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.