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Inside WORLD WAR Z’s Zombie Survival Crash Course

by on September 16, 2013

WWZ (1)

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.

Humvees whisked us away to the abandoned zoo in Los Angeles to learn real survival skills

Humvees whisked us away to the abandoned zoo in Los Angeles to learn real survival skills

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!

A garbage bag can go a long way if you need to stay warm in the wilderness.

A garbage bag can go a long way if you need to stay warm in the wilderness.

You can get all the delicious squirrel you need with just a rock, two sticks, and a piece of string (or grass!)

You can get all the delicious squirrel you need with just a rock, a couple sticks, and a piece of string (or grass!)

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.

I killed him good and dead.

I killed him good and dead.

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.

Cactus, as it turns out, is pretty tasty.

Cactus, as it turns out, is pretty tasty.

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.

Rations? Check. Emergency Blankets? Check. WWZ blu ray? CHECK.

Rations? Check. Emergency Blankets? Check. WWZ Blu-ray? CHECK.

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!