An Evening with Max Brooks

On Monday October 12, 2009 I went to see Max Brooks speak about his book The Zombie Survival Guide. He made it clear to the audience that Z-Day is coming. You don’t when and you don’t know where. And when it comes, he will be ready. He wrote this book to inform everyone how to be prepared based on various zombie movies throughout the ages.

Z-day is the zombie apocalypse. As all the movies have predicted, it will come in one way or another. Brooks wants his manual to help the citizens of the world realize that Z-Day is NOT a video game. You can’t rely on others, you have to be smart. Running from zombies is going to get you dehydrated. So drink water. Get your Vitamin C. And don’t start looking for those health packs because you won’t find them in real life.

I have always been a fan of zombie movies. In the Resident Evil movies, the people of the hive were first infected in the hive by the T-virus. The zombie outbreak could have been stopped with a mere vaccine. In Shaun of the Dead the main character, Shaun, walks “zombie-like” amongst the zombies to blend in. According to Brooks, this is a false tactic. The zombies will know you’re not one of them and they will crave your flesh.

Zombies aren’t slow like they are portrayed in some movies. If they smell fresh flesh they are going to run to it. Zombies are fast. If you must travel in a group, which can either be good or bad, get your group together before Z-Day strikes. You can have your best friends but make sure they are worth your while. For example: If your best friend is a trained hunter, having him in your group might be good for his gun skills. But if your best friend is fat, then he might slow you down. Just be careful who you pick because they are going to be with you when everyone else has crossed over.

When in doubt, know your way out. You can’t travel to the first place you think of because, chances are, that everyone else has thought of that too. You don’t want to travel to cold places if you don’t know how to survive there. If you think you can last a day in a big city, you’re wrong. Vehicles are a horrible idea if you don’t have the skills of a mechanic. Once it breaks down, or you’re out of gas, you’re shit out of luck wherever you land.

Now I’d like to take the skills I’ve learned from Max Brooks and apply them to the new movie Zombie Land. Of course the movie had its own survival rules. These are good tips if you’ve caught yourself in a zombie of a pickle.

#1 Cardio: Be fast, or be eaten. Plausible. Zombies are fast.
#2 Guns: Always shoot twice. Plausible. Don’t be stupid just to save ammunition.
#31 Check the backseat. Plausible. You never know where they’re going to be.

Now I will look at the movie unbelievable occurrences in the movie. These four people, the only people still alive in Z-Land, found a Hummer. They expect their audience to believe that they can drive that gas-guzzler from Texas to California without stopping for gas. When they reach California they find Bill Murray alive and living in his house. Murray is pretending to be a zombie because he believes he could fit in and go unnoticed. FALSE. Pretending to be a zombie got himself killed by one of the main characters.
Another unbelievable thing is that in Murray’s house all the electricity works. The dialogue suggests that zombies have been amongst them for quite some time. The only year they mention is how 1997 was a good year for their youthful memories. I don’t remember that year at my age, at least not off the top of my head (if they are depicted as being in their early twenties). So assuming from this scene the viewer can infer that Z-Day struck within the last decade. I don’t believe the electricity would work anymore.

In conclusion, after learning about the information Mel Brooks was so kindly preaching to UWM about, I don’t think I will survive Z-Day. Not only am I slow but I do not think quickly on my feet. I would be the friend in the group to make the wrong decision. I would be the cause of their demise. If my zombie group had the choice to pick me, I wouldn’t be picked. So I have to find the skill that will keep me alive when the apocalypse strikes and keep living my life as if it were to happen tomorrow.

Grade achieved 9.9/10
Feedback Date: Oct 22, 2009 12:58 PM
Professor Feedback:
Katie, smoothly written and funny. Well done. A.


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