Episode 200: Crazy Drivers

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Zombie Cliché Lookout: Crazy Drivers

When your characters appear to be safely ensconced in a large, fairly secure-looking vehicle, you’ve got to find a way to put them in danger? What better way than to have them swerve to avoid something (zombies, debris, etc.) and then crash? Sure it’s a little cheap, but I don’t think it’s all that unrealistic. Drive around a medium sized city for a couple of hours, and you’re bound to see people do some pretty insane things with their cars. Throw in the terror of a zombie apocalypse and the insanity gets cranked up to eleven.

And there’s plenty of precedent in zombie movies. The original Night of the Living Dead has a proto-example of this. Barb gets to the relative safety of her car, but the zombie pursues and manages to smash the window. She doesn’t have the keys, so she releases the parking break and rolls down the hill… into a tree. The 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead is a bit closer to what’s happening in the comic. Our hero escapes the insanity of her subdivision, only to drive off the road, roll down a hill… and hit a tree.

Maybe I should have had the ambulance hit a tree.

Discussion Question: The Getaway

When the zombies show up, how are you going to make your escape should the situation call for it? Do you have a big SUV all gassed up? Dirtbikes? Horses? Give us the how and why.

About this Episode:

I had a hard time filming this episode, particularly the first panel, and the panel where the ambulance is up on two wheels.

The first panel was tough because I have limited space. My lightbox has room for one baseplate, which limited the scope of the background in shots. Since the ambulance was so big, it took a bit of trial and error to find a sweet spot of establishing the ambulance moving against the background without any white space showing up.

For the ambulance up on two wheels, well, I cheated. I tried a could rigs, tape, sticky tack; nothing worked. In the end, I held the ambulance at and angle, and took the shot so my hand was just out of view. The magic of brick comicing revealed.

200 Episodes

For those who didn’t notice, this is the 200th episode of Bricks of the Dead. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?

75 thoughts on “Episode 200: Crazy Drivers”

  1. This episode totally does not fit with the trained professional driving instruction ambulance drivers receive. Even with an overloaded ambulance they would know better than to swerve in such a way that would tip the ambulance over. This may have been true with much older vehicles but seeing that ambulance they’re in looks like a modern-day ambulance with all the modern safety devices they have available nowadays, this totally smacks of Dave just wanting to get rid of 5 extra people!

    Dave, I expected better of you, and this is simply not cutting it even for a zombie apocalypse webcomic, especially since the crash subject seems to have been barely researched at all!

    • Sorry you’re disappointed. It’s a pretty common cliche and that’s why it’s here. I stand by it.

      • Also, I did a quick bit of Googling and found one roll-over accident involving a modern ambulance on the first page of results: http://charlotte.news14.com/content/local_news/triad/630411/accident-involving-ambulance-injures-3

        Not unheard of. And when you factor in things like panic and possibly sleep deprivation, I think it’s entirely reasonable.

      • There is the other thing: As someone pointed out, the fact that they’re in a town would mean greatly reduced speed. 50 km/h is the speed limit over here for town driving, I have no idea what town driving speed limits you have in the USA or wherever or even if it’s metric or imperial, but most town driving speeds just wouldn’t cause roll-over unless the driver of the vehicle was trying to pull a stunt which wouldn’t be happening at all with a trained professional. These people are obviously trying to go somewhere, and the whole storyline is getting way artificial to suit what you photographed. I just can’t see an ambulance that has just started out on it’s journey rolling over like that at all!

        Happy 200th Anniversary for your webcomic, Dave! 😀

        • Speed limited here depend a lot on zoning. In a downtown area, the limit would likely be 35-40 miles per hour. Of course, with no cops to enforce the limit, and the fact that it’s an emergency vehicle, obeying the law probably isn’t a top concern.

        • There’s also the fact that they somehow magically managed to accelerate to roll-over speed in under 3 shop-front lengths, as the building they’re on is right next to an intersection, and with the ambulance heavily loaded like that take-off speed from the intersection would be a lot slower! I mean, come on, who the heck expects a heavily loaded emergency vehicle to perform unbelievable stunts like rolling over in such a short distance? There’s the whole distance traveled versus roll-over speed thing, too.

          Then there’s the fact that the driver would be extremely likely to have seen those zombies long before they were anywhere near the danger zone and would had plenty of time to plan an evasive maneuver. Every time I look at this particular episode it gets more and more artificial. I really dislike that when it’s very obvious like this.

        • Point taken. I still like it.

        • If you have any more scenes like this coming up in the future, you’ll have a lot more information to plan with now, to make it look plausible! 😀

        • I would tend to agree. Ambulances always look top-heavy, but the idea of rolling one in a town strikes me as a bit far-fetched.

    • I actually love this crash! An overcrowded ambulance is just asking to be tipped over. Personally, my driving gets 10 times worse when I have a passenger since I’m so used to driving by myself. lol

      Also, Inez sticking out of the window like a “whack-a-mole” is great!

      • That would be Karen (the EMT) playing whack-a-mole. Inez is on the ground, struggling to get up.

        • Right! I was just … um… testing you.

        • Hah!

        • Oh no Im scared for Inez now D: !!!

  2. I would give Dave the benefit of the doubt and allow him to use the trope of crashing vehicle.

    All five of those people could still make it out alive.

    And I love the use of Series 6 minis as zomibes in this one. Awesome job Dave. It’s a zombie Elvis!

    • As soon as I saw that mechanic I knew he had to get zombified for the comic. That hair!

      • Now all I can do is re-hear the Dire Straits song as “Zombie Elvis… anybody home?”

  3. now were it me in the car with Cheryl as she said that, I would so go “Screw them we need to be safe” or alternatively, push her out the car and say “Well off you then – I’ll continue ahead.”
    Yeah, I’m evil.

    • That’s cold, but probably wise as far as long-term survival goes.

  4. For the discussion question I would ride away on ponies. Pink ones that talk. Hooray!

    • And you’d take your giant pile of hallucinogenic drugs with you? Other people might want to use those too, you know.

    • Well, I initially planned on using my BMW car. It may be old (15 years) but it’s got more horsepower than most cars and a low mass center, so what happened to that ambulance won’t happen to me *gloating*.
      But pink ponies…that’s got style. And if I’m taking Pinkie Pie, I’m sure to outrun every car….

      • Hard to beat pink, talking ponies.

  5. As much as I loved the idea of ridingcows that was raised a few weeks ago I’d probably look for a Hummer – isn’t that supposed to be the ultimate apocalypse-proof car? (living in Belgium I might be searching for a while tho…)

    • A really Hummer probably would be. The did the H2 and H3s over here. From what I heard, the H2 was half-decent, but the H3 was basically built for soccer moms. But then, I’m not a car guy so that’s just repeating what I’ve heard people say.

      I still like the cow idea.

      • I liked the H3, had the chance to drive one for 4 days while driving the South African rugby team about, also took one over an off-road course……it was a beast on fuel but a sturdy motor to say the least……still prone to punctures like any other car though.

        Well done on the 200 episode mark.

      • I’m really not a car guy either… but I do know that mine isn’t exactly fitted for the Apocalypse. It’s fun to drive and does not drink too much but it has a trunk that’s probably the size of an H2 glove box.

        • I’m starting to see a lot of those things in the states. Interesting cars.


    • Thanks Angie!

      • I wish someone would just start making MZB (mutant zombie biker) minifig heads. I know that Brickarms did a run of them, but only with a weapon pack that I didn’t particularly want, and an expensive route to get one measly head. There has to be a huge demand here.

        • Citizen Brick makes some, although it looks like they’re out of stock currently. It’s a really nice head; I’ve used it a number of times now.

  7. Happy 200th episode!

    As far as getting away from the shambling hordes, honestly, if you can’t get a tank, a bicycle is probably the way to go. Can go faster than people on foot, can carry extra weight (especially if you fit it with a box behind the seat), and (this is important) doesn’t run out of gas.

    • Excellent response, Steve. I really need to get a bike.

      • Additional reasons to have a bicycle:

        -Quieter than combustion engine.
        -A good mountain bike can go off-road.
        -Small and maneuverable.

        Yeah, bicycle all the way.

  8. Happy 200th! And thanks for the effort, funly appreciated.

    1. I think the flipping ambulance is spot on. Kinda figuring that they are, of course, speeding. +There’s a natural reticence to running over a human being, even if zombified. How many accidents are caused ’cause we don’t want to hit a squrreld, cat or possum?

    2. I’m glad bycicles were mentioned. We live i mountain bike country, and of late I’ve been thinking more & more about bikes. They’re quiet and maneuverable. Supplies in bike saddles, also very common up here; but the important stuff in backbacks, not boxes.

    3. A preference, not a critique: I may have switched the last two panels. Close up first to show the awareness & recognition, and the pan out to show movement, implying that they are still travelling away from the accident, leaving one to wonder if they’d actually come back to help or not.

    • It’s funny that you should mention reversing the last two panels. They were originally in the order you describe, and then I switched them. And then switched them back, and then switched them again. I was very indecisive.

      • Dude!! By the time you make up your mind you’ll be 4 New York blocks away in your van and I’ll be Zombie giblets! 😀

        • Yeah, that sounds about right.

  9. Is that the new LEGO ambulance? Do you like it? I am seriously considering picking it up, but the back door on it bugs me- would have to spend some serious time modifying it.

    As for the wreck, that particular trope bugs me. I mean, the zombies, whether “fast movers” or traditional “shamblers” are just squishy people. They’re not tool-users. They don’t set roadblocks or ambushes. Just get in your big-ass van/SUV/bus and roll on through, nice and slow. Let the vehicle’s momentum do the work for you.

    On topic: bugging out is a weakness, admittedly. Since I’ve been back in school (see my avatar), money has been pretty tight. My family car a V6 Honda Accord, is barely adequate for long trips. It is in good repair and gassed up, but it doesn’t have the trunk space for a bugout.

    Bottom line: walking sucks. Roads will be jammed. Plan on bugging in.

    Oh, and here’s a trope that the zombie movies love to teach: don’t bugout if you don’t know where you’re going. There is a word for folks that leave in a hurry with no clue where they’re going. They’re called “refugees”. Have a plan; and have a backup plan, because the first one won’t work.

    • Very, very good point on bugging out without a plan.

      As far as the ambulance goes. I do like it. I’ve been waiting for a new ambulance for ages and bought this thing as soon as I could find it.

      There are two things I don’t like about it. I wish the rear door would have been two french-doors instead of on gull-wing style door. I also think the front would have looked better flat rather than with a hood. Still, a pretty decent $20.00 set.

      • Yeah, I love to hate the end of the Dawn of the Dead remake. They just have to go somewhere; and they end up “munched and crunched” because of it. When you leave, know why you’re leaving, where you’re going, and have at least two routes to get there.

        That’s it. I am going to pick up that damned LEGO ambulance this week… 😉

        • LEGO should pay me commission!

          Yeah, that ending was irritating. Made worse that they had a kind of/sort of plan. “There are some islands”. Great. Do they have potable water? Food? Do you know how to get to them? Is the boat gassed up? Anyone? Bueller?

  10. Congrats on 200 episodes Dave!

    If forced to leave, best idea would be on a boat(unless animals are zombies as well), or, if water travel isn’t a choice( hordes between me and water for example), I would have to escape via bookmobile(moving library,) no windows so not too hard to modify would only have to cover up the bottom half of the front windshield(it takes up most of the front end) with most of the bookshelves removed there would be no trouble fitting people and gear inside.

    P.S. Do Lego actors like being manhandled like that?

    • A bookmobile! Love it!

      • Plus I live in a place where the bookmobile has awesome tires because it often times goes on broken up roads, some of them are so broken up they might as well be gravel, but in a town.

      • And you can light up the book and toss ‘n torch the zees as you drive off! “Fahrenheit 451” but without all the social criticism!

    • A boat would be cool, if you lived on the coast, and had a place to go to, and could be sure there weren’t any zombies there.

      It’s not the zombies that scare me. It’s the other survivors. It would not take too long to clear the shambling hordes out. Then, you have to deal with Lord Humongous…

    • What is a bookmobile and where can I get one?

      • Bookmobiles are like moving library branches, or maybe a giant ice cream truck that let’s you check out books instead.

        • Up-armored ice cream truck?

        • ice cream truck was just something to help explain a bookmobile to people who are unaware of what a bookmobile is. I don’t think an ice cram truck would be a good idea, to me they look like the inside is small.

  11. I was about to call them idiots for managing to tumble over that easily… But look at that zombie’s hair…I’d crash after staring at that too.

    • It’s a thing to behold, that hair.

  12. how did u get that zombie torso? the one that was bare

    • That’s the torso from the Collectible Minifig Alien. Makes a pretty good zombie, no?

      • Of course… man, I’ve not spent enough time with those ‘figs. Minifig Protection Services will be annoyed with me.

  13. make sure all the people make it saftly pls 🙂

    • That’s up to them.

  14. Load what I don’t have in my rv, which is gassed up. Guns, ammo, food, water, washer and dryer, and clothes.

    • Sounds like you’re good to go.

  15. The car at the start of Mad Max 2 dog included 🙂

  16. Congrats, Dave! Quite the accomplishment!

  17. I would have just build an improvised stilt and attached it to the underside of the ambulance.

  18. To answer the survey question I would like an armored car because regular cars could easily get broken into and actually moving around on foot would be best for the crowded situations.

  19. ill take an armored truck for 200 Dave thank yer

  20. u buy some of your zombie heads at Toywiz don’t u?

    • Citizen Brick, but I think ToyWiz sells their stuff.

  21. Congrats on your 200th, Dave, that’s quite an achievement! I like the shot of the ambulance about to tip over.

    • Thank you sir!

  22. I always wonder, whenever this happens in a movie/TV show: Why swerve to miss zombies? Are you worried you’ll hurt them? Will this raise your insurance premiums? Will you get sued?

    Mowing down a few zombies is way better than wrecking your ride and having to escape said zombies. Assuming everyone even survives the crash and can walk.

    BTW, this has really become one of my favorite pieces of media. I love your work, Dave. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Ian! Very kind of you to say.

  23. the only thing that i might use to run over a zed, is a 250 hemi ford GT truck

  24. you know, that girl said that episode 200 its sudenly the 1800’s in north decota or something like that..

  25. The Getaway:
    I’m actually looking for a new car at the moment, and I was thinking of getting a decent 4×4, something like the Chevy Avalanche maybe? I don’t know much about cars, I need to do some research.
    The correct answer is, of course, whatever I have available.
    I always picture trying to gather enough survivors to establish a permanent position like a fort, rather than fleeing cross-country or hiding in a basement somewhere, so evacuation would be something that would have to be planned rather than done on impulse; moving a large number of people, some of them civilians, doesn’t sound like much fun, but it’s better than getting overrun. Hopefully we’d be able to get our hands on some trucks for that contingency.