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.
October 30, 2015
Carrie Lee Wilson
Tye Sheridan as Ben
Logan Miller as Carter
Joey Morgan as Augie
What happens when a trio of outcast scouts – all yearning to fit into a world where teens with silly khaki getups adorned with silly little badges find themselves laughed into a depressive state – find themselves in a position to potentially save the world from a sudden zombie outbreak? Well, all hell breaks loose. And an assortment of raunchy jokes are hurled about – you know, to alleviate the tension that comes with knowing the world may be wobbling on its last legs of humanity. That’s what happens. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse proves it, and then some.
Ben, Carter and Augie define the unlikely hero stereotype with perfection. They’re just a few teenagers who’ve been shunned by their classmates, and sheltered from the real world. They live in a boyhood fantasy. Ben and Carter however, now 17 years old and salivating over the possibilities beyond their goodie-goodie troupe, aren’t keen on sticking with the boy scouts. They’re growing up. And that means they’re feeling the urge to sneak into daddy’s locked cabinet and take a few swills from the flask. It means they’re eager to experience the female body… all of the female body. It means they want to be accepted, for once. And they’re about to get the chance to break away from the shameful monikers their classmates have cursed them.
Enter the zombie apocalypse.
Although they’ve been clowned from earth to the moon by fellow teenagers, their scout training is about to pay off. And it all starts when they hit a deer on the side of the road (technically, it all starts in the film’s introduction, but that’s so insanely hilarious I’m not about to ruin it for you; really, it’s comedy gold!), only to learn that moments later the deer – which was very clearly dead – gets up and disappears into the bush. This leaves the boys wondering what in tarnation happened, but they’ll soon find their answers.
Their scout leader Rogers (David Koechner) is bitten by one of the ghouls that got free from a medical facility in the opening shot (which we’re still not discussing) of the film. And before we know it, not only is Rogers a shambling flesh-eater, but so is the rest of the town. The majority of the townsfolk, by the way, have all evacuated – while Ben, Carter and Augie are off in the woods for their latest scout trip. An invitation to a party leads them away, which directly segues into the terror these boys now face and the realization that their neighborhood has become a ghost town. Save for a very select few survivors and hundreds of zombies.
It’s a battle that pits a small handful of protagonists against the hungry undead, and the lengths this group will go to in order to survive – or escape the danger zone, is wrought with insane decision making, plenty of close calls and a shocking amount of graphic violence. You want to see panic and dismembered bodies in equal measure? Then you want to see Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s not just funny, and it’s not just disgusting, it’s arguably the greatest zombie-com since Ruben Fleischer’s fan-favorite and modern day classic, Zombieland.
It’s impossible to be disappointed with the special effects this film showcases. We get some stunning carnage, wildly creative kills, stomach turning mutilation and it’s all pieced together in gorgeous, refined fashion. While there’re plenty of visual effects used to enhance these bloody scenes, the practical work is to die for. Tony Gardner guides a sizable group of effects practitioners through this journey and not one single participant disappoints. This group delivers the kind of gore that hardcore blood-and-gut fanatics beg for. And everyone on the FX crew deserves heaping piles of praise.
The same can be said of the director, Christopher Landon as well as the cast, which is loaded with very, very strong talent. Tye Sheridan (Ben) is brilliant as the level-headed hero who prefers to think before acting. Logan Miller (Carter) is the true comedic relief, and you’ll pick up on that almost immediately, as he’s seen taking selfies with the aforementioned dead deer, and zombies, and bloody body parts, and exposed, decaying breasts; the kid is just genius with a seemingly bottomless tank of outrageous punchlines. As for Augie (Joey Morgan), he’s the only one who spends a sizable portion of the picture being aloof, but once the magnitude of the catastrophe dons on him, he’s a shiner in the group, because trust this: not in a million years would you expect him to be fit to combat the threat, let alone possibly survive it! There are a few other top flight performers (Sarah Dumont’s Denise and Halston Sage’s Kendall Grant) to admire, but the truth is these boys are the ones who steal the show.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a highly entertaining, completely gratifying blast of a film. It’s a joyride through terror city right from the jump and not only will you not ever venture into dull territory, you’ll likely find your stomach in intricately coiled knots, battling back constant bursts of raucous laughter. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this is not only one of the best films to be released in 2015, it’s one of the greatest zombie films we’ve ever seen. Do yourself a proper justice and watch this movie. You know what? Scratch that – do yourself a proper justice and purchase the movie, the very moment you can!