They're coming to get you [a thoughtful gift], Barbara.
August 2, 2009 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me throw an awesome Zombie Apocalypse theme party!

My boyfriend is obsessed with the idea of a Zombie Apocalypse, so for his birthday, I want to surprise him with a theme party. Not a people-dressed-as-zombies thing, but a last-outpost-of-humanity vibe. Boarded-up windows, canned food hors d'oeuvres, candlelight... the whole nine yards. What can I do to really sell this? You're a creative bunch: help me convince him that he is celebrating his birthday among the last survivors.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
You need those fires in oil drums to huddle around. Use them for roasting rats-on-sticks.

Pretty much the same as a hobo theme bbq, come to think of it.
posted by rokusan at 9:17 PM on August 2, 2009

Tell everyone to bring flashlights. Cut the power. Rent a generator to power the stereo, or run extension cords in from the hall.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:18 PM on August 2, 2009

Best answer: How about pre-arranging, with all the people who can't make it, to record "goodbye, our position is about to be overrun and we expect to be eaten" messages, as if on survivors' radio?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:22 PM on August 2, 2009 [7 favorites]

Lots of canned food!
posted by ttyn at 9:22 PM on August 2, 2009

Have a machete laying around somewhere.

Also, you are awesome for doing this.
posted by at 9:23 PM on August 2, 2009

Hire some people to keep banging at the outside walls/windows? Running soundtrack of mrrmmrrrr's and grmarmrm?

Zombie apocalypse is grim. Grim. It'd be a hard life without much rest nor merriment.

Have someone, a couple of hours in, 'TURN ZOMBIE' and start (trying) to eat people.

Serve dog food set up as appetizers instead of real appetizers?

Survivors have 'Go Bags' when It happends; prepare a backpack full of "useful stuff*" when the zombie apocalypse (that you planned and have people pretending to be zombies zombify) grab the go-bag and have an intimiate little night with the bf?

*"useful stuff" as in sexual versions of survival gears that you get to play with the bf
posted by porpoise at 9:26 PM on August 2, 2009

In Left 4 Dead the safe rooms have great finger-painted messages to warn the next occupants that find their way there. The standard crazy "repent!" apocalypse messages as well as tactical ones like listing the places that are overrun (e.g. your BF's hangouts). You could paint on your walls with easily washable toddler tempora paint or get some white butcher paper to hang up. Remember the bloody handprints and random blood smears! Take some random bludgeoning objects from around the appt/house and cover one end in the tempura as well and then sprinkle them around the appt. as discarded zombie weapons. Write "Alive Inside" backwards on the windows and on the outside of the door. Try to move the bulk of the furniture into a barricade pile near the door and sit on pillows/cushions.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:44 PM on August 2, 2009

Example scrawlings: 1, 2
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:48 PM on August 2, 2009

Any way to theme up the snacks so they look like things that people would want during the Zombie Apocalypse? I bet an enterprising chef could make cocktail weenies look like 12-gauge shells. And we all know that alcohol is perfect for disinfecting those bites.

Is anyone willing to spend time in a semi-blocked off room as a captured zombie? Even if they're not, I'd recommend piling some furniture up against doors you aren't using (so long as they're not fire exits)

If people are going to turn zombie, maybe you should have a team stay human and give them some Nerf launchers. Headshots only, of course.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 9:51 PM on August 2, 2009

Graffiti from "28 Days Later": "Repent! The end is extremely fucking nigh!"
posted by GaelFC at 10:10 PM on August 2, 2009

My vision of a zombie apocalypse involves jumping naked on a circle bed. YMMV.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:06 PM on August 2, 2009

Awesome party idea!

Get some empty dog food cans from someone with dogs and leave them on the kitchen counter. Discard the packaging from the food you actually serve.

I recommend staying with the melee weapons and not getting any airsoft or real (!) firearms as props. Nothing puts a damper on a party like having a SWAT team burst through the door. Wouldn't hurt to notify your local police beforehand anyway.

The playlist should include R.E.M's "It's the end of the world as we know it".
posted by Harald74 at 12:15 AM on August 3, 2009

Best answer: Give everyone some kind of brightly coloured mixed drink at the door, preferably in a test tube, and tell them it's their "Antidote". To being a zombie.

I don't know what the dog food theme is here. With so many fewer humans around, wouldn't there be a great surplus of tinned human food and sealed drinks? Would anyone drink anything but sparkling mineral water, expensive champagne and 12 year old Scotch? All I know is that when the zombies come, the hell I'm having Pal for dinner.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:19 AM on August 3, 2009

Perhaps you can have one zombie at the party, but chained in a closet with the door open so everyone can see them and they can still interact with the party. Preferably, this person would be known and trusted by everyone (hence them not having been killed already).

In a lot of zombie stories it often happens that someone's kid becomes a zombie and they can't bring themselves to kill them, so they lock the kid up in a barn and hope that there's going to be a cure found, or that the Army is coming to save them.

If you haven't looked at Max Brooks' book World War Z, I would do so. I believe he's also written a zombie apoc survival manual, to accompany it.

Good luck. This is a neat twist on a familiar theme.
posted by Sully at 3:02 AM on August 3, 2009

This and this should be your soundtracks for the evening.
posted by permafrost at 3:56 AM on August 3, 2009

Best answer: Don't forget to tell people to wear their favorite survival gear. They should try to look all disheveled and desperate. What's the point of looking good for the end of the world?
posted by orme at 4:56 AM on August 3, 2009

You could play Last Night on Earth, the Zombie Apocalypse board game. It has a very good sense of humor; basically each player is a zombie movie cliche (the Nurse, the Drifter, the Sheriff)...
posted by musofire at 5:33 AM on August 3, 2009

Best answer: Buy a big pink sheet of stiff styrofoam from a home improvement store (they're about 9 bucks a piece). Cut them freehand to approximately board size. Sand the rough edges down, prime them, paint them with watered down latex paints (brown, beige, gray etc....get a few cans of "oops" paint for 3 bucks a piece) and a large cheap bristly brush and voila! You've got your boards for all of your windows! Attach them to the window moulding with double sided foam tape or 3M, and you're all set.

I did this several years ago when I turned my home into Crystal Lake for Halloween....I can't tell you how well it went over. And *bonus*'s cheap!
posted by Biglew at 8:51 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know what kind of time frame you're working with, but you can definitely order boxes of MREs off of eBay or any other survivalist or army surplus type sites (they come in vegetarian varieties too, if you got friends that can't do the meat, tinned and preserved or not). I don't know, some people don't like how MREs taste, I personally loved that shit as a kid. However, considering I'm in a thread with suggestions for tinned human AND dog food, MREs don't seem like a bad idea. Just throw a bunch of it in a pile and tell people to "dig in. We've been running low and it's [insert name here]'s birthday. Have to celebrate something when shit get's this bad, right? So we finally raided that abandoned military caravan earlier today that we've been scouting for weeks to make sure there wouldn't be any surprise guests in and around those trucks. I can't help but feel bad for all those poor bastards who marched off to military bases thinking the army could help them. All it takes is one infected. One, and you can kiss your ass goodbye in any 'safezone.' And don't think I would hesitate to blow your fucking head off if you so much as get a paper cut. I didn't survive this long being soft. Ain't that the rub? Need people to keep what's outside out there, but people bring the outside in here."

I'd totally make a speech at some point in the night about how that night might be the gang's last night at the place. Supplies have been depleted, morale is low, the number of able-bodied people is starting to shrink and the zombies have got a whiff of the joint, so more and more of them are showing up and are starting to mob and surround the place. The camp's divided between people who want to stay, people who want to leave because they've heard of another place they could go to, and all the in betweens like those who want to wait until winter or those who just want to go back home and die in their own beds. So whatever the outcome, tomorrow will be the last stand for everyone and you all are celebrating an (in)auspicious birthday. One last thing to remind you that you've lived long and that you're human.

I also feel like a zombie apocalypse party would be a phenomenal excuse to have a lock-in type party. It'd give it a total Night of the Living Dead vibe to be stuck in a place all night. though that might be tougher to pull off since you'd need to have some folks pretty dedicated to the party theme to stick around a couple of hours at a time.

OH! OH! Totally play Mafia, except, you know, a zombie version. Like some people will have to be the infected. For example, instead of "Night" and "Day" have it be Shifts. Pick an infected who doesn't kill people but infects people. Have the rest of the innocents try to figure out who the infected are, etc.
posted by kkokkodalk at 9:46 AM on August 3, 2009

If it is a true zombie apocalypse, and people are in full on survival mode, a birthday by itself is little cause for celebration. If you come up with a backstory, the ideas for what you can do start coming together.

I'd throw a party in my zombie apocalypse if i had: a secure location, a group of survivors rejoining after a long separation, the discovery of a cache of alcohol/liquor/medkits, and someone showing up with a working boombox with cassettes/an easy bake oven for making a cake/a first aid kit (get your shots, heh)/a book of poetry for an impromptu reading...
posted by enfa at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2009

Heh. My friends did this a few years back. Cool things we did:

Had a webcam broadcasting from one room to another for grainy " We're trapped and surrounded" messages.

Lots of improvised weapons lying around (nerf guns, foam bats, padded pipes, etc) for impromptu battles.

Lots of hiding places for jumping out a surprising others.

Face pain in the bathrooms.

Lots of flickering fluorescent lights (I have no idea how they found them all)

Foods that resembled human parts.

Snipers to welcome all party goers.

My own addition to this party was lame, but I had fun, I dressed up in normal street clothes and was the first person to die. I'd constantly go into rooms saying victim-y things like "It's totally safe in here, I don't know what you guy's problem is..."
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:19 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Get this bag then smear it with dust and dirt to give it a well-used look, to use as a survivor's prop.

In the post-apocalypse love takes in many forms.

Caution: This post contains information known to the State of California to constitute self-linking to products in the Mefi Mall

I think you should get walkie-talkies, and a friend to play a stray zombie, so in the middle of proceedings (or when the time is right), the friend - acting as a look-out - calls on the walkie talkie, warning you that a zombie has wandered near the building, and the building should go into lockdown.
Lockdown means all the doors shut, the lights have to be extinguished, everyone has to be silent, so that there is nothing to attract the zombie and just wait for it to wander off.

The point being that there is not much to do in the dark except make out :-)

Friend can, during that time, moan a bit and bump and drag himself past some of the windows, while everyone is trying to be silent, waiting, in the dark. This will keep the attention of the people not making out.

When people are getting restless, call the friend on the walkie talkie and say that you think it's gone, can he (the look-out) confirm? At which point the friend stops being a zombie and confirms that it has gone.

I reserve the right for the above idea to go spectacularly wrong :-p
posted by -harlequin- at 1:47 PM on August 3, 2009

You could really get a lot of ambiance with barricades (furniture and boards), dim light bulbs in the fixtures, a few flashlights, and a few candles if you're pretty sure that can be done safely.

Have a guard at the door to ensure no infected get in. Maybe a password too. After the party is going, have a few zombies break in the front door. Maybe the zombies bring the cake?

I'd skip the dog food and have "mystery meat" ("You _don't_ want to know what it is...") on skewers (steak or lingicia sausage) and serve beverages in mismatched glasses and mason jars.

I like the idea of reproducing the Left 4 Dead safe houses.

Party playlist could include pre-recorded news updates on the spread of the infection and the general chaos and confusion.
posted by deanj at 2:41 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could give out any appropriate party supplies/souvenirs/presents with a "I'm so sorry *mutual friend* didn't make it... she went out well. She would have wanted you to have this."

Also, soundtrack:
re: Your Brains if you're feeling jokey.
Don't Stop Me Now if you're feeling meta.

You could make a big, official looking "red cross/army drop box" to keep cups, alcohol or food in.

Along with some costume makeup, have a bunch of soiled-looking bandages around for guests to put on.

Get some old-school, black-and-white zombie movies and have them playing (muted?) on a tv set.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:23 PM on August 3, 2009

I'm late to this party, but maybe try leaving around wrinkled and dirty print out fliers or notices with official public service announcements?


Even better if you can get an old hospital stretcher and decorate with spare first aid kits lying around
posted by chalbe at 12:25 PM on August 14, 2009

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