Dawn of the Dead (1978)
To some, Dawn of the Dead represents a seminal moment in the oeuvre of auteur George A. Romero that is filled with scathing social commentary that satirises the excesses of consumerist culture – but those insights are useless when you’re trying to escape hordes of the undead. For the survivalist, it teaches you that the biggest danger in a zombie outbreak is biker gangs. It’s all well and good having an almost endless supply of food and zombie-smashing tools at your fingertips, but if you’re holed up in a shopping centre, every thug with a motorbike and a machete is going to want that place for themselves.
Bio Zombie (1998)
When it comes to underrated Chinese zombie films from the late nineties in which Lucozade has been tainted by some top secret military bioweapon that turns people into zombies, one of the best has to be Bio Zombie. Quirky, funny and lacking in the usual gore and violence of a traditional zombie flick, Bio Zombie is another shopping mall hide-fest, the film focusing around two video bootleggers who, during the course of the film, mug, scam and screw over as many people as possible, but you end up warming to them. The lesson for the survivalist? Be horrible and you’ll survive, be nice and you’ll end up dragging your carcass along with the rest of the ghouls.
When mad cow disease mutates to mad person disease and people start running around wanting to snack on the brains of the living, you have to do everything you can to survive. You could take the Tallahassee route and give yourself a quest to keep you busy and plough through zombie herds with a huge truck along the way, or you could give yourself a set of rules like Columbus to help you survive. The most important rule? Never kill Bill Murray – it might not help the survivalist, but it’s one I choose to live by.