Directed by Christopher Landon
Starring Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan & David Koechner
Film review by Chris Olson
Superbad meets The Walking Dead in this horror/comedy film about a trio of friends who end up facing a zombie apocalypse in their hometown, and must rely on their hard-earned skills from being Scouts of America.
Fads come and go in the movie industry pretty quickly. From teen vampires to teen fiction, gangster films to spy movies, audiences are often treated to a series of green-lit films which are only bombarding the box office because that is what’s #trending. Zombies very much fall into this category, having had a spate of success in TV, video games and movies. However, one facet of culture which is yet to receive a wave of popularity is being in the Scouts, and that is where Christopher Landon’s film draws its main, and only, element of originality.
Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller), and Augie (Joey Morgan) have been BFFs for years, and a lot of that was based on belonging to a Scout troupe, headed by the eternally optimistic Scout Leader Rogers (David Koechner - best known for playing the Whammy guy in Anchorman). However, now the boys are in their mid-teens, meaning that, as in any American teen comedy, their lives revolve completely around getting laid...and they don’t give you a badge for that! Except for Augie who seems tragically set on being a Scout forever.
The boys’ erotic pursuits are waylaid after an outbreak of a zombie virus wreaks havoc across the town, and forces them to put their skills to the test in order to find and save loved ones.
The plot is all a little familiar, and has a slight stench of chuck-two-things-in-a-title-and-make-a-movie lingering around, but there is a lot to like about Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. First off, the script is allowed plenty of cussing and sexualy crudeness - meaning the characters are not ridiculously off-map when depicting typical teenage boys. Secondly, some of the gross-out Superbad-esque comedy is genuinely funny. One scene with a zombie penis is hysterical.
That being said, many viewers will be turned off by the jumbled up bag of worn themes being offered. Everything in this movie has been done before by a variety of different movies, and whereas many of those films had a clear message/direction, Landon’s film seems to be playing the averages. The result being a mishmash of comedy, adventure, horror and coming-of-age which will probably alienate more than unify.
Not winning any badges for originality, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a misplaced movie in a sea of trends, never really finding a home and instead relying on minimal comic relief and some gross-out gags.