Episode 310: Shut it Down

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Immediate Concern

In a disaster situation, you have to go through a sort of triage process. There will likely be a lot of things that you’ll need to handle, but if you don’t prioritize, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of trouble in the future. For instance, killing or escaping from the zombie in your home is more pressing than filling the bathtub with water.

In a less exciting example, let’s consider an extended power outage. You’ve got a number of things to consider, and depending on your situation, things can get much more complicated. Let’s say it’s in the middle of an August heat-wave, and your octogenarian mother lives with you. Keeping her cool and comfortable is likely going to take priority over preventing the loss of your ice cream in the freezer (and, hey, there might be a mutually beneficial short-term solution in combining those two problems).

About this Episode:

There’s been a bit of feedback lately that I’m spending too long developing certain plots, so I’m going to try to make this flashback pretty breezy and well-paced, or at least as much as I can while still focusing on developing Sam’s character the way I want to.

One of the more difficult aspects to writing Bricks of the Dead is striking a balance between the action and the character development. Despite being a horror and zombie movie junkie, I actually went to college for English and creative writing. As such, I focused a lot of literary fiction, which revolves around the character. Contrast this with genre fiction (where you’ll find zombie stories), which revolves around the plot. For Bricks of the Dead, I’m trying to strike a balance between the two, but I think I’m leaning more toward the character stuff these days.

Long story short: zombie action is coming.

Discussion Question: Zombie Kill of the Week

Here’s a nice fun one: what’s your favorite zombie kill from a zombie movie/show/etc? What makes it great? The creativity of the kill? The gore? The tension build-up that gets released as the zombies gets dispatched?

52 thoughts on “Episode 310: Shut it Down”

  1. That comment about a mutually beneficial short-term solution to combining the problems of Keeping your mother comfortable and preventing the loss of the ice-cream in the freezer reminded me of an episode of a CSI type of show (not sure what series) where a landlady was found to have stowed several of her renters in freezers while claiming their social security checks.

    Of course, mother and the ice-cream will no doubt have a good time with each other, unlike the murderous landlady! 😀

    • Hah, well that got dark fast.

      • Insanely stupid segway alert. I know we already did “are zombies afraid of fire” but Ive got a weirder one…..would zombies freeze? I dont mean get cold, I mean literally freeze solid if the ambient temperature got cold enough? There have been a lot of references in movies and books about zombies being cold to the touch and we can kind of assume that if they are dead that they dont generate body heat so why wouldnt they freeze like any other dead meat at temps under 32F? It would at least make for an interesting movie/book idea. Survivors flocking to colder climates to take advantage of the zombie free months. Building fortifications, roaming the frozen hills gathering up the zombiesicles and chainsawing their heads off before they thaw and start walking around again.

        • I absolutely think they’d freeze. There’s nothing to keep them warm, other than a little bit of friction.

  2. Favorite zombie kill has to go to Dawn of the Dead (original) Helicopter zombie. That to me was crazy from a stunt perspective as well as entertaining to watch.

    • That’s a classic right there. I love that little sound when he gets a little too close to the blades.

  3. Is it just me or Burt does not look like a very friendly person ?

    • He’s probably a nice guy when you get to know him.

    • He used to be one half of the group Kriss Kross.

      • Blast from the past!… you think he’s gonna make ’em jump?

        • I was never too clear on whose job that was. Mack Daddy’s, or Daddy Mack’s?

  4. My favourite zombie kill (or attempt to kill) would have to be a tie off Shaun Of The Dead with the throwing vinyl records at the zombies while arguing about the value and coolness of them, and the music-kill with the pool cues in the bar.

    • Awesome choices! Also from Shaun: when Shaun and Ed get their signature weapons and use them for the first time.

  5. Night of the Living Dead (1990 remake): tire iron through the skull. “Die, dammit!” Classic.

    • Nice one! I’ve always thought that, for a remake, the 1990 Night of the Living Dead was a pretty solid movie.

  6. Dave, I just found the episode two episodes back doesn’t have it’s “next” button linked properly. Well, either that or Firefox has stopped caching properly for some weird reason. You look into one, I’ll look into the other! 😉

    • Just as I suspected, Firefox isn’t caching properly! 😀

      I’ll have to look into that.

      • Oh, yeah. That episode got messed up briefly. I fixed it almost immediately, but it might need to get recached.

        • I’m going to test the next few days on Firefox with 0 MB of cache and we’ll see if it starts catching such silly page refreshes or not. 😀

  7. Hey Dave you should do a book review on The Titanic: Unsinkable Undead.

    • I’ll have to look that one up. Did you read it?

      • I’m currently reading it. It’s called Deck Z The Titanic : Unsinkable Undead

        • The title did make me chuckle… it is perhaps missing a subtitle “Back with a vengeance”. Is there a zombie DiCaprio in it?

  8. Easily the coolest zombie kill in forever is Talahasee in the shooting gallery in “Zombieland”. Pure awesome. I love how he sets the ammo on the tray so he can slam reload the 2 handguns.

    • My favorite in Zombieland was the banjo kill.

  9. On the topic of the discussion question, I can’t really remember any specific zombie kills, except for a few from Zombieland, since that was one of the major points of the movie. To me the movies are more about the survivors than the zombies. Most of the kills are ridiculous, shooting propane tanks, decapitating with machetes, etc.

    Regarding the comic, I wonder how fast a breakdown in infrastructure would occur in a WCS event not caused by natural disaster (earthquake, fire, etc.). Say there was the real-life equivalent of a zombie outbreak, say an economic collapse or pandemic event. Argentina’s economic troubles are a good example, or maybe what Greece is going through, except without American and German bankers to intervene. Would it be like this? Would it cause sudden brownouts and loss of financial services? Would it cause runs on groceries?

    These are the questions we should ask each other, and work through hypotheticals.

    • Awesome discussion question; I’m going to steal it for tomorrow’s comic.

      • I remember about four years ago when there were some rice crop failures, nothing super big, except that it caused some major runs on rice, especially at bulk wholesalers, like Costco and Sam’s. Folks that don’t even eat rice regularly were buying it by the pallet, because “Oh Noes! Rice SHORTAGE!” We eat rice pretty regularly here, and I tend to store it by the #10 can and large Mylar bag; so it didn’t affect us much; but if a threat can cause a nationwide run on a given product, what will happen as this slow-motion train wreck we’re in now builds up a bit of steam?

        • Now I’m picturing a run on coffee… the horror.

        • Oh yeah, coffee and sugar would go quickly.

          Sugar, fortunately, is easy to store. Coffee, not so much. One way to store coffee long-term is as green beans. They don’t store well once they’re roasted. I know folks that roast their own in a cast iron pan. I am sure Google is full of ideas on the topic.

        • We usually keep a few weeks worth of folgers on hand, but that would go fast.

          We tend to have a log of sugar because the wife bakes a lot.

        • Nothing goes through the sugar faster than Kool-ade.

          For grains, it’s easy to put them in Mylar bags with 02 absorbers and seal them with a clothes iron.

        • We need to start storing grains and dried beans and the like. If nothing else than to save money by buying in bulk.

        • Did either of you guys ever read “Alas Babylon?” Post WW3 novel set in Florida in the 1950’s. Coffee becomes one of the most precious commodities pretty fast. Google “Chichory” if you get a minute. A lot of people drank Chichory Coffee during the periods of rationing during WW1 and WW2.

        • Absolutely fantastic book, Damage. I highly recommend it.

  10. I suppose if you can call DEAD ALIVE (the Peter Jckson film) a zombie movie then the Lawn Mower Scene. I almost forgot

    • Outstanding example, Brickthorne!

  11. Buy what you eat. Eat what you store. No point in storing food that no one likes.

    • Oh most definitely. We’d likely store a lot of rice, pinto, and kidney beans. We use those all the damn time.

      • So what do you store when the available supply of those items runs out in a zombie apocalypse scenario? Or, even worse, it is available, but between you and it are a million and one zombies? 😀

        • When what’s not available? I just reach into my food storage and pull something out. I have staples, plus dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.

          In the zombie apocalypse I’ll probably eat better than I do now. And wait until I get serious about my garden again this summer. I will have fesh vegetables until the end of the season, then I’ll eat the stuff we’ve canned.

          I don’t know what you’ll be eating, though.

        • I’m still searching for Clark Bar seeds. No luck so far

        • I know a guy that vacuum seals Oreos, no kidding.

        • @Bo: Ask yourself this: What happens if you get stuck in a zombie apocalypse scenario when you’re a world away from your food supplies safe and sound in storage no zombie could ever penetrate. Most people believe having food stocked up is essential, but what do you fall back on if you have to run around looking for food and supplies to get you back to your safe and sound food storage?

        • Interesting question. Do you keep a get home bag in your car? How about one at school or work?

          The wild card is if you were, say, on vacation. What do you do? Why, you have an epic adventure to make it back home, of course.

          Have you read Jerry Ahern’s The Survivalist novels? They’re a bit over the top; but the story is about a man stuck in the aftermath of a nuclear war, trying to make his way home.

          I’d lace up my boots, grab my pack, and start walking home.

  12. @ Greg no zombie DiCaprio in it buy there’s Germans in it.

  13. Would you all recommend books by Stephen King to me?

    • I have a review of one next week, actually.

      My two recommendations: The Long Walk and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (my review).

      • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is one of my favorites. It’s also the only King that I’ve been able to talk my wife into reading.

  14. I’m thinking about reading It and The Thing

    • Just a quick FYI – This is an excellent topic for the forum.

  15. My favorite zombie kill is on “The Walking Dead” when the lady is at the church. She walks up to the door, a zed close behind, rings this little bell, a piano drops on the zombie crushing him. XD