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The 33 Rules of Zombieland: How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Here at Anything Zombie, we want to prepare you for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Therefore, we watched Zombieland 33 times to make sure we understood Columbus’s 33 rules for survival when the zombies attack. Columbus comes up with these rules to keep himself and his companions safe while trekking across the country. Because they work, we’ve gathered them all here in one place for you.

We explored every nuance of the film and distilled it to this list, expanding on the rules with helpful suggestions. While you may want to watch the film, once, twice, or even three times – reading, memorizing, and living this list will keep you safe.

These rules offer practical guidelines.

In the apocalypse, nobody has time for uselessly vague rules like “follow your passion,” “lead with your heart,” or “put your best foot forward.” Consider this a crash-course in zombie survival – with training on conditioning, safety, and knowing who you can trust. We only offer practical advice, such as the proper way to execute a zombie, staying focused, and changing your underwear.

Post these rules on your bathroom mirror. Memorize them. Make sure you can execute them. Have your zombie go-bag packed. When the apocalypse hits, remember the rules. They may save your life.

Rule #1: Cardio

The faster you run, the further away you can be from a zombie.

Most zombies are slow, but there’s a whole lot of them to run from. Plus, you may find yourself needing to outsprint a faster zombie, or even the dreaded zombie dog! If you can’t be faster than the zombies, at least be faster than your friends. Log some miles and run some sprints. Your life depends on it!

zombieland-rules

Rule #2: The Double Tap

Never assume a zombie is dead.

Always make sure with a clean shot to the brain. But stay out of arm’s reach as you execute the double-tap. You don’t want a zombie’s hand on your ankle as you shoot. It may throw off your aim and mess up your pants leg.

Rule #3: Beware of Bathrooms

Zombies can be sneaky.

Always be cautious when entering the “facilities”. They like to sit on the basin with their feet on the bowl, waiting to grab you as you open the door or stand at the sink. Make sure the restroom is clear. Better yet, use a tree outside.

BONUS Rule: Remember To Have Fun

At some point, you look forward to a zombie-free life, or at least a break.

You need to remember how to have fun without twitching at every noise. Escape Room Z is the best way for you and your buddies to unwind after a long day of escaping zombies. It also gives you a low energy way to improve your anti-zombie skills. (We played Escape Room Z and had a blast! Check out my review)

Escape room Z kit

Rule #4: Wear Your Seatbelt

There will already be enough to worry about, with the living dead running around.

Make sure you’re buckled-in secure, just in case. Getting ejected from a car will turn you into zombie fodder faster than you can say “brain dead.” And you don’t want the last thing you ever see to be the mouth of a zombie as he pulls you off the steering wheel and out the window. Buckle up! It saves lives.

Rule #5: No Attachments

Here today, zombie tomorrow.

That’s the way of the world in the apocalypse. So don’t get too attached to your travel buddies. You may be blowing their brains out in the end.  No matter how many times you promise each other, in heartfelt tones over cans of pork ‘n beans, to blow each other’s brains out, you may hesitate a second too long when the time comes. You’re in this to survive, not make the next Lifetime movie.

Rule #6: Cast Iron Skillet

Sturdy and portable, this household item makes a great zombie deterrent.

One good swat to the head, then a double-tap. Best recipe around.

Rule #7: Travel Light

Only carry the necessities.

You never know when you’re going to have to pick up and go in a hurry. No framed pictures, no teddy bears, and no trophies from 10-year-old baseball. Sentimental feelings get you killed. If it does not keep you alive, ditch it.

Rule #8: Get a Kickass Partner

Always good to have an experienced zombie killer on your side.

Chuck Norris works best. Zombies see him and kill themselves. If you can’t find Chuck, find someone with a few notches on their belt (and gun, and water bottle, and backpack).

Rule #9: With Your Bare Hands

Always have some kind of weapon at the ready.

Do you really wanna touch these undead freaks with your bare skin? You would touch a zombie with a 10-foot pole, but not with your hands. The farther away they are when they splatter, the better.

Rule #10: Don’t Swing Low

Despite how some females feel about men, all brains are located in the head.

That’s where you wanna aim. Remember, zombies don’t feel pain. They’re either dead (a good zombie) or ‘alive’ (a bad zombie). Go for the kill shot.

Rule #11: Use Your Feet

Running, jumping, kicking away zombies.

Your feet are always something you should take full advantage of. See Rule #1. Your feet can save you, but only if properly trained. Also, see Rule #9. Running beats kicking a zombie any day.

Rule #12: Bounty Paper Towels

When it comes to the undead, you can never be too clean.

Always carry these for messes, big or small. They’re the quicker picker-upper. They handle blood, gore, and puke better than other leading brands.

Rule #13: Shake It Off

Whether it be bad thoughts, shock, or a zombie, you gotta shake it off.

Stay focused. Stay in the moment. Only worry about what is right in front of you, especially if it is a zombie. Anything else, shake it off, forget about it, and move on. Your survival depends on it, grasshopper.

Rule #14: Always Carry a Change of Underwear

You never know when you might need it.

See Rules #12 and #30 as well. Once you’ve escaped the zombies, you might prefer a more relaxing, fresh feeling.

Rule #15: Bowling Ball

While it may not kill a zombie, it can definitely incapacitate a number of them at a time to set up for the Double Tap.

Just watch out for the 7-10 split. If you focus too much on the leader of the pack, the ones on the outside may run you down, split you open, and leave you in the gutter.

Rule #16: Opportunity Knocks

And whenever it does, make sure you answer.

But only answer opportunity, not a zombie. Be sure you know what is on the other side of the door before you answer. If you see a zombie and have to answer, do so with a gun or black iron skillet.

Rule #17: (Don’t) Be a Hero

Unless it’s a matter of life and death, there’s no need to show off.

No high score exists in the zombie apocalypse. You will not find a leaderboard. There are no points. You win by staying alive. Showing off eventually leads to your gruesome death.

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Rule #18: Limber Up

Nothing will slow you down like a pulled muscle.

And a pulled muscle will end with you pulled apart. Stretch constantly, like a cat. Zombies will not wait five minutes for you to complete a warm-up routine.

Rule #19: Break It Up

It’s always good to blow off a little steam.

If the zombie apocalypse has you all stressed out, just break something. Just make sure it’s not anything important. Break a stick, a clod of dirt, or the framed picture of your Aunt Linda that you should not have in your pack anyway (see Rule #7). Do not break weapons, water bottles, or your travel companion’s noggin.

(Looking for a less-destructive stress-release to pass the time? Try a thrilling zombie escape room adventure!)

Rule #20: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Unless it’s time to sprint… then sprint. And sprint for your life.

Hopefully, you performed your cardio workouts. If not, this could be the shortest (and last) sprint you ever run.

Rule #21: Avoid Strip Clubs

While a brainless environment may seem like the perfect hiding place, strip clubs distract you.

Without seeing what dangers surround you, you could easily fall prey to a zombie… plus… it’s way more ‘icky’ in there now that everyone’s dead…

Rule #22: When in Doubt, Know Your Way Out

Always have an escape route.

You never know when you might have to run. Never, never, hole up in an area you don’t know. Research your terrain. Before doing anything, make sure you find the nearest exit. Remember, the nearest exit may be behind your seat. Failing to know how to escape may prevent escape.

Rule #23: Ziploc

Those little bags are for more than sandwiches.

They help keep moisture out, so it’s always good to have them handy. Put your phone in one to keep it dry when you cross a creek. Put your snack bars in another. Your copy of How to Survive Zombies Without Looking Like One in another. Never your weapon. You need it available in case you get surprised.

Rule #24: Use Your Thumbs

Ours were made opposable for a reason.

They’re useful for grabbing things, like guns and black iron skillets.

Rule #25: Shoot First

You don’t have to ask zombies anything anyways.

What are you planning? Will you place the zombie under a bright light and play good cop/bad cop? Are you looking for the location of the hidden zombie plans for world domination? Will you ask the zombie to take you to its leader? Shoot! Then, shoot again!

Rule #26: A Little Sunscreen Never Hurt Anybody

Do you really wanna have to worry about sunburn, too?

Besides, the smell of sunburned flesh will summon zombies faster than flowers attract bees.

Rule #27: Incoming!

Always be on your toes.

You never know what could come out of nowhere. You need eyes in the back of your head. No headphones or loud music. No white noise. No binging zombie shows on Netflix. You need to be alert 24/7.

Rule #28: Double-knot Your Shoes

You don’t want to trip over unsecured laces while running from flesh hungry zombies, now do you?

Velcro laces work well too. You don’t want to see, in your last moment on earth, your untied shoestrings dangling while zombies bite your legs. Safety first!

Rule #29: The Buddy System

The more, the merrier. Never go it alone.

See Rule #27. At some point, you will need to sleep. One of you must always be on guard. If you try to go it alone, you could end up with a zombie alarm clock.

Rule #30: Pack Your Stain Stick

For those tough, ground in bloodstains.

Zombies can smell blood, so you don’t want it on your clothes. Also, you may not be a zombie, so you certainly don’t want to look and smell like one, right?

Rule #31: Check the Back Seat

As stated before, zombies can be sneaky.

Check before you enter the car, not after. They’re sneaky, not bright. A quick glance should tell you whether you can enter. A failure to glance and your head will be facing backward not long after you hit the gas.

Rule #32: Enjoy the Little Things

It’ll help you keep your sanity.

Just because the apocalypse struck, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. Take in the blood-red sunset. Stop and smell the flowers. Play games with your friends (like this epic zombie escape room game). However, if you see the red dripping off of the roses, run.

Rule #33: Swiss Army Knife

Multitools are always a good idea.

While you will not want to fight with it (see Rule #9), you can eat dinner with it, whittle stakes with it, and use it to build traps to warn you of incoming zombies. Best of all, it takes up almost no space (See Rule #7).

What other rules would you add to this impressive set regarding survival during the zombie apocalypse?

12 replies on “The 33 Rules of Zombieland: How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse”

#?? Crowbars
Crowbars can get you into places, break into locked things like vending machines, make good ad hoc weapons, and can be used to bar doors. Again, good ad hoc weapons.

#?? Hammer
Lots of similarities to crowbars. Good with skulls.

#?? Stay loaded – Always have extra bullets, you never know when you’ll run out of ammo
#?? Take your chances – If someone offers any essentials(like bullets or guns), take that offer.
#?? Check the food – Whenever you find food that isn’t yours, always check it to make sure there isn’t anything unwanted in it. ALWAYS check the expiration date.

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#??: Weapon training: You should pick weapons that are easy and comfortable to use. 9MMs, Shotguns, and Semi-Auto rifles are best.

#??: Teamwork: Pretty common sense. Zombies tend to attack in teams, so you need to do the same.

#??: Get a big vehicle: More space; More gas mileage; better armor; might have some useful junk in the trunk.

#??: Can’t find it, craft it: Learn to make simple tools or weapons, like shivs, clubs, knives, or molotovs.

#??: Cook your own food: Similar to the previous rule. You won’t be getting your meals from McDonald’s. You gotta become your own chef.

#??: Drink plenty of water: Self-explanatory.

#??: Keep a radio handy: Communication is important. Radios can make it much easier.

#?? The only time you can have too much fuel is when the car/aircraft is on fire.
#?? Engage from a standoff if possible. Why fight fair? See Apache helicopter.
#?? Keep the greasy side down. Driving/flying like a madman rarely works out. See Rules #4 #20, #22,

Door wedges.

You will often find yourself needing to put a door between you and a horde of flesh-eating freaks. A door wedge will make sure that door stays shut behind you exactly 50% of the time. I like those odds.

#?? Stealth – Just because they aren’t the smartest doesn’t mean they cant hear.
#?? Be prepared to be scared – Your running for your life so just know your going to get scared.
#?? Make sure they know you care – Stated in rule #5 you might end up killing or watching your friends/family/or pets die, so just make sure they know that you care and your doing this for their own good.
#?? The samurai rule – Just like the samurai you need to know how to think of yourself as already dead so you don’t fear death.
#?? Know what’s to come – Know if you get bit you have to die. Either kill yourself or have others do it for you. say your goodbye’s fast and don’t be scared, keep in mind your helping others.

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