“Dude! You just hood-fucked Bambi”
Really dumb, fun comedies have been lacking a little recently. In a sea of less than mediocre nonsense for 2015, it’s been all unnecessary sequels and poorly thought out “original” ideas that make you want to find a way of forcing a heart attack just so the awful pain of the film your watching can be over. Even the usually reliable stoner-type comedy has been a little stale over the last couple of years, minus American Ultra of course, a film I really enjoyed.
Enter, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, a flick with a bonkers premise that, even if it’s badly made, should at least be a little entertaining and should get a giggle out of the inner twelve year old of every person that goes to see it.
Starring a bunch of relative unknowns – at least as far as my film viewing habits are concerned – Scouts Guide has itself a simple idea; three scouts (Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller and Joey Morgan) who, after losing their scout leader and deciding to ditch their latest excursion into the woods to hit a high school party, inadvertently stumble upon a zombie infestation in their quiet little nondescript town. With the town seemingly deserted, Ben and Carter (Sheridan and Miller) decide that this is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for and head to the local strip club (Lawrence of Alabia – I shit you not) where instead of their first naked chick, they are attacked by a pole dancing zombie! Rescued by cocktail waitress Denise (Sarah Dumont) and escaping the horde that has congregated upon the club, they head off to try and find a way out of town. Meanwhile, Augie (Morgan) having been left by his friends finds their missing, now undead Scout leader (bit part comedy vet David Koechner – in a dodgy wig that makes him look like a chunky Kyle Chandler) and must escape and find the remains of his scout troop to try and survive the night.
Now the kids must find their way to their original destination, the secret seniors party, to find Carter’s sister Kendall and get everyone they can out of the town before the military bomb the place to high heaven to wipe out the infestation and any evidence it ever existed.
Since walking out of the screen today, I’ve tried to find the perfect way to describe Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse in case someone asked me. And the biggest problem I am coming up against isn’t that it is bad, because it’s really not. It’s the fact that it’s just a little dated, even though it came out this week. It’s completely derivative and lacks any sort of real imagination, but against my better judgement and while every fibre of my being fought it, I couldn’t help but laugh my way through the entire thing. As the film steals from the greats like Shaun of the Dead and the not so greats like Life After Beth and doesn’t really land in any camp. After a promising opening that includes a cameo from Workaholics‘ Blake Anderson, the movie never quite hits the highs it commits to, even trying to force its own classic moments including a zombie beat down to a Dolly Parton number (sound kinda familiar?) that don’t quite deliver – although an ass gumming and some zombie genital mutilation did send me far past chuckling into full blown laughter.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is best described as a mid-noughties stoner comedy without the stoners. If, back when he was making good comedies, Kevin Smith had made a zombie comedy, this would have been what he went for; just maybe a little better. It’s 93 minutes of adolescent boob jokes mixed in with a few dick one-liners, a zombie deer and a few zombie cats. Bottom line has to be, that if you watched the trailer and chuckled at any of it, knowing that this is going to keep you smirking like an eleven year old looking up rude words in the dictionary, this is definitely for you.