Welcome to Day 2 of our ongoing Zombie Week Survey. Yesterday, our experts weighed in on their favorite types of zombie; today we turn to the deadly serious business of killer puns and head-busting banter. Without further ado, our question of the day:
The only thing better than taking out a slimy, ghoulish, brain-hungry zombie is doing it with a wry pun or a snappy quip. What’s the best zombie-slaying one-liner you’ve heard, read, or have been saving up for your own personal confrontation with the living dead?
Join us below the fold for everything you ever wanted to know about talking smack to the undead, and please chime in with your own zombie zingers, wisecracks, and devastating put-downs in the comments…
R.J. Sevin: I’ve always liked Ash’s line from Army of Darkness, the goofball sequel to Evil Dead 2: “Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun.” Sure, he was fighting a demonically-possessed doppelganger, so we’re stretching the definition of “zombie” like taffy (or like Joe Pilato’s rubbery stomach), but they don’t come much better than that.
Carrie Ryan: “D’oh!” Which I understand isn’t all that wry or quippy but is probably what I’d be thinking at the time. I’m not really known for coming up with good one liners (until the edge of sleep, well after the event).
Bob Fingerman: My favorite is “I kick ass for the Lord,” spat out triumphantly by Father McGruder in Peter Jackson’s classic spatterfest Dead Alive. As for my own, I believe I’d say, “Bet you didn’t think I could kill zombies and shit my pants simultaneously, did you? Multitasking, baby. Multitasking.”
Sarah Langan: “Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up!”
Steven Gould: Die, Zombie, die! What? You’re already dead? Uh, How’s that working out for you? You’ve lost weight, I see. And a limb. BUT you look GOOOD.
Walter Greatshell: The obvious one is “EAT THIS!” I also like “DIE SOME MORE!” Not that I’ve used either of these…
Catherine MacLeod: Homer Simpson, from “Treehouse of Horror III”: “Take that, Washington! Eat lead, Einstein! Show’s over, Shakespeare!”
Matt London: The polite thing to do would be to say, “I’m sorry” every time you kill a zombie. After all, before a zombie ran up and bit him in the face, the dude trying to gnaw your leg off was the nice man who makes your avocado salad at Toasties. That said, apologies and hesitation go hand in hand. Hesitation equals death in the post-zombie world, so maybe the best choice is to say nothing at all as you shish-kebab the skulking flesh-eaters.
If I absolutely had to come up with a one-liner, it would harken back to my youth of playing football and dating girls (read: playing tabletop roleplaying games in my basement), where there were no less than forty-seven unique forms of undead. The line, which, after all this build up will certainly not be impressive, is: “Hey zombie, what’d you do, flunk out of revenant school?” And then I’d hit him in the head with a sharpened femur.
Paula R. Stiles: I dunno, man. Not to be a killjoy, but I think the snarky one-liner thing has really downgraded zombies as a genuinely scary monster.
Though there is a great line from the show Supernatural’s episode “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, where Dean and Bobby have locked themselves into a closet to get away from zombies and Dean says, “It’s all right. They’re idiots! They can’t pick a lock.” Then the zombies pick the lock.
Jamie Lackey: I’m so bad at puns. Seriously. If I try to some up with something I’ll just embarrass myself. And everyone who knows me. And probably everyone who reads this. The world’s better off if I just give this one a pass.
S.G. Browne: “Eat this.” (accompanied by my extended middle finger).
Christopher Golden: The one that makes me smile is a line from my first Hellboy novel, The Lost Army. Hellboy: “Dead guys. There’s just no talkin’ to ’em.”
Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant): Heard: “Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun.” Saved: “Blondes are a different kind of immortal in a horror movie, you undead jerks!”
Julia Sevin: Mine: “Ugh, so unoriginal. Quit ripping off Romero!” Close second, following decapitation: “That’s one way to get… A HEAD!”
Amelia Beamer: Why waste humor on zombies? When’s the last time you heard one giggle? Besides, I used up all of my punning abilities on the title of my novel, The Loving Dead.
David Moody: I’ve struggled with this one… every zombie attack and every kill is unique, and all the best one-liners are spur of the moment, off the cuff remarks that’ll probably only suit that particular instant in time. But if I could use one classic line from a zombie movie when my number’s up and the dead are starting to tear at my flesh and eat my entrails, I’d like to go out like Captain Rhodes in Romero’s Day of the Dead, yelling: “Choke on ’em!”
Sean Bieri: See, thinking too long about this stuff like I am right now is what’s gonna get me killed when it all finally goes down.
Bridget McGovern has seen the Evil Dead movies far too many times, and would probably just end up muttering “Clatto Verata…Necktie” and hoping Bruce Campbell will show up to save the day. Hail to the king, baby.