Producer: Todd Garner & Andy Fickman.
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures.
Writer: Carrie Evans, Emi Mochizuki & Christopher B. Landon.
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont & David Koechner.
Music: Matthew Margeson.
Editing: Jim Page.
Cinematography: Brandon Trost.
Budget: $24 million.
Box Office: $14.9 million.
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins.
Release Date: November 6th 2015
Going into this, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse looked really intriguing. The premise just sounded so insane and epic that it had me wondering that this film could be the next Zombieland. However, with its cast of young fresh actors and its juvenile humour from the trailer, then this film could also be better suited to younger teens. It looked appealing to me; is the film any good or should it be struck through the head?
Three scouts; Ben, Carter and Augie go on a camping trip to celebrate Augie getting his latest patch.Even though Augie is passionate about being a scout, Ben and Carter really want to quit, and once Augie falls asleep, they sneak away to check out a seniors’ party. As Ben and Carter drive away and Augie’s left on his own, their townsfolk have turned into zombies. Its not long before the duo bumps into Denise, a cocktail waitress at a strip club who’s also badass with a shotgun, and they all attempt to save everyone who’s left alive from the zombies.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse stands in the way of many many other zombie horror comedies, like the aforementioned Zombieland and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and what has made those films so effective and enjoyable is that they both have great scripts that are able to engage the audience throughout the entire runtime, all the while making them laugh through spectacular uses of comedy. Unfortunately, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is an inferior version of those films and as a result, it stumbles because of this.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypses’ humour aims for early teens as it is very juvenile. Gross out humour and a lot of cursing is abound in this movie and sometimes it can be too much to for me to handle. There’s only a certain amount of times when someone saying the word “shit” or “fuck” will be funny, but to repeatedly say it, it does get to be actually kind of obnoxious. Also, there are alot of moments where the characters will yell and scream in the action scenes and again, it just becomes loud noise and you really do find it irritating. This juvenile humour seems to be all that the film has to offer and that is disappointing when compared to Shaun of the Dead which had a script that was so sharply written, with smart humour that it had something to offer for everyone.
The characters in this film are typical of the genre and are stock characters: Tye Sheridan is the best character in Scouts Guide of the Zombie Apocalypse as Ben. He is probably the most tolerable out of the main trio of characters, as he seems more laid back and the straight guy throughout the entire film. He does go through a predictable and cliched character arc but apart from that he’s an average character overall and likeable enough. Logan Miller as Carter is an obnoxious person; he is the “bullshitter” and apparent know-all when it comes to being cool and girls. We’ve all seen this type of character before and we definitely know one in real life. I didn’t like Carter because he didn’t really have anything witty to say and I barely found him tolerable, however Joey Morgan as Augie fared better up to a fault.
In a film called Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, you’d at least expect a fun time right? Well to be fair, the film managed to entertain me in its many zombie set-pieces and seeing scouts kill waves of zombies never fails to impress me. However, a handful of them rely on gross out and juvenile humour, as well as pretentious nudity. There’s a potential that Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse could be great, however, the film’s juvenile and childish tone prevents me from fully enjoying it.
The zombie makeup looks effective and the extras playing them are convincing, however the gimmick of allowing the zombies to run makes them a very dangerous threat. The zombies animals however is just a stupid concept yet it seems to match the zany tone of the film and the music is forgettable.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a huge disappointment for me, as I was expecting something fun, funny in the vein of Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. The premise is partially wasted, as we don’t get to see full destruction of the zombies until the last act. However the film’s juvenile tone and humour and stock and mostly obnoxious lead characters prevents me from enjoying this film, as well as poorly timed jokes. The film isn’t a total abomination as the makeup is strong and some of the characters are likable; this doesn’t stop Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse from being an underwhelming experience, even if its not without some good moments.