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Zombie Nation

Society’s Most Annoying Zombie Cliches

by Patrick Sweeney   |  June 4th, 2012 59

The ole' zombie-in-the-crosshairs -- as seen here in George A. Romero's 1978 zombie manifesto, Dawn of the Dead -- may be a pretty tired shot, but it's not the most overused trend.

In our quest for ultimate zombie protection, we oftentimes get caught up in the buzzwords or popular, yet overused, scenarios that seem to (appropriately) infect the culture. Every shooting subculture is guilty of it – even our beloved zombie hunters. So in an effort to eradicate certain trends just like we hope to dispatch brain-munchers, here are 10 of the most overused, annoying zombie cliches.

Warp-Speed Infection
OK, who ordered this? I mean, normal infections spread at a known rate. Why do zombie infections all have to operate at 10 times the usual rate? The rate the flu spreads isn’t scary enough?

Slow vs. Fast
This is an argument? One at a time, it is simply a minorly different marksmanship problem. In swarms, it becomes a strategic, not tactical, problem. Just be glad they frakkin’ can’t fly, is all I say.

Immediate Decomp
Go to sleep alive, wake up dead and already their skin is rotting off? Sorry, decomposition doesn’t happen that fast outside of the swamp, and so there will be some pretty normal-looking zombies in the early days and weeks of an outbreak.

Heroic FEMA
Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good people in FEMA. But the very thought that a government agency could be spooled up fast enough to react to the speed of an outbreak’s infection rate is guffaw-inducing amusement.

Clean Water
There’s an outbreak? OK, since I’ve already stocked up on guns and ammo, my first step is to strip clean the shelved inventory of water-purification goodies in hiking stores. No way am I going to get infected from infected water, as long as I have the chemical industry to depend on.

Arguing Over Caliber
You’ve got a gun? And correct ammo for it? Good. Stop your whining, pay attention to your front sight and press cleanly.

The Unconvinced
In every movie, there are those who refuse to believe. This isn’t like arguing flat vs. spherical Earth; all you’ve got to do is look.

The Crazy Guy is Right
The loony guy, living alone, who tried to warn everyone? He turned out to be correct. Well, correct on this, but the other 57 loony things he believed still aren’t true. So don’t go asking him for more predictions.

All Cars Have Keys
The apocalypse breaks out, and suddenly everyone leaves the keys in the ignition? Nope, you’d better be very, very good at hot-wiring, or expect to do a lot of walking.

All Rifles Are Zeroed
Find a rifle and immediately start popping zombies? Guess again. I’ve had full-time police officers arrive in classes with ARs that were so off-zero they would not print on a sheet of typing paper at 25 yards. Be happy, but check the zero.

Find Soap
Yes, the zombie outbreak may kill you. But failing to wash your hands has killed people for centuries. Find soap, make your water clean and keep your hands clean, or that little knife jab in your hand from cutting 550 cord will get a staph infection, and you’ll be dead in a week.

  • SamF1911

    Good rules we should all live by during the outbreak.

  • Kyle Meier

    the next point should be that it doesnt have to be an "apocalypse." It could just be a local outbreak in some small town in Michigan that no ones ever heard of. Or a dream…

  • Andrew

    To anyone who has been paying attention to the news, there have been several stories this past week of people eating other people's faces, attempting to eat babies, and other zombie like stuff. I'm not saying it's the start of anything, but I'm just saying…

    • SkyRat

      I agree. The ZOMBIE crap is entertaining, but nonsense. Wild race -Riots?? Quite possible. Zombies?? Not a chance

      • Dibble

        You are a fool to think that something like that can't happen. Highly unlikely, but not impossible. There are bio chemical facilities all over the world that are researching and creating the deadliest viruses, diseases, and etc. You don't think these people have tinkered around with something that could lead to a zombie like outbreak. Probably not reanimated corpses, but something that puts people into a rabid and savage state of mind. Why do you think they experimented with meth in the military? It gives the user a sense of no fear and invincibility for as long as they continued to use it, even though its a horrible drug to use. If you're not willing to accept that something like a zombie outbreak is possible, then that's on you. Don't knock on other people who are just making sure they are prepared for such a thing if it should occur.

        • SemperFlyBoy

          Are you sure you were not secretly exposed to one of these experiments?

    • SamF1911

      Well sir if you don't like it, don't read it.

  • dugiboy

    Number 11………. Err , there arent any zombies , That covers the first 10 .

    • ZombieKiller

      Way to kill the fun… not to mention the inability to imagine any catastrophe in place of zombies.

    • MontanaKid

      Hey, they have been occupying Wall Street for a while now. They really do exist.

  • Daniel Moore

    Number 12 – it is all about marketing…selling more goodies. A dead creature that is moving? Okay a biological agent that is working similar to leprosy but infects the brain as well…now that is possible. I have to laugh about the government. They would be slow like the zombies…oh…maybe they are the zombies….? Ya think?

  • Senor Momentz

    Zombies…or more likely looters and such in a post-Katrina-like environment.

  • Alarm!

    "zombie" = pc speak for hungry democrats. the threat is real….
    when they can't beg, borrow and tax any more and the dollar becomes worthless
    they will come after you and your stuff. be prepared.

  • untacticool

    EVERYTHING about this zombie fad has become a cliché and also beyond annoying.
    Like the phrase, "just sayin", or word "awesome".
    No one can communicate any more except in clichés, using hackneyed words and expressions.
    The degradation of the English language, and loss of original thought expressed originally is rampant.

    • guest

      I agree with your 'take' on the phrases…."just sayin' " and "awesome", BUT, the one thing that burns my toast is how damned near everyone says "ABSOLUTELY", nearly every time a question is asked, or when they hear a statement that they like!

      • AvtomatiK

        Thats called the (ever evolving)english language, and its not going anywhere. Absolutely! :-)

    • Andrew

      I think that pretentiously saying things are cliche is such a cliche.

  • Fed up

    if I see the word zombie again in G&A I promise you it will be the last time. This crap has gone too far and makes gun owners look like idiots. Clear enough?

    • Frank Latz

      You are absolutely right. Guns, ammo and shooting sports are serious things. I was annoyed that Hornady came out with Zombie ammo and the rest followed. Sometimes the shooting industry are their own worse enemies. It is bad enough for us gun lovers that unstable people go out and take innocent lives. Can you imagine the field day the press will have when a crazy goes on a shooting spree with a Zombie gun, loaded with Zombie ammo and Zombie hi-cap mags?

      • Alan Zed

        Frank, you mean like, they already do? The "zombie" connection won't make a difference, and the anti's haven't raised a stink about it up to now, and if they do, well…you know the old saying about if they can't take a joke….Which, by the way, goes for ya'll, too!

    • Alan_T

      Oh now Fed , don't get our hopes up by making promises that you have no intention of keeping !

    • Mac

      Fed Up – I agree, and have made my objections know on this forum several times. However, I noticed that every time anyone protests this juvenile practice, the more people comment, thus increasing participation. This plays right into the game plan as controveersy always draws attention. You are absolutely right it is all about moving product be it ammo, magazines, clothing – gotta make them $$$s.

      • Alan Zed

        Damn skippy! You got something against the free market, Mac? You some kind of Marxist?

    • Sally G

      U sound like a 3 YO throwing a tantrum, Fed

    • Syn

      Leave, we do not like you anyway

  • Bob K

    How about #11: Everyone becomes an expert marksman and can suddenly hit a small moving target (the zombie's head) while in a moving vehicle. I love "The Walking Dead" but the season finale where everyone was popping zombie's without missing was less believable than the possibility of there actually being zombies.

  • herbdoc

    who's going to handle/bury all the zombies?

    • Alan_T

      Doc …… I say we let airsporter , Fed up , Frank Latz and Buckshot do the detail ! HA ! ….. Then they'll be sorry !

      • Guest

        Yea, the they'll be sorry!!! LOL

      • Sally G


  • dhoward

    what is it with this zombie thing is this a name change or can
    we still call them Democrats ?

  • bikerbill

    Any chance for a DC-only outbreak? Wall 'em off, give it a few weeks, then go in with SMGs and clean up the mess … I bet we won't miss one of them …

  • AvtomatiK


  • Buckshot

    SCRAP THIS ZOMBIE BS!!!! We are all grownups her for god sake

    • Alan_T

      Grownups her ? ? ? The way you write , sounds to me like the zombies got you and ate your brains . Or …… say maybe ….. YOU ARE A ZOMBIE ! ! ! ….

      • Guest


      • Buckshot

        BITE MY A$$ you never made and missed a typo

        This ZOMBIE BULL nothing but trash!

        • Alan_T

          OH – OH …… sounds like Lil' Bucky missed him's nap and now him's all cranky !
          BTW Bucky ….. you just created more typos .

          • Sally G

            Careful Alan, Bucky Cat might hold hold his breath till he turns blue LOL

  • Antonio

    It's not fiction any more. I can qualify the real world Zombie threat in two words: Bath Salts.

    Remember the outbreak of Crack in the early 80's? Burglaries, robberies, teen prostitution… a widespread Bath Salt binge will make the Crack era look like a weekend at Bernie's.

  • Mick, RN

    I don't belong to the zombie culture, but kudos for the flu and staph shout-outs; I've been a nurse for 30 years and have seen both kill a lot of people.

  • James

    @airsporter, Frank, and Daniel: Lighten up, Francis.

  • Alan_T

    Now Patrick ….. there's no point in you getting yourself all in a " mood " just because zombies can't fly . They can't help being the way they are any more than Hilary Clinton can help the way her butt stretches out the seats of her pant suits ( although , I would never be so crass as to point that out ) and I am sure that zombies would fly if they could ! Now quit sulking or I'll be foreced to tell your mother , Mrs . Sweeney about your behavior .

    • Guest

      LOL, too funny man!

  • wesp22

    The last thing I'm worried about are "zombies"….I'm worried about the wanna-be gangsters, thieves, thugs, druggies, white trash and black trash when the rioting starts here in the states.

    And it's coming.

    F**k "zombies".

    • Alan Zed

      Wes, you've missed the point. Let me let you in on the joke…all those people you are worried about? THEY ARE ZOMBIES! Get it?


    To all of the people with negative comments, "grow ups", and "if I see one more zombie" blah blah blah, get real you are the reason the world has lost its fun. Either you have to be so damn PC or serious all the time. Afraid to say anything or do anything out of the social norm for fear that they will use it as a excuse to take your guns… forget about them and let that inner kid come out the one that wanted to be a cowboy or fight space invaders, or be a super hero… this generation wants to be ZOMBIE SLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Alan_T

      100 % with you 1SIKTKT …. You know what really gets me about them ? It's the fact that this is an online blog and isn't printed in the magazine , they DON'T PAY FOR IT and NO ONE forces these control freaks to come here and read this stuff ! If they don't like it ….. they should do themselves ( and us ) a favor and not come here and read it . BTW ….. I wanna be a cowboy . Say …. do you think I can be a cowboy zombie slayer ? I mean , a cowboy that slays zombies …. not a zombie that's a cowyboy ?

  • Mike

    Here is a question for all the "Anti-Zombie" folks out there. If you don't like it, why do you get on here, read it and then leave a negative post about it? Some of us enjoy the "silly" stuff and like to read about it. If you don't then go away. Nobody forces you to be here. And just in case I'm not taken as a "serious" gun owner I'll throw this out….. I was 11B (Infantry) for 2/5 1st Cav then went on as a security contractor in the Middle East and now work as a firearms instructor for a local gun shop. I can be serious when need be but I also know how to laugh at stuff and have a good time.

    • Chuck Kendron

      Chuck I Am agun collector and a 2 tour vet in Vietnam. I was in F-100 At Tuyhoa and RF-101 at Tansunut. It is great to see that im not the only one that enjoys some humor.!!!!!!

  • jp338

    I am sick of all the zombie movies and TV shows with same. Either they're very successful or producers are just too lazy to do some creative thinking to come up with good, attention-grabbing and truly scary horror movies. Zombies, at least to me, aren't scary anymore. More like boring.

  • Michael

    Wow, as a gun owner I find "zombies" too comedic to take serious. I feel bad for some of you people, if you get wound up any tighter you wont live to see 60. Life is too short to be an asshole or to stress out because your favorite mag is showing something in the "pop culture".

  • Wendell

    In 2 weeks I will be 73 years old. So I guess I miss a lot of the "pop culture" stuff. (And where did that term "pop" come from?) But, I have never heard anything about zombies in any of my conversations with younger guys I know or on any newscast. The only zombie reference I know is the old black and white movies of 60 years ago. What is all this and how does it relate to our interest in firearms? Or maybe the whole issue is – IT DOESN'T !!

    • Wolvie


      The zombie craze has been brewing since Romero's "Night of the Living Dead". It has taken on a life of its own (pardon the pun) in the last few years with new movies and remakes of the classics popping up on the big screen.

      Like the resurgence of Vampires and Wearwolves, zombies became the "in" thing. Since zombies can be dispatched by a normal person with no real special abilities or equipment (unlike some of the other supernatural monsters), and they group and move like an undead shooting gallery, it is natural that shooters would be interested in them and talk and joke about it.

      It's nothing more than goofy, fun talk. The same way you might visit a haunted house, participate in a murder-mystery dinner or perhaps even play a paintball game. Its just a fun little distraction and a way to be silly and joke with your friends.

      Some shooters need to just take a breath and stop taking themselves so seriously. I can shoot sporting clays and no one complains that they aren't real birds or that I'm not taking hunting seriously. I can shoot silhouette and no one complains that the chickens are too small to be realistic or aren't real rifle game.

      Cowboy Action Shooting, Trick Shooting Demonstrations, Civil War reenactments…Hell, even Buffalo Bill's great western shows were nothing like the real frontier. It's all about entertainment and having fun with a firearms event. Same thing with zombies.

      So, rent a couple of the classic zombie movies, sit back and for a few moments, day dream about setting up proper fortifications in a mall.

      …or, you could just continue to be self-righteous and get angry. Personally, I think that takes a lot more energy than just chuckling and enjoying yourself.

  • wesp22

    Yeah, roger that Zed!

  • guest

    While I do have a sense of humor and I DO find talking about zombies a fun distraction, I think the fad has hurt the shooting sports image in the general public eye. I am refering to defending our 2nd Amendment rights. I dont think a chainsaw grip shotguns, toxic green tips bullets, or bio-hazzard logos helps our cause against the anti-gun group.

  • CavalryScout

    It's tongue-in-cheek! Take the pill of chill and relax! It's all for fun. I like reading about the Zombie guns and gear. Sweeney is a scream when he writes about them. It's like a science fiction shooting match and nothing to get angry about.

  • Ricardo

    Sometimes people take things too seriously! I kind of like the hokey and cliche when it comes to Zombies, because a realistic zombie attack is a little too freaky to me. My favourite range sometimes has zombie targets and it's a good mixture of freaky and funny.

  • JConn

    Then don't read it. That's why the USA is free. As a gun & ammo fanatic you should know. There are many ways the world could end partner and they name just one. This is just a new way to bring to the attention of the young readers our right to bear arms.

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