Well, I hope you guys have enjoyed my Worst of 2015 list, don’t you worry the Best of is coming in the next day or so! Part of me wishes I had checked out this movie before finalizing my worst of list… but it gets an honorary mention for sure. Anyways, let’s get to this and see what’s in the Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.
Do you guys remember Superbad? That movie came out at just the right time in my life, it was raunchy, and the characters in it were relatable to me as a high school student. Of course, now I’m an adult, and find the humour in that movie to be pretty antiquated and it has lost all of it’s relatability in the years since it came out. This movie feels like a rehashing of the same jokes from that movie, with the new addition of zombies and violence. If it had come out while I was a teenager, it might have even found it funny. However, now I’m an adult, and this movie is rated R, and therefore is intended to be watched by adults, so lets talk about it like adults.
First off, the movie opens with Blake Anderson, from everyone’s favourite show Workaholics. I admittedly have no interest in that show, and haven’t been able to find any of the cast members terribly funny at any point. This was no exception, he buffoons his way into starting the zombie apocalypse, and clowns around like a jackass for his whole time on screen (which isn’t long thankfully). The cast doesn’t get too much better from here on out, the main trio is played by Tye Sheridan (Joe), Logan Miller (+1), and newcomer Joey Morgan. The three of them exchange gross, misogynistic banter for the entire flick, and have none of the charms that Cera and Hill have in Superbad. The movie also stars David Koechner (Anchorman), Sarah Dumont (Don Jon), Holston Sage (Goosebumps), Patrick Schwarzenegger (Grown Ups 2, and yes that Schwarzenegger), and inexplicably Cloris fucking Leachman is in this movie too.
Scouts Guide is written and directed by Christoper Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and it’s pretty bizarre all around. The whole movie feels juvenile, and like it was written by an adolescent boy. The jokes and actions throughout the movie range from being just unfunny, to being gross and jarring. A prime example being when one of the characters (Miller) sees a zombie with exposed breasts, and proceeds to feel her up before running away in terror. It seems like sexual assault is cool as long as it’s against zombies? I guess? Miller’s character also spews some pretty disgusting lines including, and I quote: “Junior year is when all girls become sluts” and suggests that Leachman’s character “Rubs fancy feast on her cooch and lets…” you get the point. The lines are gross, and patently unfunny, which makes it all the harder to watch.
On top of the bad lines, you have weak jokes peppered everywhere in the movie. A strip club called Lawrence of Alabia (haha..haha.haha..HAH!), the heavier of the friends takes a farty dump because hilarious, and on and on and on just like that. This childish humour really rubs me the wrong way, and just reinforces that this is an acceptable way for characters to talk because “they’re young people” or whatever, and that’s bullshit. It also seems to have a certain level of the “Hello fellow kids” mentality, being written by a grown man, insinuating this is how funny, quick witted kids talk. With the bad jokes, and the dumb banter, you’re instead stuck with a bunch of idiots acting like idiots and it’s just hard to watch.
I had hoped to find a zombie flick that was over the top, and fun to watch. Maybe something along the lines of Dead Snow 2, or hell… even Warm Bodies would have been preferred to what I got from this. I realize the gag is that they’re scouts, so they would be prepared for anything, but by the end of the movie they become a three-man army of ass kicking and basically turn into impossible action heroes, instead of just being resourceful. Again, yeah, I get it. It’s a zombie-comedy and blah blah blah blah. It just falls so flat from start to finish, and it’s a real shame. Hell, even the zombie cat gag was tedious and a wasted joke, just as wasted was the gag where our hero (Sheridan) grabs onto an elderly zombie’s penis and it stretches until it breaks. It’s gross out gags like this that really add to how juvenile and lazy this movie is.
In the end, you’re left with a hugely immature movie, with a couple of fun, gory zombie effects. It’s the victim of lousy writing, lousy directing, lousy acting, and a movie that feels like a teenage boy’s version of Superbad set in the Walking Dead universe. It was hard to watch, and wasn’t at all worth the time. A hard pass on this one. Hopfully 2016 has more horror worth being excited about.