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Inside WORLD WAR Z’s Zombie Survival Crash Course


In celebration of the upcoming Blu-ray release of the summer zombie blockbuster World War Z, Paramount Pictures showed a bunch of us scrawny indoor kids who write about things a thing or two about survival in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse. The film, loosely based on Max Brooks’ 2006 novel of the same name, revolves around Brad Pitt as a former UN investigator who must travel the world in search of a cure for the increasingly threatening zombie pandemic.

Once settled in our base camp, we settled into various stations to learn from the selected team of experts. On deck was survival specialist and author of Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse Sam Sheridan, who taught us the importance of packing an emergency bag and how to trap small animals in the wilderness. He also gave me the great advice that the key to survival in an emergency situation is maintaining a positive attitude and setting small goals such as building a fire. Way to go, Sam!

Leading the crew in zombie defense moves was knife fighting instructor and Grandmaster Martial Artist (read: badass) Mark Mikita, who taught us survival noobs not only how to chop off infected heads with a machete, but also how to use just about anything as a weapon.

WWZ star and newfound zombie expert Daniella Kertesz was also there to catch us up on her experience filming and her own personal survival plan. Aside from chatting about how cool, exciting, and humbling working on a production of that size (and with Brad Pitt!) was, Daniella told me what she would bring in case of a zombie pandemic: her friends and family! How noble.

In between learning to fight off zombie hordes and survive the unforgiving wilderness, chef and foraging coach Bryce Waring was there to show us how to identify poisonous plants and cook up some tasty local wilderness fare.

I left the experience confident that I could totally be the hero if any zombie outbreaks happen or I’m suddenly stranded in the wild with my friends. I could at least trap a squirrel or two, and the Bug Out Bag I received upon leaving assures that I’ll be prepped when supplies run low.

Not sure if you’ll be an asset to your team when disaster strikes? You don’t need to have a sweet editorial gig to find out the basics of survival. Check out Sam Sheridan’s book to learn about his journey to becoming self reliant in the wilderness, and brush up on your zombie knowledge by watching World War Z. The Blu-ray is out September 17th and is packed with extras, including an unrated cut and an in depth look at the science behind the film’s zombie outbreak.

How do you think you’d do in a zombie apocalypse? All those nights spent playing L4D had to count for something, right? Share your survival tips and your opinion of WWZ by leaving a comment below or by tweeting at me!

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  1. Illusion-XIII says:

    I can’t help noticing that neither the book “World War Z”, nor the (conspicuously relevant and therefore conspicuously absent) “Zombie Survival Guide” are present in the inventory photo at the bottom of the article. That just goes to show flagrantly this production has dismissed the original work. I have no idea how good Sam Sheridan’s book is, and it’s certainly to his credit that they consulted him for this promotion, but it seems downright disrespectful to not even acknowledge that there’s already a book (written by the “World War Z” author) specifically about this exact subject.
    “Loosely based” is a capital understatement.