Sat
Sep 18 2010 11:31am

Zombie Week Survey: Saturday of the Dead

As we creep toward the end of zombie week, it’s time to get serious and consider and issue of supreme importance when it comes to surviving the undead: weaponry. We put the question to our well-armed squadron of zombie experts in the following way:

Fire, boomstick, bat or blade? What’s your weapon/zombie-killing implement of choice? (And please: feel free to be creative—after all, your survival may depend on it…)

Below the fold lie answers from people who have clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this; in the interest of zombie preparedness, you might want to check out their advice, and contribute some of your own. Remember: when it comes to the zombiepocalypse, we’re all in this together...

Catherine MacLeod: Lightsaber.

Christopher Golden: I’d have to say my army of robot ninjas. I don’t like to get my hands dirty.

Carrie Ryan: There’s nothing worse than a flaming zombie so I’m going with a bat. (Blades can get stuck in flesh too easily, don’t ask why I know that...) Though I’ve always said the best weapon against zombies is someone who runs slower than you do.

Sarah Langan: I’d wrap the head of a rebar in thick, slow-burning cotton material and set it on fire. That way, it would be deadly, but also make a cool twining sound when I cracked zombie skulls.

R.J. Sevin: If we’re talking all-out fantasy weapons: infinite explosive throwing stars, like in the old SEGA game Shinobi. Or a lightsaber. One really wouldn’t even need Jedi powers—you’d just run and swing!

But seriously. When the dark day comes—and it will, we all know it will—I’ll want a good hunting rifle and a baseball bat. None of this samurai sword nonsense. Let the OTHER guy get his blade caught in the skull of an encroaching ghoul.

Amelia Beamer: My plan is to die pretty much immediately. I know my skill set. The only thing that might save me is having friends with guns. But that will probably end badly, too.

Matt London: The best tool for fighting zombies is, of course, another zombie. Easily disassembled, the zombie can provide bludgeoning weapons for at least four people. Decapitated heads make fine projectiles. Legs are bigger and heavier than baseball bats, and a sharpened femur could easily puncture the skulls of any would-be attackers. Arms come standard with hinge joints, which allow the limbs to be folded for easy storage. If rigor mortis has set in, you could even put a chainsaw in the hand of an amputated zombie arm, giving you that extra reach, and an edge over the flesh-hungry horde.

So break off a piece of the nearest zombie, and fight! To arms! (Literally.)

Walter Greatshell: In my book, Xombies: Apocalypticon, some characters fight attacking Xombies by stabbing them with big steel morgue syringes full of white phosphorus, which turns the creatures into burning puddles of sludge. Fun!

Paula R. Stiles: Fire, absolutely. Pretty, devastating and dependable.

Jamie Lackey: I think I’d want to make sure to have both ranged and melee options available. I’m thinking a rifle for as long as the ammo holds out, then I’d go for a baseball bat. I’ve actually hit things with a baseball bat before. Plus, a bat can’t lose its edge, is less likely to get stuck in the zombie’s skull, and never runs out of ammo.  

S.G. Browne: Louisville Slugger, the one I’ve had since I was six years old. Twenty-seven inches long and fits nicely in my backpack. Easy to swing without being cumbersome or dangerous if you pick it up the wrong way. And it doesn’t need reloading. If you’re going to rely on Hollywood mythos to guide you in choosing a gun, my guess is you’re going to be in for a shock when you shoot a zombie in the head and find out he’s like the Energizer bunny.

Sean Bieri: I bet the Large Hadron Collider would take out a lot of ‘em if you could time it just right. And lure them to...France...

Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant): It depends entirely on the nature of the zombies I’m dealing with, but at the end of the day, I’m going to have to go with “tank.” I will be the post-modern Tank Girl of California, crushing my enemies from the comfort of my rolling mobile fortress.  Failing that, I’ll go with a shotgun and a good head start.

Dave Palumbo: A rifle with a heavy wooden stock is the most practical in my opinion. Hopefully you’d never even need to get within biting distance, but if things got close (as they inevitably do) you also have a handy bludgeon for cracking skulls. Conversely, fire is about the worst thing you could do. Now you not only have zombies chasing you, but everything they touch (including you) is on fire. Congratulations.

Julia Sevin: When that day comes, I like to think the circumstances would quickly build me into the kind of seasoned warrior whose evergreen weapons are raw muscles and reflexes, instincts, resourcefulness, and pure balls. I’m saying I would like to jump on some zombie skulls and make stakes out of table legs and bombs out of shaving cream cans. I want to be Rambo-MacGyver.

However, I probably don’t have the physique or cleverness for it and would be better off with two reliable automatic handguns with silencers and a Bag of Holding with an unlimited supply of ammo, since that’s less of a fantasy scenario than me becoming athletic.

Bob Fingerman: Well, in Pariah a character uses an elephant foot umbrella stand, but I don’t think I could pull that off. I think I’d be better off with a gun (and lots of ammo) or a plain old fire axe. No chainsaws, either. I’m sure I’d do myself more damage than my undead attackers.

David Moody: Without a doubt, I’d pick a sword every time. Okay, so you’ve got to get uncomfortably close to the undead to kill them, but that’s the only downside. Swords are fast, clean and quiet and never need reloading. And the longer you leave that dead flesh to fester before you go in fighting, the easier it is to slice through!

Steven Gould: Duct Tape. Lots of it. This supposes slow zombies. I propose to make them slower.


Bridget McGovern has no delusions about her ability to fight zombies, but will take a bazooka and a bottle of bourbon, for what it’s worth.

10 comments
John Massey
2. subwoofer
Well now, the impliments of mass zombie death depends on a very fundamental question- are these zombies the old school, slow, Resident Evil types or the 28 days later, runs like a bat out of hell type?

If we are talking end of the world, slow plodding zombie death, a good sword goes a long way. If you are worried about getting a sword stuck in a skull, stop aiming for the skull. The neckle area is key for the headless maneuver. And a good sword is amazingly sharp and can slice through bone fairly easily. Back up would have to be my compound bow. I can always scrounge up more arrows, easier than bullets anyways.

For the fast buggers- napalm. And a tall tower resistent to burning and cutting. Or maybe a super-modified Lawn Boy. With armor. And a slushie machine. And a dingle ball.

Of course all this is moot if a lightsaber is floating around. But then again, if we are in that world, then I say forget that, give me a blaster or better yet-


Woof™.
Wayne Wilson
5. stylusmobilus
I think the U.S military probably have this covered.
TinaTinaka
6. TinaTinaka
Learn JEET KUNE DO. If you can fight like Bruce Lee you don't need no dang weapons! WORD!
Bart Leake
7. JonnywiththeTemper
First, My two-handed longsword hanging on my bedroom wall. Second, my semi-auto pistol from my closet. Third, a shotgun. Of course, as time goes on and my original store of ammo dwindles I won't be amiss to abandon my guns for new ones I find along the way. Of course, swords don't need ammo. :-)
TinaTinaka
8. Lolrus
My Beloved Stanley FatMax Fubar III. Aslo handy for other stuff, like breaking into gun shops and the like.
TinaTinaka
9. winterking
I'm always sad* to see these discussions of anti-zombie weaponry, because they always seem to miss the pinnacle of zombie-horde-destruction capability: the mine flail tank. (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mine_flail
) This is a big, solid tank, with a spinning net of chains stuck way out in front. If the chains were solid enough to repeatedly bludgeon the ground to detonate mines, and to survive the mine detonation, then they'll have no problem with zombie brains. Just activate the flail, and drive forward. One or two of these would be enough to clear a street; the Battle of Yonkers wouldn't have needed jets and bombs with a couple companies of flail tanks.

*I'm not surprised, though. Even in World War II-history-loving circles, the mine flails are not hugely well known.
John Massey
11. subwoofer
Hi Blind ::waves:: Didn't recognize you with the moustache;)

-Think you need more bullets.

@TinaTinaka- soooo, I know JKD, haven't trained with Inosanto but meh. Point is, Bruce's style works great on the living, but getting within biting range of the Dead... yeee. And a mob of the Dead, hand to hand combat... pass, you are better off running. IIRC JKD does teach you how to break a neck, but not much in the head ripping off department.

Woof™.

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