Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tony Abott says no to Zombies

After yesterdays shocking discovery of floating zombies located just off the coast of Queensland, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a statement to a strong media contingent early this morning.

Re-assuring the public, Tony Abbott confirmed that offshore zombie processing was critical to the safety of all Australians.  He also noted that temporary protection visas would not be issued to any migrating zombies, nor would any flotation devices be offered to said illegal zombies.

Happy pinch and punch for this first day of April 2015!

The BZF Team

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Apocalypse Hal - Cannibalism

In a survival situation you may have to result to cannibalism. Or maybe you want to take it up because you are psychologically deranged or just love the taste. Whatever the reason there are some handy tips you should know.

Trying to determine the nutritional composition of humans is not easy. My own calculations seem way too high, suggesting an average person could feed you for 77 days. Luckily I discovered a wonderful academic article that provided a more accurate figure. Still 39 days seems a lot. So play it safe and plan for a body lasting less long, especially if you do not like offal.

Bite off more offal than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

iZombie invades the small screen!

Hey BZF bandits, this past week has seen the interwebs alight with much discussion around the CW's newest series iZombie.  Despite popular belief, iZombie is not about a viral Apple app that turns all its users into tech savvy brain munching zombies.  Rather, the series is based on the comic book of the same name which was released back in 2010.

I have often shared my thoughts on what has sometimes been called a saturation of zombie related content in film and television.  The Walking Dead continues to go from strength to strength with a spinoff series due sometime this year, Z Nation has been  green lit for a second season thanks to consistent ratings and Hollywood is constantly pumping out fresh zombie offerings on the silver screen.

The key here is whether or not iZombie can set itself aside from the competition while delivering an engaging story and characters we are intrigued by.  So far this seems entirely possible with the original creative team behind Veronica Mars at the helm who are taking  the story of an intern physician (Olivia Moore)  who can hide her 'zombieness' by eating a stable supply of brains. 

The twist with this show is that after Olivia has consumed some brains from her morgue buddies, she then experiences visions/memories of that particular person.  On top of that, she also adopts  some of their habits which ultimately helps her and her crime fighting friends solve the mysterious death of aforementioned morgue buddies.

I will admit that the initial write up of iZombie didn't really grab me but since it's premier the show is holding a 74% rating on Metacritic and is garnering positive reviews from critics and fans alike. Check out the trailer below and let your own brain decide:

Bite you later

Mr Vitamin G

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Apocalypse Hal - Daily Intake

When the zombies start wandering the streets, nipping out to the supermarket or local takeaway will be tricky. It won't be long before lack of food will become an issue. So it is important to know how much food you need each day. 

It is fun to take a calculator and start reading all those food labels that you ignore. You can work out which foods offer the most energy for the lowest weight. Ultralight backpackers aim to pack food that offers 1850 kJ per 100 grams (125 cal per ounce). Turns out freeze dried ice cream is excellent for this, providing a whopping 2200 kJ per 100 grams.

Peanut butter is even better at 2710 kJ per 100 grams. According to my dodgy calculations a 780 gram jar of peanut butter (crunchy) can last you almost two and a half days! Unless you have a peanut allergy.

Bite of more peanut butter than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Oh I have included a human brain and spine to assist zombies with calculating their average daily energy intake. And for anyone contemplating cannibalism. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015


So Vitamin G reviewed the Aussie zombie film Wyrmwood. In the movie Barry is forced to kill a colleague who has become infected, because a quick death is more merciful. Actually Barry does quite a bit of mercy killing in the movie.

Killing someone you know is a great horror plot device. But it doesn't happen in real life does it? 

When Louis Pasteur was working on a rabies vaccine in 1884, he and his colleagues had to take samples from live rabid dogs they kept in the laboratory. With a 100 percent morality rate, one nip meant certain death. The story goes they kept a loaded revolver on hand in case someone was bitten. The most courageous of the team was then expected to shoot their infected team mate. Luckily the revolver was never needed.

This was just one of the many things I discovered from reading the book Rabid by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy.

If you want to find a disease that comes close to a "zombie virus" then rabies is it. It causes aggression, hallucinations and the fear of water. Infected animals will come out of the wilds to fearlessly attack humans. However it is a bit slow to infect you. Once bitten by an infected animal, it sometimes takes months for the virus to slowly creep up your spine to finally attack your brain. Despite a vaccine being available, about 55,000 people still die of rabies each year. Hardly anyone survives. 

The history of rabies inspired many legends including zombies. For example, the movie 28 Days Later, which features the rage virus, was inspired by rabies. After all, "rabies" is Latin for rage.

This book is a bit dry in places but if you want to appreciate a disease that struck terror in people for centuries, it is essential reading.

Bite bite bite...more that you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead - The Verdict

Last year BZF showcased the trailer for the then upcoming film Wyrmwood, fast forward a few months, with a new subtitle added and this loud and proud Aussie zombie flick finally made it onto cinema screens for a limited release.  The session I attended was completely sold out and apparently this was the trend for most of the screenings around the country.

With a promise of Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead, I will admit that the director/writer/producers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner (yes they are brothers) have certainly delivered a commendable film on a measly $160,000 budget!

Wyrmwood has no problem dishing out zombie after zombie and the action sequences are well choreographed.  The storyline hurtles along at a blistering pace, as we the audience try to hold onto as many severed limbs as possible for the ride.  The main character Barry the mechanic is supported by a superb supporting cast and a special mention must go to Leon Burchill who delivers an excellent performance as Barry's hilarious sidekick.

Without giving too much away, I was impressed by the inventive elements that were explored in what is already a well trodden genre.  These creative ideas certainly set Wyrmwood aside from its bigger brothers and it's no surprise that a sequel has been announced with a loose release date somewhere in 2017.  My only personal criticism for the film was that the writers took a few liberties when it came to forcing the audience to accept certain premises within story.  This wasn't a major problem, but I found myself asking once or twice 'what/how did that happen and why?'  I think with maybe a bit more time dedicated to the world surrounding Wyrmwood this would certainly aid in grounding the characters and the action around them.

Check out the trailer for this fantastic addition to the Aussie zombie genre as you enter the world of Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead!!

Bite you later

Mr Vitamin G

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Apocalypse Hal - Cloud

We are talking about word clouds. Not that other cloud thingy where old instagrams go to  moulder in cyberspace.

Remember that survey I put up? Well there was only one person who did it that was not family, friend or work colleague (thanks Mike). The low response rate meant I had to do a bit of fiddling with the data but I got enough to do a zombie apocalypse word cloud. 

Tra la!

If you have never seen one, the bigger the word the more it resonates emotionally with people. Not surprising most people associate "horror" with the zombie apocalypse. Followed by "maggots" and "hunger" and so on. Interestingly, lack of Tim Tams rated higher than being ripped apart. People know their priorities.

What does it mean? No bloody idea but it looks cool and all creative. Next up is creating a mood board for the zombie apocalypse. Interior decorating will never be the same again.

Bite off more horror than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Wheres Wally Zombie Edition!

Hey there BZF babes, it is our solemn duty here at BZF to bring a wide variety of all things zombie to every woman, man and child - literally!!  This week its one for the kids and the kids at heart as Mr Rimsky embarked on  a covert mission to the Public Library!

On completion of said mission, Mr Rimsky left a rather familiar looking book on my desk but one with a zombie twist. Everyone would remember Where's Wally (or Where's Waldo depending on the country of publication), the beloved nerdy guy in his famous red and white striped sweater with matching beanie and unfashionably high-waisted jeans.  The aim of the game is to seek out Wally in different locations all over the world without being tricked by all the decoys who are sometimes dressed in similar attire to throw you off track.  

Now we are presented with the zombie version of Wheres Wally titled Where's The Zombie which takes the same premise but replaces Wally with a family of flesh hungry zombies who are doing their best to avoid your roaming eyes.

Each time you turn the page, more and more zombies fill the page and they begin to out number the surviving humans, making it increasingly difficult for you to locate your family of 10 (yes 10! including two decaying pets).  Obviously this book borrows heavily from Where's Wally, but it's a good book for kids with a penchant for all things gross with some humour thrown in.

See below some of my preferred scenarios:

I might be old but I can beat up a zombie with my walking stick whilst rollerblading!

The cows have gone mad!!!

Some jerk still has the time to hand out wedgies in the apocalypse!!

Bite you later

Mr Vitamin G

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Apocalypse Hal - amygdala hijack

Do you wonder how will you respond in a zombie crisis? Think you will be all calm and cool like some action hero?

Not if your cunning little brain kicks in with some hardwired survival mechanisms.The amygdala takes over when you experience a terrifying situation and orders a bucket load of hormones to get dumped into your bloodstream. So powerful can this reaction be, that Daniel Goleman coined the term “amygdala hijack” in his 1996 book Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ

And hijack the brain it does, inhibiting rational thought while creating the freezing, fleeing, fighting and fawning response.

Keeping the amygdala under control is not easy. One option is to get drunk. Turns out alcohol can suppress the amygdala. However being blind drunk raises it own issues. Apart from poor fashion choices and crashing the car, guzzling alcohol while under stress is thought to increase the chance of developing Post-Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Bite off more fear than you can chew

Mr Rimsky