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How To Destroy a Zombie

Updated on September 24, 2012
Hanging out with a zombie
Hanging out with a zombie | Source

You’ve seen the movies. You’ve read the books.


Go for the head.

Sever the spine.

You may know it in theory, but what will you do when the zombie apocalypse is here and you have to destroy a zombie or two? What is the most effective way to get rid of the walking dead? Well, that's going to depend...

Bad Idea Films provides some tips on surviving a zombie attack

Determine what kind of zombie it is – fast or slow.

Slow zombies are still a problem, no question, but at least you have a chance of running past them. In the classic “Night of the Living Dead,” the zombies were slow enough that sometimes it was even possible to run past them. Fast zombies, though, are another matter. Fast zombies (or sometimes even “rage” zombies) appear in “28 Days Later” and the “Dawn of the Dead” remake in 2004. With fast zombies, your best defense is a good offense, and you better be fighting from the minute you see them.

Next up – how intelligent is the zombie?

Can you fool it by moaning and moving slowly with it, like in “Shaun of the Dead”? Or can it smell you as food like in “Return of the Living Dead,” when the zombie got on the radio of the ambulance and asked the operator to “send more paramedics”? You need to know what you’re fighting. And remember, you’d be fighting for your life against something undead, so every edge and trick you can use is in your best interest.

What rules does the zombie follow for death?

Not all zombies can be killed. Some can only be contained. In the “Return of the Living Dead” series, zombies were not able to be killed. Instead, they could be captured and put into barrels. In “Return of the Living Dead 3,” one of the characters even discovered that she couldn’t die but that inflicting pain kept her from craving brains, and so she made a bit of a masochist of herself in order to keep from eating her boyfriend.

Cheap Cool Crazy offers a quick video on Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tools

Try to figure out what caused it isn’t a bad idea, either.

It might not help you kill whatever zombie you’re facing, but it may help keep you from having to face a horde if you can stop them from forming or “breeding.” If it’s a virus that reanimates the dead, no matter how they die, then make sure you get rid of anyone that’s dead through a means that will keep them dead. If it’s a zombie’s bite that does it, don’t let anyone get bitten. If they do, make sure that you dispose of them quickly to avoid getting bit yourself.

Weapons for zombie destruction

Cricket Bat
Cricket Bat | Source
Gerber Legendary Blades machete/saw combo
Gerber Legendary Blades machete/saw combo | Source
Remington 1100 Tactical Shotgun with 8 rounds in 12 gauge
Remington 1100 Tactical Shotgun with 8 rounds in 12 gauge | Source

What weapons are good

So, now you’ve figured out what you’re up against. Always remember that you want to somehow sever the spinal column to stop the zombie from attacking or take out its brain (depending on the type). What’s going to help you destroy them, assuming that’s possible?

Go for the “big guns.” Shotguns, 9mms, even .38s and .357s are good weapons to have handy. Machetes are great – sharp and long enough to slice through and sever the brain or spinal cord, depending on what’s required for the big sleep. Cricket bats are always a favorite for any “Shaun of the Dead” fan. Swords are another option, although possibly harder to get a nice sharp one as compared to a machete. Baseball bats are good if you don’t have anything else, but try to enhance them if you can. Maybe a couple of nice spikes through it to do maximum damage to the zombie. Chainsaws are a good option, but, again, if you have smart zombies, they might hear that sound and go running or just wait for you to run out of gas. (And it has to be a gas powered chainsaw! Using an electric one is just looking for trouble when the cord runs out.)

What weapons are bad

Regardless of how much we all love to play “Plants Vs Zombies,” don’t fall for it! Plants are not a good defense against zombies. Then again, neither are .22s – too small a caliber – smaller knives, anything that needs to be retrieved after being used, or spears. Spears sound like a great weapon, and they look awesome, but how do you get it back if there’s a horde surrounding you? It’s unwieldy at best and downright deadly for you at worst.

Let the CDC help you!

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has its own Zombie Task Force. They sell t-shirts and give advice on how to prepare for any disaster that comes your way, whether it’s a zombie invasion or a hurricane. You can learn what to do (website) or read their free novella Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic.

The Original "Night of the Living Dead" is available for free online!

Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?

Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?

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    • profile image

      Darla Dollman 

      4 years ago

      I joke about this all the time--just how many stabs to the head does it take to kill a zombie? I'm glad someone finally clarified because some of the zombie slashings in movies these days are too extreme!

    • KatSanger profile imageAUTHOR

      Katherine Sanger 

      6 years ago from Texas

      We all need to be ready when even the CDC is telling us to prepare! :)

    • CZCZCZ profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      I feel better equipped for the Zombie apocalypse already. I'll take the shotgun, while the machete may be fun it is a little too close if there is zombies all around I want to be shooting something for sure. I'm ready and waiting, never know when they may pop up there dead heads waiting to get blasted.


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