Tag Archives: Scout’s Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

“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.

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Failed Critics Podcast: Awe Steve That Stinks

scouts guide

Everybody, raise your right hand and say it with me:

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to Owen and to Steve,
To help other people
And to keep the Failed Critics Podcast on my iTunes subscription list at all times.

You may lower your hand so that you can press play now and listen to your hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes, with their special guest Brian Plank, play a game of 20 Questions around the camp fire, stay up late talking about movies (such as He Named Me Malala, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse and Kill Your Friends) and scare Brian by telling him ghost stories.

Well, Steve tells a ghost story of sorts with a review of Housebound, a horror film from New Zealand (not Australia). Owen finds possibly the worst Bruce Willis movie ever made in Hudson Hawk, whilst Brian – still recovering from the shock – talks about indie documentary King of Kong.

There’s time before all of that for the group to sing a rendition of Kumbaya – but unfortunately the mic wasn’t plugged in. So instead of doing seven versus in full again, they decide instead to take a look at why the Chinese market get a different Star Wars trailer and what’s wrong with Warcraft. We pay a small tribute to horror icon Gunnar Hanson who passed away this week, as well as casting our beady eyes over the BIFA nominations.

Join us again next week where we’re inviting you lot to send in your listener questions! We’ll answer them, whatever they may be about, during the podcast.

LISTEN VIA ACAST FOR THE MOST INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

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US Box Office Report: 02/10/15 – 04/10/15

The Martian sciences the sh*t out of making money, The Walk loses its (bank) balance, Sicario means “dolla dolla bills y’all”, the public vote against Freeheld, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Proving that Matt Damon can say all of the most accidentally ignorant crap that he likes and that Ridley Scott can spend a full half-decade crapping out stinkers whilst both still remain the kind of perfectly lovable and bankable box office draws that Hollywood executives wish to Maker they could create out of thin air, The Martian is your new box office number 1.  The big story for many people is how the film has fallen just short of breaking Gravity’s “Best October Opening Ever” record – by $750,000 – although the estimates may push it over the top.  Because, after all, who cares about excellent openings unless they break records, right?  Besides, if we should be sad about anything, it should be the fact that the godawful Hannibal is still Ridley Scott’s best opening weekend ever.  That’s the real tragedy.

Speaking of tragedies, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Pepé le Pew imitation in The Walk.  This is meant to be a serious movie, right?  Cos, quite frankly, I probably won’t be able to take seriously two hours of “Omlette du fromage”.  Audiences very much seemed to agree with me, in this instance – that, or they saw Man On Wire and sussed that they didn’t need to see it fictionalised and in 3D – and even with critical acclaim and an initial opening exclusively on IMAX theatres, its true home, the film failed to find much of an audience.  In fact, and in sharp contrast to Everest from a few weeks back, it didn’t even manage to crack the Top 10, stalling out at number 11 with only $1.5 million.  The film hits actual theatres that people want to go to next weekend, but this whole “release early in IMAX” thing really doesn’t seem to be paying off as studios were likely hoping it would.  Y’know, probably because IMAX really just isn’t very good.

But do you know what is very good?  Sicario, that’s what!  One of the year’s absolute best films finally went wide this week and, for a bleak-as-f*ck and slow-moving thriller that is as decidedly uncommercial as… well, as Denis Villenueve’s Prisoners, did surprisingly well, securing third place with a decent $12 million.  The film even supposedly has an “A-“ CinemaScore, too, so it may have some legs over these next few weekends.  Comfortably above it on the chart, meanwhile, is Hotel Transylvania 2 which actually held better than the first film did – and that only dropped 36% between weekends, let’s not forget – with a miniscule 32% drop and $33 million.  So, once again, can Genndy Tartakovsky please go and make whatever he wants now?  It’s clear the public will accept it!

Do you know what they didn’t accept, though?  Freeheld.  Yes, the weekend’s big Limited Release, and the latest blatant entry in Julianne Moore’s awards nomination reel, turned out to be a bit of a stinker, and nothing kills off a Limited Release’s box office prospects better than middling reviews.  Freeheld therefore only managed to scrape $40,000 from 5 screens and a per-screen average of $8,000.  Still, at least it can take comfort in the fact that it’s not Stonewall!  That film, incidentally, dropped down to 83 screens and made an absolutely pathetic $18,700 this weekend.  Better performing was the documentary He Named Me Malala which took a strong $56,000 from 4 screens for a per-screen average of $14,000.


the martian 2015

You know what’s been strong this week?  My paragraph transitions!  …here’s the Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 2nd October 2015 – Sunday 4th October 2015

1] The Martian

$55,000,000 / NEW

Super happy to see this one do well, if for no other reason than it might give Ridley Scott the kick up the arse he needs to stop making crap films this decade.  Yes, I know that he plans to make his next film another Alien movie/Prometheus sequel, let’s focus on his career after that, OK?  In fact, whilst I have everyone’s attention, can we all just stop making Alien-related movies, please?  We haven’t had a good one in almost 30 years, and I highly doubt that the Neill Blomkamp who just made Chappie is going to turn that around.  Although I will admit that I am still excited for that one, in a “trainwreck fascination” kinda way.

2] Hotel Transylvania 2

$33,000,000 / $90,541,765

Saw this yesterday and a review will be up by Thursday as I still have to write this week’s Lost Cels first.  Film’s millimetres away from being genuinely great, for the record, although its best asset is still its utterly amazing animation.  Seriously, the work that Genndy and co. have done with translating 2D-style squash-and-stretch animation to 3D is just outstanding.  I cannot wait for him to put it to use in a film that doesn’t have Adam Sandler’s icky undertones attached to it.

3] Sicario

$12,075,000 / $15,076,295

Just a few more days and I get to see this brilliance again!  God knows I’m going to need something to wash down Pan with.  Have I ever mentioned that Pan looks like utter garbage?  Cos it really does.

4] The Intern

$11,620,000 / $36,523,892

You know what?  If this actually built to something and wasn’t two sodding hours long, I’d be giving this a full-on enthusiastic thumbs up.  It’s not particularly funny, but it is really charming and its characters are really likeable and the cast are great, and it manages to balance lionising The Older Generation and The Way Things Were with a genuine respect for the modern world and businesswomen who try to juggle work and family without being condescending or placing one higher than the others.  Seriously, it gets so much right; I just wish it built to its ending, was actually funny, and wasn’t two sodding hours.

5] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

$7,650,000 / $63,241,124

And the maze keeps running running, and running running, and running running…

6] Black Mass

$5,905,000 / $52,521,030

No, seriously, how has no-one made a Black Eyed Peas parody song about The Maze Runner yet?  Is it because The Black Eyed Peas were The Absolute Worst and nobody actually remembers anything from any Maze Runner after having experienced them?  And I just answered my own question.

7] Everest

$5,510,000 / $33,181,310

Tosh from Torchwood is in this.  Unsurprisingly, she is given basically zero lines.

8] The Visit

$3,950,000 / $57,695,090

Anybody managed to see Cooties yet?  I have high hopes, since I actually laughed at the trailer and it has Alison Pill who always deserves the best things, but I know that this can easily go very, very wrong and the reviews aren’t great.  Still, at least it looks better than Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, a film whose trailer is Exhibits A, B, C, and all the way down to Z on why we should just stop using zombies now forever.  ZOMBIE BOOBS LOL!

9] War Room

$2,800,000 / $60,544,613

Oh, just go away already.

10] The Perfect Guy

$2,400,000 / $52,615,190

So Creed isn’t due out in the UK until January.  January.  Now, initially, I got really confused, since it’s basically a new Rocky movie and Rocky Balboa opened simultaneously in the USA and the UK.  But then I realised something: they’re setting up Creed to be an awards season contender, so now I’m just annoyed.  Even if it’s good, Creed ain’t getting nominated for jack, and the whole Awards Season thing of keeping us Brits out of the loop on seeing these films until the opening of the next year is bullsh*t.  Again, NON-SIMULTANEOUS RELEASING OF ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILMS IN 2015 IS BULLSHIT!

And you thought I’d get through one of these pieces without stepping on my soapbox!  Ha!

Dropped Out: The Green Inferno

Callum Petch guesses we’re kicking this city down.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!