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DUMB ZOMBIE SURVIVALISTS

In addition to the nonsensical lack of zombie awareness that film characters generally possess, a recent viewing of 28 Days Later highlighted the stupid behavior that survivors in zombie movies continue to display long after learning the relevant facts about the threat they face.  Their critical, unrealistic errors inevitably cost more lives than any undead menace would on its own.

This issue can be summed up in one simple question:

If you were facing a deadly viral threat that could infect you with just a single drop of blood in your eye, don’t you think you’d at least wear sunglasses?

The 28DL gang has plenty of time to whimsically spin around an empty, fully stocked grocery store, debating the merits of different types of liquor and chocolate, but somehow the concept of ducking into the sports superstore across the street and grabbing a pair of ski goggles – and maybe some racing leathers – completely escapes them.  What’s more, the tough-as-nails lead female repeatedly hacks infected attackers to death wearing little more than a t-shirt, and nothing covering her face or mouth to protect against deadly blood spatter.

Creative license is all fine and good, but just once it would be refreshing to see a zombie movie in which the characters don’t die because of their own incompetence, but rather they do everything right, and still wind up trapped in an utterly hopeless situation with nowhere to run or hide.

If you ask us, that would be really scary.

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14 comments

  1. Working in the medical feild i can say that the eyes are a possible port of infection. (mucus membranes are fun! You can get syphillus or gonarrea in there for starters.) the speed of the rage virus infection was ridiculous. If it was that virulent, they’d have also caught it by breathing in the fine mist of blood spray from every kill.

    the recurrent flub that gets me is the “ive been exposed so i’ll hide it until its too late” guy. Just own up that you’ve been infected damn it! Strap on some explosives, gather as big a group of zack that you can and light her up in a glorious ball of revenge. Dont waste your death.

  2. To be honest I never really thought of it that way. You do bring up a very good point at the end. If, and when, the zompocalypse happens, taking preventative measures becomes a must for survival. However, knowing that you did everything possible to protect yourself and survive is still not enough, that’s the worst part.

  3. In defense of 28 Days Later… I mean, the movie takes place in Britain. They were probably just as unprepared for the existence of the sun in the sky as they were for the Rage virus breaking out. Frank even made a comment to that effect in the movie.

    “Frank: You’d never think it. Needing rain so badly! Not in fucking England!”

    • Right, but this article isn’t about being prepared. It’s about taking action after you learn what you are facing. They know you can’t get blood on/in you or you will die. So why not take some precautions?

  4. Someone should make a movie where the characters know what is going on or somethingg. I’m kinda writing a book like that at the moment! or trying to atleast =]

  5. Lets face it… the zombie apocalypse is the ultimate test in Darwinian survival… its abundantly obvious that most people will never pass this test…

  6. In reference to 28DL, one drop of blood in the eyes will infect you. As happened to the father. Also, if I remember correctly, the main charcter is saved by two people and they are wearing eye and body protection at least when they save him.

    Yes the characters fail to use there knowledge and yes I understand the issues of filming; however, it would be nice to see at least one character do it all right.

  7. As for the comment above about the eyes not being a point of infection: in 28DL, the father becomes infected within seconds from one drop of blood in the eye. From an infected crow, no less. So, if movies are to play by their own rules (which they should), either they should all be wearing ski masks, or (as is more desirable, for the sake of our viewing pleasure) they should have made it clear that eyes are not a point of infection.

    $0.02.

  8. You can’t really have people in full plastic riot shields in movies due to the problems in photographing people through it. Plus try running or doing heavy work in one of them and they fog up pretty quickly. Doing a forced march or heavy work in full MOPP (Military Oriented Protective Posture)gear is unpleasant at best as it hard to see or hear and you usually end up sweating to death in it. Plus given a chance people can be kind of dumb. I can’t tell you how many people I have see handling explosives without even gloves because it gives them more dexterity. It’s one of those chances that people take that works right up to the moment that it doesn’t.

  9. I can give the characters a break when it comes to the blood dropping into their eyes. That was a very rare scenario. In my opinion, complete unfettered vision is more important than eye protection. Plus, the last thing that you would want is to have a zombie or perhaps even another survivor to use the goggles as some sort of grapple. But yes … they should have all been wearing some type of leather or bike armor as well as wearing gloves.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t think eyes can be really counted as infection points. It’d be an interesting research project to see how many people have been infected with HIV from blood being splashed in the face. I I’ve never heard of any disease travel through tear ducts or anything. If anything, the eyes work overdrive in cleaning themselves.

    • I bet the father in 28DL would disagree…

    • Not really a valid comparison, considering most people dont go around slicing and dicing up HIV postitive people, so you dont tend to get much blood spatter. It is possible for certain to absorb substances through your eyes, Ive seen people drink vodka through theyre eye!

  10. Great point!..and your site is must reading!

  11. You have a good point in the end of the article. Really scary stuff if all goes well, but still goes really really bad. In my opinion, the original “Night of the Living Dead” from 1968 cover this quite well. People really don’t mess up that bad, but…we all know what happened….

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