Three Things I've Learned From The Walking Dead

Fred Fletch pays tribute to the US zombie thriller, and offers his survival advice for a surprisingly mundane zombie apocalypse

Feature by Fred Fletch | 08 Nov 2011
  • The Walking Dead

I love zombies.

I watch Dawn of The Dead regularly and sex my girlfriend from behind so she can watch it too.

Zombies and everything zombie-related is very much a man's domain. It is the very personification of manliness to have at least one workable zombie survival guide in your head ready to be unleashed at the first news report including the terms 'monkey virus' 'unstoppable rabies victim' and/or 'Bruce Forsyth had been declared legally dead for almost 20 minutes before he rose again with the force of a thousand Imhoteps.'

If you need scientific proof of this NASA fact, simply turn to the nearest male in your vicinity. Scream "HUW EDWARDS JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THE DEAD ARE RISING" and quietly observe. If he doesn't immediately begin fashioning a weapon out of a coat rack and kitchen knives while mapping the quickest route to a fortified bowling alley, check his genitals; he's probably a woman. Or worse yet, he might be a zombie, and right now you're looking at his dick. Good luck with that one, asshole.

It's never stupid to be prepared. Sure, the odds of a zombie apocalypse happening are pretty much on a par with Bigfoot attacks and space Dracula invasion but that doesn't mean you shouldn't fucking think about it.

More from Fred Fletch: 

 Fred talks to Matthew Lillard about theatre... and Scooby-Doo

 Talking karate with 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander

 "Do you guys still like Runrig?" - Fred meets David Hasselhoff

You might scoff at someone for Sasquatch-proofing their garden shed and filling it with animal carcasses but every minute spent devising a way to trap impossible Ape-Monsters is a good night's sleep for the residents of Jackson County, Oregon)

The Walking Dead is officially the only hour of TV in 24 that I actually give a fuck about. Solidly produced and smoothly directed, the show provides something for every demographic. First and foremost it is a zombie show, delivering action, scares and gore by the metric shit-load. But it's also a drama.

The show hinges upon the characters who are skillfully crafted, written and performed so you actually care about who's being eaten and why. There is enough heart-felt melodrama in the show to keep women watching and since 90% of the things on screen are lifeless, screaming, hollowed out Halloween costumes, it won't be much of a leap for fans of Grey's Anatomy.

Although The Walking Dead might just be the most perfect show on TV that isn't called 'Dexter', 'Community' or 'Baywatch Nights', its realistic approach to the subject matter of zombies pops my fantasy balloon like a coat-rack covered in knives.

In my frequent dreams of getting a half day from work because the business end of a mortuary just started eating everyone I hate, I imagine myself, surrounded by friends, holed up in a supermarket, awaiting the inevitable exciting speedboat full of exciting supermodels to rescue us. Walking Dead paints a different, less erotic-speedboat-flavored image.

If the zombie apocalypse happens...

1) You probably won't be with your friends.

You'll be surrounded by people you don't know or don't really like. Chances are the hordes of undead are going to attack while you are at work or while you're at the shops buying toilet roll.

Last count there were over 7 billion people on the planet and there is a good chance most of them suck. Your best friend Byron might be a classically trained karate murderer with great cooking skills and a cupboard full of Ninja swords, but Gary who you just met in the dick-cream section of Tescos smells of milk and has a copy of the Daily Mail rolled up in his tracksuit bottoms.

You are going to be spending the last few not-being-eaten-by-mummies days passing polite conversation with someone who thinks that Cheryl Cole's The Flood was actually a pretty good song & that Nick Griffin has some interesting points.

2) No one is going to wait for you.

You'd like to think as you lie curled up crying in the basement of Argos, that your friends and family and significant others are holding off on kick-starting their battle-ready jetskies and heading off to that deserted zombie-less island a few miles off the coast because 'THEY JUST KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO BE HERE SOON.' Sorry. Bullshit.

Unending waves of brain-hungry Frankensteins have a profound effect on people's social priorities. You might well have matching Captain Planet rings and share the same favorite episode of Cheers, but when it comes to 'you' vs 'not being dead', you lose.

Your friends will have forgotten about you in the time it took one of them to say "Look. Five jet skis" and your girlfriend will be so filled with hansom jet ski repair man, you'll be a distant, disappointing memory.

3) It's going to get boring. Fast.

No matter how exciting the prospect of shooting monsters with arrows might sound, most of the non-monster skewering time is going to be spent sitting around, being hungry.You're not even going to be able to masturbate because you live in a tent or in a sleeping bag next to 20 other people who can't sleep. Trust me. Either practise stealth wanking or fit your Fleshlight with a silencer. The apocalypse doesn't give you time or equipment to clean ejaculant out of a Camp-Master-Snuggie.

Without TV, the internet or poptarts, you're going to be climbing the fucking walls. You're actually going to have to talk to people, build a community, develop long term plans. It's like growing up & NO ONE wants to do that.

Responsibility comes hand in hand with the constant threat of cannibal attack and while before you could just call in sick for work or sleep in on Boxing Day, it's the end of the goddamn world and you totally CAN'T.
One slip is all it takes before you join the ranks of the living dead.

You have to be an adult 24/7 and that gives you absolutely no time to contemplate a workable Robot-Invasion plan.

The Walking Dead shows at 10pm on FXUK each Friday