Many of us have already seen Hollywood’s production of Zombieland and admired the rules portrayed.  It was refreshing to see a character in a zombie film actually have some very common sense guidelines that were followed on an almost religious basis.  However, it is still Hollywood and they are bound to screw stuff up.  So without giving away too much of the film for those who have not seen it, let’s focus on one of the rules mentioned in the film: “Survival Rule #22: Know Your Way Out”.

To avoid any spoilers, there is a scene toward the end of the movie where some of the characters make a very poor decision as to where to they feel would be a safe place to hide from the undead.  What they actually did was place themselves in a very dangerous situation that without assistance, they would have never survived.  When I got to this point in the movie, I actually thought they were dead because of the poor choice they made.  When the undead are coming after you, think quick, be aware of what is around you, and always have an exit.

  • Pay Attention: When you are on the move you have to think quickly.  You could easily have found yourself in a new location and have no idea how to get out.  If you run into a building, pay attention to possible exits or “safe spots”.  You have to have 360 degree view.  It is not enough to merely run away and hope you end up some place safe.  You have to scan the area in case you need to come back.
  • Leave a Trail: Also from Zombieland, regarding Survival Rule #22, we saw one of the characters in the film pay careful attention to this.  During a run into a building, and before heading back to a more suspicious area, this character propped open a door in case a quick exit was needed.  Naturally, you want to quickly scan what is on the other side, but leaving a trail or a marker for quick escape routes can make your life as a non-zombie a little longer.
  • Known Locations: If you are going to hold up in a specific place and plan on being there for a while, you should always have an escape route.  Hollywood brought this point up with Night of the Living Dead when several survivors attempted to wait it out in the basement of a house.  One way in, one way out.  In our opinion, this is a very poor strategy and we saw how it paid off.  Whenever possible, have an exit and memorize it.
  • Scenarios: The best way to stay alive is to run through scenarios.  That is why we post them here.  They keep you thinking.  If you are out to eat, think about what would happen if zombies invaded at that moment.  Think about your home, work, car, friends apartment, video store, strip club (now there would be an interesting scenario), etc.

Remember, Hollywood will usually get it wrong, but we can learn from their mistakes and increase our ability to survive the undead apocalypse.

Stay safe.  Stay informed.  Stay alive.