Quotes / World War Z

"Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, its just human nature."
Jurgen Warmbrunn, Israeli Mossad intelligence analyst, reflecting on how the report he co-authored with dozens of other members of foreign intelligence agencies, which warned of the coming Zombie epidemic, was essentially ignored by every government in the world.

Gerry Lane: How did Israel know?
Warmbrunn: We intercepted a communique from an Indian general, saying they were fighting the “rakshasa”. Translation, “zombies.” Technically, undead.
Lane: Jurgen Warmbrunn, high-ranking official in the Mossad. Described as sober, efficient, not terribly imaginative, and yet, you build a wall because you read a communique that mentions the word “zombie”?

Warmbrunn: Well, if you put it like that, I’d be skeptical as well. In the ’30s, Jews refused to believe they could be sent to concentration camps. In ’72, we refused to fathom we’d be massacred in the Olympics. In the month before October 1973 we saw Arab troop movements, and we unanimously agreed that they didn’t pose a threat. Well, a month later, the Arab attack almost drove us into the sea. So, we decided to make a change.
Lane: A change?
Warmbrunn: “The tenth man.”note  If nine of us with the same information arrived at the exact same conclusion, it’s the duty of the tenth man to disagree. No matter how improbable it may seem, the tenth man has to start thinking with the assumption that the other nine were wrong.

Lane: And you were that tenth man?

Warmbrunn: Precisely. Since everyone assumed that this talk of zombies was cover for something else, I began my investigation on the assumption, that when they said, zombies they meant zombies.
—from the film - according to Max Brooks, this exchange is literally the only part of the film that even remotely resembles his novel.

"I'm not blaming the civilian leadership and I'm not suggesting that we in uniform should be anything but beholden to them. This is our system, and its the best in the world. But it must be protected, and defended, and it must never again be so abused."
General Travis D'Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, explaining that the Zombie epidemic only spread as much as it did due to political and bureaucratic short-sightedness which essentially removed the United States' disaster response capability.

"...you figured that the threat was small enough to be "managed" by some additional law enforcement training...even though you’d received warnings to the contrary, that it could never just be woven into the fabric of public life and that it was actually a global catastrophe in the making"?
[Carlson shoots the interviewer an angry look] "...Grow up."..
Grover Carlson, Former White House Chief of Staff, offering the sum total of his self-defense for his administration’s choice to ignore direct warnings they’d received about zombies.

"Pastor Dan was there, he was trying to make people listen to him. ‘Please everyone, please stay calm, the ‘thorities’ are coming, just stay calm and wait for the ‘thorities’’...the windows broke, the windows in the front next to the door. The Lights got black. Grown-ups got scared. They screamed..."
Sharon, patient at the Rothman Rehabilitation Home for Feral Children, a twenty-four year old woman with the mind of a four year old girl, who was found after a decade of living like an animal evading zombies in the ruins of what used to be Wichita, Kansas.

"By Christmas Day, there was plenty of food."
Jesika Hendricks, young refugee from Wisconsin, who like millions of others fled to the Canadian subarctic wilderness when the mass media began saturating the public with the message to "Go North!". Without any survival instructions from the government or mass media, 11 million died in the first weeks of winter. The few that didn't die only managed to survive by resorting to cannibalism.

"You don’t have to be Sun freakin Tzu to know that real fighting isn’t about killing or even hurting the other guy, it’s about scaring him enough to call it a day. “Shock and Awe”? Perfect name, “Shock and Awe”! But what if the enemy can’t be shocked and awed? Not just won’t, but biologically can’t? That’s what happened that day outside New York City, that’s the failure that almost lost us the whole damn war. The fact that we couldn’t shock and awe Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They’re not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid!"
Todd Waino, US Infantryman, describing both the Battle of Yonkers and the unique difficulties of fighting the undead.

"Two hundred million zombies. Who can even visualize that type of number, let alone combat it?... For the first time in history, we faced an enemy that was actively waging total war. They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end because, unlike us, every single one of them, every second of every day, was devoted to consuming all life on Earth. That's the enemy that waited for us beyond the Rockies. That's the kind of war we had to fight."
General Travis D'Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, reflecting on the US decision to go on the offensive during the War.