Episode 667: The Assist

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Taking Care of Business

If you’re serious about surviving the zombie apocalypse, that means you’re going to have to get serious about braining zombies. This is going to hold true even when you have other pressing issues to deal with. Let’s say one person in your group is sick, and you’re running low of potable water, and everyone is getting sick of off-brand spam for dinner. Those things are all important, but they all take a back seat to suppressing or evading any zombies that happen to be nearby.

There is, however, an exception to this. Zombies aren’t the only things to present a real, direct threat in the zombie apocalypse. No, as approximately 100% of zombie fiction likes to point out, the living are far more dangerous than the dead. So deal with the living attackers first, then the zombies, and then everything else. Survival is all about prioritization.

About this Episode:

Poor Sam, not only is he getting accosted by a zombie, he’s also getting completely covered with a deluge of zombie gore. It’s just not his day.

Discussion Question: Zombie Fluids

Like it or not, gore is a major staple of the genre. Some of it works no matter how you look at it: if zombies are ripping people apart, you’re going to see some blood and guts. But what about gore from the zombies themselves? Well, that’s a little more complicated, and it depends a lot of the anatomy and physiology of the zombies in that particular story. Are the zombies dead and reanimated? Living and infected? Living or dead parasitic hosts? There are a lot of options.

In your ideal zombie fiction, do zombies bleed? If so, is their blood a contagion in itself? Do we need to worry about it getting into soft tissue or open wounds?

Yes, these are things I think about.



I take it that Dave is still doing two episodes a week so we’ll have to wait until Monday to find out who our mystery pharmacist might be, as Sam has yet to get his list filled out! 😀 Dave is talking about priorities here, so one priority is to remember what it is you’re getting supplies for! Even in the midst of a horde of zombies, remembering to pick up pizza for dinner might be considered important, even if it’s old, stale pizza that is just about ready to have mold growing on it in a couple more days! 😉


Yessir, two a week.

And, hey, Sam doesn’t owe those people too much. He can just take their gun and call it a day.


Maybe he doesn’t owe them too much, he does want to very much consider thanking them for a night with a roof over his head, though! Think of it from Sam’s point of view – what would he want to have happen? He went to all of the trouble to track down a pharmacy and suddenly he’s going to abandon them? That just doesn’t make sense from the perspective of story continuity, anyway. 😀


He does, however, have to consider that the voice from inside of the pharmacy said they have a gun. With Cheryl suddenly entering the picture, is that mystery voice going to wonder what their next action might be? Most certainly. 😉


Well, Cheryl didn’t have a gun, and I don’t figure her for the type to falsify what she did have on her. Also, shouldn’t Sam have recognized her voice straight away? It hasn’t been that long for him I would think. 😀


Great question of the day Dave.

I, myself, think that, in such fictions, zombie fluids, as you call them, shouldn’t be a problem. I mean talking about being potentially infectious.
Because, well we love to see our heros getting showered with blood or guts… And at some point, if this is trouble you’ll have to stick with this choice or weird scenes can happen, like a wounded hero getting covered with zombie blood and not suffering any infection later in the show… Readers or viewers spot those way easily.


It’s definitely a convention of the genre. It’s hard to imagine horror without the heroes getting caked in gore.


Infectious or not… I don’t really have a preference as long as it is treated right. A fine example (IMO) of infectious gore is 28 days after. The scene where one of the characters gets a drop of infected blood in his eye.. Man, that was a great idea and brilliantly executed.
Non infectious gore… I don’t know, would TWD qualify? I guess from their angle everyone is already infected… so it would stand to reason to think that exposure to the gore can’t really get you worse in a way.
Somehow I think the non-infectious gore trope is probably more difficult to pull and remain credible… but it is all fiction anyway so… besides us nerds, who really cares?


TWD is kind of in between. They do pay lip service about not getting gore into open wounds and soft tissue on occasion, but it doesn’t seem like they’re even remotely consistent about it.


Learned to live with it, like the Walker bathwater in the basement of the soup kitchen. Rick and Co have realized they’re already infected, from everyone who is killed in action but not by Walkers later turning anyway. We also saw that in the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead. (My theory: it’s a super-evil Staph bacteria, since the common version can lead to MRSA if unchecked. Possibly bio-engineered trying to find a cure? Who knows? Kinda puts it on par with Captain Tripps disease from _The Stand_.)


That inconsistancy really bugs me. In the beginning getting contaminated is an issue. Then the writers seem to realize that explaining how the characters are able to clean themselves up, or avoid getting splattered, is more of a problem so it just gets forgotten about.

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