“You’ve got red on you”
– Shaun of the Dead, 2004
If you’ve been around this blog for a while you may have noticed that I am drawn to post-apocalyptic fiction. Indeed, during the twitterview I had with Dan Haight (author of Flotilla) we ended up talking about the zombie apocalypse and contingency plans. The thing is, I was only half joking.
A few months ago I wrote a little about my fear of zombies. The idea that humans could become infected with some sort of man-made contagion is perfectly plausible to me. 28 Days Later (with it’s fast moving Rage infected/fuelled “zombies”) is the only film I have been to the cinema to watch but then not watched it because I was sat with my eyes screwed shut and my fingers jammed in my ears. It was the shuffling priest about 5 or 10 minutes into the film Freaked Me Out. This may or may not be linked to my Roman Catholic background. The film being set on the island of Great Britain (aka home), with its familiar landmarks (I did take the odd peek) were often ones that are very familiar and may have even visited, so that didn’t help either. The scenes shot on motorways, particularly the M602, were particularly nerve-wracking because, at the time, I travelled that route five days a week to work in Salford. The longevity of the infected’s existence isn’t particularly comforting either and neither is the quarantine put on the island. I’m not the only one who finds the rage-infected absolutely terrifying so I don’t think I am being particularly unreasonable in designating it as being The Film That Cemented My Zombie Fear.
To a lesser extent the film adaptation of I Am Legend which Will Smith starred in had a similar effect (yes, I know that that one is vampirism but it follows the whole “man made disease causes apocalypse by turning humans” theme). The difference is that the latter wasn’t The Film that made me start planning my strategy for dealing with such a society-destroying epidemic. Avoiding infected humans intent on slaughtering the uninfected (either because they were hungry or just plain pissed off) and having a 99% chance of joining the infected ranks myself (there’s always someone who is immune) would be no picnic. Oh and hello Resident Evil, you did an excellent job of scaring me, I still can’t get in and out of a lift without remembering how that woman lost her head because of a crazy computer, never mind the bloody zombies.
Of course, Signs (which I saw around the same time as 28 Days) and Spielberg’s War of the Worlds didn’t help matters, but I have come to the conclusion that I will be fine with an alien invasion. I just need to have a supply of benign-to-humans bacteria-laden water. Well, unless they are like the things in Independence Day or are inter-dimensional creatures or just prefer living underwater of course. I might even be lucky enough to be part of a group of well equipped survivors (see Falling Skies). To be honest, if an alien civilisation was going to invade our planet they would probably be technologically advanced enough for it to be nigh on impossible to escape death or capture. But I digress.
So yes, zombie films freak me out, with the exception of Shaun of the Dead, which is is one of my all-time favourite films and the World War Z story was told in such a way that it made me think, rather than be scared.
The thing is though, those films have also taught me how to be prepared. I know exactly what we would need to pack, where we would hide if we couldn’t immediately leave the area and where we would eventually escape to. None of this running around like a fanny making tons of noise and going into places were we couldn’t see if there was any threat. I would have every bit of skin covered, even with glasses on to protect my eyes from infected bodily fluids. Oh and I would make sure I had something to remove heads/destroying brains.
If worst comes to worst I could just pretend to be a zombie:
So what would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? Do you have a plan? Would you join a plucky group of survivors, take care of you and yours, join the zombie ranks or go out fighting?
Me, I’m a evade and work together kind of lass.