ByAlan G. Forsythe, writer at
Alan Forsythe is a Vancouver based journalist turned playwright/novelist/filmmaker.
Alan G. Forsythe

The Walking Dead season 4 starts this Sun (Oct 13) and Halloween is less than three weeks away, so naturally at this time of year young hearts turn to thoughts of how to survive the undead.

Like you, when I watch horror movies it's hard for me not to get annoyed at the stupid things people do in the name of keeping the plot going.

I would often cheer for the victims' demise rather than gasp in horror (as some of you did just now when I used the word retarded)

I realized at an early age that horror movies were hopeless at training one to survive the horrors depicted.

Frankly most of their actions are so completely retarded that I would often cheer for the victims' demise rather than gasp in horror (as some of you did just now when I used the word retarded).

However in the real world there's no need for you or anyone else to keep the story moving for 90 minutes. So just in case your wits have been dulled from years of bad cinema, here's a primer on what not to do when faced with the undead and/or things that go bump in the night that are in fact axe wielding maniacs.

1: Don't go in the attic or into the cellar.

There's a reason we stuff things we don't want into the dark corners of our basements and attics, it's dark and creepy up/down there and therefore no one's going to go rummaging through your junk. So if you hear a strange noise down/up there it's someone/something that likes dark and creepy spaces and that means someone/something you don't want to meet. Just let it rummage through your junk (when's the last time you looked at those old photo albums anyway?) at least it's not in your living room dismembering you in wildly creative ways, while your girlfriend watches, paralyzed with fear. Note to girlfriends in this situation: Just run. I know you feel really bad that your guy is suffering the fate of factory processed livestock, but trust me you'll find someone else, you can't grow a new head, so stop screaming and run.

2: Don't go walking in a graveyard after nightfall.

Does this really need explanation? I mean most zombie outbreaks have traditionally begun in graveyards, vampires are known to call the odd graveyard home, plus there's the unsettled ghosts and spectres of the recently and long departed. Not to mention grave robbers and necrophiliacs ('Oh it's just a fetish,' you say. I say, they're having sex with dead people, which they dug up to have their way with, is that something you really want to stumble upon?)

3: Don't be a hero.

Women want to be treated equally right? great let them fend off the zombies, vampires, axe wielding maniacs while you put some space between you and the aforementioned killers. Also remember kids are tossable, as in they can be tossed in the way of the marauding undead to slow them down or divert them while you escape...oh come on, it's not like little Jimmy or Jane were going to grow up and cure cancer or anything. Okay, just so I won't be labeled a complete misogynist: Ladies do you want to survive or do you want to be buried in matching graves? I thought so. So let your man know that if he'll stand up to that axe murderer, vampire, hellspawn, zombie horde then he'll get everything he always wanted in bed, wink, wink, everything. Then while he's busy trying to prove how virile he is you get the hell out of there. Ya I know that's still kind of misogynistic, but damn it people I'm trying to save lives here!

4: Always try to be heavily armed.

Remember Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, remember how he had like six guns concealed on his person? Learn from his example, except you'll have to be a little more creative, wooden spikes, silver throwing stars, holy water hand grenades that sort of thing. Then again a trusty .44 magnum doesn't hurt either.

5: Have a dog.

Dogs are the best alarm system in the world because late at night they will bark at anything that isn't you. Notice how in movies the dog starts barking late at night and the owner will tell him to quiet down, or even mutter damn dog under his breath? Of course said owner is about to die horribly, and he deserves it, since his animal companion did all he could to warn of the impending doom and got a scolding for his troubles. In reality if you're not expecting an old friend to drop by at 3 am chances are Fido is barking at the approaching undead. You should thank him, not scold him, maybe even give him a Milkbone then arm yourself and/or shield yourself with a half asleep child, and for Godsakes what ever you do don't go up into the attic or down into the cellar.


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