The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Great Debates

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-03-2004, 08:44 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Would humanity survive a dawn of the dead scenario

As a respite from all the political threads i'm starting this one. I just watched dawn of the dead and I think the military and FEMA would've done a much better job of containing the threat than they did, in the movie the zombies were still in control after 3 weeks or so. Zombies are very stupid, they can't even operate doorknobs, and can be killed by being shot in the head. Their only weapons are bites and clawing with their fingernails. All of the zombines surrounding the mall in the movie could've been taken care of with one military grade armored personnel carrier armed with a machine-gun and 2 or 3 soldiers manning it. These types of weapons and soldier set-ups exist all over the nation.

Soooooooooooo, would zombies coming back to life really completely destroy life as we know it? They seem pretty easy for an organized military or paramilitary force to kill and their attacking methods (biting) seem very very easy to avoid. All you need is an armored vehicle equipted with a gun or machinegun. It wouldn't be too hard to quarantine the infected either, especially if you quarantined them before they came back to life. I would assume within a few weeks 90% of them would be dead again. The remaining 10% may cause havoc but they could be destroyed too.

Best. Thread. Ever.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-03-2004, 08:53 PM
EsotericEnigma EsotericEnigma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
The military would have absolutely no chance against the zombies in dawn of the dead.

The main reason they would fail is because they would not recognize what was happening until a very large number of people were zombies, and by then there would be no hope of saving humanity.

Remember, the zombies are everywhere, and they only have to kill people to "win". Everyone they kill becomes a zombie that kills more people.

The military is NOT everywhere, and they have to protect a significant number of people who don't know how to fight and have no way to defend against them, otherwise they lose.

Eventually, the fuel stops flowing for those personell carriers and the bullets run out for those machine guns. It takes more bullets to kill a zombie than it takes to kill a person, and a significant portion of the world's military strength has already been killed in their beds or at the grocery store.

In short, zombies beat the shit out of you, me, and the combined strength of all the militaries of the world.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-03-2004, 08:58 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
A single APC could easily take care of 10,000 zombies a day if the zombies were in a congested area and the person on the machinegun was a relatively good shot. I'm sure the government has billions of rounds of ammunition lying around. At the very least they have to have hundreds of millions of 50 caliber rounds lying around. The APC uses gas but evenso gas can be lifted from gas stations or the emergency reserves in the US.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:00 PM
Chairman Pow Chairman Pow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Well, the answer against fast zombies is obviously: no for the reasons the previous poster stated as well as previous DotD movie threads have indicated.

Think about an enemy that a) is only killed by being shot in a very hard to reach area (or burning them which would be much easier but have significantly higher collateral costs. There was a thread on dropping nukes on cities recently that would be applicabe) b) never stops and can't be taken by surprise c) has the nearly unlimited power to create extra enemies while you only have the ability to lock yourself away. Not a good scenario.

However, if you're wondering if the zombies of the original films can be defeated, we'll have to wait until next year to see how the sequel turns out.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:30 PM
EsotericEnigma EsotericEnigma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark
A single APC could easily take care of 10,000 zombies a day if the zombies were in a congested area and the person on the machinegun was a relatively good shot. I'm sure the government has billions of rounds of ammunition lying around. At the very least they have to have hundreds of millions of 50 caliber rounds lying around. The APC uses gas but evenso gas can be lifted from gas stations or the emergency reserves in the US.
Assuming it takes a burst of 5 bullets to kill a zombie on average (what I consider to be a very very conservative estimate), are you telling me an APC can fire 50,000 bullets without a problem? I find this unlikely.

I also find it unlikely that any large number of these weapons could be fielded before the Shit Hits The Fan, and when the SHTF, it's all over anwyay.

The fact that there are billions of rounds of ammunition laying around doesn't address the issue of how to distribute them. They're all sitting in warehouses and storage bunkers, with no way to reach the front lines of the conflict because all of the delivery drivers and oil refiners have their heads ripped off.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:39 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
BBBBRRRRRAAAAAIIIIIIIHHHHHHNNNNNNZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:41 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 9,245
After BrainGlutton eats all the brains, the zombies would all starve. Problem solved.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:44 PM
Brutus Brutus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Humans would survive, but civilization as we know it would end.

The zombies were quick and dangerous, but not too bright. The characters in the movie could have killed hundreds at the mall with the simple expedient of duct-taping a screwdriver to a length of PVC and just poking them in the head. Zombies didn't look like they were too big on 'self-preservation'.

Not to mention, once an area was 'sanitized', I presume it would be fairly safe, especially if it were out in the boonies. The (new) movie doesn't touch on the source of the zombification, but it's not like it's going to be spontaneous; Once you are away from the zombies, you should be safe (safer, at least.)

My question would be: How long before nukular reactors start wigging out? I presume they (at least the older ones) need regular human intervention. Take away the humans, and couldn't we be looking at meltdowns?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:52 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
The zombies don't appear to be interested in eating anything but warm human flesh. (Remember how the dog ran past them with a knapsack of canned goods on his back, and they paid no attention?) Assuming they're not supernatural, but animated by some kind of virus or something, it wouldn't be more than a few weeks before they all starved to death. For that matter, since they don't seem to be interested in drinking water, they would all die of thirst in a few days.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-03-2004, 09:55 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
BTW -- although this is more of a CS observation -- no zombie movie made later has been nearly as scary as Romero's original black-and-white 1968 version of Night of the Living Dead. It's not about the gross-out and the splatter, guys, it's about atmosphere!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-03-2004, 10:38 PM
Chairman Pow Chairman Pow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
The zombies don't appear to be interested in eating anything but warm human flesh. (Remember how the dog ran past them with a knapsack of canned goods on his back, and they paid no attention?) Assuming they're not supernatural, but animated by some kind of virus or something, it wouldn't be more than a few weeks before they all starved to death. For that matter, since they don't seem to be interested in drinking water, they would all die of thirst in a few days.
Ah, the 28 Days Later scenario.

Brutus, there was a Staff report on this very subject and ancillary threads related to this as well. Here's the report.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-03-2004, 10:42 PM
Blalron Blalron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Would Nuclear Weapons do any good?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-03-2004, 10:44 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blalron
Would Nuclear Weapons do any good?
What do you think re-animated the zombies in the first place?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-03-2004, 11:10 PM
EsotericEnigma EsotericEnigma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Zombies are not animated by a virus.

If it were a virus, we'd all be seriously screwed, because it would take significantly less than dying from a zombie bite to become one.

The rage infected humans in 28 days later were not, not, NOT zombies, guys. They were just rage infected people. That's why it's possible to beat them.

Make no mistake about it, zombies do not simply die on their own. It takes a chainsaw, a fire, or a machine gun to kill them in any sort of predictible way.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-03-2004, 11:57 PM
Blalron Blalron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutus
Humans would survive, but civilization as we know it would end.

The zombies were quick and dangerous, but not too bright. The characters in the movie could have killed hundreds at the mall with the simple expedient of duct-taping a screwdriver to a length of PVC and just poking them in the head. Zombies didn't look like they were too big on 'self-preservation'.
This depends upon the ratio of zombies to living people. Since it seemed like they were in an urban area that may have been somewhat like sweeping sand off the beach. Also depends on whether zombies can smell or otherwise sense the presence of the living.

I also pondered the possibility of making zombie proof suits that couldn't be bitten through to protect oneself.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-04-2004, 12:14 AM
Cat Fight Cat Fight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
The zombies don't appear to be interested in eating anything but warm human flesh. (Remember how the dog ran past them with a knapsack of canned goods on his back, and they paid no attention?)
[off topic]
Has there ever been a zombie movie in which zombies ignore some humans as well e.g. sick people, the handicapped (I'm not sure if the guy from 28 Days Later was safe because of his coma)?
[/off topic]
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-04-2004, 12:20 AM
Brutus Brutus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blalron
...I also pondered the possibility of making zombie proof suits that couldn't be bitten through to protect oneself.
Ya...like those shark suits...Hrmm. Something else to add to my SHTF kit!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-04-2004, 08:21 AM
Kayeby Kayeby is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Cat Fight, I think the guy in 28 Days Later was safe because someone locked the door and slipped the key under in case he ever woke up. At least that's the impression I always got.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-04-2004, 09:38 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by EsotericEnigma
Zombies are not animated by a virus.

If it were a virus, we'd all be seriously screwed, because it would take significantly less than dying from a zombie bite to become one.
Not necessarily. Some things, like AIDS and rabies, are not airborne and can only be transmitted via exchange of bodily fluids.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-04-2004, 09:56 AM
Darkhold Darkhold is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
I've never bought the logistics of zombie movies there's simply not enough viable corpses around to seriously threaten humanity after we figure out what's going on.

Hospitals and morgues would be wiped out then it would spread for a little as people panicked and fled. After that it would be shooting fish in a barrel. One sniper would be able to kill zombies all day from a secure location and even amateurs armed with handguns and clubs should be able to kill 3 or 4 for every time they get turned and if we were fighting in groups we'd be able to finish off any of our teammates before they in turn became zombies. After we destroyed the original wave 'zombie disposal' would become a crappy job probably under the sanitation department with ties to the Soprano family.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-04-2004, 10:11 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,658
Construction machinery.

The use of bulldozers & skipshovels would crush many zombies to destruction or immobility.

As would agricultural combines.

After 90 days, decomposition would begin to take its toll, as would carrion birds.
__________________
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
~~~William Butler Yeats
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-04-2004, 10:56 AM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
This is a point I've never seen addressed in zombie fiction: Ok, you whack them out in scores with your trusty mini gun from the roof of your house. You're stacking up zombies like cordwood. No problem.
However, they simply revert to what they were before, namely corpses. Hundreds or thousands of corpses rotting away in the warm spring breeze. There would be a real health threat to the living from such a thing, no? In such a senario, disease would possibly take out a good part of the remaindered population.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-04-2004, 12:48 PM
Chairman Pow Chairman Pow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
After 90 days, decomposition would begin to take its toll, as would carrion birds.
This is addressed in Day of the Dead.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.