It’s the end of days, mankind is all but doomed as the undead have risen up and crave the taste of flesh, who dares to stand in their way, who is the last line of the defense? …. Three boy scouts of course!
This film is pretty much what you would expect based on the title, think Super bad meets any generic zombie film, cast the lead characters as scouts for extra nerdage (is that a word?) and you have yourselves the plot.
Ben, Carter and Augie are the only members of their troop, it’s the basic formula here, you have the wannabe cool kid who doesn’t shut up about sex, the shy but level headed one of the group and the chubby yet lovable social outcast as they band together to earn their place at the cool kids table.
The gore factor is established from the very beginning as a cleaner inadvertently sets in motion the events that will soon lead to the zombie apocalypse, all pretty standard so far if not a tad predictable.
This film doesn’t take its self too seriously and neither should you, as it soon becomes very clear that this is as wacky as a comedy horror can get. Along with the standard zombie menace we have flesh eating dear and cats, we even have a zombie that likes to sing a bit of Britney spears and not forgetting to mention the undead cunnilingus moment.
The jokes are cheesy and over the top, making it unclear whether you should laugh with the jokes or laugh at them for being so ridiculous, which become increasingly more absurd as the film goes on. What is amazing is that this is all done with straight faces and a degree of serious acting so credit to the young cast members is due here.
There are however quite a few continuity errors that are notable throughout the film, damage to cars appears and disappears and the same for the blood soaked cast, one moment they are dripping with gore from their close encounters the next they barely have a scratch on them. It was hard to tell if this was done on purpose to tie in with the over the top antics or just general mistakes on the productions part, but as mentioned previously, this isn’t meant to be taken seriously at all.
When this film opened to theaters in October 2015 it struggled to gain back its rather modest budget of just 15 million dollars only grossing 14.9 million, sure it’s likely to pick up the slack and break even through DVD sales and online streaming licences. But breaking even is never what a studio looks for from an investment, which makes a sequel very unlikely.
There has been an influx of zombie comedy movies over the past decade, no doubt stemming from the classic Shaun of the Dead, but this just doesn’t surpass that at all, I would personally say this one ranks at the same level as Warm Bodies but very much below that of Zombieland. But perhaps it’s unfair of me to judge this film against such a cult classic like Shaun of the Dead; it’s like comparing Salsa to Marmite, one is hot and exciting and the other very much love it or hate it!
This was an odd one to review, on one hand I genuinely laughed at times and there are some clever moments (The Strippers club with the word “Live” flickering, indicating that no one alive was inside is a nice touch) but then the other part of me wants to reject this for being so ridiculous.
This film may not have found its home at the box office, but give it time and this could become a Netflix hidden Gem.
So out of a possible five stars, Scouts Guide to the zombie apocalypse earns its self:
It’s rude, gory, silly and stupid …. And so help me it may be just one of my guilty pleasures.
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