Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Zombie Short Film - Dead Reckoning (Episode 1)

I'm always amazed by the quality of the short Zombie films that I find on Youtube.  This one is the first episode of a series called Dead Reckoning.  A meteor strike has wiped out 40% of the world's population and left radiation that has turned many into zombies.  In this initial episode, we find a mind challenged to find his world filled with zombies.

This was a really nicely done low budget zombie film.  The camera work and editing were top notch.  I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Will The Government Handle Zombies?

One of the most important question about a future Zombie apocalypse is 

How will the government handle a Zombie crisis?

US Capitol at Dusk - Photo By Martin Falbisoner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The government and major medical institutions will likely not handle a Zombie crisis well.  We can look towards the government handling of three issues:  illegal immigration, mental illness, and fleeing felons.

The illegal immigration crisis is currently being handled in a way that requires intense judicial involvement.  Every illegal immigrant is entitled to a judicial hearing and case before being deported.  In the initial phases of a Zombie crisis, the government may be similarly concerned with the civil rights of Zombies. 

The government is not totally free to confine the mentally ill.  In the landmark case O'Connor v. Donaldson in 1975, the Supreme Court "ruled that a state cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends."  I'm no lawyer, but I take this to mean that Zombies can't be confined for long without judicial proceedings to show that they are dangerous.  

Finally, we can't expect the police to roll into a neighborhood like the cavalry and simply shoot all the Zombies. In the 1985 case, Tennessee v. Garner the supreme court struck down laws allowing police to shoot at fleeing felons.  This landmark ruling held that police can't simply execute people suspected of felonies for simply running away.  While is a great protection for all Americans in terms of civil rights, it also means that the police will be very unlikely to summarily shoot Zombies.  Instead, the government may seek to round up the dead in hopes of finding a cure.  Finally, depending on the political persuasion of political leaders, the politicians may also threaten to prosecute citizens who use lethal force or firearms to shoot Zombies and looters.  Even in "Stand Your Ground" states, citizens may have to show that the Zombie was a direct threat.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Zombie Short Film - A New Infection

A New Infection is a short film is from Wes Palmer.  Some young friends bring their supplies to a remote house to hunker down and ride out the Zombie Apocalypse.  However, they're surprised to learn that Zombies have a few tricks up their own bloody sleeves.  It's a nicely done short film with a twist.

A New Infection also shows the importance of conducting reconnaissance on Zombies to determine their capabilities.  If there ever is a real life Zombie Apocalypse, it's unlikely that Zombies will be completely by the book.  When they differ from the notions set by fiction, the surprises will be unpleasant.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Zombie Recon - Determining Zombie Capabilities

We have many preconcieved notions about Zombies.  They are slow.  They eat brains.  They feel no pain.  They can't communicate.  They aren't able to think.  However, all of those notions are shaped by the movies.  Without an actual Zombie outbreak, our notions about Zombies are at best a hypothesis.  

That's where Zombie Recon comes into play.  In the event of a real Zombie Apocalypse, you are going to need to observe Zombies and see what their actual capabilities are.  You can gather intelligence by watching news footage, hearing survivor accounts, and by observing them in the wild.

Polish Soldier in Iraq, Photo By Airman 1st Class Matthew Plew ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Here are five things to look for:

1.  Movement Capabilities - Are Zombies fast or slow?  Take the time to watch Zombies and see how fast they move.  Can they sprint, run, jog, walk, or merely shuffle?

2.  Pain Perception
- In the movies, Zombies don't feel pain and can continually move towards primal objectives like food.  In an actual Zombie apocalypse, you are going to want to see that for yourself.

3.  Fine Motor Skills - Are Zombies really incapable of working a gate latch?  It something that any group of survivors will need to know.

4.  Tool Use - There is a group of indie film makers trying to fund a movie called Zombie with a Shotgun.  You should observe Zombies to make sure that they can't use tools or weapons.  If they can, that will change a lot of our assumptions about Zombies.

5.  Communications - We assume that Zombies can't communicate with the living or with each other.  We assume that they don't coordinate their activities or their attacks.  But, there was evidence of a Zombies having leaders and coordinating attacks in the movie I am Legend.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Zombie Short Film - The Living

This week's short Zombie file is called "The Living."  It takes place within the confined space of an airliner cruising high above the United States.  Air travel is bad enough with shrinking seats, crying babies, and armrest battles and now this little film gives you something to think about.  Zombies on a plane are no joke!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Overwatch

The movie and book, American Sniper, showed Navy SEAL snipers maintaining "overwatch" positions where they could watch over the movements of an American infantry unit as it worked it's way down a street in Iraq.  The snipers would identify potential threats and fire on any threats that were preparing to attack the infantry unit.

A Canadian Sniper during World War II
In a world filled with Zombies and brigands, the idea of having a designated sniper provide overwatch for the movements of a band of survivors is not a bad one at all.   However, any would be sniper would do well to start practicing now.  It takes a headshot to permanently put down a Zombie.  A shot to the pelvic girdle could at least stop a Zombies forward motion.  The big question is how well can you make that shot and hit a pie plate at 100, 200, or 300 yards?  The overwatch "sniper" can't be positioned so far away that he can't make the shot.

Dogon Hunter in Africa - Photo By J. Drevet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
The overwatch concept also works for units moving across any contested terrain.  When expecting imminent contact with the enemy in the field, military units move tactically in pairs by alternating overwatch and movement.  This tactic is called bounding overwatch.  Let's say there are two units, Squad A and Squad B.  Squad A will position itself to provide overwatch for Squad B.  Then Squad B will move to a new position where it can provide overwatch for Squad A.  Then Squad A will move to a new overwatch position and then Squad B will move to a new overwatch location.  Squads A and B will alternate moving so that they leap frog each other across the terrain.  Whenever one unit is moving, the other is providing overwatch. 

U.S. Marines with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment provide covering fire for fellow Marines as they move out of a danger area after taking sniper fire during a security patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, on Nov. 2, 2010. Photo By English: Cpl. David Hernandez, U.S. Marine Corps ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
You've seen this bounding overwatch concept a thousand times in the movies and on television cop shows when one soldier or police officer says cover me to his partner and runs to another position.  Then the partner runs while the first officer provides covering fire.

In a Zombie Apocalypse scenario where ranged weapons like crossbows, bows, or firearms are being used, using bounding overwatch for movement is not a bad idea.  In a situation where clubs, axes, and blades are primarily being used, survivors might want to move more like an ancient legion.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Zombie Movie Review - The Dead 2: India

I recently caught a Zombie Movie on the Sci Fi channel.  It was called The Dead 2:  India.  Set in India, the movie offers a unique perspective on a Zombie Apocalypse.  In The Dead 2, all the problems of a Zombie apocalypse are compounded by the problems of being in an unfamiliar country and a less developed country.

The main character, Nicholas, is an American engineer working as a contractor on a wind farm project in rural India.  When the Zombie infection spreads across the country, Nick has to get back to the big city of Mumbai and rescue his local girlfriend.  Along the way, he is befriended by a young orphan who serves as an able local guide.

The unlikely pair make their way 300 miles across a vast expanse of arid India, confronting zombies, soldiers, and thieves.  Meanwhile, the girlfriend and her parents are holed up in their a small home on the edge of the city slums as society disintegrates.  You can see the official trailer here:

I really enjoyed this movie.  It provided a glimpse of India and a fish out of water theme.  In a country like India that is literally teeming with people and not especially well armed people, you can really see how a Zombie infection would spread like wildfire.  The characters are generally short on firepower and have trouble getting a vehicle.  Instead of a typical American SUV, the characters have to ride in dinky little cars and later an old motorcycle.  It's interesting to see the adventure unfold for very sparsely equipped survivors.

To get the movie in DVD, Blue-Ray, or Amazon multi-formatted options, click on the poster below:

The makeup and special effects for The Dead 2 were not as high quality as those used in The Walking Dead.  However, as a viewer, I appreciated sensible limits on gore and realism.  The Zombies were certainly realistic and menacing enough to be more of a real threat than a comical one.

The Dead 2 was well-written and well-directed by Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford.  The plot moves quickly and is well-paced.  Overall, I definitely recommend you catch this one.

You can actually buy and watch the whole movie now on Amazon using supported devices.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How to Stand Guard Against Zombies

As I've watched The Walking Dead over the years, I've come to realize one thing that contributes to the survivors' problems.  They seem to have basic problems standing guard.

Photo By Forsaken Fotos from , Maryland (Guard Tower at Lorton Prison) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Basics of Standing Guard

If you want to survive a Zombie Apocalypse, you and your group of survivors will have to do a good job when standing guard. Standing guard is not that difficult, but there are a few basic rules to follow:

1.  Someone Has To Stand Guard.  Once the Zombie Apocalypse has gone down, the world will be filled with Zombies, Looters, Warlords, and Marauders.  You probably shouldn't treat the situation as a family camp out.  You have to be on guard 24 x 7. 

2.  Choose A Safe Position For Your Guard Post.  Out in the middle of the road is not the best place to stand guard.  You'll want a guard post to provide some cover so that it is protected from incoming fire.  You'll also want it to provide some concealment so that it is not easily seen by zombies or marauders.

Photo By Martin SoulStealer from London, England (Probation Zombie) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
3.  Shut The Hell Up While Standing Guard.  On TV, characters tend to discuss and work on complex relationship problems while standing guard.  These involved conversations may be helpful to the emotional well being of the characters.  But, in the real world, it leads to a potentially fatal mistake called:  NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

4.  Stay Awake While Standing Guard.  If you've been fighting Zombies or running all day, you are going to be tired.  But, if you don't stay awake while guarding your group, you might not wake up at all.

5.  Keep an Eye Out in All Directions While Standing Guard.  The threat doesn't always come from an expected direction.  If you were planning to attack a guard, would you come from the direction that the guard is looking?  While Zombies may be somewhat predictable, humans are not.  They'll try to divert your attention and hit you from an unexpected direction.  That's why you have to keep a look out in all directions and be aware of your surroundings while standing guard.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How Much Water Do I Need To Survive?

According to, a family sheltering after a disaster needs one gallon per person per day.  Three quarters of a gallon is for drinking and a quarter of a gallon is for hygiene. The government suggests you store 1 gallon of water per person per day and keep 3 days of water on hand.  They note that a person may need more in hot climate conditions or if involved in strenuous physical activity.  

Bottled Water photo by U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sonya Croston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The guide, How to Survive The Zombie Apocalypse, by Ben Jackson recommends two gallons per person for groups hunkering down.  That seems reasonable.  You'll also need to read up on water purification.

As I post this, the Atlantic hurricane season is starting.  Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.  Whether you are worried about zombies or hurricanes, a water stockpile is a good idea.  At the very onset of a crisis, I recommend filling a bathtub or two in your home with water.  This is a trick many Floridians do when a hurricane is coming their way.  It will give you a reservoir of fairly clean water (depending on your tub!) to draw from for cooking or hygiene.

Claw Foot Tub photo by Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The government suggests that you stockpile enough water to survive 72 hours.  Since the United States remains a super power with advanced military, police, and fire/rescue capabilities, that suggestion is a good one for most disaster scenarios.  However, they don't call it a Zombie "Apocalypse" for nothing.   Federal, state, and local governments may well be overwhelmed for an extended period of time.  Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed government resources for at least a week or two.  Once your stockpile of water is depleted, you will probably have to filter and purify your own drinking water.