed uniforms, but their facial appearance is different; it almost seems as if they are more decayed. This pack also includes a lot more swastika symbolism to remind you who your facing.
Another new feature available this time, is the ability to update your weapons, this is pretty handy when the zombie levels get higher and you don't want to abandon a particular weapon.
All in all it's amazing. The Cod: WaW game and downloadable map packs are vital to any zombie fanatic's inventory.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Late Blog Is Metallica's Fault

I meant to write this much earlier today but I slept in really late because I was at the Metallica gig in Marlay park, Dublin, last night. It's not my favourite venue, but the concert was still amazing (well Metallica are an amazing live band).
Anyway I was standing there with my friends, after enduring an almost hour-long performacne from Avenged Seven Fold, and we were waiting for Metallica to arrive on stage.
I was looking around at the crowd around me that consisted of an estimated 30,000 people. This is when I realised how screwed I would have been if a zombie outbreak had happened right there. I was almost halfway between the exit and the stage, the majority of people were drunk (it's Ireland) and I knew there was no way I could escape quickly if everyone began to panic. Fortunately, a zombie outbreak never ensued and I was saved the worry. But the moral of the story is; I let my guard down. I should have taken everything into consideration before hand.
So the next time you're going to a concert, or another event that requires a large gathering of people, don't make the mistake I did and let your guard down.

I was thinking about getting a zombie bite as my next tattoo, just for the irony it would incur if a breakout did happen.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Blook - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 – Part 1

I always thought that in a moment like this, you would experience an unbelievable rush of adrenaline coupled with an indecently accurate description of everything. I guess I watched too many victims and survivor reports on TV.

The first thing I remember is the touch of a cold hand on my face, which is how I began to awaken. Then I heard my mother's voice, hushed, but with an obvious hint of desperation.

“Get up honey, we have to go”.

I felt too groggy to even contemplate an answer, it was late, but I sat up; aware of the fear in her voice. My mother was at my bedroom door by now. I could hear my father shouting something from the bottom of the stairwell. I jumped to my feet.

“Mom, what the hell is going on” I asked as I grabbed her by the sleeve of her robe, noticing she still had her pyjamas on underneath. Her eyes were wide when she turned to face me. “Get back! Hide!” she whispered hoarsely, and with a ferocious push I didn't think such a small-framed woman could manage, she toppled me over into the room. I felt my head crash into something hard as I fell. I curled up into a ball on the ground, clutching my head, only to see the door closing behind the edge of my mother's robes. I listened helplessly as I heard the key click loudly in the lock.

For the first time I noticed that other people were screaming outside, there were car sirens in the distance, along with alarms from various emergency service vehicles. My attention turned back to the door as I heard my mother let out a wordless scream of terror. I tried to drag myself towards the door, but the pulsing pain in my head was unbearable. It felt like my brain was going to explode. My vision was becoming blurring and my thinking foggy. I felt like I was being sucked underneath a think pool of water. I willed myself to stay conscious. I clutched at my head desperately and began to panic when I felt the warm, sticky mess that my hair had become. The last thing I heard was my father screaming to my mother to run.

I don't know how long I was unconscious. I woke up in daylight on my side covered in dried blood, that had stuck my lips together as it has leaked down my face. My hair just felt like a giant knot. I had the worst headache ever. I didn't even try to get up for the first few minutes. I tentatively rolled on my back and attempted to breath evenly, praying the nausea would pass soon.

I tried to push myself to my knees the second I remembered my mother's screams. Another wave of nausea rushed through me and I almost threw up. I could feel the pulse that my headache was generating.

After a few more minutes of breathing I pushed myself to my knees and used the bed post beside me to pull myself up.

The room was a mess. There was a pool of blood on the patch floor I had just vacated that was only semi-dry. There was also blood on the edge of my dresser, which I presumed had been the offender that ended my fall so tragically.

I walked to the door as quick as I could and tried to open it. I could only vaguely remember my mother previously locking it. I pushed with all my strength and threw all of the little weight I had into the door in an attempt to move it. Nothing. I leaned my nearly pulsating head against the cool wood of the door as I thought about what to do next. I reached for the jewellery box on my dresser and pulled out the spare key to my room. I pushed it into the lock and turned it, but the door still resisted slightly. I pushed harder and it moved, I realised there was something blocking it from the other side. I made enough of a gap so I could squeeze through and immediately I wished I hadn't.

It was a body that had been blocking the door. But not just any body; it was my mother. I fell to my knees and put my hand on her cheek. It was ice cold, she was dead. I think the only reason I didn't cry is because I was in shock.

Eventually I noticed the flecks of blood on the walls and floor, admittedly my mother did look as though she had been injured. I erased the thought from my mind, I couldn't bare to think of someone hurting her. What if whoever had done this is still here I thought? I forced my way back into my room to find a means of self-defence, grabbing a stiletto in desperation. It would have to do for now. I pulled the sheets off of my bed and dragged them into the hall with me to drape them over my mother. I took one last furtive glance at the lumpy sheet and made my way towards the stairs.

There was even more blood on the walls here, and all over the steps, some of the pools weren't even dry. I tread carefully, avoiding any slippery-looking patches.

I held the stiletto up as I reached the bottom of the steps, wary that my mother's killer could easily spring out from the doorway on my right.

My heart was racing as I slowly pushed the living-room door open. The room was empty, no murderer. I quietly made my way to the kitchen, and held my breath as the door drew open ahead of me. Again, no murderer. I checked the back door, it was locked. I sighed with relief.

I felt so ridiculous when I realised that I had walked straight past my parents room an didn't check it. I swapped the stiletto for a carving knife, and checked the front door, which was also locked, as I made my way back upstairs.

I stopped for a second at the head of the stairs, reluctant to turn and see the lumpy sheet lying in the hallway again. I turned in one quick step and faced my parents bedroom door at the end of the hall. I stepped over the sheet and reached out to open the door, I paused again, This was the only room left, the killer had to be in here right? The front and back doors were closed, unless they jumped out a window they had to be in here. I swung the door open swiftly, attempting ta catch anyone who might be inside off guard. I let out the breath I didn't even know I was holding as I realised the room was also empty.

After calling my dad's cellphone, for what felt like the hundredth time, I gave up. He just wouldn't answer. I was really worried about him, he was always here, he was unemployed for god's sake, he had very few other places to go. Unless he was the one who... No way, I felt guilty for even thinking about it, Dad would never hurt anyone, let alone Mom.

I figured the best thing to do was keep my energy up and then take a shower, so I switched on the TV as I reached for a box of cereal. I stopped mid-pour to listen to the emergency broadcast issuing from the television.

The screen was filled with 'Emergency Alert System' and a scrolling message overhead. The message read “A public state of emergency has been declared, please stay inside and lock all doors and windows”. I turned the set up to hear the broadcast more clearly.

“The government no longer has the means to contain this viral epidemic and has declared a state of emergency. Please do not leave your home and lock all doors and windows. Those who have been infected by the virus are considered extremely hostile, and all member of the public are being urged to avoid all contact with the infected”.

I suddenly found I was no longer hungry. I grabbed the carving knife and bolted upstairs to change out of my pyjamas. I was pulling on a pair of thick boots when I heard a small creak on the stairwell. My breath caught in my throat. There couldn't be anyone here I checked. I felt the urge to call out, classic-horror-movie-style, and ask who was there. But I wasn't stupid.

I tightened my grip on the knife and waited, not even daring to breathe. I was just about to exhale when I hear it; another creak, this time at the entrance to the hall, near my mother's body.

My heart started beating so loud it seemed to fill my entire being. I think my heart almost stopped when the door began to swing open slowly.

The first thing I saw were feet, with think black boots on, like mine. I pulled my gaze up quickly and found myself staring into the almost sickly-looking pale face of a boy my age with dark brown hair and eyes that seemed to be tinted red. The Emergency Alert System broadcast rushed through my mind and I knew that this had to be one of the infected.

I jumped to my feet and brandished the knife at him.

“Get back!” I warned him.

For a second he didn't make any response to indicate he had heard me, then, really slowly he smiled.

“You can put down the knife”. His voice was soft and polite. “I don't want to hurt you”.

I stepped back, very aware that this was exactly what he would say regardless of whether he wanted to hurt me or not.

“Please but it down”, he sounded tired. “You look confused, I can give you answers”.

This made me lower the knife a fraction. “What do you mean answers?” I asked hoarsely as my mouth seemed very dry all of a sudden.

“Well, I can tell you where your father is, not to mention where everyone else is. Oh and I can also ' explain this whole 'infected' thing.” He had started to smile a little again as though he found this all rather amusing.

My voice shook as I worded a reply “the 'infected', that means they're zombies, right?”. I felt as though I definitely seen too many movies. He nodded slightly. I felt my chest tighten with fear. I gripped the knife so hard it hurt as I asked, “Are you infected?”. At least I'd seen enough movies to know what to do if he was infected.

“Oh, no, no, no” he waved a hand in the air as though waving away an insect, while at the same time walking toward the bed beside me to take a seat, “I'm a vampire”.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Possible Blook

Time to share some of my zombie art with you all. I am a visual artist after all!

I did this one about 2 years ago, I think, I just came accross it in my room and thought it would make a good addittion to this place.
In case you're wondering it's done with letraset markers and a black liner pen on bristol board.

I might start some more zombie pieces to put up here.

It will be good practice of I do get around to making that graphic novel/ blook thing. Or I could just have an illustrated book.

I've actually been thinking about the storyline a lot; my first thought is some kind of bio-nuclear accident that turns people into zombies. But to give the story a twist I could introduce vampires, because you know, they're dead and all, so they can't die from a bio-nuclear accident. Of course I'd have to have the Last-Man-On-Earth/survival storyline going on. But I was thinking that this could be from a vampire's point of view. Also if they zombies are 'runners' a vampire will be well capable of defending itself (unlike a human). I feel a weekly blook entry coming on. I need to think about this some more. Keep watching this space.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Siren: Blood Curse Game Review

Siren: Blood Curse is Survival-Horror games which currently only available for the Sony Ps3 console. The game puts a twist of the popular zombie genre by placing the story in Japan, and having the zombies (these are actually referred to as shibito) inhabiting a local village that apparently 'vanished' after a number of human sacrifices were made there.
The game's shibito are a lot smarter than your average zombies, and much like in Resident Evil 5, they are able to use weapons quiet effectively as well as run and perform a range of different, but easy tasks e.g. they can pull levers and turn wheels. This itself is quiet frightening, as it means it is much more difficult to outsmart them or even outrun them. What's even more scary is that nearly all the characters start out with no weapons, so they only way you can survive being in the presence of a shibito is hiding until you can run and get a weapon. Waiting for a shibito to leave until you can make a break for it can be quiet daunting, so they games has a helpful little feature: a split screen where you can play as normal while locating, and looking through the eyes of, any nearby shibito. This is a really handy feature because the majority of the game is stealth based, which unusual in a survival-horror as you usually just have to kill or outrun your attackers.

Unfortunately for any gamers in the United States the game is heavily censored, which will have a huge effect on the game quality, as apparently the amount of blood splatter and all the scenes with the Bella, the little girl, have been taken out completely.
The games level set up is quiet unusual, but not unpleasant; the game play is split into twelve episodes, with a lot of cut-scenes in between. The graphics are great, the shibito are terrifying and finding yourself weaponless is common enough. It is a good game, with a really fresh interpretation of zombies that will scare you to death, I'm giving it 9 out of 10.

Unless you live in Japan Siren: Blood Curse can only be bought online from the Play Station Store.

Here's the official trailer for the game, including some great in-game footage.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Zombie Denied Social Security

I read this on Digg, I know it's an old article, but I've never read anything like it before. Aside from being Zombie News, It's an interesting look into Voodoo culture.

A quick overview of the article:
Jacques Orneuve claims that the American government has unfairly denied him social security benefits on the grounds that he is legally dead. Orneuve admits that he did indeed die in his home country of Haiti, and was reanimated several days later in a Voodoo ceremony.

I will gladly report the outcome of his court case when I become aware of it.

Read the full article here.

28 Days Later

Beware: Spoilers

This is one of my favourite zombie movies ever, and has only two flaws in it, but I will point out the two that it has.

1. The story failed to explain how the Rage Virus happened to actually manifest itself as a virus. For those of you who don't know, the opening scenes of the movie depict an animal rights activist group setting some chimps free after they have been subject to endless video streams of violence. Obviously this kind of experiment would have an effect on anyone's mental health, and presumably the story is hoping it's audience will just follow along and presume it's a virus without question. I don't know about you, but even in the realm of science fiction I like everything to make sense or at least have an explanation.

2. The zombies' behaviour is not consistent throughout the film. During the scene where the main characters rush to change the car's tire while the zombies race towards them, when the car drives away the zombies feebly attempt to follow it, and give up after a few steps. Yes, the car was faster than them, but these are creatures with barely animalistic minds; they would not stop the chase until an easier target could be obtained.
Also when the Commandant brings Jim into the yard to introduce him to the infected soldier chained to the wall, the zombie spends most of their conversation trying to grab at them, then eventually gives up and almost lays down. Again, a zombie wouldn't just stop like this.
Towards the end of the movie, Jim decides to go on a killing spree, and let's the chained zombie free to aid him. Jim stands on a wall and shoots down at the zombie's chains directly below him, breaking the chains. The most natural thing to happen at that moment would be for the zombie to attempt to grab Jim, but instead it stays still while its chains are broken and then gives Jim one last glace before heading into the house to spread the infection.
The only reason these scenes really stuck out to me is because, during the rest of the movie, the zombies are portrayed as mindless animals, but during these scenes they seems to almost have a awareness of their physical limitations, which basically defeats the purpose of a zombie.

It's still an amazing movie though, I give it 8/10.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Think I'm Sitting On A Book

I watched 28 Weeks later again today (I think this is about my fourth time seeing it now). I really wanted to watch 28 Days Later, because it is, in all honesty, a better zombie movie, but for some unknown reason I actually don't own it, either that or it's vanished. Anyway, I watched the movie and I was thinking about all the things that I liked, and the parts I would change.

I liked:
-Zombies that can run because they scare the hell out of me.

-The Rage Virus because its a really unique idea for a virus.

-That the virus was contained to Britain, which was eventually isolated, because most books are written with the idea of a world wide pandemic and from a 'last man on earth' survivor's point of view.

-That the story was based on the fact that certain people had unique genetic codes that allows them to carry the disease without symptoms; most stories have a human who is completely immune.

I would Change:
-When the zombies invade the house at the beginning of the movie, John escapes by jumping through a window, and some zombies actually run past him in the background towards the house, before others start chasing him. This doesn't make any sense because the zombies would have smelled him, and they would have been instantly attracted to the movement.

-The length of time it took the zombies to die of starvation, because they are so animalistic that they would just begin to eat each other after a while.

-That the virus was limited to humans, although I wouldn't have every species contract it, just some of them e.g. dogs, bears etc.

-The fact that when everyone was running out of the main building, zombies just collapsed and died when a sniper shot them, even of it was in the leg. The whole point of zombies is that they will go on no matter what. It's actually weird that they did this considering that later on in the movie when the helicopter grated through the crowd of zombies it showed some of the body parts moving afterwards.

If I could just get all of my facts and opinions together I think I could be sitting on a book, although I would much prefer if it was a graphic novel. Watch This space. It Might Happen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gaming Like A Zombie

For those of you who think that the word zombie entails a spotty teenager staring into a PC monitor for an endless amount of time, you may be surprised to find you're right. Yes, I define MMORPG addicts as a type of new-age zombie, and if you, like I, are living in poverty and can not afford to pay for a World Of WarCraft subscription, I have the perfect solution; Last Chaos and Shaiya. These games are the closest you'll get to playing WoW for free. Both of the games are fairly similar, I wrote an article about the pros and cons of both here if you need to weigh it out more. Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Surviving A Zombie Apocalypse; The Basics

The following Guide Is In Regards To Walking Zombies. Running Zombies Will Be Covered In A Separate Article

Step1: Find Somewhere!!

OK first thing most people think is 'I'll make my house zombie proof!'. Pretty stupid idea really. The more people there are around you the more zombies there will eventually be so unless you live on the top of a mountain, find somewhere else to use as a refuge. Also remember the farther north you go the colder it will be, and zombies will presumably freeze, but don't take that for granted because if you run out of food you will more than likely have to trek past the 'line' where zombies freeze, to renew supplies.
Seeing as your refuge is, hopefully, in a secluded area, electricity will be scarce anyway, if you can, buy a generator, because electricity will most likely be cut off at some point.
If you can, I would strongly advise creating a perimeter around the refuge, even if you can only manage a simple wall, as this will keep zombies from being directly at your refuge and posing more of a threat.
Having a simple wall around the perimeter means that you can easily pick off any zombies outside the area, just remember to do it as quietly as possible.
The other, more sophisticated option is placing a radar system around the perimeter, but unless you can provide your own electricity through a generator this would be difficult.

Step2: Start Getting Supplies Together.

Unless you're rich, use any spare money to buy cheap food and water purification supplies if you need them. I know that getting your hands on as much bottled water as possible seems genius at this moment, but later you will be really sorry of the extra weight. Having water purification supplies means that you can drink in a safe environment, without lighting a fire to sterilise the water, and also make everything in the nearby area aware of your presence.
No matter how much supplies you have already stored in your refuge, you should still bring more food because there is really no indication of how long you could be there, and food is vital. Get a large backpack to carry supplies and start practising with it, otherwise you'll tire out too quickly when you actually need to evade the zombies.
regardless of how close your refuge is get army-standard shoes and socks, and clothing too if possible, every journey is made longer when zombies are involved, considering you will most likely have to evade even any moderately populated areas if possible.
You will also need a multi-purpose Swiss army knife, a rope, a sleeping bag ( I would recommend getting an army standard one if possible because they are much smaller and lighter, yet still provide warmth), maps of the local area, region and country are advisable, a compass, a flash light (since batteries and other forms of energy will more than likely become scarce over time I would advise obtaining a 'wind-up' or manually charged light source) and materials for starting a fire. (note: lighting a fire is not advisable unless you want to be overrun by nearby zombies). Also start picking up as much general medication as you can to store it; when you're up in that mountain there's little chance someone you're with will have medical training, and dying from something as curable as a cold because of lack of medication is just embarrassing during the reign of the undead.

Step3: Get Your Guns!

Arming yourself is crucial. Forget close-range weapons, if you're close enough to stab it then you're likely already dead. The only knife you will probably need is for opening tins.
Buy a gun of your choice (and lots of ammo) and practice using it. (Note: You will need your weapon on you and not in your bag when travelling). Try to pick a gun that you can easily carry its weight and aim it, and remember ALWAYS AIM FOR THE HEAD otherwise you're at nothing.
Try to avoid choosing fancy weapons or ammo as they will most likely become unavailable after a certain amount of time; pick a fairly regular weapon so ammo is easier to obtain. Also, unless you are trained to handle a gun, and if you can take the extra weight, buy a second weapon in case your primary weapon jams, handguns would be a good option.
If you do end up up close and personal with a member, or possibly numerous members, of the undead having a both a blade and a blunt weapon for bludgeoning is a good idea, as the situation could dictate the use of either.

Step4: Travelling.

The mode of travel you choose depends on where you are coming from and going to. If you are driving remember that you will be mobbed by zombies from all sides, so you will need the closest thing you can get to an armoured vehicle. Also get a map and decide where you will stop for fuel n your way, that is, if you can not find some fuel to bring with you. Planning for fuel stops is crucial, otherwise you could find yourself walking, or stuck in a vehicle surrounded by zombies looking at starvation as the alternative to being eaten. To avoid this scenario take all precautions possible to decide an alternative fuel point for each primary fuel point so if you arrive there to find it overrun with undead you still have an option.

If you are travelling by foot:
- Never travel alone!!!
- Stay away from heavily populated areas as there will be more zombies.
- Try to make as little noise as possible so as not to draw zombies', or animals attention.
- No matter how cold it is don't light a fire!
- Keep someone on watch while you sleep.
-If you happen to be completely alone, and find yourself facing disgracefully dim-witted opponents with questionable motor skills, climbing a tree to sleep, or rest is perfect.

A motor bike or bicycle are the best means of transport as they are small and fast. Trouble is motor-bikes need fuel and are loud, and you can only cycle for so long so choose wisely.
If you are travelling by motorbike you will need to carefully map out your fuel route as mentioned before.
If you are cycling, you will need to plan your rest stops carefully, try to choose points away from heavily populated areas and with some kind of shelter available, if possible.

Step5: When You Are In Your Refuge.

- Don't leave unless completely necessary.
- Unless media access is available don't decide to return until you know it's safe! If in doubt wait it out!
- Use the smallest amount of your supplies as you possible can.
- Kill off (as quietly as possible) any zombies that wander into your very unpopulated refuge area.
- Don't just walk into your refuge knowing you'll be there for possibly years and not bring something to occupy yourself. Books are the best option, as they can be reused, other activities like arts and crafts can possibly run out of supplies. If you have a generator, a laptop, music, DVDs, tv, and games console would be amazing! Just don't depend on the internet to be working or channels to be broadcasting, as the rest of the world is most likely facing utter chaos.
When you're picking who you would like to stay in the refuge with you; choose wisely, and don't let anyone else tag along if an outbreak happens. Stick to what you've planned. Try to have as many differently trained individuals in your group as possible, plan ahead how much food you will need per person per day. And remember Stay Aware.

Zombies That Can Be Found In Nature

I just found this awesome article about different species of animals than can invade the bodies other species and, in some cases, control their behaviour. The article deals with mostly insects and small animals, but the only thing I can think about is the possibility of them evolving into parasites that could effect humans. Read the full article here.

A History Of Zombies

One of the questions I get asked about zombies the most is 'where do they come from?'. The answer really depends on which type of zombie you're referring to. If it's the classic horror zombie it's probably either the result of magic gone amok or a mad science experiment. If, on the other hand, you're talking about the modern day horror zombie, it's more than likely some kind of virus or disease. The usual answer I give is that the entire zombie genre was originally based on Afro-Caribbean folklore and the rumors circulating the voodo religion.

For a more detailed article about the origins of zombies click here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Talk About Living Dead

I was reading this and just thought it was somewhat relevant to zombies as this guy just did not give up. It makes for interesting reading.

The Death Of Grigory Rasputin

I Think I'm Getting Paranoid

Last night I was at a party and decided, like the genius that I am, that it was a great decision to walk home at 3am. Luckily for me, some of my friends also thought this was an amazing decision. Most of us were quiet intoxicated at the time so it did not occur to anyone that we were leaving a house that was classified as being 'in the countryside' which means there were no street lamps to guide us for the first twenty minuets of our walk.

Everyone was talking about random things that drunks talk about when suddenly I realised; this is the perfect opportunity for a zombie ambush. It was so dark we could barely see anything beyond a few meters and the majority of us were too drunk to run very accurately.

I spent a few minutes thinking about this and decided to ease my paranoia by asking my friends what they thought. To my horror, and amazement, the majority of them agreed that we probably would not survive an attack at that particular moment. In fact one of my friends, like me, had previously begun preparing a mental list of survival tactics for use against zombies. For a while we all talked them through, then eventually I asked the burning question; 'What if we are faced with zombies that can run?'. No one answered me. It seems it's very easy to prepare for an attack of slow-walking dim-witted corpses, as it's usually just a matter of out walking them to safety, but if they can run, what options are left to us?

Maybe I'm just really paranoid, but I think it's time to start preparing for this scenario.