Cologne daring duo offer survival tips for battling zombies | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 27.10.2010
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Cologne daring duo offer survival tips for battling zombies

As Halloween approaches most people are no doubt busy buying pumpkins to turn into Jack-o-lanterns. In which case the need for protection against an army of rampaging zombies may well have been forgotten.

Zombie hunters Till and Frank brandish a gun and chainsaw on their hunt for zombies

Zombies beware: Till and Frank are on a clean-up mission

But, should the living dead decide to invade this Halloween, help is at hand thanks to Cologne-based group "Post-Mortale Lebensformen" (Post-mortal life forms) who offer a wide range of tips and tricks you might need to do battle with blood-thirsty zombies.

According to their website they can teach everything from the basics to battle techniques and survival strategies and, thankfully, advise that "previous experience is not essential."

The group is headed by Till Rigmor and Frank Hartmann. These self-styled zombie hunters claim to be Germany's "first and only zombie experts," and their survival workshops take the form of an interactive theatre experience complete with weapons, rampaging zombies and plenty of fake blood.

Zombies, central characters to classic horror films such as "Night of the Living Dead" and "Zombie Bloodbath" are "undead people infected with the zombie virus," explains Frank Hartmann. "They're extremely dangerous because they are driven by the desire to eat other people."

But how do you recognise a zombie from, say, a living blood-thirsty maniac? "There are four basic signs," says Hartmann, "First, he's dead so he smells bad. Like a piece of meat lying in the sun. His lungs don't work but there's still air in his body so they make this weird hissing sound. They have a stumbling walk and the last thing is a zombie is not able to speak."

A zombie

"Post-Mortale Lebensformen" can help you prepare for when zombies strike!

Some might argue that despite zombies' insatiable lust for blood, they tend to move at a rather sedate pace so surely the only survival tip necessary in this case is a brisk walk. However, should you find yourself having to engage in combat with the undead, remember this; you can only kill a zombie by destroying its brain.

"We like the crowbar," explains Till Rigmor, "With one side you can stab through the eyeballs or with the other, smash the zombie over the head."

"But the chainsaw is also a very efficient weapon," adds Frank Hartmann.

Hartmann and Rigmor also advise packing plenty of sweets in your survival bag to top up your sugar levels whilst out on the hunt, water - "or beer" adds Frank - to quench your thirst and a camera to document any sightings or kills. But they also warn that even trained zombie hunters shouldn't get too cocky. "Stay alert," advises Hartmann, "Just because you know how to fight a zombie doesn't mean it won't attack you."

As you head off into the night towards the local Halloween party keep your eyes and ears open. An invasion of zombies may just be about to hit a town near you…

Author: Monika Griebeler (nl)

Editor: Sue Cox

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