As if staging a Halloween costume party-slash-wedding with a post apocalyptic theme wasn’t a tell-tale sign of utter geekiness, we naturally took things a step further. There’s a fine line geek and loser and I’m proud to say that my happy feet stomp that line like the Lord of Dance himself. There were missing persons posters and contamination signs, windows boarded with fake wood planks, intricately cut out pumpkin centerpieces and even a “First Aid” trunk packed with pop. My lovely wife even managed to lay out a full-on candy bar with little take out containers and the whole shebang.
Always trust a diabetic when it comes to candy selection.
Having a post apocalyptic theme is superb because a mess is exactly the look you’re shooting for. At the end of the night things looked more perfect than the start of the festivities. With a dub wasteland 80’s funk wrapped in hip hoppy goodness playlist playing throughout the night – every so often interrupted by custom radio transmissions about alien invasions and zombie uprisings – the icing on the cake was the ZEAT left at everyone’s table.
What is the ZEAT you may ask?
Quite simply it’s an acronym for the Zombie Epidemic Aptitude Test. Yes geeks of all ages I actually compiled, printed and bound little questionnaire booklets for the reception. I figured it’d be a fun little diversion for those who had a bit too much to drink. The ZEAT is a comprehensive exam based on a wealth of redundant movie and book knowledge. While some may disagree with some of the conclusions or answers it’s still fun to use. I was digging some old papers and came across what I believe to be the last printed copy of the ZEAT. In honor of my sick fascination with the genre (and to enable the addiction of others who suffer from the same terrible disease) I present to you, the adoring masses, the ZEAT:
Z . E . A . T.
Zombie Epidemic Aptitude Test
The following 50 questions could save your life in the unfortunate event of an Undead Outbreak. Answer each question as honestly as possible. Your responses are not being monitored, recorded or stored and are for your personal use only (unless you designate otherwise). This is not a scored exam but more rather an aptitude test to gauge your cognitive knowledge on this horrific situation and whether or not you are physically, mentally and/or geographically prepared to handle a sudden outbreak. Once you have completed the exam please compare your responses to that of the Z.E.A.T. Answer Key to see how well you did.
Physical & Health (select one answer per question)
How old are you?
__ 12 or under
__ 13 – 30
__ 31 – 45
__ 46 – 64
__ 65 or older
Do you exercise regularly?
__ Gym Rat (in the gym 5 – 7 times a week)
__ Gym Dedicated (in the gym 2 -3 times a week)
__ Hard worker (work daily in a physically demanding job such as sports or construction)
__ Casual (in the gym once a week or work out at home occasionally)
__ Light (go for walks or jogs regularly)
__ Couch Potato (rarely exercise)
Do you smoke?
__ Yes – Hardcore (several packs a week)
__ Yes – Casual (a pack every week or bi-weekly)
__ Yes – Sorta (No cigarettes, but something else…hehe)
__ No (I don’t smoke anything)
Are you an active prescription medication user?
__ Yes (pain killers, heart meds, antipsychotics, insulin, etc)
__ No (clean)
Do you suffer from any substantial ailments or injuries?
__ Yes (such as cancer, diabetes, need the aid of a cane, etc)
__ No (nothing too serious)
What is your weight or build?
Social & Habits (select one answer per question)
How many people do you currently in your household?
__ Wife/Husband or live-in boy/girl friend
__ 3 – 5 people
__ 6 – 9 people
__ 10 or more people
Do you have a pet?
Are you socially active?
__ Social Slut (have many friends and family members that you keep in constant contact with)
__ Socially Sound (have a nice circle of family and friends that you keep in constant contact with)
__ Socially Guarded (have a handful of family and friends you keep in somewhat good contact with)
__ Social Deviant (can count the number of people you keep in contact with on one hand)
__ Loner (no real contact with family or friends)
Do you actively follow the news?
__ Absolutely – I actively read the papers every day, watch the daily news and frequent news sites
__ Pretty much – I keep up to date either online or with news tickers
__ Not Really – I have a general understanding of what’s going on in the world
__ Nope – Do don’t really keep up with anything
Do you watch movies or play video games often?
__ Totally – I’m a movie buff and play games regularly
__ Pretty much – I’m watch all kinds of movies and play video games occasionally
__ Not really – I don’t watch certain types of movies (Horror, comedy, etc) and rarely play games
__ Nope – I don’t care for movies much and haven’t picked up a controller in ages
__ Training & Special Skills
Do you have any hand to hand combat training?
__ Yes – Formal (military, wrestling, boxing, martial arts, etc)
__ Yes – Informal (street fighting or brawling regularly)
__ No (no training other than maybe a fist fight or two years ago)
Do you have any firearms training?
__ Yes – Formal (military, police, etc)
__ Yes – Informal (sport hunting, self-taught, etc)
__ No (Rarely if ever held or even fired a gun)
Do you have any melee weapon training?
__ Yes – Formal (military, police, etc)
__ Yes – Informal (sport hunting, self-taught, etc)
__ No (Rarely if ever held or used a melee weapon)
Do you have any First Aid training?
__ Yes – Advanced (Doctor, paramedic, EMT, nurse, etc)
__ Yes – Basic (life guard, book or class educated, work safety officer, etc)
__ No (nothing more than knowing the difference between an abrasion and a laceration)
Do you have any training in any field that could prove useful in complete society breakdown (Such as electrical, mechanics, carpentry, engineering, etc)?
Home (select one answer per question)
General climate in your area?
__ Tropical Moist: all months have average temperatures above 18° Celsius.
__ Dry: with deficient precipitation during most of the year.
__ Moist Mid-latitude Climates with Mild Winters.
__ Moist Mid-Latitude Climates with Cold Winters.
__ Polar Climates: with extremely cold winters and mild summers.
Where do you live?
__ City – Large (population in the millions)
__ City – Medium (population under 1 million)
__ City – Small (population under 500k)
__ Town – Large (population under 250k)
__ Town – Medium (population under 100k)
__ Town – Small (population under 50k)
__ Suburbs (a bit of a way from a town or city)
__ Rural Area (not near any significant population)
Scale of home or residence?
__ House – Large (2 or more stories)
__ House – Large (1 story)
__ House – Small (2 story)
__ House – Small (1 story)
__ Apartment or Condo – Large (5 or more stories)
__ Apartment or Condo – Small (4 or less stories)
Age of residence?
__ Old (pre-1950)
__ Contemporary (1951 – 1990)
__ Modern (1991 – present)
Does your home have many ground level accessible windows?
__ Many (more than 10)
__ A few (4 – 9)
__ Does not apply (live in an apartment that is not on the ground floor)
Do you own any firearms?
__ Firearms – Multiple
__ Firearms – Single
Do you own a vehicle?
__ Truck – Large (freight truck, cube van, etc)
__ Truck – Small (pickup, van, SUV, etc)
__ Car – Typical (any standard sedan)
__ Car – Small (luxury, 2 seater, etc)
__ Motorcycle or Moped
__ None (other than a bicycle)
How many non-perishable goods are currently in your residence?
__ Enough to last months
__ Enough to last a few weeks
__ Enough to last a week tops
__ Enough to last a few days
Do you own a toolbox?
__ Yes – Advanced (Mechanic level tools and accessories)
__ Yes – Basic (Standard tools and accessories)
__ Yes – Minimal (Hammer, screwdrivers, etc)
Do you own a First Aid Kit or have an Emergency Response Kit prepared?
__ Yes – I have both
__ Yes – I have a First Aid Kit or an Emergency Response Kit
__ Not Really – I have basic medical supplies such as band aids, a flashlight, simple meds, etc
__ Nope – I have nothing substantial
Does your home or residence have a backup or reserve power generator?
Situational & Judgment (select one answer per question)
Safest floor in a home?
__ Top floor of an apartment building
__ Top floor or attic of a house
__ Ground floor of an apartment building
__ Ground floor of a house
__ Basement or a house or apartment building
Best weapon to have on hand at all times?
__ Molotov Cocktail
__ Rifle (automatic or semi)
__ Knife or edged weapon
__ Blunt object
You’re unexpectedly thrust into violent zombie outbreak in your neighborhood, community or immediate area and are currently outside in the middle of all the commotion. What do you do?
__ Fight back, hold your position, and wait for help
__ Be a Samaritan and save as many as possible, wait for help
__ Go into hiding locally
__ Flee the area immediately (leave the city or town)
__ Flee the area immediately (head home)
__ Gather a few people, hold your position, and wait for help
__ Gather a few people, go into hiding locally
__ Gather a few people, flee immediately (leave the city or town)
__ Gather a few people, flee immediately (head home)
News of a zombie outbreak in your area is announced. What do you do first?
__ Head home (or if home already start securing it)
__ Head to family or friends
__ Head to police, military, fire station or designated rescue facility
__ Follow others and conglomerate to a meeting point
__ Locate nearest secure facility and hunker down
__ Flee the city/town
You’ve managed to fortify yourself (and your companions if applicable) for a few days now during the initial outbreak in a semi-secure building. However you hear cries of someone in distress coming from outside. What do you do?
__ Venture out immediately and attempt a quick rescue
__ Observe the situation from a safe vantage point and determine if a rescue is feasible
__ Do nothing, stay quiet and wait for the commotion to pass
Home base supplies are running low and you’re in danger of starvation soon. What do you do?
__ Venture out alone to raid small local shops
__ Venture out with a small group to raid small local shops
__ Venture out with a large group to raid small local shops
__ Venture out alone to raid large local stores
__ Venture out with a small group to raid large local stores
__ Venture out with a large group to raid large local stores
__ Relocate, abandon your position and search for a new base of operations
You (and your party) have managed to survive the brunt of the undead outbreak in a well fortified complex with substantial supplies and a means of producing fresh water and food. A couple of months have passed and, while the zombies are still present in great numbers, they can’t breach your facility. What next?
__ Stay put and wait it out
__ Organize ‘kill missions’ to start exterminating batches of zombies daily
__ Plan a mission to abandon the fortification and head to the mountains
A relative or close friend is bitten. What do you do?
__ Kill immediately and mourn later
__ Sever and/or cauterised the afflicted area in an attempt to stop the viral spread
__ Isolate or contain the injured individual and observe
__ Patch them up and use them for as long as you can till they turn
__ Patch them up and bring them to a medical facility (if applicable or possible)
Best protection to wear:
__ Plate Mail
__ Chain Mail
__ Shark Suit
__ Bulletproof Vest
__ Kevlar Covers
__ Loose comfortable clothing
__ Tight fitting clothing
Safest public building(s) – Check all that apply
__ Office building
__ Police station
__ Retail store
__ Shopping mall
__ Pier or Dock
__ City Hall or Capitol building
__ Military base or complex
__ Off Shore Oil Rig
When venturing into a zombie hotspot it’s best to:
__ Travel in a large group
__ Travel in a small group
__ Travel alone
True or False
Your home is the best place to weather the initial outbreak.
Swimming (in a lake or pond) is a safe way to avoid zombies.
Fire will cause a zombie to hesitate.
Zombies retain knowledge of their past lives.
Zombies can see better than the living and/or have night vision.
Zombies hunt using their ears and sense of smell.
Zombies can be domesticated.
Zombies eat humans only.
Zombies possess supernatural strength.
Zombies are fueled by or gain nutrition from the consumption of flesh.
A Zombie bite can be treated if proper medical attention is delivered immediately.
It’s safer to travel at night than during the day.
Please bear in mind this is all for fun and the love of the genre. Don’t harass me about facts and figures and probabilities. It’s for entertainment purposes! When the shit really does hit the fan we can discuss semantics then. I’d like to thank my mom and pop once again for dealign with a troubled child all these years. I’d also like to thank Max Brooks, George Romero and zombie fanatics across the globe for continually breathing new (after)life into the genre.
I suppose you want the answer key, eh? Well you have to download it. I’m done with this post. Enjoy the fact that I have stolen this time out of your life that you’ll never get back. >:p
Well lookie here. Another post. Don’t get too excited. This could very well be just another flash in the pan for all I know. In any case I decided to stick with this theme of getting back to my roots and present you all with some good old-fashioned zombie goodness. What better way to officially christen my aptly title GEEK ZONE.
This little gem came into my possession as a result of the infamous Playstation Network Hack a few months ago. No I didn’t illegally download it or circumvent anything. I’m flattered you’d think that but I’m not nearly skilled enough to do anything like that. No, this wonderful little game came as a compensatory gift from Sony during their Welcome Back Program. For those unfamiliar with the whole matter, the condensed version is Sony’s game and music network was hacked and some shifty nameless people gained access to a lot of personal data. The network was shut down for a month and change and kiddies (big and small) across the world very very angry. As a gesture of good faith for the inconvenience it caused (and to brush over the whole intrusion incident) they announced a Welcome Back program that would give all registered PSN users 2 free game downloads.
Needless to say I pounced on that like a fat man at a chinese buffet.
For some odd reason (I have no idea why) I was immediately attracted to the title of this game and the fact that it had a picture of a dude with shades blowing a pussbag’s head off. So I said why not. It’s free, right? I’ll start by saying it’s not a groundbreaking game. It doesn’t have stellar CG cut screens or dramatic dialogue. In fact their cut screens are pieces of artwork. The gameplay however is kind of funky. It’s a two stick directional shooter where you, a survivor of a zombie outbreak who is immune to the disease, fight through hordes of ravenous zombies tying to uncover the mystery of Patient Zero. I had a feeling I would like this game just based on the fact I gave out a Patient Zero Award here on WordPress many moons ago. Although the controls are painfully simplistic I must say that the gameplay is slightly addictive. Firstly the actual graphics are pretty tight. Although the game camera is always at an arial view, the level of detail in the zombies and settings are quite impressive for such a small game. The lighting and fog effects are also unnerving at certain points as well. It pays very close attention to lighting detail to the point where if you accidentally (or purposefully) destroy light sources you get plunged into very creepy scenarios where you only have your flashlight to guide you.
While some zombie purists may take exception to this, the game does introduce some special new types of undead. The majority of the game you deal with your typical slow plodding ones but every so often you get to match wits with Runners, Mouths, Jumpers and the utterly hilarious Bombies! They add an interesting dynamic to the whole zombie apocalypse theme making it great kill’em all fun.
The game’s greatest aspect is the chaos that ensues in each zone. It takes me back to the days of old Arcade shooters like Gauntlet. Is anybody even old enough to remember going to arcades? I liken the madness in this game to one of my most favorite arcade games Smash TV. Dead Nation takes the concept of being overwhelmed to a whole new level. There’s nothing quite like getting surrounded by literally hundreds of zombies and having to fight your way out. It’s totally unbelievable and outrageous but insanely fun. There’s something profoundly therapeutic about mowing down a field of brain chompers with a sub machine gun after a stressful day. It’s an easy game to learn how to play but can be incredibly hard to complete especially on higher difficulties.
As if that isn’t enough it has online co-op capabilities where you and your buddies can wreak as much havoc and mayhem as you want. There’s even an online meta game that tracks your country of origin’s progress versus the zombie epidemic against other countries. All in all it’s one of the best game downloads I ever got my hands on and definitely a crowd pleaser for zombie fan boys and girls out there.
Dead Nation is Geek Zone Approved!
I had heard buzz about this movie some months ago. It was touted as a “really cool zombie flick” but didn’t pay it too much attention because (a) we were in the process of moving up north and (b) I tend to not follow anything that critics like. Such is the case with anything I’m interested in, once it becomes mainstream I lose all faith in it being good anymore – at least until it becomes unpopular once again. It happened with vampires. Heck I was all about vampires back in the late 90’s but then along came the Queen of Teen Prattling, Stephenie Meyer, and that brought an abrupt end to my vamp love. The unthinkable happened. Vampires became mainstream and soon everyone and their mother had a story, book, tv series or movie about vampires. Even though I’m a die-hard fan of True Blood, the love for the genre isn’t there right now.
My last place of horror refuge lay in everybody’s favorite brain munching meanies – zombies. The undead have been iconic throughout modern movie history and have seen a rollercoaster of popularity over the past 40 or so years. They’re always a safe genre to fall back on. When I first heard about the 2009 French film aptly titled The Horde it immediately piqued my interest. It’s always fun to see foreign zombie flicks because they have a totally different feel than North American ones. Unfortunately when critics started chiming in on how good it was I feared for the worst.
Last night I got to finally sit down and watch it.
Let me start off by saying it’s not a movie for everyone. Horror fans seem to be split down the middle with some praising it as being brilliant while others tear it down with a bloody hatchet. It all seems to trace back to the age-old debate of Fast Zombies vs. Slow Zombies. It’s always amazed me how venenate both sides are over the subject. If you’re locked into the slow dopey zombie preference this is definitely not a movie for you. However if you enjoy track star, parkouring and insatiable undead (or just don’t care either way and just wanna see some bloody goodness) then welcome to the Horde.
The story centers around a group of vigilante cops who stage a raid on a gangster’s headquarters based in an old condemned building in the ghetto. They’re out for revenge against the band of thugs who killed one of their fellow police officers but soon realize they’re outgunned and are eventually taken hostage. The first 20 – 30 minutes screams of a Guy Ritchie-like gritty gangland crime drama with tense dialogue and graphic violence between the Nigerian drug lords and the captive cops. The story suddenly veers in a whole new disturbing direction when the building is besieged by throngs of fast-moving zombies. Makeshift alliances are formed between bitter enemies as both the criminals and the renegade cops try to escape the death trap.
Sounds like the makings for a rambunctious time, eh?
It’s a bona-fide gorefest with plenty of fast paced bloody violence to satisfy even the biggest action junkies out there. I can’t justifiably label it as one of the best zombie flicks I’ve ever seen but it definitely deserves its merits. Being a fan of the hyper zombies I tend to give it more bonus points than if it were a classic zombie film. The characters, although a little undefined are decent enough to carry the film. It’s always cool watching a horror movie in which you’re not familiar with the leads because you never know who’s making it to the end.
The special effects and makeup were on point as was the cinematography. It reminded me very much of 28 Days Later with the overwhelming grittiness and purposefully washed out and desaturated film quality. The confined spaces and tight hallways within the decrepid apartment building adds to the anxiety levels especially when you have ravenous zombies collapsing in at all angles. Story wise, it had potential but at times leaves your mind wandering only to be brought back when a psychotic zombie beatdown breaks out. Some people have panned the fact that the explanation for the zombie outbreak isn’t explained but I actually appreciated they didn’t. The living dead scenario has been used so many times that you can insert any number of “reasons” for the cause so why go into yet again. Cheers to them for letting the audience use their imagination.
Overall, if you’re a zombie fanatic it’s a must see if only to add to your mental database of zombie knowledge. Take from it what you will. Me, I’ve decided to list some of the things I’ve learned from this oddly entertaining film:
- You can quite literally beat the holy hell out of a zombie like he owes you money. Great way to relieve stress.
- Despite our incredible advances in science the past 50 years, flashlight technology seems to have fallen by the wayside. When will we ever see some common household flashlights that can actually light up more than a 4ft circular area?
- Being black during a zombie epidemic is still not a good career choice.
- Crazy guys have good hooch.
- A Browning Heavy Machine Gun in the hands of a Vietnam vet is a very effective zombie deterrent.
- Going to the roof never turns out well.
- Going to the basement never turns out well.
- Zombies don’t play rugby well.
- If someone says “run”, you run.
- It’s always good to hold onto personal grudges amidst a catastrophic series of events.
- Setting off a grenade in a hallway is bad.
I’ve been inspired by personal awards that have been handed out recently. So inspired in fact that I have decided to infect the world with my own sick taste. I thought long and hard about it… but I was working at the time and started seeing the world in code (like Neo in the Matrix) so my mind wandered. I thought about it again but then I got to playing a video game and once again got distracted. Later on it popped into my head but then I got hungry and that distracted me from my world domination plot again.
FINALLY while I was in the World’s Greatest Thinking Room, I was hit with my idea like a bolt of lightning. Later that night I sketched my vision on paper. I scanned it onto my computer and began the painstaking process of inking it in. After hours of backbreaking labor a creature emerged from my screen that was both deliciously beautiful and utterly ridiculous. I thought to myself yet again, how I can I use this monstrosity to my advantage.
The answer came to in the form of this…
The Patient Zero Lifetime Achievement Award (For the Promotion of All Things Zombie)
I love the zombie genre. That’s no secret. This is my gift to my fellow zombie lovers out there. But alas, just bestowing an award to someone who likes and/or appreciates them isn’t enough. I want there to be more talk, more information, more stories about the undead on the internet therefore the conditions for giving and receiving this award are as follows:
- If you are the recipient of this award and have dedicated at least one post in your blog to zombies, the undead or anything about the walking dead then you are truly one of the infected and have the power to award this gift to two other bloggers of your choice. Make a post announcing your utterly awesome achievement and name your two victims.
- If you are the recipient of this award and have NOT written anything about zombies in your blog then you must dedicate one post to nothing but zombies. A legit post. Not a “I hate zombies” or “Zombies rock” two paragraph announcement. A real post folks. I don’t care if it’s a story, news, a movie review, book review, creative fiction, or whatever. Entertain us! Once you have done so you will have officially infected the internet with more zombie goodness and can reward the gift to others. Make a post announcing your super fresh award and name your two victims.
My rules are simple yet be mindful of who you corrupt. Not many will be willing to participate so you have to know your intended victims quite well. Since I am essentially patient zero (aka zombie-geek-speak for the first zombie that starts an epidemic) I am choosing two fellow lovers of the macabre as my first victims. They have very eclectic followers and I’ll find it very intriguing to see how far this goes. So without further delay I present the first winners of the prestigious Patient Zero Award:
Congratulations ladies. Go forth and spark a pandemic like I know only you two can. Cheers!