‘Zombie’ Knives: Has This Meme Jumped The Shark Yet?

I have to respect the creativity, production values, gore factor (gallons and counting) and just plain fun of Zombie-based marketing campaigns like this. I’m obviously not a Zombie hater, but I’m not a Walking Dead fanatic and the whole Zombie-based marketing gimmick has been pretty tiresome since the 2012 SHOT Show.

When you think about it, the whole Zombie knife fantasy falls apart even before your willing suspension of disbelief does. If the world really was being overrun by highly-infections cannibalistic crazies (dead or alive; doesn’t matter) isn’t a spitting-distance slicing weapon the last thing you’d reach for? I mean, don’t you need head-shots?

Image courtesy Ka-Bar Knives, Inc.Ka-Bar dove into the Zombie-Knife market pretty deep. Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised that one of the top knife makers has gone all undead on us, since some of the top brands in the firearms industry like Leupold, Hornady and Eotech all did the same thing at some point. They all slapped biohazard trefoils and florescent-green paint on their otherwise well-made gear, and most of it was just plain silly.

But maybe this is where some of these ugly green-handled knives are actually more useful as survival tools (in the real world, not the fantasy world) than their firearms-accessory counterparts are.

Eotech’s XPS2-Z reflex sight used this cluttered and useless reticule, and some ‘Zombie Blaster’ ammo didn’t even have a projectile in it. Try killing Zeke with one of those! But Ka-Bar’s big green choppers like the ‘Zomstro’ shown above are well-made and (mostly) useful survival knives in their own right. In a real-world survival situation, a conspicuous green handle is a useful survival feature because that knife will be really hard to lose. A $500 Zombie Eotech with a useless reticule is more like the optical equivalent of that drunken tattoo you wish you never got.

Image courtesy Gerber Legendary Blades

Gerber gets this too, as their Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade survival knife demonstrates. I agree with them that survival-suit orange is probably better than bright green, but whatever; when it comes to desert-island survival, conspicuity is king.

And where does this leave the Zombie-themed knife? Hopefully dead. Not undead, just dead.


  1. 2hotel9 says:

    I actually like The Walking Dead, though the second season went rather squishy. That said, I was over the whole zombie knife/gun/ammo thing before it started. I’m not a big advertizing campaign believer, just make a product I need at a price I like and I’m all copacetic. 95% of advertizing I simply find annoying, and many ads compel me to NOT buy their products.

    As for Ka-Bar, I have owned one for years(31 to be exact) and I prefer non-reflective black and oiled leather brown to florescent anything.

  2. Matt in FL says:

    To answer the question, yes, zombies are over. But it still sells, so it just makes sense to offer it. I’m sure they pay people lots of money to know when it’s no longer worth the extra production line.

    I’d buy it in green if it was cheaper than black for the same thing. Otherwise, I don’t care.

  3. Phydeaux says:

    Knife maker Jason Brous has a zombie themed knife that he complained the other day on Facebook that he’s having to continue to make – because people keep buying it.

    It seems the zombie theme has jumped the shark for Jason, but perhaps not yet for his customers.

  4. Jeff S. says:

    I’m a fan of the Walking Dead and movies like Zombieland. But I don’t really buy into the whole zombie marketing thing. I will however say that this whole zombie craze has brought about some good things.

    1) I think a lot of people who weren’t cognizant of survival situations and what ‘being prepared’ really means, are now at least thinking about it.

    2) More brightly colored knife handles. These are great for preventing you from losing your knives in the high brush.

    3) Leupold started using green dots on their illuminated reticules. I prefer the green over the red, and once they stopped production of the Zombie scopes, they realized that there was real demand for green dot scopes.

    Now if there is more of a survival/prepping surge in general that would be good for the mass of folks who are not prepared for any type of emergency situation.

  5. jwm says:

    So the gun was worthless against the zombies but the knife was just the thing?

  6. C says:

    I read the zombie survival guide in like 2004. So i was well over the whole zombie thing years before it even hit the mainstream. It got really annoying, but thankfully seems to be on the downswing.

  7. janitor says:

    the knives sell with a set of black handles too….and reasonably priced for good steel.

  8. Azimuth says:

    Ahh, America, the land of opportunity. I guess, in the Walking Dead world, the sound of gun shots attracts the zombie hoards, or is that herds?, and croaking zombies quietly is the preferred method for dispatching the undead without attracting more of them. As an idea born of a natural necessity, that being, if you don’t make it, someone else will, so why not get paid for a good idea…cheers I say! But the novelty is waning. Interesting how day-glo green has been co-opted as the default color by which authentic, certified zombie gear is identified. My Katana has no day-glo green tsuba, but in a bad pinch, it would serve as an impromptu zombie cleaver. How about a Vorpal blade? If you can snicker-snack the Jabberwock into the afterlife, what’s a few zombies?

    BTW, the Walking Dead is probably the biggest, and most infantile use of the zombie genre, ever! The writers are the only reason any of the characters are still alive. Without the unwriters, these people would have been zombie Lunchables before the end of season 1. And frankly, anyone who so needlessly and foolishly puts a horse into a situation, where it can be attacked, and eaten alive by a crowd Xanax-slow zombies, well, that’s a person I don’t want to know. It’s inexcusable.

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  10. Steve says:

    How ironic: the zombie craze is itself a zombie (ie, it’s run its course but still won’t go away).

    Also, ever hear of the idea that we only use 10% of our brains? Well, it has also been said that the average person only lives 10% of the capacity of his life’s potential. In other words alive but not fully alive, ie, a zombie (but it’s still illegal to kill them).

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‘Zombie’ Knives: Has This Meme Jumped The Shark Yet?

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