With the The Walking Dead between seasons, GQ Magazine rang up the Zombie Research Society’s founder Matt Mogk, to discuss the efficacy of the signature weapons wielded by the various characters on the series, and how they might fare in a real apocalypse.
Hammer (Tyreese): “Hammers are pretty good—it’s a bludgeon weapon on one side and an edge weapon on another, so you can sort of pierce. But the problem with it is twofold: you want to avoid close hand-to-hand combat when possible with zombies. Getting really close to them is the only way they can hurt you. Secondly, you’re dealing with the deadliest, blood-born illness known to man. If you get a single drop of zombie blood in your eye or mouth, you’re going to turn into a raving maniac and try to eat your family. The last thing you want to do is start cutting zombies open and letting their blood go all over everything. It’s quiet, it’s easy to use, which is really important, and it’s hard to hurt yourself with, which is really important. But, you know, the downside is you have to be really close to use it.”
Crossbow (Daryl): “You don’t have to be close to use it—big advantage—and it’s quiet. The problem is, it’s very difficult to use. Anyone can pick up a hammer and hit somebody with it, but a hunting crossbow like that is really, really hard to load. This idea that you’re going to load a crossbow and shoot a zombie and then load it again instantly and shoot another zombie doesn’t really hold water. And how does he mysteriously have an endless supply of bolts?”
Machete (Glenn): “The machete’s pretty good in that you can stay a little further away from zombies than with the hammer. A machete is designed to cut things. Think of zombies as a big sack of toxic goo that you don’t want to get on you—why would you want to cut that sack open? Like the last thing you want to do is cut the big toxic sack open and get toxic crap everywhere that will potentially infect you.”
Katana sword (Michonne): “A katana is so easy to hurt yourself with because it’s long, and it’s super sharp and it’s a very special knife. You glance off the zombie and you hit yourself in the leg—well, you’re dead. You take it out of its sheath and accidently cut your hand as you’re taking it out—you’re dead. Katanas are not great if you’re not trained on it. As an average Joe walking down the street, I would much rather have a machete.”
Gun (Rick): “The disadvantage of the gun is that it’s loud. The last thing you want to do when zombies are walking around the planet is to start making a lot of noise. You might as well get on your roof with a dinner bell and say, ‘Hey! I’m over here! Come eat me!’ So, very loud. Secondly, he has a specific type of weapon that needs a specific type of ammunition. Once the ammunition runs out then you have to compare it to a hammer and it’s not as good as a hammer. But it loads really quickly and really easy to use.”
Fire poker (T-Dog, RIP): “It’s essentially like a giant screwdriver, more or less. The great thing about it is you can keep your distance. The only way to kill a zombie is to destroy their brain. You chop a zombie’s arm off with your machete, who cares? The zombie doesn’t care. It will still try to eat you. So, something like a poker where you can pierce directly in to the zombie’s head and out is very effective. All we want to do is pierce the brain however possible. A fireplace poker is essentially a hand-delivered bullet. Rather than shooting them and having the bullet penetrate the brain in a very limited way, you have a poker and you just go blonk! and you hit them right through the skull.”
So, what’s the best weapon to arm yourself against zombies?
“Probably the machete just because it has, it’s a little more practical, it has more uses and it’s kind of easier to use. But I prefer bludgeon weapons I like baseball bats, steel pipes, something like that. Because you don’t get points for killing zombies, it’s not a video game. You get points for staying alive. That’s it, and you don’t get a second life. I don’t care how many zombies I kill; all I want to do is get away. So anything that can help me create distance and get me away from there and be very easy to use and I don’t hurt myself with it, that’s what I want.”
Original post @: www.gq.com : Rank the Zombie-Slaying Weapons of The Walking Dead by Jen Ortiz Feb. 03, 2014