So it’s finally happened: The Zombie Apocalypse. Thankfully you haven’t succumbed to the dread scourge. Good for you. Now what? It seems everyone wants a piece of you (literally) and now you need to protect yourself, lest you become zombie chow. Thankfully, this world is replete with tons and tons of wonderful weapons designed to kill efficiently. Unfortunately, many of these wonderful weapons were designed to kill human beings and, quite frankly, zombies aren’t quite human. You can riddle them with bullets, cut them in half, or mutilate them seven ways til Sunday and they’ll still come after you.
The only way to kill a true zombie is to destroy the brain. This makes them a particularly interesting enemy and one that cannot be dispatched by any normal convention. While most people would take the time to explain the best weapons, I will take one sentence: If it is easily capable of destroying the brain in one blow, use it. I have decided my time would be best used in explaining what not to use. Too many fall to the zombie scourge because they simply because they have no clue that their weapon is an exceedingly awful defense against zombie attacks. So I have made it my duty to lay out several weapons and explain why it is advisable to avoid them.
1. Flamethrowers and other incendiary devices
These seem like a great idea at first. Normally, shooting off a flamethrower would cause a pretty nice distraction for your enemy, sending them into a frenzied panic in order to extinguish themselves before they are turned into a charred corpse. However, zombies are already corpses and quite frankly don’t care whether they are on fire or not. All they want is your tasty, tasty brains. Since the only way to drop a zombie to the ground is to destroy the brain, fire is exceedingly inefficient. By lighting a zombie on fire, all you have really managed to do is create a big, shambling torch which will no doubt eventually set your fortifications on fire, ensuring you die a nice, fiery death. So yeah, stay away from flamethrowers.
2. One-use weapons
If it is likely to break on the first strike, it is best not to pick it up. I remember watching a scene from the remake of Dawn of the Dead. One of the characters is entering a sporting goods store. In his hand is a short crowbar. He spies a rack of croquet mallets and decides to swap one out for his crowbar. True, the mallet is longer and keeps him at a longer distance from the zombies. It is also, however, made out of wood. The second he finds a zombie in the closet, he whacks it on the head, the mallet breaks and the zombie pins him to the ground. Good job, man. When it comes to weapons, you want one that will last. Crowbars are wonderful pieces of zombie weaponry. Durable, hard, likely to kill with a single blow. Had he been wielding this, he wouldn’t have ended up wrestling with Mr. Zombie on the floor of the sporting goods store. So if it will break after one use, stay away unless it’s all you have.
I can understand the allure of the chainsaw. Quite frankly, there’s nothing more exciting than mowing down a huge crowd of the undead with one of these babies. So why, you might ask, if this on the list? You see, the chainsaw suffers from several big drawbacks. One, it requires a fuel source. No gas, no weapon. The last thing you want is to be mowing through a horde of the undead only to hear the dreadful sound of your blades powering down. All of a sudden your big bad weapon is nothing more than a heavy piece of useless machinery. When in the heat of battle, you need a more reliable weapon than this. Two, it’s noisy. The chainsaw may be a crazy awesome piece of zombie-killing equipment, but it also screams like a banshee. It makes a heck of a lot of noise. Chainsaws are like big signals that tell every surrounding zombie exactly where dinner is. Third, chainsaws are very heavy. If you are on the move, having an eight-pound weapon on you isn’t the greatest thing in the world. Fourthly, the chainsaw isn’t exactly the most precise of instruments. One slip of the foot (say, in the blood of all those zombies you’re cutting up?) and you can just as easily maim yourself with it. It’s an unforgiving weapon. This is just as much a drawback as it is a positive. It would best to stay away from this weapon unless you are making a last stand.
- Frag Grenades
Grenades. These little beauties are quite lovely. It’s like being able to throw death itself at your enemies. However, frag grenades are not the greatest weapons to use against a creature as durable as a zombie. The way frag grenades work is that they send shrapnel every which way. To humans, this is deadly. This is because shrapnel in any vital organ is typically a very bad thing. However, zombies don’t need these organs. The target for the zombie killer is the brain. Shrapnel is incredibly imprecise and makes a heck of a noise. So throwing a grenade is kind of like shooting in the dark. It is not guaranteed to do much of anything and it calls attention to your position. Even throwing frags into the middle of a crowd of zombie isn’t a guarantee of any kills. It’s best to lay the frags down and find something else when it comes to dispatching the undead.
If you follow these weapon guidelines, you will find yourself far better equipped when the dead come knocking. You will know what to pick up and what to let alone. With these rules, you might just find yourself surviving one more day.
Brooks, Max. Zombie survival guide complete protection from the living dead. New York: Three Rivers, 2003. Print.