Episode 256: Headstrong

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Stuck

Have you ever been chopping wood/clearing a path and gotten an ax or a machete stuck in a chunk of wood? Irritating no? Now what happens if that wood can move around, and also it’s trying to eat you? Well let’s just say you wouldn’t want to get your weapon stuck. The same goes for zombies. If you hit one, you want to kill it quickly, and be able to recover your weapon with no problems because, after all, zombies rarely travel alone.

All too often in zombie stories characters can cut through zombie skulls with reckless abandon, never worrying for a second about their weapon getting stuck. Unless, of course, it’s been a while since a character got killed off, in which case they should probably stay on their toes.

About this Episode:

The knife is held in place with my old friend sticky-tac. It’s really great stuff: just a bit of green clay-like stuff. It sticks safely to LEGO® elements, holding things in place for a shot or two, and then is easily removed. I generally keep a pack of it in my camera bag.

Discussion Question: What Makes Zombies Scary?

Last time we asked what it was that you loved about zombies. This time we’re sticking with a theme: what in particular makes zombies scary to you? The decay? The creepiness? The fact that they eat you alive?

I would have to go with the fact that, when you die, you become one of them. That is absolutely the the scariest part about them. Not only are you losing your own identity, but you could then hurt your loved ones. Since they know, or knew, you, they might not be so quick to run or attack. Conversely, you might be forced to take out the zombified version of your own loved ones.



I feel the same as you Dave. The thought of eating a sister or mother alive without being able to do something about it is what scares me. Reason why I always think that if I get bit and survive, I will not sleep until 48 hours pass. If I happen to feel bad, I just will write my good-byes and best wishes. Afterwards, run off. Won’t take a thing with me, just run and wait for it not to be painful. I am conscious enough to know I can’t shoot myself. If it is a family member or group partner, well wait the 48 hours and be sure to do what is right. Shot to the head if they wish. Dropped a tear writing this last thought.


See, this right here is what we need to see in more zombie stories. Using the rules of the genre to get to human stories.

Well said, Phantom.


I think Clark should be wary of all this noise he’s making, he should get out of there quickly, rather than try to take all of them out! 😀

The real question here is if the knife was just stuck in the ground, the zombie he just killed, or a tree root that happened to be right where the knife hit after it slid off the zombie! 😀


Yeah, attracting more zombies while you’re barely holding off the ones you have isn’t a great idea.

Re: the stuck knife – it’s a shame I didn’t get the reverse angle.


Clark also has to remember that the zombie who fell into the stream will eventually get out somehow and will no doubt be a threat depending on how far downstream it traveled by the time it freed itself. He can only hope it’s going to crack it’s skull on a rock or something downstream, or even less likely, go over Niagra Falls! 😉 The wise adventurer always considers an unknown zombie a threat! 😀


One sure way to find out is to tune into the next episode of BotD! 😀


Damn typos! I meant “episode” not what I wrote, oh for a preview button! 😀


Hah, I wonder if Clark is that wise myself, given his immediate embrace of the apocalypse.


It’s not much of a stream, I don’t know if it’s got the flow to drag a body downstream. So yeah, Clark had better be on his toes.


Well, never underestimate the power of water. Especially if it’s deep enough to fall or slide into. Look at stormwater drain warnings around your area. If a stormwater drain has fast enough water currents that can suck people down it, a stream sucking someone along with it isn’t that far of a reach. Most streams would get considerably more dangerous in the wet season due to the fact that they can catch more water flow, anyway! I was always taught to stay out of the water currents, and I’m glad they still teach people to do that today. Zombies especially don’t care if some water current is trying to drag them away, they probably just care about getting themselves out of it, by the time they actually get out that stream could be a creek or even a river, and far more deadly to even a zombie. 😀


Good points, water is indeed a powerful force, and one that can take deceptively little to do a hell of a lot of damage.


This is why machetes make crap weapons. Sincerely, they’re too thin for anything but clearing light brush. That’s also why axes are wedge-shaped, for splitting without binding. I mean, if it was between a machete and a rock, I’d probably pick the machete; but I am not putting one aside now for a zombie apocalypse weapon, because I know they’re not worth a pinch of crap.

The unknown is the scariest aspect of zombies, to me. How can you really kill them? Are they risen dead, or infected persons? Can you dispatch them easily, before there are too many of them, and they overwhelm your position? If they’re the freshly-risen dead there will likely be too many of them to quickly eliminate. Luckily the closest mortuary and hospital morgues are pretty far from me, too far to walk to quickly. It would take hours for the shamblers to get to my place from them. If it’s plague-based, though, well, pandemics scare me more than zombies.

Finally, I know that I have written it before, but the other human survivors scare me much more than zombies. Zombies I can deal with. The crazy warlord militias and Mad Max survivors scare me much more than the zombies, to say nothing of the rape gangs and cannibal cults.

“Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.”
-Werner Herzog


Agree on people being the scariest thing.. I mean your heart might get pounding when ever you hear the undead slamming on the door, but nothing is more scary than the looming threat of a gun shot off in the distance.

Though I don’t much get the ‘Mad Max survivors’ part.. Because Mad Max could be seen in many different lights because of the 2 good movies of 3 in the Mad Max series. He was an opportunist at times, and a good guy at others.


Max was as good a guy as the movies had. I was referring to the other survivors. Even the “good guys” in the Road Warrior weren’t exactly as moral as Sunday School. In a survival situation things might get a little more… pragmatic. That scares me. I don’t want to get bushwhacked by some dad that didn’t put aside enough food for his kids, nor do I want to kill such a man trying to invade my home to steal my food. I do recognize the possibility; and that’s why I recommend folks form groups now. Get together with ten people, so so can watch each others’ backs while you sleep. When the looters come, you can be in a secure situation, preferably far from the cities.


Pandemics are definitely more scary than zombies. How many died in the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic? A hell of a lot more than have been killed by zombies, that’s for damn sure.


Never let reality get in the way of a good story. As you wrote, zombies represent our fears and the possibility of societal collapse.

When the next flu mutation hits, it will go through us like shit through a goose. We live in closer proximity now than in 1919; and for all of our knowledge about hygiene and medicine, the viruses mutate faster than our ability to keep up.


Yes indeed Bo.

And who knows, maybe that next plague will make the dead rise up and try to eat us.


I agree that those are scary concepts on an intellectual level, but on the primal level, zombies are scarier for me. I can’t articulate exactly why they used to terrify me so much, but I think it has to do with their unrelenting persistence. Just about any other monster you can outsmart or outclever or exploit a weakness to get away from or protect yourself; you can carry garlic cloves for vampires, carry a bottle of water and silver nitrate for werewolves, disable a human monster, etc. Zombies have none of those easily exploitable weaknesses, it’s a headshot or nothing with them. Another thing about other monsters is they will eventually get to the point that you’re not worth the effort they’re putting into getting you, whereas the zombies just don’t care, they’ll keep trying until you kill them or they eat you. Zombies are the ultimate extremists; there is no negotiation, there is no middle ground, there is no compromise, giving up or giving in. With them it’s all or nothing.


I think that’s what appeals to me, their primal nature. In that respect they’re no different than hunger, or the weather. Compare them to Death Valley. If you give up on a force of nature like that it will kill you. You can survive; but you won’t get a break. It will be an everyday struggle until you get yourself away from it, or adapt to it. As you wrote, no compromises. That’s what survival is; and also like survival, preparation counts.

One can always kill all of the zombies. Humans are ingenious. I am sure that people would make traps and all sorts of machines to kill them. Before long we would be driving stakes through all of our dead, to make sure they won’t come back.


Yeah, I’ve always loved that zombies have that complete single-mindedness to them. Definitely makes them scarier.

The absence of critical weaknesses (e.g. garlic) is also a plus. To kill them you have to kill the brain, which can be easier said than done.


The reason I fear zombies is the fact that they chow down on flesh, more because some would have parts of them ripped off and they are covered in gore, yet they move and “snarl” at the living. That type of image just creeps me out, especially if there are more than a couple of them.


I don’t much fear zombies, before I use to (as a child) they absolutely mortified me to a point where I would have insane nightmares where I was being consumed by them.

Now, just like Bo, I see them as more of a survival aspect that has to be lived through. Although they do feel like more of a living survival aspect.. You can hide from it, get in shelter, and make a fire.. But they just keep on coming and keep being hungry. Where as if you find a cave and make a fire in a cold place.. Your next near set for the night if you can keep warm, but with the undead they are constantly a threat.

legomaster 3700

i fear zombies because there decayed and eat human flesh which is scarey and oh so awesome


Zombies are about mortality and death. Thus the slow creepers are actually more disturbing to me than the “fast” zombies of “28 Days Later” or the “Dawn of the Dead” 2004 remake. They symbolize the true silent majority. You can dodge death, you can cheat death, but in the end death always, always gets you. It’s like the medieval Danse Macabre.


Honestly, I really doubt that a blade would stick nearly so badly in a zombie as it would in wood. Flesh has a lot more “give” in it than wood.

I’m not that scared about zombies really, I maintain that they would be fairly easy to kill – although I really wouldn’t want to get cornered by them.
Perhaps more of a concern would be that we drop the ball on containing them somehow, and they do in fact manage to do serious damage to civilisation. The prospect of “everyone rises” zombies are by far the most dangerous for that. The concern would then be that I wouldn’t be able to manage in the new world – that’s a worry that isn’t specific to zombies, by any means.

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