PLOT: Three scouts discover that their little world has been turned upside down by a zombie apocalypse. During their adventure they must figure out how to save their friends, and fight off hordes of flesh eating monsters in order to do so.
REVIEW: Some movies are just dumb. And sometimes, that is okay. With a title like SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, you can bet that you will find a whole lot of stupid. Yet with all the sex jokes, the obnoxious behavior and even zombie cats, there is quite a bit of goofy entertainment as well. There is nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary here. Imagine AMERICAN PIE (or perhaps PORKY’S) meets SHAUN OF THE DEAD and you may have an idea of what to expect here. There is the scoutmaster zombie that won’t die. You have an old lady turned flesh-eater who attempts to take a bite out of someone’s bare ass. And most importantly, you have a trio of scouts who have more problems than earning a badge. It’s a zombie apocalypse, one featuring strippers, bloody bits and bare breasts.
Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller and Joey Morgan are Ben, Carter and Augie. The three childhood friends have grown up together. They have also been a part of the boy scouts for most of their formative years, something that Augie prides himself on. When Carter and Ben get the opportunity to go to a party – you know the kind, the one that all the popular kids will be at – they decide to ditch Augie just for a few hours while they are on an camping trip. As if being abandoned by your supposed friends isn’t bad enough, they all soon discover that an epidemic has turned their friends and families into the walking dead. Will they be able to save Carter’s sister Kendall (Halston Sage)? And will one of them score with the cocktail waitress named Denise (Sarah Dumont) who can handle firearms with the best of them? As long as I was laughing, I was fine with whatever nonsense they were involved in.
When I was leaving the press screening for this flick, one of my fellow critics called this feature juvenile. He wasn’t amused. However, in a way that is the exact point. This is low brow humor and it is unapologetic about it. There are hot zombie tit shots, and even a disturbingly icky scene involving an elderly zombie’s penis. There is gore and there is sex, and director Christopher Landon piles it all on happily. If any of this sounds at all unappealing, then this is definitely not for you. Juvenile is right. It is ridiculously childish, but somehow, it manages to inject a little charm in all of the foolishness.
As gross as it all may be, one of the key factors to my enjoyment of this flick is the cast. Sheridan is an immensely talented young actor, and he is solid as the teen that is lost somewhere between being cool and being a geek. Joey Morgan gives a believable amount of passion as his character Augie. The dude really loves being a scout, even if his friends don’t. And then there is Logan Miller as the a-hole best friend who is obsessed with boobs and taking selfies at inappropriate times. This is the type of role that could have easily fallen into annoying jerk territory, but the young actor is a whole lot of fun and manages to give Carter a bit of heart.
When it comes to the girls, the best role is given to the hottie who works at a stripper bar. Sarah Dumont wears short shorts and a tank-top, yet she has a ton of spunk and she connects easily with the boys. As far as the adult roles, it is not surprising that David Koechner is enjoying his Dolly Parton loving scoutmaster turned zombie. And while Cloris Leachman is a comedic legend, her Miss Fielder is not nearly as creative as one would expect from the actress. But it is still enjoyable to watch her cat lady gone mad craziness.
SCOUTS GUIDE is not a great film by any stretch, but for it’s teenage boy target audience, it will certainly offer substantial chuckles. Christopher Landon keeps the jokes coming, and some of them work especially well – and some, not so much. The trampoline sequence is one of the funniest I’ve seen this year. Yes it’s overly silly and occasionally stupid, but with a talented group of actors and some gory kills, it moves quickly and will probably make you laugh. If you want a shut off your brain kind of flick this Halloween, you could do worse, but you may have just as much fun in the comfort of your own home when this hits VOD. SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE accomplishes what it is striving for much of the time, which is little more than a crazy zombie flick with sex. So if you are up for that, you may at the very least be entertained for ninety minutes.